Greetings! SeerK here to initiate you into the world of Firestorm Armada. As some of you may or may not remember this is not my first appearance on Dark Future Games. I was, up until about a year and a Half ago, a long time 40K player and owner of Craftworld Lansing. The Craftworld is gone as is my 40K collection. It has been replaced by The WayGate and a rather large fleet of Firestorm Armada Ships. So what is Firestorm Armada? Lets take a look at the universe and story behind the game.
Firestorm Armada is a game of mighty fleets of space born war ships fighting in the cold depths of space. It takes place in the far future where mankind has been divided by oppression, rebellion and war in the wake of expansion into the far corners of the galaxy. Our game takes place during a time of war. The Terran Alliance, once the dominate power in the Galaxy finds itself besieged by the Mighty Dindrenzi Federation. The Dindrenzi Federation is made up of the old Terran Satellite Charter outer reach colonies. They fought for their independence under the hand of the Rense family. One hundred years after a hard fought independence, the Federation is expanding and exacting revenge on the Terran Alliance for their years of oppression and in remembrance of the Planet Dramos, which burned in nuclear fire at the Terrans hands.
There are two major Alliances of Races that make up the two sides of this galaxy wide conflict. The Kurak Alliance started by The Terran Alliance and the Zenian League started by the Dindrenzi Federation. There are six core factions which represent the major powers in the universe. Three of them are part of the Kurak Alliance and three are part of the Zenian League. There are also minor races that are part of each Alliance. These Minor races can be fielded on their own, part of an Alliance fleet, which is a fleet made up of several smaller faction fleet elements, or as an allied faction to one of the core races. Each core race has a Natural ally. Usually if you take a squadron from an ally, the most points you can spend on it is 25% of your total points. Natural allies can make up 50% of your total points. This can be handy to fill gaps in your fleets abilities. Fleet building will be covered in a later installment.
The three major races that form the Kurak Alliance are the Terran Alliance, The Sorylian Collective and the Aquan Sebrutan. The three major races that make up the Zenian league are the Dindrenzi Federation, The Relthoza Empire and The Directorate. These six races make up the Major factions of the Firestorm universe. Each side also has smaller factions that make up the rest of the Kurak Alliance and The Zenian League. I am going to give a small description of each of the major races to give you a taste of the universe. I will then go into basic game play in our next installment. Like most war gamers I choose a faction based on looks and the background. Even if an army or faction is pretty tough and powerful, if I don't like the look of the models I have a hard time playing with them. I digress though. Lets first take a look at the races of the Kurak Alliance.
The Terran Alliance
The Terran Alliance use to be the Terran Satellite Charter and spanned a big part of the galaxy. It is a shadow of its former glory. Its capital is the cradle of human civilization, Terra. The Terran Navy follows many of the traditions and organization of old earth sea going Navies. The Terrans were caught very unaware and unprepared by the Dindrenzi Federations invasion and declaration of war. They had grown lax and as such their ships tend to be old designs. Tried and true war ships from a bygone era. When you field a Terran fleet you have robust ships with excellent defenses. They tend to be mid to close rage combatants and their ships are difficult to kill. Playing against Terrans can quickly become a war of attrition that you are usually on the loosing side of. The Terran ships make use of powerful dispersion shields for defense and many are capable of using nuclear weapons. The Earth based corporation, a minor Kurak Alliance fleet, Hawker Industries is a natural ally for the Terran Alliance. They supply the Alliance with a majority of their weapons technology.
The Sorylian Collective
The Sorylians collective is based on their home world of Kerendar. They are an old Saurian race who long ago mastered space travel and the technology that lead to the rapid expansion of their race among the stars. Fold Space Drives. They also built a network of Fold Space Gates which were discovered by the Terrans as they ventured out into the stars. This lead to the development of human fold space drive s and humanities rapid expansion. They are several sub species of this race. They are slow to anger and to act, but when they do it is with purpose. Sorylian ships benefit from highly trained engineers aboard their vessels. They make use of close range “Scatter weapons” which hit capital ships and small vessels with equal chance thanks to the advanced targeting computers and grid pattern firing solutions. Boarding assaults by Sorylian Warriors can be devastating. The Veydreth, a nomadic race of raiders and warriors, called “Star Dragons” by the Sorylians are a natural ally to the Sorylian Collective.
The Aquan Sebrutan
The Aquan home world of Cesera is almost completely covered in water. It is a vast ocean world that gave birth to a race of highly intelligent cephalopods . These beings Created many different sentient species to do things they themselves could not do. Eventually they looked to the stars. The Aquans have been plying the stars since before man ventured out to explore earth let alone space. They ships are grown rather than built. They are giant bio mechanical organisms. They are fast ,agile and pack impressive weaponry, mostly electro chemical lasers enhanced by crystal lenses. They are protected by dense carapaces and energy shields. The Aquans, use to thinking in three dimensions are deadly opponents in battle. They are natural spacefarers. Several Hundred years ago, Humans settled in Aquan Territory. This was the Sebrutan's first contact with humanity. Although they tried to expel them from the world they inhabited they fought fiercely for their new homes. A truce was agreed upon and these human colonies became part of the Aquan Sebrutan. They are now known as the Terquai and they are natural allies with the Aquans.
Those three races make up the main races of the Kurak Alliance and are considered half of the 6 core races. We will now introduce the three core races that make up the Zenian League. The Dindrenzi Federation, The Relthoza Empire and The Directorate.
The Dindrenzi Federation
The Dindrenzi Federation is made up of the former frontier colonies of the now defunct Terran Satellite Charter. Its people are the ancestors of the brave pioneers and explorers who blazed humanities path across the galaxy. The Outer reach is there home. Two centuries ago, amid mounting tensions and dissatisfaction with their treatment by the Terran core worlds, Ignatius Rense of led a war of rebellion that was quickly quashed by the Terran Navy. The Rense family had much influence and power in the outer reach thanks to their company Rensecorp. They had pioneered compact Fold Space drives and colonial exploration. Their name was synonymous with space travel and exploration. The Rense family was exiled and 100 years after the first war for independence, Marcus Rense led the new “Dindrenzi” into another war of liberation. This time they did not fold quickly. They had amassed ships and better weapons technology thanks to the Directorate weapons company Works Raptor. They began to push the Terrans back and win their independence. In desperation the Terran Storm Fleet blockaded the Dindrenzi Capital world of Dramos. They threatened to bombard the planet if Marcus Rense did not surrender. He left it up to the people of Dramos. Their reply to the Terrans demands was broadcast throughout the outer reach “NO SURRENDER! NO TERRAN TRANNY! DINDRENZI FOREVER!” Dramos burned form a sustained nuclear attack from orbiting Terran warships. This double the Dindrenzi efforts and within 3 years of the burning of Dramos the Dindrenzi Federation was born.
Dindrenzi ships lack energy shields, but make up for it with layers of ablative armor. They are ponderous ships that can bring substantial amounts of fire to bear thanks to their “Arc bolt” rail guns. They are tough and deliberate. I hammer to crush foes in the anvil of battle. The fanatical Rense System Navy, originally the honor guard fleet of Dramos, is the Dindrenzi Federations natural ally.
The Relthoza Empire
The Relthoza are a young and dynamic race. Their home world of Aziza Prime became crowded very quickly as this insectoid race grew by leaps and bounds. The Relthoza are described by the Dindrenzi as devils with the voices of angels. They stand on four locomotive limbs. Their bodies are sheathed in chitinous plates. Their thorax stands erect like a centaur with their heads hunched over making them appear predatory. Four manipulator limbs come from their thorax and end in hyper dextrous tendril like fingers. Their heads have 10 eyes with 6 dark ovals towards the front of their heads and the other 4 which are larger towards the sides. They are sensitive to bright lights, but their visual acuity and ability to manipulate very small objects has made them master of nano technology. The Relthoza language is musical and very beautiful. They are able to speak perfect English with a melodic tone. They speak through manipulating muscles in the numerous air passages in their head and body.
Relthoza ships are robust, made of tough ceramics. They use cloaking and stealth technology to lay in wait of prey. Relthoza warrior doctrine dictates honorable battle is one where you catch your enemy completely unaware. All Relthoza warriors are the massive Males. Clad in their powered armor suits they can be classified as a light tank.
Relthoza are probably the most difficult race to use when just starting out. They rely on the long range torpedo weapons until they close the distance and pounce up their prey. Cloaking shields and stealth systems make them difficult to hit and damage. They are also capable of great feats of repair thanks to their nano technology, some ships are able to repair hull damage in battle. Their natural ally is the very tough and close range Ba'Kash. They are a opportunistic race that raids convoys, colony’s and warships to survive.
If there is truly a villain in the Firestorm universe it is The mega corporations that make up the Directorate. The Directorate is a group of loosely affiliated corporations and companies that have bought their freedom and independence from the Terran Alliance a many centuries ago. They have been fanning the flames of war and providing ships and weapons technology to the Dindrenzi Federation since its founding and before. They have even been responsible for the extermination of an entire alien race. The capital world of Zenia is a paradise. It does not show up on any charts and is home to only the top 1% of the Directorates CEO's and upper management. Bio weapons, experimentation on sentient species and outright genocide is their hallmark. All in the name of the all mighty credit. Directorate ships are well armed and well armored. The Ships of the Security fleets mount lethal plasma based weapons and torpedoes with special warheads loaded with bio weapons or deadly nano tech. Some also mount weapons capable of taking control of enemy computer systems, making weapons and shields switch off or outer hatches to suddenly blow open. The natural ally to the Directorate is Works Raptor. Although this weapons company is part of the directorate they are a power within the power and have considerable influence. So much so they have their own fleets of lethal vessels.
There you have it. A little taste of the factions that make up the Firestorm universe. I myself have several fleets from the Zenian League. My main fleet is the Rense System Navy, followed in size by the Relthoza. Next time I am going to dive in and share with you what a typical game turn is like. Firestorm Armada is a very tactical game and although it can seem a little overwhelming in the beginning, the system is very easy to learn and the tactical possibilities open up as you learn the system. Your initial barrier to entry is also very low especially when compared to other war games. A rule book and a Patrol fleet can be bought for only $100 dollars in most cases and you will have everything you need to play. Fleet expansion is also easy thanks to ship squadrons being sold in boxes for around $35 dollars on average. For more in depth information on the races and to get a look at the ships more in depth head on over to Spartan Games Website. You can also check out my blog The WayGate for tactical articles and hobby related articles. Thats all for now, stay tuned for our next installment.
Until then crush the Alliance and as always.....
For more, dedicated FSA fun visit The Waygate!
For more, dedicated FSA fun visit The Waygate!