Flashpoint Amber Kicks Off With Operation Medusa

Daedalus Station from Flashpoint Amber. Image credit: Spartan Games.

Spartan Games has posted a new entry in the official blog entitled Flashpoint Amber, which begins a new story arc in the Amber system of the Firestorm Galaxy, starting with The Medusa Offensive.

The post includes an introduction to the Amber system and why the warring factions are so interested in it, as well as a description of the system and a system map. You’ll also find a PDF which details the story leading up to Operation Medusa from the perspective of Charter Grand Admiral Pavel Novikoff of the Kurak Alliance.

Further on, there’s an updated rule for Mixed Cruiser Squadrons which will be of interest to Omnidyne admirals in particular. Oh, and earlier today, Spartan posted this image on Facebook.

Daedalus Station render. Image credit: Spartan Games.

A look at the Amber system from a Zenian perspective, as well as official scenarios, are due soon.

Firestorm Flashpoints And Future Plans

Terran Indomitable-class Battle Carrier. Image credit: Spartan Games.

Recent Halo news and product releases meant that Firestorm had to step away for a while, but in the first entry in a new series called Flashpoint Firestorm, Spartan Games has provided an update on all things Firestorm Galaxy.

The main focus of the update, which also gave it its name, is the new Flashpoint system of campaigns, which might remind those with longer memories of the community campaigns from not so long ago. It seems that they’re a proper, official thing now, taking the Firestorm canon away from the Storm Zone into other parts of the galaxy.

The blog also talks a bit about what’s happening with Firestorm Armada (including 3.0) and Firestorm Planetfall (including 2.0), and there’s also some talk about models, including this:

Terran Indomitable-class Battle Carrier. Image credit: Spartan Games.

I have to say, a black and teal Terran paint scheme would look pretty sick! It seems that those of us who are fans of the Firestorm setting have lots to look forward to.

Halo Ground Command September Wave Announced

Covenant Scenery Box from Halo Ground Command. Image credit: Spartan Games.

Spartan Games has revealed the September wave of products for Halo Ground Command, which include the dropships as well as extra units from the starter box (in case you need more Hunters, Ghosts, or Warthogs). Notably, the actual contents of the dropship boxes include more than just the dropships themselves.

Also included in this wave are two new scenery boxes, one for each faction, scaled for the game’s 1/100 (aka 15mm) scale and inspired by Halo Reach. According to the product pages, the scenery is mostly resin with some pewter pieces.

UNSC Scenery Box from Halo Ground Command. Image credit: Spartan Games.

Covenant Scenery Box from Halo Ground Command. Image credit: Spartan Games.

The Pelican is scheduled for early September and the Phantom for late September. The other boxes are all scheduled for release on September 28.

Play Halo Fleet Battles In Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator (TTS) in an application, available on Steam, which lets you play tabletop games on a computer, both offline and online. Thanks to the work of Onearmy, Halo Fleet Battles has now joined the many TTS modules available on the Steam Workshop, allowing us to play it over the internets.

Halo Fleet Battles in Tabletop Simulator. Image credit: Onearmy.

It’s still early days for the module, so it only features a small selection of ships plus their formations, and a few commanders and heroic characters including Cortana. It’s more than enough to get started with, though. Also, you’ll need a physical copy of the rulebook to play because the module is unscripted, so there’s no game logic (it won’t step through a turn for you).

Enabling online play of tabletop games always helps in some way with adoption of that game, and hopefully the HFB module for TTS will be no different. Check it out if you have TTS, and be sure to leave some feedback in the comments on the module’s workshop page.

Firestorm Planetfall Tournament At Tacticon 2016

Tacticon logo.

This year’s Tacticon convention in Colorado Springs, CO, happening from September 1st to 4th, will feature a Firestorm Planetfall tournament. The tournament will take place on Friday, September 2nd and will be a 3000pt, single-battle group event.

If you fancy some Planetfall action over the Labor Day weekend, check out the Tacticon site for tickets, and this thread on the Spartan Games forums for more information and to discuss the event.

Recently In The Community…

Terran commander art by Kameliya Minkova.

A lot of stuff has happened recently in the Spartan sci-fi community. Here’s a quick roundup of things you might have missed.

First up, Rich at Rolling Crits posted some thoughts after playing his first few games of Halo Ground Command. He also posted a couple of scenarios for HGC based on Halo 5.

Next, The WayGate updated with news about next year’s North American Firestorm Armada Championship at Adepticon 2017. The event is expanding, most notably to a 2-day format, and looks like a must for FSA players who are able to make it over to the show.

After becoming much like his namesake and disappearing for a while, ONI-S3 has resurfaced with some new Halo-based videos on his YouTube channel. So far he has covered what to do before you start painting miniatures, a look at the Paris frigates in Halo Fleet Battles, and some thoughts on paint consistency.

Eclipse Fleet is a new Firestorm Armada blog that has kicked off with several interesting posts including some great fan-fiction and a new player’s guide to Firestorm Armada. This blog is definitely one to subscribe to and keep an eye on if you’re an FSA player.

The Meeples and Miniatures podcast interviewed Neil Fawcett of Spartan Games a few weeks ago and posted the interview, as well as a roundup of this year’s Historicon, in episode 175. You can listen on the web page but I recommend subscribing as it’s always a great listen.

Sticking with Halo interviews for a moment, Gamer Goggles posted an interview with Derek Sinclair, lead designer of Halo Ground Command, and a demo game of Halo Ground Command on their YouTube channel. The interview is informative, and the demo game will get you up to speed with the basics of how HGC plays.

Finally, you might not have heard of Kameliya Minkova before, but she’s a talented artist who has posted some art for future Halo and Firestorm commander cards on her Artstation page. Both Jul ‘Mdama and Andrew Del Rio represent for Halo, while several Terran, Dindrenzi, and Directorate commanders can be seen from the Firestorm Galaxy.

Phew! I did say that a lot of stuff has happened recently!

Halo Ground Command Dropships Moved To September

Covenant Phantom dropship. Image credit: Spartan Games.

Over on the Book of Faces, Spartan Games has posted an update on the Halo Ground Command dropships that were supposed to start shipping this month.

Hi everyone. We can confirm that the dropship models will be shipping in September. The Pelican models will be available to ship early September, and the Phantoms late September. If you have ordered one of each, we will ship them both together when they are available. We apologise for the delay, and for any inconvenience caused. To 3D print just one of the models takes over a week, which may help you to understand part of why they have been so delayed! These models are also the largest, and most ambitious models we have ever released, so we have put them through much more extensive production testing and tweaking than would normally be required. We promise they are worth the wait, and we hope you’ll agree!

It seems that the demand for all things HGC is still taking its toll in Shepton Mallet.

Halo Ground Command: Battle For Reach Unboxing

Welcome to Halo Ground Command Week on the FS YouTube channel! To kick things off, I dived into the Battle for Reach starter box to have a look around. There is a lot of stuff in that weighty box, and consequently the video is quite long!

Be sure to leave a comment either here or on the video’s page with your thoughts on HGC. Is it something you’d play? Maybe you’re waiting for specific units to be released? Let me know! Also, be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already, and share the video around like a game of Bop-It.

As always, thanks so much for your support, and for watching!

A Few Activations In Halo Ground Command

Halo Ground Command | Simple Game Turn on YouTube.

Dan Bird, Spartan Vanguard and “Official Demo Guy” (for want of a better title!), has filmed a short video that demonstrates a few activations in Halo Ground Command during a normal game turn. It was shot at Board in the City in Southampton using Dan’s advance copy of the Battle for Reach boxed set.

The video demonstrates the reaction mechanism, as well as supply drops, and basic movement and shooting. Of course this is just one small example of what gameplay is like in HGC, but it’s nice to see the game in action.

Spartan Sci-Fi At Gen Con 2016

Gen Con 2016 banner.

Gen Con 2016, which will be held from August 4-7, is almost upon us. Spartan Games as well as community members will be at the show to play and teach Firestorm Armada, Halo Fleet Battles, and Halo Ground Command which will make its US debut.

First up, community member Toxic_Rat will host Operation: August Hammer, a non-tournament event that will go down on the Thursday evening. You’ll need a 1200pt fleet, about four spare hours, and a ticket which costs $8. The online info pack is available if you’d like to check it out, and you can discuss the event on the Spartan Forums.

Staying with the community, SupraDoug has organised a casual Halo Fleet Battles event on the Sunday morning, starting at 8am. You’ll be able to learn the game as well as play some casual games. A limited number of small fleets will be provided for anyone who doesn’t have one (or can’t bring theirs) and a ticket will cost you only $4. Have a chat about the event over on the Spartan forums.

On the official side of things, Spartan Games will run three “Learn To Play” events at the show, on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings starting at 8pm. The Thursday and Saturday sessions will feature Halo Ground Command, while the Friday session will teach you how to play Halo Fleet Battles. The sessions will cost $2 each, and everyone (with an event ticket!) who shows up will walk away with a cool Halo diorama.

Halo Ground Command diorama. Image credit: Spartan Games.

Spartan will also, of course, have a booth at the show, and has posted a blog post with details of what you can expect to see there.

If you’ll be at this year’s Gen Con, be sure to take plenty of photos and video and share them widely. Many of us, myself included, will want to see what this year’s shenanigans looked like!