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AFE Firestorm Bomber

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By dsherratt74   |   
© 2019 - 2020 dsherratt74
The FB-251 Firestorm is the AFE's main exo-atmospheric bomber craft. While it lacks the speed and manoeuvrability of the F-327 Avenger it carries heavier armour and mounts an impressive range of weapons. The Firestorm operates with a crew of two, the pilot and the bombardier/gunner in addition to a VI (virtual Intelligence) system. 

Primarily used by the AFE for devastating ground attack it is also more than capable of operating in space and performing strikes against space vessels. The Firestorm standard weaponry consists of 4 chain cannons, a Skyspear MLWD (Multiple Launch Warhead Delivery) system for ground and atmospheric attacks. In addition, when operating in space, it also makes use of a stowable ventral ball turret equipped with two Light cannons of the same calibre as those mounted on the the AFE's Tempest light tank for attacks. 

The Firestom also has an internal bomb bay capable of stowing a payload equal to 5000 kg as well as 6 hardpoints capable of mounting a wide range of options from Air to Air Missiles, Air to Ground Missiles, Bombs, Torpedos, external fuel tanks, additional MLWD Pods and much more (shown with 4 Anvil Air to Air missiles and 4 Lancer III Torpedos).
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S7alker117's avatar
S7alker117Professional Writer
This one looks nice! The thing above and behind the cockpit is a sensor dome, or part of the gunner's station? I assume this will be a nice addition to the AFE army list! On that note, have you worked the kinks on the use of aerial units already?

In some way it makes me think of the Eldar Phoenix from Warhammer 40k, both in function and design, which is not a bad thing. I, for one, are one to keep my influences on my sleeves. 
dsherratt74's avatar
dsherratt74Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is indeed the VI Sensor node. The same sensor module is found on the Avenger.

The aerial unit rules are shaping up nicely. We currently have the following game turn sequence - Draft and Play Command Cards, Move, CLASSIFIED ACTION, Combat (Shooting or Melee), Aerial Movement, Aerial (and AA) Shooting,  End Turn Actions.

As the game progresses player can interrupt certain turn actions using command cards, be it things like moving after shooting, making extra attacks or unleashing an Ion Cannon strike from an orbiting starship. :D 

Currently the aircraft phase works along the following lines. Fighters and Bombers (each faction has both) enter the table during the aircraft move phase and then fire their basic weapons (cannons MLWDS) and any ordinance (missiles, bombs etc) as they wish, before moving off at the start of the next turn during the normal move phase. They then refuel and reload and can return to the game after refuelling. If they have external fuel tanks they can forego refuelling and reloading for 1 turn for each tank they carry. This allows them to re-enter the table on the same turn as they leave and fire any available weapons.

For example: If a Firestorm had 2 Fuel tanks and 8 Air to Ground missiles in addition to a bomb payload it could enter the game turn one and fire 4 missiles, its cannons and MLWDS then exit start of turn 2. Then re-enter in the aircraft phase of turn 2 and fire the same again before exiting at the start of turn 3. Then yet again re-enter on the aircraft phase of turn 3 and fire its cannons and MLWDS as well as drop its bombs then exit at the start of turn 4 and return to base to reload and refuel. 

The points cost of the extra fuel tanks offset the extended operational window and units using them also suffer a longer reload and re-arm time as well. This has so far proved quite balanced but as we are still in pre-alpha it's all subject to change.

We are also looking at the feasibility of using the cannons as a weapon on the tabletop using the FB-251 in a similar roll to the AC-130 Spectre with it circling the battlefield and raining fire down (so long as it has the fuel to do so of course).