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Video Game / Star Trek: Armada

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Picard: "Locutus..."
Locutus: "Picard, lower your shields and prepare to be assimilated."
Picard: "If you are truly who you appear to be, you must know I will not comply."
Locutus: "You will comply. Your defensive capabilities are no match for us. Your culture will adapt to service ours. Resistance is and always has been futile."
Star Trek: Armada

"The Federation stands on the precipice of another major conflict that threatens the fragile peace we have worked so hard to achieve. It's been six months since we successfully dealt with the threat of the Omega Particle. Tensions between the Cardassians and the Klingon Empire are on the rise, and we've just received word of a renewed Borg threat."
Picard, Star Trek: Armada 2

A series of Real-Time Strategy Star Trek games, the first of which was released in 2000, which take place in the same Alternate Continuity as the Star Trek: Elite Force, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, and Star Trek Away Team games, as well as Star Trek: Starfleet Command 3.

The general plot of both games deals with what essentially amounts to an all-out war against the Borg Collective, though the plot of the first is a bit more complex than that.

Both are generally good, though somewhat standard, RTS games in their own right. Their most distinctive element is they way the explicitly follow the franchise's implicit dark side, by handling crewmen as a mere resource...

While there are only two official games, Star Trek: Armada 3 is an ongoing Game Mod project for Sins of a Solar Empire (which also requires the Rebellion expansion to work.) Even before its release in September 2021, it had already received enough attention to win MODDB's "Mod of The Year" award in 2015.

Both games are available at if you'd like to play them.

These games contain examples of:

  • 2-D Space: Played straight in the first game but this gets Downplayed in the sequel where you can move units and build stations above or below what the game calls the Zero-Grid, this does not allow you to build stations above or below each other.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality:
    • Well Star Trek reality - if the Federation really had the ability to churn out Sovereign class battleships as quickly and easily as you can in game then the entire franchise would be radically different.
    • Also notable is the prevalence of traversable wormholes - something that was so rare in canon that only one is known in the galaxy.
    • Latinum can apparently occur naturally in nebulae which can be mined and processed into GPL as a trade and research commodity. You would think Rule 9note  would attract every Ferengi and their motherRule 31 , clamoring hand over fist to mine it for themselves.
    • The No Warping Zone within gravity wells is all well and good for most Sci-Fi but it's at odds with the series proper as ships have been shown to be capable of warp speed near planets or other bodies.
    • The Federation almost ignores the existence of the Temporal Accords, and outright uses Temporal Research Facilities to generate Manheim Effects which freeze time in a large radius and allow their ships to engage without any return fire. This is in the interest of allowing the player to have a Superweapon when playing as the Federation without needing to resort to weapons of mass destruction, as well as giving the Federation a superweapon that fits their overall code of conduct (not resorting to subspace weapons, and time stopping having other applications besides warfare.)
  • A Commander Is You: Most of the time the sides have similar tech trees and vessel types with variations in each unit's stats and their abilities if they have them.
    • The Borg Collective: Spammer and Economist, drones are easy to replenish thanks to both the Assimilator and a reusable colony ship. While their ships are expensive, they have an economic edge as they require no Latinum and the Recycler can break down ships for 100% of their resources as well as transmute metal and Dilithium. Finally, they can assimilate and adapt opposing special weapons via the Assimilation Beam that both Cube variants can be equipped with or via breaking down an assimilated vessel at a Technology Assimilator. Their only weakness, as you can guess, is against Species 8472. The Borg's Transwarp Conduit allows a guerilla style of play in contrast to the brute force of their end-game ships; they can launch unexpected attacks by generating their own wormhole(s) to sends a fleet into a weak point in the enemy's base. II added the ability to merge 8 of the same type of cube into a colossal Fusion Cube, a Cube that has firepower and size more comparable to the Cubes in Star Trek: The Next Generation; opponents will need to utilize their special abilities and capital ships to even the scales against these mobile superweapons.
    • Cardassian Union: They seem to lean toward a bit of Ranger specialization as a whole, their Legate-class siege ship is capable of firing two plasma torpedoes versus their opposing counterparts, many of their vessels are faster at both Impulse and at Warp, and a lot of their special weapons are questionable in ethics such as microorganisms that devour the hulls of vessels, the Kulinor-class's planet glassing Plasma Cannon or its ability to summon a Species 8472 ship with a Quantum Singularity. Their superweapon, the Dreadnought Missile is equipped with a similar payload to the Romulan Phoenix, but is more direct, leveraging its rapid impulse speed to crash into targets of opportunity, preferable under cover of a Sensor Scrambler to nullify incoming enemy fire.
    • Federation Starfleet: Generalist, they have a wide variety of abilities but lean on the defensive side in the interest of keeping ships alive. As a result, they have an comprehensive array of endgame defense-based abilities, like the Shield Enhancer ability on the Aegis Class, the Engineering Team on the Nebula Class to restore a ship's health and subsystems, the Nebula's Point Defense System that zaps enemy torpedoes, and the Sovereign Class Corbomite Reflector that repels torpedoes back to the sender. Conversely, the Federation's expertise in shields allows them to completely disable an enemy target's own shields with the Nebula's Shield Disruptor ability, akin to how the Enterprise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was able to "hack" the hijacked Reliant's shields into shutting down. The Federation can compensate for the lack of direct firepower with their Temporal Research Facility(s), freezing a superior fleet in time with the "Mannheim Effect" giving Federation fleets the edge they need to overpower their foes.
    • Klingon Defense Force: Brute, they're Proud Warrior Race Guys so it's only natural they use superior firepower and their warriors are more capable of commandeering enemy vessels, almost to the same degree as the Borg, all of their support vessels are armed, and if the crew of a vessel is dangerously low then they will get a weapon system buff above everything else. The issue is requiring more Latinum compared to other factions and are more one-dimensional in their playstyle. With their Koloth Class Weapon Enchancer and the Fek'lhr Class Death Chant, their battleships will wreak havok. Their flagship Negh'var Class very appropriately has a powerful Ion Cannon special to go with their already considerable firepower. Fittingly, the Klingon superweapon unleashes a devastating shockwave causing mass destruction, the crew of a Jach'Eng Class ship willingly sacrificing their lives to unleash the catastrophic subspace shockwave.
    • Romulan Star Empire: Guerrilla with some overlaps of Technical, many of their ships are capable of cloaking to hide themselves and utilize Tal Shiar research kept secret from the prying eyes of the galaxy, a lot of their specials are designed to disrupt the enemy. Espionage is another theme of their faction, with one of their destroyer ships capable of sending a Romulan Agent onto an enemy ship to gain vision. Their flagship class, the D'Deridex Warbird has the fitting ability to recharge its own shields by stealing it from an enemy. Their superweapon, the Phoenix Class even has its own cloaking device, and can potentially ambush a fleet by decloaking and quickly firing off their spatial rift (taking out the crew of the Phoenix as well).
    • Species 8472: Gimmick, all resources are gathered as biomass to breed and evolve ships and the tech tree advances in a completely different manner from other examples. Their caveat is that their ships and stations are expensive and the rate at which they convert resources to biomass is rather slow, helped somewhat by the fact that the Transmuters can be relocated alongside their resource collectors.
  • Adaptational Badass: If your ships are disabled and left unattended for a small period of time, a Frenengi ship will appear and take that ship. "Why is this the case?", you may ask? Well, that includes Tactical Cubes, which is many times bigger than the ship that runs off with it.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The Defiant-class starships, which in canon are small and maneuverable, yet pack as much or more firepower than a much larger starship, are reduced to being the second-weakest Federation combat ships in the game, only surpassing the scouts.
    • The Borg Cubes also get this treatment, as they are roughly on par with the standard battleships of the other races, instead of being monsters that can single-handedly destroy entire fleets. The fusion cubes in Armada II are much closer to the power of a Borg Cube in canon.
  • Alternate Continuity: The majority of the games published by Activision share plot ties. These include: Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Elite Force, Star Trek: Starfleet Command 3, and Star Trek: Away Team.
  • All Planets Are Class M: Averted in the sequel which provides the ability to mine and colonize a variety of planets which are true to their designations in the franchise proper. Some planets are completely inhospitable and are only fit for orbital mining facilities.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: For most factions, the upper limitation on the number of ships/installations you can deploy is the number of officers you have. There is a hard upper limit and every ship/station requires a fixed number of officers. In practical terms this generally limits you to maybe two full fleetsnote  of fully upgraded top end ships with the stations required to have them all fully upgraded.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Pretty much any decision-making left to the AI. Here's some notable examples:
    • Scouts tend to go on suicide runs against enemy ships and stations, especially when they're not being controlled by the player. Particularly noticeable when you send the scouts out to explore the map. Metreon nebula will actively wear down a ship’s health, while radioactive nebula kill crew. Scouts have little of both compared to other ships, and yet will casually fly through these nebula, often being destroyed before the player can even recognize what they’ve done.
    • Sometimes, ships that have their weapons down go to attack enemy ships when they see them.
    • The AI have no moral qualms about sending a slow, defenseless vessel (eg: construction ship or mining freighter) through a wall of turrets or damaging nebula to achieve an objective. On top of that, if the vessel survives, the AI may decide to send the vessel back to the shipyard for repairs. This means going back through whatever damaged the ship in the first place. And the vessel will *not* survive the return pass. Player-controlled vessels are prone to this problem too. But at least the player can avert it by defining a path to follow.
    • Sometimes, a computer-controlled opponent may park their ships in a dangerous nebula leading to results (depending on the nebula) like the entire crew dying of radiation exposure or even total destruction of the ship(s).
  • Ascended Extra: In ST Armada 1, Species 8472 bioships are tough creeps. In ST Armada II, they're a whole faction with some twists on the basic formula.
  • Attack Drone: The Cardassian Brinok-class can utilize remote controlled Drones which swarm the target ship
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: During the video intro to the first game, Worf orders Maneuver Worf Theta One, in which the Avenger flies through a Romulan warbird and drops a bunch of mines, destroying the warbird.
  • Attack Reflector: The Corbomite Reflector, inspired by Kirk's bluff in "The Corbomite Maneuver", can be used by Sovereign-class starships.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Applies to many of the superweapons...
    • Borg (Transwarp Gate): Not so much in the first game, as it's an easy way of dropping your ships into an enemy base (just don't leave the gate open too long, or the enemy forces can fly back through it into your own base). Definitely impractical in the second however, as warp drive nullifies its main advantage, and it's a waste of money compared to the fusion cubes; albeit, if the opponent's base is in the heart of a No Warping Zone, a surprise attack with a transwarp strike team may still be an unpleasant surprise for your opponent.
    • Cardassians (Dreadnought): The same basic effect as the Subspace Rift, but it comes in a missile that has to be crashed into whatever you want to destroy. It's at least a bit faster than the comparable Romulan ship, but that doesn't really affect the enemy's ability to target it, and it has even weaker shields. One way you could make it work is by using the Vasak class's sensor scrambling ability on the missile so enemies couldn't hit it as it sped by their defenses. Though, giving it superior shields, weapons and an adaptive A.I. would make it way too overpowered to counter.
    • Federation (Manheim Effect): Averted, so long as you can master using it. It can time-freeze enemy units anywhere on the map, and while it takes a long time to charge up, it can be used to devastating effect by taking out the enemy base's first line of defences. It's also one of the only ways to beat the final boss of the second game as its firepower is otherwise devastating enough to blast a full double fleet of thirty two fully upgraded Sovereign Class Battleships out of space before they can take it out.
    • Klingons (Subspace Shockwave): Averted; probably the most genuinely useful of the superweapons, as it has a fairly long range and can be unleashed to devastating effect on enemy bases.
    • Romulans (Subspace Rift): Definitely the case, as the craft that carries it has to be placed right in the middle of whatever enemy formation/base you want to destroy, and its shields are barely stronger than a scout ship, meaning that it's likely to get blown away before it can activate. If the enemy doesn't have tachyon detection grids (which the computer players never have) then it can cloak past enemy lines, then decloak and mash the button like crazy to detonate it.
    • Species 8472 (Combination Beam): This involves getting between 3 and 8 ships to slave their beam weapons together to form one huge blast. In theory this should be a good way of taking out things like starbases and fusion cubes, but in reality it's probably the most blatant example of this trope in the series. The range is too short, the charging time is too long, and the AI's targeting priority system means that the formation will always be attacked whenever it gets near the intended target, and likely wiped out before it can fire the combined beam. This one is especially frustrating considering that in Star Trek: Voyager it was a quick-charging Wave-Motion Gun powerful enough to destroy a planet.
    • As mentioned under Glass Cannon below, the Steamrunner and Raptor classes of starships. They are supposed to be perfect for battering fixed installations to death with highly damaging long ranged tricobalt torpedoes but in practice they are too slow and vulnerable - they require such a heavy escort to be usable that by the time you've got enough of them and enough escorts to be practical it would have been easier to just build more of same ships you are using as escorts and blast the installations to scrap with weight of numbers, especially as the game doesn't have any "guard" mechanic allowing more powerful ships to tank hits for weaker vessels. The Cardassian variation is slightly better at least, able to fire two tricobalt torpedoes in a salvo instead of only one, but you also have the Sensor Scrambler on the Frigate ship to divert fire away harmlessly, so you that can do the same job with your battleships instead.
  • Bag of Spilling: You don't get to transfer any assets (metal, dilithium or latinum) or any constructed ships or stations to the next mission.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: During the Borg campaign from the first game, Sovereign class ships will self-destruct when faced with assimilation, also damaging any ships in the vicinity.
  • Big Bad: Locutus and Sela in Armada 1.
  • Body Horror: Both the Borg and Species 8472 are playable.
  • Brought Down to Normal: For game balance reasons, Borg cubes are about the same power level as the other factions top ships rather than the almost unstoppable behemoths they are depicted as in the source material (at least until Badass Decay set in). The second game allows you to avert this after a fashion by combining eight standard or tactical cubes into a Fusion Cube or Tactical Fusion Cube that, like the cubes in source material, are a match for an entire fleet of enemy ships with their main limitation being the sheer time it takes to repair/recrew them if they do get heavily damaged.
  • Cannon Fodder: What your crewmen will be if you attempt to capture another faction's ships or stations; and if there is nobody alive defending it your Red Shirts are likely to be killed before they manage to restore life support. Either way, just send a few more boarding parties.
  • Charm Person: Borg Diamonds can use the Computer Override ability to temporarily take control of an enemy vessel. Much fun can be had such as having a Galaxy-class fight between the saucer and drive sections or just simply setting off the Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • The Cardassian Union wears this hat especially, in story. While the Federation's main battle fleet is in the Delta Quadrant, the Union strikes at the vulnerable Federation. General Martok lampshades the Federation assuming their enemies will remain as peaceful as they are. This is in contrast to the Romulans, who would rather the Federation violate a treaty so that they have a Pretext for War.
    • This pragmatism is also reflected in their tendency to augment their fleet with experimental technology such as summoning Species 8472 Frigates via Quantum Singularities, delivering their spatial rift superweapon via a robotic Dreadnought Missile (so that crew don't need to be sacrificed), deploying hull-devouring micro organisms, and scrambling the targeting of enemy ships with their Frigate to eliminate the prospect of a fair fight.
  • Continuity Nod: The second mission takes place in the Briar Patch, the setting from Star Trek: Insurrection, and involves protecting Ba'ku from some seriously pissed off Son'a.
  • Cool Starship:
  • Critical Status Buff: Any Klingon ship gets a massive buff to their weapons if their crew is reduced to critical levels
  • Defictionalization: An in-universe example. The corbomite reflector, which was originally just a bluff by Captain Kirk, is now a real weapon usable by Sovereign-class ships, which was designed by Geordi la Forge who was inspired by Kirk's bluff. The real version is only effective against torpedo weapons, though, and can only be used for a limited amount of time.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Chancellor Martok and Admiral Sela in the penultimate campaign in the first game. You control their ships but they have no lines or actual role in the plot.
    • Worf in the sequel - a playable character in the first game, only appearing in a voiceless cameo in the opening cinematic in the second.
    • The Romulan Star Empire itself doesn't get a campaign and plays a relatively minor role in II.
  • Detachment Combat: The sequel allows the Galaxy-class to separate the saucer from the drive section. The saucer is tougher and has more crew, but lacks firepower, maneuverability and warp capability. The drive section is the opposite.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: One of the Klingon's Fek'lhr class's special weapons is the Klingon Death Chant, which Jerry Goldsmith's "Klingon Battle" theme first composed for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: The Federation Nebula-class can equip the Gemini Effect, creating a temporary duplicate of a friendly ship. This is utilized in the intro to the first game in which the Enterprise-E is duplicated in order to destroy a Borg Cube.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In the first game, at the end of the third Romulan mission, Jal-Par and two escorts fight against a Borg cube. We don't see him die onscreen, but future conversation in the Borg campaign reveals he was assimilated. The game gives us this exchange:
    Borg cube: Relinquish particle 010, lower your shields and prepare to be assimilated. Your technological and biological distinctiveness will be added to our own.
  • Evil Versus Evil: With both the Borg and Species 8472 being playable, this is bound to happen occasionally.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: In battle, crewmen on ships die in the dozens, even if said ships's Deflector Shields are still at full strength! Good to know these games are staying true to the source material...
  • Faction Calculus:
    • Borg: Powerhouse but with subversive elements, their key units are their iconic Cubes, which act as heavy battleships, but their speed is unremarkable. Naturally, their advanced units are resource-heavy. Their iconic trait is the ease in their ability to steal enemy units for their own use with the Assimilator Ship to steal crew off of ships, and the Cubes' holding beam for easily boarding ships and stations. Their Fusion Cubes are Powerhouses taken up to eleven, being superweapons in their own right that can take on entire fleets and/or level an entire base.
    • Cardassian Union: Balanced, but they have multiple gimmick abilities to help them stand out, the Sensor Scrambler ability being especially powerful if used right. Movement speed is one of their advantages giving them elements of the ranger faction as well. A recurring theme of the Cardassians is the use of ethically-questionable technology such as using their Kulinor science ships for toying with quantum singularities to open portals into fluidic space and the ability to glass an entire plant with their Plasma Cannon. They possess the most powerful artillery ship in the game in terms of burst damage, as it fires two tricobalt torpedoes at once instead of just one. Their frigate emphasizes the pragmatism of the Cardassians by using its Sensor Scrambler to make a fleet virtually invulnerable to targeted-fire. Their Keldon Class is their flagship, able to over-load its plasma banks to fire a devastating but slow projectile similar to but slower than the Ion Cannon on the Klingon's Negh'var. Their superweapon, the Dreadnought Missile continues the theme of experimental technology as it's essentially a robot-controlled cruise missile that slams itself into a chosen target to cause a massive vortex that can destroy just about anything in said vortex; it shows that unlike the Klingons, the Cardassians don't necessarily care to throw lives away if an AI can make the sacrifice instead.
    • Federation: Balanced, their top-tier abilities are focused on keeping their ships protected from harm, with the ability to recharge shields near their Aegis frigate, the ability to neutralize incoming torpedoes with their Nebula science ship and the flagship Sovereign Class Corbomite Reflector to send torpedoes back at their source. The Nebula may also send a repair team aboard a target to substantially repair damaged systems, and their superweapon, the Temporal Research Facility can turn the tide of a battle by freezing enemies within a large radius (anywhere on the map with a mouse click), and letting your fleet turn them to dust with impunity; not even the dreaded Borg Fusion Cubes can overcome the effects of the Temporal Stasis Field. As part of their expertise in shields, the Federation also boasts the potentially devastating Shield Disruptor on their Nebula, able to completely disable the shields on anything it is fired upon.
    • Klingons: Cannons, their ships emphasize overwhelming offensive capabilities, but they lack the utility abilities like the ability to recharge shields on the go until they can field late-game repair ships. Their capital ships are by no means lacking in durability, their support ships are just mostly focused on boosting firepower. Some of their ships possess a Cloaking Device, allowing them to dabble in surprise attacks as well. Their superweapons are ships that unleash devastating shockwaves that destroy all in they path including the ships that fire said shockwaves, but we can assume the crew of those ships are willing and eager to ascend to Sto'Vo'Kor.
    • Romulans: Balanced, with many elements of Subversive, their ships' special abilities reflect the devious spirit of the race, with a tendency towards sabotaging their enemies in some way. All of their combat ships are equipped with a Cloaking Device, and their frigate enables cloaked ships to even use their weapons. Their flagship, the D'Deridex Warbirds can steal the shields off a target to recharge their own, allowing it to withstand more punishment than usual on top of its respectable endurance. Even their superweapon, the Phoenix Class can cloak in an attempt to evade detection and detonate itself upon key targets to take them out in Suicide Attack with a subspace rift.
    • Species 8472: Powerhouse but with subversive elements to them. Some major racial traits are immunity to having units and structures captured (or assimilated for that matter), lack of a crew resource, a single Pilot (officers essentially) is all that is needed for each ship, and use of Biomatter transmuted from any resource node on the map. Their tech tree is very different from the standard races, and all their units and structures are a Living Ship according to lore. Their flagship is their signature bioship, called the Battleship in game, its key ability, Psionic Insanity, allowing you to temporarily confuse enemy ships into attacking one another like a form of Mind Control. Psionic Insanity can be devastating against a fleet of powerful ships, forcing them to open fire on one another with disasterous results.
  • Game Mod:
    • The first game was known for being exceptionally easy to create mods for, which led to a huge modding community springing up. Unfortunately the developers either didn't get the memo on this or actively disapproved of it, and so the second game was designed in such a way that most weapon functions couldn't be modified, and any significant amount of modding could actually break the game installation altogether. Some modders managed to work their way around the game's restrictions. On Armada Files (which has been archived on numerous other websites), there were 124 mod files for Armada I and 3048 mod files for Armada II.
    • Star Trek: Fleet Operations is a popular multiplayer mod. The game has been completely overhauled with enhanced graphics, new missions, more ships, additional factions and much more. Can be found here.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In one of the final missions of the first game, Earth has to be protected from a Borg invasion. This invasion, having worked before, is said to only have a chance of being stopped with a combined Federation-Klingon-Romulan fleet. The problem is that the Klingon and Romulan forces are minute, with only two capital ships from each species (Warbirds and Negh'Vars respectively) and no way to build more. note . It's entirely possible to take the Borg out without using a single Klingon or Romulan ship.
  • Geo Effects: Provided by nebulae, and lots of asteroid belts. Black holes slow ships down, and will suck them in if their engines are off-line. Yellow radioactive nebulae slowly kill off crewmen, green nebulae somehow cause your ships to get repaired faster, red nebulae directly damage a ship's shields then hull, purple nebulae disable sensors and shields, and blue nebulae disable shields and weapons.
  • Glass Cannon: In the first game, the Federation and the Romulans have ships, the Steamrunner class and Raptor class, respectively that fire tricobalt torpedoes, which a long-range, very powerful AoE/DoT weapons. The ships that fire them have got the shields of a scoutship, so don't send them anywhere without an escort. They do have special weapons that buy some time against them (the Steamrunners have Engine Overload, which disables the engines of enemy ships, the Raptors have Myotronic Inhibitor, which disables the weapons systems of enemy ships).
  • Green Hill Zone: Class M planets in the sequel are the most hospitable planet with average metal deposits, generating the most crew once colonized/assimilated.
  • Green Rocks: Dilithium, which everyone needs to power their ships and build new ones, discounting Species 8472.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Both the Borg and Species 8472. Both are playable as well.
  • Human Resources: Actually a resource statistic. No matter how compassionate you are, or however much of a role-player you are, this game WILL have you feeling that A Million Is a Statistic before the end. Crew die even if the shields are up (in keeping with the TV shows).
  • Interface Screw: The Borg diamond's nanites, a special weapon that causes all of your menus and command windows to randomly float around the screen until the effect wears off (when used against a computer-controlled faction it just prevents them from using special weapons for the same amount of time).
  • Invisibility Cloak: Every Romulan combat ship is capable of cloaking at the expense of not being able to fire and having to lower shields. The Veles-class is capable of using a Cloak Enhancer that lets friendly ships fire even if they're cloaked while the Shadow-class can activate a Phase Cloak that allows it to pass through physical objects. Some Klingon and Cardassian ships are also capable of cloaking, usually scout ships and destroyers.
  • Karma Houdini: Sela. Helps Toral instigate a Civil War with the Klingons, allies with the Borg, stabs Toral in the back, then stabs the Borg in the back. No comeuppance.
  • Lawful Stupid: In II, the Federation sends their main battle fleet into the Delta Quadrant, assuming that their enemies will be honorable and not stab them in the back. The first Klingon mission "A Dagger At Zarush" has Martok and his forces responding to a Cardassian uprising; they are taking advantage of the Federation being vulnerable.
    Martok: Why does the Federation expect everyone to be as peaceful as they. Are they completely without guile, or is it just lack of common sense? Perhaps they died a warrior's death, but to be caught sleeping? Inexcusable. Now we Klingons must quash this Cardasian uprising, and show the Federation that peace is only maintained with the sharp edge of a bat'leth...
    • Justifiable to an extent when one remembers that the Federation has considered itself in a perpetual state of war against the Borg as a whole (demonstrated by Admiral Nechayev's admonishment to Picard in the episode Descent, telling him that he should have taken the opportunity given with Hugh to attempt to wipe out the Borg), and the transwarp portal gave them the opportunity to take the fight to the Collective itself for the first time. It still doesn't justify the sheer ease that the Cardassian fleet wipes out the Starfleet forces at Zarush, but the mindset adopted by the Federation is at least reasonable.
  • Life Drain: Of a sort, the D’deridex Warbird's special weapon is the Shield Inversion Beam which steals shield energy from the target, demonstrated in the intro to II against a Bird of Prey.
  • Meaningful Name: The USS Premonition is a ship from the future.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Species 8472 uses biological ships with a Crew of One no matter the size, grown from a larvae. They also have to digest resources to turn them into biomatter at a slow rate.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Inevitable, with how the games model crew complements for ships and stations. You need to build Starbases and colonize planets to replace your losses, but then again, it's the most plentiful resource in both games.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted for the Borg campaign in both games. Subverted for the Cardassians, Romulans and Species 8472 in II, who're only playable in Skirmish and Multiplayer.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: The Borg campaign ends with Worf and Deming dead, and Earth assimilated, but it's eventually undone by the Enterprise travelling through time to avert it.
  • No Warping Zone: Planets and Black Holes in the sequel have gravity wells that prevents warp travel within it. The tutorial even makes note at this being a good defense as the enemy cannot warp directly into your base for a surprise attack.
  • Obvious Beta: The first game suffered a really bad case of this on its initial release, and the 1.1 patch didn't do a whole lot to help things. Worse still, Activision cut off support for the game only a couple of months after its initial release, leaving incoming Armada II developers Mad Doc Software to create a 1.2 patch that finally fixed all the major problems with the game. Armada II itself suffered a few bugs on its initial release, including one very obvious problem in that ship explosions weren't implemented properly, but was nowhere near as bad as the first game.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: In the first game, the USS Premonition comes back in time to warn the Enterprise of an imminent Borg attack that will eventually lead to the entire Alpha Quadrant being assimilated.
  • Orbital Bombardment: With colonization introduced in II, so is the ability to bombard other planets to reduce the crew population. Typically, only capital ships and flagships can do this with a few exceptions like the Borg Colony Ship and Cardassian Kulinor-class's Plasma Cannon.
  • Organic Technology: Species 8472 are all about this, they even Transmute all other resources (including people) into Bio-Matter, before they can build with it. Because of the Organic Technology they are also a bit different to play, growing their ships from larvae, only needing one crew member per ship and have a weaker, but mobile, star base.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Federation Akira-class can be fitted with the Chain Reaction Pulsar which bounces between targets and gains strength with each bounce. The intro to II shows one taking down three Talon scouts with it.
  • Planar Shockwave: A standard for the franchise, many ships and stations explode in an orange shockwave while miners full of Latinum explode in a yellow shockwave. This shockwave effect is also used to denote an Area of Effect weapon activating.
  • Pursued Protagonist: Captain Demming and the USS Premonition in the first Armada. And later the USS Avenger with Worf in command.
  • Real-Time Strategy
  • Red Shirt: A resource to keep track of!
  • Red Shirt Army: Every race (except Species 8472) has these (or Mooks, depending on the race and circumstances). Note, that whenever you try taking over an enemy ship or station, more than 5 reds shirts die every second that they're fighting the defenders and/or fixing life support.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: As long as they're online, shields slowly regenerate over time. Hull damage takes a lot longer to repair but can be sped up by sending a vessel to the nearest shipyard or via repair ship. Species 8472 vessels self-heal, as they have no repair method otherwise.
  • Resource-Gathering Mission: The penultimate mission "The Maw" requires you to gather 20,000 of each type of resource before you can start the final mission.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Ships in the sequel destroy each other with much greater ferocity than in the first game. Boomer2k6 Gaming made the comparison that ships in the first game were like those in Star Trek: The Next Generation where they were more unique whereas the sequel treated ships like those in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Dominion War and are destroyed frequently.
  • Secret Final Campaign: The Borg campaign isn't the end of the game.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The purpose for which the Premonition was built.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Capital ships and flagships have the ability to set off a self-destruct which creates a damaging explosion versus the otherwise visual explosion when ships are destroyed.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Class H planets in II can only support a sparsely populated colony but are rich in metal deposits.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Federation Nebula-class science vessels can be upgraded with a Point-Defense Phaser module that can shoot down incoming torpedoes, providing a soft defense for your fleet. The intro to II shows one shooting down several torpedoes fired from a pursuing Warbird.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the Borg's standard responses, "By your command," is a standard Cylon response in the classic Battlestar Galactica series.
    • Klingon Fek'lhr class ships have a striking resemblance to the Terran Battlecruiser from Starcraft. The Negh'var Class has an Ion Cannon, very similar to the Battlecruiser Yamato Cannon, albeit the Negh'var ship itself predates Starcraft lore.
  • Siege Engines:
    • At least in II, every faction has a dedicated ship that launches high-yield Tricobalt torpedoes intended to destroy installations Some like the Cardassian Legate-class have dual plasma torpedo launchers instead. The Federation Steamrunners have the Engine Overload ability to temporarily prevent ship movement while the Romulan Raptors instead disable weapons with their Myotronic Inhibitors, giving extra depth to their support capabilities.
    • The Klingon Jach'Eng is a superweapon example as the shockwave it launches is relatively slow but has good siege range, making it best suited to base sieges or destruction of stranded enemy ships if nothing better is available.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Class K planets in II can only support a modest colony and contain trace amounts of metal.
  • Space Mines:
    • The Defiant-class can deploy Anti-Matter Mines which have Impulse capability to seek out nearby targets. Worf uses the Avenger's mines to take out a D’deridex Warbird by flying between the wings and deploying them in the intro to the first game while the intro to II shows many of these obliterating a Borg Cube.
    • Species 8472 Defenders can build these, which instead latch onto enemy ships and release a corrosive acid to eat away at the hull.
    • The Klingon B'rel Bird-of-Prey can deploy Gravity Mines which latch onto the hull of an enemy ship and slow them down.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet:
    • The developers took artistic license to a bizarre degree on a few of the ships. By far the most egregious case is with the Defiant Class. In DS9, and in Starfleet Command 3, the Defiant is a small overpowered warship capable of taking down ships five times its size singlehandedly. In the Armada games, however, it's more or less Cannon Fodder and doesn't stand a chance against anything larger unless it's part of a fleet. And even then...
    • The first game was a LITTLE better about it, presumably because of the smaller ship pool (and because Worf uses a Defiant-class ship as his ship). However, in the second game, you're likely only building the basic shipyard because it's a requirement to build the advanced shipyard and gain access to the more powerful ships in your fleet.
    • The developers of Fleet Ops for Armada II were careful enough to take note of this inconsistency and restore its canonical status as a purpose-built Federation warship.
  • Status Effects: Different colored Nebulae.
  • Subsystem Damage: Various parts of the ship can become assimilated or damaged, and many special abilities (and nebulae) temporarily disable certain ones. Repair times are influenced by how many crew are aboard, so replace your Red Shirts often!
    • Shields: Affects the rate at which they regenerate.
    • Engines: Affects Impulse speed and Warp speed in the sequel. Disabled engines render the ship dead in the water and susceptible to being pulled into an Unrealistic Black Hole and crushed.
    • Life Support: Disabled life support will quickly kill off the Red Shirt Army onboard.
    • Sensors: Affects both the range at which the Fog of War is lifted and how well the ship can target an enemy.
    • Weapons: Affects weapon damage as well as the regeneration rate of special weapon energy.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The Cardassian Kulinor-class's signature ability allows it to open a Quantum Singularity which pulls a Species 8472 Battleship from Fluidic Space, and is the Plot Device for Gul Kentar to launch an assault on the Alpha Quadrant.
  • Support Party Member: Each faction in II has a support frigate built from the Advanced Shipyard with a weapon that boosts a friendly ship in some way while retaining modest firepower as backup.
    • Borg: Harmonic Defender, uses a Special Energy Recharger that does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Cardassian: Vasad-class, uses a Sensor Scrambler that makes it hard for enemy ships to target friendly affected ships.
    • Federation: Aegian-class, uses a Shield Enhancer to regenerate friendly shields.
    • Klingon: Koloth-class, uses a Weapon Enhancer to boost firepower.
    • Romulan: Velez-class, uses a Cloak Enhancer that allows friendly ships to fire even when cloaked.
    • Species 8472: The Defender is the odd one out as it actually builds base defense turrets and mines. The Frigate meanwhile allows the usage of the Bio-Pulse Conduit with other Battleships.
  • Time Stands Still: The effect of the Temporal Stasis Field on a limitless number of enemy units in a huge radius. It's called the Manheim Effect in the story.
  • Time Travel: The Premonition, commissioned to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: "My advice on making sense of temporal paradoxes is simple: don't even try." Where do we begin regardless? The Premonition is from a future where the Borg have assimilated the Alpha Quadrant, but it continues to exist even after history has been altered to the point where it should never have been built. The Enterprise is sent back in time just before the Borg win the Battle of Earth and proceed to assimilate the planet. In a "new" timeline, the Enterprise returns to Earth with a massive fleet of reinforcements just in time to stem the tide... then orders the Enterprise already there to go back and takes its place. A Borg sphere goes back in time just at the moment of Locutus' defeat, destroys the Enterprise-D just after Farpoint Station, forcing the Premonition to go back and avert that event and protect the future. Yet, Picard remembers this event at the very start of the game! Finally, at the end of the game the Premonition quietly returns to the future... a future concurrent with the timeline they're in, meaning one where the Premonition was never built — and versions of Denning and the crew already exist. The writers at least tried to preserve stable time loops wherever possible.
  • Tractor Beam
    • Construction ships as well as a few others can make use of one to tow ships that have their engines disabled. Ferengi Marauders will also make use of them to steal derelict ships.
    • Borg Cubes and Tactical Cubes can be equipped with a Holding Beam which can immobilize ships even with functional engines. Both intros show this in action.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The opening cinematic of Armada 1 spoils a great deal about the plot before the game even starts.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The game has mods for everything from Star Trek, to Star Ocean, to Firefly, and beyond.
  • Units Not to Scale: This possibly being a product of game limitations and visual clarity for the player.
    • Armada II is a particular offender when a Borg Cube is almost as large as a planet!
    • Scale between ships are also off with scout ships like the Federation Venture, Romulan Talon, and Cardassian Hideki-class ships being rather large when other media depicts them to be similar in size to a Danube runabout, resulting in the aforementioned Talon being similar in size to a D'deridex warbird when other media depicts the latter absolutely dwarfing the former.
    • Probably the most glaring example, once you realize it, is with the workbees (single-person craft) deployed by the Federation construction ships which are so large that said ship can only carry about four of them in the docking bays.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Both the Borg and Species 8472 are playable. Well... Both games include a Borg mission revolving around Assimilation. Species 8472's resource harvesters can literally suck people straight from their ships or colonies, to be turned into Bio-Matter!
  • Wave-Motion Gun:
    • The Klingon Negh'Var-class can be equipped with a powerful Ion Cannon, just two or so are enough to tear apart another flagship and collapse the shields on a Starbase. This is demonstrated in the intro to II when a Negh'Var splits an unfortunate Galor in half. In gameplay, however, it's just depicted as a massive projectile.
    • The Cardassian Kulinor-class in II can use an underslung plasma cannon, although it's strictly limited to Orbital Bombardment.
    • Species 8472 Frigates can have a minimum of four Battleships channel a Bio-Pulse Conduit in order to fire an extremely powerful shot at a target.
  • We Have Reserves: While this is natural for any Real-Time Strategy game, as you can see from the rest of this game's trope page, this is taken up to eleven compared to its fellows.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: The Cardassian Kulinor class has a plasma cannon capable of completely wiping out a colonized world and the intro to II shows a large, dark shock wave spreading across the surface of the target planet along with the explosion.
  • You Fool!: Martok to the player, should you destroy the Kulinor-class that you were meant to capture in "The Unknown Prize".
    Martok: Funny... I don't recall that being one of your orders. You are a fool...
  • You Require More Vespene Gas
    • Dilithium: Used for regulating reactions in warp cores, every faction with one exception requires it in order to build ships and stations and it's mined from moons.
    • Crew: Required to operate vessels and stations, crew casualties are sustained when under attack or when life support fails and repair speed and efficiency is dependent on how much remaining crew there is. Crew can be replenished by building a Starbase or, in the sequel, colonizing a habitable planet.
    • Metal: Introduced in the sequel, Metal is required for more advanced ships and stations such as those produced from the advanced shipyards and is mined from planets.
    • Gold-Pressed Latinum: Also introduced in the sequel, GPL is mainly used to purchase research upgrades and can be used to trade for Metal and Dilithium. Having a cargo ship ferry goods between two allied trading stations generates Latinum based on the distance between the two, passing Ferrengi merchants will also trade goods to generate Latinum, and you can mine it from nebulas which is deposited at the nearest Starbase.
    • Officers: Not so much a resource and instead acts as your Arbitrary Headcount Limit, this cap can vary depending on the mission or instant action/multiplayer settings.
    • Bio-Mass: Exclusively used by Species 8472, any resource acquired by their mining ship is transmuted into Bio-Mass and is used to breed and evolve ships or stations.
  • Zerg Rush: More or less the only way a Venture or Defiant can take down large opponents in these games. This is literally the only way to capture enemy ships or stations if you're not playing as the Borg or Klingons, see Red Shirt Army above.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Averting this is the reason the Premonition exists, and the entire point of both games. Also, don't let the Borg near your colonized worlds in Armada 2, aboard your ships in either game...