The 2017 Firestorm Galaxy
Written by Spartan Neil |
Welcome to this update on Spartan Games’ Firestorm Galaxy as I detail our plans for the next year and beyond.
The first thing to address is the major changes that have impacted both our Firestorm Armada and Firestorm Planetfall miniature games, changes which we did not fully explain to our customers. I would therefore like to start with an apology for our poor communications as we reshuffled development, and putting that to one side, I want to now move forwards and explain the important changes we have implemented and what that means for our exciting sci-fi setting this year and beyond.
I am going to discuss the games separately, but I would very much like to reinforce that one of the most important changes we have made is to fully integrate our plans for Firestorm Armada and Firestorm Planetfall. Allowing these games to be developed independently of each other prior to 2017 didn’t work well for the games.
Key Dates – Firestorm Armada
For a while now we have discussed the idea of version 3.0 of Firestorm Armada. During 2016, we reset our development work and whilst this cost us time, and sadly led to friction in our online forum, the new process we have implemented has now allowed us to now accelerate Firestorm Armada 3.0 development. I am therefore hugely pleased to be able to announce that Firestorm Armada 3.0 will ship by no later than August 2017, along with a raft of new Firestorm Armada models.
As you have recently seen, we have released our first 7 blisters of new Marauder spaceship models for Firestorm Armada. This is an initiative led by Spartan Josh Linde, who manages our Vanguards Program. He is most keen that before we roll out Firestorm Armada 3.0 to you we will have created all models for which statistics have been already created. It is a great plan and we are working with Spartan Josh in the creation of any outstanding models along with giving the Marauder PDF [the older version of which is available from our downloads page at www.spartangames.co.uk] an update.
Important Note: The Marauder PDF is being updated for the current 2.0 version of our rules which will allow players to get their models easily to the table top. When Firestorm Armada 3.0 arrives, the new rulebook will incorporate our Marauders as a core part of the rule book.
There are other products in development for the core Firestorm races, driven by the new 3.0 rules, but our initial focus with Firestorm Armada right now is the completion of all Marauder spaceship models first. This essentially gives us a completely blank canvas for Firestorm Armada 3.0 to move forwards with.
Key Dates – Firestorm Planetfall
Of our two sci-fi games Firestorm Planetfall is the game with which we have let its fans down the most. Our intent was to have created Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 for you long before now, but we failed to do so. A major error on our part and my heartfelt apologies to our customers over this. We appreciate the continued support gamers have shown Firestorm Planetfall and I’d like to now detail our plans for the game.
Let’s take a look at our plans:
April 2017 – we will provide players an insight into the design of Planetfall 2.0 moving forwards by supplying a sample first Force List [Directorate and Works Raptor] along with a brief synopsis of rules changes that players of the original Firestorm Planetfall game can expect. Both of these documents are intended to stimulate discussion and encourage players to suggest developments that they would like to see in the game. This document will provide gamers with an insight into our new Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 rules.
Important note: a major improvement in Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 comes from the way forces (Helixes) are created. The current restrictive way of purchasing models is changing and the first stage of this will see the current Planetfall models being repackaged. This process has started and will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Check out our upcoming Planetfall Update Blog, written by Spartan Derek, which discusses the Directorate/Works Raptor Force List.
May 2017 – we will provide players with a full list of ALL testing Force Lists for the core 6 races (and first 6 alliances that are incorporated within their respective aegis) along with a synopsis of the rules changes at their beta-stage. These will be delivered in PDF format. This is when our new Alpha Team locks the game rules down and moves to final testing.
Check out the May Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 Rules blog for more details on our rules reboot.
June 2017 – we will deliver our final testing Force Lists along with a full synopsis of the rules changes in their final stage. This will be delivered in PDF format. This work will be further reinforced with battle reports from testers to illustrate the new Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 rules.
August 2017 – Spartan Games will release a free PDF copy of the Planetfall 2.0 rules, along with full statistics for all models currently in play AND trial-statistics for models that are not yet available, such as the Saurians and Pathogen. This will allow the gaming public to test-drive the rules and engage with us in a positive way before the book is printed in hard-copy. In addition, we will release a free copy of the Spartan Games Force Builder App for Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 – those of you who have been testing the Halo part of that App will know what to expect!
Important note: This is a busy month for the Firestorm Galaxy as we roll out both Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 and Firestorm Armada 3.0!
Beyond August 2017 – when the Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 book is fully locked down we will print it and we will also roll out our new Firestorm Planetfall sets. This will set the scene for the game moving into 2018 and beyond.
As I commented on earlier the fact that the two games were developed independently of each other was a mistake. Simply being in the same Galaxy was not enough. To this end we have taken our key game designers and shuffled them about to create consistency for our customers, and our goals are:
- A single point of communications – internal and external – to streamline information delivery
- A single point of development ownership
- A common development language for rules and concepts across all products in a setting
What this means for the Firestorm Armada 3.0 and Firestorm Planetfall 2.0 is that Derek Sinclair [Spartan Derek to those who know him] has now assumed control of developing our sci-fi games. He has moved away from other projects, such as Dystopian Wars, and his task is the unification of our Firestorm games.
An example of this move for unification is the new Command & Control rules for FA 3.0. A major element of the new rules has been the ability to define the characteristics of a race, and to model them before, during and after a game. This generates a much more tactical game and is central to Firestorm 3.0. This is also now a central part of Firestorm Planetfall 2.0, with a common framework of rules and language that will allow players to easily embrace common Command & Control across both games. You will hear much more about this as we unveil the new rules and statistics to you.
From a messaging point of view, Spartan Derek will become the single point of contact for players, and he will coordinate the flow of ALL information about the Firestorm Galaxy. This will result in a dramatic change in the way we manage social media, which we will outline over the coming weeks.
Spartan Derek will unveil a blog and a set of forum posts which will detail our plans for communications moving forward. As a small company our intent is to fix our online interaction with you. Components of this will see our Facebook page become much more of a place where you can learn about Spartan products, both shipping products and those in development, and our Forum will become a location where our developers can better interact with our game audiences.
To finish with I would like to say that I am personally very excited by the new design process and I’d like to thank both Derek Sinclair and Josh Linde for stepping up to the plate and replacing me in the design side of Spartan Games. Without their stellar effort, we could not have moved forward with development. With both games now back on track I can work with my 3D designers on future models.
And to you, our Firestorm customers, I appreciate your support through an intense period of time and I can’t wait to see you all playing the new versions of our games in August 2017!
All the very best,