The new Magic Deck brings powerful spells and arcane artefacts to your games of Armada. Now ships can sail into battle with wizards duking it out with fireballs and whirlwinds, as your cannon wreak havoc across the enemy’s bow. But how does the Magic Deck work and how will it change your games of Armada? Well, let’s take a look!
When building a fleet, each player may optionally purchase a single Spellcaster as part of the overall cost of the fleet, paying the appropriate points cost as you would for a ship, flier or upgrade. The Spellcaster must then be assigned to one Main Battle Ship in the fleet, unless specified otherwise.
A little like Kings of War, there are different tiers of Spellcaster:
- Tier 1 – 15 points
- Tier 2 – 20 points
- Tier 3 – 35 points
Once you’ve recruited your Spellcaster, it’s time to start arming them with some magic! The Magic Deck contains more than 50 Spell Cards, such as Astral Shield, Fireball, Etheric Gale, etc. Each faction in Armada then has their own Spell Book, which lists the 20 different spells that faction has access to. For example, the orcs can cast Ghoulish Fog but the Empire of Dust can’t. Likewise, the Empire of Dust can cast Scarab Swarm but the orcs can’t. As a result, each of the factions plays very differently, thanks to the type and number of spells available to them.
After selecting the correct number of cards, they’re shuffled together to create a ‘battle deck’. This is the pile you’ll be drawing from during the course of the game. While playing, the tier of your spellcaster will dictate the initial cards in your hand. For example, a Tier 1 Spellcaster draws three cards, while a Tier 3 draws five cards but discards two – giving them more options about which ones they potentially want to cast.
THE MAGIC PHASE
When using the Magic Deck, you’ll have to introduce the new Magic Phase. This comes at the start of the Turn, after the Roll for Wind. During the Magic Phase, any player with a Spellcaster will get a chance to cast one of their spells, then they will draw Spell Cards up to the limit of their Hand.
To cast a spell from their hand, a player places the Spell Card they wish to use in front of them and reads out the spell and its effects. A Spellcaster can always attempt to cast a spell, even if its ship is Crippled, Surrendered or Grappled. Spells may target any ship in range, even Grappled ships, with no Skill Test required. If a spell description mentions the “casting ship”, it refers to the ship that the Spellcaster casting the spell is currently assigned to.
To cast a spell, the Spellcaster must make a successful Casting Roll. All spells have a Casting Target on their card (e.g. 4+, 5+, 6+). To make a Casting Roll, the casting player must roll a D6 and add their Spellcaster’s Tier to the result. So, paying for the additional Tier can really come in handy!
OH NO YOU DON’T!
When a player declares they are casting a spell and makes a successful Casting Roll, the opposing player may make an attempt to Dispel it (unless the Casting Roll was a natural 6). Dispelling may be attempted using either a Dispel card, or by sacrificing a Spell Card.
Either way, Dispelling is not guaranteed. Each card has a Dispel Power on it (e.g. 4+, 5+, 6+). Discard the card being used to attempt the Dispel and roll a D6. If the result equals or exceeds the Dispel Power listed on the card being used to make the Dispel attempt, the spell is successfully Dispelled – it has no effect and the Spell Card is discarded. Otherwise, the spell being cast works as normal. With the opportunity to dispel magic, there’s a real sense of the magic users battling it out with their spells as the ships crash through the waves.
Of course, the Magic Deck is entirely optional, but it adds a really fun element to games of Armada that brings in some of the fantastical elements you would expect from a fantasy naval game. Now the boom of cannon is matched by the roar of arcane wizardry!
THE MAGIC DECK IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW FROM THE MANTIC WEBSITE OR YOUR FRIENDLY LOCAL GAME STORE.