How to play Armada: Boarding Actions

16th Nov 2020

Rob Burman

It’s not long now until the launch of Armada. We’ve swabbed the decks. Cleared the crow’s nest and done whatever you’re meant to do with a poop deck. As we near the launch, we thought it was a good time for another of our super handy rules blogs! So far we’ve covered a host of important stuff like:

In today’s blog we’re dealing with another very important element: boarding actions. Yes, it’s all well and good shooting everyone from a safe distance (looking at you Basileans) but eventually you’ll need to get stuck in (looking at you orcs).

After a ship has completed all its Move Steps and Shooting, it can engage in a Boarding Action. To initiate a Boarding Action against another ship, the target ship must be within 3″ and then grappled. Luckily, this is fairly straight forward. The attacking ship makes a skill test and, if they pass, the defending boat is ominously dragged toward their hunter!

If you think you’ll be doing plenty of grappling (again, we’re looking at you orcs) then you might want to upgrade your ships with Grappling Hooks. These cost an additional two points but give you a +1 bonus for your skill test. Meanwhile, if you want to try and avoid getting grappled, you can opt for Boarding Nets, which means the attacker suffers a -1 modifier.

Now you’re grappled it’s time for some combat! Whereas shooting relies on the power of your cannon, boarding actions rely on the strength of your crew. First of all both players roll a D10 for each point of Crew Strength on their ship, e.g.  the orc Smasher has a Crew Strength of 7, while the Basilean Elohi has 4.

Once you’ve worked out how many dice you roll, it’s then time to attack. Rolls of six or more score a hit and a natural 10 counts as a Crushing Blow, which doubles the amount of damage taken. The experience of your crew is also a factor when it comes to boarding actions. If you have an inexperienced crew, they’ll have a -1 when it comes to hit, while a veteran crew will have a +1.

Another big difference during boarding actions – when compared to shooting – is that both ships will take damage. So, even if you’re being attacked, there’s always the chance your crew could pull off a victory against the odds, which would certainly make for a cinematic moment.

Boarding actions are a great addition to your arsenal and can really help take out some of those tougher enemy vessels. Combined with decent shooting, it can be a devastating finale to your ship’s turn.

So, will you be going for boarding actions or will you prefer to keep a safe distance? Not long to find out!