I managed to drop into Strategies today and finally have my first game of Firestorm Armada. It was my Sorylians against Gopaul’s Terran fleet. (Well not technically my fleet. I had my fleet painted but I managed to forget the bottoms of the flight stands at home so I had to use Darren’s fleet).
It was a pretty tense game and I managed to squeak out a win mostly due to Gopaul’s battleship getting a Fire Control critical and not being able to fire for a turn letting me sneak in and get two more points of damage on it making it far less effect in the next turn.
The game plays similarly to Uncharted Seas but the fire arcs and emphasis on range 2 being the optimal firing distance mean that ships try to stand off. This often means that cruisers and battleships can often drift into less optimal firing ranges
Turning rates are a bit generous but on a 4′ x 6′ table with large models this makes less of an impact than you’d think. Certainly there is a difference between the various classes and larger vessels with their wider turns are more cumbersome. I didn’t really have a lot of problem trying to line up shots though.
The various races feel quite different and there are enough areas to differentiate the fleets so that they don’t feel the same. My Sorilyians were a much different fleet than the Terrans and the quick demise of my frigates will attest.
Torpedos, Point Defence and Shields add a lot to the game and give it a really good space combat feel without dragging you down with additional rules.
We didn’t get a chance to play a lot of fighters as Gopal didn’t have a carrier but he did bring in a flight of Bombers which did a number on my frigates and some minor damage to a cruiser. It will be interesting to see what happens when we add carriers.
The cards were a fun addition and I think they are slightly less powerful than the Uncharted Seas cards. The ability to drop in fighters in a game and through them into your opponents rear is fun though.
I need to look at the stats but we generated fewer criticals in this game than in our Uncharted Seas games. Not sure why this was.
We did a few things wrong, most notably not reducing PD dice with damage which would have made torpedoes a lot more effective at the end of the game. We also didn’t use the mine rules.
I had a heck of a lot of fun though and I am looking forward to my next game. I was terribly tempted but the Aquan fleet at the store but resisted. :-)