Big Damn Ships

So I got a little treat in the post today in the form of the Dindrenzi & Sorylian Dreadnoughts for Firestorm Armada by Spartan Games.

As you’ve come to expect from me I thought I’d do a little review. The first thing is that they’re bloody massive. Now, I know I said that about the Covenant and FSA Dreadnoughts were massive for Dystopian Wars but these are huge. The Dindrenzi Retribution Class is so big it comes in 3 parts and just about fits in the blister pack.

In isolation they’re absolutely brilliant but, if I’m honest they feel too big when put next to other ships. Playing on a 6ft by 4ft board as I do, my 1,000 point Sorylian Fleet takes up a lot of space. Throw in a Dreadnought and it all gets a bit bonkers. But I suppose that’s always been the driving force behind Firestorm Armada; it’s a very cinematic game. Big fleets, lots of explosions and fecking huge dreadnoughts.

As one would expect from Spartan, the models are lovely. All the detail is there. Actually its there and more. It puts earlier models for those fleets to shame. And it has some lovely little flourishes like the Dindrenzi crests all over the Retribution Class, it which is quite something partly because they’re so incredibly clear on the model. The more eagle-eyed/Dindrenzi players will notice there’s been a slight design shift in the dreadnought (and the new models as a whole) that, coupled with the digital sculpting going on at Spartan towers, means that re-sculpts for the fire wave of ships can’t be far away. It’s an awe-inspiring model and makes the Sorylian dreadnought look a bit weedy. As does its stat lines. And at this point I must have a bit of a grumble. The stats and MARs rules attached to the Dindrenzi dreadnought are mad as bat shit, making it almost impossible to destroy. Coupled with devastating amounts of weapons it feels like the Dindrenzi are the pet favourite fleet of the writers which, to be honest, kind of sucks.

That’s not to say the Sorylian dreadnought is without teeth. In fact, were an opponent to allow it to close, it is utterly and completely, mind blowingly lethal. And looks way cool. Yes, the Dindrenzi dreadnought is big and junky but its Sorylian counterpart is lethality bound within elegance. I fell in love with the render when I first saw it and having the model in front of me has only solidified that love into something greater and, if I’m honest, slightly troubling.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was the Scatter Cannon. That big bastard mounted on the nose. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting but the rules basically make it an epically big shot-gun. At first I was a bit disappointed by this but the more I thought about it the more I realised that it was actually incredibly in keeping with the Sorylian fleet. They’re an all or nothing force that, once committed, are devastating.

But all that aside, at a most basic level, the models are fantastic. The detail is crisp and nicely done, especially all the little touches and they’re easy to build, more or less, and once built are as impressive as they should be.

The important thing to remember though, before you part with your cash, is that they’re big ships with big points costs and you’ll need a big fleet to bury them in. And because they are so incredibly powerful fleets need to be of sufficient size that their destructive power is comparable to task forces within the fleet. Otherwise games will boil down to fleet verses dreadnoughts on both sides of the board.

All that though, means bugger all because they’re awesome models and if you play Firestorm Armada you need one in your life. Fact.

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