Sunday, 25 January 2015

Dark Side Points

Hello people,

Another weekend, another X-Wing tourney and myself and Mr C headed up to Chelmsford Bunker for four rounds of laser tag in space.

I had been determined to get away from the souped up 360 meta and was looking to get some time in flying a mini-swarm before upgrading to maxi-swarm. Tuesday night at Enfield Gamers I had been trying to get a Col Jendon Target Lock / Fleet Officer list to work without too much success.

Having played around with a few lists I caved a touch and went with the following;

Decimator - Patrol Leader - Darth Vader
TIE Fighter - Howlrunner - Stealth Device
TIE Fighter - Academy Pilot (x3)

I had a lot of fun flying the mini-swarm and now feel much more confident with it. The Decimator, aka the Pope-Mobile, still proved effective despite it's bells and whistles. So much so that I placed second of twenty losing my final game to a particularly slippery Keyan / Leebo that was one of the best games I've ever played ;) Nice to see that Vanilla can still hold its own!

Other than game 3 it was all good fun and I played some different lists, including 5 prototype A-Wings. I also ended up walking away with a Han Solo alternative artwork card, a set of acrylic cloak tokens and a full stocked KR Case for which I'm very grateful.

Next time out, no Decimator, possibly a maxi-swarm......we'll see ;]

Saturday, 24 January 2015

How to make friends and influence

Hello people,
Most of us got back to a bit of Edge of the Empire this Wednesday. It was kind of one of THOSE sessions. We were one down and started an hour later than normal, not that that's a huge issue.

Following on from last time out it was decision time as I asked the lads what they were looking to trade with Van Weston, local Bothan Intel-Broker, and for what. The answer was that pretty much everything was on the table in return for;
- a release from their indenture with HI-HI
- making things right with Gonk while keeping the Mynock
- a hyperdrive for the Mynock

This was however after they had travelled to the provided co-ordinates, which had re-filled the group's well developed sense of PARANOIA. Tanner cranked up the Triumph machine and quickly established that said co-ordinates were at the edge of the Persephone's attendant asteroid field well away form any major spacelanes.....hmmm!!

Flying casual the chaps came across a well loved GR-75 Transport at the appointed co-ordinates
sporting a number of modifications to the hull and a significantly reduced sensor profile.

Opening comms instructions were received toward a docking ring attached to a big lump at the fore of the GR-75 seemingly buried within the cargo containers. Agenai did the required and the Myncoc was soon latched into place....on the prow of the GR-75 which itself was outside their fire-arcs. No issues there then ;]

Having cautiously made their way through the airlocks, Sindori sent 7s through first as "Recon", they found themselves in a darkly deck-plated room with battle droids ensconced in each corner. In the centre was a dais which soon burst into life casting up a holo-image of Van Weston who greeted his guest with a curt "What do you have to offer?"

The following negotiations went pretty well by previous standards. Jared joined Van Weston's organisation along with a number of data slates and a couple of cryo-crates of bio-organic samples. In return Van Weston agreed to negotiate their release from their obligations to HI-HI as well as the release of the Mynock from Gonk. Van Weston also agreed to act as agent for their soon to be "Freelance" status.....say hello to the new boss?

Sweetening the deal Van Weston opened the GR-75's armoury to the chaps to the tune of 7'500 Credits. Brought up into the crew decks the boys got down to some shopping and dropping the 75 proving to well equipped as a mobile base of operations for any group of "Freelancers".

Suitably refreshed and re-equipped the 75's Thallosian first mate briefed them for their first independent assignment.

Drop the two cryo-crates to co-ordinates at the far end of the asteroid field. This time coordinates came with clearance and response codes.....a milk run surely ;)

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The LAMBDA project

Hello people,

Saturday just gone was yet another highly enjoyable day playing X-Wing as myslef and Mr C went up to Wargames Workshop in Milton Keynes for a sold out five round 36 man tourney.

I've been playing around with my Decimator and the less used pilot, Col Kenkirk, with a distinctly defensive builds, somewhat inspired by the Fat Han meta. As such I ran;

Decimator (Kenkirk)  - Predator - Dauntless - Ysanne Isard - Mara Jade - Rebel Captive
Lamda (Omicron) - Darth Vader
TIE Fighter - Mithel Mauler

Somehow I did disgustingly well going 4-1 to claim 4th place, one place ahead of Mr C for those that need to know ;) There was an awful lot of big 360 ships about the place with several Falcon / Outrider clones. Supported Decimators also did well (4th and 5th at least) while the single double D list took a number of battering after the first round.

Round 1 I played a supported Leebo / Outrider list forgetting many of my upgrades and abilities but one Kenkirk slotted in behind Leebo at Range 1 it was all a matter of time.

Round 2 I played the Double D list, Oicunn and Kenkirk, and was able to pick on one at a time until the Kenkirks faced off. My Stress abilities and luck saw me through on a close game.

Round 3 I faced Chirneau supported with an HLC Vessery and his dice just tore me apart whilst mine deserted me.

Round 4 was against a Rebel mini swarm with plenty of synergy options. After the first pass I was down to Kenkirk was Craken, Tarn Mison and a Rookie X. Playing smart I ran away bravely and engaged one at a time at range 3. Magnificent Evade dice saw me home.

Round 5 was against twin B-Wings (Keyan and Nera) buffed to the nines with multiple Advanced Proton Torpedos guaranteeing 5 hits per turn. I fed them Mauler and the Doom-Shuttle while Kenkirk got in behind them and then never let go.

Throughout the whole field I was flying the lone shuttle. I have to admit that I might be a bit obsessed with them and took a Col Jendon alternative art card as my prize. When I got mine I also had problems with the base and stem so contacted Fantasy Flight........and they sent me a whole new Lambda!

So now I have two...and the itch to fly them both! First up will be another re-paint and then some practice games....lots of practice games.

A bit of Google-Fu has found a few Team Covenant Lambda articles. Lunchbreaks are sorted for the week :)

Reach for the Skies?

Hello people,

I've recently realised that it's been quite a while since I racked up any Painting Points. In fact I haven't  claimed any since early November. I have had brush-time since then I've just not posted about it!

So, as I've just finished up all of my outstanding X-Wing fleet I thought it was about time. Since last time I've finished up my current Imperial fleet with another 3 TIE Fighters, 3 TIE Interceptors, a Decimator and the apple of my eye my Lambda Shuttle.

Generally speaking the scheme has been pretty simple; a white spray, Agrax Earthshade wash highlighted to Celestra Gray with Mephiston Red contrast shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade.
The TIEs are pretty simple really with blue canopies and lasers for contrast. Picking up an Imperial Aces and a single Interceptor pack I decided to go for some proper contrast and went for a "Dark Interceptor". Drybrushed up through various greys all the way to codex and then wash back down with Drakenhof it was another simple win. One PP a piece.
The Decimator paint-job benefited from previous struggles with the Firespray and Lamda as I'd established both theme and methodology. White Spray, Agrax wash, drybrush back up, red sections washed Drakenhof and highlighted followed by detailing and transfers.

The real work was knowing when to stop with the detailing and transfers keeping the look balanced between manga-nes (my phrase) yet still military (Rebel Moff Raider rather the full Pirate).Pretty please with the result. 4 Painting Points.

And finally the flying pig, now monikered "Lazy Sow". A LOT of work went into this job as I worked through, with severe doubts halfway through. I really wanted a banged up, well worn look and some judicious weathering and glazes have doen the job well. To me she's the Ford Cortina of the Galactic Empire with regulation bumper sticker ;) Just recently I've had a lot of compliments at tourneys and that's been great.

Another four Painting Points rounding out at 14 to kick off 2015. Ba-Zinga!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Tech Support

Hello people,

Last Wednesday night the vast majority of the group settled in for the first EotE session of 2015. In honesty it became one of those housekeeping and recovery sessions so common after a big fight.

First up came recovery which wasn't as simple as was hoped as 7s, the medi-droid, was in need of serious a medical facility rather than a workshop.

Perit had a crack but it just wasn't happening so he found a gurney and rolled him back out to the Mynock and plugged him in to recharge. He'd also taken the very unconscious Sindori with him, spooning 7s, and noticed that the Firespray had "watched" him as he trundled.

Tanner meanwhile sat down with obviously the recently used automated operating room and plugged in his Data-Slice. Once in Tanner went to work with a Double Triumph (Five for the evening) to access full records of the entire research programme.

Which an additional bunch of Advantage Tanner was feeling confident and soon had the recumbent Sindori on the table. I chucked in a Red dice for a potential Despair as Charlie winced.......for Tanner / Jon to produce another Triumph restoring him to full health and patching up both of his Critical Wounds, much to 7s consternation!

Moving on Tanner once again attempted to hack his way into Mr Cloak's Gucci Firespray. After some initial success it all went a bit wrong and it moved from passive defence to active, which most ostensibly involved the main guns tracking any given target, including. Yet another Triumph shut it down and saved a firefight with over-sized star-fighter.

At this point Tanner turned slightly diva and insisted on a proper nights kip to drop his Stress levels. This was fine with the rest of the chaps who set to work load the Mynock with anything of value that wasn't bolted down. It was at this point the Sgt Chung called 7s for an update...who lied badly and hung up on him.....three or four times. 7s / Mr C rather enjoyed himself......for now ;]

Agenai meanwhile (Ryan had been caught at work and hadn't managed to dial in) had been looking after a rather distraught Jared who was sporting a full length set of hermetically sealed bandages on his right arm. Tanner's recently acquired medical records showed that he had recently acquired a number of major high-end implants.

Prompting the conversation of "what next" the lads decided that it was highly unlikely that they could hold their current location and that various parties would be likely to turn up. As for Kanto, Tanner had interrogated the Space Traffic Control System, another Triumph, to establish that he had been at the research station but picked up about 30 hours ago by an independent set of "couriers" in an old Lambda shuttle "The Lazy Sow". Another quick call to Chung somehow established that the Sow had returned to Persephone and has recently left again believed to be heading for Khronos.

Talking through the options 7s sycophantic need to return to HI-HI was over-ruled in favour of striking a deal with Furzt Van Weston. Unfortunately it was 7s who made the call....without first deciding what deal they were after. With things quickly going into reverse 7s put Furzt on hold, who after a few minutes cut through the block and instructed them to meet him at as soon to be transmitted co-ordinates in 6 hours time.

The lads arithmetic worked like this; 1+1 = TRAP. We'll see ;]

Saturday, 10 January 2015

BIG day out.....again

Hello people,

Today was yet another trip out with Mr C to play a bit of X-Wing. This time out it was down at Wayland Games / Tabletop Nation for a three round tourney followed by a 60 point big ship bash.

Rocking up I decided to run my Lock-Jaw list:
TIE Defender - Col Vessery - Heavy Laser Cannon - Veteran Instincts
Lambda Shuttle - Ion Cannon - Fire Control System - Weapons Engineer - ST321
Academy TIE x 2

By the end of Round 2 I'd scored a total of 27 points, an A-Wing and an Academy TIE. Game 1 was my first brush with Han Shoots First (Han - 3CPO - Gunner) where I failed to go route 1 at Han. It did not go well!

Game 2 was an interesting Vader-Decimator / TIE list. Things went much better as I went straight at the Decimator. However.....I allowed the Decimator in behind the shuttle and Vessery overshot the big lad into multiple fire arcs only to roll a big bunch of blank green.

Game 3 was the complete opposite as everything clicked for me and went as wrong as it could for my TIE Interceptor - Phantom opponent. In the first turn of fire I one-shotted two of his of which with an Academy chap (now promoted).

As such I avoided the spoon to place 12 of 16. I also picked up plenty of ideas to hone my list, my flying and a  boat load of ideas for other lists. As much as I'd have liked to be a bit more competitive it was all a positive experience.

The big bonus of the day was that I picked up a prize, a B-Wing art card box, for Best Repaint which is very pleasing :) I also ended up winning the free raffle for a Tantive IV........WOW!!

Not quite sure to do with that yet. Maybe a re-paint! :)
A 4-way Decimator love in.....Stressful!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

State of the Empire Address

Evening all,

As we're looking to pick back up with Edge of the Empire Wednesday night I thought I should recap events so far for all involved; myself, the group and all of you out there in the Geek-o-sphere that we hopefully entertain :)

After last time out the lads find themselves battered and bruised (nothing too new) in a bijou little covert medical research facility located in an off-station asteroid, though close enough for the shops ;)

The chaps are currently in the possession (temporarily or otherwise);
- The "Moody Mynock" a nag of a YT-2400 heavily converted for smuggling. Equipped with secure cryo-storage unit. Missing a hyper-drive....or escape pods.
- Mr Cloak's rather blinged out Firespray.
- Two crates of high-tech cyber implants, organs and intravenous liquid including a literal arm and leg.
- Three data slugs taken from a safe at McGregor's Self Storage (for the discerning crim). A full inventory, an unactivated cover credit chip and one more yet to be hacked.
- Partial downloads of the data that Kanto was blackmailing Ronsons with. Stuff about a bio-enhancement medical programme.
- A wild sense of paranoia manifested in a sycophantic protocol droid.
Along the way the chaps have made a number of contacts (hostile or otherwise);
- Staff Sgt Chung; their HI-HI contact / superior / drill Sergeant
- Furzt Van Weston; Bothan crime-lord / intel agent working form the Bothwai Bantha Revue Bar
- Gonk; cyber-intelligence enhanced Gamorean running a smuggling operation from Grey-17
- Dr Robotnic; a robed vaguely robotic figure operating a back alley tech chop-shop. Currently in the possession of 7-UP-0's "extra" hard-drive.
- Vin the Bin; sanitation consultant, skilled at refuse "collection and processing".

So, 15 XP to spend and a number of decisions to make....... I'm sure that'll go well ;)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Rebel, Rebel....

Hello people,

Tuesday afternoon myself Rob and Mr C went and saw The Hobbit: BOFA in super IMAX 3D and then retired to casa del Leg to crack out Mr C's chrimbo pressie to himself; Rebel Assault.

To set the background Mr C has played a couple of games and spent a fair few hours deciphering the apparently poorly laid out rulebook. Rob has had a couple of games, this was my first time out.

The game has two formats, firstly as a traditional skirmish wargame picking and equipping your force from the various options available and secondly as a roleplay lite version of Edge of the Empire / Age of Rebellion. With three players we went roleplay lite, myself and Rob taking a pair of characters each with Mr C as GM running the Empire.
As we kicked off everything felt familiarly homely as the main stats of Endurance and  Strain ported across as well as each player getting two actions (as compared to a manoeuvre and and action). There's also a unique set of dice. Attack dice generate Range, Hits and Surges, which are spent on bonus weapon effects much like Criticals. Defence dice negate Hits and Surges.

That's pretty much the core mechanics. The Mission Scenario sets everything else up and we played through the intro and then one more, from a rolling choice of two. They were fairly challenging and not just in terms of opponents, the intro scenario has a tight turn limit!

Each character has their own special abilities as well as their own decks of XP bought ability upgrades, appropriately tiered for a natural progression, as well as a more generic deck of weaponry, armour and equipment. All of the core elements of the full roleplay system are there.
What isn't there is the narrative nature of EotE / AoR, which is in my opinion it's greatest strength. I can understand why and how it couldn't be for this type of product but it does rather exchange ROLL for ROLE as far as the play is concerned. That feeling isn't helped by some of the more gamey elements introduced by the different coloured Attack dice. In the second mission we had an AT-ST which, by necessity I suppose, was very short ranged.....which jarred badly.

As much everything is beautifully put together, as you'd expect, and you do get an awful lot in the box the layout of the rulebook is a proper pig and we often went by "common sense" rather than delve it's depths.
I appreciate that I've only played two missions over the course of one evening but my initial impressions were that the game felt a bit schizophrenic, neither a roleplay or a wargame though possibly an entry level offering for both. On reflection, whilst writing this, I think that actually it's a Living Boardgame (my moniker) given the forthcoming expansions and FFGs penchant for such things.

As such it's never going to be either a Wargame or a Roleplay Game. If you're experienced with either it's an easy mistake to make. As an experienced player of both I would be concerned to describe it as either to someone starting out, or anyone else for that matter. I suppose it's a matter of expectation.

So, in short, it's neither a Roleplay or War game. There are plenty of elements of both but if that's what you're expecting you won't get it, or at least you'll be let down a touch.

I'm still not sure what a Living Boargame is, but I don't mind having another go :)