Bumping this, I think the Phoenix home command upgrade cards are a lot of fun. They managed to put more interesting stuff in the most recent wave (phoenix home, carrier, fighter packs) than I thought they could. There is still *definitely* the sense that you would have a complete, straightforward game if you stopped by after the first couple waves.
I'm pretty wishy washy about it but after getting (mostly) caught up I tend to agree it's enough. But I'm weak willed so uh... I wouldn't mind one more medium Rebel cruiser of some sort.
I really like the new stuff I got. The Artiquens class are nasty. Carrier is pretty cool and the gravity hijinx of the Interdictor is very interesting. Still on the fence about the Hammerheads since they're so fragile.
Yes, it's hard for me to argue too much about it... these are cool fun ships! I'd love to figure out how to get the Interdictor out in anger. I can imagine it would be quite helpful in objective play.
I actually kind of like this model? Like, I can steer someone toward a very concrete set of ships that provide The Full Experience while still saying there are all kinds of weirdo and unusual ships you can get into if you love the game.
You're close to the luxury basic experience that you don't really need to upgrade from. #1 first thing is full stop you need a copy of the two early wave fighter packs (one for each side) and the rogues and villians pack.
From there, I'd say you're light on imperial. So I'd go raider or light cruiser and a gladiator and then, as the finishing touch, think about that imperial star destroyer if you end up with some money burning a hole.
I enjoyed the game a lot but I would love to play more games in anger to figure out a few things. In particular, I just can't figure out how to get bombers to really sting. If you look at that above imperial setup, I took a carrier with a couple upgrades and 3 bombers, a devastator, and an imperial shuttle along with 4 ties for screening. They got some hits in but I could not shake the feeling the imperials would have been better off with one more corvette.
The one part of the game that just doesn't work for me is ramming. It's effortless for two ships with strong front arcs and not much turning to just get locked up at close range ramming each other and shooting for multiple turns. I wish the rules worked just a bit differently.
Squadrons are a mixed bag. In my last game they really made a huge impact, causing me to lose the match by bombing my freaking Interdictor at the last minute. I chose to ignore them though and instead focus on destroying the Reb cap ship for big points. Probably a mistake but with horrible point defense systems in my build and not enough squadron support... Not much I could have done better. So obviously, they do much better when uncontested but it's so difficult to make that happen. But I was surprised at how much damage they can cause when unchecked.
Collision rules wouldn't bug me so much if it didn't happen often. But in my games there is always at least one occurance and that's a bit too often. I acknowledge that we both navigate like crap sometimes but there are a lot of hard calls to make in this game. Judging speeds and rate of closure can be a real challenge and there are no "high energy turns" here like in SFB. But having big ships nose to nose just sitting there for two turns is dumb. Maybe there's a better house rule out there somewhere.
The rule that gets me is one I wasn't even aware of til recently. That is, your own ship's hull zones to not block your own LOS. Am I the only one that didn't grok this concept? It seems really funky to me. Are you guys using this rule?
Collision rules and LOS rules are just a mess in 2D space combat games. Because they do not make a lick of sense, and the designers tend to over-compensate for the fact that the units are not tanks or boats. But the physicality of a 3D game occurring on a 2D plane means that gamey and weird rules happen. It does not make any sense that ships in X-Wing or Armada crash when they are flying in three dimensional space along X, Y and Z axes. What kind of incompetent ISD commander or navigator wouldn't be able to adjust course BEFORE crashing into a CR90 or whatever even if that means tilting the bow literally a couple of degrees to go over or under. There is also the thing where the reailty of space combat means that a ship could be in any X/Y/Z orientation to another ship. You could have an ISD coming in at an upside-down orientation to that CR90 with a 45 degree deflection. But none of this accounted for. You run into another ship (which, as Hex said, happens A LOT) and you do this weird thing where you kind of bump and pause. It doesn't mean that Armada is flawed or bad in that regard...it just follows suit with other space combat games since SFB. You kind of just have to accept it.
Games that have had the vector movement have been a complete nightmare- Attack Vector Tactical being the primary example. In that game, you could have two ships at any degree of orientation including Z axis rotation. But you have to fill out fucking tax forms to calculate how a torpedo flies and to figure out where it hits. And if you are the target of said torpedo, you have to work out how to turn (which means powering thrusters to turn, pitch up/down, rotate or do all of the above while also taking into account thrust. This is NOT fun. But it does answer for the collision rules and things like hulls blocking LOS as if they were tanks.
Squadrons can't be counted on without upgrade cards and builds that play up their functions. But they can really be surprising. They are intended to fill a more interdictory/screening role, with the exception of the heavier bomber-class squadrons. I like them just because I like to have the little ships out there too, it's more visual and cinematic.