Stormy Skies a First Look at Battlefleet Gothic Armada

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I recently had the opportunity to write a short article about Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 for the great people at Strategy Gamer, and it made me want to write more about it. And of course, as is often the matter when I sit down to write something, it led me down a deep rabbit hole.

A few years ago I came across a game called Etherium. It was a kind of Riff on the Company of Heroes formula, with squads of units and vehicles tactically using the terrain, capturing points on the map (in the matter of Etherium, the capture points acted as mini-bases). There was also a kind of retreat mechanism where you could set up a Dropship to evacuate one or more squads from action and call the squad back to a base at a later date. The game featured terrain types with unique weather events that could damage armies, render mechanical units inoperative, etc.; some maps also had sub-factions with which you could ally or finish to occupy their territory. In short, the game had a lot of nice ideas.

Unfortunately, Etherium also had many problems with execution: the trained units could not be assigned a meeting point, so it was necessary to constantly scour the map to find new squads and command them at the Front; The factions were almost identical with the exception of a unique unit each and a handful of upgrades and unique support powers (this could have been a stylistic choice due to the presence of support powers and sub-factions, but I prefer very asymmetrical factions with Gameplay that differs significantly depending on the faction The Gameplay itself was clumsy and could sometimes be more than a little boring. As I said above: good ideas, with an execution that could leave you cold and scare you.

Later, I learned that the company that created Etherium was developing a game based on the tabletop WARHAMMER game Battlefleet Gothic. And since you may be wondering why I mentioned Etherium when I should be talking about Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2, I’m just going to wrap this up quickly. For me, the Tindalos games that I played anyway seemed to suffer from the same general problem. They have good ideas, but their execution didn’t really carry the game to the end.

Enter the chain

From my point of view, however, with each game they have created, Tindalos has clearly learned quickly in terms of the finish, depth and overall quality of their design and implementation. While I personally missed the first Battlefleet Gothic: Armada game, I jumped into the second one with both feet. As a scrub, I decided to pre-order the game to play its beta version.

I’m mostly glad I spent the pre-order funds, but I keep wondering if part of that is because the game is just scratching a really niche itch specific to my personal brand of insanity, and not just a legitimately good tactics game.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2, I call a real-time tactical game: you go into battle with a predefined fleet of ships and you are invited to finish various enemy ships, capture and hold checkpoints and execute a variety of other advanced tactical options, such as quick turn maneuvers to keep enemies in line with their big guns, send waves of actioners to finish weapons and crew on enemy ships, use input actions to decimate The crew, apply status effects such as onboard fire and deal morale damage…

Honestly, even with the relatively small number of ships that you normally deploy (about 5-7, sometimes a few more, sometimes a few less), all the sfinishs, postures and health indicators that you manage make you feel like you are staying on top. You have a moral that can lead to mutiny if it gets too low. Of course, there are shields and armor. There are also individual weapon systems that can be disabled with the bridge. And there is the crew: lose all this and your ship will pieces, drift and be open to anyone who can take care of it. And specialized weapons in all these things.

The good, the bad and the plain

So, first of all, I have to say that BFG: Armada 2 really impresses me visually. People on the Steam community forums of the game and what-did you make a lot of noise about the size of the ships (inaccurate!) and the visual design (lack of details!) but as someone who is used to playing games like Warcraft 3 and Tooth and Tail, this seems more than pretty to me.

Space action in a 2D plane took a while to get used to. This is one of those things that I think will only work for people or bother them. Since it is based on a tabletop game, I accept the limitation and I even stopped thinking about it after a while. It’s a bit weird compared to the full 3D majesty of Homeworld, but for me it makes sense, based on the source material.

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