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jdripley

Firestorm Armada vs. __________

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So Firestorm Armada looks pretty slick. Uncharted Seas seemed to get good reviews so I imagine this game will run basically the same and should also be a good enough game to be worth investing in.

 

But at $60 a pop for the starter fleets, it's gonna be a tough sell to the gaming group. So I need firepower here. I understand that the game hasn't been released yet and technically only speculation is possible for much of the game...

 

But for those of you with the know-how to read their quickplay reference sheet - how is this game going to stack up to, say, Battlefleet Gothic, or Full Thrust, or any of the other popular choices out there?

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Some interesting ideas in there, but it looks like they took Uncharted Seas and put it IN SPAAAAACE.

 

I have a feeling most die hard spaceship gamers will give a pass on the rules and buy the minis. While not in that category, I'm going to buy them and use them with Starmada. Though the cards do raise my interest, not enough to get the game.

 

Why:

1) Can only use the rules with their toys. While it makes sense from the manufacturer's point of view, from what I've seen starship gamers like to mix and match their toys with the exception of die hards for certain established settings (BFG, Trek, Star Wars, BSG, and B5 of note). They're trying to create a setting from scratch. While not a bad thing, it'll lessen its appeal to some. Folks that like fluff may take to it depending on how well written it is.

 

2) Without seeing the rules, the command radius seems a bit restrictive.

 

3) See above comment above about IN SPACE. The rules seems like I could just as easily use them with WWII ships or modern ships. It just doesn't seem like it was purpose made for a space game.

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Hm. I just did a price comparison, and the "same" list as you get with Firestorm in BFG is worth $90 - so while I'm suffering a bit of sticker shock from Firestorm, I suppose it's not THAT bad....

 

But Brigade Models offers ~9 model fleet packs for around $30.

 

So should I really be using a free/cheap rule set, say Full Thrust or Battlefleet Gothic, and then using something like Brigade Models? Is that the economical way into spaceship games? Can you get Brigade models through an FLGS?

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Ask your FLGS if their distributor(s) carry Brigade Models. I've been buying from GZG and overseas shipping was only an issue once and they promptly sent replacement.

 

I'm at a point with my games that I don't care about the fluff as much. CAV, Warlord, and Silent Death are the only games I have anymore that are setting specific, everything else has been a generic set with unit creation rules. Even Silent Death though has unit creation rules so I don't have to play in their world if I don't want to. In fact I've had a few ideas for playing in couple different worlds using those rules. And the minis will most likely end up serving double duty as fighter markers for my Starmada games.

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Yeah I don't know what space ship gamers are like around where you are, but my experience is the same as that of Sergeant Crunch. People go with one of the generic rule sets and then use whatever miniatures they like. The awesome thing is that once your group has fleets, checking out that "interesting new system on the market" is cheap since it only costs as much as the book. My recommendation is to go with models you like the look of and then shop around for the rules system that feels right for you and your group. Full Thrust is definitely what I'd give a try first since it's free and very popular. A lot of people like that rule set so there's a good chance your group will like it too. Personally I moved from FT through A Sky Full Of Ships (plays a lot like FT, but a bit more abstract and faster) and I'm currently checking out Starmada which so far looks like it will be a lot more enjoyable to me than the other two.

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Hm. Well I think I'm not really a typical starship gamer then. In that Full Thrust, Starmada, they all seem to have about a bazillion rules more than I'd like. I favor games that flow easily, have a minimum of math, and allow you to blow crap up pretty quickly. To me book keeping ought to be limited to HP, and perhaps checking off damaged systems or whatever, but I don't want to deal with writing out orders for the whole fleet each turn or anything like that. I just want to move my minis around the table, concentrate on things like getting into good firing positions, and have the game over in an hour or so.

 

So it sounds like Firestorm Armada might be more to my liking, and less to the liking of others.

 

I also did a bit more thinking on the price point - $60 for 10 minis averages to $6 a mini, which is right about what you spend here at Reaper, so it's not all that bad. Heck single models in the Privateer line can run you $60 by themselves! So it's really not that ridiculous of a cost.

 

I think that so long as at least a few others locally pick it up (or at least agree to use cardboard cut outs alongside my fancy models if they're gonna be cheap) then it will be a fun one for me.

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The old Starfire game system worked pretty well for a game that use to have a reasonable number of rules and allow you to play fleet vs. fleet engagements. Ships were a string of letters (each letter is a system and you mark them off as they are hit). It was really a counter and hexed based game, but there's no reason that you couldn't use generic ship minis on a large hex board.

 

Construction rules were pretty good though the technologies were fixed to their universe.

 

Of course, over time, the rules grew, and grew, and grew. ::P:

 

At this point, the rules are pretty darn complex and long. But, they do include a wide range of technologies and campaign rules.

 

More information is available at The Starfire Design Studio site.

 

Ron

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It looks like Firestorm will be faster play than both BFG and FT. It seems extremely close to Uncharted Seas (although I have to say that I dont own US) which means a move of between half and the full move stat, firing on D6 with a 4 or 5 means a hit, a 6 means two hits. Ships in the fire arc of the weapon get the full weapon dice, ships 'on the line' get half the dice rolled against them. Turning done by one of a couple of templates to determine the tightness of the turn, depending on the size of the ship. It is unclear if FA will have attack craft, although the US Dragon Ship used a similar mechanic so I guess that we will see it.

 

BFG is probably closer to FA in rules than FT is, since FT is more complex than BFG. BFG has a similar movement system. FT has a pre-plotted movement system and six fire arcs instead of four.

 

I have to say that my response to FA is the same as it was to US. Everyone said that the system was great, and fast play, although I like more detail in my rules, and none of the ships really grab me (the US ships still dont quite do it for me, but that is a personal taste issue).

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just thought I'd pop back into this thread after the fact. I did go ahead and pick up Firestorm Armada. It ends up playing mostly like BFG in that things are simpler than Full Thrust.

 

What makes it cooler is that there are multiple ways to attack (granted BFG had lances which acted somewhat different) - primary weapons, torpedoes - and multiple ways to defend - a ships innate ability to shrug off damage (essentially a "to hit" - DV to use a Warlord term), shields, and point defense. Depending upon the attack you choose to use, different defenses come into play. e.g. a torpedo must survive point defense, break through the shield, and finally land on the hull and blow up in order to score a hit. a "primary weapon" (laser, big gun, etc) ignores point defense. Unlike Battlefleet Gothic, fighter wings actually get to fight, they don't just have an effect and go away.

 

Finally the cards (you get ~5 in a hand and replenish each turn) can be used in place of the BFG maneuvers - more or less - to add some zip to the game.

 

 

So it's definitely not a very detailed, crunchy game. It favors speed over that. But it's not stupid simple either. The varying types of attacks and defenses give the game a measure of depth that ought to keep it from being a straight dice fest.

 

It floats my boat.

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I have the game and a fleet both for FA and US. The price point does seem high but the large cruiser (dindrenzi) is almost 7 inches long...anyone elses product that big would be $30. So in all not a bad price point for size. I will get to play my first game sunday and will report how it goes.

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Picked this up, too. Hopefully be in the mail here in the next few days. I'll report back when I get a game in.

 

Went with Aquan Prime. Sweet carrier.

 

I have heard that while most of the gaem is 2 dimensional (US IN SPACE!!!!!), there are 3-D manavuers to do. I was looking for a light space game, and BFG was too WW1 naval battle for me. Hopefully this will add just a bit more to it, and be fun.

 

If nothing else, ships are easy to paint......

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From what I have heard the ships do not assmble well, to many gaps. Also if you are buying them for the ships you are fine, but the company that puts out this game has a bad habit of changing the rules mid stream, so the rulebook might not be a wise investment.

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