Tag Archives: Firestorm Armada

Firestorm Armada – …Second Impressions?


I went and picked up a package from the Post Office late last week. This particular package was highly anticipated as it contained a card deck and my Dindrenzi starter fleet for Firestorm Armada. I was eager to crack things open and dive in to see what things were like, after all, I’d read the book and seen things online, but nothing compares to actually holding things in your own hands. There are lots of posts over on the Spartan forums at the moment regarding issues that people have had with these fleets in general (Dindrenzi apparently being among the worst). The Uncharted Seas stuff was excellent and I had no issues there, the new items seem to be a different resin as the off-white of the Uncharted Seas models has been replaced with a grey resin for the Firestorm stuff.

For the Dindrenzi the battleship comes in 9 parts, there is the command deck, two sides for the main hull, two engine bays a dorsal gun-rack and a mid-ship gun-rack with a fore and aft plate. The major construction obstacle for these guys seems to be that the battleship is designed to have a gap running between the two sections of hull. This didn’t prove too tricky as the command deck and gun-racks allow you to position things correctly, however there are large sections towards the aft of the ship that could do with some kind of spacing as it would be very easy to vary the depth of the gap as you build the ship. The model itself is huge when fully built, there was quite a lot of flash left on the pieces as they had been cast, most of this as easily removable with a hobby knife. One of the engine pods seemed a little too big for the cut-out on the side of the hull but a modicum of filing saw this problem removed. There was also a small amount of overfill on some of the parts, a bit of filing dealt with the worst of it but I do have some parts where you’re looking at getting rid of a couple mm of overfill which I don’t really find acceptable, but that’s me. There is no hole to mount the flying base so I’m going to have to do some minor construction work to balance it properly but I’m pretty happy with the time it took to build it. Once it gets a lick of paint I’m sure it will look fine.

The Cruisers were pretty much the same, they have a dorsal gun-deck, two hull halves (no gap this time though) and two engine pods. I personally would have preferred the hulls to be cast as a single piece but that’s really just nit-picking. I got two left pods for one of the cruisers so I’ll need to get a replacement but everything went together easy enough, there was more flash and bigger overfill on these than the battleship, there is a lot of filing and sanding down to do if you are a perfectionist with your construction (I’m not with my model building, more-so with painting though). The frigates are white metal hulls (one piece) and two engine pods, I have only assembled one so far but they go together very easily, just remember to score the metal before attaching the pod for some extra bonding.

I only have the 5 Frigates left and one errant engine pod on a cruiser to assemble. There are a lot of resin shavings all over the place though. The models are very detailed and look great, however, it does seem like the quality has slipped from what I experienced with Uncharted Seas stuff. I don’t know if they’ve changed the casting process or what? However, saying that there isn’t too much work involved in tidying things up, maybe I’ve just been spoilt in recent years with models getting to the point where there is often little need to clean up items before painting, I don’t know.

Would I recommend these to a friend? For sure, the detail is superb and the ships really are great models, hopefully with future castings Spartan can work out the issues they have at the moment and I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from grabbing them, just know you might be in for a little work. It’s probably not the best set of models to jump into if you are new to the hobby either. Resin isn’t something you tend to come across very often in the mainstream games systems and therefore experience of working with the stuff isn’t something you’ll pick up quickly (resin dust is toxic). There is a decent amount of work involved with prepping stuff before you’ll want to chuck it together too, as mentioned. I know that nBreaker has his Sorylians now and I look forward to getting some games in over the Christmas break to try out the system.

ZombiePirate Rating: 7/10 for the Dindrenzi Fleet – excellent models let down a little by ever so slightly dodgy casting. s

How Do You Eat Yours?


Rather than being a discussion of one of the best chocolate products invented by the hand of man today’s topic is going to be about how you plan and build your armies. There are a number of different ways in which this can be accomplished and I’ve actually been through a couple of ways myself, although I have one method that, while not the best perhaps, seems to always come out on top when I get that buzz of “ZOMG, new models, must have!!!!11!!!!!!one!!!!!”

I’ll split the various ways out and then expound on them, please feel free to comment on which is your preferred method or add something totally different.

 

The Core Method

This method revolves around the fact that most games have a set amount of stuff that must be included to field a minimum sized force. Games like 40k make this easy as you can pick an HQ unit and two Troops choices for a viable army, to play with though you’ll need an agreed points value, this is where I like Privateer Press’ products as you can get starter boxes which give forces balanced to play each other in order for people to learn the rules. Uncharted Seas and the new Firestorm Armada also work off this premise with their starter boxes.

We kind of hybridised this method when starting 5th edition 40k. We knew we wanted to play 1000pts games, I’d sold all my 40k stuff to get something a bit different and therefore started my Orks at that points level, I could then see what I lacked and adapt accordingly (more boyz!). This is in fact one of the core benefits of doing things like this. You can play your force and see what is lacking which can guide future purchases when you expand your army,  my 1500pts force therefore fills practically every troops slot available and after playing it I’ve further modified the list to make the Boyz squads fewer but bigger. They butcher stuff in close combat even with only a few of them but they tend to take horrific casualties as they cross the plains to reach their foes. Bumping them up in size means there are more ablative wounds hopefully meaning that more boyz can get stuck in later on. I do realise though that with making the squads larger that there are therefore less squads which means less targets for the enemy to worry about. Hopefully the covering fire of the Lootas still provides a distraction as well as Big Mek “Mr Suicide” who has yet to build a Shokk Attack Gun that lasts more than one shot.

Starting small also means that you aren’t laying down a lot of cash straight away. Obviously if you are starting out with something for the first time you’re going to be guided by what you like the look of, not necessarily knowing how it will play. You may like it, you may not so spending as little as possible is a potential benefit.

 

The Proxy Method

This has happened with a number of the lists I have produced for my Daemons in Fantasy. If you already have some models then this can work out but you’ll want to have your opponents consent and make sure he knows what is what. Proxying (for the uninitiated) is the process whereby you use a model you have to represent something else. I’ve not done this for an entire army as I believe that would get very difficult for your opponent to deal with, but I have expanded units beyond the model count I own or used single stand in models before spending money on proper representations. This has the advantage that you don’t go out and spend money on something before you know if it does what you want or work in the way you expect.

 

The ZombiePirate Method

Here we go, the method by which I generally do things. With most people when they first look at getting anything the first place that is started is with the ruleset for that particular army. This works across all systems as if you get a rulebook with all the forces in them or you have to pick up individual army books you’re going to be looking through them working out what you like the look of. The start of this method can work with other methods already described, what I do is have a nice read through the book, I looks at the units and their physical stats as well as stuff that I like the look of models wise. I will choose not to collect an army if their models luck bad, no matter how awesome the rules might be and so I take my picks and write-up a list for the normal game size, 1500pts 40k, 2000pts Warhammer Fantasy, 25ss Malifaux, 35 or 50pts Warmachine/Hordes etc… For the majority of these times what I will then do is make a purchase of the entire army, maybe in stages but sometimes in one huge bank busting blaze of debit card. Now, obviously depending on the army you’ve chosen this particular method can do more or less damage to your wallet. This also means you are laying down a whole wad of greenbacks on a force that has not yet seen action so you’re not sure about how it is going to perform, this is the chief downside of doing things this way, however, there is also another drawback that is almost at the same scale.

When you’ve bought everything you need in one batch you have an entire army arrayed before you, this can cause morale issues as you are presented with just how much stuff you’re going to need to build/paint. In days of yore I’ve assembled whole armies and left them on my painting table showing me in no uncertain terms just how much work I have left if I want to do it all. This is perhaps one of the greatest reasons why I never get stuff done, after seeing it all I chop and change from one thing to another. My current project is not done in this manner, I am doing things one at a time and leaving my table clear in order to do so, nothing else is cluttering it up (bar a Lord of Change and the aforementioned Big Mek “Orky McSuicide”). I am hoping that by having a more structured approach to things I stand a better chance of getting things finished. I’m looking forward to this weekend and setting myself the challenge of getting some figures actually done, I am away in London on Saturday so this may not be achievable but I’m going to give it a shot to push myself.

Time and time again I’ve fallen back on this method, written out an army list and then gone out and bought more and more stuff so that I have it all. I don’t know why I do this but I know that getting things piecemeal can actually be more beneficial (method 1 in the list here).My preferred method is probably the worst one but I’m sure each gamer has their own style and works in their own way, so don’t let anything here prevent you from doing what you want.

 

So then Intarwebz, when creating your ideal army, how do you eat yours?

Slow News Day


In what may be classed a “slow news day”, or, “I have things to post but don’t have the time to do it at the moment” er… day I thought I’d just make a quick note that people probably already know all about. Current 6 Inch Move favourite Uncharted Seas has a new cousin. Spartan Games have released information about their latest release, the futuristic Firestorm Armada. As I haven’t seen the core rules I’ll hold back from calling this Uncharted Seas in space, yet I can imagine that there are probably going to be a lot of similarities between the game as the rules set for the naval battles we are using are pretty solid.

There are a decent number of races to play and they will be releasing each in a starter box as per US, keep an eye on their website as they will be updating it with piccies and information regarding the new game. I know that some people have been waiting with bated breath for this to finally hit the shelves. Even with the love for US that we have in our gaming circles at the moment I don’t think we’ll be seeing this added to our list of games, we’ve really got enough on our plates before throwing in extra things.

In other new, Wyrd, the company behind global phenomenon Malifaux have updated their website, not to the pleasing of some of their customers judging by threads on their forums. Check it out if you want though, it’s certainly different to the way it was before.