So, my first Firestorm Armada battle report! Please be gentle!
I did take pictures, but to say I was disappointed with the results is not enough. My Terran Fleet was in its Base White colour and the lack of details painted made the fleet appear bleached out in most of the photos. Sorry.
The Valhallan Box Set comes with two fleets, the Terrans and the Dindrenzi, both adding up to 470 points with no upgrades. To make the battle more interesting, we bumped it up to 500 points so that we could add some upgrades. We both agreed in advance not to bother with “Short Ranged Spacecraft” (SRS) because, quite frankly, we weren’t really ready for those! :D
The Terran Alliance (TA) fleet consisted of:
- 1 Tyrant Battleship with +1” Movement (5pts), +2 Point Defence Batteries (5pts) and Decimator Warheads for their torpedoes (10pts). (I don’t think he took anything else)
- 3 Teuton Cruiser with No Upgrades
- 4 Armsmen Frigates with No Upgrades
The Dindrenzi Federation (DF) fleet consisted of:
- 1 Praetorian Battleship with +2 Assault Points (5pts), Added Launch Tubes (5pts), Gained Assault Blitz (10pts) and High Energy MAR to the Kinetic Weapon (5pts)
- 3 Secutor Cruisers with No Upgrades
- 3 Thraex Frgates with No Upgrades
We played on a 4’ X 4’ table with 2 Asteroid Fields for terrain and decided not to add anything else. The chosen mission was the standard “Border Clash”: 8” deployment Zones with the first person to get to 10 Battle Points being the Victor
At least, that was the idea…
|The Battle Begins!|
Looking at the stats of the Dindrenzi and considering my “test games” using the “training scenarios” that were included in the box set, I knew the Terrans were more manoeuvrable and better at closer range than the Dindrenzi, so I would play a “waiting game”; staying at a distance as long as I could. Also, knowing the Terran Battleship had such a small Crew Point value, I intended to try boarding it with my Battleship with its enhanced and upgraded Boarding capabilities.
Terra won the first Initiative phase and decided to keep it.
Terran Cruisers moved forward, skirting the edge of an asteroid field, only 1 ship being exposed once the movement was over. Dindrenzi Frigates turned and aimed their weapons at this exposed Cruiser, but failed to damage the Terran Cruiser from the long range. Terran Frigates moved to attack the Dindrenzi Frigates, successfully damaging 1.
The Dindrenzi Battleship activated and moved forward to get the Terran Battleship into Range Band 3. The Railgun caused a Critical Hit on the Tyrant (Shield Overload) while the High Energy rule forced an extra Hazard Marker on the enemy ship. The Dindrenzi’s torpedo attack failed to damage the exposed Cruiser.
|Terran Battleship hit by Railgun!|
The Terran Battleship moved forward and tried to retaliate against the Dindrenzi Battleship. While the Beam weapons failed to damage it, the Torpedoes managed to cause a Hull Point of damage to the Dindrenzi Battleship.
As the final activation of the turn, the Dindrenzi moved forward and sniped at the exposed Terran Cruiser with their railguns but failed to damage the ship. The Cruiser’s torpedo attack at the enemy Frigates were all stopped by enemy Point Defense systems.
In the End Phase, the Terran Battleship failed their repair roll (a 1!), thus gained another Hazard token and lost another Hull Point!
|End of turn 1|
Dindrenzi won and kept the Initiative!
Trying to do the most damage and keeping my distance, the Dindrenzi Battleship moved forward its minimum distance and unleashed HECK on the Terran Battleship with the railgun, gaining another Hull Point damage and Hazard Marker (3 total each ). Sadly, the torpedoes again failed to reach the Terran Cruiser…
The Terran Battleship moved forward and turned to port (left). The Terran’s Battleship failed to damage its counterpart but the torpedoes managed to crit one of the Dindrenzi Cruisers (Fire – 3 CP left). In retaliation, the Dindrenzi Cruisers made a minimal move and turned all weapons against the Terran Battleship. In an exhibition of my infamous dice rolling powers, I managed . . nothing! The Terran Cruisers finally came from behind the Asteroid field and blasted the damaged Dindrenzi Cruiser, destroying it! Then almost as an afterthought, the Cruisers’ torpedoes destroyed a damaged Frigate!
|1st Dindrenzi Cruiser and Frigate are Lost!|
In desperation, the Dindrenzi Frigates coordinated their attacked on 1 Terran Frigate, but succeeded only in damaging it! The Terran Frigates made a 90 degree turn and formed a Line of Battle, then managed to Crit another Dindrenzi Cruiser (Hull Breach – 2 crew left). Things were not going well for the Dindrenzi…
|Terran Frigates Attack!|
In the end phase, the Terrans only repaired a single Hazard Token, leaving the Battleship with 2 Hazard Markers.
The Terrans played the “Power to the Shields” TAC on the Battleship, gaining an extra Shield for the turn while the Dindrenzi played “Eye of Rense” TAC – allowing all leadership tests to be passed automatically this turn.
Dindrenzi won the Initiative and kept it once more.
The Dindrenzi Battleship once more made a minimum move and turned all its weapons on the Terran Battleship. When the dust settled, the Terran Battleship had 2 more Hull Points shaved off, crippling the Battleship and giving the Dindrenzi 2 Battlepoints! The Dindrenzi are first with scoring points and in the lead!
It didn’t last long, though. The Terran Cruisers turned to starboard and blasted away at the damaged Dindrenzi Cruiser, destroying it. That gave the Terrans 2 Battlepoints for destroying half a Tier 2 squadron, but the Dindrenzi didn’t need to take a Disorder test due to their TAC allowing them to pass all leadership tests.
|Loss of the 2nd Dindrenzi Cruiser|
The remaining Dindrenzi Cruiser attacked the lead Terran Cruiser with their railguns, gaining a Crit (Fire: 3 Crew left), though the Gun Racks failed to damage the enemy Frigates.
The Terran Battleship continued its move forward, blasting away with its weapons but failing to damage anything – the damage it had already taken affecting the great ship’s performance.
The Dindrenzi Frigates moved to fire on one of the Terran Frigates, but once more failed to cause any damage. The Terran Frigates meanwhile maneuvered into one of the Dinrenzi Cruiser’s rear arc, but fortunately for the Cruiser crew, failed to cause any damage in another spectacular display of how NOT to roll the dice!
In the end phase, the Terrans were only able to repair one Hazard Token on the Battleship, reducing one Cruiser and the Battleship to 2 Crew Point each! Things were looking up for that Boarding attempt!
Also, the Terrans decided to reclaim their TAC card, losing 1 Battlepoint in the process.
The Terrans played “Power to the Shields” TAC once more on the Battleship while the Dindrenzi played “Burn Thrusters” TAC on the Battleship, reducing its turn rate to 1” between 45 degree turns.
Terrans won the initiative and kept it!
The Terran Battleship managed to manoeuvre into the rear arc of the uncrippled Dindrenzi Cruiser and managed to grind away 2 Hull Points (leaving 1), crippling the Cruiser! The Dindrenzi Cruiser turned to engage both the Frigates and Cruisers, but managed to damage nothing.
The Terran Frigates manoeuvred into the rear arc of the Dindrenzi Battleship and shot . . at the Cruiser? Turned out the Battleship was “too close” for optimum firing and the Terran Frigates got their best number of dice rolls shooting at the Cruiser. It was good decision as they took out the last Dindrenzi Cruiser, earning another 2 Battlepoints and causing the Dindrenzi to lose 2!
The Dindrenzi Battleship is committed at this point. Turning to starboard, the Gun Racks crit an undamaged Cruiser (Point Defence Systems Offline) and Boarded the Terran Battleship! Or did it? Nope! The ship was down to 2 Crew Points and the Point Defence was down to 1 shot, but I bombed the attack roll again and the defending Marines drove off the attack with 1 “hit” to spare! I did NOTHING!!! With the new Version 2 rules, the Battleship would not be able to do another boarding action for the rest of the game! AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!
|Boarding Combat with Overwhelming Numbers..FAILS!|
Laughing, the Terrans turned their Cruiser loose on the Battleship, taking off a Hull Point (2 HP gone in total – the Battleship was still in good shape). The Dindrenzi Frigates did another 180 degree turn and crit the last undamaged Cruiser with a Corrosion Token!
|Dindrenzi Frigate Attack Run|
In the End Phase, the Terrans managed repair the Hazard Counter on 1 Cruiser, failed to repair the Point Defense system on another, and failed to repair a Corrosive Effect on the last (3 Hull Points gone, 1 left). Finally, all the Hazard Markers were repaired on the Terran Battleship! First time since turn 1!
The Dindrenzi decided to take back their TAC card to play again (I really didn’t have a choice), loosing another Battlepoint.
|End of Turn 4|
Dindrenzi played “Burn Thrusters” on their Battleship once again. The Terrans played “Focused Repair” on the Cruiser to repair its Point Defence System.
Terrans won and kept initiative once more.
The Terran Battleship turned to starboard and fired on the Frigates, destroying 1 and damaging the other, gaining another Battlepoint for reducing a Tier 1 Squadron below 50%. The remaining Frigate passed its Disarray test.
Thanks to the “Burn Thrusters” card, the Dindrenzi Battleship was able to turn and fired its forward weapons on the enemy Battleship, finally destroying it for 4 Battlepoints while the Gun Racks crit and destroyed a Cruiser. Finally!
|The Dindrenzi Battleship's Revenge as the Terran Battleship & Cruiser are Destroyed!|
The Terran Frigates turned and fired on both the Frigates and the Battleship, but failed to damage either.
The Dindrenzi Frigate moved to put some distance between them and the enemy, but then failed to turn around enough to get anything into their firing arcs. The Terran Cruiser punished the Dindrenzi Frigate for its failure and destroyed it, gaining another Battlepoint for destroying a Tier 3 squadron while the Dindrenzi lost another Battlepoint for losing a Tier 3 Squadron.
In the End Phase, the Terran Cruiser failed to repair its Hazard Counter and exploded! Unfortunately, it appeared that Dindrenzi wouldn't gain a Battlepoint for this as it was a result of an event rather than direct damage. The Dindrenzi also picked up their TAC card again in case there would be another turn.
We messed up the Battlepoints while we were playing the game; I had forgotten to delete points for squadrons lost. We figured the score was Terran 5 versus Dindrenzi 1.
It didn’t look like either of us was going to get to 10 Battlepoints and as I looked over the situation, there was no way I wanted to continue the fight. A Battleship against 2 squadrons of more manoeuvrable ships. They had already gotten into my rear arc with no difficulty once. The Battleship would have died the death of a thousand cuts. Realistically, I would have the Battleship fold space to escape and save an expensive resource for a future battle, so I conceded the match.
However, while writing up the battle report, I discovered that the score was actually 1 All before I conceded the match! If I had moved off the table using the Space Fold Escape, the Battleship would count as destroyed and would cost me 4 Battlepoints while Terrans would gain 5, resulting in a 6:-3 Battlepoint win for Terra.
I knew the Terrans had the advantage of manoeuvrability, shields and “Knife-Fighting”. I think I had the right idea, playing the long distance game as long as possible.
I had some pretty dismal rolls when I needed them, but so did the Terrans. I can’t blame it on the dice – sorry!
I think maybe I should have made the Dindrenzi Frigates disengage around turn 3, possibly hiding around the Asteroid fields, then re-engage a couple of turns later. The Frigates weapons were all forward fixed arcs and by turn 4, they were too close to get their maximum fire power. If I could have disengaged them for a turn or two, I might have gotten the Frigates back into optimum range (and out of immediate danger).
The other thing that would probably have helped Dindrenzi was if I concentrated all units onto the Battleship from the beginning (and hopefully crippled it sooner), then engage the other units. I could always come back to the Battleship later as its firepower was badly reduced. As it was, I got Swarmed by the rest of the fleet because I didn’t deal with the Cruisers and Frigates fast enough.
The Boarding of the Terran Battleship was a failure, but I think that was my fault for not doing a Targeted Attack on the Bridge first. If successful, I could have reduced the AP value and the Boarding attempt would have been successful. I probably should have attempted to capture one of the Cruisers instead as their AP values were lower.
Speaking of Targeted Attacks, both sides had tried them from time to time, but had no luck. The times we tried, we failed to damage at all. When we didn’t, we had some of the best rolls of the game. Hmmmm…
On the Terran side, there wasn’t much he could have done differently. As I stated earlier, the Dindrenzi plan was to attempt to board and capture the Battleship. As soon as it was deployed, the Tyrant was marked by my Battleship. While the Terran Frigates and Cruisers could have attacked the Dindrenzi Battleship to (hopefully) reduce the damage their own Battleship took, he would have made the same error as I did – ignoring my Cruisers and Frigates which would then have been able to attack them with impunity. As Terra won the game, I can’t really fault him for his strategy in this case.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to my next game! I just need to decide how to expand each fleet...