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Armada vs Halo Battle Fleet

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Just found out about a Halo Battle Fleet, a miniature fleet game by Spartan Games based on the Halo series due out in Summer 2015. With me and my group still waiting for our Armada sets to arrive (we ordered via MM both Wave 1 and Core simultaneously, and unfortunately it won't ship till the whole order is available... :() some were thinking about picking it up to pass the time. It also looks to be an all inclusive set (49 ships in the core set allegedly) as opposed to an expansion based model, so those in our group who don't want to invest so heavily in a game like Armada found it appealing in that regard. I was curious if anyone has heard anything about it.

 

For some pics and info about the game: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/644945.page

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It uses the same rules as Firestorm Armada, which is essentially the same rules as a dumbed down version of Battlefleet Gothic. 

 

Things to look forward to:

-every ship looking like a bigger or smaller version of another ship in the same fleet

-rolling buckets of dice

-very generic feeling ships, "Ooo this ship can fire 10d6 of lasers at 25cm vs this ships that can fire 12d6 at 20cm..."

-poor fighter rules

-limp rule set

-lifeless fluff.

 

Spartan Games has made 3 copies already of the exact same game.

Uncharted Seas - naval battles with orcs and elves

Firestorm Armada - space naval battles with dolphins and spiders

Dystopian Wars - naval battles between steampunk 19th Century industrial powers.

 

All the games use slight variations of the same rules. 

 

As for the model quality (I have a Terran fleet from Firestorm, and a German fleet from Dystopian Wars as I am a suck for peer pressure), they look nice I guess. Brittle resin that breaks easily. Lots of mold lines. Everything is designed in autocad and symmetrical and the pieces feel like that, sort of lifeless.

 

Honestly, save your money and buy more Armada/X-wing stuff. 

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Honestly, save your money and buy more Armada/X-wing stuff.

The only reason I could see getting the Halo game is if you really preferred the Halo IP over Star Wars. Sure you might get the full game right now, but that doesn't mean it's a better game.

Also Armada will get here sooner or later, you can use the delay to save up more money for when it comes out.

Myself I was planing on getting an Assault Frg and a Gladiator when wave 1 came out and buying the rest a ship or two every paycheck. But with the delays I've been able to put a bit more money away and may get either another VSD or perhaps another CR and Imp fighters right away.

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At least if you order Halo your getting a full game. Whereas armada is just a demo game.

 

I think of it as learning the rules on a small scale, before I get more ships, more complexity, and in the end get dragged into a 6 admiral on each side slugfest that takes 2 days to complete, and further damns me to nerd hell.

 

It will be like 10 hour marathons of World of Warcraft all over again (**** you Gruul). 

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I can sum up what I dislike about Spartan Games in two words, "Exploding Sixes".

 

The thing I am appreciating about Star Wars Armada is that damage, while random, is not wildly random.  In the Firestorm Armada game my son one shotted a battle ship with a small frigate.  Granted it was an absurd amount of sixes he rolled but with sixes worth two hits and then rolling an additional die it can really throw a game to the hot hand at the moment.

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I can only echo Zoccola's words, they hit the nail on the head.

Ultimately though it comes down to how attached you are to the Halo IP...

Me? I was never into Halo and having the Halo name bolted onto a game would make no difference to my excitement about it.

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To OP. I also preordered from MM core and wave 1 same time. I emailed them and asked if they would split it since things got delayed and they had no problems doing that. They did mention that it makes their order tracking system wonky but I would still receive everything.

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The way I see Spartan Games compared to FFG in relative terms is like buying a Prius or a BMW. One is cost effective and will get you from point A to point B cheaply. The other is designed to be a great ride that is easy to handle and is fun to drive. Also you will want your friends and neighbors seeing you in it, but it is more expensive and parts take longer to arrive.

 

If I had the option I will go for the BMW myself.

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It uses the same rules as Firestorm Armada, which is essentially the same rules as a dumbed down version of Battlefleet Gothic. 

 

All true, all of it!!

 

Would it surprise you to note that Battlefleet Gothic was based on an older WW2 Naval Game that was designed in the 1970's?

 

Like Zoccola I recommend getting the miniatures and having fun painting them. But don't buy the rules and actually try playing the game.

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It uses the same rules as Firestorm Armada, which is essentially the same rules as a dumbed down version of Battlefleet Gothic. 

 

All true, all of it!!

 

Would it surprise you to note that Battlefleet Gothic was based on an older WW2 Naval Game that was designed in the 1970's?

 

Like Zoccola I recommend getting the miniatures and having fun painting them. But don't buy the rules and actually try playing the game.

 

 

 

I loved playing BFG. It was one of the things I gave up when I had kids, but still miss it occasionally.   I really only likes Chaos vs Empire and maybe throw in the Space Marines.   The Eldar and Necrons broke all kinds of things.

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II won and play Dystopian Wars and I am amazed that anyone thinks it is not as good as FFG.

 

IMAG0503.jpg

 

IMG_0202.jpg

 

 

I rest my case. ;)

 

IMHO the miniatures look AWESOME.

I guess that depends on your definition of 'awesome'. Honestly I am not overly enthused about those pics despite the obviously nice paint jobs.

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I play Firestorm Armada, Terran Alliance fleet. I think it's fun, but the exploding six does dorta ruin it at times. FSA feels more strategic to me vs Armada. Armada is all about ok there are the Rebs/Imps point and shoot, some strategy involved but not a lot. Where FSA you need to use that terrain, you need to think out your deployment and lanes of attack. I don't know, everyone has their own opinion about it, you either love it or hate it. If you like Halo, then buy the game when it comes out. If not, then don't.

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II won and play Dystopian Wars and I am amazed that anyone thinks it is not as good as FFG.

 

IMAG0503.jpg

 

IMG_0202.jpg

 

 

I rest my case. ;)

 

IMHO the miniatures look AWESOME.

I played DW for a while back in 1.0 and 1.5 but ai will have to say as much as I loved the game itself the rule book was the worst written rules set I ever ran across just because of the way the book was designed. In other words the rules were fine but the lay out of the book was so confusing everyone stopped playing and it hasn't been picked up again by anyone in my area even with 2.0 out there.

Spartan really screwed up that game with a poorly designed rule book

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Well, it is Spartan Games which will mean:

1. The models will be good-looking if not always inspired (they are designing a few new ship types In addition to the old canon ones) in design. They will be far superior to FFG's effort in detail and general sculpting (they can do a lot with their material) but unpainted.

2. The game might be a bit of a mess or a simple and relatively elegant design at the outset. Much like FFG does it. However, unlike FFG, which goes for slow improvement over a long time until breakdown and 2nd edition occurs, Spartan will release updates and errata and new models at a frantic rate and less than a month after they release 2nd edition (which in itself might well be a year after 1st edition) they will have dropped enough errata to make you thankful they tend to make the rules available for free.

3. There will be range bands and exploding dice. Just you wait. They can squeeze in exploding dice even with the wonky d6'es seen in the pictures.. Fighter rules will need a few fixes to work unless they copy their other games closely.

4. Neil Fawcett will be interviewed on D6G about Halo and his repeated inability to handle the time difference will make him sound like a stoned hippie. Or that might just be the way he talks. I have never heard him on a podcast from his own timezone.

Edited by Kaptajn Congoboy

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I'll step up and defend Firestorm Armada!

 

I've only recently started playing it (about 4 months now) and to be fair I haven't used the fighter rules at all.  But I enjoy the exploding six mechanic....it makes for lots of exciting/ridiculous epic moments on the board, as a frigate one-shots a battleship.  As long as it's your frigate.  :) :)

 

But the law of averages does work, so that's not going to be a regular occurence.  It's just fun when it does happen.

 

 

I was so-so on the design aesthetic initially, but to their credit they've put out models which will appeal to nearly everyone.  Like ST:TNG?  Play the Directorate!  Like Gundam?  Rense System Navy for you!  BSG fan?  Terrans are recruiting now!  And many others...

 

 

Now the game isn't nearly as streamlined as SW:Armada is, and from what I've read the fighter rules aren't nearly as slick.  And you may have trouble finding people to play with in your area (I am lucky to live in an area with very good gaming clubs).  But it's a lot easier to get bigger fleets (10-20 ships) on the table than in SW:A, so that may scratch a particular itch.  

 

Summary?  I enjoy both, for different reasons.  Take a look at the rules for Halo when it comes out.  You may enjoy it, especially if you're a Halo fan.  Or you may not.  There you go - hope it helps.

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Actually the larger Firestorm ships (BB's and (DN's) are on par with The Victories - the same length, but narrower. Medium ships (cruisers and DD's) are about as long as the Nebulon, but mass more (are thicker around).

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I'll step up and defend Firestorm Armada!

 

I've only recently started playing it (about 4 months now) and to be fair I haven't used the fighter rules at all.  But I enjoy the exploding six mechanic....it makes for lots of exciting/ridiculous epic moments on the board, as a frigate one-shots a battleship.  As long as it's your frigate.   :) :)

 

But the law of averages does work, so that's not going to be a regular occurence.  It's just fun when it does happen.

 

 

I was so-so on the design aesthetic initially, but to their credit they've put out models which will appeal to nearly everyone.  Like ST:TNG?  Play the Directorate!  Like Gundam?  Rense System Navy for you!  BSG fan?  Terrans are recruiting now!  And many others...

 

 

Now the game isn't nearly as streamlined as SW:Armada is, and from what I've read the fighter rules aren't nearly as slick.  And you may have trouble finding people to play with in your area (I am lucky to live in an area with very good gaming clubs).  But it's a lot easier to get bigger fleets (10-20 ships) on the table than in SW:A, so that may scratch a particular itch.  

 

Summary?  I enjoy both, for different reasons.  Take a look at the rules for Halo when it comes out.  You may enjoy it, especially if you're a Halo fan.  Or you may not.  There you go - hope it helps.

 

Sit on the fence much? :P

 

Not as streamlined. Not as good with the fighters. May have trouble finding opponents. But!!

The one redeeming feature you have given the game is it is cheap and you can therefore field bigger fleets.

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