Some (a lot possibly) of the mechanics were fairly familiar after playing Ground Command a lot although I suppose I am going the opposite way to most having got HGC first. Canon wise a lot of the action is only really in the books and animations so I am glad I had read 'Fall of Reach' and a few others before playing the game.
I have been very pleasantly surprised by the game to be honest. Not as fast moving as Ground Command, but then there is no 'reaction' system and I was still picking up the number of dice and modifiers to the shooting etc. Also the 'Wing' and 'Boarding' stage add a bit of time, although both are fun and necessary for the 'feel' of the game. I suspect things will speed up a lot.
Model wise they are, as one would expect considering what the Spartan design team have to go through to get them signed off by MicroSoft, gorgeous and Spartan have even been able to 'design' ships that only get a mention in the Halo canon, which is pretty cool for them I imagine.
Having been around for a while there is little point in me going over what is in the box or really how the rules work I suppose. To me the greatest excitement comes from the fact that I can see one being able to combine the two games into a great campaign system where control of the space around a planet (Reach for example) will determine what one can field in a game on the ground, or how expensive (VP wise) air missions may be, what reinforcements can you get etc. etc.
For now the ships are going to remain unpainted as I have a couple of sets of Ground Command that need putting together - and they were not the easiest first time around. I did spend an hour or two this afternoon making some 'debris fields' however - as one does.
So, I will try and keep going on a type of 'journey into the TT world of Halo' blog entries - but for tomorrow night at least it is back to the video game with my first foray into online co-op play... MMMmm how will I fair?