Tag Archives: Firestorm Armada

Firestorm Armada vs Full Thrust


Firestorm Armada or Full Thrust? Let Battle Commence!

Full Thrust is the grandaddy of space games. It’s been around for ages and you can now get the rules for free. Firestorm Armada is a relatively new offering and really owes a lot to it, especially the More Thrust version of Full Thrust. The whole dice rolling business of 4 and 5 is one hit, 6 counts as two hits and roll again, was a FT concept many years ago. What FA did to the mix though was to introduce damage and critical ratings. Thrust used to rely on damage charts where you would tick boxes. Armada did away with all the paperwork to make the game more straight forward. And I think this is a good thing.

Psychologically, Armada also trumps Thrust quite severely. It is a simple thing really, but in Armada you get to roll buckets of dice, which is exciting. In Thrust you only ever roll a few, which is not so exciting. Simple things please simple minds. In addition, Armada models are excellent. Thrust models are not so hot.

Strategically however, Thrust has an ace. All movement is preplanned and carried out simultaneously so you need to be paying attention to get your fleet into an advantageous position. Also, the physics of Full Thrust, while not perfect, is far more representative of space. If your super dreadnought keeps accelerating it will eventually be moving at 60″ per turn despite the fact that it should be a lumbering behemoth. This is actually what would happen in space, and requires extra skill and planning to make the most of. Unfortunately in the Firestorm Armada universe space is filled with custard which means that spaceships move in a way that is easy to comprehend, as it is similar to the way that ships sail in the sea.

Now then, if some bright spark could take Firestorm Armada and add the Full Thrust movement rules we would not only have a potential lawsuit, but also a slightly deeper strategic game. However, as it hasn’t happened yet, and would require some testing, we must choose one or the other. I choose Firestorm Armada. Because ultimately gaming is about fun, and Armada is just that. Not to say that Full Thrust isn’t… it’s just that Armada does it in a much more accessable way. The miniatures are easier to get hold of, the game itself is better promoted, and there is a decent fanbase (but that might just be dependant upon where I live). It’s a bit like Full Thrust is a kit car, and Firestorm Armada is a purple Nissan. Yeah sure, if you put the effort in the kit car is going to be splendid. But ultimately if you just want to cram your mates in to go down the chip shop then the Nissan wins every time.

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Firestorm Armada Light Years Ahead


So I got my first outing with Firestorm Armada recently courtesy of nBreaker, and I must say, it really is very good. Quick, simple, with plenty of suitable opportunites to throw loads of dice, drink DPZ and smack talk. Pretty much a perfect game for the 6InchMove team then. The only improvement I could suggest is the addition of take away meals to fleet selection so we don’t all have to cram into gribblin’s car at lunch time. Oh well, you can’t have it all!

For those of you looking for more ‘beef’ in your posts, here comes the more serious intellectual bit… Firestorm Armada in my opinion is better than Uncharted Seas. Why? I don’t really know. Maybe the setting is more appealing. Maybe it’s pure shooting fun without all the hassle of boarding actions. Maybe the game just has more polish and balance.

More great intellectual analysis coming from servitob soon!

Firestorm Armada – Third Impressions


Now we return to our regular, scheduled programming.

Again I’ll apologise for yesterday’s diversion, but these kinds of news stories really get to me. I know that there are countries around the world that even have a thing against tabletop games and wargames in general. None of the games I have played with toy soldiers over the years has ever led me to thinking that I can replicate it in real life, but that’s not what we are talking about today.

Fire up those Fold Space drives and Railguns, we’re back in the world of Firestorm Armada.

As mentioned in previous posts we finally got around to our first play of this game over the Christmas break. I’d ordered my Dindrenzi after nBreaker had sided with the Sorylians, since that game Servitob has been and sold-out to the Terrans. We played the game using the standard starter fleets, no wings but everything else was on. We played the standard “kill or be killed” mission and played on the recommended 4′ * 4′ board. This was actually the board that Servitob had prepared for Uncharted Seas use, hence it was blue (nebula cloud perhaps) but during our lunch break KFC had apparently run out of cooked chicken (I know, who says they cook it anyway) so during the 20 minute wait for bukkits half the gang went off to procure black paint for the reverse of the Uncharted Seas board.

As this was the first game we played minus terrain, I do have some ideas of what we might add to this by using the Oasis balls you can get for flower arrangements. I am sure this is at least one valid excuse for me getting an airbrush! nBreaker deployed in a line across his side of the field while I set up with my Battleship and a squad of supporting Frigates while on the other flank I had my Cruisers and the second Frigate squadron. The Dindrenzi have a lot of firepower in their forward guns so I was deploying in order to maximise the amount of time I could use the forward guns.

Now, I’m not going to do a turn by turn battle report, we might save that until another time when we can do a decent job of it with some nice piccies etc… (most of my stuff isn’t even on flight-stands at the moment) but to let you all know what the rules are like in action. As you know Firestorm is based heavily on Uncharted Seas and therefore the conventions from that game are present in this one which makes things quick and easy to play. I like the new way of rolling for iniative where each side gains a bonus to their roll, it didn’t stop me from rolling some howlers despite the fact I had a +3 Fleet Tactics bonus to nBreaker’s +1. What stands out for me is that you have much greater long-range firepower in this game. No matter which fleet you are playing you should have something that is respectable out to range band four, so on the way in you’ll be unleashing something at your enemies. The added rules for Shields and Point Defence give you an incredible array of options you can use to try and protect your fleet from the various weapons of the opposing fleet.

nBreaker will agree with me that the forward guns of the Dindrenzi are amazing. You get decent range on them and a lot of dice, in turn 2 my Battleship Opened fire on a Cruiser and caused a critical hit (there were several times when I multi-critted a Cruiser and almost double-critted the Battleship). The critical table in Firestorm is a little more severe than in Uncharted Seas and there are two results that will cause a vessel to go nuclear. We started off our Firestorm crit record with a double 1. *BOOM* In this instance the ship explodes and leaves behind a template that will damage anything that moves through it. Not a bad start, I like the fact that things going bang can have a lasting effect on the game due to creating a terrain piece that you then have to navigate.

Another change with Firestorm in its current incarnation is the generic card deck. You can use one per player or share a deck (as we did for this game) although we got a lot of cards that affected wings there are still a lot that will find use turn to turn, we each rolled out plenty of cards during the course of the game and I like it that there is this interaction, it does seem that the cards get used more than in US and the fact that everyone has the same stuff with no game-breaking/winning supercards that only one fleet has access too levels the playing field.

The main difference in the games comes through the combat phase. You are still able to fire all guns in an arc during your activation but with Shields, Point Defence and Torpedoes there can be more to do in this phase. I love opening up with gun batteries trying to weaken a ship before launching Torpedo attacks trying to make use of the reduction in Point Defence fire. There were occasions when, between Shields and Point Defence, I had damaging attacks reduced to insignificance. Making use of the overlapping of other models Point Defence ranges certainly helps and also provides evocative imagery of a hail of bullets trying to gun down Torps as they head for the bigger ships.

Using the Dindrenzi was also vastly different in experience to using my Bone Griffons, I now have Frigate level ships that can shoot (5AD at range band 2 is awesome) and enjoyed them making a dent in Cruisers as well as the opposing Frigates. I don’t want to go too far into all the rules here, Spartan have put their efforts into this game and I don’t want to reproduce their work on a blog when I’d rather you check it out and send cash into their pockets to reward them for what they have done. I’ll also need to post a rundown of the Dinrenzi to go alongside this post, I picked them at first purely off looks and I’m glad I got this fleet as they certainly pack a real punch, their broadsides aren’t great though and once the Sorylians get up close they can dish out a huge number of attacks themselves. Although the Dindrenzi prevailed in this first outing I don’t expect the same result in ensuing games.

Overall I am very happy with this game, I need to get a few more games in but I believe it to be a better version of Uncharted Seas with a lot of extra depth and thought behind it. It isn’t just a carbon copy of the previous game, there is enough in there to keep things interesting and we haven’t even got to using Carriers/Wings yet. If I had the choice over the two games, at this time I’d probably sit myself in the Firestorm camp, although I do like both games for me the extra bits added into Firestorm help make it stand out. The rules are easy to pick up and you don’t have to wade through a rulebook the size of an encyclopedia to learn how to play.

Happy New Year and a Glimpse Into the (Brief) Future


I have three of four posts running around in my head at the moment and I do realise that it is the 6th day of the new decade and this is the first time that I am actually posting up something. Christmas and New Year was busy and now my wife’s birthday is in 4 days and I have yet to get anything at all. She doesn’t have any hobbies so I was thinking of forcing encouraging her to start one, however, I don’t think 1500pts of Imperial Guard is really her thing.

Anyways, back to those topics, over the festive period a number of things happened which lead nicely into things I need to post on the blog. You’re already heard Servitob’s expose on Sgt Thumpy, the Thunder Hammer armed Terminator from Space Hulk. We played mission 3 over Christmas and this one chap managed to kill thirteen Genestealers in close combat before finally biting the big one, an impressive tally. In the next game where opponents switched sides (Gribblin was getting his gribble on in the first game taking the filthy alien scum against Servitob doing his best to get his marines killed to a man) Gribblin showed that he too had a Space Marine hero recruited, Joe Storm Bolter, bog standard Terminator who must have wracked up at least 30 solo bolter kills guarding a spawn point. Evntually his luck (or ammo) failed him and he got his face torn off, either way we had two memorable games that will live on.

The same day saw the debut of Firestorm Armada, my own Dindrenzi Fleet took on nBreaker’s Sorylians. I must say that we had a lot of fun with it, I plan on writing up another post detailing the experience we had with our first run of what is definitely not Uncharted Seas in space. Winning my first ever solo game using a Spartan Games ruleset hasn’t tinted my glasses though.

After the hilarity of New Years entertaining friends we took our newest tabletop gaming compatriots on their first trip to Warhammer World in Nottingham, the geek mecca of the Games Workshop world. Our Hajj saw my Orks take on Gribblin’s Eldar, a first for both armies played on the tables in the gaming hall, we took a couple of photos so I may post them up and finally get around to changing the custom header on the website. I have been asked to write-up this report from the Orks point of view. It was a great game and vastly enjoyable. I won’t ruin the outcome by telling you the result, wait for an Orky themed battle report.

Gribblin is of course counting down the last 10 days before his Xenos of cheese get an update, I am thinking things are going to be bigger and gribblier but still killable with a tide of green and I am working on refining my Orks army list, not specifically to counter the Nids, just changes that I feel need to be made on some levels and a few other things I want to try out on another.

Something completely non-blog related too, I got to see Avatar over the Christmas break, if you haven’t seen it yet you need to. I saw it in 2D and am pretty happy I did, there is so much going on that seeing it in 3D probably would have caused my head to explode! There is an opportunity to maybe go and see it again tomorrow and I am chomping at the bit to go back for another slice of Pandora. It gets a massive 10 Zombies out of 10 best film that I have seen in a long time.

I should hopefully get a proper post up later this afternoon, either the next of the “First” Impressions for Firestorm or the Orky report from Saturday’s trip to Nottingham.

Things happening in 2010… we’ll see if I can paint an army and I’ll also see if we can get more tutorials and pictures of just what we use around these parts.

Happy New Year and Happy Gaming from the 6 Inch Move team.

Merry Christmas


As I’ll be off to visit family after finishing work today all that really remains for me to do before indulging fully in the festive period is to wish our readership and my fellow bloggers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

There’s lots to look forward to over the coming 12 months and the blog will certainly evolve, there is already something in the works in this regard. I hope Santa Claus brings you everything cast in metal, plastic or resin,  as preferred. We should have our first field test of Firestorm Armada during the Christmas break.

See you all in 2010!

The Best Things In Life Are Free!


A weird combination of events occured recently in separate fields, namely the fields of gaming and domestic bliss. Not only would it look really strange on a Venn diagram, but in my case led me to some fun reminiscing.

Anyway, I was busy tidying up the other day and I found my completely forgotten ruleset for Full Thrust. Full Thrust is not a pelvic themed double entendre, but an absolutely ancient space ship combat game.

The game tries to use realistic space physics, and the rules allow players to design their own ships. It is one of the oldest, most tried and tested rulesets for this type of game and is still going strong, and last year GZG released the rules for free! (click here)

The question is, how will it compare to Spartan Games’ new upstart ‘Firestorm Armada’? I think we’ll have a fight on our hands! Cap’n, hostile ruleset in sight, imma firin’ ma lazors! Pew pew!

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