It’s easy for a tabletop war game to make a good first impression these days.
Advancements in sculpting and molding technology give even the smallest of companies the ability to create high detail miniatures for their tabletop games. The modern age of technology allows for hardcore numbers crunching to create a balanced gaming system with as little as an Excel spreadsheet. The internet allows for marketing and word of mouth traction on a global scale. It allows even the smallest of tabletop communities to thrive and grow and organize. So from the viewpoint of someone who was not in on the ground floor of the game launch, it can all look very spectacular on first glance.
It’s after a game or two that you really begin to see the flaws. Much like waking up next to a wookie the morning after a night of heavy drinking and debauchery, that ‘New-Game’ thrill just isn’t there anymore. The point is that as easy as it is to make a good first impression, it’s ten times harder to make a good second impression for many of the same reasons I stated above.
So what am I trying to qualify here by saying all this?
I am still very impressed with Firestorm Armada after a few games against a few other fleets. It’s still fun and I am still excited for more games. I want to make a new space table for my basem… er, Studio. I want to buy and paint more models. I want to expand my collection to include different fleets with a new understanding of the rules and how they play. I also… I know, you probably didn’t see this coming… I also want to start playing the game with the deck of action cards. GASP!
My Directorate fleet has now grown to over 1000pts and I am still looking for more to play with. Still pondering larger scale games and themes to play around. Campaigns. Tactics. You know… all the awesome stuff that attracted us to tabletop war games in the first place. It’s the stuff that keeps us around and wanting more. Firestorm Armada seems to understand this and was not afraid to create a set of rules that were easy enough to keep the attention of new players yet complicated enough to draw in the long time wargamers. I have said before that even after one game I could begin to create plans for my next game, changes and additions to my current fleet, and ideas for what might be to come. Since our podcast about FSA I have player about 4 games in total. I am 2-2 and fairly happy with my wins so far. I had begun writing this post between games 2-3 and since then I have started over twice because after each game I played I have a changed viewpoint on the game.
I won’t get too far into the tactics of the game since I am essentially a total noob and refuse to act like I know all the in’s and out’s after only a few games, but I will say this… Shields are for pussies. 😉 Honestly though, I am eager for time when I will be able to give tactical advice on the game, on the fleets, and on the community at large. All I can say is that Battleships are fun, but in now way unstoppable, cruisers hit hard and crumble just as hard, escorts can change the game or be battered away like snowflakes on the wind. Every fleet has it’s own playing style and every fleet will be used by their player in different ways.
So if you are still on the fence about giving the game a try I will once again nudge you toward trying. It really has captured the attention of a few long time WarHammer vets and has allowed for a little variety in our gaming lives. FSA is kinda now my mistress. Shhh!! Don’t tell WarHammer.
What do you think about end game I find it goes great for the first 3/4 then once everything is battered it’s just slow hoping to get some good roles. Have you looked at full thrust? My brother and i have been comparing the two and I have found Full Thrust just has a bit more and seems more fluid.
I do look forward to figuring out some campaigns and if you guys find anything please share
loving the cast keep up the good work, from the far north of countrystan
I think the end game of FSA is kinda what makes it very interesting. The problem is that people seem to play with the ‘Fight to the last ship’ mentality that is so prevalent in other tabletop war games. In FSA things like shunting ships and forcing Assault actions are meant primarily for the end game when ships have taken some crew losses and are ripe for the picking. Essentially netting you double victory points for that ship, where as you shunt a crippled ship away and suddenly he is only getting half points. This is a huge aspect of the game and how it can be played in the later turns. Setting a turn limit also helps this a lot to keep the fun parts of the game as the focus as opposed to the mop-up that follows.