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Subject: Fleet-based minis balanced wargame (space or naval) that doesn't take forever? rss

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Eric Taylor
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My buddy and I were considering picking up some kind of fleet-based wargame, as I have fond memories of Battlefleet Gothic but have no desire to get back into the game now that I'm older because it's poorly supported and the balance is absolutely awful right off the bat (you're playing Orks and the other guy is playing Eldar? Might as well just pick up and go home).

I've stumbled across Dystopian Wars and Firestorm: Armada by Spartan Games and I hear good things. I also hear DW takes about 3-4 hours to play most games and FA takes less. I tend to prefer space-themed to naval, but beggars can't be choosers.

I'm not terribly interested in anything that takes more than roughly 2 hours to play or anything that seems to derive most of its fun value from fixating on a particular universe(primary example being Star Trek - I'm sure Star Trek fans have great fun playing out various space battles in the fictional universe they enjoy, but I'm not a Trek fan and have no taste for it). Anything that lets me scoot ships around while firing cannons, launching torpedoes, ramming/boarding other ships, launching fighters/bombers, etc. would be awesome. I'd really like for the game to be reasonably balanced, because if I didn't care about balance I'd just go back to BFG. Thus far it seems like Spartan Games is my best bet, but I was wondering if there was anything else out there that you kind folks would recommend.
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Doctor X

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Would Battleship Galaxies be too light?
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Eric Taylor
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Doctor X wrote:
Would Battleship Galaxies be too light?


Unfortunately, it would. I did look into that (in fact, I think the Penny Arcade strip is what made us remember fleet games), but compared to Warmachine/Hordes, our normal minis game, it's just too light. Thank you for thinking of that, though.
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Tim
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Snipafist wrote:
Doctor X wrote:
Would Battleship Galaxies be too light?


Unfortunately, it would. I did look into that (in fact, I think the Penny Arcade strip is what made us remember fleet games), but compared to Warmachine/Hordes, our normal minis game, it's just too light. Thank you for thinking of that, though.


Full Thrust is probably what you're looking for. The rules are free: http://www.groundzerogames.net/mambo/index.php?option=com_co...

And you can use any miniatures you can find. Meaning whatever you can find a good deal on will work just fine.

Full Thrust is pretty much *the* game of the genre. It's very well regarded.
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Boaty McBoatface
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tofarley wrote:
Snipafist wrote:
Doctor X wrote:
Would Battleship Galaxies be too light?


Unfortunately, it would. I did look into that (in fact, I think the Penny Arcade strip is what made us remember fleet games), but compared to Warmachine/Hordes, our normal minis game, it's just too light. Thank you for thinking of that, though.


Full Thrust is probably what you're looking for. The rules are free: http://www.groundzerogames.net/mambo/index.php?option=com_co...

And you can use any miniatures you can find. Meaning whatever you can find a good deal on will work just fine.

Full Thrust is pretty much *the* game of the genre. It's very well regarded.


Full thrust is not 'light'. I would recomend Battlefleet Gothic

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?aId=43...
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Eric Taylor
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slatersteven wrote:
tofarley wrote:
Snipafist wrote:
Doctor X wrote:
Would Battleship Galaxies be too light?


Unfortunately, it would. I did look into that (in fact, I think the Penny Arcade strip is what made us remember fleet games), but compared to Warmachine/Hordes, our normal minis game, it's just too light. Thank you for thinking of that, though.


Full Thrust is probably what you're looking for. The rules are free: http://www.groundzerogames.net/mambo/index.php?option=com_co...

And you can use any miniatures you can find. Meaning whatever you can find a good deal on will work just fine.

Full Thrust is pretty much *the* game of the genre. It's very well regarded.


Full thrust is not 'light'. I would recomend Battlefleet Gothic http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?aId=43...;_requestid=2612606.


Response to both posts:

I don't think Full Thrust will really do it either. It's a bit too open-ended for it to ever really catch on in my group. Plus the standard minis are a bit small. I guess I'm pretty much looking for a replacement for Battlefleet Gothic that doesn't have the associated glaring problems of Battlefleet Gothic. Thank you for your responses, though.
 
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Gunther Schmidl
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Dreadfleet?
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Bruce
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You might want to take a look at Silent Death: The Next Millennium Deluxe Edition. No capital ships, but swarms of fighters...and fan mods for BSG and Star Wars.
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Eric Taylor
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gschmidl wrote:


Do they ever plan to expand it to flesh out factions? I was always puzzled if Dreadfleet was a standalone game or more of a teaser-starter for some kind of reinvigorated GW Warhammer Fantasy naval game.
 
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Eric Taylor
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Ellowen-Deeowen wrote:
You might want to take a look at Silent Death: The Next Millennium Deluxe Edition. No capital ships, but swarms of fighters...and fan mods for BSG and Star Wars.


Thanks for the response, but larger classes of ships are pretty much a must, so a fighter-based game is unfortunately untenable.
 
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Alfred Wallace
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For a weird choice: Aeronef. It's big late 1800s battleships...up in the sky. Maybe a little beer-and-pretzels, but worth a glance. The factions are nicely asymmetric but balanced (in my experience, which I'll grant is a few years ago).
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Todd Warnken
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Any of the Call to Arm versions meets the definition:

Babylon 5: A Call to Arms (Second Edition)

A Call to Arms: Noble Armada

A Call to Arms: Star Fleet
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Jeff Perrella
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I did read that you're not a Trek fan, otherwise Federation Commander: Klingon Border might suit you. I think it's a great game, might be worth at least taking a look? Easy to learn, and you can play without miniatures (using the included chits and maps) to get a feel for it before you invest in models.

Firestorm Armada is good, but the models are HUGE and look woefully out of scale on a reasonably sized table. It's a distraction for me, but your mileage may vary.

Dystopian Wars is scaled a lot better, and there is lots of variety (air, naval, and ground combat). I would recommend it over Firestorm Armada.

One caveat, though- the rules for Spartan's games are perpetually in "beta." Might want to wait awhile for them to stabilize, though they do offer all the updates for free on the website. The current rulebook was obsolete before it was printed, and I think Uncharted Seas (the other of their main 3 games) had three revised printings in about 18 months, IIRC.
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Ryan Powers
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How about the spartan games trio of The Uncharted Seas (fantasy naval), Firestorm Armada (space combat), Dystopian Wars (airships).

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Ryan Powers
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alfredhw wrote:
For a weird choice: Aeronef. It's big late 1800s battleships...up in the sky. Maybe a little beer-and-pretzels, but worth a glance. The factions are nicely asymmetric but balanced (in my experience, which I'll grant is a few years ago).


This is very much on my "If I didn't already have way too many minis to paint up, I'd buy this" list.
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Kent Reuber
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Starmada: Fleet Ops is a fleet level game based on the Starmada system. You do not need the basic Starmada rules to play.
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Bwian, just
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Snipafist wrote:

I don't think Full Thrust will really do it either. It's a bit too open-ended for it to ever really catch on in my group. Plus the standard minis are a bit small. I guess I'm pretty much looking for a replacement for Battlefleet Gothic that doesn't have the associated glaring problems of Battlefleet Gothic. Thank you for your responses, though.

So, why not use Battlefleet Gothic minis with Full Thrust, and design your own more balanced stats? That way it's not too open-ended, you can use your old ships, and if you buy any more (or get Firestorm Armada ships to join in) they will also be the big and chunky minis you want?
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Christian Holmes
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keethrax wrote:
How about the spartan games trio of The Uncharted Seas (fantasy naval), Firestorm Armada (space combat), Dystopian Wars (airships).



I would second this. I have Uncharted Seas, and IMO, it is very simple, but not too light.
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Eric Taylor
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Bwian wrote:

So, why not use Battlefleet Gothic minis with Full Thrust, and design your own more balanced stats? That way it's not too open-ended, you can use your old ships, and if you buy any more (or get Firestorm Armada ships to join in) they will also be the big and chunky minis you want?


That is an eminently reasonable suggestion if it weren't for the fact that it would require me to put in a lot of work on converting ships over and trying to balance the various factions. This isn't to say that I'm not occasionally game for tilting at such windmills, but I don't have the time or patience (I'm currently also GMing a roleplaying campaign that gobbles up my time) and I suspect my friend(s) doesn't have the patience or ability, being newer to minis gaming and rulebuilding.

Ideally, it will be something where it doesn't require that much investment in building up the factions and ship types and they can just be selected from a list (rulebook and/or online). The minis should also be easily available for purchase on a minis-selling site (preferably Warstore, but so long as it's not eBay I'm happy) and large enough to look impressive from a few feet away. To complicate matters, I'm not even sure where all my old BFG stuff got off to, and most of my other friends did not play it, so we don't have a lot of the old BFG ships lying around to use.

I have appreciated all the suggestions thus far and I've been to all the BGG pages linked to. At this point, I'm still favoring either Firestorm Armada or Dystopia Wars, leaning Firestorm (I likes space ships pew pew). I just figured I'm absolutely uninformed about other options, and the BGG community has always been good at expanding my knowledge base. Thank you for your help, all of you.
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Michael Stone
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Firestorm armada and Uncharted seas are wonderful games which use much the same system. What I like about the system is that with the book, the base set of your chosen race and 2 blisters you have all you will ever need under $100. this for a miniatures game is fantastic. I prefer the Fantasy realm of Uncharted seas but to each their own.
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Eric Taylor
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stoneart69 wrote:
Firestorm armada and Uncharted seas are wonderful games which use much the same system. What I like about the system is that with the book, the base set of your chosen race and 2 blisters you have all you will ever need under $100. this for a miniatures game is fantastic. I prefer the Fantasy realm of Uncharted seas but to each their own.


I was under the impression that Uncharted Seas kinda got left behind... would you mind telling me more about it and why you prefer it?
 
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Ryan Morgan
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War Rocket: Space Battles in the Atomic Age may be the game your looking for. Its my very favorite space combat game.

Combat includes just one dice roll per ship and each race's ships have completely unique ways of moving.

Its an absolute blast.




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Ryan Powers
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Snipafist wrote:
stoneart69 wrote:
Firestorm armada and Uncharted seas are wonderful games which use much the same system. What I like about the system is that with the book, the base set of your chosen race and 2 blisters you have all you will ever need under $100. this for a miniatures game is fantastic. I prefer the Fantasy realm of Uncharted seas but to each their own.


I was under the impression that Uncharted Seas kinda got left behind... would you mind telling me more about it and why you prefer it?


I haven't followed it much, but weren't the Uncharted Seas models just redone?

This thread is looking for exactly what I'm looking for, I threw the Spartan Games ones out there, but really don't know enough about them to actually recommend them, they just happen to be some of the ones I'm looking for to fill this niche.
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Ryan Powers
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Also, on a completely unrelated note: I see that you are a WM/Hordes player and are in Downers Grove. Do you have a local store you play at? I grew up there, and go through semi-regularly.
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Martin Gallo
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Hard Vacuum is a pretty good game.
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