Monday, September 24, 2012

Sci-Fi Monday - Firestorm Invasion

Studio Sparta is preparing to release three games set in the Firestorm Armada universe.  Spartan has spent the last few years developing the background for this system, and there is plenty of scope for them to add to it.  There has been speculation about what scale their long promised ground game would be in.  The two most common scales discussed were 28mm and 15mm with 10mm and 6mm thrown out as ideas from time to time.  The surprising thing is not the choice they made but, rather, that they didn't choose...

Dindrenzi and Terrans face off in a tank knife fight.

The answer they settled on is that they are going to do it all, (minus the 6mm).  They will be releasing a big army sized game in 10mm first.  They will follow that with a company sized 15mm game.  The ultimate expression of the ground game will be skirmish level in 28mm.

The 10mm is the first to release, with models available for order now.  All three games fall under the Firestorm Invasion stable but have different names to signify that they are different games.  The 10mm game is called Plantefall.  Interestingly, this game fits right into the same niche as the new release from Hawk Wargames, Drop Zone Commander.  Now, rather than seeing this as a bad thing, it makes me a happy consumer.  Hawk is fairly pricey.  Nice models, but pricey.  Planetfall is less expensive.  So, not only is there a chance that competition will lower the price of DZC but now I have more models that I can play with in 10mm.  I have to admit, this is making me more likely to buy both lines.

Back to Firestorm Invasion: Planetfall, here's the sales pitch from Studio Sparta,
PHASE 1) This is the brutal ground-pounding side of combat using massive forces of tanks, ground attack craft, mechanical walkers and heavily armoured infantry. This is the part of the invasion when you use your major assets to smash your enemy, this isn't about pretending you are taking a planet with 10 tanks - this is the part when you tactically deploy waves of armour to clear the way before you, pulverising any fool who stands in your way. We call this PLANETFALL and it will be presented using 10mm scale miniatures.
So, this should be a mass combat game with a ton of models.  The rules are available as a free download, though I haven't had a chance to read them yet.  There are also army lists, stat sheets and counters, all for free.  Pretty classy if you ask me.

L-7 Shikra
Starter armies are available for 45 pounds.  This gets you 22 models and a terrain piece/objective.  As you can see from the picture above, not only are these some hot looking models, they'll fit well fighting the DZC models from Hawk.

The 15mm game, called Firestorm Invasion: Conquest, already has miniatures ready.  These models are from the same digital masters as the 10mm, and the 28mm for that matter.  This means that whichever scale you choose, or if you use all three, you will get the same looking vehicles.  Again, this is something I like.  Having gotten into 15mm Sci-Fi this year, more options are good options, and I like the look of a lot of the stuff in this line.  I'm already looking forward to adding some 15mm air support, though cost will determine just how much.

The 28mm game is called Firestorm Invasion: Special Ops and is the smallest scale.  This, despite the mis-leading name, seems to be geared towards special ops.  The elite troops of each army performing the kinds of missions that elite troops are really good at.

Spartan is doing something daring here.  They are releasing three ground combat games at three different scales.  The ways this can go bad are too many to count.  I hope it's a huge success.  The blistering pace of sales for DZC indicates that 10mm is viable, and popular right now.  15mm has a big chunk of the market and is where it's at for sci/fi.  The 28mm game will be interesting to see.  There are some big names in this market already, so it will be fascinating to watch this release and the niche its models fit into.

I'm super excited about both Studio Sparta and it's release plans.  Spartan Games seems to have the moxie to stick with the business for the long haul, so the odds of this whole venture being a success are pretty good.


  1. The Firestorm Invasion sounds promising for me.....

    1. I'm sort of glad that there is a second 10mm line that I am interested in. It makes it less painful to start a new scale with new scenery requirements.

  2. I have got a bad feeling about this. I just think this could go pear shaped really quickly. !0mm and 15mm aren't really that big a difference... if they'd done an epic sized game and a smaller 28mm skirmish game I could see it working. I just think the possibility for cock ups and things going wrong are high with this. I really hope I'm wrong because Neil Fawcett is a top bloke, and I like what he's done with Spartan... but I've got that feeling in my bones again... and it's not arthritis!!!

    1. I hear what you are saying. The only way I see this really working is if the price point for 10mm is much lower, so that you can have the mass battles they are talking about. The 10mm is less expensive than Drop Zone Commander. It is a half to a third the price of 15mm. On price point alone that makes them pretty competitive at 10mm.

      It's the jump up to 15mm that confuses me. While it is, technically, half again as large, the difference in size is not that dramatic. The 15mm Sci-Fi market is pretty full so they will have to be competitive on prices.

      They do have the advantage that they only have to design the vehicle once and then produce it at the different scales, but I don't know how far that takes them.

      It appears that Studio Sparta will be mail order only, which may lower costs as well. This is definitely risky. We'll have to see how it goes but I'm hoping for the best. Short term at least, I see good synergies with DZC. Long term, I'd be surprised if they can keep both 10mm and 15mm going.

    2. I guess it depends. I believe they're going 'production on demand' I believe with Studio Sparta. So if nobody wants the stuff, it's not a problem for them, they just won't make it. My issue is more around bringing three game scales under one roof as it were right off the bat. Just not sure it'll work!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...