I had a lot of credit from a trade of Battlefleet Gothic and I ended up buying two starters for Spartan Games’ Firestorm Armada. The Sorylian and Dendrenzi ended up coming home with me, as well as the rule book, and the card deck. Quite a haul for a little over $150.
The ships are all mostly resin, with some cast metal bits added in.
The Sorylians went together really well in under an hour, while the Dendrenzi were quite problematic. Both starters had a lot of flash that needed to be removed with a hobby knife, but I was literally covered by a ton of the stuff. There is a LOT to remove to get these models ready to put together.
The Dendrenzi battlship was a PITA. Apparently Spartan is having casting problems and the two main halves of the ship weren’t even the same size. Also, you have to visit their website just to figure out how to put this battleship together. You don’t glue the two parts directly together, but leave a gap between the two that are separated by additional gun racks, a placard with the Dendrenzi insignia, and a gun port at the front. It would have been nice to know this in advance with the box instructions, instead of after gluing the ship together. Here is a link for the direct download for the instructions regarding the Dendrenzi battleship.
I did have to drill the flight stand holes further into some of the ships to make them more stable, to. Since I glued the Dendrenzi battleship together, I had to drill an actual hole for the flight stand, which wasn’t hard, since the ships are resin.
Viewing the forums at Spartan Games will help; if you buy any of these starters, visit their website and browse before diving right in with the modeling. As an example, they have instructions for putting the Dendrenzi battleship together as well as an explanation why the ships on the boxes look different than the actual models that come in the box.
I played a single game on Friday night and enjoyed it a lot. The Dendrenzi started winning the game during the 3rd turn. The rules are flexible, and answers to rules questions are easy to find. Linking, splitting, and combining fire can be a little problematic until you get the hang of it, but all in all, it was a great game. We didn’t use the cards because we wanted to learn the game first.
Overall, I’m glad I picked up two starters, but I’m kinda disturbed by the amount of flash and extra work required to prepare the models, especially the Dendrenzi, for gluing and putting together.