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On Dragons and Starfighters

As many of you know, I have been quite the Star Wars X-Wing player for a while now.  I have a number of squads created and prepared to bring to the table.  But, lately, I just have not been all that into playing it.

Part of it is just burn out.  For probably a year or so, I have been playing X-wing on Sundays, which is convenient for me because that and Monday are the days I have off during the week.  Even not playing a few Sundays for holidays or because I was called into work, that’s quite a few Sundays.  And while I have played many different squads, the battles are usually the same: straight on dogfights to the last ship.  Even varying what squad I play, or even what faction, it is the same thing over and over.

It did not help that store tournaments got moved to a day I can’t participate in either.  Not that I really competed in them.  Usually, I would lose those, mostly because it was a straight up dog fight and I would end up out flown and out gunned.

Courtesy: wizkidsgames.com

The big reason why I have not been getting into the X-Wing games lately is that I’ve started up with the Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing games.  The two games have their similarities, but lately I have been liking the DnD Attack Wing stuff so much more.  There is a mix of ground and flying creatures that adds in an aspect that X-Wing just does not have.  And, while the price point for the Attack Wing minis is roughly about the same as the X-Wing minis, I do not feel the need to buy six Sun Elf Wizards to make a good squad, where I had to buy multiple TIE Fighters just to make a competitive squad.

Even the tournaments are different, and better.  X-wing has you build a 100 point squad that is either Imperial or Rebel (or Scum, now that that faction is out).  Attack Wing has you build a 90 point squad, with an additional 30 points coming from a blind booster.  So, even when you don’t win a DnD tournament, you are still getting a figure that is not out on the market yet, along with the various spell cards that come with that figure.  The DnD tournaments are also set up around scenarios.  You are not just destroying your opponent, but trying to complete a mission that is different for each tournament.

Even the prizes are different… and better.  First place for the last X-Wing tournament I played in was a plaque.  Nice, sure, but it’s just a plaque.  First place for the DnD tournament was a dragon, one that can be used in future games and tournaments.  Even second place was better than the “medal” that they have for the X-Wing tournaments: it’s another dragon.

So, I see myself potentially drifting away from X-Wing and more towards Attack Wing unless something really cool comes out.  At this point, I really am not sure what that really would be.

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Weekend Gaming

This is a real quick note, mostly because I have had to engage in dice shaming in the past.  It was another X-Wing weekend and it was a Z95 Headhunter with no shields and one damage against a TIE Interceptor.  One hit would destroy the ship.  My opponent rolled two hits on three dice.  I was rolling a third defense die because of the distance, but it still did not look good.

2014-12-14 16.24.05Then again, when you roll three evades against two hits, you will live to fight another round.

Very good, dice.

Gaming Weekend

Before we get into the lowdown of the gaming weekend, there is one little bit of business that needs to be taken care of.

Dice Shaming

Dice Shaming

This is the roll I had in my X-Wing game.  This was the attack roll of a TIE Phantom shooting at range 1 against a Z-95 Headhunter.  For clarification purposes, that roll is four blanks and a focus (which I did not have on the Phantom because I took an evade instead).  Out of a roll that should have, theoretically, destroyed the puny Headhunter, I got nothing!

 

Anyway, we played one match up of Star Wars X-Wing.  I played a three ship squad of mixed Imperials against three B-Wings and the afore mentioned Headhunter.  I did manage to take out two of the B-Wings, but sadly did not win the day.

After that match, we moved onto a deck builder called Dark Gothic.  Set in the same universe as the board game Touch of Evil, this game differs greatly from a lot of the other deck builders I have played.  The biggest difference is that the starting decks are based on the character you choose for the game.  And each one of these characters also has a special ability to use in the game.  The game mechanics are similar to the DC Comics Deck Building Game in that use your starting deck to buy better cards from a central pool of cards, building your strength to face the big bad villain.  Where it differs is that there is no one card currency in the game.  In DC, all purchases are made based on the power you have in your hand.  In Dark Gothic, there are three different currencies (four if you count the wild card honor currency), which can slow the game down a bit if you are not getting enough of the combination to make the purchase.

I liked the game, though I’m not sure how much I’ll get it to the table.  The multiple buy units make it a bit harder to build your deck, especially if you are new to the game.

We finished off the night with a game of Lords of Waterdeep.  I came in last in that game.

Gaming Weekend

This week I returned to X-Wing for a match.  It was the only game that I played this weekend.

The match pitted a modified version of my Millennium squad (Chewbacca in the Falcon and three A-Wings) against an Imperial squad made of two academy TIE Fighters, a TIE Phantom, and Darth Vader in a TIE Advanced.  The battle literally went came down to two ships and one very lucky roll of the dice.  In the end, my last A-Wing managed to survive the day.

I like this squad, which took advantage of the upgrade cards that came with the Rebel Aces set.  By equipping all three A-Wings with the refit card (which takes away the missile slot, but has a cost of -2), I was able to free up points to play around with stuff.  Two of the A-Wings were able to gain a Veteran Instincts and a Determination upgrade (thanks to the other upgrade card in the Rebel Aces set), and I was able to add Han Solo to the Falcon.  It turns out that the Han Solo crew cards is pretty much useless.  After the match, I ended up taking him out and adding in a tactician.

Unfortunately, this was the only have that I played this week.  Gaming days like this get me a little down, mostly because I realize how insecure I can be.  I have a problem approaching people in most places.  I often feel like I’m intruding when I do, so I quite often will not make the move to join in.  This is not quite as bad with games, but most often, I will rarely venture out of my little group to explore other games and meet new people.

You could say that I’m shy, or introverted.  Usually, I just consider myself a big loser for not being able to take that first step and join in, which makes me wonder why I want to play these games so much.

Gaming Weekend Part 1

This is just a quick post since, because of the holiday, my gaming weekend will be quite a bit of the weekend.

As for Sunday, it was a simple game night.  I few my e-Wing squad (2 E-Wings and a Headhunter) against an Imperial squad made of 2 academy TIE Fighter pilots, a TIE Phantom piloted by Whisper, and a TIE Advance piloted by none other than Darth Vader himself.  This time, the E-Wings won the day.  I say the E-Wings because the headhunter was destroyed, though, thankfully, after he did his damage.

After that match, we moved onto a couple of games of Sentinels of the Multiverse.  The less said about those battles, the better.

And Monday, I have a whole pile of games ready to try out.

Gaming Weekend

Just a quick note about this weekend’s games.

For the first time, my Phantom squad lost.  I was just outgunned and outplayed… and I made a lot of bad mistakes.

Prior to that, we played two games of Sentinels of the Multiverse.  I played Fanatic in both games, the first against Ambuscade, and the second against Iron Legacy.  Neither of those games ended well.

I picked up the new Legendary deck builder as well.  This one is based on the Alien movie franchise.  It looks interesting, but I do have a few comments that I have noticed about the Legendary games and how the publisher, Upper Deck, organizes things in their packaging.  And by organizing, I mean there isn’t much.  The cards for the game are packed in a number of cellophane wrapped decks.  Sadly, there is no rhyme nor reason as to how these cards are packed in these decks.  You literally have to open every pack before you can figure out if you have all the cards for one set (which I always check after my first experience with a Legendary game).  This particular game was aggravating because of the way that cards are split up in the game.  Some of the cards are obvious (the character cards all look similar).  But other sets are very random, with only small text on the bottom of each card designating which sets the cards go to.  Everything was in the box, but it took a while to make sure it was all there.  I would hope that Upper Deck would look into a new way of sorting their cards for future Legendary games.

I also picked up 8 ten sided dice.  I plan on using these for Wings of Glory WW2… if I ever decide to play with the optional rule rules.

Star Wars Recap

No, this isn’t a recap of any of the movies.  Besides, I could not give a recap of Episode 3 anyway since I still have yet to see it.  No, this is a recap of the Star Wars announcements from Fantasy Flight Games at GenCon this year.

I have to admit that the announcement I am most excited about was for Star Wars X-Wing, specifically the announcement of a third faction, the scum and villainy faction.  It is going to be interesting to see how these ships will play into the current Imperial versus Rebel dynamic.  And while there are two repaints in the series (Z95s and a Y-Wing repainted for the new faction), the set will feature cards to rebrand the HWK and Slave 1 (Boba Fett’s ship) for the new faction.  If these two ships can be rebranded, I get the feeling that other ships may get the same treatment in the near future.

I am also curious about the new fleet scale miniatures game, Star Wars: Armada.  Most of my curiosity comes from by interest in Sails of Glory, where players take on the roles of captains of tall ships in the Napoleonic era.  Initial previews suggest that there may be some similarities (planning multiple turns in advance, controlling larger vessels), but there are some significant differences.  Movement does not seem anything like X-Wing (set templates for the ships), nor like Sails either (which use maneuver cards specific to the ships involved).  Whether the movement gizmo (for lack of a better term) is any better or worse will remain to be seen.

Finally, there was the last big announcement that has me quite intrigued.  Star Wars Imperial Assault looks like a branded version of another Fantasy Flight game, Descent.  That alone has be interested in checking this out.  While I have never played Descent, I have been curious about the game and would one day like to try it out, even if it isn’t a full campaign.  Imperial Assault looks like it follows the same game logic (players explore an area while one tries to stop them), but there’s more to this game than an interstellar dungeon crawl.  Imperial Assault can also be played at a ground tactics game, pitting rebels against Imperials.

 

Gaming Weekend – August 17, 2014

Before we get into the gaming weekend wrap, I need to do a little bit of serious business.

#diceshaming

#diceshaming

These dice were being rolled by a TIE Phantom against a weakened Y-Wing at range 1.  That’s five attack dice against a Y-Wing.  And what do I roll?  Three blanks and two foci when I had no focus token on my ship.  That ship should have been destroyed, but no.  Thus, the dice shaming.

Anyway, this weekend we played a simpler match than the previous week.  No one controlled any huge ships, though three of them were being used as obstacles.  The point totals were also a little lower.  Played played a two-on-two match with 200 points per side.  On one side were the rebels, represented by three four X-Wings (A rookie pilot, Wedge, Luke and Biggs), a Y-Wing (piloted by Dutch Vander) and a Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca at the helm.  On the other side, there were three TIE Phantoms (Echo being the only named pilot on that squad), a bounty hunter flying a Firespray, and a TIE Defender.  The Defender and the Firespray were loaded for bear, while the Phantoms were running a simple upgrade package (Advance Cloaking on all three ships, with Echo having an outmaneuver and a navigator as well).

The battle was a little slow to engage.  The firespray got hammered while I played by usual Phantom shenanigans (cloak early, decloak to attack, then recloak with the Advance cloak).  But the Firespray managed to stay in the battle.  The Defender worked on Chewbacca, while I worked on the other ships.  Soon, the Imperials knocked Biggs and Luke out.  Soon, the firespray fell, as did the rookie X-Wing pilot.  A miscalculation left Echo open to attack and she was destroyed.  It was down to three rebel ships to three Imperial ships.  But, it just so happened that two of those ships were bearing down on the Falcon.  Soon, it fell.  And given the late hour, the match was called.  Three Imperial remained to the two rebels.  The Imperials took the day.

Afterward, I joined a game of Sentinels of the Multiverse.  We seemed to be doing okay, until the villains managed to take out two heroes in one turn.  Soon, the rest of us fell as well.

Acquired games this weekend were Friday the 13th and Eight-Minute Empire Legends, both of which I still have to check out before I can say much about them.

Gaming Weekend – Epic Style

2014-08-10 16.46.44This weekend saw us return to Star Wars X-Wing in a big way, and I mean BIG.  This week, we tried out hand at an epic level battle with the rebels having the Tantive IV in action against the Imperials.

The differences between the epic games and the regular games is visually obvious.  X-Wing matches are usually played on a three by three playing area.  The epic level battles play on a six by three play area to accommodate the much larger ships.  In this particular game, the Rebel transport was not an active ship, but represented a derelict obstacle to add to the asteroids.

Since there were seven of us this weekend, we played a four on three 3oo point battle (two of the Imperials split their one hundred points to play).

This was my first time playing any of the large ships  and I have to admit I made a few errors in play.  The first was in building our squads.  We were playing with 300 points, so we divided the points equally between us.  This left the Tantive IV in a bit of a bind since just the ship costs 90 points to field.  That left me with only 1o points to play with.  That ended up being eaten by two upgrades.  The next time we play this style, I may suggest that the division be 90/90/120, which should give the Tantive IV more flex room with upgrades.

2014-08-10 18.14.29The second error we made with the squads is the obvious newbie error (four of the players were new, with one never actually playing before).  When you are new, it is difficult to give into the temptation of not playing named pilots.  The problem with that is that named pilots cost points, a lot of points.  The named pilots ended up eating most of the squad point value, which meant fewer ships on the field, and fewer upgrades to play with in the game.  It wasn’t that the named pilots did not do their fair share, it’s just that once the greater numbers of Imperials started to swarm, a loss of one ship meant a loss of a seventh of our force.  Eventually, the other two squads were off the board and the Tantive IV was left to the swarm.

Still, it was quite interesting playing the huge ship.  It takes a bit of getting used to when dealing with the different options available to the huge ships (target lock is the only option that was the same as the smaller ships).  I did manage to figure out movement and energy distribution, but I still made some mistakes with the weapons (notably the range of the primary weapon).

2014-08-10 19.52.50I don’t know if I would race to play a huge ship again.  But I would definitely like to see if I fare any better pitting some Imperial squads against one.

Gaming Weekend

This was a relatively quiet weekend for gaming.

July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014

I managed to finally try out the TIE Defenders for Star Wars X-Wing.  The TIE Defenders are the last ship from the latest wave I had yet to try.  This match was a bit unconventional.  Usually, casual matches pit Imperial forces against Rebel forces.  This match followed more tournament rules (squad against squad, regardless of whether they are rebels or Imperials).  The three defenders faced off against an Imperial squad of two TIE Phantoms and a conventional TIE Fighter.

It was the first time my opponent had played the Phantoms and he discovered the same thing I did when I first tried them:  they have a learning curve because of the cloaking feature.  I had never played defenders before, but I had seen them in action.  As ships go, the Defender and the Phantom are about even, with the defender at 3 hull and 3 shields and the phantom at 2 hull and 2 shields (the cloaking device really compensates for that).

The only issue I had was that by main pilot, Rexler Brath never really had a chance to utilize his ability (spend a focus to turn all face down damage cards dealt to an opponent face up).  Still, Outmaneuver, the only upgrade on any of the defender ships, was key, since on a few occasions it managed to eliminate the distance bonus for defense.  I did lose one of my defenders (a scrub pilot), but Rexler and the other pilot managed to win the skirmish.

After that, I moved onto a couple of conventional board games.  Stone Age is one that I have played a few times (not even counting the app version) and really enjoy it… even if I never win.  After that, we played The Hobbit deck builder game.  This deck builder is on the same vein as the DC Comics Deck Builder, and is compatible with the other Lord of the Rings deck builder games (the one we played was combined with at least the Two Towers expansion, if not more).  I could not get anything going in that game and came in a distant last.

As for acquisitions, I only made two game purchases.  Zooloretto is an older game where players take on the role of zoo keepers trying to build their zoos up.  The other game is science fiction game called Lost Legacy.  I do not know that much about it except that it is in the same vein as other micro-games like Love Letter.  When I learn more about it, I’ll make sure to post it here.

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