X-Wing: A beginners battle report

A couple of weeks ago we managed to get in our first game of X-Wing and it was great. In an effort to get everyone in on the game we set up a 3v3 110pt game, one of us brought Han Solo and he would proceed to dominate the show!

Rebel Alliance

Han Solo - Chewbacca, Gunner, Millenium Falcon, Engine upgrade
Red Squadron - R2D2
Red Squadron

The Galactic Empire

TIE Phantom (Whisper) - Advanced Cloaking Device, Tactician
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot

Set Up

As this was our first game we decided to avoid over-complicating matters with the addition of obstacles and so the battlefield(?) was just open space. Both teams were quite expansive with their setups, the Rebels placed Han in the centre and the two Red Squadron Pilots took up position in the opposite corners of their deployment zone.

For the Imperials the plan was simple, trap the Falcon in swarms firing arc and bring it down as quickly as possible. To this end the Imperial squadron set up with all six Academy Pilots lined up across the centre of the board with Whisper holding the left flank.

The Battle

With the lowest pilot skill the Academy Pilots got to move first, there would be no finesse to the early stages of this engagement, the Imperial forces steaming straight up the board like a freight train. The two Red Squadron pilots closed in on the flanks of the Academy Pilots while while Whisper silently drifted in behind the grey wall of TIE Fighters, and the Falcon mirrored the movement of the Phantom. The only action of note at this early stage was Whisper cloaking for the bonus 2 move at the beginning of the next turn, unfortunately I misjudged the distance and this failed to benefit us whatsoever.

Han and a couple of the academy pilots traded blows but neither managed to land a hit.

The next turn things began to get interesting. With the opportunity to move first the academy pilots swarmed Han Solo and AP5 managed to position itself perfectly to cause a collision with Han, preventing him from taking an action this turn. One of the Red Squadron pilots (25) managed to get a target lock on AP42 but it came to nothing, the other RS pilot (3) brought down AP6 with the help of Han. Whisper landed a hit on Han and proceeded to re-cloak.

At this point the Imperial forces made an error, forgetting that ships could pass over other ships as long as their bases didn't finish in contact, which allowed Han to escape our trap. AP5 moved to
block off his escape but left just enough room for Han to move into the space left in the wreckage of AP6. Han did collide with Whisper but he was now out of the arc of most of the academy pilots.

Please excuse Han being off his stand at this point, we couldn't fit all the models in!
RS3 brought down AP2 and the Imperial formation quickly fell into disarray. RS25 continued to target lock AP42 to little effect and AP41 managed to land some hits on him while AP42 and Whisper cleared out the shields on RS3. AP1 landed some more hits on Han but Chewie brought the shields back up, AP5 brought his ship around to re-enter the fight.

At this point Han proceeded to run circles around the remaining Imperial forces as 3 Academy Pilots clustered together trying to get him back in their sights. RS25 continued to chase AP42 across the board and so the Imperials hatched a plan to trap him in the cross-hairs of as many ships as possible. With one shield back up RS3 tried to escape Whisper who had de-cloaked again to get the best firing position on the Rebel ship. AP41 decided to take on Han 1v1 at this point as he really didn't have anything better to do.

With the Imperials springing their trap RS25 tried to escape but it was too late. Caught in the crossfire of APs 1, 41 and 42 RS25 was blasted into oblivion. RS3 tried to escape in all of the commotion but Whisper finished him off. AP5 was left to face Han on his own... it didn't end well.

With the X-Wings down the remaining Imperial ships tried to catch Han, but his superior maneuverability and 360 firing arc allowed him to pick off each ship one by one with Whisper the final Imperial to fall.

Post game thoughts

Wow Han really is as good as everyone says. The boosted movement from the engine upgrades combined with the special abilities of Han, Chewie and Luke make him a really tough nut to crack that also packs a powerful punch. I feel our idea to swarm him and take him down first was sound, the two X-Wings, while resilient to a degree, did not pose as much of a threat as Han did and they were easy enough to bring down when we brought our firepower to bear. With only one defence die if you were able to score enough hits from the Academy Pilots then you could do a lot of damage to Han but the issue we faced was trying to get him in our sights. Early on we had a chance but one mistake cost us as it allowed Han to escape our net.

On the Imperial side I was really impressed with Whisper. The Phantoms boost movement after de-cloaking can be really useful and the Advanced Cloaking System means that most ships will not be able to hit the phantom as easily if your pilot skill is high enough. I felt that our TIE Phantom build was strong but it is expensive coming in at around 38 points. To make the most of this ship you need to have high pilot skill and the Advanced Cloaking System gives it the added survivability but there may be a better use for the two points we invested in tactician once we have some additional ships at our disposal.

All in all it was a great game and I was glad to get the first game under my belt, I'm sure with more experience I will be able to bring down Han, we just might need a bit of luck (and some bigger guns) to achieve it!

Boston Comic Con 2015

Wow, it's been two weeks (and a bit) since I last wrote on here, I guess that is what happens when you go away and your website is a one man show! Don't worry, next time I go away I will have something scheduled to go up while I'm gone!

So if you have been wondering where I have been hopefully the title has given it away. Boston Comic Con 2015! This was my first opportunity to go to a Comic Convention in the States, and in one of my all-time favourite cities, and it did not disappoint. We were there just after it opened on the Friday and although it got off to a slow start things quickly picked up. I loved the mix of local artists and some of the bigger names in comics, seriously, some of the artwork there was mindblowing and I made
sure to pick up a few items to bring home with me.

But it wasn't just the local artists that were great, I also got to meet a lesser known legend, Allen Bellman. Allen, for those of you who don't know, used to work on comics such as Captain America. Now into his 90s, he is still drawing Cap' and is a very interesting man to talk to, with many stories to share about those early days in the comic business. I imagine a number of the up and coming comic writers and artists came round to pay him a visit while he was there and he was more than happy to talk to each and every one of them.

Of course a lot of people go along to Comic Con for the cosplay. Unfortunately we were not there on the Sunday for the final of the cosplay competition but we did get to see a number of really cool cosplayers! I know that Dani and I are definitely thinking about some of the things we can do when we go to Comic Con over here next.

Up next is one of my favourites of our time in Boston, Feeney Magic as Thor. Go on over to Instagram and check out his page and you will see just how amazing he is! He is also a real gentleman and it was great to get the chance to meet him and get my picture taken with him, I don't know how he did in the competition but for me he was #1!

Deadpool and Harley Quinn were probably the most popular choices at Comic Con, and I imagine that is a trend worldwide especially with the two movies, Deadpool and Suicide Squad, coming out in the reasonably near future. One Deadpool in particular stood out for me as they had clearly put a lot of effort into their costume and he was even proving popular with the other Deadpools as they queued up to get their picture with him, I could almost see the scene forming part of a Deadpool comic itself.

Guardians of the Galaxy were well represented which I liked as it was one of my favourite films of last year. I didn't get to see a top quality Rocket and Groot but I'm sure there were some there. But these guys really were great as Star-Lord and Gamorra.

Of course it wouldn't be a comic convention without comics and I managed to pick up a couple of old graphic novels before I locked my card and wallet away to save myself. There were stores and retailers from across the New England area and they were offering really good deals, especially for someone coming over from the UK where everything seems to be massively more expensive. We also picked up some classic posters, and not so classic posters, at one of the stands as well as some t-shirts.

If anyone is sitting on the fence about whether or not they should go to Comic Con then I would strongly recommend they go. While it may have been a bit slow to get going that may have just been my British "up-tight-ness", and once we relaxed a bit we really got into the swing of things. I don't know if I would pay for the opportunity to meet some of the actors from TV shows and films (around $75 for a photo and autograph) but it certainly proved popular and some of them really put the effort in to chat to the people paying to see them. I would just go for the atmosphere. Everyone is so laid back and having so much fun it would be difficult not to get caught up in it and have fun yourself. I'm sure everyone else who spent the weekend at Boston Comic Con would agree!