You want to start playing Armada? Congratulations! But you don't wand to buy into both factions. (At least while you start.) And now you need a hint how to decide which side you want to play?
If you want to choose a faction for SW: Armada there are three questions you should ask yourself:
1) Do you like a side or character in films or comics best? If you like imitating the sound of a TIE fighter or you're a fan of mean Darth Vader killing dozens of rebels in Rogue One, why taking rebels? If you fell instantly in love with princess Leia, because of her hair style and have to sing the rebel theme as soon as you see an X-wing, then don't stick with the slaves of the Emperor.
2) What's your playstyle: Force or finesse? It's hard to give a just description for both factions, because they vary widly within factions. Both sides have 22 (rebels) to 24 (imps) different ship cards and 11 (rebels) to 13 (imps) Commanders. All Commanders provide a unique playstyle for their fleets. The possibilities in list building are nearly infinite. But if I dare to simplify, I would say: The Empire is more of a direct and overwhelming type and rebels try to outfly their opponents.
3) Do you have a buddy who'll play the "other" faction? In my gaming group we like to play rebels vs. imps in casual games. We sometimes do mirror-matches but prefer to play good vs bad guys*. If you have a friend who will play/prefer faction A, take B.
The best advice I could give: try to find some Armada gamers and lend some stuff for a few games. Then buy what was more fun to play.
Triangularer Bureau of Ships and Services
- We never agree which faction are the good guys though!