Tuesday, March 8, 2016

First Impressions: Firestorm Taskforce

Greetings Admirals and Fleet Marshals!  I have had a chance to look through Spartans latest release finally.  People in the good old United States should be getting their two player starters and Reinforcement Group boxes.  I received my Relthoza box today in fact.  Task Force is being toted as a fast playing game that can be played in 60 minutes or less.  From what I have been reading from across the pond this is pretty accurate.  I was expecting a very scaled back and simple rule set, akin to X-Wing and other games like it.  The Rulebook is longer than the X-wing book and this game is simpler than Firestorm Armada, but at first Glace seems to have a lot more to it and some tactical depth!  Needless to say I was surprised.

I am not a fan of the X-wing game.  People say it has tactical depth, but I don't see it.  It seems like it is a card game that uses miniatures and whoever has the latest meta breaking unit wins the game.  I do not put much stock in a game that a 6 or 7 year old can beat an adult in.  Firestorm Taskforce does not seem to be like this. The models are also what we all have come to expect from Spartan.

 I have to say I am pretty impressed with the models.  This new modular system that Neil talked about is pretty nice.  There are clear magnet points and excellent fitment on all the parts.  I am a bit on the fence about the bases for the small though.  The smaller base for the Tier 3 ships is going to be legal for play in Firestorm Armada.  As most people know, a smaller more compact base can be beneficial in a lot of cases.  You can pack ship together and not have them touch easier.  Base modification can be a headache for Tournament Organizers like myself.  It would be nice if Spartan gave a clear guideline to use.  As is it would appear you can use what you want for your tier 3 ships.  The normal base and the new smaller one.

I have not read the rules real in depth as of yet.  I am getting ready to try the game out this week with the boys up at the shop.  I am liking what I have read so far though.  Movement is basically the same as movement in Halo Fleet Battles.  The number of times you can turn and when you can turn is based on the tier of the vessel.  Fleet building seems to be Hex like system similar to Planetfall.  The game also uses Exploding 6's with the Heavy and Basic dice mechanisms. Things are simplified, but simplification is achieved with different game mechanisms rather than scaling back existing rules in FSA.

Weapon systems can combine much like in Planetfall.  If they have the same type and share a MAR they can combine their dice.  The procedure for attacking and taking damage as well as including any defenses is where we are in a whole new area.  There is a damage Table,  Weapons also have a color.  Red weapons can be defended against by shields and Blue weapons can be defended against by Point Defense.  So you do not get both shields and PD against Torpedo attacks.  I would note that Bombers and such happen in the weapons fire stage of the turn, this includes boarding assaults.  The more I read the more Task Force seems like Halo Fleet Battles.

Damage and such is worked out with both players rolling a D6 and referencing the damage table.  This is done after hits are determined.  Basically the more hits you do that exceed the DR of the vessel, you add a plus to your die roll.  So if a ship is DR 4 and you roll 8 hits you have doubled the DR of the target vessel. This means you and your opponent roll a die and add +1 to it.  so if you roll a 6 and your opponent rolls a 5, you reference where these two numbers intersect on the damage chart. With a +1 you have a 7 and your opponent has a 6.  The chart says 6x damage.  So essentially higher numbers rolled means more damage.

It seems a bit weird at first, but the more I read and analyze, the more I think its going to play fast and speed up the destruction of ships.  I have to say I am surprised by the rules.  There is more there than previously anticipated.  There is depth and if it plays like Spellduckwrong and I think it does, it may actually be a good replacement or at least successor to Firestorm Armada 2.0.  With all the rumors of 3.0 flying around it is hard to say.

I am actually impressed.  This game seems better executed than Planetfall and also seems to have some real tactical depth.  Time will tell though.  I need to get some games in and really give it a test drive to say for sure.  I am optimistic though.

I will be doing some more updates as we get closer to Adepticon. Terrain and all the goodies are on schedule and this year is looking to be an awesome year.  We are all very excited at the growth and support from the community, Spartan Games, our New sponsor Broken Egg Games and Adepticon itself.

Spartan Beth was nice enough to send a picture of one of the trophies Spartan made up especially for the North American Championships.  Winners can also look forward to exclusive Spartan swag as well as Custom Turn Templates from Broken Egg games!  Stay tuned for more details!

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always....


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