This week brought in the usual Star Wars X-Wing matches… of a sort. With the release of the Wave 4 ships, there were a number of new squads being assembled.
The first match pit a TIE Interceptor squad against my squad of the new Z-95 Headhunter ships. The squad did okay, not great, but okay. An assault missile attack managed to wound all four of the TIE Interceptors and take out two of my own ships. I did manage to take of all but one Interceptor, which managed to take me out.
As for the Headhunters, I am still not entirely sold on them. They are not particularly fast or agile, nor do they do a lot of damage with their primary weapons. But, they are cheap, so it is possible to run a five ship squad with each ship equipped with assault missiles and munitions failsafes. This particular squad was led by Lieutenant Blount, who has the ability to hit with an attack even if he does not do any damage. Combined with assault missiles, which do 1 damage to all ships in range 1 of the target ship, this is a powerful ability even if it is used only once.
The second match had me switching sides. I played my new TIE Phantom squad against the Headhunter squad from before. The TIE Phantom had a bit of a learning curve since it has an ability unique to the ships in X-Wing so far: it cloaks. One particularly bad decloaking messed up my plans early which almost cost me. By the end of the match, I got the hang of the cloak/decloak maneuvering and was able to finish off the headhunters.
I really have to say that I like the Phantoms. Once I got used to how cloaking works in Star Wars, I was able to play a strategy of cloak, decloak, attack, and cloak again. The addition of the Advance Cloaking System, which allows a Phantom to immediately take a cloaking action after performing an attack, also helped to keep the ships alive (being cloaked adds 2 defense dice). What was really unexpected was the ship’s attack. The Phantom’s regular attack is 4, extremely powerful, especially at close range. I had also added an Outmaneuver upgrade which, in the right situation, can take a defense die away from a ship being attacked.
Between the matches we checked out Sails of Glory. This is a miniatures game set in the Napoleonic era. The players take control of one or more tall ships to compete in scenarios either suggested in the rulebook or created by players. I picked the game up as sometime to do with my father, who recently retired. I did want to try it out first to get an idea how it plays. And, thankfully, a couple of the guys at the game shop were willing to help out. To keep things simple, we just played the basic game (simple rules for maneuvering and attacking). Unless X-Wing, maneuvers are picked out of a deck of cards. Each ship has their own deck, and what they are capable of doing is based on wind direction in relation to their ship. Damage is pretty easy to determine: if you’re in range, you are capable of doing damage. Once the attack is declared, damage is pulled from a bag with chips in it, and those chips are placed in the damage tracks of the ships (one for the ship, one for the crew).
It is an interesting game, and one I definitely want to try out again, both on my own and with my dad.