Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

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Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Renny on 19th October 2010, 09:08

Digger was kind enough to loan me a copy of the Firestorm Armada rulebook. I've had a good read and have a few comments on it. The rulebook looks really pretty and professional. It makes me want to play the game just because of the nicely staged model shots. The ship models look great and are reasonably priced for a starter box, I think. The rules seem familiar in the sense that they have elements of ACTA, Full Thrust and so on. I didn't think there was anything revolutionary in there but the game seems solid. I'm not sold on the number of counters required. I would be interested to see whether they work out in play. I'm also not convinced that the cards described in the book are as optional as they are described. I have a feeling that the cards add a lot to the game and as such add to the buy in. The background is fairly generic but that's no bad thing. It's a framework to hang battles on. It's interesting that there is a new version of ACTA on the way without the B5 background to sell it. Firestorm Armada is definitely competition for ACTA. It seems to be about the same complexity level and this book wasn't warped all to hell when I got my hands on it. I'm seriously considering buying the rule book and giving it a spin. Probably use some generic ship models first before deciding whether to buy official models. I like the look of the Terrans, or maybe the Aquans as a fleet. What do you lot think?

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Mykilus on 19th October 2010, 10:31

I suposse haveing a lot of experiance with this type of game i had better throw my two penith into the pot.First off let me say that i will be buying this book at some point(finances permitting)
The rule book is very well laid out and and nicely presents the background for the game, witch from what i understand they are going to expand into other areas such as ground combat and such.The rules seam staight forward but i will need to play some games to get my head around them.
i like the mini`s, but i also like the fleet counters that they printed in the book, mounted on thick card they should do the job nicely. in fact the first time i herd about the game was when they promo`d some of the Dindrenzi ships on http://www.star-ranger.com/Home.htm. Though one thing that worrys me is that these ships are made out of resine and some of them look fragile.As for the fleets themselfs.I like some of the ships from each fleet but therir is not one fleet that i like all of the ships from(mearley a matter of personel tast), also all the fleets feel somewhat gerneric, unlike full thrust and acta(at least in the first edition of acta until the fan boys demanded that all fleets where `balanced` wich in my opinion robbed the game of the `Feel` of the B5 universe) which gave each fleet a distinct feel in the game. The other thing that concerns me is that i cant help but get the feeling that in 9-12 months we will have to go out and by a new rulebook. if they follow the same model as they used for Uncharted seas and i see no reason why not. they will coninue to develop and work out the kinks, add new ships and rules online and then produce a new rulebook at some point in the future. Now this is all well and good but it does leave you with the feeling that you are not buying a compleate game.
My hopes for the game are that they don`t fall into the same trap that mongoose did and listen to every little wim of the fanboys and then alter the game every five minuets. A lot can be said about SFB, but one thing you have to give them credit for is that they playtested the shit out of every sigle ship that thay released and then locked it down. i hope that they do the same.
Just some thoughts

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Renny on 19th October 2010, 18:54

Forgot to mention the counters of the ships which look impressive and I would be happy using before diving into a box set of minis.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Great Teufel on 19th October 2010, 19:11

A few points. Cards are optional; in that the game can be played without them. They certainly give a lot of flavour to US and I think that game would be far less fun if it was played without cards, especially as they add the magic and counter magic to the game. FA is a more detailed game however (even though the core mechanics are the same) so I suspect that it could possibly play quite well without them. It all depends on how much randomness, fog of war, unpreditability and 'but WAIT!' moments you like in your games. That being said you only need the one set of cards for FA - I suspect because they want to allow people to use it as a generic set of rules if they wish - as yet the faction specific card decks for the various fleets are not available. I also bought the FA card BTW.

I doubt if I will buy the official miniatures (though I might...) and use smaller 1/1200th miniatures which are cheaper and more readily available.

Probably the best way to find out if you are actually going to like the system is to play a game of US first, as that is 80% of the FA rules. The play experience will be much the same and you get a feel for the basic mechanics without the extra detail. For my part US is quick to play (and more importantly) a whole lot of fun; fun as in laughing, shouting, mocking, swearing, bragging and generally making a good-natured uproar. If FA plays as well as that game it should be good.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Renny on 19th October 2010, 21:00

Good points. I agree about the cards and feel from my brief inspection of the rules that they would add a lot to it, even though they are "optional". As far as official minis go I would rather use cheaper, generic minis. I may go with some GZG games stuff and buy enough to make a starter fleet. Are these the 1/1200th minis you are referring to or can you point me at another supplier? Perhaps we should try and get together (me, you, Digger and Mike) and run through a game at some point? I'd like to try the game but will invest in the rules at least, I think.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Great Teufel on 19th October 2010, 22:25

1/12OOth scale (I think, maybe its 1/2400th?) is the standard sort of size for mini spaceships ala GZG. The FA ships are 1/600th scale (several inches long) and pretty chunky and detailed and no doubt have a good presence on the table. US ships are the same scale so they should give you an idea of the sizes of space ships. Though because they are made from resin a lot lighter than metal.

There are no doubt many starship figure companys, off the top of my head...

GZG has a very good range as you know. To get a similiar FA starter fleet to those sold in the boxed sets (i.e.1 Battleship, 3 Cruisers, 6 frigates) would cost around £16 from them

Brigade have an extensive range of spaceships.

Kallistra has its SD3000 range.

I would imagine there are a lot more ranges out there

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Digger on 20th October 2010, 00:38

Guys, I am certainly up for a game of FA or US in the near future, as I am for FoW.

As for mini's, a good solution would be to use the ACTA mini's I have and designate them as particular races.

I also note that ACTA ship conversions for FA have been done and I have copies, so no retsrictions to play as far as I can see.

I will not be buying the mini's as:

1. I have no room in my cabinet!

2. Mike would then have to paint them

3. I have space mini's already that are serviceable

I am away this weekend, but after that I am up for a game.
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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Renny on 20th October 2010, 02:35

@Teufel - Thanks for the reminder. I think i've already priced up a GZG fleet as you suggested and you are spot on with the cost. I looked at Brigade but there is little price difference and I just prefer the designs of the GZG ships. I'll get myself a fleet and paint it up in the next two to three weeks.
@ Digger - A good suggestion although i'll personally not use the ACTA ships, just because i'm too familiar with the models and it will mess with my suspension of disbelief Very Happy . I know you've done work on the B5 races but i'd like to try using the out of the box fleet packs before messing with mods. I'll get a fleet organised and will then order the rulebook. Are you happy for me to hang onto the book until you get back or would you like me to return it sooner?

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Digger on 20th October 2010, 02:53

Steve,

No worries matey - Keep the book as long as you want and we can run a game when we get back!

If you don't mind I will use my ACTA models as getting further mini's will drive me mad,

Kind Regards

Andrew.
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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Mykilus on 20th October 2010, 04:14

Just a thought,
as their are fewer classes of ship in FA than their is in FT you could use smaller vessals as equivilents, so destroyers could be cruisers, cruisers could be battleships and so on.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Renny on 20th October 2010, 08:06

@ Digger

Nah, I don't mind. I'm absolutely fine with that. They'll be better painted than mine, anyway.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Great Teufel on 20th October 2010, 18:46

Well I don't know what fleets you have in mind on getting, but FYI I bought the new NAC starter fleet a couple of Salutes ago, they are about half painted. I don't think I have enough ships in that box to create an FA fleet however due the squadron rules.

I think in general the GZG ships are better looking than Brigade's (though there are a few 'stand out' models) but a lot of GZG's new sculpts seem somewhat 'samey' especially the smaller ship models when compared with their older models. I think if I were to get a specific fleet for FA I would pick and choose from various ranges and manufacturers as I like the idea of a less unified looking fleet that consists of nice looking miniatures.

It's a shame that there aren't any more wargames shows this year as it would be nice to have a look at what is out there.

On a completely seperate note, I do think that FA will handle large fleet engagements far better than say ACTA. If it plays like US I'm pretty sure you could get games of 8+ squadrons a side (20 or so ships) played in well under 3 hours. We recently had a three player battle of US with 10 ships each and probably played that in about 2 1/2 hours. Another reason to go for smaller, cheaper models.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Renny on 20th October 2010, 20:07

Great Teufel wrote:Well I don't know what fleets you have in mind on getting...

I like the ESU new style ships, I think. I like the idea of going with smaller models as you and Mike suggested...i.e. go with cruiser size model as battleships, destroyers as cruisers and so on. As long as the model class is identified there shouldn't be a problem and this does mean that a large fleet is more affordable. I also like the notion of mixing and matching as there are a couple of brigade ships I like but overall I like the FT ships better. I'll get to work o pricing up a terran Alliance equivalent starter fleet, I think, using smaller and mixed models.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Great Teufel on 20th October 2010, 22:30

Renny wrote:
Great Teufel wrote:Well I don't know what fleets you have in mind on getting...

I like the ESU new style ships, I think. I like the idea of going with smaller models as you and Mike suggested...i.e. go with cruiser size model as battleships, destroyers as cruisers and so on.
Actually that was not quite what I meant. I was just saying that for the cost of a starter fleet box from Spartan you could probably get 3 times the models. However if you intend to play bigger battles it might be better to scale things down. I would probably use the ships as they are intended, the big chunky minis add a lot to the visual appeal of such games.

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Re: Thoughts On Firestorm Armada...

Post by Renny on 21st October 2010, 02:34

Ah, ok. I see what you mean.

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