When you watch the massive space battles in the Star Wars movies, you tend to notice that the Imperial forces have the largest, scariest looking ships. The plucky rebels have smaller, bumpier looking things that make them look all the more desperate and heroic. Which is great if you’re making a feature, but slightly more problematic if you’re trying to create a game of epic starship battles. The Phoenix Home expansion for the Star Wars Armada board game is one possible solution.
Fantasy Flight have scoured the Star Wars canon for Rebel ships that look like they can take on the impressive looking Star Destroyers. The result is this rather lovely looking model of the Pelta class frigates that are common in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. The piece itself is a rather nicely painted T-shaped starship with the most impressive looking engines at the back. It’s a small base model (which still makes it much larger than most of the X-Wing models) and it’s finely detailed. It looks pretty nice on its own, even without all the extra cards and rules.
In play, it comes with two basic options. You can configure a command ship with lots of engineering, which means you can swarm plenty of X-Wings and the like and have the ship survive a concentrated assault. At least for a while. It has got an offensive retrofit option which means you can do a lot of damage to large Imperial ships provided you keep those fighter screens active. It feels very epic to play in this mode.
Alternately, you can go full on aggressive and spec it as an assault craft. It basically pours missiles this way but it isn’t that agile. It’s never going to be able to go toe-to-toe with some of the more heavily armed Imperial enemies and it requires support from some other command ship. Still, it’s nice to have the option and going all guns may suit your play
The cards include Ashoka Tano, who is a cheap card and gives you extra command tokens. Good, but not as legendary as you’d expect, given that this character is Anakin Skywalker’s padawan. Commander Sato (from the show Star Wars Rebels) on the other hand, is a walking combat buff and is great value as an Admiral. Other cards included basically buff the Phoenix Home’s usefulness as a command ship, which is nice. It isn’t the great hope of the Rebel Alliance but it is nice.
This is a lovely model that also adds a vital element and play style to the Rebel fleet. A good expansion.
STAR WARS: ARMADA – PHOENIX HOME EXPANSION / DESIGNERS: JAMES KNIFFEN CHRISTIAN T. PETERSEN / ARTIST: BEN ZWEIFEL / PUBLISHERS: FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW