We got a copy of the Firestorm Armada rulebook along with some of the miniatures and the cards. We hope to have more details up soon but our initial impressions, after a first look through the rules, are very positive. It is a mix of previous games and the influence of Battlefleet Gothic and Babylon 5: ACTA is very evident, but it is still a new and unique system of its own. It places emphasis on ship-to-ship combat but also integrates fighters and attack aircraft in a seamless and logical way. The cards are an optional component, and must be purchased separately, but we highly recommended them. They add a lot of flavor to the game.
The miniatures are very well done. They are crisply cast resin (some of the smaller ships and bits are metal) and are a bit larger than the BFG minis but are also beefier overall and in some cases, especially the battleships, much larger. There are four races available now: the Aquan Prime, Terran Alliance, Sorylian Collective, Dindrenzi Federation and the rules detail two more that will be released in the future. Our favorites are the Sorylian Collective and the Dindrenzi Federation. The Fleet Boxes also include a sheet of fighter counters and generic play counters that are printed in full color on glossy card stock and have to be cut out.
The Firestorm Armada site has lots of goodies for download including assembly guides, tactics tips, fleet rosters, and wallpaper. There are even full color fleets you can print out to get playing right away without need for the miniatures. Spartan now has both errata and clarification sheets for the game.
We look forward to getting in a game, painting up some ships, and seeing how the system progresses. If you have any interest in sci-fi ship combat games Firestorm Armada deserves a serious look.