Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pigs might Fly

Hello people,

Tuesday night down at Enfield Gamers myself and Dave T managed to get in three very entertaining games of X-Wing during the evening. I went with a couple of variants of my Lockjaw Shuttle / Defender list while Dave had a couple of runs with a TIE Bomber list he'd put together. 

I was running a couple of variants on Col Vessery  (TIE Defender) with Heavy Laser Cannon supported by an Omicron Shuttle with Weapons Engineer and Vader plus a pair of Academy TIEs to run interference.

So for the first two games this saw both of us running a Vader Doom-Shuttle generating obscene numbers of target locks between us. Having learnt a few bits from Sunday's games I deployed the  Shuttle and its TIE escort centrally and then Vessery in response to the opposing fleet. 
This gives the Shuttle a greater sphere of influence but I soon realised that as it moves and gets its action prior to the opposing fleet the ST-321 upgrade is well worth 3 points.

The Shuttle also takes quite a bit of fire, as a slow large target, which meant I didn't get to use Vader much as I simply couldn't afford to take the damage.

Tweeking the list a bit more I'm looking at;

Col Vessery - Veteran Instincts - Heavy Laser Cannon
Omicron Shuttle - ST321 - Weapons Engineer - Ion Cannon
Academy TIE x2

That leaves 3 points for Vader or a Hull Upgrade for Vessey.......just have to playtest!

Scarily I actually managed two, rather rare, wins from three against Dave. He's still got the bragging rights but it's moving in the right direction. Can't believe it took me so long to give this game oa go :)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Flying High

Hello people,

Following my mini rant I've spent the weekend playing X-Wing. Five games yesterday at our event for Teens Unite and a further two today up at Lost Ark. I enjoyed every last one of them to the point where I feel more and more positive about the game as a whole.

Yesterday I ran Boba with twin Royal Gaurd TIEs. First two games my Evade dice were awful and cost me dear. After lunch things picked up and I went into my final game 2-2. Coming up against chunky Han plus two B-Wings I just couldn't chew through the sheer weight of 29 combined Shield and Hull.Plenty of big 360 arc lists but the day's victory went to five Avenger TIE Interceptors.

An excellent day's gaming and one that found me playing around with an alternative Vessery list for Lost Ark. Working something out I needed to pick up a Lambda Shuttle and a TIE first thing....which is exactly what I did :)

With five of us playing I picked up the first round bye as the event was once again dominated by big 360 arc beasts, two Decimator and one Falcon list. Toting a pair of Heavy Laser Cannons I took down a Decimator, for the win, and the Falcon, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Fairly stable dice today and the list worked pretty well, with a bit of room for polishing. A few bit s more learnt but I'm really beginning to click with the game now. The shuttle also picked up it's unofficial title, the "Lazy Sow" as it flies like a bit of pig, which I'll somehow work into the paint scheme.

I take it as a measure of a game as to how many games I can play before my head begins to swim. Seven for the weekend and I could easily have played a few more.

Do or Do Not, there is No Try!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Meta Matters

This is something that had been brewing for a while and is a matter that's very close to my geeky heart. The following is a bit of rant, one born of frustration, but, hopefully, a positive one.

I'm a gamer, I enjoy playing games. I like to win but don't mind if I loose as long as I was able to compete....nicely. Journey not destination. I find it difficult to enjoy playing a game where I've beaten by rules or list. Dice are a different matter. I find it even harder to enjoy a game without any social interaction. 

I want to put out a decent list that works but I'm fluff over cheese. Cheese sticks in my craw and power gaming goads me. I avoid it where I can and deal with it when I can't. It's my / our choice where, when and to a lesser extent who I / we play.
I play for fun, mine and my opponent's, and have been lucky enough to meet many similarly minded geeks. I've enjoyed the vast majority of tournaments but prefer "events". I don't feel the need to explain the difference. Those who this is for already understand, those that don't.....won't.

OP play has been ruining STAW for me along with many others. The virtual cyber knashing, whinging, moaning and posturing has reach a crescendo of the lazy minority on both sides of the debate.

As previously mentioned Dave T has had a positive reaction to his similar experience and I'm very grateful to him. I'll be attending his STAW events at Lost Ark HERE, HERE and HERE. Others have also taken control of this issue for themselves and good on you all. In my view it's the positive response to a negative situation not allowing the minority to overpower the majority.

Following his example I'm putting together a low level STAW escalation campaign. There's already a like minded core ready to play and plenty more out there. I've put it on a tab for your, hopefully positive, feedback.

To steal a tag-line; this is for the players.

I don't tweet but; #MetaMatters #MyMeta

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Dreaded D

Hello people,

Last night down at Enfield Gamers I once, in fact twice, faced off against the Empire's latest tabletop addition in the form of two Decimator lists as my last couple of practice games before our X-Wing Charity Tournament this Saturday.

First up was a return fixture against Dave T with Rear Admiral Chiraneau with Tactician / Rebel Captive combo supported by a Captain Yorr Shuttle / TIE Wingman stress relief valve. I went with another Boba build featuring Push the Limit, Rebel Captive and Engine Upgrade supported by a pair of PTL Royal Gaurd Interceptors.

As with previous Dave T encounters I got hosed, big time, by a combo of diametrically opposed dice and some poor flying. I did at least get the hang of the Squints pretty quickly and was well impressed by the Shuttle. Added to shopping list :)

Second up was Mr C with the Rear Admiral (snigger) loaded up with Expose, two Tacticians and an Engine Upgrade with a couple of TIEs in support. I rejigged Boba with Predator, Rebel Captive and Engine Upgrade.

Much better game for next his time having placed a central asteroid field that the Decimator circled most of the game. Being allowed to jump on the supporting TIEs helped no end before I initially went in at the beast in a relatively uncoordinated manner. 

Noses bloodied I regrouped and we went at it again for a grandstand finish with the Admiral chasing Boba around whilst toting a bucket load of Stress. Eventually Predator at range 3 saw me grab the win :)

Things learnt;
- Arc dodging Interceptors are fin to play and look great. They also deal with Stress well.
- Decimators are surprisingly nimble for a big ship. At Pilot Skill 8 I often had trouble getting the Admiral in arc.
- Pouring on the Red Dice from Range 3 is probably the best way to deal with a Decimator
- I shall be flying Boba with Predator, Rebel Captive and Engine Upgrade for the foreseeable
- A Decimator and a Shuttle are on the want list

Really looking forward to five games on Saturday......sure I'll get Dave at least once ;)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Sunday just gone myself and Mr C made our way up to Lost Ark Games in Stevenage for some games of STAW and came away having discovered more than we had expected.

First off, Lost Ark Games;

Personally I'd been up to them once before for my fledgling X-Wing tourney. At that time they had a stall in the indoor market, which was also where we played. Initially a bit wary, and possibly a bit snobby about that one, I soon forgot that and had a great day.
They've since moved.....into a small office unit.......and it really works incredibly well! The open plan area is given over to a dozen 4×3 tables which perfectly suit STAW,  X-Wing, card and board games which seems to be their core business. The shop itself is in the boss' office with the meeting room given over to a couple of full-time 6x4s. Being an office there's a decent sized kitchen and adequate "facilities". 

Not the easiest place to find first time round but otherwise a stroke of genius with parking and scoff a plenty. Check out their Facebook Page, it's a literal gem of a place and well worth supporting.

Second up, STAW;

Dave T, an old gaming bud and former customer, had done the legwork to set the event up as a positive reaction to the increasingly negative OP meta. In other words rather than whinging he's set his own event up, writing a custom scenario and getting the word out.Good stuff mate, all too rare!
With a couple of dropouts it was five of us, who all know each other. With no OP prize to worry about we just played three rounds for fun with a three way to get us all some games. Turns out the scenario worked better as multi player which was a bonus.

More to the point we were all playing STAW to play STAW reminding ourselves of what a good game it is away from the OP Meta influence. Quite possibly the game as it was designed to be played! On the way out we were even discussing a club escalation campaign.

Doesn't get much better than that really :)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Joyful and Triumphant

Well it is the season for such sentiment!

Getting back to Edge of the Empire this week the chaps found themselves in geosynchronous orbit behind a suitable asteroid as a result of last time out.

First order of business, having recapped all of their many leads / loose ends was forming a plan of action which quickly centred around how much, or little to tell HI-HI. On the far left of the debate was 7s who was incredibly keen to report back and hand over everything in the hope of repaying a large chunk of indentured debt. On the far right of the debate was Sindori who was keen to report back as little as possible and strike deals wherever else they could keeping their newly acquired thrusters "Moody Mynock" into the bargain.

After checking 7s for bugs and control chips it was decided that his sycophancy circuits must just have gone into overload. There was also the matter of his super secret hard-drive still languishing with Dr Robotnic. 

Ignoring 7's sycophantic bleatings it was decided to first follow up events with Mr Cloak, which greatly pleased Sin who was keen to settle scores, before calling home.

With Tanner at the sensor station he started to kick out the Triumphs in establishing the local space-lanes and as such the most covet approach to Mr Cloak's last known position. Agenai just about managed to deliver from the pilot's seat and the Mynock was soon approaching the tethered asteroid otherwise known as Mr Cloak Central. Tanner once again delivered with the scanner identifying two likely openings in the asteroid.

At this point Agenai had rather overcooked things and was approaching Mr Cloak Central rather which point he pulled out a Triumph and looped beautifully into the right-handed crevice (ooh err) pitching and yawing to perfection to cruise into a widening cave mouth perfectly positioned to approach a compact hanger bay.

Putting the Mynock down next to Mr Cloak's blinged up Firespray the boys suited up and trooped out through the airlock, carefully buttoning it up behind them. Perit and Sin checked out the perimeter while Agenai ripped a panel off the Firespray for Tanner and 7s to try and hack their way in. Middling dice defeated Tanner but put the Firespray into lockdown without setting off any alarms. Agenai somehow convinced Sin to cough up his last remaining grenade to rig up a low-tech booby trap.
With Tanner once again doing the necessary with a couple of door locks the chaps made their way in to their newly discovered facility via the cargo / tradesman's entrance and into the main control room, which was evidently decently and expensively put together.

Settling down at a number of various control stations the lads set their hacking skills to use with varying degrees of success.....until Tanner went for the schematic with a Triumph plus multiple Success and which point I simply handed over the map, plus key!

Running through the fruits of their labours;

- Mr Cloak Central is a covert medical research facility
- It's part-time and currently in lock-down having been mothballed a few months ago
- Fully staffed it has a capacity of 20 split between medical and service personnel
- Medical personnel are recruited for each project though several have been present for more than one project
- There are 4 semi-automated operating theatres
- The medical and support blocks are divided by a hermetically sealed PURGING CHAMBER with an airlock control protocol and a variety of purging system
- A number of doors / airlocks (marked in red) have recently been accessed within the last 6 hours

By this time Sin's trigger finger was getting particularly itchy and had resorted to hacking the nearest door-lock with his rifle-butt.

Thankfully Tanner managed to disengage the doorlocks before any major damage was done to those all important Hermetic Seals. Taking the point the headlong assault with Agenai holding position in the PURGING CHAMBER plan was put on hold.

Next week.......Lock and Load cos' we're hunting Cloak! :)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Interstellar Tsunami

Hello people,

Last night down at Enfield Gamers X-Wing Wave 5 arrived with a BUMP (snigger) as Dave shot me off the table two games in a row with his latest. It should be STRESSED (fa-narr) that I had a particularly enjoyable time of it and, once again, learnt a lot.

I once again took my most recent Boba-Gator / Echo / Red Shirt TIE list. First game Dave took a pair of Decimators which are as physically intimidating as the recent hyperbole floating around the various virtual commentary groups. I attempted to group my recently manufactured asteroids to create a field to slow them down though unfortunately it hindered as much as it helped me.

My relatively poor manoeuvring of Boba plagued me all night, though not as badly as my Defence Dice, and I had a hard time focusing on one Decimator. They have a surprisingly decent dial and my apparent lack of all out attack dice seemed to tell. Unable to hide Echo from two 360 arcs left her on the back foot and in trouble fast.

Second game Dave unboxed his YT-2400, which is a sweet looking ship and went Fat Han / Fat Horn on my ass for a second tanning of the evening. Boba got alpha-striked to atoms in about three turns, though his inability to Evade played it's part, leaving Echo to chase down Mr Horn in vain.

Across the evening I failed to kill a single ship but had a good time doing it. Dave once again went with his Stress inducing builds which continued to cause me issues on top of some heavy 360 degree firepower. I realised Echo would have a hard time but not quite how hard. It reinforces how important manoeuvre is in this game!

Developing my own list, next time out with Boba will feature Rebel Captive and Push the Limit to see how that goes, probably with a pair of Royal Gaurd TIE Interceptors........a gift from Santa of course ;)

All of this will hopefully sort me out a final list for our upcoming X-Wing Charity Tournament. You're very welcome to join us!