Good morning, Admirals
As those of you who follow my Twitter know, I recently received my order of fleet reinforcements from Wayland Games. While I’ll get to the unboxing of the Patrol Fleet, the Battle Station and my first forays into Army Painter sprays in future posts today I want to look at the Zenian League Fleet Manual. For any new players, this book is the second most important piece of literature for the game after the rulebook for any Zenian League player; but, it should be noted that it is not a required purchase as Spartan Games, being the awesome company they are, have made the up-to-date fleet lists available for free on their website. With this being the case I guess I should probably explain why I feel this book is such a pivotal purchase for a budding admiral when the core information you need to play is available for free!
Simply put, I didn’t buy this book for the pivotal information. Yes, the fleet list is available for free online and no, it is no different to the one in print in the League Manual; but this book is about so much more than just building your fleet according to the rules of play. Each of the 3 major factions has about 6 pages of historical fluff before you even get to the fleet list. With my fleet of choice being the Dindrenzi I started with them and was not disappointed. It details the separation from Terra through the two wars led by the Rense clan, the contact war with the Relthoza (who are so much more terrifying than I first thought they would be, and seeing as they are giant spider-like creatures I had them down as pretty bone-chilling!) and how the Directorate came to be fighting against the Terrans on the side of the League. All of that from just 1 section of the fluff provided!
The Relthoza and Directorate receive an equal amount of love, describing a myriad of different parts of their lore which I won’t spoil too much here but one of the more surprising elements of it are that the Relthoza are vegetarian! Who knew?!
Moving into the rules section of the book, each of the major and minor fleets for the Zenian League are represented in full with the most current rules for every ship currently available and valid (and a couple of new ones that aren’t in case you wanted to know what new ships are about to Fold Space into the game) meaning that this is the only book you need to deal with single race fleets or alliances. It also includes all of the Tactics Values and Command Distances for the fleets making this a genuine one-stop shop for any information you may require for your fleet during gameplay. As a nice little bonus, all the ships are represented by a new, very nice looking render next to their stats and I’ve spent a good hour pouring over all the little details on the various ships that I want to buy in the future (read – all of them).
One of the other really nice little touches, and one of the primary reason I wanted the book in the first place, are the example fleets that are provided after the fleet listings. Multiple examples are given from Patrol right up to Grand fleet sizes each of which is accompanied by some fluff about that fleet style such as the difference between a Dindrenzi front line battle fleet and a reserve fleet or long range patrol as well as a colour scheme of a famed fleet that fulfils that role. This really helps to expand out the background of the various races and provide some inspiration for anyone a bit stuck on a paint scheme and not just wanting to copy the box art! For example, my Dindrenzi fleet is going to be a planetary invasion based fleet (P.S.N. I think is the designation, I don’t have the book to hand) based around the Speartip I mentioned in a previous post used to find and penetrate the weakest part of a defending fleets battleline to deliver the ground forces before looping around to take care of the fleet.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the game, even if you don’t collect a Zenian League fleet (yet). It is a fantastic supplement from a fluff point of view and there is no better way to get to know your fleet or your enemy’s if you are a member of the Alliance. The quality is fantastic, the value is excellent and the content is sublime making it a must have in my book.
Be sure to dock in again soon for the un-boxing of the Dindrenzi Patrol Fleet!
Until next time,