Entry Level Fleets on a Budget: Dindrenzi Federation

Hi All,

I’ve noticed that FS:A is finally getting some attention; at least in my FLGS in the Bournemouth area with 3 of my gaming group now trying to play more regularly, another 3 looking at getting fleets and others who have expressed interest in the game while watching us play. As such, I thought it might be good to put together some basic Patrol Fleets for each of the major races which can be picked up for around the £60-70 mark. Now, obviously you plus your gaming mate could go out and buy the Return of the Overseers or two Patrol Fleet boxes of your chosen factions and call it a day but that’s not necessarily for everyone. With most pick up games being in the 800 to 1200 region having about 5-600 points from your split core set or single boxed set isn’t going to get you very far beyond your first toe-dipping experience and odds are you bought your stuff online unless you happen to live near a particularly well stocked game shop so it’ll help save on postage to buy your first 800 point block in a single go!

A couple of small disclaimers before we go on however; firstly, these lists are not intended to be the base of tournament lists but fun, interesting mixes of the basic ships for each faction to get people into the game in a sound way, introducing the various play styles and options available to the player. Secondly, value for money was a driving aspect of these lists and so are they are mainly build from ships that are going to be coming up a lot in lists of almost any game size rather than dropping £30+ on a Dreadnought in the first 2 weeks of playing. Thirdly, I am not sponsored by or endorsed by any store (web or brick and mortar) in particular but any which I mention during these articles but these are people I’ve bought from before and had good experiences with. So with the boring bit out of the way lets get to the interesting bit!

The Dindrenzi Federation; frontiersmen, colonisers and more recently the mortal enemies of the Terrans after declaring their independence from the Terran Alliance. As a rule the Dindrenzi focus on overwhelming forward facing firepower, with almost every ship featuring a potent rail gun system capable of reach out up to 48″ and touching the enemy (and it isn’t exactly a tickle when they do…). If the concept of strapping engines and armour to a giant rail gun and pointing it at the enemy is something you like the sound of then the Dindrenzi are for you. They often feature auxiliary weapons systems in the form of Gun Racks (rotating turrets that can shoot either Port or Starboard but not both) and some fearsome indirect weaponry through both torpedoes and mines to help lend them some versatility. This is because the Dindrenzi pay for the sheer hull shattering force of putting a steel rod the size of a bus through an opponents ship by the fact that their forward guns are fixed, making manoeuvres and ship placement critical, especially in the early game to put the hurt on enemy ships before they get to you. The sons of Rense are not helpless when the enemy does close ranks, able to protect the aft with their mines and access to fighter/bomber support and the like but they best like to be 12-24″ away from the enemy and pointing straight at them for the most part.

So, where to begin? As with all the major races the best place to start is the Patrol Fleet boxed set. A battleship, 3 cruisers and 6 frigates? Oh go on then. I got into the game when the Storm Zone boxed set was available and started there as I split the cost with a mate but my second purchase was one of these and it was beyond worth it. From there, there are any number of ways you could go: Destroyers, Cruisers, Gunships, Carrier, another Battleship, Battle Cruisers… it can be a little overwhelming. Below is a list which I would say is a good starting point for a budding Dindrenzi Admiral. You’re not going to get full use of all the models at 800 points but that’s ok as you easily have enough models to be able to make a relatively gentle jump up to 1200 when you feel ready.

Nausicaa Class Battleship

  • -1 Turn Limit
  • +2 Mines
  • Remove Ablative Plating
  • Double Mines
  • High Energy Kinetics
  • Split Fire Gun Racks
  • Scatter Upgrade for Gun Racks

Cataphract Class Battlecruiser

  • -1 Turn Limit
  • Double Mines
  • High Energy Kinetics
  • 2 Frigate Escorts

Secutor Class Cruiser Squadron w/ 3 ships

Thraex Class Frigate Squadron w/3 ships

Thraex Class Frigate Squadron w/3 ships

It might seem a bit top heavy with the two tier 1’s accounting for a disproportionate amount of the fleet but the Dindrenzi T1 ships are incredibly good and will really put the pain down on anything they set their sights on. Plus if you buy all this as boxed sets you have a second Battlecruiser just waiting for a Battle Fleet level game and believe me when I say they are brutal when they work as a pair. The Secutor Class is a solid T2 Cruiser but I’ve found that once they start taking damage they just can’t put the dice down that you’d want them to so avoid a second squadron until higher points brackets unless you really want to go for maximum number of activations. The Thraex Class hits well above its weight with 12AD from a full squadron at 12-24″ plus a further 8 torpedoes! That’s near definitely putting a crit on most medium capitals and able to threaten some battleships and carriers!

Mines are your friend with this list. The enemy is going to move past you, you will get broadsided, it will hurt. But just think of all the linked together minefields you’ve been dropping for the 3 turns before that happens! The Nausicaa is dropping either 2 7AD minefields or 1 10AD minefield every time she moves. The Cataphract is hardly slouching with another 2×5 or 1x7AD and the cruisers can each drop a 4AD or combine for a 6 or 8AD depending on the requirement. To put it into context, your battleship is leaving a free range band 3 rail gun shot against anything that goes near her aft. That is not to be sniffed at.

I can hear the question from here: But how much will all that cost?! Good news! Not a lot; if all required boxed sets are bought from Dark Sphere:

  • Dindrenzi Patrol Fleet Box – £35.10
  • Dindrenzi Battlecruiser Box – £18.00
  • Dindrenzi Frigate and Corvette Box – £13.50

This comes to a grand total of £66.60 if you’re able to collect from their store in London (well worth a visit anyway!) or £7.60 additional for postage to a total of £73.20. As an FYI to buy the above direct from Spartan is £83 before postage. This also gives you an additional Battlecruiser, Frigate and 4 Corvettes you can use to bring your list up to 1200 points for when you’re ready too!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first of 6 looks into the entry level of Firestorm Armada on a budget and come back soon for round 2: The Directorate!

Until next time!

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