Engage the Warp Drive!

Finally got in another game of Firestorm Armada, what a blast! I actually got the chance to teach two new players the game and then we did a 2v2 with starter fleets.

I took lots pictures and I’ll do my best to recap the entire battle here. I won’t do a fleet list since we only used the basic starters fleets in this engagement but, the teams were Xenos (Relthoza and Sorylians) vs Humanity (Directorate and Terrans). Since this was a learning game for two new players we skipped a few rules, no boarding, not ramming (v1), no wings, no MAR’s (so no cloak or anything), and no fancy terrain rules. We did however put a clump of asteroids in the middle which could not be moved through or shot through, essentially they blocked all line of sight into.

Deployment

Respective deployment zones

Respective deployment zones

Pretty simple setup and a more clear shot of our actual deployment.

Terran and Directorate on the right and Relthoza and Sorylians on the left

Terran and Directorate on the right and Relthoza and Sorylians on the left

No objectives except to smash each others fleets into space dust. We didn’t set a turn limit but with four players essentially it would have been 4 turns then calculate victory points.

Now, we also made up some rules for activations. Essentially, every turn one player from each side (alternating the player each turn) would roll off against the other to determine activation sequence. The winner would set the activation sequence as such;

Team 1 (p1)-Team 2 (p1)-Team 1 (p2)- Team 2 (p2)

I think it worked ok. Next time in a team game situation I would consider trying something else to make it more team based. There was nothing broken about it but it was hard to follow at some points.

Turn 1
So Terran’s won the activation and elected to move frigates and target the leading Sorylian frigates. Both of them dished out fire and put one another down to 2 frigates in each squadron. Some maneuvering on the directorate side with some pot shots at the Relthoza and vice versa with some damage but no casualties. I did make a crucial mistake of moving my cruiser to the left rather than the right, It put them out side of any PD help and still outside of their effective rangeband of 2.

Turn 2

The Retholza and Sorylian Admirals talk strategy

The Retholza and Sorylian Admirals talk strategy


Turn two was much more intense. It started with The Sorylian’s winning initiative and doing a point of damage to each of the leading 2 Terran Frigates and then subsequently being eradicated by concentrated fire from the Terran Razorthorn and the Sentinel Cruisers. The Razorthorn also did some more torpedo damage to the Sorylian Crusiser moving up on the right side around the asteroids.

On the left front, my Directorate Cruisers were punished for there poor placement by taking two points of hull damage and in turn doing little to no damage in return. The other squadron of Sorylian frigates moved to the other front to support the Rethloza. Remaining activations involved the consolidation of the Relthoza Battle line and a few torpedo shots.

Turn 3

I forgot to take a shot at the top of turn three, but I will try to remember it as best I can. I believe Directorate won activation this time and elected to move my cruisers up and do as much damage to the consolidating Rethloza battle line. At the time it seemed like a good idea but very poor rolling on my part led me to doing 1 point of damage and destroying 1 frigate, which was not enough to save them from the counter attack from following activations.
Turn 3
On the other front, the Sorylian cruisers were reduced to 2 and moved in a on suicide run to destroy as many Terran ships as possible. Excellent dice rolls led to many hits but less damage as the crack Terran point defense crews and their advanced shield technology saved them from complete annihilation.

Listing Sorylian Crusier

Listing Sorylian Crusier

On the other flank, the Relthoza moved in much close and punished me for my poor dice rolls criting’ a crusier and putting more damage on another. Following that more torpedoes destroyed another cruiser.
Trun 3
I also took some shots with my Directorate battleship and destroyed a Sorylian frigate (I think..) but in turn took pretty heavy torpedo damage from the Retholza battle ship and cruisers. Enough to inflict a critical decompression.

Terran’s also began to take damage from the Sorylian Battleship, resulting in the loss of 2 cruisers and the remaining frigate at the hands of the listing Sorylian Cruiser.
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Turn 4

The remains of the Terran Fleet at the top of turn 4

The remains of the Terran Fleet at the top of turn 4

So at this point Humanity was feeling somewhat desperate in the conflict with the cruel Xenos. My battleship had taken a fair amount of damage and my crusiers as well. The Terran’s were in worse shape but still had a fully operational battle ship. We made a foolish decision to move around the asteroids to the right to shoot at the Xenos battleships with the Terran Razorthorn. A poor recommendation on my part as the limited speed of the battleship could not catch up with the Sorylian battleship, which high tailed it over to the Relthoza side to support them.
Turn 4
The winning kill on my battleship was an exceptional broadside salvo that double crited’, blasting my Directorates into oblivion. At this point victory looked dire. More ships were destroyed on both sides but it was moot. The Xenos had a big advantage in positioning at this point and could support against any frontal attack.

Just before the Directorate Battleships destruction

Just before the Directorate Battleships destruction


At this point we decided to call it. It was 3:30AM and even space admirals must sleep. Victory for the Xenos. Well done tactics on won them the day.

Overall, it was a great battle. I felt that I did make some serious errors in my deployment and initial movements that did not support the Terran fleets strengths. Upon reflection I should have spread myself evenly across the front and had the Terran Frigates stay in the back fields and move across our deployment zone and lay down torpedoes at RB 4 the whole game instead of moving up. Of course this was a learning game for our two new players so in the end it was all in the name of fun. Also we needed to be on a larger table. 4×4 was too small for a 1000pt+ game and restricted movement too much. Of course for our next battle we will up the stakes and add some more ships into the fray and include wings and other rules as well.

Again, a great battle and lots of fun. Stay tuned for more!

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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!”

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.