Terran Alliance MkII Cruisers – A Review

A slight change of pace from my more recent Spartan Games reviews. This time the Terran Alliance get my attentions and they’re rather lovely looking Hermes Class MkII Cruisers.

The MkI Sentinel Class Cruiser was one of the first models I saw for Firestorm Armada and I always liked it, if for no other reason than they looked like Battlestar Galactica. This is, of course, is a good thing.

The lack of detail and the comically small turrets combined with its woefully inadequate armaments in the game, however, put me off when compared to the cruisers of the other fleets – both in terms the model and the game. They were also pretty flimsy and tended to go boom a lot. So breakable, and a little bit toothless, which for a ship of the line makes the Terrans harder to use than they need to be. So when I saw that the Hermes Class had come out  I was really pleased from both a design and gaming aspect as it gives me an excuse to collect the fleet, at last.

The kind of player I am, I actively seek out the good guys. Specifically the human good guys. I have somewhat of a romantic ideal of the potential of humanity so cool looking human ships push my button in a big way.

One of the great things that Spartan are doing with the MkII ships is not replacing the MkIs. This means that as gamers develop their fleets they can accumulate ships that look and perform differently to their sister classes. Long term you can have a sizable fleet with multiple classes in it which gives the fleet a history. You could even paint the earlier versions slightly more battered than those fresh off the production line. It’s an exciting move from Spartan. It’s a lesson a certain other company could learn, adding to model ranges rather than constantly replacing models altogether. The only downside, at the moment, is that the starter fleets become less viable – particularly with the Terrans – as the new models are so much stronger than the originals.

The Hermes Class is sooooo much prettier than the Sentinel Class. Heftier, and far more detailed than its predecessor, it is an entirely more beautiful craft. It actually feels like a warship as not only are the armaments more impressive but it looks like it can take a hit without snapping clean in two.

What’s nice about the model it is that Spartan took the best elements of the Sentinel and married them with aspects of the Templar Class heavy cruiser and the Titan Class dreadnought. It all adds up to a great looking model.

In game terms it’s Terran so it has a glass jaw but the shield will help plus it has a pretty decent array of weapons including torpedoes that has a 360 degree fire arc that you get more shots with at range. However, at 75 points a ship they seem a bit pricy and I’d be surprised if they last the battle.

The Hermes is a great looking model but seems a little expensive for punch it’ll dish out or receive. The Terran fleet has always relied on co-operative tactics and the Hermes Class is no different, which is fine but it would have been nice to have something a little bit meatier.

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