söndag 8 september 2013

Wedge saves the day!

Me and a couple of friends played an exciting game of X-wing recently. We wanted to try out the new Wave 3 ships and introduce a new player to the game. At first we were going to play two separate games since we were four players, but decided to play a big multi-player battle instead. Each player could choose 75 points of ships, making the game 150 points in total. Me and Håkan played the peace-loving galactic Empire while Mats and rookie Dave played the terrorist Rebels.

I chose Colonel Jendon in a Lambda Shuttle with Heavy Laser Cannon, Anti-Pursuit Missiles and the ST-321 title, along with Major Rhymer in a Tie Bomber with Advanced Proton Torpedoes and a Proton Bomb. The tactic would be for Jendon to aquire target locks early and then pass them on to Rhymer, who would be able to fire the Adv. Proton Torpedoes at range 2 because of his special ability (they are normally range 1 only). Hopefully I would be able to pull off the sacred Target Lock/Focus combo for maximum carnage.

Meanwhile Håkan chose three TIE Interceptors led by Thurr Phennir, all from the elite Sabre Squadron. He gave the Sabre Squadron pilots the Veteran Instincts upgrade making them Pilot Skill 6. I don't remember what other upgrades he chose, I think Thurr got a pilot skill as well but it didn't come into play during the game.

Mats naturally wanted to play with his B-wing so he chose Ibtisam, tooled up with Heavy Laser cannon and Advanced Proton Torpedoes, along with an Outer Rim smuggler in an old beat up YT-1300 freighter as bait. Mats also gave Ibtisam a Fire Control System allowing her (yes, Ibtisam is female) to gain a Target Lock on a ship she has just attacked. The plan was obviously to fire the Heavy Laser Cannon at long range getting the Target Lock for free and then swoop in for the kill with the Advanced Proton Torpedoes.

Dave was a bit star struck I think as he chose Wedge Antilles -- the best pilot on the rebel side -- along with a Rookie Pilot in an X-wing and a Gray Squadron pilot in a Y-wing. He also bought an Ion cannon for the Y-wing which could potentially wreck the best laid plans if used at the right moment. A solid squadron rather straight forward to use, the biggest problem would be for Dave to keep them together, always tricky to pull off the first few times you play.

Dave and Mats mulling over the set-up.
Find out how the game went after the break. Warning, the page is quite pic-heavy.

I took pictures during the game, but as always when the action heated up I forgot to. Hopefully you can follow the battle anyway. We played on a 6x4 play area since we used more points than in the standard game. We also had a double compliment of asteroids since a 6x4 is more than twice the size of a 3x3. We usually play with asteroids as the maneuvering gets a bit trickier, which Dave found out the hard way!

The Imperial fleet assembled on one flank, the Lambda supporting the Bomber.
Dave had the lowest pilot skills so he set up two of his ships first. Håkan and I decided to concentrate on Mats' beloved B-wing (as we are nice guys) and set up on the flank opposite Mats' ships. Dave decided to keep his ships together and placed Wedge with them.

Håkan mentally Target Locking before play begins.
Turn 1

Opening moves for the imperial side, Interceptors surging ahead.
The first turn was over quite fast although we paused to explain some things to Dave. The Interceptors sped up the flank while Colonel Jendon aquired a Target Lock on the B-wing which he then passed on to Major Rhymer in the Bomber. Weary of the asteroids I advanced my ships slowly, content on letting Håkan get into trouble first. Mats and Dave moved closer to eachother in the middle of their side of the board. No shots were fired as the range was too long.

End of turn 1. The fleets are too far away from each-other to open fire.
Turn 2
The X-wings and the Y-wing pick their way through the asteroids while the smuggler and B-wing turn to face the interceptors.
Realising the threat of the Interceptors Mats turned his ships towards the flank, while Dave gingerly started to negotiate the asteroid field. I advanced slowly while Håkan gunned his interceptors up the flank at full speed.

End of Turn 2. The Interceptors speed further up the flank making good use of their boost ability.
Turn 3

The Interceptors K-turn at the far end of the flank while the Bomber and Lambda aim for the smuggler.
I decided to try and get into range for a shot soon so Håkan didn't have to take on the B-wing and Smuggler all by himself, this meant picking up a little speed and try to navigate pas the closest asteroids, always a tricky feat with a large ship like the Lambda. Håkan in the meantime did high-speed Koiogran Turns and ended up in the far corner with all his Interceptors, ready to swoop down on the pesky Rebels next turn.

Panicked by the asteroids the X-wings and Y-wing break formation.
Dave on the other hand decided to split his ships off in different directions rather than risk running into the asteroids. This meant not only that his ships would join the fray a turn later, but also that he had a hard time to gather his forces together again. In the combat phase we found out that one of the Interceptors was just within range of the Smuggler who promptly shot a hole through one of the Interceptor's solar panels.
First blood to the Rebels as the Smuggler manages to hit the closest Interceptor.
Turn 4.

The smuggler's joy was shortlived as he died in a hail of laser bolts. From most of the Imperial fleet.
Almost as if we had planned it me and Håkan managed to catch the Smuggler within the fire arc of every ship in our fleet. We hadn't planned it, but by using the boost and barrell roll capabilites of the TIEs (even the bomber can roll, though not boost) we could maximise our chances. I saved the Bomber's Advanced Proton Torpedoes though, and the decision turned out to be correct as the Smuggler died before all of the Interceptor's had fired. 

The last Interceptor didn't get to shoot at the smuggler, luckily the B-wing was also in range.
The B-wing was in range as well, so we took a couple of shields off him for good measure. The B-wing fired on the bomber inflicting a couple of hits, and then used Ibtisam's ability to get a Target Lock. Both ships now had Target Locks on each-other and both were loaded with Advanced Proton Torpedoes! In the meantime Dave turned his ships towards the ensuing furball and would probably be in range next turn.

The end of turn 4. Not having to worry about the X-wings helped the Imperials immensely this turn.
Turn 5

Now things got really interesting and I only remembered to take one picture. Trying to anticipate the B-wing's maneuver proved difficult and the B-wing sped past all imperial ships, just getting clipped by the Lambda Shuttle's lasers, taking another shield off. No exchange of missiles this turn!

A frantic furball develops with shots streaking back and forth between the ships.
The Lambda however was now getting caught in a cross-fire between both X-wings. Amazingly the Rookie got a couple of good hits in despite getting shot at by Thurr Phennir. On the other hand, Wedge Antilles -- Hero of the Battle of Yavin -- missed all his shots.

Turn 6

The Rookie X-wing closes in on his prey, stripping the Lambda of it's shields and inflicting a critical hit wounding Colonel Jendon. Next turn he would count as Pilot Skill 0. Meanwhile, Wedge missed again.
Since the Lambda flies like a pregnant cow I had no chance of escaping the X-wings, I just had to tough it out and hope that the Interceptors would come to my rescue. The Lambda tried to Fire at the B-wing but didn't hit. Wedge missed, but the Rookie Pilot wasn't going to let the Lambda shuttle get away. Stripping off all the shield he also inflicted a critical hit which wounded Colonel Jendon. Next turn the Lambda would count as Pilot Skill 0, which means he would move first and shoot last (if he survived). 

The end of Turn 6. The Interceptors gun their engines for a high-speed pass against the X-wings next turn.
I do not remember exactly what Mats did with the B-wing, but he was limited in his options since it had acquired a stress token earlier, meaning it could not do any red maneuvers. The B-wing isn't that maneuverable so I could more or less predict where it would end up. So I k-turned the Bomber, hopefully setting up for a shot next turn. 

Håkan did what he mostly does with his Interceptors, which is pedal to the metal, closing fast on the X-wings. But not fast enough for Colonel Jendon who was getting very nervous now.

Turn 7.

Poor Ibtisam!
This is another of those turns where I forgot to take pictures most of the time. The Lambda had to move first, so I slammed on the breaks, coming to a complete stop. (The Lambda Shuttle is the only ship in the game which can do a 0-speed manuever.) This caused the Rookie to slam into the Shuttle which triggered the Anti-Pursuit Lasers. Sadly they missed, but the manuever also meant that the Rookie couldn't fire at the Lambda this turn. The Y-wing was finally in range and hit with its Ion turret, but being a large ship the Lambda is unaffected by only one Ion hit. It would take one more hit to Ionize its systems. Wedge missed as usual.

What was most important though was that the Bomber managed to just catch the B-wing within range 2, allowing me to fire its Advanced Proton Torpedoes. These are normally range 1 only, but Major Rhymer's special ability allows him to extend the range of secondary weapons by one range band. Having K-turned last turn I needed to make a green move to be able to focus, so I was a bit lucky to be within range really. The combination of Target Lock and Focus resulted in a whopping five hits on the B-wing which was enough to obliterate it in a cloud of molten metal and superheated plasma. Take that rebel scum!

The Interceptors screamed past the X-wings and K-turned to be able to shoot them in the back the next turn. Brilliant, but it didn't help Colonel Jendon who now only had two hull points left on his ship.

Turn 9

The Lamdba tries to flee from its pursuers.
The turn started with the Rookie flying past the Lambda doing a K-turn while the Y-wing and Wedge edged closer, chased by the Interceptors. The Lambda was effectively caught and couldn't get away.

I couldn't believe that I had managed to pull off the attack with the Bomber. I usually end up getting my ships shot down before they have fired their missiles making the points wasted or fire away too early in fear of not getting to use them. Reminded of that I decided to drop the Proton Bomb hoping to catch the Rookie.  Bombs are dropped before you move your ship and explodes when each ship has moved, but before combat, so having a high-skill pilot on the Bomber meant I got to see where the Rookie had moved first. It looked a bit risky since the Lambda Shuttle was also quite close but I figured it wouldn't live another turn anyway.

The Shuttle finally explodes while the Bomber leaves a little present behind.
The Proton Bomb went off perfectly, catching the Rookie but was just out of range of the Lambda. To add insult to injury the Proton Bomb deals one critical hit bypassing shields, and this time inflicted a double hit, leaving the Rookie with only one hull point. Sadly it was too late for the Lambda which was shot down in the combat phase. (Colonel Jendon recieved a state funeral and was awarded the Imperial Star posthumously.)

Turn 10

The Rookie is shot down. Justice!
The Rookie soon payed for his crimes as Thurr Phennir gunned him down in a head on exchange. I decided to get the bomber out of the way, heading for home and reloading its payload. (You can't do that in the game, but it's always fun to try to figure out what your troops would think, whether it's Star Wars or WW2 you are playing.)

Turn 11

The Interceptors attack the Y-wing while Wedge tries to get away.
There wasn't much Mats and Dave could do now; Håkan had lined up his interceptors for an attack run. Only one of his ships had taken a hit while both Wedge and the Y-wing had been stripped of their shields.

"I have you now!"
The Y-wing died before Wedge had managed to turn around and the Rebels conceded defeat as it was getting late. Post-game analysis revealed that both sides claimed a win. Mats and Dave claimed that they had shot down the all-important Imperial Shuttle while managing to keep the rebellion poster-boy Wedge Antilles, Hero of Yavin out of harm's way. I bet that's what he always does, bugging out at the first hit faking engine failure. 

Me and Håkan claimed a moral and strategic victory in shooting down four ships including a wanted criminal and smuggler and the new B-wing prototype heavy fighter, all for the loss of one pesky shuttle.

End-game positions. The Y-wing is shot down while Wedge manages to get away.

We all had fun though, and that is what matters most. 

May the Force be with You

7 kommentarer:

  1. Great report. I like the use of the larger table, it sounds reasonable to me. Funny how the rookie outshined Wedge.

    1. It was all in the dice; Dave rolled consistently bad for Wedge and made some amazing rolls for the rookie.

  2. Bloody bast##d! You already have the new models!!
    They're not on sale here in the south until the second half of October!!!
    Nice battle report!

    1. Well, Dave went to GenCon where they were prereleased and we asked if he could pick them up for us. They are not available in Sweden yet either. So we only have one of each.

  3. Very very cool! Those squints look awesome! Dangerous too... great stuff!

  4. Excellent report. I want to play!


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