How Much for Planetfall!
When I heard about Spartan Games‘ new Firestorm Planetfall game I was very excited. I like 10mm games and I’ve been interesting in trying some of Spartan Games’ offerings for a while. Since I’ve finished my Mantic Deadzone project and haven’t officially started a new one1 the temptation to jump into Planetfall is high.
When I approached Spartan Games about using images on my website they added me to their press list. On Tuesday I received their press release for the initial Planetfall releases and I eagerly read through the material.
The Starter Set
The starter set, titled The Battle for Proteus Prime, is a good start as it’s a hefty set of miniatures for two players. I like starter sets that are closer to games in a box than simply “rules introductions.” Deadzone is a great example of this. Not only is there enough in the box to play, not only is it enough to field a standard point army, but there’s more miniatures than are required for a standard army, meaning that players can change their force composition with only the box set.
Here’s what comes in The Battle for Proteus Prime:
Aquan Core Helix
- 1x ‘Sedna‘ Heavy Skimmer Tank
- 3x ‘Lamana‘ Medium Skimmer Tanks
- 4x ‘Imzani‘ Light Recon Skimmer Tanks
- 1x ‘Sirsir‘ Medium Skimmer Designator Tank
- 2x ‘Votari‘ Crystal Nodes
- 2x ‘Votari‘ Crystal Nodes with Anti-Air Batteries
- 5x Bases of Aquan ‘Khitari‘ Infantry (mix of scenic bases with 3-4 minis on each)
Directorate Core Helix
- 1x ‘Desolator‘ Heavy Battle Crawler Tank
- 3x ‘Retaliator‘ Medium Battle Crawlers Tanks
- 5x ‘Informer‘ Light Recon Buggies
- 2x ‘Trojan‘ Cyber Warfare Tanks
- 1x ‘Intruder‘ Combat Personnel Carrier
- 5x Bases of Directorate ‘Patriot‘ Shock Infantry (mix of scenic bases with 3-4 minis on each)
Without knowing the points costs and standard army sizes of a Planetfall game I can’t say what level of forces you get in the box. On one hand, I just said I like getting full armies in starter sets, and on the other, looking at the miniatures included in the box I hope this represents a small force. The press release states that this represents half the maximum you can field in a Core Helix.
The game models listed … are enough to field a game-legal Core Helix (with some additional options added) for each faction. However, the rules have been created to allow a player to double the number of models shown here and still put down a Core Helix (taken to its maximum allowance of options).
It also says that “up to TWO Allied Helixes can be added to each Core Helix” which should up the model count even if the “each Core Helix” part doesn’t indicate that players can take multiple Core Helices. I interpret that as you could take multiple Core Helices.
In addition to all those miniatures there is pre-printed terrain. Although the press release doesn’t explicitly say this I believe this is the same terrain that will be included in the Terrain Box that Spartan Games will be offering.
Included in the main game are:
- 2x Medium Bunkers
- 3x Small Buildings
The Terrain Box describes the terrain as a mix of clear acrylic supports and pre-printed card. This is a step above the foldable pre-printed terrain in either the Dropzone Commander or Infinity starter set. I really like the idea that the set comes with terrain.
I also noticed this line in the Terrain Box description:
Many of our Helix Boxes come with buildings already included…
The miniatures in the boxed set are described as half of a completely maxed Core Helix. I don’t know how big a Helix Box would be and how many you would expect to buy as part of an army, but the idea that each one also increases your terrain is a cool one, especially if Spartan Games customizes the pre-printed card to match the army.
Also included in the boxed set is:
- 1x Full Colour Rulebook
- 2x Planetfall TAC Decks
- 1x 64-page ‘Battle of Proteus Prime‘ A5 Campaign Book (including Statistics for all Aquan and Directorate Models in the boxed set)
- 1x A5 Pre-printed Crashed Shuttle Sheet
- A5 Toker and Template Sheets
Nothing terribly exciting. I’m curious whether the Full Colour Rulebook is a small introductory book or the same as the full rules. The campaign book also raised questions for me. Does it contain only statistics for what came in the boxed set or for all Aquan and Directorate forces?
Looking at the description for the separately available Planetfall Rulebook I’m going to speculate that the book in the game isn’t the full book or the Campaign Book re-publishes the stats for the miniatures for ease of reference? Or perhaps each miniature will come with its own stats like Deadzone or Warmahordes. I say this because the full book is described as including “Flexible Army Lists”
When Spartan Games sent me the press release it included a number of attachments. I read the first which describes the starter set, allied helixes and terrain expansion. Only later did I look at the other attachments, one of which was the MSRP for the upcoming releases. So, how much is the Battle for Proteus Prime two player Planetfall starter set going to set you back?
It seems like a lot, at first glance. There is definitely some sticker-shock. However it isn’t much more than Deadzone and assuming the miniatures are better should be a fair price. When designing starter sets manufacturers have to choose a balance between inexpensive introductory sets, or expensive “game in a box” sets. Deadzone is a “game in a box” set where the new D&D Start Set is an example of an inexpensive introductory set. If you like it you still have to buy the full rules before you can play the full game.
Planetfall is released in October. Should I pick up a review copy? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Google+ or Twitter. Also, if you are interested subscribe so that if I do buy myself a copy you won’t miss my review.
1) Infinity is planned as my next project but not “officially” started and Dungeon Saga doesn’t ship until August 2015.