Thursday, 28 August 2014

Welcome to the DARK side

So Tuesday night just gone at Enfield Gamers I had a plan!

Such as it was I'd arranged to play Mr Christian at both STAW and SW-XW. I haven't played much of the former recently and wanted to get some table time with my Dominion to try out the Jem H'Dar big boys. I also wanted a proper game of SW-XW to get a better feel for the game and how it functions differently to STAW.

In short we managed the former but the latter as to be honest I was having too much fun.
Handing me his card folder Mr C had me sort out my own fleet. The first thing that struck me was the variation on offer. Each ship variant not only comes with a different level of pilot but also quite often a different set of upgrade options.
Going Imperial and with Scum and Villainy in my head I had to have a Slave 1 and then filled out on basic TIEs with a couple of named variants in Howlrunner for the swarm boost and A N Other for his critical hit ability. 

Happy enough with a big boy and four grunts I faced off against two X-Wings and a HWK-90. I immediately smelled a rat, an elite build rat that Mr C has a rep for.......and I was right!

Have to admit that I really enjoyed the game and learnt quite a bit;
- The bank manoeuvres are a bit shorter than with STAW
- The fighters are far more manoeuvrable, as expected, which makes dogfighting a fair bit more challenging
- The big base ships take a bit more thought to manoeuvre, the footprint makes a BIG difference
- The game feels like it's much more about the ships than the upgrades
- The upgrades are far more basic and as such less abusable than with STAW

Admittedly this was my first proper game and as such these are as much my impressions as facts but I'm gnarly enough to have a good idea. In short I'm pleasantly surprised ;)
As to the game itself Mr C had employed his superior experience to deploy his asteroids, you have three each, as tightly as possible to screen himself from me and make life more difficult for Slave 1.

Once engaged it was pretty much about keeping my swarm together and getting as much focused firepower as possible. It was noticeable that Firepower levels are lower and Agility that bit higher, once again as you'd expect for a dogfighting game. As such there's far less emphasis on Alpha-Strike than STAW, i.e. one-shot kills. As a result this seems to place much more emphasis on manoeuvre and dogfighting.

Happily I took to the differences easily enough and soon had Mr C down to just Wedge Antilles who technically just flew off the table on a K-Turn but we played on at which point he twisted and turned until he finished me off. 

It was a good example of elite build vs mini-swarm and I can see how much variation you can get into a 100 point build and still remain competitive.

So Scum and Villany then! I keep find myself reading through Z-Wing Miniatures Game blog preview, which has plenty of good comment.Released on December 15th I'm fairly sure what I'm after for Christmas :)

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