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Starslayer

Greetings & Advice for new player?

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Hello all.

New guy here, looking for advice.  Im looking for the faction (or two) that would suit me. Is there a faction guide giving the basic strengths/weaknesses somewhere?  

Im still reading over the rules, have printed out some of the free fleet guides to look over, have checked around for ideas.  Not yet sure how to read the ship stats(CP,AP, PD, etc)  Im working on it. Watched a  few battle reports.

Are there any sample fleet lists out there?  Possibly something made from the 2-player starter sets or other boxed sets.

I need to learn more before i settle on buying.

 

About me:

Ive played several table top games, war games & board games, rpgs. From the USA, Pennsylvania. In my 40's , two kids, school & work. medical field.

 

Thank you.

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Welcome to the forums! Commodore Jones has already posted an excellent link, but what all are you looking for in a faction? Offense vs. defense, long-range vs up-close-and-personal, a mix of the above, etc.?

To answer your questions:

  • HP stands for hull points; how much damage a ship can take before it is removed from the board.
  • DR stands for damage rating. When an attack rolls a number of successes that equals or exceeds the DR rating (after defenses are rolled), the ship loses one hull point.
  • CR stands for critical rating. If an attack meets, or exceeds the CR, the ship suffers a critical hit instead, which deals a secondary effect in addition to hull point loss.
  • CP stands for crew points, which is the size of the crew. Crew is one measure of how easy it is to capture an enemy ship when boarding it (boarding will be more effective the less crew a ship has). In addition, losing CP reduces the effectiveness of your primary weapons, as well as your PD (point-defense; see below).
  • AP stands for assault points, which represents the marine compliment of a ship. The higher the AP, the more dice you roll when attempting to board another ship. Conversely, when an enemy tries to board your ship, you get to roll a number of dice equal to your AP.
  • PD stands for Point Defense, which you use when targeted by enemy torpedoes, fighters/bombers, and boarders. Unlike AP, PD will degrade as you take damage and/or lose crew.
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3 hours ago, Commodore Jones said:

Look in the various faction forums here, there's a thread with a faction play/style guide in each of them. But for a quick overview there's this one here in the general forums

 

Where?   Where are these Faction/Play Guides in each section?  I looked over the stickied threads.  No luck.  It would be a great help to newbies if each Factions section had a "Starter Guide" stickied and easy to find.

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There really aren't single, concise threads which cover that need, although the Directorate do have some good write ups.  I imagine it's due to being a rather daunting project for a single person, time constraints and the like making a full write up difficult.  The thread linked does a reasonable job at an overview as stated by the linker, and has links to two more in-depth write ups.  If you want specifics, it's probably best to either just trawl through the other faction boards or ask specifically.  It might be disappointing that there aren't organized and detailed guides available for all factions, but there you have it really.

To be fair there are generally superior factions such as the Aquans, and the Relthozan fleets have a steep learning curve, but that doesn't mean picking a faction alone will determine a match before anything else is decided.  So the best thing to do would probably be to look at the overviews and get an idea of what sounds good to you.  Ask questions based on that, and then go from there.

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24 minutes ago, Dr_Vector said:

but that doesn't mean picking a faction alone will determine a match before anything else is decided.

This! This is what is so great about Firestorm Armada. I've introduced a few Warhammer players to play Firestorm and one of the big things I've seen is getting them past this choice-of-force=win mentality.

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With 22 playable factions, all of them with a different playing style, and all of them competitive against each other, it is hard to write a coherent document  quickly summarizing each faction.   Also, I doubt anyone has ever played with or against every single faction.

  This online community has a dearth of experience to share  no. If you're willing to take the time for a back and forth discussion, we can provide the information you want.

 I have written two in-depth fleet guides you might find helpful:

http://ops-center.weebly.com/articles.html

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Ok, it would be nice to have just a basic write up on strengths/weaknesses, basic tactics, etc stickied in each of the factions forums.  That would help newbies out a lot.  The basics of the faction could be explained by experience players- who has lots of shields, fighter wings, short or long range firepower, speed, etc. Im not looking for some detailed analysis, just the basic flavor of each main faction.  It would make the game more approachable for new players. Im looking at info on the main 6 factions. They have been around awhile , so Im surprised no one has a basic short write-up.  I guess I'll keep looking.

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15 minutes ago, Starslayer said:

Ok, it would be nice to have just a basic write up on strengths/weaknesses, basic tactics, etc stickied in each of the factions forums.  That would help newbies out a lot.  The basics of the faction could be explained by experience players- who has lots of shields, fighter wings, short or long range firepower, speed, etc. Im not looking for some detailed analysis, just the basic flavor of each main faction.  It would make the game more approachable for new players. Im looking at info on the main 6 factions. They have been around awhile , so Im surprised no one has a basic short write-up.  I guess I'll keep looking.

Here is one of the several posts from the thread linked earlier by Commodore Jones.  Is it not what you were looking for?

Also, Ryjak, how on earth do you get 22 factions?  You're not breaking out the individual members of The Alliance of Kurak, the Zenian League as thier own factions, are you?

Aquans

Strengths: Very mobile. Solid firepower. Bring lots of SRS. Reasonably durable. Guns on almost all sides. Good squadron sizes. Good mines. Difficult target on some t2s.

Weaknesses: Overrated t3s. Not very high crit ratings. Not great past band 2 with most ships. Boarding in general is kinda bad. 

Overall: Very strong, imo top in strength of main 6 races. By no means does this make them unbeatable. You can make a good list to do a bit of everything without really sacrificing anything. Their natural ally is mediocre at best.

Dindrenz

Strength: Very long range fore fixed guns. Very good damage fore fixed guns. Good crit rating. 

Weaknesses: Gunracks(only fire to 1 side for broadsides). Poor turn rates. No shields whatsoever.  Ablative plating(your crit rating drops once you get very hurt).

Overall: One of the weaker of the main 6, better do a lot of damage as they come in, because once they get close you're at a disadvantage, be sure to use your gunracks well, they aren't really that bad. Enjoy your turn 1 frigates(really sucks). Their natural ally is extremely good.

Directorate

Strength: Cyber warfare is a lot of fun. Some fantastic boarding units. Good mix of types of ships to fill all roles. Evil Corporate Overlord(yes that's a strength). KILL CREW it's funny.

Weakness: Squadron size sucks horribly(2 man squadrons are the worst). Tied in with 2 man squadrons you just hemorrhage battle log from a lot of t2s. Your basic battleship is a pile.

Overall: Another of the bottom half in power but a personal favorite of mine. The play style suits me, which is be annoying. For straight ship gun strength to go head to head, look elsewhere. Target priority is very big for these guys. Knowing what is gonna wreck your day and handling it first is big. Their natural ally is solid but nothing spectacular.

Relthoza

Strengths: Cloaking on almost everything, as well as stealth systems, so VERY hard to damage from long range. Good SRS capability. Ability to pick when to engage in full or wait for a better time. 

Weakness: Not durable at all once cloaks are down. Semi poor offense until you decloak. Not very good weapon range.

Overall: I consider these right behind aquans, but take this with a grain of salt as this is the only one of the main 5 I do not own, so I know by far the least about. Played well they seem to be very strong with their ability to make it into the mid game mostly unhurt but this hinges entirely on your ability to know when to cloak and decloak. Natural allies are solid. 

Sorylian

Strengths: Frigates, yup they're that good. Some good T2's in almost all ways. Great vs gas clouds or difficult/elusive heavy lists. Very solid firepower in the right range. Boarding, but don't let it fool you, it's actually beyond overrated, still one of their strengths. 

Weakness: No good admiral vessel, at all(this is their biggest problem). Boarding is bad because you have no way to remove crew or AP aside from blind luck, so taking ships over is unlikely. Very short range on anything but fore fixed kinetics, which you don't want to try to max out on. Paper thin battleship.

Overall: They round out the last of the bottom half in power. The admiral problem is paramount, if they had a good admiral vessel they'd be a LOT better off. Shunting is key, in my play, at least. Get there fast and smash into stuff. Don't bother relying on boarding to do more than get a little bit of damage on something, and good god don't build your ships around it. Weak natural ally. 

Terran

Strengths: They have fantastic shields. Some of the best nukes, direct and indirect. Durable T1's. Good torpedoes in general. 

Weakness: Not great crit ratings or really even damage ratings, causing them to rely heavily on shields. Mediocre firepower on most everything, but it's enough to get the job done. Nothing is very fast. T2s are probably your weakest link, but they still aren't too bad. 

Overall: I view them in about 3rd place in power. The enemy has to be careful not to bunch up with almost anything, or a lot of damage can be dealt with nukes. You need to be careful with ranges if you want to maximize torpedo damage, especially with armsmen, they get real garbage when not in band 4 of torps, but their beams are solid in band 2. Part of their ships are designed to sit back and lob longer range shots(mostly torps) and the other half is designed to get up and brawl. Don't forget to use sector shielding early. Natural ally is good. 

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Heres some:

 

 

Thanks. I missed the link he provided. (on my cell) I found a few things on my own too. Should be enough to work things out.   Still, it would be good if each faction subforum had the basics stickied so its easy to find.  Thanks for the assist.

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 Sounds like a job for @Spartan Linde

Also, Ryjak, how on earth do you get 22 factions?  You're not breaking out the individual members of The Alliance of Kurak, the Zenian League as thier own factions, are you?

You got it; how else would you count them?  You can play all the way up to a Grand Fleet with every faction, and never use allies. 

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2 minutes ago, Ryjak said:

 Sounds like a job for @Spartan Linde

 

 

You got it; how else would you count them?  You can play all the way up to a Grand Fleet with every faction, and never use allies. 

I would count them as a single faction, just like I would in any other game with a mixed faction (see Merc & Minions in Warmachine and Hordes, for example).  They use the same pdf, the same fleet manual and fleet lists, and can be mixed and matched without penalty.   While you could play only Works Raptor, or Hawker, you're limiting yourself to sub selections within each full faction.  That is similar to saying - I'm running the "old ships faction" of Terrans.  I only run Razorthorns, Pilgrims, Sentinels, and the Zenith.  In the end, its not really a faction, its just picking a sub section of the available models within the faction.  

IMO, this is big for expectations and I would hate to misrepresent this to a player.  Lets say player X is an Alliance of Kurak player and has purchased the Hawker patrol box.  If Spartan releases more models for Ryushi, Tarakians, and Xelocians, player X has received 3 releases, the faction is receiving support, and player X is likely happy.  If, however, we tell them that Hawker is its own faction, and player X has chosen to play "Hawker" in exclusion to the whole faction, player X has received no releases and is likely unhappy.

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30 minutes ago, Ryjak said:

 That is an interesting way to look at things… How does Pathogen fit it?  A faction within a faction? 

The only way I could describe Pathogen is as "the modelers fleet".  It doesn't work with anyone else, it doesn't have its own models (as far as I know), and its going to require extensive work to get it up and running.  Honestly, I'm not sure why its in the Marauders pdf, since it literally can't be used with any other marauder models or any other faction and has a chart specifically to say that.  It should really just be its own pdf.

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While I agree players should examine all their fleet building options, it seems most do not want to mix factions.  Whatever draws someone to the various Support/Mercenary fleets is what they're interested in, and they don't seem to be interested in mixing multiple factions together.

For example, I don't know many RSN players that include any anything in their fleet beyond RSN.  Maybe one used a Work's Raptor squadron.  Same for Tarakians, and they only have three ships they can field.

Further, you must fill your minimum Fleet requirements from one Faction, creating the core of your Fleet.  You can't grab a Hawker Battleship, Tarakian Cruisers, and Ryuishi Corvettes to form an Alliance Fleet.  I would hate to misrepresent this to a player.

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1 hour ago, Ryjak said:

While I agree players should examine all their fleet building options, it seems most do not want to mix factions.  Whatever draws someone to the various Support/Mercenary fleets is what they're interested in, and they don't seem to be interested in mixing multiple factions together.

For example, I don't know many RSN players that include any anything in their fleet beyond RSN.  Maybe one used a Work's Raptor squadron.  Same for Tarakians, and they only have three ships they can field.

Further, you must fill your minimum Fleet requirements from one Faction, creating the core of your Fleet.  You can't grab a Hawker Battleship, Tarakian Cruisers, and Ryuishi Corvettes to form an Alliance Fleet.  I would hate to misrepresent this to a player.

You make an excellent point about core requirements.  I would prefer they relax or get rid of those altogether, but as it stands you will spend a good chunk of your points filling core requirements.

When I decide to expand into alliance ships (which I will do when I'm playing regularly) I'll likely pick the cheapest core fleet so I can mix and match as much as possible.  When your faction theme is all of the Minor races working together, it doesn't feel right to only use a very limited subset.

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1 hour ago, Ryjak said:

While I agree players should examine all their fleet building options, it seems most do not want to mix factions.  Whatever draws someone to the various Support/Mercenary fleets is what they're interested in, and they don't seem to be interested in mixing multiple factions together.

For example, I don't know many RSN players that include any anything in their fleet beyond RSN.  Maybe one used a Work's Raptor squadron.  Same for Tarakians, and they only have three ships they can field.

Further, you must fill your minimum Fleet requirements from one Faction, creating the core of your Fleet.  You can't grab a Hawker Battleship, Tarakian Cruisers, and Ryuishi Corvettes to form an Alliance Fleet.  I would hate to misrepresent this to a player.

You make an excellent point about core requirements.  I would prefer they relax or get rid of those altogether, but as it stands you will spend a good chunk of your points filling core requirements.

When I decide to expand into alliance ships (which I will do when I'm playing regularly) I'll likely pick the cheapest core fleet so I can mix and match as much as possible.  When your faction theme is all of the Minor races working together, it doesn't feel right to only use a very limited subset.

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2 hours ago, StingrayP226 said:

Directorate one of the weaker fleets? Really? 

That was written by someone with a PHD* in game theory. 

They obviously have not spent any time reviewing the War Log for the past few years. 

Nor have they spent more than a game playing against Directorate forces. :rolleyes:

 

 

*PHD = Piled High and  Deep,  as in bull manure. 

 

I say the above with the full weight of 4 years playing FSA and as a former playtester of the game. 

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