Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Review: Firestorm Armada Aquan Fleet

Fishmen!!! Nope that's not the start to some weird joke or an insult, it's what, unsurprisingly, the Aquans are. Although I prefer to think of them as more squid men, primarily because I quite like the idea of killing them and turning them into deep fried calamari rings... om nom nom. Again though we're in starter box territory and if you've been reading the other reviews of Firestorm Armad stuff I'm not too sure this will throw up any surprises at all.

Product description

As with the others we have 1 Battleship (looks like a vertically squished USS Enterprise with added alien bits) 3 Cruisers that kinda look like backwards Vorlon ships (Babylon 5 for those with less geek factor than me) and the frigates look like teeny tiny versions of the cruisers. These guys are, I'm afraid the stereotypical flowing sleek looking aliens TM. That's not to say their ships don't look cool, because they do. However the best bit is still to come... they require no assembly whatsoever... well apart  from those acrylic bases!!! Again there are cards with stuff on them and counters for playing the game, they even have tongue firmly in cheek assembly guidelines complete with wry humour, nice touch.

Character of the pieces 7 out of 10

They're sleek looking alien ships. You've probably seen their like a hundred times before in sci-fi programs and other game systems. They're OK if that's your thing but honestly I found them a little uninspired and I'm glad I didn't pick them up because I think I'd have got bored of their aesthetic pretty quickly if I'm honest, sure they're the cool looking aliens who probably have all sorts of cool looking technology and I'm sure there are lots of people out for whom the Aquans will be spot on.

Detail 7 out of 10

I think the Aquans although quite 'cool' looking are possibly my least favourite in terms of looks of the 4 fleets I've actually seen so far. That's not to say they're bad in any way, its just I've seen the 'sleek' technologically advanced alien ship design before... its why the Sorylians bulky functionality and the Relthozans quirkiness really appeals to me more; because they're aliens who don't need nice sweeping lines to make them look alien. Also because of those nice sweeping lines the surface details on these ships can't be as cluttered and therefore detailed as some others in the Firestorm range because it would ruin that 'sleek' look. Now I do look at them and think I could get a cool pearlescent type effect going on them with some coloured metallic's to make them look like fish skin, but the design brief itself for these has kind of meant they're, to my eyes, the least detailed of the fleets I've seen so far. The by now obligatory glossy cards are all to the same high standard but the counters still require you to cut them out yourself.

Quality 8 out of 10

Again on the whole I'm at a loss to really pick fault with the quality of the miniatures, there appears to have been no miscasts or bubbles in any of the resin ships, the 3 cruisers and battleship. I gave them a thorough looking over just to make sure as well and couldn't see a damn thing wrong with them, so in 28 mainly resin pieces I think we're up to 5 air bubbles across 3 components on 2 ships, I think that's pretty good going and none of those air bubbles were a major pain in the backside. The resin as with the other ships in the other fleets is some hardy substance probably suitable for building real space ships out of. Its also perfectly suited for day to day handling and gaming. The metal frigates however had some visible mould lines, I know terrible right? But its the first time I've thought to mention them given how small and insignificant they were on the other fleets. There were however slight issues with the holes on the underside of the metal frigates as they were too small to fit the flying bases into and therefore required a bit of work to make the holes wider, although after we'd done that we did wonder why we hadn't just made the top of the acrylic 'rods' smaller... yeah it seems obvious now but... oh just shut it, nobody likes a smart arse and we all have 20/20 hindsight!!! lol.

Service 9 out of 10

As always if I could direct you to my comments in the Sorylian Review for the service received. Top notch.

Price 7 out of 10

Again we have a very good little starter set, and you'll even save on super glue!!! Bonus. Now if only they painted themselves to a very high standard I think you'd have the perfect lazy gamers product. Yes I know I should have got them, ha ha very funny. For those of you who are perhaps a little 'pressed for time' these guys might appeal but seriously I don't think any of the fleets that I've reviewed could be described as 'difficult' to put together and there was minimal work required with them all. I also think because of the way the surface detailing is on pretty much all the fleets and the Aquans are no different they'll look pretty effective with some quite simple painting techniques, I might even crack out the washes and do some dry brushing as well, those who know me well will be shocked at that thought trust me.

Overall 7 out of 10

Put it this way, we're talking about minimal outlay for a genius games systems that on first glance looks like its balanced, well written and above all else fun. For those of you who like rolling lots of dice those Battleships will also sate that particular appetite too. As I said in my introduction to getting started with Firestorm what's not to love about the idea of space combat? Well now I know the miniatures are of a good quality as well there's even less reason to not take the plunge. Get a few mates together and give it a go, you won't be disappointed. Peace out!


  1. Looks like you're really getting into this game. Where I in the same country I'd be up for throwing down the proverbial gauntlet for at least a series of games.
    The ships look great. I do hope the game mechanics are at least as good as the ship design.
    Keep it up man. I'm starting to look into this stuff myself now.

  2. @Relic_5 whereabouts are you at? I forgot, was it Washington? Any way yep I'm getting into the game, I've airbrushed my Sorylians with a red base coat and am looking forward getting them finished. I'll be taking some pictures and I'm taking notes on what I'm doing as I go. Hopefully I'll have it all done by Sunday... just don't hold your breath!!!

    I've also got two 4'x4' MDF boards to do a night sky and I've got plans for making my planets too... they'll probable be utterly shit but hey its worth a go right? I'll also do a write up on how I make the planets at some point... also had some awesome ideas about an Infinity board I want to do as well, but I'll keep those plans under wraps for now.

  3. Yeah, I'm in Washington State.
    Airbrush eh? Sounds like these ships are going to be awesome. I look forward to seeing pics.

  4. Not too sure about awesome!!! lol. I mainly use airbrushes to put on as nice and smooth a base coat as I can, depending on the project that can sometimes take more time, or less. I did it for this project simply to save some time and get the base coating done ASAP. I'm going to attempt a few different tricks with them though to see if some of the things I've used on much larger scale pieces can be as effective at this scale. I hope so because I really want to do a good job on my Sorylians!!!

  5. I did some Space Wolves with my Airbrush. Kind of entertaining, really. Shadow grey for the first pass, then adding little bits of fortress grey each pass there after. I made about five or six passes. Then after the basecoat dried, I added watered down purple wash to the recesses of the models. As far as basecoats go, I was very pleased with it.
    And as a very large side note, I asked my local game store minion about Firestorm. Aside from the guy in the DC comics they'd not heard of it until I mentioned it.
    They do have the ability to order it though. Eventually.

  6. Brilliant, you might actually want to look into getting it direct from Spartan Games via mail order or somewhere like the Warstore. If they haven't heard of it point them to Spartan Games website or this blog ;)

  7. I decided on the Aquans, myself. Do you want me to do an Aquan fluff write-up for you as a guest post? Email me at mark DOT ls DOT stone AT gmail DOT com.