The Firestorm Armada Galaxy Expansion

The Firestorm Galaxy Expansion

Every time we do research with our customers a couple of things hit me: firstly, the fact that so many of you are kind enough to respond so quickly; secondly, that because of this we really must do it more often because the data we get is priceless and assists us in forging the games for the whole community of players.

As an example let’s discuss some of data from our latest survey before we move on to the upcoming Firestorm Galaxy Kickstarter and then finally talk about another favour I would like to request of you all.

We asked the question: What would you most like Spartan Games to release for Firestorm Armada?

A simple, but powerful question, and folk could tick multiple boxes. Well here is what you asked for:

New expansion models for existing factions

82%

New printed materials (supplements, campaign books, race/faction guides etc.)

64%

New printed rulebook

53%

New 2-player box

48%

New factions

47%

New scenery

39%

New gaming aids (dice, templates)

28%

Organised Play materials (tournament rules, prize packs)

28%

Gaming Mats

25%

A Role-Playing Game in this setting

18%

Translated rulebooks

10%

 

More Models

Clearly you have a hunger for more models (which is fabulous because we love making models) and with the new Firestorm Armada 3.0 rules we have looked to expand our design space by making much better sense of our model classifications. With an 82% response we are delighted because this correlates to our Kickstarter plans perfectly , so happy days!

Extra Print Items

64% of you want more books – things just keep getting better! We had plans for the Kickstarter with respect to this, but we need more info from you to help tailor our plans to better fulfil your needs even more. More of that later in this blog.

New 2-Player Box and Factions

The Firestorm Galaxy has a number of races already, be it 6 Core races and several Alliance races. But space is BIG and there is always room for more, but not too many! I am pleased that close to half of you wanted a new 2-player box and that almost the same again wanted new factions.

Our thinking here is that we need to link these new factions to our narrative expansion and this is where the Kickstarter gives us a lovely opportunity to do this. Our new 2-player box introduces one brand-new race, the Saurian Enclave, and takes an old race idea and hugely improves it – the Pathogen. I am personally massively excited by what we have done with these new races and cannot wait to show them to you all. That said, I have had a wonderful time creating the new narrative for the galaxy which features these two races in prominent roles.

New Scenery

Space stations, asteroids, military installations, ancient artefacts and more. Well a good number of you want scenery and we’re delighted to make it happen for you. Fun times ahead!

And the rest…

As you can see there are a batch of other items voted for and over time we will do our best to deal with them. Some of these drew smaller % requests from you, but they nonetheless are important to our overall plans.

The New Rulebook

More than half of you want a new rulebook.  But as we learned with Dystopian Wars 2.5, a new rulebook sometimes generates the question: “why make a new Firestorm Armada rulebook”… The answer is complex (ish) and I’ll discuss it here, but I would say look out for our new YouTube videos. You can watch me talk about Firestorm Armada 3.0 and if me on screen offends, just listen!

Version 2.0 of the rules came out in November 2013 and they have served our players very well in that time. So, as we approach 4 years of the 2.0 rules being played it became clear to me last year that I wanted a new set of rules to better service the vision of the galaxy I created.

We had to evaluate two customers with Version 3.0 of the rules: Set A being existing players loyal to the game and Set B new customers. We need to cater for both because without an expanding base of players a game cannot grow. We see comments on the forums from our existing players looking for other gamers to challenge, and so growing the game is a way to make this happen and is important.

Some needs are thankfully common across both groups, but in some areas their needs diverge and this makes the process of keeping everyone happy a challenge, and there must obviously be some compromises. Driven by a list of amends I wanted for the game I tasked Spartan Derek with coming up with a solution. Much dice rolling later and shouting at me a 3.0 set of rules was formulated.

Kickstarter and the Firestorm Galaxy expansion

Firestorm Armada is my vision for a science fiction galaxy and the races which inhabit it. For a while I took my hand off guiding the game, and this was fine for a while, but it was not conducive to its longer-term development.  In hindsight this is not something that even the most talented group of people working outside the business could achieve and after a while I found that it was limited in scope and drifting from my vision for the game and for Spartan Games as a business and I needed to take back control to bring it back on course.

I was really keen to deliver a major expansion of the game for its loyal customers, but as you know when we surveyed all of you, the vote (narrowly) went to a Dystopian Wars expansion.  Now that’s shipping we’ve been able to unleash ourselves on this exciting expansion, using a Kickstarter as a vehicle to allow us to make dramatic strides in this direction.

What this means is that the new Firestorm Galaxy Expansion is a well thought out, comprehensive and well-defined plan that is hugely exciting. We have worked hard to pull all the ideas together and as a result the expansion goes way beyond just models: It encompasses new galactic star maps, system maps, a campaign system, a massively revamped narrative, and thorough technology explanations (for example how FSD drives function and how this translates to movement about our new campaign system).

This approach doesn’t just create awesome new models for you, crucially it generates a compelling reason for you to put those models on the tabletop.

Version 3.0 of Firestorm Armada has some simple goals:

  • Write a clear-cut set of rules
  • Add new functionality but DO NOT slow the game down
  • Speed the rules up – Linked Fire was my target here
  • Add a Command & Control system – this was high on my personal list of features
  • Re-balance the statistics
  • Expand the model classifications
  • Amend fleet building
  • Massively expand the narrative
  • Adjust SRS – I never liked the 2.0 rules and I felt we were making the wrong use of the tokens
  • Let folk get more toys on the tabletop and play with them faster

Fine tuning the Kickstarter

I would very much like to ask you all to fill in a new survey for me. This time I would like to delve into a more granular level with you. The replies you generate will greatly assist me in fine tuning what we make for you.

When you see our new Survey you will see some questions that relate to our true 10mm scale ground combat game Firestorm Planetfall, this is the first stage in further developing this game system in the Firestorm Galaxy and there’s more to come.

And on a final note…

In developing a game it is important to listen to people, and we do, following Facebook, our forums and also through the surveys we undertake.  We’ve seen some heartfelt observations on forums that are not necessarily in line with our plans and obviously respect that others have their views, but we also read each and every one of the comments that the many, many hundreds of players wrote on our most recent survey and are taking those thoughts and views into all our planning activities.

OK, so that is plenty for now. Check out my new YouTube videos and thank you for reading this Blog, taking the new Survey and watching my video.

All the best, Spartan Neil.