After the Civil War of 1860 the Confederacy won with assistance from Brittania. This was acceptable to the Brittanians as slavery was abolished in 1825 and after the annexation of Central America there is a large Latin American population as well. So now we are all huggy and warm with the elephant in the room shot and eaten we can discount the race question, this was not made clear when the game was released and there was quite a bit of disquiet over this but Spartan thankfully answered it on their website and hopefully it will be made clear in future books.
Now to the fleet, I shall do a quick overview with Pros and Cons and then go onto the fleet rules. The caveat is I have only played fleet engagements with limited air support, except against the Prussians who fielded there Robots and Airships, and not against the Antarticans or French.
- They have BIG guns. They pump out prestigious amounts of firepower at long range. Now other nations have ships with lots of guns and have high RB1-2 firepower. But at RB3-4 the FSA is king. Take the battleship 2 big guns vs the 3 on a Prussian battleship, the Prussian will out gun you at RB1-2. However start putting damage on the ships and the Prussian starts losing firepower fast. The FSA ships can take that damage and still pump out high dice at range, that is the why the big guns are great.
- High DR ratings. Generally a fleet wide stat boost. This means your opponent is going to have to work harder to damage you. With a normal CR you are just as likely to be crtically hit but it will stop the smaller fire getting to you. It is especially annoying on your smaller ships!
- Lots and Lots of rockets. These are an end game feature really as at the beginning they will just get shot down but when there are lots of vulnerable damaged ships about they come into there own. Also ship damage does not effect them so your crippled ship is just as good as your untouched one.
- Generator choice will not reduce ordnance firepower especially on our cruisers.
- The ships look cool. Huge paddle steamers in a steam punk universe. Yes please.
- John Henry Robots. Flying Robots! And our aircraft can pump out a lot of AA to protect the fleet.
- Dull Generators. The other nations get crazy generators that kill AP or make Icebergs. We get ones that make us go slightly faster. Very useful and in game terms good but just so vanilla. ( Not really a con but just annoying)
- Lack of broadsides on smaller ships. We have our nice turret gun but that's it. Our broadsides are missing or a bit meh.
- We are a little bit slower than other fleets so they will get close to you, so make the long shots count.
- Very average AP values so boarding may become a problem later on.
- Rockets. These work at long range, so early on is when you will be using them more, when the opposition is undamaged. When they are closer you will do less damage or not be able to hit also seeing long range targets at this point will be hard.
- Our CC is quite low so our ability to deal with submerged vessels is quite low. We also have only one torpedo delivery system.
The FSA generators are Shield generators and Kinetic generators. Kinetic generators are great on our larger ships especially our dreadnought so it can keep its distance from from others. The shield generator is always useful keeping ships alive longer. These generators usually replace rocket batteries so the choice is simple: extra protection or more shooting. Having 3 cruisers with shields can be real thorn in the side for other fleets, along with their extra DR they can survive where other cruiser would have long been sunk.
OverviewThe FSA are the Space Marine fleet really. They can dish out long range firepower, are hard to damage and a little bit bland. They are great at what they do. However I think Spartan have done a good job balancing the fleets and each has its own good points and few drawback as they all do something different. All I wish is that I could have mechanical Squid. I guess i will have to console myself with flying robots.
This is just my experience and other may think differently, which is great as I find I tend to get set in one mindset till someone shows me differently or hands me my ass on a plate which is happening now in Warhammer.