11 Sep 2013

Table Top - To the Stars

When it came out I was hooked from the start. Battlefleet Gothic was awesome in scale. Flying around and moving huge warships fighting in the vast empty voids of space littered with planets, stars and debris. It was a dream. Only Longsword and Ontos got into it and I played with a few wankers from my last high school. Those were great days. Games Workshop had a real gem here with this game much like most of their Specialist Games... Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Mordenheim...

Battlefleet Gothic -
the 'good old days'
Recently one of the many Table Top miniatures games that have pulled me in was Spartan Games. Makers of the steampunk styled all terrain war game Dystopian Wars they also have been making a spiritual successor to Battlefleet Gothic: Firestorm Armada. I look at some of these minis and long for my past. It takes a moment to remind myself that I don't need to just cruise around in my Chaos Warships anymore. The alternative is here and it's doing well for the last four years. 

Spartan Games just released something. More like two somethings with regard to the Firestorm Armada universe. A second edition of the rules and land battles... 

Firestorm Armada in play -
The Sorylian Collective (left) and The Directorate (right)
Right off the bat the excuses for me to pick up and play this game now that I've got solid (albeit not the best) employment that does in fact pay. I even have time to paint since my new shift started. I've completed quite a few minis over the last two weeks and I'm picking up speed. My Paingiver Beast Handlers, Void Spirit, eHex and pHex are all done next to a few Nomad minis that includes my Sin Eater with Mk12.  

Do I need another game? Nope. Do I have plenty to play? Infinity, Warmachine/Hordes, Dreadball and Heavy Gear... yes. Do I have time to play all these games? I wish. Do I still want Firestorm Armada anyways? 

Damn me. Yes, yes I do. I've yammer about this game before. 

Follow me after the break.

First off another edition is a good thing. Right now the game has done well in the last four years with the success of a loyal group of enthusiasts who've stuck to their portside guns and kept the shields up along with the faith. This was all from the first time out the door. Two issues plague Firestorm Armada. One is getting new players on board and the other is to update the current ruleset. 

I've been wanting this for a while...
could the excuse to pick up these sexy solid ships be here?
The first reason above, new players is both easy and hard to solve. For the the game to grow new players are needed to spend money to pay for the advancement of the game. New armies, new rules, scenarios, and campaigns. All costs money to develop. Once folks get their minis, they don't need anything else unless second army itch strikes and/or new things come out. This model of income only lasts the long haul and for bursts of new product, you need injections of hard coin to fund the project of desire. New Players is a solution to this problem. They buy lots, they convince their mates to buy more and vola instant income for the company. 

New players also changes the community. It helps refresh the current state of affairs with the play groups around the area. Fresh ideas from teaching or learning from, new players. It pushes the game back to the front in the community and it inspires more gameplay.

So as with Warmachine Mark 2, and Infinity 2nd Edition I can see Firestorm Armada pick up some new people with their new edition and all the goodies that come with releases of new editions. It gets some more front shelf time at the local game store and some of the sites like Beasts of War will be making a bit of a deal over the new edition once released.

Why do I want to scream 'It's a Trap!'?
Now about updating the ruleset. This can be tricky but necessary. Warmachine and Hordes were well received for it's dynamic and engaging gameplay when it hit the tables. It had gameplay no one else brought to the table. When D&D went the way of the d20 system everyone looked back and wondered where THAC0 went. Yet Privateer Press released their Mark 2 rules and they streamlined the game with standardized rules and making room for continued balanced play. Wizards of the Coast released the very much needed 3.5 in order to fix the cracks that showed up in 3.0 after a year or so of play.

Firestorm Armada I hear is a great game. I hear it also has some flaws and some folks have stepped away from their initial investment after trying the game out. That's fair. New rules will may lure them back to the table and try out the game once more hopefully bringing them in for the long haul. Most games in their first edition need a clean revision to meet the challenges of the expanding game and to close the gaps that the designers were unable to envision upon their rules getting into our grubby hands.
Concept Art
Directorate - Gunship

So there is some more new from the folks at Spartan Games and that's the new land game being brought in from the void. Until I saw the concept art for the Directorate minis.


The folks at Spartan Games are really pulling some great designs and it's making me hungry for some more minis.

I also think developing that hunger, instilling that desire in us is what these images are supposed to do. It's working.

I've got a lot on my plate mini wise and I've not got a lot of time to play but boy oh boy have the folks made a new itch.