Wednesday, 14 January 2015

X-wing Shenanigans

Hi folks,

I have been off on a family holiday this week, so I haven't had a chance to wield a paintbrush. It was fun surfing everyone else's blogs from my phone though, whilst I watched sharks cruise past my breakfast table. I have been staying on Daydream Island on the Great Barrier Reef, which is some kind of food for the soul:

Seriously; a shark cruising past my breakfast table.

Feeding stingrays with my little one. They were like hungry puppy dogs.

Before I took off I squeezed in a couple of games of X-wing that were great fun. The first game provided me with a chance to use some of my new ships, including a TIE Phantom and, on the Rebel side, an E-wing. It was an experiment in more ways than one as, out of 5 games that I know have been played in my gaming group, the Rebels have never won, regardless of who was using them (feel free to correct me on this one guys). With a larger, more diverse, fleet and multiple players, I really wanted to see if there was something broken about the Rebels...

Three TIE Starfighters, a TIE Phantom, Interceptor and Defender square off against two X-wings, a B-wing, A-wing and E-wing.

As an Imperial player in control of the Defender, Interceptor and Starfighter, I was planning to cruise down the left flank and focus my attentions on Luke Skywalker's X-wing. KuriboGoomba was my partner in crime and was tasked with holding the right flank with two ace TIE Starfighters and a Phantom equipped with an Advanced Cloaking Device.

KuriboGoomba sweeps through the right flank and pours a huge amount of firepower into an A-wing, to no avail.

The return fire,  a proton rocket, was brutal. Despite being cloaked, the Phantom was left with 1 hull point.

On the opposite flank I dealt some heavy damage to Luke, then evaded most of the return fire; my Defender absorbed a hit with its shields.  KuriboGoomba had less luck, flying his Phantom into an asteroid (bottom right) and losing his last hull point. 

Traffic jam! My TIE defender has no viable targets, but Luke and Biggs combine to take down the TIE Interceptor and Starfighter in order of piloting skill, preventing any return fire.  The next turn my Defender finished off Biggs. On the other flank, KuriboGoomba crashes another starship into an asteroid, destroying it.

The B-wing and E-wing manoeuvre and trap the overstressed TIE Starfighter. It erupts into a glittering ball of sparkly stuff.  

Having disabled Luke with an ion blast at close range,  I realised I couldn't keep him in my sights next turn. I jammed my Defender into him so that he couldn't fire at me and annihilated the A-wing instead. Caught between Luke, the E-wing and B-wing, I spent a few turns evading a causing light damage before someone could finally line me up and take me out.

So... there's nothing wrong with the Rebels; they bring the pain just like anyone else! The second game was an introductory session for my mate and old school gamer, BennyW. Like KuriboGoomba, BennyW and I go back 20 years. There are very few games that I have played without him across the other side of the table. In fact, even when he is not there, he kinda is. So, no tutorial for this guy: 150 no-holds-barred. Against him was KuriboGoomba and I had a finger in both pies, taking a B-wing on one side and the TIE Phantom on the other (weird, I know, but I was careful to avoid conflicts of interest). Ben cut straight to the competitive meta, instinctively taking an augmented TIE swarm list and we cut loose.

BennyW learns the challenges of manoeuvring a TIE swarm, whilst the Defender and Interceptor sprint for the right flank. A very tired looking M4cr0Dutch is sitting on the right there; I really do need to fix those vertical blinds behind the TV...[sigh]. The TIE Phantom cloaks and proceeds to haunt the trench, destroying a B-wing. KuriboGoomba sends a lone A-wing against the swarm but misses with everything repeatedly and gets vaped in return.

I take advantage of a target lock to nail that Interceptor with my B-wing before it can cause any harm. The E-wing destroys a TIE Starfighter whilst evading fire from the TIE Defender. The B-wing went on to destroy a TIE Starfighter before falling apart in the face of massed firepower. 

The endgame. The E-wing manoeuvred desperately for several turns, avoiding the four firing arcs set against it. Taking a stress token in an attempt to line it up, the TIE Defender flies too close to the board edge and, with limited options available, is lost in the preceding turn. Having turned the TIE Phantom over to BennyW, he ghosted it around the dogfight, finally trapping the E-wing and ripping it to shreds. 

So the Rebels lost another hard-fought game. Things were looking bad right from the start, as the A-wing was very poorly equipped to take on all of those TIE Starfighters. It would have been more appropriately matched against the Defender with its proton rockets. The pair of B-wings, on the other hand, would have had a much better chance, with one sporting 360 degree fire with its secondary weapons and another trading stress tokens for extra hits. Ahhh well, you live and you learn...

Thanks for the great games guys (you know who you are), I look forward to playing some more games soon with extra players and even bigger ships.

See you across the table,


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