Sunday, March 30, 2014

ALL HANDS ON DECK! Ships Of the Rense pt1

Upon acceptance into the Rense System Navy, Dindrenzi main fleet officers are assigned to one of the many Frigate squadrons that make up the outer echelons of a Rense Navy task force. Would be Captains and aspiring admirals have all had their first commands and baptisms of fire among the Bulwark Frigate squadrons.”

-Admiral Markus Stole,
“A History Of The Federation Fleets”

SeerK here to start my series on the ships of the Rense System Navy. Its been a couple weeks. I have just started a new job and the 65 hour work week is kind of killer. I am planning on posting every Sunday from here on out though, and I hope the other writers start filling in the rest of the week. Some of us will also be at Adepticon this weekend. Sadly we cant go for the full week like normal. As long as all goes to plan the Craftworld crew will be there Friday night. As I stated last time we are going to start from the bottom up. We are going to talk about the Rense Navies Tier 3 ship today. The Bulwark Frigate.

The Bulwark is the main frigate of the Rense Navy and besides the Siren class Escort is the only Tier 3 choice for your fleet. It is fielded in squadrons of 2 to 4. I usually do full squadrons of 4 as it is an even 100 points and the combined fire of a 4 ship strong squadron is pretty decent. Each ship is 25 points and has no upgrade options. The Bulwark has the Elite Crew and Difficult target MAR. The Elite Crew MAR lets you pass command checks on a 3+. The whole Rense Navy has this MAR. The Bulwark also can move 10 inches so it is very quick. With a DR,(damage rating) or 3 and a CR(critical rating) of 6 it can be quite hard for an equal sized vessel to destroy the Bulwark in one go.

The Bulwark is a very close range ship. It has a fore beam weapon ad beam weapons to port and starboard. Its beam weaponry has two range bands. Beam weaponry has 10 inch range bands for those of you unfamiliar with the game so 2 range bands gives the Bulwark a threat range of 20 inches.
Range band 2 , 10 to 20 inches, is your most effective range band. You get 5 dice in the fore arc and 4 in the port and starboard arcs. With a squadron of 4 this gives you 12 dice. Pretty respectable, especially when attacking cruiser sized vessels. In my experience you can usually get a critical hit on most vessels with a critical rating of 6. Of course this is utterly dependent on how well the dice are treating you.
The Bulwark is very well suited to supporting your Spook or Cerberus squadrons. While the cruisers use their range advantage the Bulwark can work in the mid to short range. They have the firepower to finish off crippled ships the heavier vessels have damaged. You can use the Bulwarks speed to get in behind vessels to give it an even better chance of scoring a critical hit.

I have been seeing a lot of mixed reviews of the Bulwark on the Firestorm forums. It would seem a lot of people have not been having the same experience I have when it comes to fielding them. It is true they can be a bit tricky to use. They are out ranged by a lot of ships and can get picked off before they can close to lethal distance.
You have a couple of different options for deployment and thanks to they way game setup is done you can really plan out your fleet and how it is going to be deployed. I like to keep my Bulwarks in reserve, unless the mission being played allows for hidden set up. Either way it allows you to delay your Bulwarks appearance on the table and allows you to keep them alive longer. Shunting your Bulwarks, deep striking for you 40kers, into the battle can be a risky gambit. I like to use shunt deployment, but only if there is a good target. To get a good shunt deployment you have to really set it up. The intended target has to be lead into a decent spot so you can get a good one two punch. Shunt deployment backfires quite often. You can't shunt into the middle of a fleet and expect the squadron to survive after trying to deliver a death blow to a stricken ship.
I prefer to actually bring in the Bulwarks on the board edge if there is a decent target that is reachable. Flanking the enemy fleet has its advantages, especially if their attention is elsewhere.

How you deploy your reserve squadrons is entirely situational. As obvious as that sounds many players do that same things over and over again and then get frustrated when it does not work all the time. Firestorm Armada is very much a situational game. This is reflected in the way you set up and play the game. Many 40K players are use to the concept of the “all comers” list. In Firestorm you determine the mission and such before you make your fleet list. All you really know when going up against your opponent is what race they are using.

Well there you have the Bulwark. Next time I will be covering the Siren Escort as well as starting into our tier 2 vessels. I will also Hopefully be reporting form Adepticon later this week.

Until next time....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!

and always