Thursday, 22 January 2015

Star Trek Attack Wing - Waves 1 to 9

I have 13 off these including the Starter set.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Firestorm Planetfall part 2: The Models

 Firestorm Planetfall part 2:  The Models

also see: Firestorm Planet fall - Opening the box

I delayed posting about the models you get ion the Firestorm Planetfall starter set for several reasons, one is I have not had time to photograph them, the second was I was waiting for parts.

So here we go.

The Firestorm Planetfall starter set comes with two opposing forces, The Aquan Prime and the Directorate.  If you read the fluff (As GW fans call it) there is not much to choose from as to who the baddies are but I am guessing the Directorate as they wipe out the unarmed scientists (Ops maybe that's a spoiler alert, lol).
Each set of models are packed separately in a sealed bubble-wrap bag. Numerous small parts needed to complete some of the models are also packed separately from their respective model.  When I unpacked the models and tried to work out what goes where I discovered that I was a few parts missing and one of the hover bases were incorrect.  I duly notified Spartan games who then sent me the replacement parts, and so its happy days.   Again as with the buildings you have to play the guessing game on how to assemble the models as there were no assembly instructions, but then again a quick look at the pictures in the rule and campaign book helps.

With the Aquan's you get a Senda heavy skimmer that also doubles up as transport, 3 medium Lamana skimmers, a Sirsir medium skimmer, 4 scout skimmers, and 6 infantry stands.  all off the Aquan vehicles are hoverer's so have separate bases that either mimic ground depression or have a stud for the model to sit on raising it off its base (How sturdy the models with be is another matter).  The only models needing assembly is the Heavy Skimmer and the infantry.

The Directorate get a  Heavy Crawler, 3 medium crawlers, a recon buggy unit, 2 cyber tanks, a combat carrier, and 6 infantry stands. Very little assembly if any is needed.  All the models come relatively flash free and I am impressed with the crisp casting of these models.

Aquan Prime models unassembled.

Aquan Infantry bases.

Aquans assembled and ready for painting, also in this shot is the Directorate combat carrier (Bottom right).
Directorate models as unpacked.

Oops I forgot to add these to my first picture. More Directorate with the Combat Crawler (Bottom)

Directorate Infantry.

Directorate assembled, the Combat carrier was photographed with the Aquans.

The first run of the starter set also comes with a few objective tokens and  limited edition model of a crashed shuttle, although a card version is also supplied for one of the missions.
Objective tokens and crashed shuttle model.
Once the temperature rises I will get these primed.   I do all my priming outside, as lungfuls of paint fumes in a confined space is not nice or healthy for that matter, and it tends to linger in he shed far too long.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Star Trek Attack Wing

Starter set components.

For Christmas I treated my self to a starter set of the  Star Trek Attack Wing along with a bunch of the ships.  The first surprise I got was that even though the rules are very similar to the Star Wars X-Wing rules,  the game is not by Fantasy Flight but Wizkids... Hmmm

First impressions
I love the planet you get and I noticed straight of the bat that there was a Move 6 and turn 4 speeds.  The Ships are painted or cast in basic colours without any shading. The cards are of a poor quality and the printing leaves a lot to be desired.
Ships from the starter set lack detail and markings.

Playing the Game
Playing the game is simple if you have played X-wing previously. The rules are not as straight forward and are vague in places.  In the main the ship stats are gun heavy with lots of shields and hull points.  Using crew cards is a must and each ship comes with stats for a named ship; for example you get the USS Enterprise NCC1701D and stats for a Galaxy Class ship.  Captains are the same, you get a named character or a generic one.
You need to think about how you are going to pimp your ship more in that you need to pick a captain, additional crew (who do various things from repair shields to disabling enemy cards) and Photon torpedoes (Yes they do not come as Standard) and other tecky stuff.
As said the game plays like X-wing but does not feel like X-wing.

Final Impressions
I am a bit late coming to this game, but it will make a nice addition to the quick games I have for when friends come round.  The quality of the cards and models is of such poor quality compared to X-wing that it feels cheap and nasty.
Some of the images that Wizkids use show nicely painted and detailed models with the correct markings/names where applicable, but that's not what you get.

Additional Ships
I purchased with out thought numerous additional ships, now I regret not do more research.
You get to pick ships from all off the franchises, you can even get a DS9 station. SO you can pit Kirk in the USS Enterprise NCC1701 Vs Picard in the USS Enterprise NCC1701D if you want.

Each ship comes with new crew cards and Tech cards along with any special rules you need for that ship. The nice touch which is what I feel X-wing is lacking is that you get additional themed mission cards with the rules to play that mission, so you can actually match up ships for combat.  The painting on the ships leaves a lot to be desired and is good to messy at best, I am in two minds whether to shade the ships or not, we shall wait and see, time will tell.

For Example:
The trouble with tribbles.
Above is the USS Enterprise NCC1701 and  IKS Groth (Although it should be grey) wich the latter comes with the special rules for Tribbles, This is one of the matched pairs games we are going to play.  Below is my next matched pair which is the USS Enterprise NCC1701A Vs  USS Reliant. Both ships come with character cards from Wrath Of Khan. 

Wrath of Khan matched pairs, showing the lack of detail.
So you can match ships from Star Trek Enterprise, Star Trek the Original Series, Star Trek Next Generations, Deep Space 9 including the alternative universe vessels, and Voyager.  As previously stated there is a DS9 station available and soon a Borg cube....   I am sorely tempted.

Looking at E(Vil)Bay there are numerous vessels available from a monthly subscription and various competitions/events which command silly prices.  Wizkids is renowned for its collectable games and peole are treating this as a collectable game, I have seen some special edition ships going for £60 or more...  I don't think so, who you trying to rob!

All in all I am hooked on another game system, BUT I do not think its as good as a Star Wars Tie Fighter Swarm.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Game of two rules

Game of two rules

Just before Christmas I purchased a copy  of Battlefronts Flames of War Barbarossa and  it got me thinking, should I continue  using FOW or move on.  I could just switch over to Battlegroup Kursk.

I have already dabbled into he realms of Chain of Command by Two fat lardies, to which I am assembling a late war German and American infantry army, and the test game that I  have  already  played  still leaves me wanting to play more of it.  Having invested heavily in my FOW armies it seems a waste to sell them on. On the overhand converting my forces to be used with BGK is quite minimal,  with only a few specialist units needed.

The biggest question that has crossed my mind over the last 10 years is whether FOW is a balanced game. More so with the late war books being released. To be honest it was the Ardennes books that made me loose interest in FOW.  I have not played a game since the release of the 3rd edition rules.  The last competition that I  attended was being held at Derby university and I  left there felling rather angry, not all of it was down to the rules, a lot of it was down to the people that I  had played.

Then came the news that they were releasing a new set of rules. This annoyed me greatly as for the second time I had purchased set of army lists only to find that they were to be obsolete within few months and that they were going to re-release a updated set of books.

For FOW I have all the Early war and Mid war books that I need. The only late war books that I own are the Normandy compilation hard back set (1st edition) and the Fortress Europe book.

For BGK I own the main-rules which does Mid war Russian front and I also have the Normandy book.  The only  two future releases that I am interested in will be Early war invasion of France and Barbarossa.

So onto the question at hand, do I continue with FOW, but restrict my self to the periods I am interested in, and defently do not enter any competitions.  Or do I switch over to BGK.

I have devised a test where I play two games, one with FOW  and then the same game with BGK.  This will also serve as a introduction game for friend who has been pestering me to play FOW.  So I  have chose mid war Russian front selecting armies fro  the Eastern Front compilation.

First up is the FOW 1500 pont game. Which I  have played solo to reacquaint my self with the finer points of the rules.

German Panzer Kompanie  1505 points
HQ             2 Panzer IVH
1st Zug     4 Panzer IVH
2nd Zug    3 Panzer IVH

Soviet Mixed Tankov Battalion 1500 points
1st Company     10 T-26 obr 1939
2nd Company    10 T34 obr1941
3rd Company     7   KV-1s

Having not played in along time my fist run through made  me realise I need to work on my tactics more.  The Soviets just steam rollered the German armour.  In the first turn alone they  bailed one Panzer IV and destroyed two more.

The Germans could  not recover from these loses and only managed to knock out two T-34s in return.  By the end of the game the Russians  lost 3T-26 and 6 T-34s.  The Germans had lost 6 Panzers.  This leaves me defently thinking that there  is a balance problem.

In hindsight  I should have concentrated everything on the T-34 company.

More to follow...