As I have so frequently commented before, Armada is a game with an awful lot to it. Every match you play has dozens, probably hundreds of variables, and mastering them, hell, even recognising them, can prove incredibly challenging. Even writing a list, just keeping track of how many points you have spent, what you have left, can be tricky.
To try and help with my own understanding of the game, I use a few different resources that are freely available on the web to help get my head around the game. I personally have found these to be invaluable, and I return to them frequently as I muse on the possibilities the game has to offer.
By way of sharing my inspiration, you can find links to them below – along with a brief synopsis of why I find them useful. Good hunting, admiral.
This is the first of two fleet generators that I use. Fab’s is a fantastic tool for quickly assembling a fleet list based on what you have in your collection. You first tell it which sets and expansions you have, and how many points you are playing to, and then use the intuitive design to add ships and squadrons to your roster, as well as upgrades, commanders and objectives. By clicking on the “PDF” button, you can then export that fleet to a really smart, neat “Tournament-friendly” printable document.
Fab’s Fleet Generator is particularly useful because it limits your options based on what you actually own. Unless you activate “Free Mode” you can’t select more copies of a card or ship than you have in your collection. It’s really handy, especially because trying to remember if you have two Gunnery Teams or three, one Overload Pulse or two, is frustrating, especially if you’re list-building away from your card deck.
The only weakness with Fab’s site is that it’s not amazing for sharing over the internet – you have to share a long link which, when used, goes to a fairly ugly-looking layout. However, it is the perfect site for theory-crafting and experimenting with fleet builds.
If I was being trite, I might compare the differences between Warlords and Fab’s with the “Mac vs. PC” framework. And I am being trite. Warlords is like a PC – stronger on a technical front, but not as showy in front of your friends. Warlords is flashier and more attractive, and is overall more polished as a user experience.
Warlords has a very intuitive layout, and allows you to create lists just as quickly as with Fab’s. Warlords doesn’t take into account your collection, however, so is always on “free selection” mode, which makes it less useful if you’re not sure how many of each card you have. However, Warlords saves your lists on the site’s own servers, meaning you can access them from anywhere, and it has many formats when sharing those lists online – I actually use it for all of my list-sharing activities.
Both Warlords and Fab’s are completely free to use, but there is currently a Patreon page for the Warlords site creator, and I heartily recommend donating – it’s only a small amount, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be getting more than your money’s worth out of the site on a regular basis.
The Star Wars Armada Wiki, much like its sister ship for ‘X-Wing’, is a really well put-together resource with every piece of information you might require about the game and its contents. Each page is updated with the latest FAQ and errata as they’re released, and it even contains information on the original announcement and release dates of each wave.
I can’t really recommend it enough, and for simple queries about the wording on a card, or to find out which expansion came with which upgrades, there isn’t a much more simple or direct solution than the wiki.
I try to provide what insight I can into the game with some of my own limited experience and theory, but the heart of ‘Armada’ analysis is Steel Squadron HQ. They have an absolute plethora of after-action reports, analysis articles, guides and hints, I really can’t offer enough recommendations.
There’s so much material on there that I haven’t even read most it yet, so if you’re new to the game and want some information overload, Steel Squadron is the place to go. They also run Vassal tournaments – online matches of Armada using the Vassal engine – and these themselves provide a huge amount of material for scrutiny.
This game has a small but incredibly passionate community, and a lot of that community’s interaction occurs on the boards set up by Fantasy Flight Games themselves. I’m a regular participant in discussion myself, and although there are some very frank and earnest expressions of views – an act of which I am particularly guilty – there’s also a ton of battle reports, idea sharing, and mutual support which is really helpful.
Reddit is a peculiar place, but the Star Wars Armada subreddit has proven really helpful to me in the past. It’s consistently active, with a lot of discussion and interaction. If you’re already a member of the Reddit community, then it’s an excellent subscription choice. It also led to me being unexpectedly gifted an MC30c expansion pack by my Reddit Secret Santa, so I feel obliged to promote it to the best of my ability.