Well, it’s Monday Morning, not Saturday morning, but I have an excuse. I spent the last two days digging two cars out from the 24” of snow that fell over 24 hours. Now I can rest my sore muscles and do more important things.
By now, you should be well aware of all the new stuff Spartan Games has announced for Firestorm Armada:
Taskforce Dual Sets
Taskforce Reinforcement Fleets
I’m not going to go into any detail on these; instead, I’ll just direct you to the Jadedgamercast’s review of everything: Everyone gets a Spaceship! This way, I can cover other things.
First, I need to spend some time today making new terrain templates for the Doubles Tournament this Sunday. I mostly want to make some 10”x10” templates, as these are my favorite size, but I don’t have many of them. I also need to take the time to make a planetary ring, as I have this crazy idea for a custom table, but that won’t be part of this Event.
Second, I need to stop being lazy and break out all of my airbrush components and set up a painting station. I’m slightly intimidated by the airbrush, so I’ve been putting it off. But with Adepticon looming on the horizon, I need to get a lot of stuff painted.
Speaking of Adepticon, I still haven’t reserved a hotel room, so I need to get on that too. Actually, that should be
my first priority. I’ve heard there’s a Red Roof Inn within 5 minutes walking distance.
So my last few games with “Hive” has been against his Ba’Kash, and he’s been kicking my ass without trying. A big part of it is he knows how to play this fleet (Drives to Max until you’re on top of your opponent!) but another part is how they stack compared to Dindrenzi. Namely, Ba’Kash have a lot of strong Torpedoes, which attacks the Dindrenzi DR vulnerability. Each Hit degrades their average PD, and it doesn’t take much to land that Hit. Generally, a squad is eating three AD9 Torpedo volleys each activation, and 3PD isn’t enough to prevent a Hit on DR4 or DR5. Then throw in the Side Beams and occasionally the Fore Scatter Gun, and it’s brutal.
Clearly, I either need to find a way to get my models on the table within a Token’s PD bubble, while also keeping these speed freaks at arms length. The first is difficult, as a Carrier feels useless in a support role (particularly the Dindrenzi Carrier, as it has no weapons worth mentioning) but the second is easily mitigated with initial deployment and Reserves.
So, here are some viable options:
1) Praetorian with 2 Interceptors and 3 Escorts: This is becoming my go-to Admiral ship… particularly as it’s my only Battleship. Sometimes I wish I had a Nausicaä, but not against Ba’Kash Torpedos. 255 points for this basic package.
2) RSN Carrier: With two Full-sized Tokens, this can easily field Interceptors AND Bombers, which makes it relevant in the game while providing viable support, for a base cost of 180 points. I can also add Spook Cruisers for added firepower
3) Dindrenzi Carrier: 140 points for a 6 Interceptor defense bubble seems expensive, especially because I’m convinced it really needs 3 Dindrenzi Escorts to have some teeth, putting it at a base cost of 185.
4) Assault Carrier: The Legion is just as tough as a Battleship, but with a completely different design philosophy: Assault. However, I have learned it’s basically impossible to board Ba’Kash, with their absurdly high CP. I don’t understand why so many Terran players complain about a high CP; it’s a great defense against Boarding fleets. So this probably isn’t viable here either.
5) RSN Dreadnought: An RSN Dreadnought has 8 PD, and can take 4 Wings and +1 Shield for a base cost of 330 points. That would be a very large chuck of a 1000 point fleet, but it can definitely tank shots all day long.
Hmm… if I went with the Dreadnought and Praetorian, that’s a base cost of 585 points, leaving 415 for two Tier 3 and one Tier 2. I definitely want 2x3 Frigates entering from Reserve, so that’s 235 for a Tier 2. I’d rather bring Heavy Cruisers, but there aren’t enough points, but I can upgrade Cruisers with one Heavy Cruiser for 210. This leaves 15 points for either the Dread or the Praetorian. That’s 5 points short for upgrading the Praetorian to 5 Wings. I think the Heavy Cruiser is more important, so we’ll upgrade the Dreadnought with Special Forces and -1” TL.
Ok, so place the Frigates in Reserve to start, then place the Dreadnought smack in the middle, so it can draw as much fire as possible. Hopefully at this point, I can choose between some options, based on what’s on the table:
1) Place the Cruisers and Praetorian together in a corner, and try to get everything covered by the Interceptors
2) Place the Cruisers and Praetorian in opposite corners. This encourages my opponent to spread out, but leaves the Cruisers DR 4 and mediocre PD vulnerable
3) Place the Praetorian in a corner, and the Cruisers with the Dreadnought. This will give everyone good PD defense, but I don’t like the overall final setup. Better to have both groups in opposite corners
4) Place the Cruisers in Reserve; the best defense is be where no one can shoot you. But with only two activations, I’m absolutely conceding game tempo. This is the main problem with top-heavy fleets
From this, I’ve learned I always want the Praetorian in a corner, so I should probably place that as “bait” instead of the Dreadnought. Then, I can place the Dreadnought next, based on what my opponent does, and then close with the Cruiser placement. This would definitely encourage my opponent to mass in one corner, so I can place everything else in the opposite corner. I’ve learned to place the Praetorian behind cover pointing towards my opposite corner anyway, so I could simply shift it 9” with Drives to Max the first turn, and 6” the second turn, for a 15” displacement, then turn towards my opponent. If I can stay in cover, I could end up swinging in along/behind the Cruisers and Dreadnought, which would have been slashing across the table laying down firepower. I feel like sacrificing two turns worth of Praetorian firepower would be a mistake though; I guess I’ll just have to try it out in my next game.
A Heavy Cruiser Squadron escorted by a Carrier might make more sense though, instead of 555 for the Dreadnought and Reinforced Cruiser Squadron. Here are the point costs:
Dindrenzi Carrier: 185
Dindrenzi Heavy Cruisers: 270
RSN Carrier: 180
RSN Heavy Cruisers: 285
That’s 450-470 points… which leaves about 100 points. That’s enough points to give the Praetorian 5 Interceptors, plus add another T3 Squadron. Or… maybe drop the Heavy Cruisers completely, as they’re theoretically nestled in a 12 PD bubble, and add another Cruiser squadron. Something like:
275 Praetorian, 5 Interceptors, 3 Escorts
180 RSN Carrier, 12 Wings
180 Cruiser Squadron
180 Cruiser Squadron
90 Frigate Squadron
90 Frigate Squadron
That leaves a whole 5 points to upgrade either the Carrier or Battleship, which is enough to give the RSN Carrier Quick Launch: I forgot about this vital Hardpoint. Hmm, maybe it would be better to give it Fighters, for a full 24” threat bubble. I’m not as concerned about them taking losses with Deck Crews.
Frigates and one Cruiser Squadron in Reserve, similar deployment styles as before. Use Perfect Timing to bring stuff in Turn 3 (I never intend anything to arrive Turn 2) and deploy with the intent to use Regroup. Nothing is more frustrating than to watch two almost dead squadrons Regroup and Crit a Battleship, but it’s very hard to pull off with Dindrenzi; one of the downsides to small Squadron sizes.
Quick tip: If you have Frigates or Corvettes with a Squadron Size of 2-4 or 3-5, always bring them as pairs, and deploy them so they can Regroup. You’ll get a lot more utility out of them this way. If you can bring two identical Cruiser Squadrons with a similar Squadron Size, you’ll have even more opportunities for Regroup shenanigans. To many players ignore this import aspect of their large squadrons.
I’ll probably try one of these fleets out this week, and see how it performs. I may or may not have a game with BigBen and Hive; I definitely have a game with Ruckdog on Saturday.
I probably won’t be posting until next Monday, as next weekend is full of Firestorm goodness.
Wow, the holidays are usually a busy time for me, but this year felt like it was even busier than usual…
First, I intend to post something every Saturday morning, as it is the only time I universally have free to do it. We’ll see how well I can perform over the next few weeks.
I have a lot going on in the world of Firestorm Armada. Part of why I haven’t been posting is much of my hobby time has been consumed with creating several Firestorm Armada Events for the 2016 NOVA Open, which will be in Alexandria, Virginia on Labor Day Weekend. “Bull99” and I should be meeting with the Convention Organizers soon to go over the details of our proposal and events. In addition, I have a lot of things I need to prepare for:
January 19th: Play-test one 1000 point Adepticon fleet with “Hive” at Play More Games in Gaithersburg, MD. “Hive” is the closest FSA player, but our schedules are completely disparate, so it’s difficult for us to schedule a game. *EDIT* Nope, turns out it won’t happen this time either… maybe next week.
January 30th: Play-test second 1000 point Adepticon fleet with “Ruckdog” (founder of the Man BattleStations Forum and Podcast) at Eagles and Empires Game Shop in Alexandria, Virginia. I’m looking forward to this game for a number of reasons, but I was sad to find out the tables are 5’x5’. I’m not aware of any game system using a 5’x5’ play area, but we’ll make it work.
January 31st: Work as a Tournament Organizer for a 500 point Doubles Tournament at Games ‘n Stuff in Glen Burnie, MD. This should be a very fun Event, as the Scenarios subtly encourage you to hamper your ally while crushing your opponents. I had a lot of fun play-testing for this Event. I have to make more Terrain Templates too.
February 7th: 1500 point Core Helix Firestorm Planetfall Tournament at Games ‘n Stuff in Glen Burnie, MD. The store players are just starting to get into Planetfall, so this is intended to be a fun, introductory Event. We’re probably going to have terrain day in a week to prep for it. I play-tested two of the Scenarios last week with “Bull99”, and we made some adjustments from those. These were also my first Planetfall games with my Dindrenzi.
I recently play-tested NOVA 4 with BigBen at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA. He’s clearly learned how to use his Tarakians effectively (Split-arc Torpedoes is your main weapon) and demolished me with no losses. I made several mistakes as well, which didn’t help. Firestorm is not a game where you can recover from mistakes if your opponent knows what he’s doing. But maybe I need to adjust that table slightly… More play-testing first!
Finally, I received an airbrush for Christmas, and I think I finally have everything I need to use it… except rubbing alcohol, which I can get today. So I’ll start experimenting with that soon and posting the results. Maybe this will enable me to paint everything I need for two completely different 1000 point fleets for Adepticon… which is 11 weeks away. It seems like a long time, but it’s not.
Started playing Firestorm Armada December 2014