1200 Point Dindrenzi vs Aquan Battle Report

Hi all,

Welcome back to ITSZ. Today, I have a lengthy (and hopefully worthwhile, but you might want to grab a cuppa first..) post giving you a narrative battle report detailing the assault of the 913th P.N.D. against the waypoint of NSZ-87 (Northern Storm Zone, Waypoint 87) held by the Aquan battle fleet of Tye Ho’Gyn. Fresh from his victory over the defensive line formed by the Sorylians and the Terrans, Draykon Rense led his “Earthbreakers” in the assault from the bridge of the indomitable Retribution class Dreadnought; DNS Wrath of Rense, the Pride of Dramos being stuck in repairs after the previous battle. The roster of battle fell thusly: Continue reading 1200 Point Dindrenzi vs Aquan Battle Report


Dindrenzi Core Helix Unboxing

Hi all,

Welcome back to ITSZ. Today we’re going to take a look at the Core Helix for the Dindrenzi in Firestorm Planetfall. One of my regular opponents, Chris, picked up the Sorylian Core Helix a little while back and so Jon and I are also getting involved so we can start doing some Systems Wars games.

Continue reading Dindrenzi Core Helix Unboxing

Getting into Planetfall

Hi all,

So, I’ve spent the last couple of days looking over some more of the Planetfall stuff and been getting rather excited by it all. Between the existing Dindrenzi models, the upcoming aircraft and the solid rule set it was always going to be hard to resist. Not only that but one of the main reasons I got into Firestorm Armada was the promise of being able to link Planetfall and Armada games together at some point; now possible through the System Wars rule set. It helps somewhat that Chris, one of my regular opponents, has recently picked up the Sorylian core helix to give my Dindrenzi someone to conquer! In addition to that my other regular opponent, Jon, has said he’ll pick up some Aquan bits when I do.

I spent a fair amount of today reading over the core rules and the ORBAT for the Dindrenzi and looking at the various models that each faction currently has access to and I really like the look and feel of them.  The Dindrenzi’s planetside assets look great, continuing in the theme of a rail gun on a ship/battlestation/skimmer but in the case of their ground units with an incredible amount of agility, mobility and speed. All of their tanks have Hit and Run, allowing them to choose to shoot before moving, their rail guns are some of the most potent weapons around, they are masters of the Sky Drop, bringing in the dreaded Nyx infantry to land on a tuppence* and they look damn good doing it.

With all of that being the case, I’m going to be buying the Dindrenzi core helix this weekend (probably ordering a second one while I’m at it so I have a full 3000 point list to get started with) and giving the game a go. For the moment, this is the 3000 point list I’ve come up with:

Dindrenzi Core Helix

Kratos Heavy Tank Squadron

  • 2 Kratos Heavy Tanks

Eris Medium Tank Squadron

  • 3 Eris Medium Tanks
  • 1 Circe Specialist Tank

Eris Medium Tank Squadron

  • 3 Eris Medium Tanks
  • 1 Circe Specialist Tank

Leto Light Tank Squadron

  • 5 Leto Light Tanks

Leto Light Tank Squadron

  • 5 Leto Light Tanks

Nyx Infantry Cadre

  • Officer
  • 3 Sweeper Teams

Nyx Infantry Cadre

  • Officer
  • 3 Sweeper Teams

Nyx Infantry Cadre

  • 3 Gun Teams

Nyx Infantry Cadre

  • 3 Gun Teams

3 Logistics Points

2990 Points

I’m a big fan of the Nyx so wanted to put as many of them in as I could of the two specialities and the Kratos is a monster.

Either way, I’m really looking forward to getting into the game and widening the content on the blog out to include a new game and hopefully entertain all you fine folks with the tales of my conquest of the Storm Zone!

Until next time!

1200 Point Dindrenzi vs Sorylian Battle Report

Hi all,

Welcome to the next instalment from ITSZ. Today I’ve got a battle report for you all from this weekend past where the might of the Dindrenzi Federation takes on the Sorylian Collective. In one of the opening acts of aggression in the latest Zenian thrust into Kurak space the Dindrenzi have sent the 913th P.N.D. “Earthbreakers” under the command of Fleet Marshal Beta Draykon Rense (more on both the fleet and the commander at a later date) to lead the charge in the northern end of the Storm Zone, on the border of the Aquan Sebrutan, an area reinforced by not only Terrans, but the Sorylians and Aquans as well. Prior to any assault on a station or way point, the League and her allies first had to smash aside a considerable number of Kurak patrols and defence fleets guarding the border of the Storm Zone. In Draykon’s hatred of the Terrans, he had pursued one of the new Tyrant Class battleships into Sorylian defended space where it had joined up with a Sorylian battle fleet…

913th P.N.D. “Earthbreakers”

DNS Pride of Dramos (Praetorian Class Battleship and Flagship of Draykon Rense)

  • +2 AP
  • +3 Wings
  • Remove Ablative Plating
  • Assault Blitz
  • Deck Crews
  • High Energy Kinetics
  • Split Fire Gun Racks
  • 5x Assault Shuttles

The Sisters of Sorrow; DNS Vengeance and DNS Mournful (Cataphract Class Battlecruisers)

  • -1 Turn Limit
  • Double Mines
  • High Energy Kinetics

Hurricane Squadron; DNS Hurricane, DNS Tempestuous Rage, DNS Storm’s Wrath (Secutor Class Cruiser Squadron)

Tempest Squadron; DNS Furious Tempest, DNS Steel Blizzard, DNS Iron Storm (Secutor Class Cruiser Squadron)

Canis Squadron; DNS Canis, DNS Hound, DNS Lupus

Jackel Squadron; DNS Jackel, DNS Anubis, DNS Osiris

Aquila Squadron; DNS Aquila, DNS Erne, DNS Opvic

TACs: Eye of Rense, Burn Thrusters, Perfect Timing

Sorylian and Terran Battle Fleet

Tyrant Class Battleship

  • +2 Point Defence
  • Shield Projector
  • +3 Wings
  • 3 Interceptor Wings

Xiphos Class Carrier

  • +1 Shield
  • +2 Wings
  • +1 Movement
  • Weapon Shielding
  • 2 Kontos Class Escorts
  • Unknown wings (they didn’t get a chance to launch…)

Hasta Class Battlecruiser

  • +1 Shield
  • Weapon Shielding
  • 2 Reaper Class Frigates

Kopis Class Heavy Cruiser Squadron w/ 3 Ships

  • Weapon Shielding
  • Reinforced Starboard/Port

Reaper Class Frigate Squadron w/ 5 Ships

  • Pack Hunters

5 Plumbata Class Corvettes

TACs: Unknown, Admiral died quite quickly…

The Game:

Set Up:

I lost the roll to decide table edges but won the roll for deployment, opting to deploy second. I then declared all 3 of my frigate squadrons in reserve, forcing Chris to put down 3 squadrons before I placed a ship and managed to counter deploy a large number of his ships. I know that Chris uses the scout rule but it only applies to one ship so I could assume that most of his ships would be where they started. At the end of the deployment the Sisters of Sorrow and Tempest Squadron deployed on my far left flank while the Pride and Hurricane Squadron deployed on the far right, setting up a pincer move.

Chris deployed his carrier on my mid-left behind the planet, his Battlecruiser squadron on the mid-right behind the first clump of asteroids while his Heavy Cruisers, Frigates and Corvettes deployed on the far right behind the second clump of asteroids. Initially, the Tyrant deployed in the middle, between the planet and central asteroid field as a bait to me before Chris used his scout move to shunt it to the far left into the gas cloud.

The lines are drawn…. the Sisters of Sorrow lead the charge

Turn 1:

Draykon Rense observed the Kurak battle line, saw the trap of the Tyrant laid out ahead of him and responded in kind, taking the initiative and leading the charge. “Earthbreakers, engage the enemy. Fleet attack pattern Gamma-Epsilon-Omega,” his fist clenched unconsciously. “No Surrender. No Submission. No Terran Tyranny. Dindrenzi Forever,” he growled.

The Sisters opened the hostilities, moving up and drawing a bead at optimum range to the Sorylian Carrier. Today’s battle order called for beheading the beast before mopping up the remnants. Unleashing their twin rail guns in a pair of combined shots of devastating power, their slugs punching huge rents into the skin of the carrier, starting numerous fires and taking out the shield controls on the ship. The Tyrant responded in kind, emerging from hiding in the gas cloud and opening up with everything, striking DNS Vengeance across the nose venting a huge section into space, taking many unfortunate crew with it.

Critical tokens on the Carrier
Repair crews to your stations!

Rense, spotting the Tyrant’s signature reappear on the scopes as it moved from hiding, set the Pride’s engines to slow burn and moved to engage the Battlecruiser anchoring the centre of the line. Despite the considerable power of her main armament the shots bounced off the reinforced hull. Almost as an act of spite the twin torpedo salvoes targeted the Corvettes, the first skimming past the pack while the second slammed into one a midships and rent it apart. The Battlecruiser, rattled, but unscathed, from the assault she just withstood, brought her guns to bear on the Pride but the shots bounced equally harmlessly from her hull.

Praetorian aims for Battlecruiser
Line up to the Battlecruiser. I want her sundered in twain.

Tempest Squadron moved up in support of the Sisters, taking cover in the gas cloud ahead of them, now that the Tyrant had revealed herself she would be punished for it. Unleashing all fire as a synchronised chorus, the rail gun slugs slammed deep into the Tyrant’s hull, disabling her nearest weapon systems, their torpedoes launched a split second after but were shot down or slowed to nothing by the Tyrant’s defences and SRS cover.

The Sorylian Frigates engaged their drives to their maximum, skimming effortlessly around the asteroid field and into the flank of the Pride. A broadside rippled from each ship, munitions thundering across the void to rip superficial armour plating from the Pride, dealing minor damage even as Hurricane Squadron moved to intercept. Their kinetics aimed squarely at the Battlecruiser, shattering the front armour and decoratives but dealing no serious internal damage. Even as their slugs crossed the black their gun racks pivoted to respond to the assault of the frigates, shattering one completely from prow to stern.

Corvettes and Frigates move up
The packs on the hunt…

The Corvettes swung around to engage the Praetorian at high speed, firing at full but to no effect while supported by the Heavy Cruisers who, at a considerably greater level of firepower, cored through the outer plating of the Pride and into the core systems, starting a fire in a secondary compartment.

Turn 2:

The Sisters once again shattered the peace of the void, unleashing another twin salvo at the Admiral’s carrier, though unnecessarily. The first shot tore through the front plating of the carrier, finding a weakened seam in the front bulk head it struck the ammunition reserves buried deeply in the hull and igniting. The Carrier, with the Fleet’s Admiral aboard, was turned into a burning wreck of twisted metal; orbiting the very planet she was using for cover and beginning her downward death spiral into the planet itself.

Death of the Carrier
Firing solution acquired. For Dramos. Fire.

The slowly expanding debris field that was their admiral’s flagship clearly invigorated the Sorylians. The Heavy Cruiser squadron continued to hammer the Praetorian, starting another fire, just as the last had been put out and causing considerable structural damage. The Pride rocked heavily, lashing out with all her guns but with only the gun racks showing any sign of being effective, ripping another frigate asunder.

Even as the Praetorian was taking heavy damage, Canis Squadron sped into the battle zone on the flank behind the Tyrant, aligning their guns as they had practised time again to bring down large prey, dealing only superficial damage to the aft of the Terran ship but no doubt confusing the crew and captain! Even as Canis began the encirclement of Kurakians the Sorylian Frigates continued their assault against the Pride but to no avail. Seeing the arrival of Canis as a trigger for action Tempest stormed from the gas cloud, but with the space born material causing chaos with their equipment their shots staggered rather than launching in their usual coherence. Even so, their aim was true. The first two shots tore armour plating from its mount while the third struck deep into the superstructure, taking out the shield controls.

Reeling from this onslaught the Tyrant struck back at Tempest Squadron but with the reduced level of fire power she now possessed her shots rang ineffective from their thick armour plates.

The Tyrant falls
Not so dangerous now…

Hurricane Squadron recognised the danger that the Heavy Cruisers posed to the right flank, if they weren’t dealt with they could deal untold damage to the ships there. The kinetic weaponry fired as one, two slugs slamming deep into the hull of the lead element crippling her badly even as the gun racks tracked another Corvette and blew her from the black. Their torpedoes sped across the gap between the ships and exploded heavily against the outer plating of the Heavy Cruiser at the end of the line.

The enemy Battlecruiser yet again fired at the Pride, dealing further minor damage… but it was adding up fast…

Turn 3:

The fires on the Pride continued to burn, raging from deck to deck. She was listing badly and Draykon knew it. “Seal the bridge, all unnecessary crew to the evac-pods then purge the decks. I can control her from here if I must. Fight on my brothers and sisters. Hurricane Squadron, survivors heading your way – I’m taking her into the teeth of the storm to buy you some time.”

The Pride moves up for her final act of the day.
Into the teeth…

The time spent organising the life rafts handed the Sorylians an opportunity. One they seized with relish. The squadron of Heavy Cruisers swept in, opening up at the now crippled Pride of Dramos, taking out further gun turrets and rail gun alignment magnets, reducing the power of her offensive capabilities still further. Draykon stood at his command console, the bridge crew sealed away from the vacuum outside, his ships crew either dead, escaped or within the sealed Assault Shuttles that lay waiting in her hanger for her final assault run.

He now gave them the all clear, the shuttles flying from the hanger as one aimed at the nearest Heavy Cruiser, knocking out the point defence and leaving her open to further assaults and torpedoes. The severely depleted rail gun rang out a final shot at the Battlecruiser, stripping yet more external plating while the remaining gun racks pattered ineffectively from the hulls of the Heavy Cruisers and the torpedoes were shot down despite the reduced point defence of the squadrons. As a final last ditch effort the remaining Marines on board the Pride sped towards the rearmost Heavy Cruiser and forced a decompression breach in her hull. Draykon knew it was a one way trip but the men went willingly, the fires of Dramos burned in their hearts as brightly as his own.

Listing badly, the Pride of Dramos made an easy target for the enemy Battlecruiser. Having crawled forwards to her optimum range, the lightly damaged warship unleashed everything she had at the Praetorian. The munitions tore deep into the Pride’s hull, dealing massive damage and shutting off all primary systems. The broken hull turning in the void, dark and alone.

The Sisters saw the bright flash from the right flank. Noting the demise of the Pride, they swung their guns through almost 90 degrees in their haste to get to their Admiral’s attacker. Their captains were far from rookies however, dropping a sizeable minefield just to the fore of the Tyrant ready should she choose to take advantage of the exposed engines of the Cataphractii. Yet, despite the superlative skill with which the ships were handled the shots glanced harmlessly from the armoured skin of the enemy ship.

The captain of the Tyrant saw the opportunity to fire into the exposed engines of the Dindrenzi Battlecruisers, blazing his engines to bring her remaining guns around. However, this was just what the Dindrenzian mines use as an activation. The ship’s motion pulling the mines to her hull before they detonated thunderously, reducing the once proud battleship to nothing more than a smoking wreck.

A Tyrant falls...
A Tyrant falls…

Even as the Sorylian fleet began to crumble with the Dindrenzi ships beginning to surround them on all sides, a further thorn appeared. Jackel Squadon shunted into the battlefield, deep in the Sorylian lines. The Battlecruiser had already moved out of arc but the enemy frigates lay in clear line of sight. Each ship picked a target, firing independently for maximum effect. The first ship blew an opponent apart in a single shot, while the second two crippled the remaining two until the torpedo volley finished them off. The deaths of the frigates galvanised the Corvettes into action, opening with a full broadside onto the unto now undamaged Hurricane Squadron, their shots doing little more than scratch the paint.

Jackel Squadron shunt into battle.
Jackel Squadron engage.

Hurricane squadron swung around the Corvettes and the remaining Heavy Cruisers, whose depleted numbers were starting to show. Even as they did so they dropped a sweep of mines across the prow of all the squadrons. Bringing their kinetics around to the enemy Battlecruiser even as the gun racks dealt the final blow to one of the Heavy Cruisers. Alas, the mass driver shots rebounded harmlessly from the durable enemy capital ship.


Tempest Squadron were considerably less effectual, spitefully taking shots at the remaining escorts from the Admiral’s Carrier group but the small ships evaded damage while Canis Squadron dealt superficial damage to the pair of them.

Turn 4:

Captain Darga Fuegon of the DNS Vengeance took up the mantle of command with the Pride having gone dark during the battle. Issuing an order of extreme prejudice against the Sorylian remnants the ships closed the net, the two sides of the pincer closing tight around what little remained of the fleet. In short order the Dindrenzi fleet brought their combined guns around and unleashed all possible firepower against the Sorylians. The mines detonating amongst the Heavy Cruisers and Corvettes and even as the surviving ships attempted to flee they ran into the combined fire lanes of the Sisters of Sorrow, releasing a small portion of their never ending grief against the Kurakians. Whatever fire power that was able to be spared was aimed at the Battlecruiser, the venerable ship taking hit after hit with stubborn pride but finally succumbing to the damage, but not before dealing a fatal blow to the DNS Tempestuous Rage. The field was littered with Sorylian wrecks. Barring the two damaged escorts from the Carrier group not a Kurak ship moved in the battle zone. The fight was done. The Dindrenzi had triumphed.

End Game:

Draykon sat in his command throne aboard the Pride of Rense; or what was left of it. He flipped absently through a book on military tactics he had started recently and not gotten around to finishing. The bridge crew were similarly engaged in menial tasks, keeping themselves occupied until a rescue could be enacted. The Pride had fallen. She was broken open and burnt; but she would rise again. Like the winged motif of the Dindrenzian Navy she would fly once more. The Sisters of Sorrow drew up to the bridge, extending docking clamps to either side of the enclosed capsule holding the only survivors of the battleships crew still aboard.

The airlocks on the side of the bridge opened and Draykon strode through the tunnel. Nodding briefly to Captain Fuego on the otherside before calling back over his shoulder to have the ship towed to the nearest dock and to be rebuilt. Exactly as it was… the conquest of the Storm Zone awaited and he would not be denied his revenge.

The trap closes...
The trap closes…

Final Score: 15 to -8 Dindrenzi Victory

The 913th had lost two ships in the course of the battle, the Pride and the Tempestuous Rage both reduced to wrecks. The Pride would be repaired but there was little enough left of the Rage to be rebuilt, what little there was would be reclaimed for material to build a new Secutor Class. The Sorylian fleet, however, had been reduced to two fleeing Kontos Class Escorts and so much burning metal. A win by anybody’s standards.

A long post but hopefully you enjoyed the narrative! Leave a comment below on what you think worked well and what didn’t and I’ll try and improve for the next one!

Who am I? And what’s next?

Hi all,

Alex over at Fleet Signal was kind enough to give me a little welcome back post earlier today for which I am very grateful; in the unlikely event any of my readers haven’t seen his blog I highly recommend checking it out! Seeing as Alex was kind enough to point some new readers my way I thought I’d do a quick (re)introduction and give some idea of where the blog is going over the next couple months.

First off, who am I? As you’ve probably gathered by now, my name’s Matt though I’m frequently known by Swifty by some of my older friends (inherited family nickname). I’m a mechanical design engineer for an aerospace, defence and communications company with a focus on CAD and additive manufacturing (more on this another time – see below). I’m currently working at a site in Newmarket, Suffolk but my “home” is Bournemouth, Dorset, (UK for any overseas readers) where I’m hoping to get back to in September. I’m currently on a rotational graduate scheme so I move house and job every 6 months (hence the considerable drop in posting until recently!).

I’ve been a wargamer for about 12 years now, starting in my early teens with an Imperial Guard army for Warhammer 40,000 and have been in and out of the hobby ever since. I currently have 2 Astra Militarum armies (including that very early one that’s not seen daylight in a decade…), the better half of a Great Company of Space Wolves, a 2000 point Horus Heresy White Scars army that is very much WIP, a set of Soviets for Bolt Action that are still on their sprues (I got a bit excited… but I’ll get to them eventually, hobbyists promise!) and then my Dindrenzi for Firestorm Armada of which I have a Grand Fleet’s worth of ships (rough estimate) and looking to expand it in the near future. I also bought the Terrans from the Storm Zone starter set back off the guy I split it with originally as he wasn’t going to use them and I fancied a second fleet but I’ve not added to them since.

My main goal at the moment is to try and get at least one game in a month. The reason for this is two fold; partly so that I can produce a decent battle report for you all to read regularly but mainly so that I can get better at the game! I’ve not had a good chance to play a number of games back to back to carry over lessons learned from game to game meaning I often catch myself making similar mistakes and only realising after the fact. Thankfully the Dindrenzi are a relatively forgiving fleet but even so I end up in the draw to major loss catagory far more often than the minor-major win! Though it should be stated here that one of my regular opponents (Jon – Aquan Fleet) has dice more corrupt than a Terran commitee:

Dem 6's!
Case in point…

It got so bad that he actually did the salt water test on them just to prove to us that his dice weren’t rigged (they weren’t, he just seems to get these incredible exploding dice streaks about once or twice every game).

My secondary goal is to actually find time to finish painting my fleet beyond the crimson that they currently have on them but as with all things hobby… I’ll get to it at some point – possibly even with an article.

So, what’s next for ITSZ (Thanks to Alex for the acronym!)? Well there’s a range of articles I want to cover in the next few months:

  • Battle Reports – the last time I asked my (2 person and a goat) readership what they wanted this was top of the list so more of these are on the way. They’ll follow the same pattern of the last one in a part narrative, part game play format. These may occasionally be guest articles from Jon or Chris, my regular opponents, or Dan who is looking to get himself a Relthoza fleet in the near future.
  • Fluff/Backstory – for me one of the most exciting things about wargaming is that you are free to create these characters and stories for them that take the game beyond “A shoots at B. I roll X dice with Y successes so Z happens to you”. I want a bit of tension, drama, intrigue. In short, I want to care about the game I’m playing. If my admiral’s ship is destroyed it shouldn’t just be a negative score on my battle log, that is a serious loss of war material and experience! As such, I’ll be doing the odd little bit here and there about each of the tier 1 ships and the squadrons below that from my fleet to flesh them out a bit. If anyone else has anything similar I’d love to read it!
  • Fleet on a Budget – we’re already half way through this series so it kind of goes without saying that I’ll be finishing it up with the Kurak Alliance races. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the three that are up so far, or at least found them useful!
  • Ship Analysis – I’d like to spend some time delving a bit deeper into some of the ships in the various fleets; look at their options and stat lines and consider some alternative uses for them or useful tactics. Rolled into this will be a few Comparison articles such as Destroyer vs Cruiser, weighing up the pros and cons of each ship in their intended role and which might be more useful.
  • Planetfall – I’ve yet to really get my teeth into Planetfall having only recently gotten back into the hobby but what I will say is that the concept behind the System Wars rules and the idea of linking games together from the depths of space to planetary conquest is pretty much one of the defining ideals of my concept of wargaming. Naturally I’ll be getting involved in the near future with a Dindrenzi force and I’m really excited to give it a go!
  • 3D Printed Gaming Aids – There has been a lot of hype in the wargaming community about 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing (3DP/AM) with people claiming everything from it being terrible and never going to be capable of the detail we currently see (totally untrue) right through to it putting all wargaming companies out of business because people will just make their own models (also totally untrue for sooooo many reasons). I’m hoping to produce a number of items to be sold through a dedicated Shapeways store which will add to the game. These will not be items to replace ships in your fleets for cheap or similar; that is anathema to me. Spartan have created an incredible game with some of the best models of their type in the world and I am certainly not going throw that back in their faces by making rip offs. However, I have some ideas for certain items which I think will help add another dimension to the game. I’ll also be doing an article on the current state of 3DP/AM from an industrial and “prosumer” standpoint to hopefully try and dislodge some of the unwarrented hype that is currently going around.

To surmise, I hope this has given you a little window into what is coming for ITSZ and a bit more about who I am and why I’m doing this blog. As always, comments, criticism and the like are very welcome and encouraged – I want to help build this game up so the more in tune I am with what you lot want to read about the better it’ll be for all of us!

Until next time!

Entry Level Fleets on a Budget: The Relthoza

Hi all,

Welcome to the third instalment in our Entry Level Fleets on a Budget series. This time round we’re looking at the Relthoza, the vigorous and intimidating arachnoid race that sided with the Zenian League.

If you’ve not see parts 1 and 2 of this series, then hit these links for the Dindrenzi and Directorate.

Firstly, who are the Relthoza? To the outside they appear exceptionally intimidating, brutal creatures but the truth is far more complex; bound to a surprisingly complicated caste based structure they are nevertheless individual creatures with the capacity for self-will and expression; no extra-galactic, faceless hive minding going on here! The best way to describe a Relthozan would be as an arachnoid-like centaur; 4 limbs to move around on with a vertical thorax capped with a hunched over neck and head giving them a sinister aspect. They have a further 4 upper limbs ending in highly capable tendrils, allowing them a surprising amount of dexterity and agility for creatures of their size and imposing nature. They’re visage is one of human nightmares made manifest, ten eyes, six lidless orbs clustered at the front of the head with four larger ones for peripheral vision around the edge. They have a natural ability to magnify what they are looking at which, when combined with their dexterous appendages, allows them incredible skill at miniaturisation and nanotechnology. This horrific-looking creature is capped off with a set of imposing jaws, a mass of piercing and cutting implements capable of liquefying and consuming anything in it’s path. The great irony of this evolution into something which looks like the brain child of H R Giger and H P Lovecraft’s combined nightmares is that the Relthozan’s are vegetarians by choice unless absolutely necessary… yeah….

The Relthoza are one of the most original and interesting races in the FS:A universe and I highly recommend reading through their backstory in the Zenian League Fleet Guide, it’s well worth the time and I don’t want to spoil much more of the story. Suffice to say it consists of war, some “interesting” diplomatic customs and a greater explanation into their castes structure and way of life and fighting.

So, onto the list! I wanted to try and capture the essence of the Relthozan Fleet as an ambush force. Almost everything has either Stealth, Cloaking or System Network to take advantage of the Capital Ships protection. For those unfamiliar with these rules Stealth Systems means that any attack at 20″ or greater must re-roll all successful hit rolls BEFORE rolling for exploding dice, PD, shields etc. giving the ship great early game survivability, particularly against armies that need to pile on an Alpha Strike such as the Dindrenzi.

Cloaking Fields allow ships to mask their presence from the enemy, becoming difficult to find and therefore hit. During the Command Segment, a model with Cloaking must state if it is active or inactive. If it is active any Direct Weapon Attacks made against the model automatically count as Impeded unless it would otherwise be blocked. I.e. the attacker halves the attack dice in the pool to shoot at you. The downside to this is that in order to maintain the Cloaking Field the power draw is such that your attacks are also reduced to half dice.  Finally, System Network, and I’ll quote the book here as it’s far easier: If a model with Systems Network is within the Command Distance of one or more friendly models which have active Cloaking Fields and also have Systems Network, this model automatically gains the Stealth Systems MAR. For reference, this means that if you have any of your ships within command distance of a T1 ship with it’s cloak active it gains the Stealth Systems MAR – even if that ship is another T1!!! Put a carrier and a battleship in command range of each other and activate both their cloaks and suddenly they both have Stealth… for free… pretty awesome right?!

I wanted the list to take maximum advantage of this little quirk of the Relthoza while giving a solid base from which to expand into higher points. A decent mix of tiers with some SRS support in both offensive and defensive capacities was a requirement and it shouldn’t break the bank.

Nexus Class Battleship

  • +2 AP x2 (+4 total)
  • +2 Command Distance
  • Biohazard Primaries
  • 3 Interceptor Wings

Theridion Class Carrier

  • Shunt Matrix
  • +1 Command Distance
  • Self Repair
  • 6 Bomber Wings
  • 2 Interceptor Wings

Assassin Class Cruiser Group w/ 2 Ships plus Huntsman Class Heavy Cruiser

  • Corrosive Primaries on all ships

Widow Class Frigate Squadron w/ 4 Ships

Widow Class Frigate Squadron w/ 4 Ships

During the early game the fleet acts as a single swarm, keeping in tight and making the most of the Systems Network to limit the amount of incoming damage on all ships. This frees up your deployment a little bit as you are less reliant on terrain to get that long range protection meaning you can be a bit more aggressive with your ship placement. This does mean that you won’t be putting out a huge number of dice in attack early on but your ships have their optimum band at the 8-16″ bracket so you want to be coming in close with as many ships in tact as possible to put the maximum number of dice you can on the table.

I tooled up the Nexus to be a capable assault carrier as well as a ship of the line in order to give it a little bit of late game punch. Put some biohazard markers down on a ship to strip crew points and use precision shots and the bomber wings on the carrier to do some targeted damage to key systems then launch a 10 AD boarding assault. It is worth keeping in mind that a boarding assault can be launched from a Cloaked vessel without halving the AD too as it is not a direct weapon attack giving you some much needed protection, particularly against those nasty Sorylian broadsides with weapon shielding!

The Carrier is a second line support ship but she packs a hell of a punch. With cloaking and stealth in the early game to reduce incoming damage she should be making it into her best range without too many lost hull points and with a 9 dice broadside she can hold her own. In addition to that she carries 6 bombers and 2 interceptors meaning that she can put the hurt on large ships, outright destroy or cripple tier 2s and gains protection from boarding and torpedoes. The shunt matrix is there as a two fold item; firstly, it allows her to get the jump on the enemy, disappearing from one arc and appearing in another, the rear for example to further reduce incoming fire and give your own a boost. Secondly, it’s a decent get out of jail card in case something is getting too close and you need a quick escape! Also, because it is a secondary movement you can launch a bomber attack in your first phase then boost away once they’ve returned to base!

The cruisers are a solid and capable line filler and come with stealth systems and a cloaking field as standard meaning you can use them a bit more freely than the other ships. Deploy them on a flank or as a second wave without losing those MARs that help keep the other ships in the fleet alive. The corrosive weapons are fantastic, helping to strip away hull points even after you’ve brought them around to a new target. They work well in tandem with the battleship, reducing the PD of a vessel through hull points while the Nexus takes out crew points with the biohazard making an enemy ship an even more profitable boarding target! The Huntsman also has Self Repair to keep it in the fight, don’t forget this as it could be the difference between your opponent gaining 2 battlelog points for half a squadron and him gaining 4 and you losing 2 for the squadron being wiped out; in a Patrol Fleet game that 6 point swing can easily lose you the game.

The frigates are primarily in the list as Tier 1 protection. Keep them within command distance to get the advantages of Stealth as they don’t have cloaking fields of their own. This will admittedly only help in the early stages but every little helps with these guys and going into turns 3-4 with the majority of these squadrons in tact could mean that you can hold your opponents tier 3s at bay rather than them running rampant around the rear of your battleship or carrier. Anyone who has played against or with the Aquans know just how dangerous a 3 frigate squadron can be to a tier 1 if the dice are hot! And don’t even get me started on Sorylian corvettes…

As for cost, this fleet sits at an identical cost to the Dindrenzi at £66.60 if bought from Dark Sphere:

  • Relthoza Patrol Fleet Box – £35.10
  • Carrier Group Box – £18
  • Frigate Group Box – £13.50

Plus P&P as usual or free if done by collection. The alternative is to buy from Spartan direct which would set you back £78.50 for the same ships but does give you the option of getting the Carrier as a single model instead of the squadron box for £18 but seeing as this is the same price as the box set from DS I don’t really see the point.

In terms of expansion from here the first and most obvious thing to do would be to add the escorts from the Carrier box to either the carrier or the battleship, the latter being my preference as they each have 2 AP for that late game assault as well as an additional 1 PD and don’t get left behind if you need to shunt your carrier. You also have the 4 Nidus Class Frigates left over; these ships are particularly interesting as they each come with 1 wing option meaning that for a round 100 points you can put down a 4 ship squadron of difficult targets with Systems Network and the ability to drop a 4 wing SRS token… pretty potent! Don’t forget to deploy near a tier 1 for the first couple turns to take advantage of stealth on them too!

Hopefully any budding Relthozan admirals have found this useful and if any established players have any C&Cs then please comment below! Come back soon for our look into the versatile and solid Terran Alliance!

Until next time!