THE FEDERATED STATES OF AMERICA IN DYSTOPIAN WARS - SECOND EDITION
The Liberty-class Heavy Battleship will be bringing some serious firepower to the American fleet, featuring two powerful turrets with Sustained Fire and fore and aft Volley Guns - weapon systems that are excellent against Aerial vessels with High Angle and Redoubtable. It seems the FSA are having their AA capabilities improved upon a great deal, with playtesters commenting that they will compete with the French for aerial dominance!
Similar in look and layout to the older, simpler Independence-class Battleship, the Liberty may also take a Rocket Battery, Kinetic Generator or Shield Generator (3!) in the central hardpoint, changing it's role in the battle. Sharpshooters help this further - now a force-wide MAR for all Capital vessels, as well as the option to upgrade to Elite Crew.
The Liberty looks like a superior (heavier?) version of the Independence - better weapons, more HP and heavier armour, as well as a better Shield Generator. Let's hope the points value is appropriate for these upgrades, and makes for an attractive option without rendering the Independence useless.
In terms of pure aesthetics, it looks better to me, though Ben has commented the vessel is far taller than it's counterpart. I like the use of space on the vessel, detailed without feeling cluttered.
The Boston-class Submarine brings the FSA technologically up to scratch with the other Core Nations, and brings with it some serious firepower (Devastating Munitions, great) and some more subtle abilities with the Disruption Node Projector - allowing it to disrupt enemy Generators in RB2 and 3 such as Shield Generators and leave its prey open for attack.
The Boston also brings the tiny Turtles to battle - mini-submarines packed with Reckless crew that operate in a very similar way to the Crocodiles of the Australian Navy. Suffice to say, this kind of boarding power will make the American Navy a lot more interesting!
Look-wise, it's not the sleek beauty of the Sturmbringer or the viciousness of the Vanguard, but it looks nicely American, and has an unsubtle brutality that will fit in with the rest of the fleet nicely.
Other Vessels - The Georgetown-class Cruisers will be taking over from the Lexington as the workhorse of the FSA fleet, bringing very similar firepower and options (Shield, Rockets or Kinetic Generators) but on a more robust frame - 5HP and a strong Stoic crew contingent. With three of these vessels weighing in at the same cost as a single Liberty-class Heavy Battleship, they seem to be a cost-effective investment for the fleet to be built around. Look-wise they bring a weight that the Lexington lacked, with the higher superstructure and reinforced paddle-wheels.
Of the other two vessels released with the new Naval Battle Group, the San Francisco-class Assault Carrier and the Annapolis-class Battle Cruiser, we have no word yet. I love the look of the Carrier, perhaps more than any of the other new Carriers, and the Battle Cruiser seems to have all the toys with hardpoints for two options - time for rockets and shields at the same time! Definitely looking forward to painting these two ships up.
The Revere-class Corvette brings a lot of new toys to Second Edition - Reckless crew, Advanced Engines that increase their speed, Volley Guns for AA fire as well as being fine standard weapons. Crucially, the Revere now comes with two AP each and has an increased squadron size of five, making them a significant boarding threat.
The old favourite, the Augusta-class Frigate now packs two Volley Guns - making any aerial unit nearby rather nervous! They have now been reduced to one AP, but with the improvements to the Revere in that regard, they now have a place as a gunboat for assuring FSA aerial superiority.
|The power of the FSA in the air will be all but unmatched in the coming Edition|
As with the previous Editions, the FSA are probably the strongest "All-Rounder" of all the Core Nations, which may not be the most interesting "gimmick" but makes for a powerful fleet that will cause any opponent to pause. Firepower, speed, durability and boarding strength are all areas of the game that the FSA can compete in, besting their foe in one area should they be outmatched in another.
I look forward to painting the new vessels and playing against them, without fear of being overwhelmed. The fleet sounds strong, but balanced.
Roll on Release Day!
Thanks for reading,