Category Archives: Aquans

Zappy Pew Pew From The Church Of Gaming – Firestorm Armada

Hey googlebots! We managed to get our grubby 6InchMove mitts on a tremendous gaming venue this weekend – inside a converted church! I’ll spare you all the obvious corny puns on prayers to the dice gods etcetera.

Dealing with Aquans? You need a fishing trawler, you do.

A good night was had by all, and consisted of myself and Carabus eating chips, drinking DPZ and generally heckling Admiral ZombiePirateXXX and Big Chief Gribblin as they played one of the closest Firestorm Armada battles in a while. It was probably close because for once I wasn’t playing and wiping the vast floor that is space with the tears and wreckage of my destroyed opponents. Oh yeah, I play Terrans.

“So Mr Evil Space Goat, you think you’ve scored a critical hit hmm? Let me roll for shields. And now let me reroll my sixes. Hmm, no damage to me this time!”

The game came down to the two remaining Battleships. The Aquan battleship has massive armour and can shrug off damage that would wreck others. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite have the staying power of the Dindrenzi. The big double hulled superglue nightmare of construction just kept soaking the hits until the last Aquan had pulled the flush chain on his escape pod. Down to the last hull point!

We also played a new Space Hulk card game called Death Angel. Poker with genestealers? Would they get dealt extra hands? Stick around to find out…

Aquan Fleet – refit finished

Hi folks,  I finished painting my Aquan fleet earlier today so here are some pictures.  Again apologies for the picture quality, I’ve had to use my phone’s camara as my proper one has gone to silicon heaven to join all the calculators.

I know the picture quality isn’t great, but oh well.  What I’ve done with these ships is painted them a mid-silver colour, then covered them in a blue wash, then dry brushed the same silver over them.  This has given the ships a slight bluish hue to the hulls.  I them used a light metallic blue to draw a watery pattern on the upper hull.  I finished them off with metallic purple weapon ports and glowing green engine exhausts.

As for the firestorm game itself I really enjoy it.  I’ve only played a handful of games so far, but I like the simple game mechanics, the models look pretty good (despite the molding problems they had with earlier ones) and it’s generally just fun to play.

Oh and as for my Tyranids painting, expect an update really soon.

Fire All Dorsal Fins!

As ZombiePirate has already hinted at, last night witnessed my first game of Firestorm Armada.  As the other three players in our group had chosen many months ago which fleets they were having I was left with the Aquans.  Last night saw them deal Servitob his second ever defeat at Firestorm.  I would like to claim credit for such a glorious victory, but as you will see it was mostly luck.

Having played Uncharted Seas before I was familiar with the game dynamics.  I have also witnesses Servitob’s Terrans deal out a lot of damage with their long range torpedoes and due to their reliance on shields, take almost nothing in return.  With this in mind I completely lost the plot and deployed my fleet spread out in a vain attempt to use the asteroids to block line of sight. Servitob had wisely placed his fleet close together.  My cruisers used a turbo-boasting card to get an impressive 16 inch movement to get in between two of the large asteroids.  Once there they did no damage to the Terrans and faced the full force of their firepower.  By the end of turn 1 only one was left and it was badly damaged.  The rest of my fleet had neither fished out (I mean dished out) or taken any damage.  In turn two my last cruiser managed to drop a mine before being blown to plaices and a frigate got hurt.  Still no damage to the Terran fleet.

Turn three was probably the deciding moment.  I won the initiative roll and brought my battleship to within range band two of the Terran battleship.  Rolling a blistering amount of dice (courtesy of a card) I managed to score a critical hit on the enemy.  A double 6 was rolled and the previously undamaged battleship disappeared with an explosion that ripped a hole in the fabric of space.  Things were suddenly looking good for me.  My battleship also managed to down a Terran frigate at long range and damage a cruiser with it’s torpedoes.  The Terran cruisers took some damage from both squadrons of frigates as well as the mine that my dying cruiser had dropped before going bye-bye.  The Terrans managed to down a frigate in response.

The rest of the game saw the Aquans cleaning up what was left of the Terran fleet.  The best moment being when the Aquan Battleship dropped a mine in front of a Terran frigate squadron, only to get caught in the blast when it went off.  Again I managed to roll some ridiculous dice, sending all 3 Terran frigates to the afterlife and causing a critical hit on my own battleship.  This resulted in a decompression that lasted for two turns and did more damage to my battleship than the Terran fleet.

So what did I learn from this game?  The Aquans really do excel at broadsides.  Even the small frigates can dish out a lot of firepower.  The aft weapons didn’t come into play all that much as I was either facing the enemy, or using the broadsides.  The mines are really, really effective.  The Aquan battleship uses 5 dice which is enough to damage cruisers and prove lethal to frigates, whilst the cruisers 4 dice isn’t too shabby either.  They can be very useful at blocking the enemy movement, just try not to drop them too close to your own ships.  When faced with a lot of torpedoes (i.e. Terrans) deploy and move your fleet in close proximity until ready to broadside to take full advantage of the point defence.

Oh and a lot of luck doesn’t hurt.

Conventions in Gaming – Luck

Last night availed the inhabitants of the 6 Inch Move floating citadel to yet another unplanned gaming rendezvous. Due to permission/absence/voodoo sacrifices of wives and girlfriends Castle Servitob was once more transformed into the vacuum of deep space. Both Space Hulk and Firestorm Armada got some table time.

This would the first outing for Gribblin’s new Aquan fleet, the first time any of us had seen the fleet played. Like a burk I forgot the flight stands for my fleet so the salty fleet went up against the torpedo happy Terrans. This post is not going to be a battle report, I will leave that to either of the participants to regale you all with tales of bold tactical manoeuvre and world-destroying firepower. What I do want to talk about though was aptly highlighted during one turn of this game. Look away now if you don’t want to read some spoilers. Feel free to read again once the italics end.

At the start of the game Gribblin deployed his fleet quite spread out, hoping to use the cover of a reasonable asteroid belt that spread across the middle of the table. Misjudging his distances and the alternating activation turn method that Firestorm uses saw his Cruisers zoom ahead unsupported by the rest of his fleet. This gave Servitob an opporunity for some early smackdown which he delivered forthrightly. By turn 2 the Aquans had no Cruisers left and with the fleet heading towards the Battleship things were already looking bleak for Capt. Birdseye and crew. However, we are all aware of how fickle the tides of fate are. Shortly after losing all of his Cruisers gribblin engineered a range band 2 broadside against the Terran Battleship, dice were rolled, hits were counted. Enough were rolled to cause a critical hit on the Terran capital ship, Servitob rolled the dice for his shields and, for once, they did not negate enough of the shots to prevent the critical hit. Gribblin eagerly grabbed his 2D6 for rolling on the critical table and was rewarded with a double 6! For those of you unaware of the Firestorm game either a double one or a double six cause the ship to explode, in this case as its main reactor is hit and causes the Firestorm version of a warp core breach. An undamaged battleship reduced to smouldering space flotsam in a single salvo. This changed the course of the game and Gribblin ended up wiping the Terrans from the table after a few more turns.

What this demonstration goes to show is that in many cases luck can be a major deciding factor in the winners and losers of our hobby. I am sure we can all recount sordid tales of the desertion of Lady Luck, when the cruel dice gods decide that we will roll ones and twos when we need high numbers and fives and sixes when we need low. Servitob did manage to cause a decompression on Gribblin’s Battleship in retaliation, venting liquid like an octagenarian granny, and on the following turn rolled the only number that kept the decompression going. However, when those dice are rolled, we are purely in the hands of the law of averages, hoping that we can do enough. As any gamer will tell you though, the law of averages mean squat. I can think of many instances where rolling a bunch of dice has either resulted in a massive haul of 1’s and 2’s or 5’s and 6’s, those middle numbers can be mightily elusive.

Although luck cannot be counted upon it’s actually just as much a part of our games as the terrain and models we use or the tactics or strategy we try to employ. Also, we cannot rely upon it deserting our foes either, although the phrase “Fortune Favors the Bold” does play out on occasion and some games even encourage an aggressive stance during play. Sometimes the right luck at the right time can really swing the fortunes of an entire conflict, just as in the example given above. I’ve seen units perform heroic last stands against superior enemies just because of the dice they managed to roll. After all, the games we play are not just pushing some toy soldiers around a table, at least I hope they aren’t. I would hope that each game is a story written in our memories. Thus it is that we can picture in our minds eye Sgt. Thumpy of the Blood Angels beating down countless hordes of Genestealers (well, 13) protecting a narrow corridor with nothing but a Storm Shield and Thunder Hammer for company. The Tau Fire Warriors standing atop their wrecked Devilfish fighting hand to hand with vile Necron Flayed Ones and surviving turn after turn without taking casualties. The Ork Boyz mob cruising around in their Trukk killing a Carnifex with a drive-by pistol storm. The poor Wood Elf alter kindred Noble who heroically charged into a Great Unclean One only to have his magical talisman fail on the first turn from the one attack the Daemon was allowed to make.

All these moments are the ones that get discussed for years afterwards, an event that should not have happened but, due to the luck of the dice, did. While Malifaux moves away from the dice mechanic, getting a hand full of the right cards to Cheat Fate is also full of chance, we cannot escape the luck that sometimes graces our battlefields. In some cases we may be the one of the receiving end of the misfortune, but even though I might moan and whine like a bitch when the dice desert me, beyond that I am happy that we have these systems where but one roll of the dice can dramatically change how things are going and give us excited memories that we carry with us of great times spent amongst friends.

Lcuk can be the best of friends, or a cold-hearted traitor and this gaming ZombiePirate wouldn’t change that for the world!