Thursday, 17 December 2015

X-wing: Den of Thieves

Hi folks,

I teamed up with Wade, KuriboGoomba and Sgt Waz to try out another scenario from the X-wing miniatures game expansions; Den of Thieves. This mission comes with the Millenium Falcon so we figured it would showcase the versatility of the ship we all love.

The mission is a fairly simple one in theory. One Rebel ship gets a smuggler token and can be used to capture Imperial containers that are moving from one side of the board to the other. Of the three containers, the Rebels must catch two to be victorious. This requires the smuggler to roll more critical hits than the defender rolls successful evades, which is quite difficult the first time around. Luckily, any critical hits rolled that are evaded accumulate and can be used to make the roll easier in subsequent turns. The Imperial player gets to assign two ships as escorts, which increase the containers movement by 1 for each escort within range 1. Wade and Sgt Waz chose Luke Skywalker in an X-wing (R2-D2), an A-wing and the Millenium Falcon (Squad Leader) flown by Lando Calrission for their fleet. KuriboGoomba and I took a bomber wing: Redline in a TIE Punisher with a Fire Control System, as well as Major Rhymer and a Gamma Squadron Pilot in TIE Bombers as the escorts. Everyone had Extra Munitions, Plasma Torpedoes and Concussion Missiles. The Rebels set up pretty aggressively, with an A-wing surprising us in the backfield with the smuggler token!

Relying on the difficulty of capturing the containers on the first try, Goomba and I raced the TIE's forwards to try and take out a Rebel ship before we had to deal with the A-wing. The alternative; flipping to engage the X-wing, would be disastrous, stressing our ships and leaving the Falcon and X-wing at our backs with the containers moving in the opposite direction towards our enemies! Luke took some early fire from the Punisher's lasers, which afforded it two target locks after the attack. In return, the Millenium Falcon damaged the Gamma Squadron TIE Bomber.

The next turn the A-wing swooped on the nearest container but failed to roll any critical hits at all. The TIE Bomber piloted by Major Rhymer and Redline performed K-turns in preparation for engaging the nimble smuggler and Luke. The Gamma Squadron TIE peeled off the formation and took on the Falcon, dealing some heavy damage with a plasma torpedo before succumbing to the bigger ship's turret and a critical hit (Direct Hit!).

During thee next turn the Falcon and the X-wing both swooped towards the center of the board to support the A-wing. Captain Rhymer got a shot off, stripping the A-wing of its shields, whilst Redline blew Luke Skywalker apart with a Concussion Missile. The return fire from the Rebels was all successfully evaded by the Imperial Ships and the A-wing, with no accumulated critical hits, failed to capture a container.

The A-wing then delicately threaded the needle between Falcon and Punisher and boosted out of Redline's firing arc, trying to steal a container on the way! Captain Rhymer put the fear of death into the plucky little pilot with a Concussion Missile but couldn't take the little ship down. Redline opened fire on the Falcon causing significant damage, evading all of the return fire.

The next turn the Rebels gave the smuggler token to the Millenium Falcon (finally, the galaxy can start spinning again!) and tried to capture a container but only succeeded in adding to the critical hit pool. The TIE bomber swooped around to try and engage but failed to score any hits, whilst the Punisher made a wider turn with the aim of firing some shots in the last turn along the board edge and escorting one container off the board early. The other two containers were getting close to the board edge now, one lagging behind the other, and the Rebels were sweating!

During the next turn the Rebel players had a long and critical discussion about what they had to do to win the game. It was very interesting to listen to the whole thought process, which culminated in the development of a secret plan. Step one of their plan required the Millenium Falcon to successfully capture a container immediately, which it did...

Step two of their plan was to cheat! Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!! If we hadn't overheard the whole thing in detail we may have come to blows over the shenanigans ;-) My gaming mat overhangs the table by a fair amount, so Sgt Waz propped up the extra couple of inches with his hand, doubling the distance the last container had to move and providing space for maneuvers that should have seen the Rebels leaving the board.

The Falcon had one last chance to capture the final container but their cheating, low-down, no-good, scruffy-looking nerf-herder hearts were crushed as they rolled no critical hits. In vain they rolled another half-dozen times but failed to roll enough critical hits to beat what I had rolled on the defense dice. 

Look at that cheeky  grin; shenanigans indeed!

So, despite the nefarious tactics of scummy Rebels, the brave Imperial Navy had won the day, successfully escorting two out of three containers. This scenario was great fun to play, made even better by the company and our "don't let rules ruin a fun game" attitude. If you would like to give this one a go yourselves, consider house-ruling; give the Falcon a bonus to capture the containers, but the Falcon has to survive the battle to cash in any containers it captures. It seems fitting and the containers were ridiculously hard to get.

See you across the table,


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