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:
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!