Saturday, 2 January 2016

I Got A Gooood Feeling About This...

With a rapidity limited only by the speed of an Amazon courier, our little group has taken to X-Wing. Yesterday afternoon, Kasfunatu (here in bold) was kind enough to put me through my paces.

My pleasure - and if you find yourself with 30mins free over the weekend, I've left it all setup for another bout.

I assume proxies are cool, right?

Without further ado, let's lock those S-foils into attack position!

Mission #1 - Tutorial

We started with a simple dogfight: X-Wing Rookie Pilot (Kasfunatu) against two TIE Fighters: Obsidian Squadron and Academy Pilot (myself). Playing the advanced rules, but with a lone asteroid in the centre as the only scenery.

With my brief run-down of the rules, I could see that the TIEs were faster and more maneuverable, although I think I may have gone overboard in trying to exploit this. I send both fighters banking off in different directions, trying to loop around in a pincer movement.

Yes, I thought I had got my right and left wrong to start off with, but for once, it was not me.

Given that X-Wings are slower, but not actually made of stone, what happened was I had neatly divided up my force so the superior X-Wing could isolate and destroy them in detail.

I didn't so much as chip off a shield point (indeed, the game might have ended sooner, as my fighters kept straying towards the edge of the table, but Kasfunatu was good enough to give me the benefit of the Skypedoubt).

First game; besides Kraken got the same skypedoubt benefit.

Mission #2 - Tutorial

We then played the same mission, but switched around the sides. Kasfunatu seemed a lot better at getting his TIEs to work in tandem, and brought them together so that my lone X-Wing flew straight into their combined field of fire.

I was a bit of a lucky shot for one TIE to take me out completely, but I can't say I didn't have it coming.

Big Boys Don't Cry

In all the games (admittedly only 7, and not always the same setup), this was the first time the TIEs had taken out the XWing! I enjoyed some of the formation flying, but it made me want more than two TIEs...

Mission #3 - Enter Skywalker

With two solid defeats under my belt, I was clearly getting the hang of this game, so we moved up to the next mission. No less than Luke Skywalker taking on three TIE fighters at once. We diced for it, and I got to play the kid.

It is probably overkill: even the core rules suggests not playing a 40pt game if just using core set... there was a reason... but this is for fun (and we are all still learning) so I was going to ignore that.

This was the big game of the session - with more ships, more terrain, and a few more toys for Luke to play with. Skywalker barrelled into the tightly-packed trio, immediately launching his proton torpedoes and badly-damaging one. The pack then scattered and the asteroids gave me enough cover to hunt down and badly-damage a second TIE.

I was starting to despair of landing a killing shot, as two of the three TIEs had now escaped with a single wound left. However, my shields (and luck) were holding out for me to weather my mistakes and start blasting away at close range.

I actually seemed to be helped by the fact that, due to conflicting manoeuvres, my ship kept getting blocked from moving - I couldn't fire that turn, but it probably saved me from getting into a worse position. The 'you-must-move' facet of this game was something I really liked - seems obvious, but there is no sitting still and hoping for a good shot: it's fly or die.

Probably, happy that I got some blocks off, although they weren't as effective as they needed to be. 

Anyway, the Force had turned up that day, and I was finally able to pick off the two wounded TIEs, before going head-to-head with the survivor - of which there was only going to be one winner.

Yes, those regenerating shields are tough to crack.

Oh yes, it's good to be Luke.

Everyone back to Tosche Station!

Just as I suspected: I love this game. It probably doesn't come across in my cack-handed reporting of my cack-handed dogfighting, but it really seems to hit the gaming sweet spot of 'minute to learn / lifetime to master'.

That's my feeling, but I am enjoying learning the piloting nuances with each game.

The space dogfight is something wholly new, and it's been a long time since I've been near anything sci-fi either. The Star Wars aesthetic is, of course, the cherry on top: the TIEs and X-Wing both play like you'd expect them to. And there's a whole universe of expansions to collect (sign me up for the Rebel Alliance).

Although the gameplay is so good, I suspect I'd like this game if it were "Cylons vs Gallactica Vipers", or "Buck Rogers vs whatever-he-was-trying-to-nail"

Usually Erin Grey, amiright?

In short, I'm sold. Quite literally, in fact - that very afternoon I went and ordered my copy of the core game.

Good man! I think my Falcon should turn up this weekend.

To a Galaxy Far, Far Away ... And Beyond!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so up for another round of this. I'm already learning my Scum and Villany options, just in case Swedish Santa (late due to flu) brings me any vouchers for the big game shop over the road!