Sunday, 3 January 2016

Stay On Target....

Games are getting bigger as, thanks to Amazon, so do the options.


Stylus had some time around lunchtime for a quick battle. So, with an ever escalating army threat, I designed two lists that I did not know which I would yet be playing.

The first based around the newly acquired Punisher and his extra munitions vs trying out the new ships available from the rebel aces pack.

I ended up running the Punisher, initially messing up though as I mis-setup based on his lower piloting skill. His screening TIEs romped forward whilst the tank lumbered behind. The nippy AWing shot round the back of the asteroids and boosted into my rear, as the Punisher and TIEs targeted the BWing.

The punisher did not survive long enough to use up most of the ordnance I had loaded, but a neat cluster mine drop took out most of the blue ace's shields, and an ion bomb bought me a turn before of shifting position before the punisher was taken out.

The TIEs took the opportunity to turn on the BWing before rounding on the Blue Ace. Although bad flying caused one to fly into an asteroid and crash... oops.

This left a final dog fight between TIE and AWing; which the empire eventually won.


Leofa was waiting, and so no time was spent between clearing up and running the intro session again.

I randomly was assigned the rebel xwing and took to the star field. Leofa played his TIEs well with a pincer movement and generally finding a way to keep at least one TIE outside of my arc each turn.

After several rounds of fighting the rookie pilot went down.

Next we graduated to the same fight that I, Kraken and Stylus had also attempted... taking on a supped up Luke. Again, I did not know which side I would be on, but I've gradually been upping the Imperial skill level ever so slightly (as no one had even put a dent in Luke).

The TIEs moved well together, one often blocking with the other two coming in from the rear, and Luke quickly lost his shields and a hull point. But allowing them in close, meant Luke could target lock Howlrunner, eventually twist away and with the target lock in place, and taking focus, he could let loose with his proton torpedoes and deal with the thorn in his side. Once the major threat was out of the way, Luke slowed and redirected energy to repairing his shields. Once done, and with the two TIEs not flying in formation, Luke was free to turn and sprint: engaging one at a time. Ultimately this meant that the TIEs could not break through R2's shields and due to Leofa's flying, Luke often found himself without a shot. Ultimately though Leofa got bored and we called it a wrap.

Leofa can claim some success, now that Luke's armour has at least now been scratched!

With that out the way, it was back to the big fight. Adding a few more ships to the game Stylus and I played, we were going to table in our first 100 pt outing. In truth the rebels were going to be 101, but mwah. Again, it was a random choice for who was going to get which list, and I was handed the Empire again.

This time, I knew not to mess up my turn one movement, and although I did not crash into myself with the tank, one TIE was blocked near the end of his move (not that it put him in too bad a position mind).

As the rebels flew in closer the BWing was left behind and exposed and all the TIEs focussed on the rebel bomber taking its shields out.

The TIEs continued to focus on the BWing and with all 4 firing blasters the big ship fell. Although, the ambitious flying did hurt some of the TIEs as they bounced off space rock.

The tank was being pummelled, its shields dropped and hull cracking. He was hurting bad, but rather than trying to put out the fires it first target locked the blue ace, then proceeding to slowly move forward taking the incoming shots drop an ion bomb and cluster mines in the rebel path.

The AWing rookie flew into one of the mines (maybe to save the XWing ace) who, in turn, lost his shields to the others; and when the ion bomb exploded all rebel ships were disabled.

The empire turned in full force, and taking the opportunity of target lock, the proton torpedoes took down the Blue Ace at range, before the combined TIE fire could crippled Biggs.


The punisher was a good ship. In the first game, 2 out of 8 ordnances were fired, and the second 3; but it was good to have them available. The first game saw the ship as a fire magnet (and destroyed) the second saw it heading that way - but in both cases the cluster mines and ion bombs did their jobs. The ship by itself is not greatly offensive, and so the extra munitions did play well... just need to remember that target lock is required.

Stylus and my game was close and enjoyable one.

Yes, it was great playing with a bigger squadron, and a variety of ships. I'm definitely drawn towards the Rebels to start my collection, although I suspect that's because the individual durability of each ship is more suitable for beginners. The formation-flying required of Imperials seems like a step-up in ability.

I don't think I got a chance to put the poor T-70 X-Wing through its superior paces, as I restricted its movement by hugging the edge, then ran it back and forth through cluster mines and ion bombs (in my defence of the latter, that the the first time I knew what the Punisher could do).

But the firepower/durability of the B-Wing, and the speed/agility of the A-Wing were nice to play with. It will be interesting to learn what works best: a mixed bag of snubfighters, or some more consistency (such as 2 X-Wings + 2 B-Wings).

Once again, I'm enjoying how fast this game moves. At one point in the early game, it looked as if all three of my ships had the Imperials boxed in a kill zone - but I whiffed my shooting, they flew through it, and everything was back in the mix (and then the mines were dropped, and it all went wrong).

Dramatic stuff at the end though - one of the TIEs smashing into an asteroid, resulting in a lone dogfight between two fighters with only a pip of hull left.

Leofa had the same training mission again before the abandoned game.

Kraken and my game was not as close as Stylus', but fun to see the punisher do its job and the combined fire of multiple TIEs worked well (and I did hear food being called so was a good time to finish up).

Yeah, I should have taken out the TIE screen and stayed clear of the big lug, that much is clear in hindsight. Using the flechette torpedoes the B-wing was carrying might have kept the TIEs out of formation, with the A-wing skirmishing against the Punisher and the X-Wings taking care of both B-Wing and the enemy fighters. 

In particular, Biggs has a special skill that makes him a great escort - he should have been protecting the torpedo fighter, not buggering about inside a minefield. The fact that this is the tactical option I chose tells you a great deal about my overall planning and tactical skill, of course. 

Stylus/Kraken: next time can we try the same punisher list the other way round?

Absolutely - I also thought I may have made a tactical blunder in focussing everything I had at the Punisher, rather than taking out the escorts first, but I'd like to try it from the other side.

Yer on. 


  1. We played the rematch of that last, larger fight yesterday, and I got to take the Imperials with their giant bomber.

    Suffice to say that my estimation of distances over skype has not improved. First I flew the Punisher through a series of asteroid fields, then I managed to Ion bomb three of my own TIEs. The Rebels lost a single A-Wing to my weak minded foolery, then everything I had was exploded.

    1. Although, barely were ever hurt by an asteroid; whereas I think I bounced off every one I hit!

      I also got the ion token wrong (at least we played both ways and therefore both benefited/suffered from the same error).

      On the turn you are ionised: you have already moved and acted, but can shoot.
      On the subsequent turn: you move your forced 1 and remove the token, can act and can then shoot.

  2. It's early days, but what type of campaign setting do you think would fit this best?
    - a 'Mighty Empires' style, where you are resource-managing your faceless drones to build up a victory map?
    - a Frostgrave/Mordheim style, where your squadron learns and grows (and frequently ejects, given the current rate of attrition) from rookie pilot to fighter ace?

    1. Probably the former, I suspect - you could play x number of matches, for example, and count up who's lost the most by the end.

      Perhaps a tree style campaign might be even better? With a pre-planned roadmap of missions and results, maybe even leading into an introduction to the Armada level game?

    2. The tree style campaign could work I think

  3. My core set arrived this lunchtime. Before you could say 'Oh go on then, if you must', Mrs Stylus agreed to play the tutorial.

    Chalk up another win for the Galactic Empire, though it was a close-run thing: the two TIEs were chasing the X-Wing around the edges, until it got enough room in the centre to K-Turn and blow the Imperials away. It finished with a shootout between the X-Wing and Obsidian Pilot, both down to their last hull point, and a fortunate critical for me winning it.

    Lesson #1: Formation flying is tricky (even when not viewing through Skype) - I would have done better, but my Academy Pilot kept bumping into the Obsidian Pilot during the chase.

    Lesson #2: Best. Game. Ever.