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KoW: Armada Speeding Up Your Play

KoW: Armada Speeding Up Your Play

Ahoy Sailors! As you know I am most and foremost a passionate hobbyist. That being said I am also a pirate, a scoundrel and a fanatical enthusiast of Mantic Games Kings of War: Armada – a naval strategy game set in the rich world of Pannithor, pitting multiple wonderfully crafted and strongly themed factions against one another. Today I’m here to share some of my maritime experience.

With new book on the horizon, new fleets on the way, introduction of STL files, easier than ever rules accessibility via Mantic Companion and finally Warhall, the Armada has entered a golden age. I would bet my boat that the number of games played across the globe will increase drastically. This is mainly due to the influx of new players coming into the game on a wave of excitement.

I know for a fact that some games of Armada can sometimes drag a bit, but it does not have to be this way. In order to keep the games fast paced and fun for everyone, especially new players, why not try to speed up your play like a pro?

Below I will present to you a few tips that changed the way I play miniatures wargames, that I then implemented to improve time management during my Armada experience.

Know your fleet

Knowing your fleet and especially rules available in your list is the key to maintaining a smooth thought process when strategizing. Sure, checking stats of particular ships mid-game is a common thing, but fleet-wide rules and important upgrades should be engraved in your memory before the game. This will also help prevent decision paralysis, that is one of the most prominent Player Downtime* factors.

*Player Downtime is when one player is forced to wait for the opponent, with no interaction between the players.

Skip on Ship Cards

Ship cards look cool, but result in a messy, difficult to manage lists with all the counters, upgrades and stuff just mixing around. Instead I recommend using either printed lists or the Mantic Companion Play (beta) app. Not only will all upgrades be in place, but also stats will get adjusted automatically (Sturdy Construction, Ogre Mercenaries), plus you will be able to skip on most gaming tokens. Printed lists are very pencil friendly (damage, fired, blaze, surrendered), whereas MC Play allows to track everything in-app. No need to search and adjust tokens means less wasted time.

Keeping Stuff Organized

Keeping tokens, turning arcs, templates and dice well organized is key to avoid searching for particular game aid mid-play. This can be done before the game, but I also advise putting an extra effort to move things back to their designated area after using them. This way they will be there next time you need them.

Single shot Dice selection

There’s really no need to pick a particular colored dice for a single shot. Same goes for multiple shots of one weapon type (like 4H broadside). Grab any D10 and roll!

It might also be applied to two weapon types rolls of uneven number of shots. Like if you fire two H and one C, two dice of color A plus one dice of color B will leave things obvious without the need to waste time searching for appropriately colored dice. A heads-up in line with “Blue is L” when rolling will clear things out even further.

Single Dice Rolls and Mods

While on the topic of dice rolls, skip on counting Mods for single dice rolls before the roll. More often than not the result will be obvious, like if you try to hit with Indirect Weapon against a faraway, fast moving, partially visible target and roll 5 or lover you don’t even need to to count the Mods and waste your time. Same goes for Nerve Checks, Evade Rolls and other Skill Tests of either “1” or “6”. These two results alone transfer to 33% chance of saving time counting Mods if you roll the Dice first.

Speed and Damage counters

If there’s one thing that really slows things down in Armada, that would be speed and damage tokens management. The solution would be to use either multi faceted dice, or special counters. There’s plenty of these available on Etsy. Alternatively a sheet of adhesive tape and erasable pen will make your life so much easier.

Laser Pointer

Flat line laser pointer is a precision tool, perfect to manage activation order and firing arcs. With this puppy you will save time otherwise spent on moving around the table with a tape measure, or eyeballing and arguing over activation lines. You can grab one from The Army Painter, or google search for alternatives.

Chess Clock

No, I ain’t suggesting you play with a chess clock, switching time with your opponent. Chess clock is just a fine tool to have standing and running beside the board in order to better manage remaining time. I find the sole presence of timer ticking down to be good for motivation and decision making.

Reference Sheets

It’s always good to have a copy of the Rulebook at hand, just in case. Still, when it comes to consulting the reference sheets the main book might be a bit unwieldy. This is why I recommend printing a copy of Reference Sheets. Can be done in horizontal two on one pages setup to save space around the gaming board. Checking Wind roll, Critical Hits, Boarding Actions and Weapon ranges will become as easy as glancing sideways.

Marking Deployment

To ease the decision process for deployment it is good to mark the entire Deployment Zone beforehand. This way you will outright see all the available space to deploy your ships to.

Shoreline markers

Marking Shorelines ahead of time can be a great help. Skipping on all the measuring will definitely ease the decision making and speed up the game. Shoreline markers can be made with thin translucent plastic, acrylics or just sheets of paper and they do not have to be precise. In my opinion WYSIWYG* Shorelines are fine, even if not precisely 2″ wide around the island, as long as both players agree on it before the game. Personally I use ‎”Round Acrylic Disc F” from Amazon. These are 1mm thin round acrylics and they have met with fantastic reception at the latest local Armada event and in-house games.

*What you see is what you get.

Rapid Deployment / Let’s Move Out!

While on events, be sure to carry your miniatures in a way that allows for fast deployment. It can be anything from a simple flat pad, up to a professional miniature carrying case. Anything that does not require you to wrap/unwrap your miniatures every time you start a game is a win.

On that note, remember to grab all your stuff and put it in one place right after the game. Once the next round of pairings is out, everyone will start to move around, searching for their appointed tables. Nothing worse than arriving at the game table only to wait for someone else to come back from a smoke break and start packing their things.

Try Not to Overthink It

Armada is meant to be fun, for both players. Try not to overthink your play and just go with the flow. The more games you play the better you will become at managing your ships. Being human means learning by making mistakes. You need to make some in order to grow as a player. It is an integral part of evolving, adapting, and overcoming.

Now you have the tools to Speed Up Your Game. Let me know if there’s anything I missed. I would also love to know if any particular advice is new to you. Until then – have a great Armada gaming!

I hope you find this article interesting. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate it if you considered sharing this content with your friends, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional Warhammer miniatures painting service, be sure to contact me with this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.


1 comment so far

Minor_KempPosted on6:06 pm - Jul 11, 2023

Nice tips. I like the idea of rolling the skill test first incase a 1 or 6 is rolled then checking modifiers.

One thing I have found works well is using measuring sticks. I use 8mm dowels of the appropriate length with each end color coded for the type of weapon. Also each dowel has a 3 and 10 inch black line on it.

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