FSA: Patrol Fleet

I added a few more models to my Terran Alliance fleet so now it is aroundish 800pts (Patrol Fleet) strong. :-) New in this picture in addition to the starterbox:

  • 1 Ares Class Carrier (yellow)
  • 3 Artemis Class Destroyers (the ships with the most green)
Here we have a close-up of the carrier and the three destroyers.

And a close-up of the carrier and the battleship. I decided to do black and green for my fleet except the large and massive ships that are supposed to be black and yellow. So any other large ship I may still get will be black and yellow, too. For the carrier I decided to invert the colors, though, because it's such a unique model both in terms of looks and game mechanics.

Since I am always looking for the right bag and foams for my armies, I also post here my bag's layout just in case it may help someone else with the same questions.

I can easily still fit in eight more frigates here.

Plenty of room for still one more large ship. :-)

As I needed a larger bag for my DW fleet my Feldherr Mini Plus temporarily got empty and now stores my Terran Alliance fleet. I am continuing to be amazed how one can store an entire army in such a small bag - and this isn't just a starterbox getting boring after three games plus I still have plenty of room for further additions.


Absolute decompression

My finished Terran Alliance fleet prior to its first game. :-)

My opponent was sporting a nice fleet from Hawker Industries. :-)

So tonight was the first night my Terran Alliance fleet saw some action versus +Francesco Tornimbeni's Hawker Industries. While Francesco was a perfect gentleman, his models also natural allies to mine as defined by the rules, so playing against him gave me also an impression of what amy be in for me in the future. :-)

This is how we set up.

When we finished setting up, Francesco moved his battleship from its original place on his left edge to the place where you can see it in the picture.
I felt pretty good about setting up and had the intention to cram everything between the asteroid field in the center and the planets on my right, effectively playing a refused flank. Using the grey planet's gravitation field I also expected to speed up my yellow battleship quite a bit.

End of turn 1.

Well, everything happened differently than planned. At the end of turn 1, three of my four frigates were already blasted into oblivion as I moved them last. Prior to them the cruisers and the battleship fired through the asteroid field, but at half dice with little to no effect.

End of turn 2.

In the second turn I committed my battleship to swing left and and block Francesco's battleship which was still approaching at enormous speed. In the meantime, his remaining fleet started grinding its way through my remaining frigate and the cruisers which were at this point heavily damaged or gone already.

End of turn 3.

Turn 3 saw the death of my remaining frigate and the two remaining cruisers. Our battleships passed and threw everything their broadsides had to offer at each other.

End of turn 4.

Turn 4 was again about the two battleships firing at each other while Francesco's remaining fleet moved in for the kill. Because of the damage on my battleship it became increasingly impossible to do any damage at all, so basically we could have called it a game here because it was evident I am going to lose it.

Turn 5 saw my battleship with three hazard markers on her...

...but for a change I was lucky with my dice and was able to take all three of them off again.

End of turn 6.

In turn 6 my battleship was finally shot into pieces. The game ended with 18 victory points for Francesco whereas I had -8 victory points. (which I feel is kinda silly for a wargame to have negative victory points, but I guess in the end it's just a matter of scale and taste) In other words, he won with a difference of 26 victory points. He lost one frigate while I lost my entire fleet. :-/

So what were my major mistakes to learn from in the future?

  1. I underestimated his speed. That alone was fatal.
  2. Rather than trying to outrun him around the asteroid field and do non-effective shots through it, I should have met him head on with my full fleet.
  3. I need to protect my frigates better. In the two games I played so far they were canon fodder, but preserving them is essential for them to be effective.
  4. Target priority is essential. I should have either thrown everything at his battleship or everything at everything but his battleship.
So all in all it was a very unpleasant yet instructive experience which I still hope not to repeat in the future too many times. At this point, Dystopian Wars feels easier for me because in that game I usually envision a general strategy for a game which always works more or less as I put it into action. In Firestorm Armada, however, it feels to me as if I run into tons of obstacles before I can even put my strategy in place. Now I don't know why that would be, be it the character of Terran Alliance fleet, the different players than those I play DW with,or the different rule set. Oh well, we'll see better after a couple more games. :-)


FSA: Terran Alliance up and ready

Well, I am done painting my Terran Alliance starterbox for Firestorm Armada. :-) It was a blast to paint these models and big thanks to +Tudor Stanescu for letting me have them and encouraging me to go on when I was thinking about the color scheme. :-)

Enjoy. :-)

The Tyrant Class battleship, my pride. :-)

Also painted the lower half just in case they ever get belly up. ;-)

Here some WIP shots for those who may care. :-)

In contrast to the previous picture, I have touched up my mistakes with black paint again. ;-)


Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!

Those who prefer to watch a summary of the battle report rather than to read it, see one here.

So this report is about my game in the Swiss DW Cup semifinals in Basel against a splendid French player (Seph) with an extremely well painted Russian Coalition fleet. Seph was the best gentleman one can possibly ask for and the game was fun and entertaining, yet my efforts seemed to evaporate just as if charging a fully equipped castle with a bare sword. ^^

Seph's Russian Coalition.

Once again my trusted Japanese list at 1'000pts.

This is how we set up.

After setting up, I felt very confident. I planned to put my three Tanuki Gunships on the very left or right to minimize the threat if his Field Order tells him to destroy my medium sized ships. However, when we went to get our Field Orders, Seph corrected me that you don't pick them, but you roll a D6 get them assigned. Ooops, I overread this with my opponents so far - we secretly picked them. o.O So we rolled our D6 and ended up with

Seph - destroy 70% of the enemy fleet.
Parcival - destroy all large and massive models of the enemy fleet

Here another mistake happened - I didn't read carefully and was under the impression I had to destroy *one* large or massive model. Hence I felt very confident that I could destroy his large ship in the upper center while he'd have hard time to get to 70% of my ships and therefore neglected his carrier in the upper right corner totally by thinking it's a smart move to just avoid it.

End of turn 1.

A the end of turn 1 I still felt very confident that I could win this game. He nicked some of my smaller ships (bye bye Fujin Corvettes), but due to pre-measuring I had positioned my ships in a way that his 16" (+Mv) threat range didn't or at least hardly bother me.

However, in turn 2 my biggest problem quickly became evident: Ablative Armor on all his medium, large, and massive ships.

My Uwatsus pumped three critical results into one of his medium ships...

...and didn't take off more than 1 hullpoint because of the Ablative Armor rule.

End of Turn 2.

The game went quickly downhill from this point. Due to Seph's high firing discipline and my inability to break through his Ablative Armor quickly enough my fleet started to disintegrate. My small ships were all but gone and the Dreadnought was heavily damaged where other gamers barely even scratched it. My remaining strong points where the Tanuki Gunships happily firing away their missiles in the lower left corner unchallenged while my Torpedo Bombers where flying rotations on the Sky Fortress.

End of Turn 3.

Turn 3 saw the end of the Dreadnought. The Sky Fortress dived and dropped her bombs, but got boarded right after and gave Seph double victory points.

The semi-finals and the pairing for the upcoming final game of the Swiss DW Cup.

So in the end I lost 885 : 295 against an opponent who definitely didn't steal his victory, but won graciously and even helped me with advice to improve my situation - without his help I would have lost even worse. o.O

However, despite me listing my mistakes above and despite the crushing result, I don't feel like it's doing justice to my performance. Instead I felt like I did reasonably well based on my skill level. A strong list in the hands of a strong player doesn't allow any mistakes and I think I was playing up to my best, so I give myself bonus points for having tried. :-D However, to be an effective threat against him, I'd have to play Seph and this list repeatedly until I am efficiently enough at taking advantages of his weak spots.

Well, I sign off for some "let's start a new fleet" therapy. ^^


FSA Introduction Game

Duh, spaceships? I take a nap.

Tonight was my first introduction game to Firestorm Armada (FSA). I knew it plays very similarly to Dystopian Wars, but like with a new car it takes a while to adjust.

Looking back I don't even know where the major differences are. For me it's that you can defend your ship against torpedoes only once per turn and, oh yes, flying through other models is quite nice, too. Movement can still be tricky because of asteroid fields, however.

Tonight I played the Terran Alliance, +Andre Suwanda the Sorylian Collective, +Tudor Stanescu the Dindrenzi Federation, and +Sven Emmert The Relthoza.

This is how we set up: Sorylian Collective (lower left), Terran Alliance (lower right), Relthoza (upper left), and the Dindrenzi Federation.

The Sorylian Collective.

The Dindrenzi Federation.

The Relthoza.

The Terran Alliance moves forward, but one Cruiser is being shot away by the Dindrenzi and one Frigate is already lost in the asteroid field. o.O

On the left side of the table, the Sorylian Collective moves out...

... and starts to target the Relthoza. (look 'ma, real lasers!)

Unfortunately, the Relthoza make a statement with a counterattack causing a magazine explosion.

On the other half of the table, the Terran Alliance desperately tries to pull the Dindrenzi into close combat so their long range weaponery can't use its full potential.

In the meantime, the Sorylian Collective seems to enter a stalemate with the Relthoza...

...while the Dindrenzi move up their ships on the Terrans and start boarding actions that can still be momentarily fought off.

The Sorylian Collective continues to suffer casualties while boarding the Relthoza in return...

...as the Terrans and the Dindrenzi fly past each other and are forced to do turn maneuvers.

On the other side, the remaining Sorylian have to turn as well...

...but two Relthoza ships escape their grip and fire at the last remaining Terran Cruiser to win the game. Voilà.

All in all this was a very enjoyable evening with the only downside that there were certain waiting times. However, I assume once we're more familiar with the ships and the rules, this will be much better. Also, I still believe this system is better where players alternate in moving units rather than players on one side move their entire army in one turn while the others wait and then they get to move their entire army. I am looking forward to the next game!

As a really nice surprise, +Tudor Stanescu gave me his leftover Terran Alliance starships, so I'll soon build my own fleet. :-)