Today was an exciting day as a number of packages arrived at the house today. One of them was from Goblin Gaming and contained my pre-order of Armada by Mantic Games.
I can’t actually remember how I stumbled upon the game, but its a naval game, and I like fantasy naval games*, I’m a boaty kind of person – hence I pre-ordered it back in September/October. That and my son liked the look of the ships – hopefully a winner if Josh likes the look of something.
Working form home, this box (and another that arrived on the same day) has been tempting me to sack work off and break it open all afternoon. However, its only tonight that I’ve managed to get a good look at what’s in the box.
Opening the box up I was greeted by a sea of bubble wrap. Protecting all the resin ship components.
We’ll come back to the models later. The first thing I pulled out was the thick card stock token sheets. Rather a poor image below, but there’s 4 sheets of tokens, measuring widgets, markers, and terrain. The card has a nice glossy finish and is a couple of mm thick, like X-Wing tokens but glossy.
There was a bag of dice, a bag of MDF bases, and some MDF tokens.
Then I pulled out what I really wanted to have a quick flick through (while having a tea break from the PC screen 😉 of course) the rule book, and finally the paper mat.
The rulebook is really nice, it looks great. The graphical layout really sets the theme, anchors around the page numbers at the bottom of the page, and compass roses in the top corner of the pages with icons indicating various sections, rules, background, the various fleets – a really neat touch.**
The rules look well laid out for easy reading, but I’ve yet to make much head way into those yet. Here is a simple break down of what’s in the book:
- 37 pages of rules (including some large pieces of artwork)
- 3 pages on building your fleets
- 10 pages of scenarios
- 36 pages of background and fleet descriptions
- 2 sheets for a quick reference guide round out the 96 page book.
I briefly mentioned the artwork, that’s an injustice! There are loads a cool, full of flavour, line drawings spread throughout the book. There are also some really nice colour artworks covering a full two page spread in some cases. But that’s only the half of it, there are some really nice, cleverly photographed model shots dotted throughout the book too. I was really impressed by some of those. I might come back to this article with a couple of photos of my favourites.
Tonight after laying everything out on the kitchen table, I unfolded the map to see how big it is. Well its bigger than I expected, just being a little larger than my kitchen table.
The last thing in the box that wasn’t models was the ship cards. I new the ships had a card each, what I had’t realised was that there was a number of fleet rule summary cards for each faction too.
Lets have a look at the models. When I first started emptying the bubble wrap bags of resin I admit to feeling intimidated. There are no assembly instructions, and an awful lot of resin 🙂 However, a quick look at the parts showed that the various sprues were initialled and numbered for each hull type. A quick look in the respective fleet sections of the book and I soon realised assembly shouldn’t be a problem. In the first picture below I have circled the numbering on the sprues, as the pictures aren’t my best.
Basileans Fleet Gur Panther
Basileans Fleet Gun Boat
Basileans Fleet Elohi (x2)
Orc Fleet Bomb Boat
Orc Fleet Blood Runner
Orc Fleet Hammerfist (x2)
I’m still puzzled by the two parts in the separate zip lock bag below, orc ship hull, and measuring stick for scale purposes. I have not yet worked out what they are for. Any ideas in the comments below please.
All in all I’m looking forward to putting this together at the weekend and learning the rules / playing my first games (whether that’s with my son, or just by myself remains to be seen).
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*I had a few fleets for Uncharted Seas, before it sank out of view. I also had a few fleets for Dystopian Wars however both of these used the same dice mechanic and its one I didn’t really like. That and the rule books were, in my opinion, poorly written. I’ve never actually tried an historical game, of any flavour, I think I just have a preference towards made up universes than to real world events. Though I do realise that the Armarda rule set is based on the Warlord Games Black Seas rules set.
**one of the other boxes that arrived today was the Bloodbowl 2nd Season box, I’ve looked through that rule book too, and I found it very busy to look at in comparison. Don’t get me wrong the Bloodbowl book is really nice and full of art, I just found it hard to look at and take in.
The two parts are (I think) the guns for the hammerfists – they insert just below the rotating fist section into the holes which await them
You’re right, that’s exactly what they are. Thank you.
Mantic have published assembly diagrams for all ships, since this was written. I should go and add the link for other folks just in case.
The two pieces are the front canons on the hammerfists in case you’re still wondering.
Thanks Zach, you’re right they are. Mine have been built a while now, lost motivation for them 😦 , but the Hammerfist’s do at least have their bow cannon in place 🙂