Sunday, March 1, 2015

Colonel Vessery - Aftermath

Last post I was talking about Colonel Vessery and some random thoughts about him and squad builds based thereof.
Today I finally managed to play and try the list I have devised:
- Vessery with Veteran Instincts and Engine Upgrade (40 points)
- Omicron with ST-321 title and Weapons Engineer (27 points)
- Scimitar Tie bomber x2 (32 points)

for a four ships list with a total of 99 points which will allow to try to get the initiative to be able to fire first at PS 8 with Vessery.

My opponent was flying something like this:
- Academy Pilot Tie Fighter x3 as filler (36)
- Sigma Squadron Tie Phantom (25) with Fire Control Systems (2), Advanced Cloaking Device (4) and Gunner (5) = 36
- Saber Squadron (21) with Stealth Device (3) and Push the Limits (3) = 27
for a five ships list with also 99 points in total

Set up
The asteroids were placed more or less doing a open loop, with five of them and the sixth one placed by me on my left corner (West), with an open lane of about range 3 broad on my right side (East). The opening of the asteroid's loop was facing my right corner. From my point of view resembled an inverted U tilted 45 degrees counter clockways.
My opponent deployed the three Tie fighters looking forwards on the edge on his deployment zone on the open lane on the East side.
I decided to place my shuttle on the opposite corner, shielded by the astoriods and looking forwards. The two bombers were to the right of the shuttle, facing away from each other 45 degrees.
My opponent deployed the phantom and the interceptor in the center-left from my point of view.
I have taken the decision to go first for the phantom, therefore I placed Vessery on the further West side of the field, on the left side of the shuttle.

We wanted to play as close to possible to an official tournament as training for an unofficial tournament of our club, so after set up and deployment we fix a time limit of 40 minutes and here we went :)

The Game

On the first round the Tie fighters just moved 5 straight forwards and barrel roll to their right (my left) closing distance on both axis with my deployment corner.
I wanted to play it slowly to see the intentions of my opponent (quite clear now, full gas forward) so the shuttle moved 1 forward and target lock the phantom and the interceptor.
The bomber closer to the shuttle did a bank to its right and collided with the shuttle, no problems here, just bad judgement of distances and movement templates. This will probe to be a constant in this game.
The other bomber did another bank this time to its left and went facing forward between two asteroids, right were I intended; so far so good.
The phantom and the interceptor moved forward, also at maximum speed and the phantom cloaked.
I moved Vessery 4 forward so that he overtook the shuttle and barrel roll in front of it. I completely forgot about the engine upgrade :(
Anyway, the Tie fighters were packed on my right, the other two enemy vessels were heading for the center and I was more or less packed on the left corner and moving forwards. My idea was to turn the shuttle towards the center, K-turn with the defender and try to approach with the bombers. It was a good plan, at least in my head :)

On the second round two of the Tie fighters just moved forward and the third one banked towards the center.
I miscalculated the distance for the Tie bomber on my right and instead of a nice 5 K-turn I decided to go for a 4 straight due to the proximity of one asteroid which turned out to be much further away that I thought :( However a barrel roll put it with another asteroid behind it and facing one possible phantom approach.
The shuttle banked towards the center followed by the other bomber, which due to the initial collision was lagging behind.
The enemy phantom decloacked, moved somewhere in the center and avoided some of my firing arcs but collided with the bomber at the asteroid. The interceptor pushed the limits after approaching the phantom.
Vessery did a white K-turn and barrel roll into position. At this point I have already remembered about the engine upgrade but the positioning of Vessery was such that it was of no help to get better shooting spot.
This was the situation at the end of round 2.
Different view of the end of round two.
The phantom fired on the shuttle and ciao bella two or three shields !
The interceptor scored one damage card on the bomber and neither the bomber returning fire nor the shuttle did anything to the enemy.
The closest most Tie fighter, at range three with a blocking asteroid managed to score against the shuttle !

The third (and final round due to time constrictions) was chaotic and catastrophic.
The two Tie fighters on the further right turn 3 to their right and landed on the same asteroid. The third Tie Fighter banked towards the center and landed on another asteroid.
One of my bomber K-turned onto an asteroid also. The one lagging behind the shuttle was so angled that luckily it was having at least the interceptor inside of its firing arc.
The shuttle, however I managed to move it just in front of the interceptor which collided with it.
The phantom decloacked towards its right and moved close to the asteroid, where the Tie fighter was sitting, not hitting it by nanometers.
Vessery moved towards the asteroid, also barely touching it and barrel rolled into firing position.
View of the battlefield at the end of round three
Close-up of the main conflict zone, the asteroid around which the phantom and defender were engaged
Vessery managed to remove the two shields of the phantom.
The interceptor landed two critics on the bomber behind the shuttle, one reduced the agility in one, the other canceled the next attack.
The phantom return fire landed two critics on Vessery. Here I am a bit confused as the defender has three shields which I don't remember to have lost, so either there was another round of shooting or I forgot about my shields, uhm...
I think I just forgot the shields as the bomber has none and had just received two from the interceptor.
Anyway, one of the critics reduced the agility in 1 and the other was the terrible one which negates the pilot special ability. Just great!

But, anyway, time was up, and I consider the game lost.

In retrospective
It looks like it is not a good idea to try to catch a phantom with a defender and a shuttle. They are not maneuverable enough for the task. Neither are the bombers.
My opening idea was maybe good, but for sure, badly executed.
Maybe it could have been a better idea to have deployed the defender in front of the Tie fighters and try to joust them out of the game; a white K-turn and three attack dice should give it an edge against the Tie fighters. But on the other hand, one ship against three...
Funny thing is, I do not consider myself a good tactician or player of x-wing, actually I will very probably lose against anyone of you out there; however, in our group, I am one of the two guys with more flying experience and my opponent has been only recently hooked into the game. So, he was the whole time concerned that I was having some kind of master plan and that he was, probably, doing everything wrong :)
Thing is, I think he did very well. Yes, sure, he bumped the interceptor into the phantom in round one. But, how cares? it was round one, we were to far from each other for it to have any consequence. Yes, sure, he hit the asteroids with all his Tie fighters, but they were in better position that my ships and managed to scape some of my firing arcs.
And, on top of that, he did his list from scratch, without too much web search, just looking what sounded reasonable.
Not too bad, I will say :)

I am really looking forwards to our little club tournament to see how he, and everyone else, fares there. This is specially true, as in our very non-official tournament not every have even a single ship of xwing as the rest of us have more than enough for every one, so we are going to allow "virtual" list, that means, you do not have to have all the official cards you need for your list; just print a list with some squad builder, borrow the ships you need from someone and go play !
Therefore I expect to see a lot of just released cards, such as Autothrusters :)
even Scum and Villainy as they have just been delivered to one of our members. This can be scary :)

Future
I was thinking a bit more about my set up and the list and maybe I should have played it more jousting style, at the end, I think this is the main idea behind the defender. After watching the video of the Gen Con USA Nationals, wherein a two Falcons list, very defensive, was crippled down by a Whisper on steroids, the incredible Soontir Fel and just a shuttle with Captain Yorr; I started reconsidering the upgrades on my list.
  1. maybe engine upgrade is wasted in Vessery, however after having been deal a critic which incapacitated him, maybe determination is not a bad idea,
  2. the shuttle does not need the title and the weapons engineer if it flies more or less like in the above cited final escorted by the two bombers, more than enough target locks there for Vessery, specially if the shuttle gets the Fire Control Systems upgrade,
  3. Predator is a real pain if used against you, so maybe it could be a good idea to take bombers with higher PS.
Prospective list:
-Vessery (35) + Determination or Veteran Instincts (1) for 36 points
- Gamma Squadron (18) x 2 for 36 points
-Omicron shuttle (21) with Fire Control system (2) for 23 points
for a subtotal of 95 points
which still leaves me 5 points for further upgrades or to change the Omicron for Captain Yorr and something worth 1 or 2 points more..

Friday, February 27, 2015

Colonel Vessery - Random Thoughts


Colonel Vessery, Tie Defender, 35 points, Special ability: when attacking, immediately after you roll attack dice, you may acquire a target lock on the defender if it already has a red target lock token.

I am an Empire player in X-wing, but curiously enough there are still some kinds of ships that I have not taken to the table. Not because I lack motivation, mainly because I do not have time to play as much as I wish. Two of the ships I still have to try and by try I really mean that I have never used then before are the Tie Phantom and the Tie Defender even if I have them since they were released.

Two weeks ago I tried the Decimator with Soontir Fel as companion basically because I didn't want to try two new ships at the same time. Someone said that the real trick on playing x-wing is to know the list you are flying, and I must say that I agree totally. A decent list that you know is on your hands much better than an incredible good list which you do not have any experience and cannot exploit to its limits.

That said and after the Decimator experiment I was listening to some podcast doing a review of Wave 4 and talking very good of this fellow, Colonel Vessery. So I decided to take a second look to him.

I have already read the card when I got the Tie defender expansion, but it is one of those cards that I read, I do not really understand and that I put to side for future reference.
There are fantastic reviews out there about every single card in the game, this entry on my blog does not intent to go so far, it is only a couple of ideas and random thoughts that I got when I was wondering about this Colonel guy.
Let's take a look to his special ability on detail:
  1. when attacking, 
  2. immediately after you roll attack dice, 
  3. you may acquire a target lock on the defender 
  4. if it already has a red target lock token.
point 1, when attacking; no surprises here, a special ability which can be use when Vessery attacks some one, nothing strange here
point 3, you may acquire a target lock on the defender; ok, this sounds similar to Fire Control Systems; Vessery attacks some one and get a target lock onto this some one, so far so good
but
point 2, immediately after you roll attack dice; yes, that is before you modify those same attack dice; in silver, Vessery can attack some one, roll dice, target lock on that poor some one and use that target lock to modify those same dice
however
point 4, if it (the target) has a red target lock token; which means that some one else on the side of Vessery needs to "mark" the target for him.

In short, as long as Vessery has some ally spotting targets for him, he will be able to use his incredible special ability.

Two main lines of thought here:
  1. how can Vessery become more formidable?
  2. who is going to spot for him?

Upgrades
Colonel Vessery has an Elite Pilot slot, so in theory he can get some extra power here. He also has, as each defender does, the Cannon and the Missile slots. I have read that the "current" meta goes about Vessery with Heavy Laser Cannon, which really sounds scary to anyone but I was looking to Vessery and was only able to think, missiles, this guy needs to get some Cluster Missiles.
Cluster Missiles is 4 points and according to the FAQ is treated as two separate attacks against the same target.
In my imagination this goes:
  1. Someone targets lock an enemy ship
  2. Vessery targets lock the same enemy ship
  3. Vessery fires the Cluster Missiles by spending his target lock and discarding the Cluster Missiles card
  4. Vessery rolls attack dice, gets a free target lock and uses it
  5. Vessery rolls attack dice again and gets, again, a free target lock 
So, you are rolling twice 3 attack dice with reroll against the same poor guy. True, you can only do this once, but what a nice strike if the dice are with you.
On this trend of thoughts, some people always complain about the dice being bad with them, so I was thinking maybe get Vessery Marksmanship, to ensure some impacts, but this will add 3 extra point to the cost of Vessery, raising it to 42 points in total. Which, by the way,  will be the same cost as Vessery with Heavy Laser Cannon and some schools of thought in the xwing community think that Marksmanship is not really useful.

Now the question is: the possibility of rolling twice 3 attack dice with reroll on them once in a game is worth 4 points?
Not sure about the answer yet.

Other upgrade I was thinking about in this context was Engine Upgrade, actually I always consider Engine Upgrade as upgrade for my builds. I really like the flexibility that the boost action offers. In the case of a Tie defender I think that this upgrade can surprise an unwary opponent as who has seen a boost action after a K-turn?
Usually,this manoeuvre is red but not in the defender, for a defender this manoeuvre is white, which makes possible to take action(s) after it. I think this can be nice to try, feint an entry into the asteroids on the centre with a white K-turn and a boost action and see if my opponent missed the spot I was supposed to be but I am not :)

Spotter
Ok, Vessery needs red target lock tokens on his intended enemy. Who can give them to him?
First answer which came to my mind was, anyone with Targeting Computer, a 2 points Modification available to anyone.
The cheapest option for this approach will be standard Tie fighters, either the black or the obsidian squadron, depending on the local meta concerning Predator.
Second idea was a Lambda shuttle with the title which allows it to target anyone anywhere. This can be very juicy. Adding Weapons Enginer to be able to have two target locks with only one ship (the shuttle) and using only one action sounds even better. This on an Omicron will amount to 27 points.
Third idea, someone who already has target lock action in its action bar, like Tie Advanced or Tie Bombers. The current consensus is that until the release of the new Raider huge ship for the Empire, the Tie Advanced is overcosted, however the Tie Bomber amounts to the cheapest and robustest ships of the Empire's arsenal.
Some web search showed that, again, there is nothing new under this Sun. There were plenty of entries on the FFG forum about Vessery and lists based on him combined either with Scimitar Tie bombers or shuttles or Firesprays. One particular list was basically Vessery and three Scimitars,which sounds very scary on paper at least.

My current list
At the end I settled for this:
- Vessery with Veteran Instincts and Engine Upgrade (40 points)
- Omicron with ST-321 title and Weapons Engineer (27 points)
- Scimitar Tie bomber x2 (32 points)
for a four ships list with a total of 99 points which will allow to try to get the initiative to be able to fire first at PS 8 with Vessery.

More on this coming soon (I hope so at least ;D )

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rescuing Han Solo

[Lando, with strangled voice] - Han, we can still save Han.
[Leia] - Chewie, let him talk.
[Lando, gasping for air] - Han, we can still save him from Boba Fett. You two get into safety, I will fetch Han.

Lando signals another pilot to follow him and strides away towards the Millenium Falcon....

-----------------------------

Alternative version of the Empire Strikes Back and more or less what happened in our X-Wing game last week.
A new player wanted to play for second time and we decided to go for a low point count (50 to 60) to have less fighters involved.
I am currently trying to master how to fly with a Firespray and reading a bit on the web I found the Fettigator concept and was very curious about its possibilities, so I run Boba Fett (39) with Navigator (3), Engine Upgrade (4), Daredevil (3) and Autoblaster (5) for a total of 54 points.
My opponent knew my list so that he will be able to choose something more easily. In an instinctive way he decided to go for higher Pilot Skill than me and came out either with Han Solo or with Lando with Veretan Instincts.
Han is more offensive and Lando is more coordination, Chewie even with Veteran Instincts is not high enough.
As he also wanted to try a small ship, at the end he decided for Lando without any mods (44 points) and one Prototype A-wing also without mods (17 points) for a total of 61 points.
We rolled for initiative which I got and we distributed the asteroids more or less in a classic fashion: four in the range 2, range 2 corners and the other two somewhere in the middle.
He placed the A-Wing on the center to my right, which was where I placed Mr. Fett and he placed Lando at 45° on the corner on my left.
The YT-1300 moved towards the asteroid field in a very conservative and cautious manner trying and managing to avoid any collision but also outside of any helpful range for the A-wing.
The A-wing moved also carefully in the asteroid field, but was using its boots action very wisely and moving towards my right, towards Boba Fett who was flying on the side of the asteroids with the idea or turning to face the A-wing a close range.
In the confrontation the A-wing lost shields and was eventually destroyed the round after by Fett but achieved its goal of stripping the shields out of the Firespray.
Lando managed by this time to move into range from within the asteroid field and he and Lando started a "dance" all around the board and the asteroids. My opponent very well aware of the Autoblaster and being able to move after me was always beyond range one.
The inevitable followed: Boba Fett was destroyed by a less manoeuvrable but later moving Lando :(
I think the fact that Boba Fett was not moving last or at least after Lando was the key point to his inevitable demise as all the point invested in making the Firespray highly manoeuvrable are wasted if you don't know were your opponent is going to be.
Guessing is nice but knowing is better.
After this experiment I think that Boba Fett needs more Veteran Instincts than Daredevil in this configuration, because not going last is really crippling his main strength.
Nevertheless, it was really funny and cinematic watching Lando catching Boba Fett and saving the day (and Han) ;)

Decimator Test Drive

[Sales man] - Good Morning Admiral. Please, here, the keys of your new vehicle.
[Rear Admiral Chiraneau]-Thanks. Uhm... Soontir, do you feel like coming with me for a test drive.
[Baron Soontir Fel] - Yes, sure, Admiral.
[...]
[Baron Soontir Fel] - Look out, Sir. It seems to me that we have run into some Rebel Sum. Will go around the asteroids to take a look.
[Rear Admiral Chiraneau] - Good idea, I will keep exploring my new vessel.

-----------------------

That summarises more or less my last X-Wing game :)
I wanted to try the Decimator, so I checked some videos and podcasts about it and came with this list:

  • Rear Admiral Chiraneau (46), Expose (4), Rebel Captive (3), Ysanne Isard (4), Experimental Interface (3) and after some consideration also Gunner (5) for a total of 65 points
  • Soontir Fel (27) with Push the Limit (3) and Shield Upgrade (4) for a total of 34 points.
The list is 99 points, to bet for Initiative.
There was another similar list for the Decimator which was also with the Rear Admiral but using Predator (3) and Engine Upgrade (4) instead of Expose and Exp. Interface. Both combination let to the same amount of points, so in that respect they are "equivalent".
The lists I based mine were always Decimator and Phantom, usually Whisper, but having never used one of those I decided to go with the well-known Soontir.

My opponent was flying a 4X list:
  • Biggs, with R2-D2 and Shield Upgrade
  • Rookie with Shield Upgrade
  • Rookie x2
A very defensive Biggs list, with a total of 100 points.

The initial Set Up was the Rebels in the middle of the table bearing to their left, the Decimator on one side at 45° angle and Soontir so posed as to be able to cut through the asteroid belt.
Position after the initial move of the Rebels
The Decimator was moving slowly towards its right, using first a bank 1 to get parallel to the border of the battle field whereas Soontir moved straight 4 with boost to get into the middle of the asteroid and try to approach the Rebels from their back.
The Decimator was for the first and second round too far from the enemy as to be able to exchange fire. But Soontir managed to get behind an asteroid in the middle and fired on Biggs.
I was expecting the Rebels to follow the Rear Admiral but they changed their plans and K-turned to chase Soontir which was about to move around the back left asteroid to chase them. Surprise !
However, being able to boost left and Push the Limits to barrel roll and get a focus allowed him to put some distance with the enemy fighters.
Catch me if you can :)
I moved the Decimator with a right bank 1 right between the two asteroids but them was forced to go bank 2 left to avoid any collision. In the meantime Soontir was running for his life with all the enemy fighters after him.
One lucky shoot removed his shield, but he was able to go to the left back corner of the battle field by following its border and to turn behind the Decimator.
The enemy fighters seeing the speed of Soontir decided to turn again to face this time the Decimator.
A few shoots were exchanged between the asteroids, Biggs and the Decimator lost their shields, however R2-D2 was there to get them back on line.
The Decimator was using Expose with Exp. Interface after target lock and was having problems to cancel stress.
After coming out from in between the asteroids under stress the Decimator was faced with a dilemma: to go right and try to by pass the enemy fighters by either flying them over or by overlapping them or to try to go left risking flying out of the battle field.
At the end I decided to try to by pass the enemy fighters by flying onto them, however they moved just enough for me to land in front of them; two were at range one, Biggs and the other at range 2.
The barrage of fire was such that they destroyed the Decimator basically in one round. It got 11 points of damage.
The previous round it hat already lost the shields and one point of hull. So it was gone in a big ball of fire...
Another one bites the dust
This was my first experience with a Decimator and so far I must said that I liked it but that next time I will probably go with the Predator - Engine Upgrade option as I don't see an easy way for me to fly this thing and be able to remove stress in an efficient way. Actually, the round it was destroyed I was not able to use Ysanne Isard precisely because of the stress and my need to fly either away or onto the enemy ships.
My opponent was flying his fighters very well and I cannot blame the dices as we were more or less even with our luck, only my own mistakes :)
I was very funny, that for sure :)


Friday, December 5, 2014

Punishment Raid - A X-wing Scenario

This scenario is also available at


Background


During the height of the Rebellion against the Empire, multiple battles and fights took place along the galaxy. One of those battles was a reprisal bombing against the religious and civilian settlements on the Mkbuto islands on the Mon Calamari home planet Dac. This scenario revives this historical moment.
In this scenario:
  • The Empire player will have to lead his forces from space (upper left corner of the battlefield) and into the planet atmosphere through a gap opened in the planetary defense array by the turbo laser coordinated attack of the Imperial Fleet (bottom right corner of the battlefield).
  • The Rebel player will command the fighters sent from the planet surface (bottom left and center parts of the battlefield) into the upper atmosphere and close space to intercept the bombers.
May the Force be with you.

Forces


Waves 1 to 3 (no Phantom, Defender, E-Wing nor Z-95 Headhunter) without large ships (no YT-1300, Firespray 31, Lambda shuttle, YT-2400 nor VT-49 Decimator).

Empire

Between 95 and 100 points; however, at least two TIE bombers are required.
All TIE bombers are considered to be fully loaded with Air to Surface Strike Ammunition (ASSA), therefore they cannot equip any secondary weapon (missiles, torpedos or bombs). The ASSA are locked until they arrive to their intended target on the planet surface and are of no use or relevance for the entry into the planet atmosphere.

Rebel

Between 140 and 150 points. To simulate the historical progressive mobilization and answer  of the defenders to the imperial attack, roughly one third of this force will deploy on round 1, with each one of the other two thirds deploying at the end of any End Phase (it is not possible to deploy those two thirds together on the same End Phase).

Objective


The Imperial player forces enter the battlefield from the upper left corner (Entry Zone) and have to leave the battlefield through the bottom right corner (Exit Zone). The Rebel player has to avoid it.
For each unnamed TIE bomber that leaves the battlefield through the Exit Zone, the Imperial player gets 3 (three) Victory Points; 4 (four) Victory Points for each named TIE bomber.
For each unnamed TIE bomber destroyed or which does not leave the battlefield through the Exit Zone the Rebel player gets 3 (three) Victory Points; 4 (four) Victory Points for each named TIE bomber.
For each other fighter destroyed, 1 (one) Victory Point is awarded.

Set Up


  1. Empire units deploy on the upper left corner of the battlefield (Entry Zone), on a L-shape deployment zone which extends 10cm (range 1) from the border into the battlefield and which is 20cm (range 2) long on each side of that corner. All Imperial units deploy at the beginning of the game.
  2. Rebel player places 6 (six) satellite tokens on the lower half of the battlefield. Each satellite cannot be within range 1 of any other satellite or border.
  3. Rebel player places 2 (two) debris tokens (if there are no debris token available, use two copies of the big asteroid token which comes with the base game or something with a similar size). One debris token goes into the upper left quadrant of the battlefield, the other debris token on the upper right quadrant. Each debris token cannot be within range 2 of any other token (satellite or debris) or range 1 of any border.
  4. Rebel player places one third of his force on the left and centre part of the bottom border of the battlefield within range 1 of the border (Rebel Deployment Zone). No Rebel starship can be placed on the Exit Zone of the Imperial player, nor within range 1 of this Exit Zone.


Special Rules

Gravity Pull

In the Activation Phase, right before step 6 (Perform Action) the active ship will move towards the planet surface (bottom of the battlefield) except if the active player declares that the first action of the active ship on step 6 is going to be the “Compensate” Action (even if the active ship has more that one action planned for step 6, e.g. Push the Limits, the “Compensate” action has to be the very first action on step 6). To make a Gravity Pull, perform a barrel roll for the active ship towards the planet surface on the side of the base of the active ship more closer or orientated to the planet using the long edge of the template as if the ship were a large ship instead of using the normal short edge of the template.

Compensate [Action]

The Compensate action is the only way an active ship has to avoid the Gravity Pull of the planet. The action has to be executed immediately after the movement of the active ship; therefore it will be the very first action performed on step 6 of the Activation Phase.

Debris

Debris tokens follow the rules for Debris Clouds given in the YT-2400 and VT-49 Decimator which are reproduced here for the sake of completeness.
Debris clouds are obstacles for which:
  • when a ship executes a maneuver in which either the template or the ship’s base overlaps with the token, the maneuver is executed as normal but a stress token is assigned to the ship after the “Check Pilot Stress” step, and
  • the player rolls one attack die, on a [critical hit] result, the ship suffers 1 critical damage.

Satellites

Satellite tokens are obstacles which behave as Debris Clouds with the difference that when
  • the player roll the one attack die, on a [hit] or [critical hit] result, the ship will suffer the corresponding 1 damage or 1 critical damage; also this will destroy the satellite which will be replaced by a Debris Cloud token (in case they are not available use an asteroid token or something with a similar size to represent it).

Rebel Wave

After the initial deployment of the first one third of the Rebel forces, the other two thirds will be deployed at the end of any End phase, however:
  • each further one third of the Rebel force will deploy in its own End Phase (it is not possible to deploy those two thirds together on the same End Phase),
  • those further Rebel units have to deploy within the boundaries of the Rebel deployment zone (bottom left and centre part of the battlefield), and
  • they cannot deploy below range 2 of an enemy unit.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

X-Wing World Champions

I was listening to episode 8 of the NOVA squadron Podcast where they interviewed the X-Wing World Champion of 2012, Doug Kinney, when I realised that I was not really aware of how had won the World Championships any year, what they fly and so on.
To try to fill this vacuum in my knowledge this post :)

X-Wing World Champions

  1. Doug Kinney (2012)
  2. Paul Heaver (2013)
  3. Paul Heaver (2014)

X-Wing World Sub-Champions

  1. Nick Stanton (2012)
  2. Dallas Parker (2013)
  3. Morgan Reid (2014)

2012

Doug Kinney's list:
  • Darth Vader (Swarm Tactics)
  • Howlrunner (Swarm Tactics)
  • 1x Obsidian Squadron
  • 3x Academy Pilot
Nick Stanton's list:
  • Wedge Antilles (R2-D2)
  • 1x Gold Squadron (Ion Cannon)
  • 2x Rookie (R2 Astromech)
(courtesy of BGG)
Video at youtube by team covenant

2013

Paul Heaver's list:
  • Biggs
  • 2x Dagger Squadron (Advanced Sensors)
  • Rookie Pilot
Dallas Parker 's list:
  • Howlrunner (Stealth, Determination)
  • Dark Curse
  • 5x Academy Pilot
(courtesy of HERO's Gaming blog)
Video at youtube by team covenant

2014

Paul Heaver's list:
  • Han Solo (R2D2, C3PO, Predator, Falcon, Engine Upgrade)
  • 3x Tala Squadron
    Morgan Reid's list:
    • Whisper (Adv. Cloaking Device, Rebel Captive, Fire Control System, Veteran Insticts)
    • Howl (Swarm Tactics)
    • 3x Academy pilot
    (courtesy of team covenant)
    Video by FFG.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014

    Erasmus Campaign revisited - Star Wars X-Wing

    Seems to me that I am a bit overdue with further posting in this blog, but those last months have been a bit busy.
    However, we keep playing X-Wing in a more or less weekly basis. So far I have played the Erasmus campaign once as the Rebel. Although I was able to win the first mission I utterly lost the campaign. You can read a chronicle of our spoils here.

    Now, I am playing it again but as Empire :) :)
    So far we have managed to play the 1st mission, Satellite Malfunctions
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Mission Setup

    Rebel

    Points: 50, but a maximum of 2 ships
    Ships: Any non-unique ship
    Upgrades: Any non-unique droids, weapons upgrades, missile upgrades, and Pilot upgrades (if able to)
    Setup: Anywhere in range 1 of the Rebel table side. Rebels place their ships first.

    Imperial

    Points: 50
    Ships: Any non-unique standard Tie Fighter
    Upgrades: Pilot upgrades (if able to)
    Setup: Anywhere on any table edge (right, or left, or center), as long as it is range 3 away from the Rebel player's starting side. Rebels place their ships first.

    Iniative: Rebels

    Asteroids: Imperials place asteroids, but cannot be within range 2 of a satellite or range 1 of each other.

    Two satellite tokens are placed by the Imperial player anywhere in range 2 of his side of the table. This means only range 2 and not in range 1. It also means left, center, and right sides. No sticking it in the corner!


    Special Rules


    ·Echo System Satellite: The satellite has 5 hull points and can be targeted by weapons systems.  It cannot be critically hit and does not have any evade dice when fired at.


    ·Protect Action: Imperial ships may perform a PROTECT action when within range 1 of the satellite token.  When performing a PROTECT action, the Imperial player places one evade token on the satellite.  When attacked, the satellite may spend this evade token to add one additional success to its defensive total.  Note, this is the only way for the satellite to earn evade results.


    Objectives


    Rebel Victory: Destroy both Echo Net satellites.


    If a Rebel Victory is secured, then they are allowed to add “Dutch” Vander (unique Y-wing pilot) to the Ships options for any future mission. If Dutch is killed in any mission, this option is no longer available.  Dutch is the leader of Gold Squadron of Y-wings and success in the Erasmus system brings Gold Squadron to the fight.


    Imperial Victory:   The Rebel ships must be destroyed or driven off to ensure the Echo Net satellite is secure.


    If the Echo Net system is secured, then the Rebel activity draws Maarek Stele's attention to the Erasmus system. Maarek Stele becomes an option for the Imperial Ship options for all future missions. If Maarek Stele is killed during a mission, he is no longer an option. 

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    How we played it :)

    Rebel:
    Two Rookie Pilots with Proton Torpedoes (25p each)

    Empire (me):
    Two Academy Pilots (12p each)
    Two Obsidian Squadron Pilots (13p each)

    As imperial, I placed both, the Satellites and the Asteroids. As the Rebel player has placed his two ships on the center of his side of the board, I decided to put the satellites slightly towards the right part of my side, spaced 10cm (1 range) and then proceeded to place the asteroids as crowded as possible between the satellites and the rebel fighters.
    [Note: as satellites we used two bomb tokens as I have forgotten part of my tokens at home :( ]
    The two academy pilots deployed just behind the satellites and the idea was for them to stay there, flying in circles, to Protect the satellites.
    The two obsidian squadron pilots were deployed on the lateral of the battlefield, perpendicular to the line Rebel fighters ---- Academy pilots.

    The Rebel player decided to move straight ahead with his two rookie pilots, whereas I bank to the left with the two obsidian squadron pilots to cover not only this movement of the rebels but also to be able to pursue them in the case they would have bank or turn to their left to bypass the asteroid field on the side opposite to my deployment.
    Prepare to die Rebel scum
    The relative position of the ships made it possible for me to fire with the two of them at the same rebel fighter, whereas the rebels were not able to do so [evil grin].
    Just there :)
    On the second round, the rebels decided to split their formation, heading each to one different side of the asteroid in front of them; the Obsidian pilots just beard to their right to keep on the back of their targets.
    Right behind you...


    Not being able to fire back, the rebels were easy prey for the obsidian squadron :)
    in space nobody can hear you
    The lone rebel pilot tries to go for the satellites with the obsidian pilots in hot pursuit and the academy pilots turning to confront him.
    between bad and worse
    Some nice manoeuvring amongst the asteroids leads to a packed space :)
    out of my way...
    After a round of running and a K-turn, the rebel lone fighter faces all the enemy TIEs which try to Protect the satellites.
    Alone against the odds
    Rebel without fear
    However the concentrated fire from the imperial fighters was too much for the rebel scum...
    Another one bites the dust

    In retrospective, the placement of the asteroids relative to the rebel fighters and the fact that they decided to fly straight ahead allowing the two obsidians to rain upon them from the side was probably the decisive factor of the game.
    Last time I played it as Rebel I tried to focus on flying to the satellites ignoring the imperial fighters which were chasing me all over the board, all of them; which resulted in their failure to protect the satellites. I tried to avoid that error by letting two fighters protecting them all the time, which at the end resulted in a victory for the empire :)
    The rebel player also was sharing this opinion concerning the placement and route of his ships, maybe if he would have made them fly to their left side towards the opposite side of the board the obsidian pilots would have a more difficult task.
    Anyway, we really enjoyed it. We like this campaign as it allows you to introduce new players in a soft and progressive way which makes the game easier to approach. Currently there are too many different ships and upgrades for new players to get everything in their heads straight away.
    Next, mission 2...