Spartan Games Talks Firestorm Armada 3.0

An all new updated version of FirestormArmada is coming this year. Spartan Games’ designer is talking all about it.

via Spartan Games

Firestorm 3.0 Schedule

May 2017
Alpha Testing ends and Core Rules are then revised based upon their feedback. The Beta Team are unleashed on the rules and provide their feedback to Spartan Linde and I.

June 2017
Core Rules are presented to Spartan Neil to begin the rules-pour into a nice shiny book layout. At this point, YOU, the Firestorm Gamer will have a chance to comment with each of the Core-6 Factions getting cut-down version of their Force List, along with an expanded rules synopsis of changes – see below.

August 2017
Brand new models arrive with statistics and rules for the factions within and previously mentioned ‘shiny rulebook’. The rulebook will also contain a revised version of Taskforce, and a Campaign System known as Flashpoint (similar to the Dystopian Wars 2.5 version, but more expansive, given the nature of the Galaxy it is being played in!)

August-September 2017
All Core Factions within Firestorm Armada are placed into a living rulebook format that can be adapted every quarter.

October/November 2017
All Alliance Factions in the Firestorm Armada Galaxy are placed in a living rulebook format that can be adapted every quarter. Timeline for the next quarter starts with this release (…meaning that in 3 months’ time the stats will be reviewed and updated). Our goal here is to perform a continual rolling quarterly review to ensure we keep model balance under tight control.

December 2017 onwards
With the community fully engaged in the formation of the games, the Galaxy can move forwards, with new models, scenarios, campaigns and narratives developed under a more focused framework.

CORE RULES CHANGES IN FIRESTORM ARMADA 3.0:

As you would expect, the move to any 3.0 ruleset requires a degree of innovation to prevent the game from becoming stale. Firestorm Armada is almost 9 years old, having first hit your tabletops in November 2009, and some concepts needs revisiting when viewed under the current gaming climate. Other mechanics are so core to the game’s function that they must remain no matter what! Here are a few changes we are making to 3.0 that we believe complement and improve the game rather than overhaul the system entirely:

  1. Command and Control – This becomes a vital component of the game with players purchasing Command Points as part of their Force Lists. These points allow players to fire more accurately, performs repairs with surety and execute manoeuvres that put incredible stress on their vessels! The costs for these points are done contra to a Fleet’s Tactical Bonus, meaning that those who are less tactical in mindset are represented with a bonus in their strategic thinking instead! This will also allow us to give each race a unique feel and personality.
  2. Range Band Notation – We have changed the Range Bands to be Points Blank, Short, Medium and Long Range…. No numbers have changed, but it is needed when other aspects of the new rules are used.
  3. Creation of Core Weapon Types – The new game allows for the creation of Core Weapon Types categorised as being either Primary (removing the existing rules for Primary Weapons), Secondary or Tertiary in nature. These have individual rules that apply when using Command Points giving players a greater tactical and strategic control over their battles. The naming policy allows us to create move weapon types within the current framework of the rules – Primary Torpedo Batteries, Tertiary Broadsides, etc. Various rules regarding the roll to hit and likely Power Rating (see below) are also allocated depending on the Weapon Type.
  4. New Ship Classifications and Sizes – We needed to give the game space to grow. We have therefore looked at how we define and classify ships and looked at how to expand the ships we can make for you. The current system is quite restrictive, meaning that previously making more vessels within the game ran the risk of repetition – this new classification system will address that to allow consistencies to appear. Frigates for example will be split into Heavy, Standard and Light Frigates, with a degree of statistical consistency existing within the Ship Classes and Sizes.
  5. New Crit Table(s) – The new Crit table allows for a fairer distribution within the 2D6 spread, and gives us the opportunity to create a Focused Table within the Standard Critical Table that deals with Targeted Strikes and Boarding Actions. This type of table exists in Dystopian Wars 2.5 and works very well. Re-setting the table also allows us to reduce the number of tokens used in the game, as well as altering certain rolled Effects to ensure that those who aren’t affected by the general result (e.g. if they don’t have shields… a vessel instead suffers some other type of disadvantage instead!)
  6. Removal of the AD-Degradation System – Feedback from many Vanguards and others who have taught the game to countless people over the years led to Spartan Neil to ask me to look at the AD-reduction that comes about through damage being applied to vessels. At present, we are testing a couple of design paths, most notably the creation of a Power Core Statistic for each vessel along with a stated Power Rating for each weapon….as the ship takes damage their power output reduces at the same rate, meaning the player must decide which weapon they wish to fire on a heavily damaged ship! This is a very different way of doing things, but one that has us all most excited.
  7. Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – These have undergone a number of changes, mostly prompted by feedback from the Alpha Team and Vanguards. At present SRS are very powerful, and our current rules have them used more directly rather than allowing them to loiter in the middle of fleets. This leads to a tactical duel in SRS rather than them being used as persistent PD blocks. It also enables us to move away from our simplistic tokens to something far more pretty on the tabletop. Those of you who have seen out Halo Fleet Battles Mini-Models that use the Micro-Dice will have an idea of what I mean.
  8. Boarding – These changes are the most pronounced from the previous game. We have removed the possibility of capturing ships as the rules as written were very wordy, essentially a vestigial layover from the original 1.0 rules. Instead we have focused the Boarding Action to be a Special Forces (Spec Ops) Raidrather than a Massed Boarding Assault, using the Focused Crit-Table as a launch point for the damage mechanics. This is intended to give players the feeling that they are launching their forces at a specific part of a ship (the weapons arrays, the shield generators, etc.). Boarding will also no longer be a one-stop-shop, and so can be launched numerous times (assuming a ship has enough Crew Points of course!) – This will allow boarding to be a tactical choice for some fleets without feeling overpowered or underpowered… it should simply facilitate the engagement of the Fleet in general.

    Read More Here

~The space fleet combat sector of games is getting crowded these days.

 

  • Donald Wendt

    I love the irony of the v1.0 FSA models image at the end of an article about 3.0. ;-p The newer ships look much nicer. Except for the Terran Razorthorn. Beautiful triangles always win.

    Personally love the game. Shame it’s not more popular…and Spartan mostly seemed to ignore it for the past two years in favor of making a directly competing product to it (Halo Fleet Battles).

    • It’s an awesome game. Everyone that liked to play Battlefleet Gothic back in the day when that was a thing sould take a look at Firestorm Armada. It’s similar but much more streamlined and balanced.

      • orionburn

        I’d love to give it a try. I don’t know if anyone in my club even plays it. The wait for BFG to come back is killing me.

  • Wonderdog

    Spartan really need to sort you their terrible TERRIBLE flight bases though. Models are nice, game is getting better, but those crap wobbly flight bases…. geez.

    • Donald Wendt

      Just get yourself a set or two of Hawk Widgets. Their DZC Dropship bases have the same issue and the widgets sort it out for a pretty low price per model.

      http://www.miniaturemarket.com/dzc10006.html

      • Nosebleed

        The Hawk Widgets isn’t a direct fit for me though. I need to still shave the diameter of the flightstands abit in order to fit the widget.

        With that being said, I love how the flight bases look. Heaps better than BFG ones. Practicality is another story though…

        • Donald Wendt

          Yeah, the way Spartan has the rods for the stands cut uses heat so both ends mushroom a bit and are a slightly larger diameter than the rod itself. Luckily a file fixes that in a matter of seconds.

          • Wonderdog

            I wish they’d stop using perspex for the the flight sticks and bases altogether, and move to a less brittle, slightly more maleable
            plastic with a tapered rod.

          • My fix is wrapping the top of the rod with clear office tape, works like a charm.

  • Nosebleed

    Oh man, I can’t wait for this! One of the biggest gripe I have on FSA is I wish the SRS tokens were more like BFG ones. If rumour in the article holds true, this is a very good change in my books!