We definitely love Flames of War here, but even your favourite dinner (Mine’s meatloaf) can get a little tired after a while if that’s all you ever have.
So we’ve recently branched off and started playing a couple of different games. Don’t get me wrong, Flames of War is still our bread and butter (how is this whole food metaphor working for you?) but we did want to have something on the side to play for a little while that was completely different from historicals.
Which is why we recently have landed on Firestorm Armada. Produced by Spartan Games I’m quite familiar with Firestorm through Dystopian Wars (the game I was secretly hoping that we’d all get into) since they use the same core rules sets.
The thing I’m loving about Spartan Games is that they offer a fairly sizeable starter fleet in any of their games for about $60 Canadian which includes 6 frigates, 3 cruisers and 1 battleship. They all get the acrylic flight stands and you also get a full set of markers as well, which is really cool. The Dystopian sets also come with 10 Tiny Flyer markers and 2 bombers but that’s a different game.
I am always impressed with the quality of miniature that you get as well and I LOVE that a battleship sized model with them is somewhere around $25 which is entirely reasonable pricing. The detail is great too.
For our little campaign I chose Aquans. I like sleek ships that look agile, so it was a natural choice for me.
Stuart and I had a chance to get stuck into the rules last Friday. We just used the frigates and cruisers that came in the boxed set for this game since we didn’t want to get overwhelmed but were immediately impressed with the ruleset as they were both fun and super easy to learn. The exploding dice mechanic was of particular interest to us. The principle behind this mechanic is that whenever you roll, if you score a natural 6 it actually counts as two successes and you roll another die, if that die rolls a natural 6 then it counts and two more successes and you roll again until you stop rolling 6s.
This very simple mechanic makes for some wild gameplaying! Even in the small game that we had the 6s were flying as I would make just insanely high rolls and then Stuart would make equally insanely high shield saves. Oddly, it’s not game breaking though, as you can link fire (or choose not to) with your vessels in a single squad to attempt to hit the DR rating of a target ship. If the ship has a DR of 4 that means that you have to get at least 4 hits to cause a point of damage. If you with their Critical Rating (CR) than you’ve caused 2 points of damage and get to roll on the critical hit chart.
Anyhow, point being the game is wicked fun and isn’t overly complex which should make for some fun posts in the future!