I had my first game of Firestorm Armada at the Bunker on Wednesday, using my starter Aquan Prime fleet against a Relthoza force commanded by Chris who's new to the club. He's been a Warhammer / 40K player for years but wanted to find a place where he can try non-GW games - and the Bunker is perfect for that as there's always someone who's willing to try a new game system. Chris already has three starter fleets and, like me, wants to own the all at some point so it seemed fitting that the first game of Firestorm at the Bunker would be between the two most addicted nutters...
We decided to just concentrate on getting the game mechanics right - so we opted to ignore things like mines, boarding actions, etc and just focus on shooting things up to see how it all works. We quickly discovered that you can't just charge in on the enemy; you need to plan your ships movement so you get a chance to present the best option for a broadside at the optimal range. We soon got into it though - and found it's not a game where you can just sit on either side of a table and roll dice as you need to be on your feet moving ships round each other to get the best firing solution. We had great fun despite making a couple of mistakes - the most obvious to us was that we had been using the Point Defence against broadsides as well as torpedoes instead of Shields. No wonder it took so long to damage anything! Still, even despite our noobish fumblings, lots of people at the club saw us playing the game and wanted to see how it worked. Just with Chris and I chatting about it on the club forum has meant that a bunch of the members have bought starter fleets so they can join in. Hopefully we'll see Firestorm become a core game at the club and we'll get lots more space battles taking place over the next few months. I certainly hope so as I've already received my additional models for my Aquan and Dindrenzi fleets and I'm halfway through painting my Dindrenzi starter fleet. After those are done I'll get to work on the extra Aquans which I can't wait to start on as the Aquan Battle Carrier is a real beast of a ship and I want to use it in some games!
Although I didn't get it in time for Wednesday's battle, I have received my order from Hydra Miniatures which had my War Rocket rulebook, Galacteer and Imperial starter fleets and my Hotz Mat. I've wanted a Hotz mat for a long time but the sale at Hydra gave me the cheapest way of getting one - and it's seriously cool. I must admit, I would have preferred to have one with 2in hexes as that would have made it adaptable - but the no hex version I got can be used for both War Rocket and Firestorm Armada and it looks great. Next thing I want to do is get some planets and asteroids made so expect to see that hobby project on here at some point. Until then, I'll leave you with some pictures of my Aquan fleet on my new space mat...
Sunday, July 17
Spartan Games make a number of cool games but the one that's really caught my eye for a while now is Firestorm Armada. I've always liked the idea of space ship combat games but I never got into Battlefleet Gothic mainly as no-one I know ever played it. For Firestorm, my plan was to get the rulebook and a couple of starter fleets and use those to learn how to play the game whilst encouraging my buddies to give the game a try and hopefully persuade them to join in. As it happens, a number of them have already been intending to start the game themselves so it looks like I've got some opponents to learn the game with without having to bend any arms...
For the two starter fleets, I chose Dindrenzi and Aquan Prime although I like all the fleets and do intend to own all of them at some point. Today, I built and painted the Aquan fleet - it was fairly easy as the models are all one piece with the larger ships in resin and the small ships in metal. The Dindrenzi are multi-piece models and now I've got one fleet painted, I can spend some extra time building those. Anyway - I painted the Aquans with a fairly easy metallic blue scheme. Nothing too complex and quick to complete.
I'll get the Dindrenzi built and painted next, hopefully before the extra models for both fleets I've ordered are delivered.
Although I'm just starting with Firestorm Armada, I've also just recently ordered another space combat game called War Rocket, made by Hydra Miniatures. War Rocket is a pure pulp sci-fi game, with ships themed like Flash Gordon so I have wanted to have it ever since I saw it was being released. Hydra were having a summer sale and all their rulebooks and models were 20% off - and as you can't order them anywhere in Europe, I thought I'd finally get the rulebook, a couple of starter fleets and a space gaming mat as it worked out I saved enough cash to cover the postage from the US. I can also use the space mat for Firestorm Armada so it's all good!
I found a great intro video on YouTube which shows how the core rules work on Firestorm Armada - watch it now!
Intro to Firestorm Armada
Monday, July 4
As for the games...
Day 1 kicked off okay - I was drawn against a nice guy with a Pro Elf team. I got lucky on that game as I managed to stop him winning on the last throw of the ball - my gutter runner intercepted it to keep the game 1-1. For game two, I was up against an unusual Undead team, with no mummies or rerolls! He did have a lot of ghouls and lots of his players had been given extra skills (hence being unable to afford rerolls!) The lack of rerolls really hurt him despite his faith in the pro skill - I won 3-0. For my final game of the day, I found myself facing Lycos, president of the NAF and the man who's played more ranked tournament games than anyone else in the world. Bugger... Dave is a top bloke though and it was really nice to have a chance to chat to him face to face for once. I did my best not to make it easy for him but his Dwarfs crushed my poor little Skaven bones and he won 2-1. There's no shame in losing to Lycos so I was happy with my first day.
Day 2 and I was at the event nice and early, eager to get going. As it happened, I was drawn to play my mate Paul Winter, fellow Bunker committee member and another Skaven player. Paul will want to forget that game. I won 4-1 and caused 6 casualties to his 2. My best result of the weeknd and Paul's worst! With that win under my belt, game 5 saw me facing Jim Slater who won the Bunker Bowl last year. Jim was using Wood Elves so with me using Skaven, we were expecting a high scoring match - but it didn't happen that way and it turned into a tense tactical game. Jim won the game 2-1 with him scoring on his turn 16 so I had to be happy that I'd had a decent game against a very good tactical coach. For my last game, I was drawn against Tom Simms, another Bunker member and someone who'd given me a tournament test game a few weeks back. That day I managed to beat his Norse team 5-0 - but today was the day he got his payback! His team blocked and blitzed by Skaven out of their socks and I couldn't do anything to stop him. He won 2-0 and crushed by rats utterly - I only had two left on the pitch at the end of the game, both of them flat on their faces! Tom played a great game and deserved the win so I was chuffed for him.
My final tally for the weekend - two wins, one draw and three losses putting me in 21st place out of 39 players. I had a great weekend though and will certainly attend again next year.