Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fly Casual

My Saber is Light!
It's All-Skype Fight Night!

Altogether now - root doot doot doot doo di doo
Di diddi diddle diddle doot di doo

A swift X-Wing hook-up from last week, this! Kraken vs Stylus, a 100 point match with both of us fielding rather proxied lists. Me because I wasn't physically present, Stylus because his collection hasn't caught up with his ambitions yet. (does anyone's? ever?)

All the Scum of the Fair

Using the scummers from General Kasfunatu's recent birthday present and the upgrades cards I think are in his collection, I put together this list:

N'Dru Shu'lak in his Z95 (referred to as Andrew and then Andy throughout the game) - Hotshot Blaster and Wired - 21
Kavil in his Y-Wing - Bomb Loadout, Genius, Ion Bombs, Autoblaster Turret and Crack Shot - 29
Bossk in the Hound's Tooth  - Outlaw Tech, K4 Security Droid, Manouvering Fins, Marksmanship - 50

The rough plan was to have Kavil and Bossk take one side, with Andy using his Lone Wolfishness to sweep in from the opposite flank (he shoots better with no friendlies nearby). Kavil would go ahead of the big ship, soften and confuse opponents with his ion weapons, and Bossk would clean up the survivors, as his talents make him a very reliable damage dealer.

Per Ardua Ad Astra Mortis

One down, two to go

Stylus was rocking an all X all the time formation:

Death Star Veterans

X-Wing: · Wedge Antilles (29)
· Squad Leader (2)
· Proton Torpedoes (4)
· R7-T1 (3)
X-Wing: · Garven Dreis (26)
· R2-D2 (4)
X-Wing: · Biggs Darklighter (25)
· R5-P9 (3)
· Shield Upgrade (4)

From what I understand, the plan was to park Biggs at the back to soak up damage, as enemies have to target the poor old ablative pilot over any nearby friendly ship. Wedge would be the primary damage dealer, with Garven trying to keep up.

They're coming in! Three marks at 2-10!

The report is going to be a bit approximate - it was a week ago, there were no photos and half the ships were squares of card. But the action was real and intense! So that's okay.

We set up on opposing corners, with Andy on my team flying solo from the centre. It took two turns to close to firing range, at which point Bossk and Kavil between them tore Garven to shreds with a single turn of fire! A good start for the scum.

And one I quickly put to waste. If I was in a forgiving mood, I might excuse my inability to fly straight or drop bombs on anyone but my own side as a skype problem. It's hard to estimate the distances on the movement markers when you've never seen one in the flesh, after all.

However, I did fly Andy into an asteroid field, drop the ion bombs on Bossk and nobody else and then lose Kavil to concentrated X-Wing fire over the next two turns. I'd taken down Bigg's shields and scratched Wedge's hull in the process, at least, with Bossk's ability generally cranking out three or four hits a turn!

But the X-Wings were both now behind the big ship, and I was suddenly realising it couldn't K-turn...

So over the next few turns, I flew into as many asteroids as I possibly could. Andy was horribly stressed and totally out of position most of the time, and the rebel pilots were slowly but surely cutting the Hound's Tooth down to size.

Eventually, though, Biggs got out of position so I could take him out. Andy managed to get back in time to help with this, after some rather gentlemanly sportsmanship from Stylus. I'd misunderstood the Stress rules - if you try a red manouver when already stressed, your opponent can fly your ship for you for a turn. Stylus took Andy through some more asteroids, which didn't quite kill him and brought him back into the fray. Git that I am, I'd probably have flown him directly towards a table edge in the same position!

Wedge promptly executed Andy after that, so it was down to the big freighter and the heavy fighter, both in pretty bad nick by this time.

We raced inconclusively round the asteroid field for a bit. Or, well, Wedge did. I raced through most of it, bashing my shields off in the process.

Then the X-Wing's superior manouverability finally told. I couldn't get a bead on Wedge, and he stripped the last of my hull. But as the Hound's Tooth exploded, I got to deploy the Nashtah Pup, and could fairly handily stick it pretty much directly behind Wedge.

After that, it was just a matter of staying behind him. A Z95 isn't a particularly brilliant ship, but Bossk can still crank out damage in it. Wedge was too far towards the sides of the board to pull any fast turns, and too stressed to reverse - three turns later, he pinwheeled explosively under a final burst of fire.

One for the Scum! A close one, though, and very entertaining.

The Hound's Tooth ability to stick out a free ship on death feels a little underpriced to me - six points for a bonus ship? That's a bargain. I suppose it was easily half my points, though, and seeing as the other two both died for very little effect, the big hitter earned his keep.

If I was trying to take down a similar XY666, I'd make sure I was as far as possible from the final explosion. Getting behind and staying behind such a lumbering behemoth isn't too hard, although watch out for its sudden braking. Having a fresh enemy suddenly pop up behind you when you kill it is a major difficulty, though.

Speaking of which, it gave me an idea for a potential scenario game!

Easy Prey

A fat and slow ship is trekking through the fringes of civilised space alone. Perhaps taking a short cut? Or sneaking past Imperial borders, carrying an illicit cargo? Either way, it presents a tempting target. So tempting, in fact, that two rival groups happen to take the bait at the same time...

You and your opponent set your lists up on opposing corners along one side of the table, in the red squares shown above.

On the opposite side, in the middle of the table, set up a lone Large ship costing no more than 40 points. This is the Merchant target ship and can be of any faction. If you can't agree on this ship and its upgrades together, both players can design a ship in a secret bid. The secret ship that costs the least points is the one that will be used.

Play proceeds as normal, with the exception that neither player controls the lone merchant at the start of the game. Instead, it will always fly directly forwards at speed 2, hoping to leave the table on the opposite side. If it makes it off this side, the game is immediately over and declared a draw.

The merchant won't attack unless fired on. Once someone attacks it, though, it will join forces with the other player's ships, and remain on their team for the rest of the game.

There are only two victory conditions. You must either destroy the Merchant vessel, or successfully defend it by destroying all the ships attacking it. Anything else is a draw.

This is (so far) entirely unplaytested! Anyone who gives it a go, let me know how it handles.


  1. It was great fun indeed,. Good job with the maps, although they can't quite recapture the moment when the Hound's Tooth started bouncing around asteroids like a pinball.

    I should add that my Biggs Humanshield plan never got a chance, because I stalled his X-Wing and left him stranded behind the lead ships right before the critical turn (formation flying is something to be learned - and when your lowest-ranked pilot is placed at the back, there is no room for error).

    Although if Biggs *had* made it into the fray, he would have survived the fire that did for poor Garven, and he was regaining shields throughout the battle at a rate that frustrated Kraken's efforts (having astromechs was also a fun - albeit expensive - addition). Wedge is nicely lethal against big ships too (so typically he got shot down by a sneaky escape pod).

    The more games of X-Wing I play, the more I enjoy it. It was nice fielding 'named' characters too (if not perhaps the most points-efficient way to build a list) - and I'm all up for scenarios.

  2. X-wing does look rather cool, and that is from a non starwars fan :)

    1. I think the mechanics of the game and the list-building would really appeal to you (although at the moment, I think the game would appeal to anyone).

      The Star Wars aesthetic is great of you like the films, but at heart, it's a really good space-dogfight game.