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.