Tag Archives: Zenian League

We’re back! (Again…)

Hi all,

So, the last post I put up was 4 months ago saying about how I was back and the blog would pick up again and all that. As you can tell that went really well! But fear not intrepid space battle fans, this time we really are hoping to be back!

After my last post I had to go into intense GW mode to get a 2000 point Iron Warrior army put together for the Heresy Weekender back in February and since then I’ve been in a mix of hobby slump and slowly working through the Iron Warriors. However, on June 25-26 Jon “Eternal Ocean” Gregory from my regular gaming group is planning on running a campaign weekend for the 6 people in the group. This has spurred the entire group back into FSA in a big way (Dan “August Doumerc” Smith has been going nuts trying to nudge us all to finish our fleets).

Campaigns have always been my weakness when it comes to hobby. The idea of doing a narrative weekend of gaming, developing a set of strong characters and caring about what happens to them and the fleet over a series of linked games is just the biggest slice of games imaginable. As such the chance to do one for FSA is putting models on my painting station once more!

I’ll try to keep you updated as we get closer to the Campaign itself with pictures of the various fleets and snippets from the other players so you can keep track of the build up.

Until next time!

Entry Level Fleets on a Budget: The Directorate

Hi All,

If you’re just joining the series then you can find Part 1: The Dindrenzi Federation here:

Entry Level Fleets on a Budget: Dindrenzi Federation

Now, once you’ve gone away, read that and come back we’ll dive in!

So, The Directorate; evil, faceless megacorporations who work for nothing but profit and have declared war to further their own ends. The smallest of the major races they are disproportionately powerful considering. Their origin stems back to the earliest days of the Terran expansion when the Charter was required to turn to private funding to keep it’s ships moving and the wormhole gate network built and functioning. All that changed with the discovery of the Fold Space Drive; the Alliance, overly focused on the wormhole network, put the development of the FSD out to tender to smaller firms, allowing the Hark-Williams corporation to win the bid and then relocate out to the distant Fathoms Reach.

With the rapid uptake of FSD travel, Hark-Williams’ fortunes exploded, allowing them to invest in dedicated ship building facilities putting them outside of Terran control entirely. From there they began to form what would become the Directorate, Hark-Williams offering deals to specialist companies to expand their offering to encompass all the myriad products and services a colonisation expedition would need becoming a one stop shop for all expansionist needs. This eventually allowed them to pull away from Terran control entirely becoming their own entity.

Now what would be the best way to go about collecting a fleet of these money-centric, evil, exploitative, corporate suits? In the same way as with the Dindrenzi, the best place to start is a copy of the Patrol Fleet; a Battleship, set of cruisers and frigates is a good balanced starting point. Plus, a set of tokens, TAC cards, turn template and battle log to round out to a playable battle group. From here I would be looking to expand in the tier 2 and tier 3 slots. The Directorate are great at boarding assaults so this list is going to focus on how to capitalise on that through a combined arms approach. A unit of heavy cruisers with some potent close range fire power from the flanks, shunt them in close with the cloaking fields up and then unleash hell in a rear arc of something powerful. From there, add in some numbers with a squad of Drones to get access to some cyberwarfare toys, one of the specialities of the Directorate.

Eliminator Class Battleship

  • +1 Shield
  • Biohazard Beams
  • Special Forces

Abraxas Class Cruiser Squadron w/ 3 Ships

  • Special Forces

Subjugator Class Heavy Cruiser Squadron w/ 3 Ships

Liquidator Class Frigate Squadron w/ 4 Ships

Hostility Class Drone Squadron w/ 4 Ships

The plan with this fleet is to reserve the Heavy Cruisers for a shunt entry, pick your target for the main boarding assault and target it with the Biohazard Beams and the Cyberwarfare to lower the crew points and put some critical effects on it before launching a linked assault from the special forces Cruisers or the Battleship. Meanwhile, the heavy cruisers put the hurt on something big and unpleasant while the frigates chase down the pesky enemy T3 small ships.

As for cost, this fleet does clock in at a little higher than most of the starter fleets without leaving much for expansion into the 1200 point bracket beyond another Frigate squadron but it does leave you a nice 400 point block to add a Dreadnought with… *evil laugh*. So from Dark Sphere:

  • Directorate Patrol Fleet Box – £35.10
  • Directorate Cruiser Group Box – £19.80
  • Directorate Frigate and Corvette Box – £13.50

This brings us to a grand total of £68.40 for the jump off point plus the same postage/collection options as the Dindrenzi. Alternatively this would bring you to £85 if you bought it solely from Spartan Games, just for comparison.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into a jump off point for the Directorate, check back soon for the introduction to the Relthoza – the brutal and technologically advanced xenos of the Zenian League!

Until next time!

Dindrenzi Patrol Fleet Unboxing

Good Morning, Admirals!

Today brings you an “Unboxing” article, today looking at the Dindrenzi Federation Patrol Fleet, probably the second best starting point for a Dindrenzi fleet after the Battle for Valhalla set. So, why is it such a good purchase? Simple really:

  1. It contains everything you need to play barring the rulebook and dice (tokens, turning template, battle log etc.)
  2. It is a self contained legal fleet for Patrol Fleet level games (hence the name)
  3. It has the option to upgrade one of the cruisers to a heavy cruiser which can be used in any points limit or form the start of a dedicated heavy cruiser squadron

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the contents:

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The box comes in the standard Spartan Games Firestorm packaging, a full colour printed sleeve with some text and ship renders on the reverse and a solid cardboard inner box protecting all that resiny goodness.

 

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Spartan don’t mess about, the box is pretty much chock full of stuff. All the different ship types are individually packaged by class with the non-bubble wrapped package being the Murmillo upgrades, flight stand holes and battleship thrusters.

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Everything laid out. You get a full set of TACs, templates and tokens which is a nice touch as the ones from Valhalla aren’t quite enough when you get up to large point games and they are bound to get lost/torn/battered during the course of a few games.

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All the ships from the set. The Nausica isn’t quite as impressive as the Praetorian but it will still put a significant dent in what ever you aim it at! For some reason it comes with flight stand holes but you don’t need them, the Nausica has the holes pre-moulded into the bottom of the engine block.

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A fair bit of flash on the Thraex but nothing unexpected or difficult. A decent pair of clippers and a hobby knife sorts it right out. I did also have a few air bubbles to deal with but again, easily fixed. I use GW liquid green stuff but there’s a myriad of options available these days.

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All in all a cracking kit and a brilliant way to either start or build up on a Dindrenzi force for a relatively low financial investment. Plus the additional benefit of extra tokens, TACs and templates helps a lot too. I would still recommend splitting the Battle for Valhalla set with someone if you’re keen on getting into Dindrenzi, primarily because of the Praetorian but also because you get the rulebook and all the other toys with it too.

Up next, painting the fleet! Tyresius and his Captains get a lick of colour!

Until next time,

Matt

Zenian League Fleet Manual Review

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!

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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!

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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?!

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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).

Rules Example

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.

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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,

Matt