Monday, 29 May 2017

X-Wing: Vader's Wrath

As part of our boardgaming 2017 "10 x 10 challenge" we included FFG's excellent X-Wing Miniatures game.

This afternoon, on a rainy bank holiday we put our first game on the table.

I took an early era Rebel list as follows:

The four Y-wings (my favourite ship) are like flying tanks.  I equipped the grunts with ion turrets to try to counter the inevitable TIE manoeuvrability.

(Note: I realised afterwards that R5D8 is "unique" and I should only have had one of them.)

My wife, who's always on the "dark side", took an elite-filled squadron led by the fearsome Darth Vader himself!  This was going to be a tough fight for the Rebels.

I'm not that experienced a player but I've played more than my wife so we took it slow as she got back into the rules.


I opted to put a line on the west flank, while the Imperials set up straight down the middle.

The asteroids spread out across the battlespace, making for a general hazard that worried the Rebels more than the Imperials.  The Y-Wings lack of manoeuvrability around these obstacles may be a problem.

Opening moves
The Y-Xings trundled forwards in a firing line, with the turret-armed units on either flank.  The outer edge of the line advanced quicker.  

Meanwhile, the Imperials headed straight at the oncoming Rebels, while Vader moved to outflank the Y-Wings.

 As the lines converged, the Y-Wings swept east in formation, opening their flanks to the TIE Fighters, but protected by the Ion Turrets.

In the initial exchange of fire, the Imperials concentrated their attention on "Dutch" Vander, stripping off his shields and inflicting heavy damage on his ship.  The Gold Squadron pilots raked the Imperials with Ion-fire causing them to sputter and spin out of control.  This disrupted the Imperial formation, while the Y-Wings wheeled away in formation.

As the TIE Fighters heading in again, the Ion turrets opened up and blasted the first Imperial ship into atoms.

However, the second TIE swept in onto the flank of the Y-Wings while Vader and his wingmen circled back into the fight.

The Mid-game
The second engagement saw the Imperials approach a solid advancing line of Y-Wings.  Fel's Wrath was blasted out of the stars, but managed to hang around to inflict a bit of damage before he burned up.

The Imperials respond by surrounding, pounding, and destroying "Dutch" Vander, finishing him off with a direct hit!

And with his leader gone, "Dutch's" wingman is shot down too, having previously had his Ion turret shot out.

End game
And so now with just two Y-wings left, the Imperials had the upper hand, although the two TIEs were severely damaged.

Vader issued his orders to his subordinates and the task was at hand to destroy the hated Rebels.

Unfortunately, one of his subordinates hits an asteroid and explodes!

Following that the Rebels take out the other TIE, leaving Vader alone against two.  Even outnumbered, the heavy and manoeuvrable TIE Advanced piloted by the Dark Lord of the Sith himself was supremely confident and set about destroying the remaining Y-Wings.  

In short order one was blasted away.

And in the final act in a dance of U-turns, Vader destroyed the final Gold Squadron pilot for an Imperial victory.

It was a solid and enjoyable game of X-Wing with a well-deserved win for the Imperials.  The manoeuvrability of the TIE Fighters was critical in keeping them out of the worst of the firing line, and Vader's innate qualities came to the fore as the Rebels numbers were thinned out.
In our 10 x 10, my wife is now 1-0 up!  

Saturday, 13 May 2017

From Mars to Bowls of Blood

Today my good wife and I pushed on with some games from our "10 by 10" list.

Firstly a two player bash at the jolly little steampunk game Mission to Mars.  This is an interesting game where you choose a different action each turn to try to get your colonists to the right locations on Mars.  The player that does this best scores the most points from mining resources, and of course from their sneaky personal mission wins.

I managed a fairly convincing 80pt to 30pt win on that one.


We followed this up with a game of Games Workshops "sporting life", the jolly Bloodbowl.  My orcs dug in deep and played their usual ground game but lost 1:0 to the throwing game of the humans.

An afternoon well spent.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Firefly - You can take the sky from me...

This evening's game was one of our 10 x 10 boardgames, the excellent Firefly.  This is with the Blue Sun expansion which really amps up the Reaver threat!

Based on the utterly brilliant Firefly TV series, this game captures the essence of the source material perfectly.

My wife and I have included this excellent game in our list of 10 and currently we're honours even with this one.  

In this game we're playing "first to $15,000 to buy our way out of trouble" as the victory condition but had to abandon play for the evening with both of us around the $11,000 mark.  To be resumed tomorrow night...

The 'Verse

Border space out by the Rim is soon overrun by Reavers making travel here extremely hazardous.

Reavers also plague the Red Sun system making the much needed work here a risk too.

"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order." - Zoe Washburne


My wife chose to play Nandi, a companion who is so charming that she can hire crew for free!  A very powerful skill in the game, especially one where we're trying to gain cash and not spend it.

Nandi spent much of the game so far with a high churn of crew as she hires loads, and seems to lose them with alarming speed! 


I chose Corbin (boss of the Carrion House scrapper facility).  He's a tech specialist and can buy ship engines and upgrades at half price.  This too is a powerful skill as often an upgraded ship can be the difference between a win and a loss.  

Corbin spent much of the game flying solo or with a skeleton crew, but has a good mix of equipment which allowed him to succeed at quite a few jobs with minimal effort and outlay.  He concentrated on the high risk, high reward jobs from Niska and got lucky in pulling them off.

Niska is not a man with whom you want to be "not so solid"...
He even headed out to the Blue Sun system on the Rim to seek work from the smuggler-baron Lord Harrow.

The stand-out moment of the game so far was Nandi's high risk gambit to win the game.  Solid with Badger, carrying two Warrants for her arrest, she manages to fill her hold with contraband.  All she needs to do now is haul it from Osiris to Persephone and sell it to Badger.  

Two route options are available:
1. Take the longer more dangerous route around Alliance space, risking attack by Reavers; or
2. Take the shorter route through Alliance space and hope the authorities don't catch her.

Nandi took the shorter route through Alliance space...and...her luck ran out!  An Alliance cruiser caught her, confiscating the contraband and forcing her to pay the fines for the Warrants!  Nooooo!!!

A $7000 game-winning payday with Badger turned into a $2000 loss.

We'll hopefully be finishing this off tomorrow night.

Oh, and if you've never watched Firefly, do yourself a favour and watch it.  Its an utter joy.

EDIT: So we finished the game tonight and Corbin pulled off the win with a final job on St Albans pulling in $4000.  It was a close game all the way through and as ever with Firefly, tremendous fun!

As for Nandi?