Thursday 10 March 2016

Star Wars: Armada Core Set Review (Tabletop Game age 14+)

Star Wars Armada is a 2-player tabletop miniatures game. Using dice, cards and beautifully designed miniature models you take charge of your own fleet and attempt to destroy the opposition. Each different craft has it's own fire power, range and manoeuvrability, which can also be affected by random events, obstacles and the other player's craft.

Star Wars: Armada Core Set Review (Tabletop Game age 14+)

This is a much more grown up type of game than we usually review, and unlike my usual game reviews, I won't be explaining gameplay in any detail. The rule manual is 18 pages, with an additional booklet to refer to during play. I simply can't explain in one blog post, but hopefully you'll get the gist.

Star Wars: Armada Core Set Review Pack Shot

As daunting as the rule booklet may at first appear, gameplay is actually pretty intuitive, and the main reason for the large rule book is because it's tricky to explain in shorter form, and there can't be room for misinterpretation. The more you play, the more the moves are familiar and second-nature, and you in turn become able to focus on strategy.

Star Wars Armada Tabletop game tie fighter

The miniatures are an important and integral part to Star Wars: Armada. This is a game that is beautiful to look at, and as the pieces move around the play area, you see the 'battle ballet' unfold.

Star Wars Armada Tabletop game CR90

Included in the Core set are the Star Destroyer, a Corvette and a Frigate, and squadrons of Tie Fighters and X Wings. The detail is amazing. These are beautiful and very intricate models and collectibles in their own right. Don't let your little children anywhere near them...

Star Wars Armada Tabletop game frigate

Star Wars Armada Tabletop game Star Destroyer

There are also a lot of other playing pieces to get to grips with. Dials, 8-sided dice, damage tokens, random event and objective cards etc.

Star Wars Armada game playing cards

Star Wars Armada game review dials

The play area is understandably big - 90cm square - so clear the kitchen table and begin...

Each player will have their own 'hand' of cards, dials and tokens to use in play. These vary initially depending on which craft you are using, and their effect varies depending on which craft they are assigned to and who they attack, and even which side of a vehicle the attack is launched from.

Movement of ships is really clever - smaller ships are nippy and can turn quickly, larger ships need a bigger turning circle. This is achieved by the very clever movement measuring device, which also takes into account the speed you have set for your craft. Faster speed means it will take more distance to turn.

Star Wars Armada game review measuring tool

Games of Star Wars: Armada are played over six rounds, each of which is broken into four phases.

Phase 1: Command Phase

Both opponents assign commands to their fleet secretly using the dials. You need to have an idea of what you are planning to do and which way you hope your game is going to play out beyond this round otherwise you will waste vital moves.

Phase 2: Ship Phase

This is where you 'activate' each of your fleet by revealing the commands you planned. You can use them immediately or save them for later at a reduced effect, but they are now known by your opponent.

it is during this phase that you move, and attack.

Phase 3: Squadron Phase

The turn of the starfighters. All unactivated ships become active and move or attack.

Phase 4: Status Phase

This is where you 'tidy up', sort out exhausted defense cards, turn over the initiative token and increase the round count. If you have played 6 rounds the points are counted for completing certain objectives and destroying enemy ships. The player with most points is the winner.

Fantasy Flight Games suggest each game of Star Wars: Armada takes around 2 hours, we haven't managed that yet! Although you will have to refer to the rules more often initially it doesn't stilt gameplay too much, especially if you are learning at the same time as your opponent and you both need to check each step.

Star Wars Armada gameplay review

As with the very traditional Battleships game, scoring a hit on your opponent is the aim, and when you do it's a great feeling - and a fairly rare one in my case. I am not enthusiastic enough in my attacks!

The Star Wars: Armada Core Set can be added to, there are many different sets available to expand your current armada and add extra ships, and the miniatures are real collectibles. They are fragile and due to the exact nature of the measurements, and the quantity of rules you need to adhere to for fair gameplay, the recommendation of age 14+ is right.

At an rrp of £79.99 Star Wars: Armada is an investment, not a game which anyone will buy lightly.  It offers serious strategic gameplay for the keen gamer and needs only 2 players, making it really handy despite the large play area.

We were sent the Star Wars: Armada Core Set for review.


  1. This looks awesome ,even the box it comes in looks cool x

    1. It does - one of the kids ripped it a bit and it was all I could do to say 'never mind', but inside I was 'waaaaaah' :D

  2. Will get this for my son when they are older! It look gorgeous set!

    1. It is gorgeous - beautifully made Eileen. Definitely for the older kids!

  3. My OH would love this. He plays X-Wing and another one (which I have no idea what it's called!) with his friend every week!

    1. I've seen X-Wing, but I've not played it myself. I think it's such a different style of play with each tun being several moves - you have to be a strategist and I'm an opportunist :D


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