Still uplifted by the new Star Wars movie (which I quite enjoyed), I headed to Virago’s place for a game of Star Wars: Armada. This is basically the ‘bigger brother’ of X-Wing: Published by Fantasy Flight Games with the usual high production values, it deals with battles between the big ships of the Star Wars universe – yes, you can finally get a Star Destroyer onto the gaming surface!
Being a man of high aesthetic standards (and equally high levels of skill), Virago repainted the ships and fighters, which makes for a really stunning spectacle. Sigur donned the cap of an Imperial captain while I bulged my eyes to get into the role of his Mon Calamari counterpart.
Sigur had a Victory Class Star Destroyer and a Raider Class Corvette, while I had two Correllian Corvettes and an Escort Frigate. We both also had a couple of squadrons of fighters.
While Sigur advanced very slowly, I increased my speed by one and headed directly towards the Star Destroyer. I had decided to ignore the Corvette and throw everything I had at the big ship. My fighter squadrons headed forward, but Sigur was able to counter them with his Tie-Fighters. Soon, dogfights pinned my squadrons.
I was more successful with the larger ships: While the Frigate was on a head-to-head course with the Star Destroyer, the Corvettes converged from my right flank. Pouring continuous fire into the big ship, they managed to take out the shields and then do some structural damage. When one of my Corvettes crossed the bow of the Imperial ship, however, it was blown to smithereens. As Admiral Ackbar – never one to shy away from voicing truisms – once said: “At that close range we won’t last long against those Star Destroyers!”
Angrily, the rest of my ships opened fire with everything they had. The Imperial ship couldn’t withstand the withering fire and, after taking some more structural damage, blew up.
The rest was just mopping up: The lone Raider Class Corvette didn’t stand much chance against two Rebel ships and soon was also destroyed.
This was a fun game. At first, I was a bit apprehensive, as I feared that the rules might be overly complicated. However, after a couple of turns they felt just fine, although I certainly didn’t get all the intricacies. While I pride myself to have manoeuvred the big ships quite efficiently, I failed abysmally with the fighters – I had no idea what to do with them, and Sigur managed to pin them with his Tie-Fighters and finish them one by one.
Star Wars: Armada is a game that captures the feel of the movies’ space battles very well and I’m certainly looking forward to having another go.