Sunday, June 28, 2015

Planet Tutorial - Alejor IV - Arid Planet

I previously posted this tutorial on my dystopian wars blog. Now that I have gotten sucked into Planetfall I imagine we will be playing FSA quite a bit more frequently. I have plans to do a couple of additional planets as well as some asteroids, etc... This planet is Alejor IV, the fourth planet of the Alejor system, for our campaign. It can also work very nicely as a generic arid/desert world.

I started the project with a 12" diameter hollow Styrofoam half sphere. I briefly sanded it with a fine finish sandpaper and then coated it with mod podge to try and create as smooth of a surface as possible.
Next I painted the entire sphere a dark marine blue. Once that dried I painted a thin coat of turquoise over the dark blue. The idea being for there to be lots of depth and variations of color in the blues.
Ocean painted

Next I needed to draw in some land masses and then fill them in with an earthen color. 
Filling in the landmasses.

After the landmasses dried I dry brushed a sand color on the lower half of the planet as this is supposed to be an arid/desert world. Above the sand I started to add a little more red and brown to the mixture to create a transitional area. I also added some islands and texture to the coast lines to make everything look a little more realistic.
We have deserts and islands!

Next I filled in the upper portion of the land masses with a dark green followed by a light green to give the appearance of plains and forests. This was painted on lightly as I still wanted to retain a lot of variation between the greens and browns. A mixture of a medium brown and red was also used to further deepen the transition between the desert and the northern plains.
Northern plains painted

Next it was time to start detailing the mountains. Using a detail brush I dabbed/blotted along the desert/plains transition to create the illusion of a mountain range. Many of the islands also got a little blot of white as well where I thought a mountain would make sense. The idea was to try and follow a logical path with the mountains. For me I thought maybe a northern mountain range would impede the encroaching deserts allowing for the small valleys you can see below. After that I tried to add snow along the northern coast of each continent.
Mountain ranges and snow.

I detailed a few more mountains and snow and then decided it was time for my Polar Ice Cap. This was just a white paint. Initially I created an outline and then went back and filled it in with white.
Ice Age ho!

After the snow and ice was finished it was time to go through and add some shallow water to further define the oceans. For this I took the turquoise I used for the ocean and mixed a little white and a little light blue. I then very lightly painted this along many of the coasts and around several of the island chains where I thought maybe the water would be a little shallower. Generally closer to the equator had more shallow water than the areas further north.
Shallow waters, check!

Wanting to further define my deserts I took a sand color and mixed a little brown in. I didn't want to completely cover everything painted previously so I wiped of the majority of the paint each time before I blotted the paint on the deserts. The land looked a little more organic this way and still had a lot of depth to it.
Only the clouds left now!

With the terrestrial part of the planet finished I moved on to the final and scariest step.... clouds. Before I even attempted this I researched several pictures of the earth from space on Google to get an idea of how clouds would look from above. I really wanted to capture the depth that people would get from viewing a planet from space. I thinned some white paint and wiped off the brush before each time, leaving only a little paint on the brush I began to blot areas over the water near the pole. It seemed like from the pictures I had looked at that large cloud formations tended to be closer to the poles. I repeated this process until I was satisfied with how the clouds were looking. I tried to be irregular about it as well to make it look more realistic. Overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out and I am definitely looking forward to doing another one!
Alejor IV

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Terquai Recon Helix Unboxing

Now on to the last of my  recent purchase and the one I am the most excited about. I love the design aesthetic of the Terquai. The gunships is probably one of my favorite models so far. The entire concepts of the portals and Nabis heavy infantry drones are fantastic as are the model designs. I cannot wait to get these all painted up!

Boxed Set.

Normal Packaging, everything was wrapped up nicely.

The Iophon gunship. Love the design and detailing.

The Underside of the Iophon. More great detailing.

The temporal portals and acrylic portal templates as well as the sky drop designator.

Close up of the temporal portal and acrylic portal templates.

Better angled shot of the temporal portal.

Nabis Heavy infantry and cockpit.

Rear view of Nabis Heavy Infantry Drone.

Close up of Nabis cockpit. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Aquan Prime Infantry Upgrade Unboxing

Here are some pictures of the Aquan Light Infantry Upgrades. Again I was very impressed with the amount of detail on all of these models. There definitely some flashing on the metal minis in particular but it really doesn't detract from the mode and will be easy to remove. On to the pictures!

The box!

A close up of the Gun Team upgrade.

My personal favorite in the box. The Sweeper Team upgrade. I love these aquatic, angler fish tauntaun things! Can't wait to get a few painted up! There is a little bit of flashing but nothing to bad.

A second picture of the Sweeper Team to give a different angle of view.

The Commander and two body guards. Definitely some flashing that will need to be cleaned. There is an impressive amount of detail on these mini's despite their small size.

A close up of the Commander Base. Fairly simple but good detail on the ground.

The Sweeper Team base with two photobombing Sweeper Teams!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Aquan Prime Core Helix Unboxing

Hi everyone!
I just got my new Aquan models to start Planetfall. Overall I am very happy with the quality of the minis in the box. There wasn't much in the way of flashing and the detail was superb. Now on to the pictures!

All three boxes!
Everything bagged up. Quite a bit of stuff crammed into this box!

Top view of a Lamana medium skimmer.

The underside of the Lamana medium skimmer. Love all of the details!

Top view of the Sirsir medium specialist skimmer. Very excited to paint this one!

Underside of the Sirsir. Again, very impressed with all of the little details on this model.

Make way for the heavy skimmer, the Sedna. I was extremely impressed with the size of this model. Coming from playing Dystopian Wars I am used to everything being quite a bit smaller. Very, very cool model!

Underside of the Sedna. Due to its size it is even easier to see all of the details shown on the bottom of the vehicle.

The little Imzani's. Very cool little models, they will be fun to paint.

An overview of the six Khitari infantry bases.

A closer picture of several of the Khitari infantry bases.

Several of the Khitari models. These probably had the most flashing of anything in the box. Still loved all of the detail crammed on to these. Very excited to get them painted.

The Votari Crystal. I am still not sure how I am going to get this painted up  but it is cool little model.

Last but not least the Stingray Nodes. Nice level of detail on the model.
Again, my overall impression of this box was excellent. There was very little flashing to speak of and the level of detail was superb. I was thoroughly impressed and cannot wait to get these painted up! Next I will go through the Infantry upgrade box followed by the Terquai Recon Helix box.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Zenian League Faction Comparison

Welcome to part 2 of my faction comparison. This time we will be looking at the 3 core factions of the Zenian League and exploring some of their pros and cons as well as what kind of play style they appear to emphasize.


Dindrenzi Federation Core Helix
High Movement Speeds,
High Armor Values,
Elite Units,
Powerful Infantry,
High Damage at Effective Range

Small Infantry Squads,
No Shields,
Below Average CQB

The Dindrenzi units appear to have similar stats as the Aquans. On the surface the have very similar movements, hit and run and hover vehicle. That is where the similarities end. The Dindrenzi appear to be set up as shock & awe or blitz faction. Whereas the Aquan forces utilize the Hover and Hit and Run MARs to protect them while they keep their opponents out of effective range the Dindrenzi utilize the hover mar to protect them while they get into effective range with their opponents. The Dindrenzi have very high armor values but no shields. The Dindrenzi military makes heavy use of sky pods, dropping their infantry as well as field guns to control the battlefield hoping to funnel enemy units into the line of fire for their powerful guns. The infantry utilized by the Dindrenzi are the best trained in the galaxy so far. They have an extra CQB point as well as an extra DR compared to other factions making them tougher and hit harder than any other factions infantry. Adding an officer base to an infantry Cadre also grants the Kill Team and Focused Assault MAR further increasing their damage potential. In an overview this faction appears to excel at controlling the battlefield and pushing their opponents right where they would want them to bring the hammer down.


Directorate Core Helix
Below Average Unit Costs
Corrosive Weapons,
High Damage at Effective Range

Below Average Movement,
Below Average Shields,
Infantry are only average if not attacking

The Directorate's forces have some similarities to the Terran Alliances military. Both forces have below average movements with good armor and shields. The Directorate shields are not quite as nice as the Terran ones. The Directorate forces do not like to play fair. The majority of their weapons are corrosive which will reduce the armor of their opponents units after being damaged. They also have two different support vehicles, more than any of the other factions. They are also the only faction with cyberwarfare weapons. Cyberwarfare attacks have the potential to prevent an enemy vehicle from taking an action entirely. The Directorate also possess a Drone Launcher Tank. The drones allow them to mark targets to improve the hit rolls for their weapons. Directorate Infantry appear to be relatively average until you notice the Kill Team MAR. When attacking they receive and extra CQB point further emphasizing their aggressive nature. From their weapons and statistics the Directorate appear to be intended to be used very aggressively. They rely on their shields to shrug off weaker attacks and cyber weapons to disable key opponents while they hammer them with corrosive weapons.


Relthoza Core Helix
High Movement Speeds,
Good Armor Values,
Cloaked Heavy and Medium Units,
Independant Targeting,
Above Average Damage

High reliance on drones,
No Shields,
Below Average CQB

Similar to their fleets in Firestorm Armada the Relthoza ground military utilizes cloaking technology to allow their units to pick away at their tougher opponents before closing in for the kill. Their units also have good armor values to further allow them to resist damage. Similar to the Dindrenzi they like to skydrop their drone swarms into combat. Unlike the Dindrenzi their drones are not very strong and come in large numbers allowing them to swarm weakened or isolated enemy units. The spires used to skydrop in drones have the Drone Nexus MAR improving the quality rating and CQB of all drone units within range. This effect applies to the light walkers, heavy infantry and light infantry drones. Whether used offensively or defensively the Relothza spire act as anchor points for their forces. Their Leviathan also has the Drone Nexus MAR allowing to operate as a mobile spire. The Relthoza appear to be designed to best operate from the shadows. Keeping their units at a distance from their opponents and relying on their solid armor and cloaking technology to protect them will they pound on their opponents most powerful units. With their opponents top units out of the way they can move in for the kill and overwhelm them with drones swarms and powerful cloaked walkers.

This concludes my overview of each core faction in the Firestorm Planetfall game. I hope that this provides some helpful information when trying to decide which faction to play for or if you are just wanting to get some ideas before battle an opponent. I am really excited to try it out and begin loading battle reports and pictures.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Alliance of Kurak Faction Comparison

My brother-in-law and I have decided to take the plunge into Planetfall so I thought I would do a brief overview of the factions. This overview will be based on the released Orbats as we haven't played any games yet but hopefully will be interesting to anyone reading this. I have split this into two parts to make it a little less daunting. Part will be the Core Factions for the Alliance of Kurak. Part two will include the Core Factions for the Zenian League.

Aquan Prime
Aquan Prime Core Helix Render


High Movement Values
Votari Crystals,
Pinpoint Lasers,
Good Shields,
Good Infantry,
Elite Units

Low Armor Values,
Low CQB Values,
Slightly Higher Unit Costs

The Aquan units appear to emphasize a fast long range engagement strategy. The majority of their units have the Hit and Run MAR as well as Hover Vehicle. One of the fastest factions in the game their speeds are very similar to the Dindrenzi. Their damage appears to be on the higher side of average and the range is average. Though their medium tank the Lamana is tied with the Dindrenzi Gorgos for the longest range for a medium tank. A unique feature of the Aquan military is their Votari Crystals. These can be sky dropped throughout the battle allowing Aquan laser weapons to extend their range by up to 24" and even fire around corners.  Aquan armor is lower than any other factions. This is at least partially made up for by their strong shields. Their infantry cadres have the best movement of any in the game and their infantry upgrades are probably the best. This gives them a strong infantry base to slow and harass any opponent looking to close on their heavy tanks. Overall this faction appears to be a fun hit and run faction that swarms like a school of predatory fish around the flanks and edges of their opponent until it is weak enough for the to strike the killing blow.

Terran Alliance

Terran Alliance Core Helix Render
Good Armor and Shield Values,
Many Weapon MARs,
Good CQB,
Excellent Heavy Infantry,

Below Average Weapon Ranges,
Low Movement Values,

The Terran military appears to focus on high defensive values to ensure their survival during a battle. Their units tend to have decent armor values and good shield values. Their weapon ranges tend to be average but deal good damage. Terran units have a very good spread of weapon MARs compared to the other factions. Their movement values are slower than other factions forcing them to rely on cover and covering fire from other units. Their factional ability, Strengthened Shields, increases their endurance allowing them to re-roll all initial 1s rolled from shields. They also have a unique support vehicle, the Ullr. The Ullr improves the shields of any vehicle squads that it attaches to as well as provides decent CQB. The vast manpower of the Alliance is evident in their infantry forces, their infantry are cheaper and fielded in larger squads than the other factions. The Terran Alliance appears to be a "turtling" faction. They take terrain and objectives slower than the other factions but with their good shield values and punishing close range weapons they are very difficult to dislodge.

Sorylian Collective

Sorylian Collective Core Helix Render
Good Armor Values,
High Long Range Damage Values,
High CQB Values,
Powerful Heavy Infantry,

Poor Scatter Weapon Ranges,
Poor Heavy Unit Movement Values,
Weak Shield Values

The Sorylian Collectives Units seem to focus to opposing strategies. A series of long range units as well as a series of faster short range units. They're the only faction that have weapons with higher damage values at long range. Their units tend to have good armor values but weak shields. Their medium walker has the Recon Specialist MAR which is normally reserved for light tanks but allows it to re-position itself before the first game turn. The Sorylians also have more units with the transport MAR than any other faction. This allows them to quickly re-deploy their infantry and heavy infantry during a battle. The goal of the Sorylian Collective appears to be keeping their opponents away from their long range units while using their faster and lighter units to capture objectives and screen.