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Tabletop Game / Firestorm Armada

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"There's nothing quite like the look on your opponents face when you steal a battleship out from under his admiral."

Firestorm: Armada is a science fiction Wargame setting produced by the UK based Spartan Games. It has undergone only slight rule revisions since its initial release in 2010, and maintains a small but loyal fanbase in most areas. It is played as a tabletop wargame where two or more players use a variety of ships to attempt to destroy the enemy fleet, capture enemy ships, or achieve certain objectives.

The game was in the process of Kickstarting a new edition when the company folded in August, 2017. The IP was later acquired by Warcradle Studios.

It also has the sister game, Firestorm Invasion/Firestorm Planetfall about the ground forces during planetary invasion.

Tropes related to Firestorm: Armada

  • Arbitrary Weapon Range: Enforced. No ship is able to fire further than 48". Handwaved as being the maximum effective sensor range—which runs into Artistic License – Space.
  • The Asteroid Thicket: Played straight. Every asteroid field is dense enough to have a fair chance of doing significant damage to anything passing through.
  • The Battlestar: The Aquan Manta class battlecarrier. Carries an enormous number of Wings, and has absolutely massive guns to mix it up with other ships.
  • Beam Spam: The Aquans and Sorylians preferred method of attack.
  • Boarding Party: Ships can send over assault teams to try and overpower the crew of another ship. If that ship still has assault points on board they get to fight too. Before any of that happens, the boarders have to get past point defense. So, if you manage to actually win, you take your opponent's ship, and the assault team runs off with it, earning you double the normal number of victory points.
  • Bug War:The Relthoza are an entire race of insects. The back story of early human colonization is made of this trope. Later subverted, in that the Relthoza side with the breakaway Dindrenzi against the Terran Alliance.
  • Cool Starship: A matter of opinion, but everything is cool to someone.
  • Critical Hit: Built into the game. Hit a ship hard enough, and you'll inflict lasting damage. Get Boxcars or Snake eyes on the critical table, and the ship undergoes Critical Existence Failure.
  • Desperation Attack: Ramming; it can only be done when a ship is on 1 HP, and will only work 1/6 of the time. The other ship can also try to evade it. If it works, however, both ships take a critical hit, and bad things will happen.
  • The Federation: Ironically, not the Dindrenzi Federation, who are closer to the Empire. The Terran Alliance is more in line with this trope, at least in the limited backstory.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The Dindrenzi's Hat. Given that these tend to be BFGs, it's just as well their arc of fire is limited.
  • Flying Saucer: The Directorate. All their ships are reminiscent of old 60's and 70's sci fi, complete with zeerust.
  • Galactic Superpower: The Terran Alliance holds the largest territory of the game.
  • Grey Goo: The Relthoza. Their primary weapons fire self-replicating nanites that like eating metal and ceramics. Guess what your hull is made of...
  • Jack of All Stats: Terrans. Relatively good at everything, and very good at absorbing enemy fire with shields.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Terrans and Dindrenzi. Both go about it in different ways, the former with large bore coilguns, the latter with high powered railguns.
  • Loads and Loads of Rules: Averted for the most part. Approximately 80 pages of actual rules (including ship statistics, race backgrounds, and a build-your-own-spaceship section), filled with helpful diagrams. Inverted with Wings; Seven full pages of rules dealing with the smallest possible craft in the game that turn half the stuff you've already learned on its head.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Sorylians. They have the fastest small and medium ships, and the strongest broadsides available.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: STAR Cards. Each player has a hand of cards that can improve weapons, reduce incoming fire, increase speed, change obstacle locations or even modify dice rolls.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Any torpedo heavy fleet can do this, but the Terrans and Aquans are especially good at it.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Terrans and Dindrenzi are specifically stated to use Mass Drivers (Coilguns) and Railguns, respectively.
  • Miniatures Conversions: Less common than with other games, but they do exist. Invoked for anyone wanting a space station or military installation.
  • More Dakka: Evoked by the Sorylian dreadnaught's special rule: Lots of Guns. Essentially, the rule states that the ship has so many guns and fire control systems it's impossible to stop it from shooting. (The weapons are energy based, so this is technically Beam Spam, but the ideal of the trope is there.)
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Distortion Fields. Overlaps with Swirly Energy Thingy. Good luck trying to move across one.
  • No Saving Throw: Unless you have shields, nothing is going to stop that attack punching clean through the hull.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: In spite of being the villains, the Dindrenzi refuse to use nuclear weapons, regarding them as dirty and crude. This may have something to do with the below trope.
  • Nuke 'em: The reason the Dindrenzi hate the Terrans so much is because the Terrans nuked a Dindrenzi garden world many years ago. Terran torpedos also frequently have nuclear warheads.
  • One-Hit Kill: Roll a 2 or 12 on the critical table and that annoying enemy ship either blows up in spectacular fashion, or disappears.
    • Considering that every critical hit deals at least 2 damage, and that most smaller ships only have 2 hp, OHK's are pretty common in the Firestorm-verse.
  • Plasma Weapons: The Directorate. Combining good old beam spam with Kill It with Fire since before the war began.
  • Point Defenseless: Averted. It's not always 100% reliable, but point defense guns have the ability to decimate entire wings of attack craft or reduce massive torpedo salvos to nothingness.
  • Ramming Always Works: Played reasonably straight for balance reasons. Both ships suffer a critical, which will kill the ramming ship every time, and also has 1/18 chance of completely destroying the target as well. Otherwise it just knocks off 2 HP, and does damage to the weapons, engines or crew.
  • Random Number God: Don't ever say you only need X hits. You will always get X-1 hits. Also, never, ever, ever make fun of a weapon that only rolls 1 die. Any roll of 6 generates 2 hits and a re-roll. Guess what these single dice normally roll when ridiculed…
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: There isn't really enough background material to tell if this is actually in force.
  • Shout-Out: Humanity had a great breakthrough in interstellar travel when they found a artificial wormhole in the Tannhauser system.
  • Splash Damage Abuse: Stealth Bypass. Mines are are effect munitions, and ignore the effects of cloaking devices, making them an ideal weapon against the Relthoza.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Relthoza, with an emphasis on the wizard. About as tough as any other fleet, but they come with cloaking devices as standard.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: Each of the core races currently has access to Frigates, Cruisers, Heavy Cruisers, Destroyers, Carriers, Battleships, and Dreadnaughts. Several also have access to R&D Cruisers, Gunships, or Battlecarriers.
  • ISO Standard Human Spaceship: The Terrans. Boxy and wedged shaped to a tee, with some trilateral symmetry thrown in for flavour.
  • Standard Starship Scuffle: The game is built around this ideal. That said, the ranges are reasonable if one extrapolates the scale. note 
  • State Sec: The Rense System Navy is heavily influenced by this trope, along with the relationship between the Waffen SS and the Wehrmacht of WWII Germany.
  • Stealth in Space: Deconstructed/Reconstructed in Fanon. Played straight otherwise.
  • Subspace or Hyperspace: Foldspace. Stated to work by folding distant points of space together. Range is rather limited however.
  • Subsystem Damage: The previously mentioned critical table. Ranges from taking weapons offline, to setting the ship on fire, to simply making the ship Go Away
  • Units Not to Scale: The largest ships are as much as 8" long. The flight stand (the area of space they actually occupy in the game) is ~1/8".
  • Universal System: If you don't mind ships (of any kind) blasting the snot out of each other. Invoked, as Spartan themselves have used the same core mechanic for all three of their games.