View Full Version : An Introduction to Firestorm Armada by Spartan Games

28-10-2011, 03:54 PM
After some interest shown in my Firestorm Armada ships, and some questions on the rules and game, I thought I would give you all a better introduction into it.
Firestorm Armada or FA is a space craft combat game from British games company Spartan Games (www.spartangames.co.uk) It ranges from dreadnaughts and Leviathans (huuugggee ships) down to squadrons of fighters.

So... what do you need to start playing this game? well lets start taking a look at the rulebook and mechanics of the game first.

Its 96 pages full colour soft back, and is really good value take a look here (http://spartangames.co.uk/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=43_48&product_id=78)

The book itself is nice quality, lots of diagrams on how to move your ships and hasnt fallen apart, (unlike some other manufacturors books I could mention) and a worthy collection to my nerd cupboard (yes my own man cupboard! thanks to the other half).

The rules then... what kind of a game is? well it uses a d6 system, and optional gaming cards... (more on them later)

The turn structure is not i do everything then you do everything. Its worked out by activations; ship squadrons, so a battlehsip, a squadron of 2 cruisers or a squadron of 3 frigates. All the ships apart from the large capita like battleship Dreadnaught, and carriers come in squadrons of variable size depending on the race usually somethign like 2-4 for x points each. So it goes i pick a squadron move it fire with assualt etc everything i need to do, then you pick a squadron to move, shoot and do all its business, then back to me and so on.

The game uses one of Spartans trademarks, the exploding six. When you roll to hit something its done on a success system instead of a ballistic skill chart. 4s and more are a success with 6s counting as 2 and giving you a reroll, again re-rollable if you get another 6 and so on. The way firing works is the ships have a number of attack dice AD relative to their weapons for example.... broadside 12. This varies depending on the range band your opponents ship is in going in 8 inch increments up to range band 4. Dont worry all the info is on the stat cards of the ships that you get in the starter fleet boxes. To damage your enemy you roll against their damage rating for example DR 6. 6 is the number of successes you need to equal or beat to cause a point of hull damage. all ships have a limited number of hull points then boom gone!. However if you roll more success then that you may be able to beat their critcal rating example CR 8 that means you do 2 points of hull damage and roll on the critcal table which could be anything from damaged weapon systems to reactor overload!

When you get the book you will find it has the rules for the 6 main starter fleets in it,

also cut outs of 3 whole starter fleets at actual size so you can copy them and get straight into playing and giving it a go!

Movement is fairly standard, it represents inertia by having you move a set numberof inchs before you turn, more for larger ships, less for smaller and none for wings of fighters bombers etc and the book has the templates you can copy out.

You can perform boarding actions, have wings of assualt craft flying around, all sorts fo great things that make an epic space opera, and all of them are handled simply and well, there is no mass of charts and tables to search through.
Nor do you suffer from the problem some other space games had of the unlimited fighter swarms. In this it says how many wings of craft your ship can carry and thats ti for the game, if they are gone its tough luck!

One of the most pleasant suprises in the rulebook i a guide for creating your own class of ship! with points costs as well, you want theat mega huge heavily armed and armoured slugfest monster? well you can make it happen but you WILL pay the points for it. I think that is an excellent touch allowing creation of new races and ships by the players.

a great resource is the Spartan Forums (http://forum.spartangames.co.uk/smf/index.php) for mission ideas and all sorts. also spartan has a resource page for downloads here (http://www.spartangames.co.uk/resources/downloads)

It also has the rules for scenary in there, orbital stations and such like too.
So this is the begining of the introduction, next time im looking at it in some more depth.. any questions any one has please post them up here and i shall try to cover them