BoP reacted to Pok in Limiting bombers?
Which would be a nifty change to reign in some of the Aquan good-at-everything-ness. Though, to be fair, the ideal solution is to stop treating SRS loadouts universally. Each faction could and probably should have it's own SRS loadout scheme, with some getitng more of certain types, or more expensive other ones. That I think would do away with a lot of the Bomber Grief.
BoP reacted to Archeantus in Mine Placement - Ruling from Spartan
FYI - I asked Spartan this a few weeks back:
My group needs clarification in regards to the mine placement rules:
" A model can place a Mine at any point during the Movement Segment of its activation, anywhere within its Aft arc of fire and 4" of its Flight Peg." 1. Can the mine be placed on top of a terrain piece such as a planetoid or comet? 2. Can the mine be placed on the flight base of another model? 3. If "at any point during the Movement Segment" of a model's activation, the active player wishes to place a mine but at that point in the model's movement, said model cannot be placed on the table in order to measure 4" from the flight peg (for example, there are intervening models), can the mine still somehow be placed in that location or must the activating model pause its movement in a "legal" position to place a mine? (see example image)
Directorate Destroyer A wishes to place a mine in the location indicated by the mine marker. However, Destroyer A does not "fit" on the table anywhere in range of the mine marker along its desired flight path. In this example can the phrase "at any point during the Movement Segment of its activation, anywhere within its Aft arc of fire and 4" of its Flight Peg" be interpreted as "at any location along its movement path that was, at some point during its Movement Segment of its activation, within its Aft arc of fire and 4" of its Flight Peg" OR can the mine simply not be legally placed in that location? Here was the reply from Neil: Hi Matt,
3) Yes - if in the case of a Squadron (such as the Directorate Destroyers shown), the mine placement must be a point that ALL the ships could legally have placed the mine if they wish to link. The phrasing “at any point during the movement segment” specifically allow the mine to be laid at any point - as long as it can be shown that this is the case, the mine may be placed.
BoP reacted to AbidingDude in High fives for Spartan Alex
So, maybe I'm just naive about this but firestorm was the first game for which I got into the online community. Having just gotten in to another game by another company (and on their forums as well), I'm surprised how little that games moderators are involved with their community. So high fives for Alex for setting the bar high.
BoP reacted to werewyvernx in Directorate Tactica - Battleship (Anarchist)
This topic is created to add to the Directorate Tactica, covering the Anarchist class Battleship. This is my contribution, feel free to comment and post your own views and experience.
Anarchist Class Battleship
DR 6 is average, neither good nor bad.
CR 11 is solid, better than 8 other battleships, tied with 5 others, and lower than 3 others. The standard Directorate MAR Reinforced (Fore) is maintained, so like the Judgement/Eliminator, the Anarchist is not easy to crit from its fore arc.
HP 9 is nice, better than 8 which is most common among battleships, and while it may not look as good as 10 HP, remember, that battle log swings are calculated by dividing the HP value by 2, then rounding down, meaning you give up the same BL as an 8 HP tier 1, but have 9.
A Movement of 7" base is better than most. This can be upgraded to 8" by a 5 points hard point which can make for a decently quick ship, to support closing and boarding or skirting the edge and sniping.
A turn limit of 2" is standard on large models. Sadly, unlike the Judgement/Eliminator, there is no option to reduce this.
6 CP is average. Nothing more to be said about that.
8 AP stock is really good, tied for 2nd with the Dindrenzi Praetorian, and 1st place is only 10 AP (Pathogen Botulinus). In addition to a great stock value, there are a pair of 15 point hard points available that each give +2 AP. Taken together, this model will have 12 AP, which is the highest any model has yet to be graced with in this game, but more specifically, the highest of any battleship.
5 PD isn't the worst PD on a battleship (that goes to the Botulinus), but it is the second lowest value held by battleships, which follows general Directorate trending of low PD. Care should be taken to add to this value, either accompaniment or interceptor coverage. This is probably the biggest weak point the Anarchist has.
A MN value of 7 is always nice, especially since our faction doesn't have too many mine layers.
2 SH stock is the best we can get as Directorate, and is rather nice, especially compared to the League.
3 Wings stock can be a light offensive token or a decent defensive or support token. This can be made into 5 wings for 5 points (takes a hard point), which opens up some SRS options, especially since this can almost put the Anarchist into a battlecarrier role.
Beam Weapons – Port/Starboard 11/13/8/4
Here we get another slight difference from the Directorate standard of turreted beams, for a P/S weapon system with acceptable AD values. While the range band 1 and 2 values are lower than the Judgement/Eliminator by 1 each, and they won't be making most other battleships jealous, they are not bad, and are able of firing at two separate targets, something not common for the beam weapons of most Directorate vessels. Plus, the range band 3 firepower is only 1 AD less than that of our destroyer or battlecruiser, which is nice. An early hit is an early hit. Also, in keeping with Directorate traditions, 10 points adds the Biohazard Ammo MAR to these as an upgrade.
Cyberwarfare Weapons – Turret 10/11/9/5
Here things get interesting. Before the Anarchist, our only cyberwarfare weapons were fore mounts on our carriers and Tormentor R&D cruisers. Now we have a turret, and the AD values are solid out to range band 3, and only slightly lower than linked salvos from 3 Tormentors or a carrier and 2 Tormentors. This is a tool that can aid many tactics, from prepping enemies for assault to turning off weapon systems to crippling engines and then some. While the AD of this system may not be high enough to reliably crit other large models with CR 9+, a simple hit still rolls 1d6 on the table.
Torpedo Weapons – Starboard/Port 8/8/8/8
8 AD torpedo attacks may not be amazing in the grand scheme of FSA, but they sure are a heck of a lot better than the 6 AD torpedo attacks the Judgement/Eliminator has. By comparison, the Anarchist's torpedoes will actually accomplish things. Like the Judgement/Eliminator, 10 points gets you either Biohazard Ammo or Corrosive on your torps as an upgrade.
So none of the AD values on the Anarchist make anyone's head explode, but 3 solid options, able to target 5 separate models with proper positioning as well as ways to hinder beyond causing HP damage make the Anarchist a decent response to many situations, perhaps not the best response.
Reinforced (Fore) - This makes us harder to crit from the front. Use it wisely (which means point your nose at the largest AD pool that will probably be shot at you that round) as the situation requires. Sometimes this MAR will not help, since you'll present your port or starboard side to a dangerous enemy so that you in turn can fire your damaging weapon systems.
Superior Design - This MAR is wonderful. Reduced CP loss from critical effects and immunity to most sources of hazard markers is great.
Elite Crew - A better chance to pass command tests is nice, this makes gas clouds more friendly.
+2 Wing Capacity for 5 points - This is a useful choice to increase the effect of whatever role the SRS you're bringing are going to perform. A 5 wing token on offense is a decent bit of dice, and the same goes for a 5 wing token on defense. This also opens up an option for 3 interceptors and 2 support shuttles. Any way you look at it, if you have the 15 points to take this hard point and purchase the extra wings, it can be a great help.
+2 AP and Special Forces MAR for 15 points - I will cover this with the next hard point.
+2 AP and Second Assault for 15 points - Okay, so, 30 points for +4 AP and 2 really nice boarding MARs, if taken, turn the Anarchist from a decent boarder into one of the best in the game. Seriously, 12 AP with Special Forces twice over the course of the game, with built in cyberwarfare weapons and options for biohazard beams and torpedoes to to prep targets, the Anarchist can become a lone model boarding machine (albeit an expensive one). While this doesn't make our heavy cruisers a bad option to take (they still rock) this could help some players make lists without the heavy cruiser squadron, and give them the opportunity to try out some of our other toys. Or you can just be a big meanie and run this thing, a Judgement, and 3 Subjugators into an opponent's fleet and play grand theft starship.
-1 Shield and gain the Stealth Systems MAR for FREE - This one is interesting. Remember when I mentioned that the ranged band 3 dice on this guy are decent? Well, take this hard point and play the Anarchist as a heavy destroyer and you'll remember alright, so will your opponent. Maybe not the best thing to bring this ship to the table to do, but certainly an option.
Gain the Dirty Secrets MAR for 10 points - Hey, if you want it, you got it. Canceling an opponents TAC is a great trick and can often swing a turn in your favor, especially if you play TAC as well. It's a once per battle trick, but I've used it to wonderful effect before, and I'll probably do it again.
+1" MV for 5 points - An 8" MV battleship is always nice. Plus it's a cheap buy. Combined with the Burn Thrusters TAC and you'll have the ability to u-turn.
Biohazard Ammo OR Corrosive on torpedoes for 10 points - Both have their place, biohazard complements boarding, it also snubs fleets with weapon shielding. Corrosive is normally a 50/50 chance per marker to do another damage. If you opt for either of these options, use them. Bringing biohazard and just gunning things down is generally wasted points. Bring corrosive against Sorylians is generally wasted points.
Biohazard ammo on the beams for 10 points - Again, if you bring it, use it well. Combined with biohazard torps this allows the Anarchist to hit 4 targets and kill 4 CP in addition to whatever else happens.
Up to 3 escorts, standard for most large models in the game. On the other hand, 2 frigates, an option reserved for battlecruisers and only 2 other battleships in the game (not counting the Botulinus). A trio of escorts can provide 9 PD to the Anarchist. They can also provide 6 AP to the squadron. While they can't get special forces, they can be used as a separate assault on a small ship or a weakened medium while the Anarchist assaults the prime targets. That being said, they die fast, to just about anything. I want to say that each attack on an escort is an attack not shot at the Anarchist, however many attacks that wouldn't target the Anarchist will splatter an escort all over the place. So I will say that an attack at an escort is an attack not targeting something else in your fleet. As far as frigates, they don't provide anywhere near as much PD as the escorts (it's a whopping 1) but they do add some beam AD that can link up for a potential of 12 AD at ranged band 3 and 18 AD at range band 2 to one side (or 15 to each side). Like escorts, they won't live long once targeted.
The Anarchist's pros and cons:
+ toughness (high CR, shields, Reinforced (Fore), Superior Design)
+ versatility in target choice with the capability shooting at 5 models
+ cyberwarfare toolbox in a turret
+ decent stock boarding ability, can be upgraded to best in class
+ decent range band 3 AD
- higher than average cost for battleships
- without frigate accompaniment, its highest AD pool is 13
- low PD
The cost can't be mitigated, only tolerated, but frigates can be brought, and interceptors can be carried, mitigating the other two biggest cons of the Anarchist.
As for taking advantage of its pros, I see three distinct roles for the Anarchist:
- The boarding monster. This is also the most expensive. Load it up with AP and boarding MARs and charge after toys you want to bring home. This plays well with a Directorate boarding fleet, right alongside the other ships you see in that style of fleet. Cyberwarfare helps out with prepping targets, and the CR 11 SH 2 with Reinforced (Fore) and Superior Design will help you get to your targets. Bring at least one other close range squadron to share target priority with the Anarchist, such as the heavy cruisers, a carrier, or another battleship/dreadnought. The rest of the fleet should be snipers or flankers such as regular cruisers, destroyers, frigates, drones or battlecruisers. Your opponent will often target an Anarchist with this setup with as much as they can to prevent the stealing of toys. Use this mindset to your advantage, and blast them with the other squadrons they forgot about because this one scared them too much.
- The sniper. -1 SH and stealth systems, +1" MV, 3 interceptors and 2 frigates is 250 points of really big destroyer that is hard to kill beyond 20". Great for putting your Admiral on as well. If it's not your only tier 1, this can really screw with opponents. Getting past a cloaked carrier to get to the Anarchist is not easy. Bring other close range squadrons such as heavy cruisers or the carrier or another battleship / dreadnought if you want to snipe with the Anarchist. Then add in a destroyer squadron or drones and you have a little shark group to pick apart targets from afar.
- The generalist. Buy this for 190 points, add 3 interceptors to it, and run this thing alongside another big nasty target such as a heavy cruiser squadron or another tier 1 squadron. Save some points by not upgrading it to fit more stuff into the fleet. It will still pull its weight by doing a little bit of everything.
What not to do with the Anarchist:
- Expect it to crit battleships, battlecarriers and dreadnoughts.
- Expect it to capture a large model without prepping the target first (killing crew, causing a security in disarray effect or PD offline effect).
- Hang back in range band 4 and rely on torpedoes.
Firewalls Breached - I can't overstate the usefulness of this TAC. Even if you play sniper Anarchist, this will still become useful later in the game. An extra roll on the targeted strike table has the potential to really ruin someone's day, either offensively or defensively. I've used this to cause Security in Disarray on a dreadnought that already had PD Offline with 0 crew left, and then captured it with one success from a frigate. I've also used this TAC to disable the closest arc (read: fore arc) of a Dindrenzi battleship so that it couldn't really hurt me when my opponent won initiative. This TAC is just an amazing toolbox of usefulness.
Drives to Maximum - always useful, for closing or opening the gap between you and your opponent, whichever is necessary at the time. It can also affect another squadron, and it has a cheap retrieval cost.
Burn Thrusters - Useful, especially since the Anarchist can't buy down to a turn limit of 1". This can help get you into position to powerslide mines into enemy faces, or simply ensure you can aim where you want to. Also a cheap retrieval cost.
Focused Repair - Nothing bad about this one. It gets rid of a crit. Always better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
Perfect Timing - If you're using the Anarchist from reserves (because of scenario or whatever) I would bring this TAC. The longer a tier 1 is in reserve, the higher your chances of losing.
Pinpoint Calculations - I like this TAC, especially since it affects your entire fleet. An Anarchist with two frigates can throw an 11 AD range band 3 targeted strike that still hits on 4+, followed by the 9 AD cyber attack, followed by an 8 AD torpedo attack from just within 30" away from the target. If you plan on using your Anarchist for shooting more than boarding, and your fleet is a direct damage fleet, this is a solid TAC to help cause shenanigans.
The Anarchist is a solid ship that can fulfill a variety of roles within a diverse selection of fleets. It only has one role in which it is best in class (assault ship). It doesn't have to sacrifice any capabilities to become a specialist in any one tactic. It doesn't make the Judgement/Eliminator obsolete. Nor does it make other cyberwarfare platforms undesirable. Where many of the Directorate vessels are specialists designed for specific uses, the Anarchist is a generalist. Adding one to your collection is not a bad idea, since you can fit it into just about any fleet. And lastly, its a fine, sexy model.
BoP reacted to Kurgan in Directorate general tactica
Other factions and how to counter them
For a long time Aquans were my nemesis as I lost game after game against them, partly due to very lucky opponent and partly to my poor list building and inexperience with 2.0 ships. Aquans are very fast and can outmanoeuvre us easily, which is nasty as hell. The biggest threats for us are their multiarc weaponry and tons of SRS. With multiarc weaponry they easily outgun our squadrons at RB1-2 and when supported with offensive SRS they multiply this into insane levels. At first I used my general list with some cyber and biohazard, but it failed immensely as the only viable target for cyber is crew and even with some CP damage their ships are pretty effective in a squadron due to Energy Transfer – as long as there is one healthy cruiser they can bring a lot of pain. I also tried large numbers of Enforcers to counter their Difficult Target on cruisers, but it was a fail again – don’t get me wrong, if Enforcers get in range then they are very good against them, but the problem is getting them undamaged and keeping them alive. Deploying them immediately seemed like a smart move, but large torpedo numbers damage them beyond being useful too soon and you can’t protect them all with Interceptors. When you shunt them then you risk not seeing them at all until it’s too late and then you are very limited with their deployment due to large numbers of Aquan mines on the table. Also as Aquan ships have enough firepower in the aft arc to destroy them. I really struggled until I got my hands on a pair of Deterrents and now I win a game after game against them. I completely switched my strategy from a mixed one to pure AD output and leave biohazard and cyber at home. My most effective lists against Aquans are designed with strong RB3 in mind to score some decisive hits on turn 1 against their tier 1 or 2 squadrons.
What are Aquan strengths that make our day harder?
Multiarc weaponry – You have to be very careful with your ships positioning, otherwise you allow your opponent to hit with his squadrons more than two targets at once and if you do you lose the AD fight and eventually lose the game. Against Aquans you have to come with the whole fleet from one direction to allow only up to two targets for them – with their speed, almost no turn limit and no fixed weapons they can easily acquire two targets. High DR coupled with few shields – High DR often means you fail to score a hit (especially on those damn cruisers with DT) and in times you match DR your opponent luckily rolls a successful shield roll. This is a problem especially with their large ships with DR 7-8 and two shields. SRS everywhere – We can bring SRS with only three our ships (Judgement, Anarchist and Overseer) and if we want to stay offensive with them we can bring only few Interceptors to protect us against their tons of offensive SRS. You either need to find a way of avoiding their carriers or destroy them before they get in range. They are especially real threat with Aquan TAC Evasive Manoeuvres. Speed and agility – They can get where they want and fast – this can cause issues in some scenarios, like Recover Resources. Although our ships are not slow they are much slower and if you are not careful they can be caught in a wrong position – for example our Nemesis can’t outrun their ships and you need to be aware of that and act in advance to keep them save. Couple this with mines and not only are they much more mobile they also have very good area denial tool to restrict our movement. Difficult Target on some capital ships – For now they can have DT on cruisers and heavy carrier. This is pretty simple you need more AD to hurt them (especially with their shields and higher DR) or you need smalls to do the fighting. If they park in a gas cloud you are in a real world of trouble as with their 0” turn limit they can stay there the whole game – only way to get them out are mines, SRS or boarding. Torps everywhere with Any arc – With our average PD their large torpedo numbers can pose a serious threat even in early turns. Especially Enforcers and Vanquishers suffer greatly and can collect serious damage before they can even engage something. In late game anything we have suffers and especially our large ships with 5PD (after some damage usually 1PD) are easy to finish off with torps.
What are Aquan weaknesses we can exploit?
Low AP and average PD – With our high AP numbers and access to Special Forces and Biohazard it is not that hard to really exploit it. But all the upgrades cost us not only points, but also possible extra ships and so AD. Also to board Aquan ships we need to get close and so open ourselves to being mined to death or being torn apart by waves of bombers. Not only that you also face very high CP numbers and Secured Bulkheads. A bit below average CR – When we link our beam attacks we get pretty nice AD numbers and have good chance to score a critical hit and with some squadrons even go for double criticals.
Looking at the above there is a lot we have to overcome and only very little to actually use to our advantage. But with all that in mind what ships we should primarily consider?
Great pointer of death capable of double critting almost anything in Aquan arsenal. With 3 Interceptors actually capable of some defence against SRS and torps – this should be used to defend other ships with low PD. Above average AP can be used against some damaged targets. 7AD mines are great so somehow restrict Aquan movement or counter DT or Elusive Corvettes. Usually my first choice.
With frigate accompaniment another pointer of death – don’t forget smalls ignore DT and so greatly increase your chances to score a hit. Even without any upgrades it’s also a great boarding vessel and cyber turret can lower CP or disable PD on viable targets. Brings up to 5 wings for either great defence or offence (I suggest Interceptors though). Also has 7AD mines.
It wouldn’t be my first choice, but if you want to go SRS offensive it’s your only viable choice. If you do that though you need extra wings and bring 2 Interceptors. You can add some accompaniment if you want, but as you want to keep the cloak on as long as possible it’s pretty hard to decide if to go with Tormentors to keep the cloak, but go with cyber lacking punch against Aquans, or bring Vanquishers and drop the cloak from time to time and have great boarding potential even without AP upgrades. Deterrent
I would say one of our best ships that can highly boost our firepower. Try to stay at the edge of RB2-3 the whole time and don’t let Aquans force you into RB1. They are so fearsome they are priority target number 1 for my Aquan opponents.
They offer very good RB3 firepower which should be used. I wouldn’t be afraid to close to hammer and board enemy ships, but be careful as they can be destroyed really fast. Beware of torps and SRS.
Keep cloak until you enter RB2 and then start unloading beams. Linked together they have potential to doublecrit almost any Aquan ship. The same goes for boarding potential and they either cripple or capture their target.
Always stay as far as possible, best at the edge of RB3 and don’t be afraid to run. Use mines to cover possible approaches of flanking ships. Don’t much bother with torps as 6AD against higher DR, sometimes DT, then PD and shields is pretty useless.
I would reserve these bad boys as they can easily enter by flanking and engage at RB3 and stay clear from mines. Their primary targets are cruisers and smalls.
Against Aquans you really need to focus your firepower and destroy ships otherwise they will bite you in the ass due to Energy Transfer. Don’t be picky and start with whatever is available as you need to eventually destroy both cruisers and larges. If I can I like to concentrate on one large first and hammer it with linked RB3 shots in turn 1 and entering RB2 on turn 2 finish it. This is because I really hate being on the receiving end of a wave after wave of indestructible bombers. It is not possible every time and I have to concentrate on something else – then I choose cruisers and try to take down two from the four before changing target for possible tier 1 or more pressing threat. I really try to avoid carriers but if I can’t I at least try to get some high PD squadrons in their path, like Subjugators.
So how list against Aquans look like? This was my last 1000 points used and resulted in a win:
+1 Sh, -1” TL, +2 WC, 3x Inteceptor
2x Deterrent Battlecruiser
2x Nemesis Destroyer
3x Subjugator Heavy Cruiser
Biohazard Beams (had some spare points)
2x4 Enforcer Frigates
My 1100 points looked like this, also a win:
+1 Sh, -1” TL, +2 WC, 3x Inteceptor
+1” Mv, +2 WC, 6x Bomber, 2x Interceptor
2x Deterrent Battlecruiser
2x Nemesis Destroyer
3x Vanquisher Cruiser
2x4 Enforcer Frigates
I think you can clearly see the idea behind both lists as they are devoid of any upgrades. The idea is to concentrate firepower and destroy ship after ship without spending points at stuff like cyber or biohazard. While you try to go for pure firepower you still pack pretty good boarding potential.
BoP reacted to Kurgan in Directorate general tactica
Directorate: General Tactic
In 1.5 version Directorate was a multi-arc firing no shields fleet with great frigates. When 2.0 came out everything changed and our fleet was turned upside down. With so different weapons, different stats and shiny new toys many of us had to completely relearn how to play this faction. I know I struggled with some aspects and had to play many games before I got the grips on it and found a way to build effective fleets and then play them well enough to win. By this post I would like to try to pass on my experience and my view on our faction, our ships and other factions. Mind that this view can be crooked by my specific experience and my local gaming group – what factions I generally play against, what our players generally use and how they play.
If you look through all fleet lists you will notice that Directorate differs a lot from all fleets. Directorate is the only fleet that widely incorporates only one direct weapon system on its ships – turreted beam weaponry. With the release of 2.0 the only exception to this rule was Persecution Dreadnought and Overseer Carrier. Justice Heavy Cruiser was only different with its gunrack mounting and suffered the same issues the fleet as a whole. With Return of the Overseers starter we now have some new ships that break the rule a bit: Anihilation Gunship still has only one direct weapon system, albeit a very powerful one; Turmoil R&D can be seen as having two direct systems as it has beam gunrack and forward gravity weapons (but they can only damage ships); and finally Anarchist Battleship with Port/Starboard beams, unfortunately it will be very hard to get both in a firing position. This first distinct mark means that Directorate can throw much less total AD in each volley and can target much fewer targets. This is partly negated by the use of beam weaponry and partly by better AD at RB3 than other fleets. It can also be somewhat negated by our torpedo weapons mounted on port and starboard, but if you already played the game you know how hard it is to get targets for both sides.
Another distinct feature of our ships is Reinforced (Fore) MAR that increases CR by 1 if the incoming fire is in the fore arc. This MAR seriously increases the ships lifespan as it brings CR rating of Directorate ships above average or even at the highest values. This means critical hits are less likely and from the fore Directorate ships are much harder to hit hard, especially at longer ranges. Unfortunately this MAR goes directly against our torpedo weapons mounted on port/starboard – the ship either withstand more punishment or can throw some more AD.
Our third special feature are Cyberwarfare weapons. We are the only core faction with the access to them and from alliance & mercenaries factions only Hawker has some limited access to pure cyber weapons and OmniDyne has access to cyber torpedo weapons. I think our wide and very exclusive access to both pure cyber and cyber torps (Assault Robot Torpedoes = ARTs) is something really special. They are a great tool at disabling ships systems and killing crew, but be careful as they only rarely destroy a ship by themselves (kill all CP and destroy the ship through hazard markers). If you use them you still need a plan to deal with crippled ships.
Other important aspects of our fleet surely are above average boarding potential, wide access to Special Forces MAR and Biohazard Ammo MAR. Our boarding potential determined by simple AP count is above average I would say. But what it makes potentially deadly is a combination with Special Forces, Biohazard Ammo and Cyberweapons.
Another important thing to mention is our wide spread of toys. All core fleets are pretty much focused in one direction or are built around one central idea where our fleet uses very different tools to accomplish pretty specific goals. We have access to beam weapons (used by Aquans), primary weapons (used by Terrans and Relthoza), shields (heavily used by Terrans), cloaking shields and stealth systems (heavily used by Relthoza), Biohazard and Corrosive MARs (again Relthoza), Gravitational weapons (Tarakians) and Reinforced (Fore) MAR (brings CR to Dindrenzi or RSN levels). You can say that Directorate brings turns weapons of its enemies against them. It really looks like Directorate either supplies other factions or steals their technology.
General principles to keep in mind at all times
Keep your fore towards the enemy! This is rule number one especially in opening turns. You need to stay alive to dish out the damage, destroyed ships are useless. There are some exceptions of course, like Deterrents with great torps or Subjugators with gunrack weaponry. You still need to keep your fore to the most threatening enemy squadron unless you are firing at it, then you turn it against the second most threatening. Link firepower only if you need to or have to. Most of our ships (smalls are exception) have enough firepower in their ideal range bands to score a hit or even a crit with some little luck – 8AD is enough to hope for a crit and some ships have 9AD or even more (Nemesis, Deterrents, Subjugators). This rule goes well with biohazard upgrade as you put more CP damage on enemy ships. Don’t be afraid to link when you want a certain critical hit or even two. Simple rule is if you have between 8-13AD you want to fire unlinked at medium ships and if you can get together more (especially above 15AD) you should seriously consider firing linked – e.g. Vanquishers have 8AD in RB2 and when firing on medium ships you either want to fire unlinked to achieve as much CP damage and hope for 3-6HP damage or you want to link together for 16AD and just overkill one cruiser with hopefully two critical hits. Don’t forget mines! We have only four ships equipped with them and it’s easy to forget to drop them. They are great area denial tool and restrict your opponent’s moves and protect your flanks and backs.
Your TACs selection should be based around the ships you use, what tactic you set for your fleet and what your opponent is. Still there is a good selection of cards you will use in almost every game, these cards should be:
Drives to Maximum – Extra speed never hurts and often you need just few extra inches to get a squadron in ideal firing position or get your ships from a hot spot. Burn Thrusters – From time to time you need lower TL on every ship. Practically must have if you use Deterrents as sooner or later they find themselves in a position when their 2” TL is a great obstacle. Focused Repair – PD or shields offline are bad for anyone. Firewall Breach – I always find it useful as shutting even 2 shields might be a game braking event. Then we have TACs very useful against specific factions or used with specific tactic in mind:
Intel Gathered – Great against Sorylians with their FTB 1 Perfect Timing – Must have if you reserve some medium or large ships. Pinpoint Calculation – If you run more than one squadron of Nemesis with Precision Strike. Lastly we have pretty much useless cards:
Regroup – Would never take it for tier 3 and at tier 2 we have such a vast selection I would be really surprised to see two same squadrons in one fleet. Stay on Target – Pure **** as it’s pretty impossible to drive off a full a full token of 6 wings and if you have only 3 left you select your targets carefully or are desperate enough to risk even large ship. In no condition you are willing to lose a wing if you can’t get it back with Deck Crew. Alliance of Convenience – Another crappy card as usually you have up to one disordered squadron and manage to get it under control with your second roll. To take this card just in case you fail all your rolls is insane. It might be effective against heavy Decimator fleets, but as we are one of them it’s beyond the point.
General strategy and fleet list creation
If we look at ships and options at our disposal we can create several narrow strategies:
Raw power – Trying to maximise pure direct weapons AD output by taking ships without necessary upgrades like Biohazard, Special Forces or taking Tormentors (as they are built around cyber and torps). This approach is valid against Aquans and Dindrenzi as they are mainly designed this way and by maximising AD output you try to close the gap in max AD output. With clever play you can then locally win this AD fight and came out swinging. Problem here is that even this list might lag behind its opponent.
Cyber list – List build around large cyber support designed to disable enemy ships. In this list the role is generally played by Carrier with a pair of Tormentors or by a full squadron of Tormentors. Often Drones are present to exploit weakened state of enemy ships. This list is great against ships with tough defences like Terrans or Relthoza. Even though this list is great it trades direct weapons for cyberweapons and may find problems with finishing crippled ships.
Boarding list – Focused on boarding and maximising AP whenever possible, wide use of Biohazard and Special Forces. Ships like Vanquishers, Subjugators or new Anarchist are a must have to achieve boarding superiority. This list is great against opponents with low AP, like Aquans, or ones that can cover behind tough defences, like Terrans. This list can also be admirals doom as ship upgrades are very common and may result in few very expensive ships. Also it brings our ships very close to our enemy and some can punish us really hard for that – Aquans with their mines, Terrans with their RB1 firepower.
Looking at the above it’s pretty clear we want some combination to get as much benefit from each strategy and negate as much drawbacks as we can. The easiest to combine are raw power with cyber or boarding list. The hardest I would say is combining all three. Every time you build a fleet you need to find a balance between all three of them and take just enough to make each work. The more you combine the harder it is to play with such a force as you have to make those combinations work and not just expect them to work for themselves – proper activation and target selection sequence needs hard fought experience. If you add our wide spread of options it is very easy to make a very nice looking fleet, but lacking any united purpose and almost ultimately doomed to fail on the battlefield.
I myself tend to focus on raw power fleets with added cyber to break ships defences (mostly shields). When I take some cyber I usually include Drones, but that’s mostly for fun as they rarely play a decisive role. Now if I want to create fleet with some nice boarding potential I auto include some strong cyber ships and I usually take only one strong boarding squadron, sometimes two – that’s amount that works for me as it won’t break the amount of pure AD much and it allow bringing along some cyber ships.
Ships breakout into different strategies
Raw power ships:
Ship capable of falling here or boarding, but it’s almost utter garbage without any real use. Don’t expect me to use it anywhere as I gave up on it.
Purely awesome ship in my opinion and I always take it with extra shield, -1” TL, extra WC and 3 Interceptors. Damage output of this beast is insane for its points cost. Can be built as a boarding threat with extra AP and three escorts with also AP upgrade. Unfortunately this is very costly and fragile built as every opponent can see its potential and will just heavily focus on Judgement or escorts. My standard build is somewhat less threatening and they don’t concentrate on Judgement so much.
Great flagship I take if I want some bombers with me and can’t or don’t want to take Overseer for some reason, or I take it if I want the cyber turret as an addition to counter something specific in opponents fleet (like cloaked Spooks). I take it with Liquidator accompaniment for added firepower and protection, but for not taking Interceptors it is much softer later in the game. Built with Stealth Systems is a valid choice especially with Deterrents and Nemesis, but I somehow fail to try it as I use my large ships as battering rams and this built reduces the amount of shields needed in RB1-2.
Taken purely for their great AD output in RB2-3. If I have spare points I add corrosive torps. I fire their torps separately anyway so corrosive can increase their damage dealing potential.
In this setup taken purely for a full Bomber token and with only +1” Mv upgrade without any accompaniment. If I manage to spare some points for extra wings I also take some Interceptors, otherwise I take cyber fore just for fun and hope for luck. It can be taken with Vanquishers as accompaniment, but I never tried it as I want to keep the cloak active the whole game.
With focus on AD just use them bare without any upgrades. You can add a Heavy but then you trade RB3 firepower for resilience. Also remember that Heavy has gunracks and that can sometimes really mess with squadrons movement. I don’t mix my squadrons, never.
Subjugator Heavy Cruisers
They are here purely for their resilience and extra 1AD in RB2. Their AP and Special Forces are just a welcome addition.
Haven’t tried it so far, but they definitely fall in here as they have ultra high AD output. I would buy Biohazard for them only if I really had spare point nowhere else to be used…and that’s almost impossible scenario. But their Decimators can help with boarding a lot.
Turmoil R&D Cruisers (with beam gunracks)
When equipped with beam gunracks they have excellent firepower plus they are one of our ships capable of targeting two enemy squadrons with weapons ignoring PD.
I use them without Precision Strike as I dislike Targeted Strikes in general – when you have 9AD you want to fire them without Targeted Strike and hope for a crit on a medium ship. With a squadron you can fire 2x9AD and score around 3-4HP dmg or you can try one 13AD Targeted Strike and hope for a crit. I know we have a specific TAC Pinpoint Calculation to help us, but it’s unreliable.
Only tier 3 choice with pure AD output. Has great RB3 firepower so use it! I tried to buy biohazard for them and it’s just making something fragile more expensive without seeing any real results – you don’t generally take it to use it against enemy smalls and they have to link together against anything larger, so at best one marker per turn for 20 points…no.
It can be in the same setup as above. I sometimes take it if I need cyber, but I can’t take Overseer or I want two cyber squadrons. Anarchist can fill a cyber role while still being a monster in other aspects.
As a cyber ship I never use it alone and always accompany it with a pair of Tormentors. I know they are designed to stay above 20” to stay safe but I found out that I really want and need the 14AD in RB2. Together they have enough PD to protect each other against almost anything and they have 10AD torps. You can use setup with Tormentors also as a boarding squadron with +2AP upgrade, but then it gets a bit expensive. I think they are the only other squadron capable to get 15AP together…and that’s really scary.
Tormentor R&D Cruisers
I only use them with Overseer – I only have two and I also want SRS with me. I tried them separately and it just hasn’t worked out. Eventually my opponent closed with them and ripped them apart at close range. When coupled with Overseer they are protected at close range by his SRS.
Turmoil R&D Cruisers
Their cyber gunracks are very interesting and has the potential to really mess up with small to medium ships. Together they have the second highest AD cyber output in RB2 in our fleet…don’t forget them.
Our only ART option. They are great against enemy smalls with CP1-2 and fail against smalls with CP3 as you need two turns to kill one. They are great at further disabling ship systems or crippling it by killing CP.
Boarding & Biohazard ships:
Very expensive option, but also very scary one - 12AP with Special Forces and Second Assault is something to terrifying. If you also add Assault Shuttles it is a boarding beast. One of our best boarding ships.
With biohazard upgrade for both beams and torps makes them our best CP damage dealer as they potentially can dish out 4CP damage per turn against medium ships or a large ship either with its defences down or already damaged. With their 4AP each they are not bad at boarding and can use it against smalls or damage a medium ship.
As they are pretty fragile I prefer taking biohazard upgrade first and only when I can spare the points I also add Special Forces. But then they are a major force in my list and I really consider shunting them to get them into boarding range.
Subjugator Heavy Cruisers
As they already have Special Forces I try to buy biohazard for them, but not every time I manage to find the points. Either way they work great and biohazard only boosts it a bit more.
For their great CP damage potential.
Now you just need to check the lists above and select ships from it. I would mostly select ships from the first list and only add one specialised cyber/boarding/biohazard squadron per specialisation. You can see some ships fall in two categories and that’s perfectly fine as long as you distinguish in their use as they can be built to fill several purposes. For example Anarchist can be built as a pure AD monster with extra wings, 5 bombers and two Liquidators as accompaniment – for only 260 points you get linked beams 15/18/11/4 and extra 15AD from Bombers. For the same amount of points it can be a long range sniper with Stealth Systems. Another built is a boarding monster with extra wings, 5 assault boats, both AP upgrades and three escorts with AP upgrade – this catapults it to staggering 310 point but it is practically boarding proof and it can effectively board any ship it desires and expect to win – with 3 escorts you can even board a large capital ship with escorts and don’t care as your escorts board enemy escorts which leave your prize without the much needed help.
When you select ships for your list keep in mind your opponent won’t help you achieving your goal and will try to derail you as much as possible. You need to build a list that can achieve what you want and still react to your opponents play well enough to survive. If you create a RB1-2 purpose list and your opponent builds RB2-3 list you might be in serious trouble, especially if he can keep the distance. If he builds RB1 list capable of getting in the middle of your fleet by turn 2 and all you got is RB3 ships you are pretty much screwed. Your list needs some variety or you need to figure out how to deal with certain specifics of your opponent. This is very hard to do for a tournament as you have no idea what you are going to be playing against and you have to figure out ways to deal with everything. In a case of a general list I would take one cyber squadron, one boarding squadron and some biohazard to support it. That shouldn’t break your back and allow you to fight some factions much more effectively.
BoP reacted to Ryjak in Lessons Learned from a "Learn and Play" FSA Game Day
I've been working on my first Firestorm Armada article for some time, addressing the Exploding 6 mechanic, and it's finally complete:
Hopefully this explains a few things, particularly for gamers considering FSA.
BoP reacted to Ryjak in Decimator
Decimator Warheads is one of those overlooked MARs which can be surprisingly devastating. Some of the effects:
1. Send wing Tokens back to their parent model
2. Prevents offensive boarding
3. Prevents squadrons from Combining firepower, which often turns off their offense
4. Prevents Point Defense Linking/Combining
Many Tier 2 squadrons and several Tier 1s are completely defanged by these effects... Getting Disordered is almost the same as completely wiping them out. However, it's hard to reliably do this as:
1. Decimator Warheads is a Critical Coherence Effect (like Nuclear)
2. Only Torpedo weapons have this MAR
3. Opponent can easily pass a Command Check if Admiral is on the table (62.5%)
These make it very difficult to Disorder anyone with this MAR, which balances out how devastating it is.
BoP reacted to Pok in [FA] Ship Construction with V2 Rules
That assumes there IS one. V1 shipbuilder resulted in some supremely bad pricing- the Storm, a ship that was best described as waste of time was priced the same as the Skyhammer, a supremely great ship. Seeing as V2 has much more sensible pricing, I can only assume they dropped the idea in favor of "eyball+playtesting" of ship costs.
BoP reacted to S.Neil in Can FSA and Halo work together?
I thought I would answer a few questions on the forum to help us all acclimatise to the exciting news that we will be working with Microsoft to design tabletop games for the phenomenon that is Halo.
So, here goes:
1) The IP for Halo is owned by Microsoft. Spartan Games' role is to work with the Halo team to bring the stunning imagery of the Halo Universe to the tabletop.
2) Spartan Games owns the IP for Firestorm Armada, Firestorm Planetfall, Dystopian Wars, Dystopian Legions, Uncharted Seas and so on. These are game settings we are very proud of and this thrilling new development will not impact our existing plans for any of our games.
3) One of the questions raised, was that of manufacturing capacity. Halo is a game that is being realised in plastics, and we are proud to say that it will be manufactured in the United Kingdom. This external manufacturing process will ensure that our resin and pewter manufacturing will not be adversely affected.
4) As to whether our Halo games and other Spartan products can work together is not an issue. They are distinct gaming products that use their own rule set and mechanics - they are not designed to operate together because they exist in two completely different science fiction genres.
5) We have been working on the Halo project with Microsoft since early 2014 and have been careful to factor in its release schedule to complement the release schedules of our other games. Indeed, look out for many more announcements regarding existing and new products directly from Spartan Games.
Rest assured that we will be working on all of our games over the coming years, and we are hugely excited to be given the opportunity to work with Microsoft as bring such an exciting Universe to the gaming table.
BoP got a reaction from Frans in Laser pointer for arc of fire
Army Painter uses a class 3 laser (dangerous for your eyes), so should be handled with more than the usual amount of caution, especially in an environment with somewhat reflective model bases and maybe glasses of water standing around. You can get the laser beam into somebody's eye without even directly pointing the thing at him. These strong laser pointers are not allowed for sale in Germany (and, afaik, most of Europe). That's why Army Painter now (also?) has weaker class 1 or class 2 laser pointers (<1mW) for the European market. I don't now how strong the actual difference is on the tabletop.
BoP reacted to Pok in What Does Planetfall Presage For Armada 3?
I'd say having tight rules is just a proof of good game, not tournament one. 40k has holes everywhere, yet makes great tournament game because you can play a game in less than 2 hrs. Firestorm is a very poor tournament game, imo, because it requires very precise measuring of movement and arcs, which WILL lead to massive arguments if not done exactly- aka. slowly. It's just not fast -paced at all.
BoP reacted to Pok in Return of the Overseers
I'm not saying it's underpriced, I'm saying it's another optimized directorate ship that plays right up to their strenghts. Another cyber platform to support the bio-hazard spam, and one with high own AP to boot. No reason to ever take the eliminator if you have the easymode battleship
BoP reacted to Pok in I request your help!
Honestly, I will agree that gravity could be, potentially, made more interesting.
And I will fight tooth and claw to NOT change it one bit. Gravity having one option being less useful is at worst a mild irritant. "Spartan games can't stick to an edition long enough to read the book" is a genuine and widespread sentiment that hurts the game far, far more than any one rule in it being less exciting does. There is ALWAYS something that can work better or be changed, but the fact is, if the game does not provide a stable and lasting platform you can forget about any growth of the playerbase. Fiddling with costs or occasional MAR in a ship? Sure, that's why the fleet lists are in PDF. Changing the rules in a significant manner? Hell no, not for another 3 or 4 years if I have anything to say about it. Which I don't, but I will ***** about it loudly if they try
The game went through 3 editions in 4 years, 4 editions if you count the reprinted v1.0 having some rules changed. That is a terrible record and as I said, a good reason why people mistrust Spartan in the greater hobby community. Fixing one weapon is not worth the derision a new 2,5 edition would bring.
BoP reacted to ElectricPaladin in How Does Planetfall Measure Up to Dropzone
Eh. I like DZC. The rules are tight, the gameplay is fast-paced and nuanced and tactical, and the models have a neat, unique aesthetic. In the art deco future, there are only geometric decorations and tanks that look like pt cruisers. I will concede that my Shaltari break more than any minis have a right to, though.
Short version - there's room for both in the world, and in my collection!
BoP reacted to DanSG-19 in What would are your thoughts about this?
I personally am wary of Named Characters in wargaming in general. Sometimes, they add a little flavour to a force. Other times, they end up creating some horrific combo that results in cheese of the highest stink. And the line between the two is often frightfully thin. For background and fleet history and all that, they're fine, but in game, things can go wrong quickly.
BoP got a reaction from zaknafn in January 2015 Release: "Storm Zone: Return of the Overseers"
Either way, I'd like to play with my opponent, instead of being wrecked by the overly powerful scenario piece just because it randomly chose to shoot at my ships first. But I will just trust in Spartan's ability to make an interesting scenario and wait for release.
BoP reacted to duck_bird in What are your Dreadnought experiences?
In my humble personal opinion, the battle stations are horribly overpowered for their points cost. I would not field one in a general fleet. I feel they would only be justified in a special scenario in which one player is defending and is supposed to have the advantage of ludicrously powerful static defense.
BoP reacted to Venter in January 2015 Release: "Storm Zone: Return of the Overseers"
...and here it is:
When the leaders of the Aquan Prime heard of the assault of Proteus Prime by Directorate forces they were gripped with fear. The ancient texts told of a great danger hidden in the planet, and ancient force that could destroy the entire galaxy.
In response the latest fleet of Aquan starships was sent to intercept and destroy the Directorate fleet orbiting the planet. An epic battle is taking place above the planet of Proteus Prime - so gather your forces Commanders it is time for war!
Aquan Prime: 1 Oannes Class Heavy Carrier, 2 Sulis Class Cruisers (right), 2 Shiva Class Gunships (left), 4 Chimaera Class Frigates, 2 Large SRS Tokens and 2 Small SRS Tokens
The Directorate: 1 Anarchist Class Battleship, 2 Turmoil Class R&D Cruisers (left), 2 Annihilation Class Gunships (right), 4 Liquidator Class Frigates, 2 Large SRS Tokens and 2 Small SRS Tokens
This large Dimensional Gate is of an unknown alien design. It's included in the box set, along with 1 2.0 Rulebook, 3 Token & Template Sheets, 2 Asteroid Sheets, 2 Fast Play Sheets, 2 Tactical Action Card Decks, 24 Dice and 1 Mission Booklet