Welcome all to the first of our new series of Firestorm Galaxy articles, Flashpoint Firestorm. We’ll be using these rolling articles to discuss both our Firestorm Armada and Planetfall games under the same umbrella. They are, after all, part of the same stunningly exciting Galaxy, and their fates are definitely intertwined.
These articles will be used to discuss and deliver a wide range of information over the coming weeks and months, improving our communications with you and keeping you more up-to-date with our plans. Subjects will include new and expanded narratives about the Firestorm Galaxy, exciting new model designs, useful changes to how we package models which will allow for easier Fleet or Helix expansion, rule discussions, statistic discussions, your views on what types of models we should create and more.
Expanded Background Materials
We’ve been looking closely at how the Firestorm story should develop for quite a while now, and we got to discuss a lot of the new storyline ideas at GenCon 2016 with a fantastic group of our FA players and Vanguards – our thanks to them for their kind input. Meeting these guys in person really hammered home to us the popularity of Firestorm Armada and Planetfall in North America and the overwhelming support we have from some of the players out there.
But back to our update text. For the last few years, we’ve focused intensely on the Storm Zone and although we branched out with our Overseers box (more of those bad guys to come!) we’ve decided it’s now time to shake things up. Just wait till you see where our warped minds have taken the Pathogen…
The Storm Zone was, it has to be said, a fabulous setting to kick things off, but it is now time to show what the rest of our Firestorm galactic map has to offer our gamers. To do this we are advancing the narrative, readying our core and alliance factions for some large scale disruption.
At the centre of our ideas is the heavy toll that constant military operations have taken on the likes of the Terrans, Sorylians, Aquans, Dindrenzi, Directorate and Relthoza. Every race has suffered, has known brutality and bloodshed. Effectively fighting themselves into a corner, the two primary alliances find themselves at an impasse. But this all about to change.
We will be developing brand new campaign Flashpoints as we expand the Firestorm Galaxy, something we’re really excited about and we hope you will be too.
Flashpoint Campaigns will be running narratives released regularly, occasionally paired with a product release strategy, a set of Scenarios or even opportunities for you to help us change our galactic map by playing out games. We’ll marry up your wins or losses with our own and cultivate the idea of you seeding change in the galaxy.
Importantly, the driving force behind this exercise is to draw Armada and Planetfall closer together – invade a system, capture a planet, you get the drift. New models are a big part of our plans, but we also want to give you a bigger and more connected universe in which to play them. Anything mentioned in a Flashpoint Campaign will also become canon in the Firestorm Galaxy and will be fully fleshed out throughout the length of the campaign.
The first Flashpoint Campaign concerns the space that sits to the galactic south of the Firestorm map, bisecting Relthoza and Sorylian space. Rumours of advanced weaponry development by the Relthoza have reached the intelligence agencies of the Terran Alliance (it’s amazing what you can buy from brigands) and after contacting the Sorylian Collective, an assault plan was formed. A massed Kurak Alliance force would perform a simultaneous attack deep into the Amber System, where the forces would eliminate the Zenian defenders and capture this new technology, thus creating Flashpoint Amber.
A mammoth operation would see the Amber System subdued by the Kurak Alliance, prior to concentrated ground operations which would engage, destroy or capture strategic military and scientific facilities. To facilitate this, Kuraks have called upon their long term allies to assist in the upcoming ground war, requesting a build-up in armoured units, ready to be dropped via Planetfall into predetermined target locations within the system.
Our hope is that players engage in the campaign narrative and help us play out the important missions, sharing their game experiences with us, and influencing the outcome of this new campaign. In our next article we will go into more details of the operation, expand on our game plans and unfold the secrets of the Amber System.
But remember, this is not the only Flashpoint Campaign you will see. Things are heating up in several areas of the galactic map, with the Directorate provoking the Aquans in the galactic north, the Saurian race reacting to raids into their protected space, a widespread search for Overseer tech is taking place, a painful discovery of what has happened to the Pathogen and much more…. All of which we will develop in time as we move forward with other new Flashpoint Campaigns.
Some of these campaigns will be short and some long, often having campaigns overlapping each other. But they’ll all be great fun and we will look forward to seeing your own games, either in the form of battle reports or stories. It is a big galaxy and bringing your experiences and fun to others if of a high priority to us.
Admirals, assemble your fleets. The galactic war just got serious. Time to fight for your race and victory!
As the conflict has waged so assets have been destroyed; fleets decimated; ground forces lost with no word of survivors. Every race is struggling to constantly rebuild and reinvigorate their forces. ‘Time for War’ echoes as a mantra across the galaxy, shared from one race to the next.
In the case of the Terran fleets this means core vessels are coming out of space dock with a more modular approach to their construction. This started initially with medium sized vessels, aka the Taskforce Reinforcements, but has now expanded to encompass larger vessels. An example is the Indomitable Class Assault Carrier, the first of its kind and a beacon of hope for the future of the Terran space vessel family.
At its basic build the Indomitable is nothing more than a Battleship superstructure at its core, but in space dock Terran engineers can rapidly turn this technological wonder into an Assault Carrier. Additionally, the new Hardpoint architecture of the Indomitable makes it easy for Admirals to provide the vessel with their own unique traits.
The Terrans view this design style as leading edge – the ability to react to the status of warfare, the needs of a fleet. This culmination of technology came from the large number of roles naval vessels have to perform: deep space exploration, patrol, armada scale actions, planetary defences, invasion and so on. Ships venture far and wide across the galaxy, with few simply tethered to their home planet.
Take a look at the Indomitable below and think about the possibilities. We will detail more about the vessel in her own article, and also release intelligence on other ships of this design style from different races.
The Ground Forces of all Factions will also gain a boost with the creation of a new Core Helix for each of the Alliance Races within the game. So expect to see more models for the Hawker Industries, Rense System Navy and the rest!
Wherever possible, these ground vehicles will also be modular in their build structure to allow players to make multiple types of vehicles from the same chassis, greatly expanding the flexibility and variety of the Core Helixes for these Races.
The Game Engines
On the horizon for a long time now has been the arrival of Version 3.0 of the Firestorm Armada core rules. We want to let you know that we’ve moved this project to 2017. Whilst this may be a disappointment to some, we feel that the core strength and balance of the 2.0 rules and statistics make this a sensible decision for Spartan Games to take.
As an industry-leading spaceship game, supported worldwide by its enthusiastic and loyal fan base, our decision of how and where to improve the ruleset needed to tempered by a clear understanding of exactly how you are playing the game. GenCon 2016 was a fantastic portal for us to interact with stores, gamers and tournament organisers to discuss the exciting future of Firestorm Armada.
We quickly identified that although Firestorm Armada 2.0 is a much loved and enjoyed game, it does require some areas of improvement. These can be fitted into two types: soft and hard fixes.
Simply put, the soft fixes are small modifications of the game engine that will speed up gameplay and provide a better gaming experience. Hard changes are just that – something which will require us to go under the hood and perform more complex changes to the underlying core rules.
As you can imagine, this is not something we want to do in a hurried fashion. It needs solid work on our part and also needs the assistance of you, our gaming community, to come on that journey with us. At the end of the day we are making something we want you to game with – we’re making all of this for you.
That is why we need you to be on-board with what we do to Version 3.0. We understand that not all gamers will agree with all of our changes, but the overall collation of feedback, both internally from our testers and externally from our community, will go a long way to assisting in the creation and distribution of Firestorm Armada 3.0 to you all.
Changing gear, let’s talk about Planetfall. With a wealth of models at their fingertips Planetfall gamers already have access to some of the industry’s finest true scale 10mm miniatures. But we want to make them even better for you. We want to give more choice to your Helix building experience. We want to make you more terrain and scenery. Ultimately, we want to help you to make even more amazing battlefields and have better games.
We love our Planetfall game engine, but as the engine grew we understood the need for changes to be made. We have already mentioned the new Version 2.0 game rules and we will discuss them further in a separate blog, with some input from Spartan Derek on what they will mean for you and your forces.
As we get ourselves ready for Planetfall 2.0, we’re also working on our Alliance Helixes, so that you can get working on expanding your forces! Each race has a key partner in ground combat, the RSN for the Dindrenzi Federation, Hawker Industries for the Terrans and so on, and we are currently working on their Helixes. We will roll these models out in pairs, one for each major alliance. Spartan Derek will talk more about alliance races in his 2.0 ruleset blog.
All we have left to say is happy gaming!
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