Monday, 6 June 2011

Review: Firestorm Armada Relthoza Fleet

The second of the four Firestorm Armada Fleets I'm reviewing the Relthoza are one of the 'second wave' releases for the game, the other being the Directorate I believe. Although if I have that wrong I'm pretty sure fans of the game will point that blunder out!!! Like the other boxed sets, this fleet box set is aimed at the consumer as a starter set. While the Sorylians were the fleet that got me first interested in Firestorm its undoubtedly the Relthoza who tipped me over the edge and made me decide to get started. While the the Sorylians might be all be phallic shaped the Relthoza ships are weirdly angled sleek looking things, that do look totally alien as well as tall, and flat... I like them a lot.

Product Description

Just like the Sorylian set this box contains a profile and rules sheet so you'll be able to get playing with your fleet ASAP and also how to build them although its hardly rocket science I hope I'm not repeating myself, its all good. Unlike the Sorylians however the main 3 cruisers and the big huge battleship are all in resin with no metal bits, however the weight quota of this boxed set is upped by the fact that the Relthozan (is that the right word) frigates are all in metal and come in two parts. The most assembly is the battle ship with four side fins, two on each side and a 'bridge' or command deck thingy on the top, its all pretty straight forward and no dramas.The box also contains some card counter sheets like before for representing various aspects of the game. There are also 10 acrylic flying bases to mount the miniatures on as before.

Character of the pieces 9 out of 10

So what do these guys look like? Well I'm not really too sure. They do however have a very different 'feel' to them aesthetically from many of the other fleets. They look advanced but haven't gone for the sleek smooth lines designers normally go with for advanced space ship designs. They look really weird from the front and totally functional with the side fins providing the larger ships with an interesting profile when viewed from the front or the rear. I love them and they're my favourite fleet on purely aesthetics alone.

Detail 9 out of 10

I think I'm going to have to say that I personally feel that the design of the Relthoza ships is utter genius as I've said above. I might be wrong, I'm a pretty big sci-fi geek but I can't quite remember seeing anything like these ships in other games or TV / films... again though if other more well informed 'super geeks' out there can identify some inspiration pieces please let me know. As things stand though, these do look really, really alien in origin, which is cool because the Relthoza are spider people... I know cool right? The surface detail on these ships is a noticeable 'step up' for me from my Sorylians, and that's not meant as a comment to 'do down' the Sorylians because their detail levels are fine. No its more a comment to show just how impressed I am with the surface detail of these bad boys. I'm going to really have to sit down and think long and hard about how I'm going to do them justice.

The only thing that I'd say is that the all metal frigates initially didn't look as super sweet as those cruisers or battleship, but once the old undercoat went on them it picked the detail out nicely and made it easier to see how finely detailed they were. Again the components were all delivered to the same high standard and I think aesthetically the fleet does all look like it belongs to the same 'race' and the design is consistent. As before the box set also came with rules for the ships / profile sheet with construction instructions on the back and various counter cards, again these were on high quality glossy card, also as before the artwork was clear and functional. Really can't grumble or gripe about any of that.

Quality 9 out of 10

As with the Sorylians the casting was up to a very high standard and the quality of the resin and white metal pieces were again to a high standard and required virtually no cleaning of mould lines etc. The only issue I had were two very minor air bubbles right on the surface of one of the cruisers side fins, while in an ideal world you'd rather they weren't there they were A) hardly noticeable and B) required such a small amount of green stuff to sort out its hardly worth mentioning so in 20 ships so far I've had two minute air bubbles that just weren't an issue... I think its fair to say that's not really bad for a resin line (although admittedly 6 of those ships are metal). The quality of the cards and tokens are the same as before, top notch and perfect for getting you started in the game with the spider people.

Service 9 out of 10

Please read the comments I made on my review of the Sorylians about service... top notch nothing bad to say. I highly recommend using the Spartan Games shop, but hey I wouldn't try to dissuade people from using their chosen game emporium either!!!

Price 8 out of 10

For the money I've spent I really do feel like I've had really good value for money. I now, along with the Sorylian fleet have two pretty nice starter fleets with which I can demo the game to people and I have a really good foundation on which to plot any future expansion of my two fledgling fleets. I really do think these fleet starter sets represent great value for money, get a few mates interested and you'll all be able to pick up a fleet cheaply and get under way with the game ASAP with everything you need and I think that's something Spartan do well, because rather than being forced to pick up certain fleets or forces you might not want to you pick up, you get a fleet that's pretty much what you want and everything in a starter fleet is something you'll need any way.

Overall 9 out of 10

Personally I'm really pleased with my second fleet, and while they have yet to win me a game of Firestorm Armada (because I haven't played with them yet) I know those freaky spider people won't let me down when called upon. Quality is high, cost is reasonable, miniatures look lovely... nothing more to say really!!! Peace out!


  1. These do look very cool, picking a fleet up myself on Thursday (If they still have some in stock).

    Aesthetically, they look like the Fore-runner installations in the Halo gameson the Xbox.

  2. @TheJacobProject I can kinda see what you're saying re the Forerunner Installation's in Halo, certainly on surface detail and textures... But not really the shape, certainly not things like the dreadnoughts etc. Hey fingers crossed the shop you use has something left for you!!! Which fleet are you planning on getting?

  3. Relthoza :D

    Picked them up and aside from 1 piece on the battleship being a bit miscast its a good set of fine miniatures.

    Yhe, the shape isn't the same, but the geometric shape of the ships is similar.

  4. Yeah I see what you're saying and I see it in the mini's as well. Glad to see you jumped on board the the spider people as well, really nice aren't they.