Wednesday, January 9, 2019

If you could redesign some Armada Admirals...

Armada is a great game that I think has a pretty high level of balance and accommodates a good variety of play styles.  Still though it is not without some warts.  Since the game has come out the pool of admirals in the game has grown, but not all of those admirals are as effective or used as one might hope.  There are a few that have just been relegated to the card binder.  I think if FFG was given the shot at a re-do many of Armada's admirals would look fairly different today.

Eliteone on the FFG forums had originally posted his thoughts on point changes for some of the admirals, but I felt like what was really needed were some modifications to their abilities themselves.  I thought I would expand on my thinking here in a blog post.  So, how would shmitty redesign some of Armada's less used admirals?  That's the question I am going to try to answer even if the real answer is that no one really cares.

  • Garm & Tagge - Both of these guys have the same basic issue.  Their abilities are solid, but the lack of control of the timing is brutal.  Thrawn, Pryce, and Bail have shown there is room for abilities that trigger on player chosen turns in Armada.  I mean, imagine if Thrawn only got his dials on even numbered turns or some other nonsense?  So, with both Tagge and Garm why not give them the flexibility to let you set the turns that their abilities are used?  Those would be fun, awesome, and I think still really fair.  Whether they had to be set in advance like Pryce or used on the fly like Thrawn either way would be a huge improvement.
  • Sato - Back in the day Sato was spoiled with a wording that made it seem like you could switch out the dice after you rolled your initial attack pool.  Given he has the hardest ability to trigger some more incentive to actually use it seems like making his ability a little stronger would be in order.  I've played plenty of Sato and it is possible to get value from him, but it requires a super narrow set of builds.  A little more reward than just the color switch would make the trouble worthwhile.
  • Konstantine - The biggest challenge for big K is the timing of his ability making it too hard to use.  I think changing the trigger timing would make him much more interesting.  Whether it worked like Suppressor and triggered on opponent movement or could be done after one of K's ships moved if a second was in range, any change in timing would be the first place to start.
  • Ackbar -There's actually nothing wrong with Ackbar in a vacuum.  His ability is strong, but fairly costed and the firing arc restriction keeps it from being too much.  The trouble with Ackbar is what it does to the rest of the Rebel fleet.  The GR-75 Combat variant doesn't have side arcs because of him.  There really hasn't been a true broadside ship for the Rebels in 5 waves because of him.  Ackbar needs to be toned down just so the Rebels can get some new option.  My theory has always been that he needs to add just one red dice rather than two.  You could also take away the firing arc restriction with that.  Suddenly you don't have to worry about overwhelming red dice with any new Rebel ship.  He might need a points drop, but that kind of nerfing isn't needed for competivie balance, but rather to open up new design space.


  1. For ackbar he could add a number of red dice depending on the ship size.
    small -> 1
    mediumd or large -> 2

    That way you can have broadsider or cheap ship with broadside. The price tag of the medium or large ship are enough to avoid a spam whith ackbar.

  2. I'd change Rieekan to work like Emergency Stims from Legion; you can exhaust him while one of your pieces is defending to cancel all damage from an attack, then set aside tokens equal to the damage that would have been suffered. If the targeted piece is still alive at the end of the round it suffers the set aside damage.