Star Trek: Armada

aka: STA1
Moby ID: 1340

Description official descriptions

Star Trek: Armada is a real-time strategy game set in space within the Star Trek universe, with four distinct races to command: the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, and the Borg Collective, with several other races having minor appearances.

The game is set in the late 24th century, shortly after the Dominion War (thereby staying true to the series' tying of chronological events to air dates). While pacifying a system with rogue Dominion forces, captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise-E encounters a time-travelling Federation ship warning him of an imminent Borg invasion. While the Klingons battle amongst themselves, the Romulan covert intelligence agency, the Tal Shiar, discovers a very dangerous secret which can tip the balance of power in any one direction. The singleplayer campaign contains 20 missions split to 5 campaigns (4 for each race, plus one "hidden" epilogue campaign).

Although developed when few real-time strategies used 3D engines, Star Trek: Armada has numerous features and mechanics which make it distinct from other games in the genre. Ships and stations have two "health" layers: hull integrity and shields. Once the shields of an enemy ship are down, crew from a player-owned ship or station can be teleported to the target, and once the original crew has been killed off, the target is captured. The ratio of current crew as opposed to the maximum crew capacity dictates the object's rate of fire and self-repair rate. If a ship or station is left without a crew and there is none to replace it, it is considered derelict and will become uncontrollable until crewed again or destroyed, while neutral Ferengi marauders can tow derelict ships to an off-screen place for their own profit.

Aside from this, each ship and station has up to five systems which can be damaged randomly: shield generator, engines, life support, sensors, and weapons - once a ship's system is damaged, it will take time to repair unless sent to a shipyard for fast repairs. Also, most combatant ships have special weapons which can be researched and use up special weapon energy. In general, ships are divided to the following groups: construction ship, freighter, scout, destroyer, phaser cruiser, torpedo cruiser (Federation and Romulan are artillery), special weapon ship, battleship; Klingons and Romulans also have superweapon ships, while the Federation and the Borg have superweapon stations. Throughout the campaign, there are multiple "hero" ships commanded by the key characters, which differ from standard ships in their class by overall power, crew capacity, and size.

The Federation is an all-around balanced race, with both offensive and defensive special weapons and a superweapon station which freezes in time all ships and stations in a target area, leaving them vulnerable to attack. The Klingons focus on offense and have cheap but less durable ships (some of which with cloaking devices), with their superweapon ship able to create a destructive shockwave in a suicide attack. The Romulans specialize in stealth, equipping all combatant ships with cloaking devices and special weapons which spy on and/or disrupt enemy ships, while their superweapon ship creates a devastating ripple in the space-time continuum, also in a suicide attack. The Borg utilize massive, slow and expensive ships which are highly durable and powerful, and can capture (rather, assimilate) enemy ships more easily than other races, with their superweapon station allowing them to create transwarp gates (temporary wormhole-like passages) to counteract their low speed.

The environment is varied and important to the gameplay. Asteroids (some of which move in large circles) block access to certain parts of the map, wormholes provide fast travel from one area to another, nebulae give various bonuses or penalties to ships passing through them depending on the nebula type, black holes attract and destroy ships which travel near them, and planets provide a bonus influx of available crew when starbases/nexi are built in their orbit. Aside from the crew, the game's resources are dilithium (gathered from moons, some of which are infinite) and officers (essentially a population cap, can be increased through officer's quarters upgrades in starbases/nexi).

Skirmishes and multiplayer have numerous settings, including the availability of techtrees (one setting allows all players to start with all races' construction ships), starting resources, and the so-called "director's cut" mode which changed the motion of ships to a more "cinematic" dogfighting way. Finally, the cinematic window in the lower right part of the in-game interface, if toggled on, shows the most action-packed area in the player's field of view, if applicable.

On the game's disc, there are files necessary for launching the game's map editor (through a parameter called upon the main executable). Consistent with Star Trek games of its time, Armada features the actors from the series and films voicing their respective characters.

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Credits (Windows version)

314 People (203 developers, 111 thanks) · View all

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Average score: 75% (based on 27 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 3 reviews)

A great game for hardcore Star Trek Fans.

The Good
I really liked the games story and graphics. I liked how you can play the Federation, The Klingons, The Romulans, and the Borg. The Federation levels seem like the beginners levels. Then the Klingons and Romulans were for players who been playing it for some time to get the controls just right. The Borg were fun and hard in a way. But both races are both fun too play.

The Bad
I didn't like the control of the game a bit too difficuilt to get down. Plus the annoying ships talk to you when you move them. There is no way to shut them off without turning the volume all the way down.

The Bottom Line
If I need to talk to a non-trekkie about this game I would say it's a great space game. It comes straight out of the Star Trek Universe. It begins right were the Star Trek history is right now. Everything that you saw on Star Trek is in the game , well what you saw in the TNG shows. It's a great Star Trek strategy game. But if your not a trekkie it isn't all what you might think. But if you are a hardcore trekkie this game will keep you playing until your bored with it or done with it.

Windows · by Kevbo32 (51) · 2000

A great real-time strategy game

The Good
The graphics are great. Ships fire phasers, torpedoes and a slew of other weapons.

You can actually zoom in close to watch the action up-close. The sounds are incredible. You'll think that you are in a movie. Every time you click on a ship, the captain says something in appropiate response to your commands. The controls are intuitive and soon you'll find yourself mistaking the mouse and keyboard for a tactical control panel. The story is also top notch and could be straight from a movie. You get to be the Federation, Borg, Romulans and Klingons, each with their own special weapons and attributes.

The Bad
The AI can be poor. In a normal game, your opponents have an annoying habit of building stations in your base and building mining stations nowhere near dilithium moons (the place where you get resources).

The Bottom Line
An excellent game and should be purchased despite the small AI problems.

Windows · by James Kirk (150) · 2003

Really, really good for a Star Trek game.

The Good
Unlike the land-based (and often unplayable) New Worlds, Armada is centered around fleet-based combat. Its 2D playing field resembles the excellent Starfleet Command, but lacks the strategic micromangement of that title. Although most RTSs are structured so each race has their own scenario, in Armada you'll play through all the races as the story unfolds. Although this is both a plus and a minus, the ability to see the story from the Federation, Klingon, Romulan and Borg perspectives is a great feature.

Each race has four levels to themselves and then the final four levels allow control over several races. Most of the levels involve building defensive structures around your construction buildings while amassing an Armada to destroy the enemy, but some have unique objectives such as jumping from wormhole to wormhole in an effort to escape the Borg or infiltrating a prison to rescue a scientist.

The maps are largely well designed. Five different nebulas exist and have unique effects (like different colored kryptonite). Some nebulas shield your ships from enemy sensors, some deplete your shields and others restore damaged ship functions. There are also planets which exist beneath the 2D playing field, Dilithium Moons, and asteroid belts.

Sound effects were good, but I felt that music strayed too far from the familiar orchestral themes. Believability is sustained by Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn and Denise Crosby who supply the voices for the characters they created.

Graphicly, this game reflects its age, but the opening movie is one of the most exciting ones I've seen. Ship models look great and weapon effects are impressive.

The game features a wide number of buildings and units and retains unique racial abilities such as assimilation or cloaking. There are also many special weapons available and unique to each races. One of the cooler ones (although it was used against me) is the Borg nanite infection which causes a scrambled interface for several sections.

The Bad
Although Armada is a great Star Trek game, it has serious shortcomings as an RTS. Enemy AI is particularly poor. When making raids on your base, the enemy doesn't pick off defensive structures, instead they fly into the heart of your base and are decimated. The enemy is also very bad at securing their own base. They never use an overkill technique of layering defensive batteries and typically do not rebuild destroyed structures.

While numerous units are available through a very logical and well explained technology tree, I never found it useful to balance my fleet. Once I was able to build the biggest ships, I relied on those solely. I was also unimpressed with the special weapons, save for the Romulan Shield Drain and Borg Holding Beam.

Level design was largely good, but some of the sections with asteroid belts were obviously puzzles and mazes. Also, while 20 levels sounds like a decent amount for a game, they are all relatively easy so the game feels a bit short.

Also, elements of this game were over-scripted. There is no way (as some players might want to) to jump to the Borg missions, you have to play all the races in order. Ships vital to the story, like the Enterprise, must be protected when you are the Federation and cannot be destroyed when you are the Borg.

Finally, do we need another time-travel, Borg-threat scenario?

The Bottom Line
Strip away the Star Trek elements from Armada and you'd have an okay real-time strategy game with an intriguing (if overly scripted) story. Armada (as the previous review mentioned) has a lot to offer for Trek fans who've suffered through a number of horrid games.

Note: I played the 1.2 release which was very stable, had excellent pathfinding, and allowed in-mission saves. Also, I'm not sure where the problem came in, but this game took extremely long to install/uninstall.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5375) · 2002


Multiplayer Online gaming for Star Trek: Armada was halted in January 2008.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jonathon Howard.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Plok.

Game added April 14th, 2000. Last modified September 30th, 2023.