Sunday, 14 January 2018

Goth Vader

Image result for star wars fish nuns

You know what we haven't played in ages? X-wing.

Kraken and Kas here, catching up with the latest releases for the game. Also remembering how to play it, and discovering that our lists are full of terrible choices.

Two swift matches, with Kas taking an Imperial list to try out Kylo Ren in his natty new TIE Silencer, and me taking the usual scum hybrid, one rich in bombs, the other with the all new Kimogila fighter. Lists in the links if you want them!

Space Scyk is a fairly erratic selection of stuff. Two hard hitting jousters, looking to fly straight at the enemy and hopefully blow them up first, supported by a pair of ultra-light fighters, who can hopefully nip round the edges and annoy people before exploding.

Bombastic, in contrast, plays with my favourite bombs. The big lovely Scurrg bomber is packed out with as much as I could fit in it, the Quadjumper is a one-trick pony set to support the main bomber, and there was room for a cheap Z-95 as a distraction.

Kas's list has Kylo, Kylo's personal shuttle (feat. Gen Hux and a ton of focus and stress generation mechanics) and Kylo's anonymous mook bodyguard in a TIE Fighter, just so my cheap fodder have something they can actually deal with.

And off to the races we go!

Round One - Space Scyk vs Battle Group Kylo

We set up facing off against each other on the lower edge.

Most of my lot edge in cautiously, but not the Protectorate guy, who is pretty agile and best used at close range. So I hurl him in heedless, and sure enough, he takes a lot of fire. But he survives!

As Kylo speeds in towards my flank in the next turn, he finds himself hit in return by both Light Scyks. Not before he slams the Kimogila with his dark side powers, however, and my pilot is temporarily blinded and unable to fire.

This is a shame! As this Kimogila gets free target locks on people in its special bulleye firing arc, and I had one on the shuttle. All the same, I'm in a good place, as Kylo is left on a single hull point after a battering from my chaff. Sadly, the Protectorate guy not only fails to smash the TIE fighter at close range, he gets blown up in return.

Then I pull my usual trick of hitting all the asteroids I can find. The Kimogila, hoping to finish Kylo off with its one-shot turret, rams the cluster in the middle. And as I sacrifice one of the Scyks to gum up the shuttle's flight, the other just clips the edge of the big asteroid in front of it, and I lose any chance to finish Kylo. Worse, this guy also takes a critical from the asteroids, so all his turns become red manouvers.

The sacrifical Scyk obviously blows up in short order before getting a shot off, but his job is done - he could have followed Kylo round too, but he'd almost certainly have been shot down from behind anyway.

As I try to rectify my mistakes, Kylo is fast to capitalise on them, spinning back into the centre (man, that thing can go!) and blowing the Kimogila up before it can clear the asteroids fully. My wounded Scyk limps feebly into the path of the shuttle, and at least stays safe there as the TIE fighter was also chasing off the Kimogila.

I'm not the only asteroid hound, though! The TIE Fighter's obsidian pilot pulls his trademark K-turn, but the asteroids bring him down on the way through. Which is interesting!

Because now, although the odds are against me, if I can survive a quick joust with the badly damaged Kylo, there's a good chance I can outmanouver the shuttle, stay behind it and pick it off. A tall order, but all the same, far from a foregone conclusion! Aware of this, Kas slowly arches in towards me.

And it nearly happens, too! In the event, I manage to dodge Kylo's fire and am set for a close range blast. Alas, the shuttle was a bit speedier than I hoped, and picks me off at long range before I can fire. Not entirely surprising, I guess, but it still got my hopes up for a second.

Round Two - Kylo's Fan Group vs Fantastic Bombastic

Without further ado, we set up the next match. Once more, Kylo takes centre field, broadly opposed by the Quadjumper and the Z-95, while my big king Scurrg aims to take on the shuttle and its escort in the upper third.

We all edge gently in towards each other, keeping it cautious as we look for openings. I see one, the shuttle is presenting its flank to my heavy bomber, so in I go!

As the lighter fighters close in, the Z-95 sets up target lock on Kylo with his shiny new jamming missiles (which remove focus or target locks). The shuttle, however, helps Kylo pull some horrifying gymnastics, and suddenly he's right up in my grill, facing off against the Quadjumper and far too close to hit with the missiles!

He's quite stressed out after all that flying, though, and I manage to scrape through with only a tiny dot of damage. Not that I do much in return, although it's enough to scratch his paint and earn the Quadjumper Kylo's wrath and the promise of a nice critical later on from his Dark Side showing tendencies.

The TIE and the Scurrg face off, and the TIE comes off worst, both missing its shot and taking a harpoon missile to the face for its pains. Ha! Hux, on board the shuttle, tries to stress me out for this, but I take a point of damage to shrug it off with my feedback array.

Flying straight over the harpooned TIE, the Scurrg blasts it with proximity mines as well, but it's a bit of a fluff and I only knock a single point off it. Kylo spins about in a fury, but fails to connect with the Z-95, although his shuttle makes up for this by smashing it. The shuttle, however, has the Scurrg on its tail, and starts taking damage.

And then it's bomb time! The Quadjumper drops a Proton bomb, and both Kylo and the Shuttle end up on top of it. As does the Scurrg, annoyingly, who also fluffs his shot on the shuttle. As the Quadjumper darts away from the blast, rolling past the asteroids for cover, Kylo and the TIE combine forces to plink away at his hull.

Kylo hurtles towards the Quad to finish the job, as does the TIE, but they've reckoned without my suicidal flying. I back it into the asteroids, where it can't shoot, but luckily avoids further damage and is in a nice place for next round. The Scurrg trundles along behind the shuttle, but I keep rolling badly for damage, merely denting the shields that I should be shredding!

I see the TIE fighter coming back in, at least, and cheerfully throw a Thermal Detonator from the Scurrg right into its flight path. Alas, I didn't really read the Harpoon missile description, so the TIE explodes loudly enough to hurt the Quadjumper! Which is also close enough to the detonation to be hurt, but that at least I planned for, and the blast armour I bought it allows it to shrug off friendly bombs. Kylo is whirling round for a second pass, but too far to connect right now. Alas, the Scurrg just can't land straight hits, and another fluffy round of shooting sees the shuttle untouched.

Again! The Scurrg whiffs the shooting and the shuttle flies on unconcerned. Now Kylo is nearly back in strike range. The Quadjumper keeps taking stress from shouty Hux, so I can't turn it back in as fast as I'd like either. If only the Scurrg could shoot as well as it drops bombs!

More bombs are jettisoned, and on top of that, I finally manage to knock the shuttle's shields out. However! Kylo, by skin of his teeth, squeezes in past the proximity mines I threw at him and all but takes out the Scurrg in a single pass. There's a picture missing here, but in the next turn, Kylo fluffs his shot for a change, the shuttle is too busy turning out of the corner to do much, and I manage to slap an ion turret shot on Kylo as well as scraping him with a second Thermal Detonator.

As the shuttle starts shaking apart, now sandwiched between the Quadjumper and the Scurrg, I decide to concentrate fire on it, and very nearly finish it off. This means foregoing the chance to hit Kylo with the Ion turret again, which would absolutely guarantee he'd be off the board next turn, but I figure there's a good chance of that happening anyway.

No! Hux barks orders from the shuttle, giving Kylo a free move, and then he's back on my tail and it's all over for the Scurrg. Some lucky rolling in defence saves the shuttle, too, which starts loading stress back on the Quadjumper. Only one thing for it...

...which is to try and take out the fighter escort before finishing off the lumbering shuttle. Sadly, Kylo is much more deadly than a lowly barge pilot, and I'm blown up before I get a shot. At least my Dead Man's Switch costs him another hit, and he's left on a single wound again!


Air Locker Room

Well, if poor flying cost me the first game, my eye was back in for the second. The first list did poorly because I used it badly, but even then, it was closer than it perhaps looked. With bombs and the Quad, though, I know what I'm doing. Only good luck saved Kylo and his peeps, I reckon - a single hit more on the Shuttle would have taken it out, leaving Kylo spinning off the board after that Ion blast!

Kylo was absolutely the MVP in both games, I reckon - fast and punishing. That awful awful shuttle is a right pain to fly near, though, boosting its own team with free focus while throwing stress out at the same time. Bleh.

Great games both, and nice to get another match in after a long break!

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