Welcome back Commander.

Been a while since I wrote on this blog. With the current release of Version 2.0 of FSA, I have been dusting off my Directorate fleet for battle. In comparison to the former versions, the Directorate has improved tremendously.

Right off the bat, I am seriously looking to competitively use my Overseer Carrier with a full compliment of wings for the first time as either support or command element for my fleet. At 125pts with cloaking, Cyber-warefare weapons upgrade, (for free). With a full compliment of wings, this would be a nasty activation. Both the Executioner and Justice Cruisers have both significantly improved over the previous versions. Justice Cruisers now have gun-racks, cloaking, special-forces MAR, and Bio-hazard Ammo available for 5+. So for 170pts I can run two of them and board the shit out of other cruisers.

Judgement Battleship (5pts +1 Turn Limit, 15pts +1 Shield, 10pts Bio-hazard Ammo)=200
Overseer Class Carrier (Cyber-warfare, 5pts +1 Mov)=130
Wing Squadron (6xBomber)=30
Justice Heavy Cruiser x1 (5pts Bio-hazard Ammo)=85
Executioner Cruiser x2 (10pts Bio-hazard Ammo, 10pts Special Forces)=130
Enforcer Frigates x4 (20pts for Bio-hazard Ammo)=120
Enforcer Frigates x4 (20pts for Bio-hazard Ammo)=120

Total Points=815

Essentially Bio-hazard Ammo on as many ships as possible to play havoc on the enemy fleets crews. Special forces spread around as well to increase my boarding opportunities. Maxed out Enforcer frigates, which are now highly versatile with turrets. At this point level, a carrier and a battleship might be too much, should the situation require it, Destroyers can easily be exchanged in this list.

Right now, most of my fleets in undergoing a simple green run in preparation for a new fleet paint job in preparation for the engagement with my fleet. I have also begun painting my Tarakian forces up. I am really considering starting a fleet centrally based on the Tarakian’s as soon as the updated Alliance Fleet Rules get updated.

Anyways, can’t wait to get the fleet out of the dry-dock!

MiniWarGaming Closing???

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I had actually planned that my next post would be focusing on video gaming, specifically Guild Wars 2, game I bought in the summer but hardly played and how I am getting back into it. That will come, but today I wanted to express my thoughts on the closing of the MiniWarGaming store in Welland Ontario. If you haven’t heard the news, check it out at (insert link). As a wargamer, whom like many, started his career with a Games Workshop. I got right into 40k for many years but slowing fell out with the game due to balancing issues, power lists, insane meta game and the aggravation of annual price hikes. My faith for the tabletop game today is completely diminished and I may be alone in saying this, but eventually Game Workshop will eventually price itself out of business. Now the purpose of this post today is not going to be bashing GW (which the undoubtedly deserve) its to give a word of thanks to the team over at MiniWarGaming. These individuals, Matt, Dave, EpicDuck Mike and more, helped shaped and improve the community over the past 4-5 years. The terrain videos they posted and battle reports were engaging and thoughtful as well as realistic. These guys were not like GW, they were real people who posted terrain and painting advice that was attainable by individuals who didn’t have 500 paints and a $250 airbrush. I liked that! It made it feel real. As MiniWarGaming grew they expanded there in store sales online and became quite well known for there yearly sale (which sometimes featured GW product at like 20% MSRP!) I saved a lot of money buying from them and got the satisfaction of supporting both a Canadian business, and a local games store.

Now with Games Workshops new agreement with retails its forced MWG to go close there stores because it would be unprofitable to continue business. They will be missed as there contribution to the wargaming community was very recognizable.

With that I will close. If anyone who read this feels like helping out the MWG team, they are having a 30% off sale. This is great chance to get some awesome 40k, Firestorm Armada, and Dystopian Wars for a great deal, as well as helping out the MWG team in depleting excess stock. While they are not selling at cost, I am assuming they are selling pretty close at this point.

Here’s the link to there online store: http://store.miniwargaming.com/

Firestorm Musings

After the great success of my first Firestorm Armada Battle and subsequent report, I have been considering on how to follow it up.  Like I mentioned in my previous post I am thinking about running my Directorate  Fleet in our next engagement.  Unlike the last battle, I feel a lot more comfortable with them than the Terran’s, and hopefully that will reflect on my performance. Currently I am attempting to determine my fleet composition.

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So far….

1x Battleship 185
1xCarrier 130 + 16xWings (6 bombers, 6 bombers, 2 fighters)80=210
3xCruisers 195
2xDestroyers 150
3xFrigates 60
3xFrigates 60
Total=850

So pretty much just a simple expansion of the starter box.  I have a carrier and I have only ever used it once and I would like to use it again.  Having 16 wings will certainly increase the effectiveness of that combo to allow me to cycle out my bombers after each attack and use the fighters as support. I also have a bunch of homemade wing tokens to paint up and this would be the perfect list to motivate me to base and paint them.

My second list would is a bit different.

1xBattleship 185
3xDestoryers 215
4xWorks Raptor Torpedo Cruisers 260
3xFrigates 60
3xFrigates 60
4xWorks Raptor Corvettes 80
Total=860

This list would be significantly more “fluff” based. I have long since wanted to try out some Works Raptor ships. The Torpedo Cruiser looks like a beast and 4 of those bad boys at range band 4 could cycle a ton of damage out each turn. I might drop the squad down to 3 and add another group of 3xWR Corvettes. And yes this list is over my intended points limit… I would have to square this with my opponent before hand.

At the same time the Attrition Class Carrier is also a potential option. Fill it with 6 Assualters and use it as a raiding ship and at 160 points (+30 to fill it with max wings=190) it could be fairly powerful. Slow movement may impede the chance of boarding though…. Something to consider.
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I’ll have to do some work-shopping on what I want to field. Also, I am hell bent on creating planet for our next scenario. I have found some good tutorials on painting one I just need to locate a suitable base for it.

On a final note, I had mentioned a few posts ago about starting Infinity. Another look at my wallet has made me reconsider that idea…for now. Maybe another time I will consider playing, but right now I can’t afford to paint, build, and learn all the new rules for it, plus construct cool terrain for it as well.

Terran vs Relthoza 650pts

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Finally!

I got in a game of Firestorm Armada on Sunday night, and boy was it a blast! My buddy showed up around 9 and dished it out till about 1am! Have to say that I missed rolling dice… made me want to start 40k again…Argh NO! I must not turn to the dark side!!…

But I digress. So we decided to do 650 points, that allowed us to use our starter boxes and add one more unit. Our respective lists.

Terran:
1xRazerthorn Battleship-3 attached Interceptor-180+15
3xSentinel Class Cruisers-195
3xPilgrim Class Frigates-60
3xPilgrim class Frigates-60
2xAegis Shield Cruisers-140
=650

Rethoza:
1xBrood Class Battleship-3 Attached Assualters-185+15
1xHive Class Carrier+5 bombers-145
3xSwarm Class Cruisers-195
3xDrone Class Frigate-60
3xDrone Class Frigate-60
=660

I guess he was over the legal limit but it didn’t matter much considering his assault boats never did anything. This was also my first foray using the Terran Alliance and I had no idea what to expect except that I knew that the Terran’s relied on shields which influenced my decision to bring an Aegis. We also used alternate rules for wings that we found on The Black Ocean that made them a lot more fun to use and no need to track fuel.

Originally we intended to do a mission but instead opted to just smash face for 5 turns.
FSA Board

I deployed in the blue with basically a strait gun line with my Aegis cruisers all around to give a shield and PD bonus to as many ships as possible. The Relthoza fleet deployed in the green, bottom heavy with the frigates screening the carrier and the battleship. His cruisers were deployed on the top edge near the asteroids.

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Admiral Pike viewed at the Relthoza fleet in front of him. He sighed, knowing the lives of many brave men and women were about to die in glorious battle. There lives would not be wasted. Pike close his eyes and bowed his head. He swore to whatever gods were listening that he would send every one of those damn bugs to hell, or die trying

So after the initial banter we commence the first turn. Relthoza cloaked all ships (with cloak). We alternated moving frigates Rethloza were out of range but my frigates took some shots and destroyed two Drone Class Frigates with some good link fire torpedoes.

Turn two was similar but the Relthoza had some payback. Did some damage to my frigates and continued to scuttle his cloaked cruisers on my left flank. Aegis did well taking down torpedoes and offering extra shields. I basically set fleet up in the middle to shoot around the asteroids and take out his remaining frigates. Bad dice rolls for me let to just 1 hp being taken from one frigate.

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Turn three, was the most decisive and the most fool hardy on my part. I was moving my frigates too close and getting out of rand band 3/4 diminishing my torpedo effectiveness. The Cruisers on the left started taking out one squadron of frigates. I turned my battleship to help out. Unfortunately he began dropping mines with his cruisers which later turned out to quite effective.

Pike panicked. He realized that the Relthoza had out maneuvered him and forced him to split his fleet up. Damn those bugs. Gripping his teeth he yelled at the bridge crew to bring them around to face the Cruisers flanking

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Turn four I was taking a lot of damage. His battleship and carrier were in the asteroid field. Now to make a note we did not play the terrain properly as he was using full AD and not having to roll on the collision table. I knew something was wrong cause I was getting murdered horribly at this point. Next time we play I will be more on top of the rules to prevent this from happening.

Regardless, I did not have enough firepower to take out the battleship. One of my Aegis’ went critical placing a distortion field in the center impeding movement.

Turn five, Razorthorn gets knocked out, frigates get mopped up in range-band one. All in all a horrible turn for me.

The sound of alarms awoke Pike from unconsciousness. Pike rose to see his bridge in shambles. Mines. The damn bugs had dropped mines to take out his ship. Many of his crew were dead. Lieutenant Kruger was next to him, not quite decapitated by the decking the size of dinner plate in him. Pike scrambled up the command post. Seeing some crew alive he was about to call for damage report but the world around him vaporized..

Victory for the Relthoza.

Losses:
Terran-entire fleet
Relthoza-1 bomber, 6 frigates.

Well I learned a lot about Terran from this game. First and foremost, stay in range-band 4 with frigates. The ability to shoot from any firing arc is amazing. What I should have done is ran them from one edge of the board to the other with and Aegis for protection. This would have increased their survivability as well as increased their damage output. Also, moving my Aegis’ at the right time. I often moved them too far or to little to grant the 4″ bubble to the intended squadron.

I am considering picking up 6 more pilgrims and the new carrier. I think they would flesh out my fleet significantly and capitalize on their strengths. The Aegis, in my opinion, didn’t pay off. I would have been better adding a carrier or destroyers.

All in all it was a lot of fun. Neither fleet was painted but I will run my Directorate next time we play to get some colour in there.

Hope this was an interesting Battle report. I plan on doing some more in the future with better pictures and documentation to speed up the writing and clarity.

Oh and remember, “the only good bug is a dead bug!”

To Infinity and Beyond!

Infinity
So…I have been thinking about other games. *gasp* “oh my god Yes I know, traitor, deserter, pheguth, yes perhaps these are names that I deserve for this transgression. But fear not friends, I will not be leaving Firestorm. I wish to dabble in other games on top of FSA to quell my hunger to build terrain. Also the Infinity forums are very active when compared to the FSA ones, which is not a bad thing as the quality of posts on the FSA site are of a much higher quality due to the ‘niche’ members that participate in it. Even more so I have been attempting to schedule a Firestorm battle between myself and my normal opponent. The Terran Fleets will purge the Ratholza soon, but until such a battle commences, I will leave you with some thoughts on Infinity.

I actually was originally torn between starting Infinity and FSA way back when I got my first fleet. I had had enough of 28mm in Warhammer 40k and the price hikes from that company that starts with a ‘G’ and ends with ‘amesworkshop’. Searching for a change I stumbled on Infinity and decided that I was more interested in a game with a lower level of painting skill required and terrain needed. Thus I turned away from Infinity to bear arms for the Directorate. Needless to say my passion for minatures has led me back to Infinity for the very same reason. I want to build terrain again and play on the 28mm scale again.

Thus I am making a sweeping declaration. If I, Npf6, can convince at least 2 more friends of mine to start Infinity with me I will get a starter box this summer. I will also paint one of my FSA fleets myself and look at getting Blue Table Painting to do my infinity force.

There. Done. I have said it and I cannot take it back!

Next week I am going to do a run down of Infinity and the rules a bit (gotta read them first) and hopefully post up my battle report for FSA after that.

Stay tuned!

Starship Bridges

Since my last post I have been spending a significant amount of time on the Spartan Games forums browsing and refreshing up on Firestorm Armada. At this point I am not entirely sure weather or not we will be conducting our campaign with the version 1 rules or version 2. It seems V2 makes the game less interesting, but at the same time fixes some of the issues with the previous version making it more playable. Regardless I have yet to get time to play any games with mid-terms this week and life just generally getting in the way. Hopefully sometime soon I can try and at least schedule a game. Instead with my time I have been conjuring Firestorm Armada fiction in my head, reading the Lost Fleet Series, and mucking about on Ghost Reacon Online.

Recently a post on the SG forums about visualizing minor races, got me thinking a bunch about the layout of starship bridges in the Firestorm Armada Universe. With a plethora of science-fiction to pull from I started having a few ideas on what the bridges would look like. As the main control centre and heart of the ship, the bridge is the most vital and the most interesting point on a ship. So I pulled up my bootstraps and found a few ideas with pictures to reinforce.

Terrans
Out and out the middle of the road guys, I think that Terran ships would be very cramped, especially the smaller classes. Bridges would be simple but functional. Obviously larger ships would need more personal and in turn will be bigger (which will be a common theme for most factions/races)
Terran Starship Bridge
So this bridge maybe on Sentinal Class Cruiser, seats maybe 20 with a captain etc. Maybe not quite as cramped as I would imagine but this is very close. Functionality foremost over everything.

Directorate
Due to the Directorates heavy reliance on robots to function as the crew for their ships, the bridge could be much more spacious with limited personnel.

The Bridge of a Directorate Frigate

The Bridge of a Directorate Frigate


Much more lavish than a Terran ship, the Directorate can afford to have some sense of luxury. Similar design to many of the Star Trek bridges; posh, clean, comfortable. Exactly the type of environment I would choose if I was an evil CEO working for an evil intergalactic arms dealing corporation.

Aquans
Initially I had no thoughts on Aquan ship layouts or design until coming across this photo.

The bridge on an Aquan battlecarrier

The bridge on an Aquan battlecarrier


Hits the nail right on the head for me. Obviously it would be filled with the Aquan atmosphere (liquid) but more or less the same fancy design, also spacious but big. This to me would be the best example of the Battle Carriers bridge.

RSN

This one screams RSN to me. Lots of personnel, with a very prominent area for command to direct from, just like in Star Wars.

Example bridge for a RSN Destroyer

Example bridge for a RSN Destroyer

Dindrenzi

Example of Dindrenzi Bridge

Example of Dindrenzi Bridge


Similar to the RSN but more vertical which fits with the design of their ships.

Well, there you have it some idea as to what I think spaceship bridges may look like. Just random musing mostly but what the hell.

Firestorm Armada

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So I think its about time I actually discuss one of my favourite miniature war-games; Firestorm Armada. My love of Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Halo novels, have fueled my interests in space combat. Naturally, upon seeing the miniatures produced by Spartan Games, I fell in love with the idea of recreating famous space battles and changing the outcome of the battles. Despite this, after my few initial battles with my erstwhile opponents, we promptly stopped playing. Like so often with miniature war gaming, life got in the way. Now I am back, and ready to start a campaign with a friend and use this blog to document each stage of the campaign.

At this point I have both a Terran and Directorate starter fleets at my disposal and my opponent has Rathloza. I think I will use a Kurak Alliance support mainly composed of Terran, Tarakin, and Rhyushi elements. While I do love my Directorate fleet, I would like to use the actual fluff of Firestorm Armada in the campaign to some degree.

Now how to begin this campaign, this is commonly a problem I think for many and it generally stems from three different issues.

1) Poor Participation: probably the most common issue that arises. Its hard to keep people coming for each campaign event, especially when they incorporate more than 2 participants. I feel this can be fixed easily by ensuring that; a) You set reasonable game dates that work for both participants. ie: weekly is workable maybe during the summer but after that monthly or bi-monthly battles need to be planned to ensure that the individuals are able to continue with the campaign and work around real like. b) There is an element of flare in the campaign, by this I mean that there is some level of story behind the entire campaign and each battle regardless of the outcome flows well. I enjoy coming up with a level of fluff for my campaign so this will be a piece of cake and actually leads in the main part of my second point.

2) Having a fully developed campaign. I have participated in a few Warhammer 40k campaigns and it seemed more than once having each mission already planned out was actually a detriment to the enjoyment of the campaign. I feel a sense of randomness actually allows each event that occurs to feel more natural and story based.

3) Having a completely undeveloped campaign. The inverse of the above point, having zero plan for any campaign is a killer. No direction, no story, and no plan puts a big dampener on creating any fun or story driven campaign.

As you can tell from the above points I drive my campaigns with story and interactive for the participants.

firestorm-armada

Well then, what will be our story?

I haven’t really gotten that far.

Ultimately I think a starting escalation mission or two to get both of use familiarized with the rules again is probably a good idea. These would be small maybe 500pt engagements setting the tone for our campaign. One idea I had was a diplomatic meeting gone wrong, similar to the beginning of “A New Hope” in Star Wars. Of course I have already considered that The Battle for Endor needs to be recreated at one point or another, even the evacuation of Hoth would be great. The guys over at the Black Ocean have a number of great senarios that will work for themed battles as such.

So at this point I am going to work on establishing campaign rules and work on the background until we start our practice games.

With luck this should be a very exciting and engaging campaign.

All ahead full to the drawing board!