And Now For Something Completely Different

HELLO!

For those of you who have been long-standing readers of this blog, I thank you for your patience during the long gaps between entries. For those of you who are new, welcome!

This blog was originally simply intended to be something fun for me to do while I chronicled particularly noteworthy battles or my painting progress. It started off with 40k, I threw in a little Fantasy and then some X-Wing and other bits and pieces. Sadly university takes up a lot of time and I’m not getting as many games in as I used to, nor am I really getting any painting done. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk on the computer doing university stuff and when that’s done I don’t particularly want to remain at said desk painting.

So I found a new hobby…AIRSOFT!

For those who don’t know, airsoft is a game that is much like paintballing. Like paintball, airsoft played by two or more teams who run around a quarry or wooded area shooting at one-another. That’s where the similarity ends. Paintball is designed and marketed to be as far from a military/war game as possible, to the point where the “weapons” do not look like guns (except in a few cases) and are called “markers”. Airsoft on the other hand, is played using imitation firearms (M4s, M16s, AK47s, etc.) that look and feel the same as their “real steel” counterparts.

To give you an idea roughly what I’m talking about, here is a picture of me taken last week at an event in Kent (Image courtesy of Alex Beletski and Natalia Beletskaya):

12010716_10156532485430497_7799504511420099992_o

I’m holding a replica AK-47 SPETZNAZ which was my rental gun for the day, which as far as reliability goes isn’t terrible, but the range and accuracy are pretty poor due to the short barrel. I will likely go into the details about how barrel length, battery power and such affect a weapon’s performance later on when I’ve had a chance to play with a more extensive range of weapon types and variety of manufacturers.

To all who read for my painting or gaming articles, this is not the end of those! I will likely have some hobby progress to show you within the next fortnight!

Until next time!

Swarm Power! – Gamerz Nexus X-Wing Store Championship Report (Part 1)

Happy Easter everyone! Today’s offering is a report of last Sunday’s X-Wing tournament at Gamerz Nexus in Rayleigh, Essex. The tournament was a late-starter (5pm) so with a four round swiss followed by the cut, everyone knew it had the potential to be a very very long night…

To begin, let us examine my list:

Tala Squadron Z-95 x4
Bandit Squadron Z-95 x4

Eight ships, dead on 100 points, and a healthy mix of Pilot Skill four and two. I’d never run a swarm competitively before, and had been actively advised against running this list… As you can see, I ignored that advice😉

Game One (Rob) – Wild Space Fringer (Outrider), Blue Squadron Pilot x2, Bandit Squadron Pilot

image1

Turn one saw the B-Wings and evil Bandit turn in towards the swarm, while the Outrider moved straight forward in an attempt to remain at a decent range for its Heavy Laser Cannons. The Swarm moved forward as quickly as it could manage, but there was no shooting.

Turn two saw the B-Wings and evil Bandit  move forward a lot slower while the Outrider turned left to engage the swarm and the swarm split up to engage the multitude of targets approaching it. The initial fire exchange saw a Bandit blown away by four Heavy Laser Cannon hits which weren’t evaded, but in return the Outrider and the evil Bandit both lost two shields.

Turn three saw the ranges closing up. A Tala Squadron Z-95 was destroyed in exchange for five shields and a hull point from one of the enemy B-Wings and a further three shields from the Outrider.

In turn four, the evil Rebels were bunched up to the point they all crashed into one-another while the Outrider blasted straight forward away from range one and back into Heavy Laser Cannon range. The bunching caused the remaining Talas to crash as the Bandits all K-Turn, the following round of shooting bringing down another Tala in exchange for the damaged B-Wing.

Turn five saw the ships break away from one-another, with the remaining evil Rebel fighters K-Turning and the Outrider trying to flee. The Outrider took two criticals and a hit from the pursuing Z-95s, injuring and blinding the pilot and preventing it from shooting that round.

Turn six saw the fleets moving in against one another again, with the Outrider suffering yet another Blinded Pilot result while the evil Bandit is swarmed and destroyed.

Turn seven saw the fight devolve into a turning knife-fight, and while my fleet had more firepower overall, it was feeling like it lacked the dice to do any decisive damage. That being said, the swarm stripped all five shields and a hull point from the surviving B-Wing for the loss of a Bandit.

Turns eight and nine saw the evil B-Wing attempt to K-Turn onto an asteroid, losing a hull point in the process. The remaining ships from the swarm followed and surrounded the Outrider, hitting it just enough to blow it out of space before they simultaneously K-Turned to blow the remaining B-Wing from the board.

Result: 100-50 victory

Game Two (Chris) – Rear Admiral Chiraneau, Carnor Jax, Academy Pilot

image2

Turn one saw the two squadrons accelerate towards each other at full speed, with Jax attempting to flank the swarm. Because of the Decimator moving so quickly with a large base, some shooting happened turn one – with a Bandit losing two shields and a second Bandit losing a single shield because of Ruthlessness. In return, Chiraneau lost three shields of his own.

Turn two saw everything close to point blank range. Chiraneau crashes into a Bandit and unleashes his rage on the shieldless Bandit, but in return finds himself the focus of the swarm’s wrath – his ship reduced from two remaining shields and twelve hull to a meagre five hull.

Turn three saw the Academy Pilot crash into an asteroid while Carnor continues to try and flank the swarm as it continues to surround and pursue Chiraneau – resulting in the Decimator becoming free-floating atoms.

First Decimator kill EVER!

Turns four and five saw the swarm divert its attention to Jax’s lovely red Interceptor, with the exception of the one critical that sneaks through onto the Academy Pilot and causes a Direct Hit!

Turns six and seven were essentially the end-game. First the swarm surrounded Jax and blew him away despite his preventing me spending focus tokens, and the Academy pilot fell to the guns of the swarm soon after.

Result: 100-12 victory

Game Three (Tom) – Soontir Fel, Howlrunner, Academy Pilot x4

image3

Swarm vs swarm… This couldn’t end well…

Turn one saw everything move foward to engage, the Imperials moving a little more sedately than I would have imagined…

Turn two saw me make my game-changing mistake. The swarm moved four forward, while the Academy Pilots had moved five forward – leaving me out of arc and out of position. My shooting accomplished absolutely nothing, and for my mistake I lost a Bandit.

Turn three saw pretty much everything K-Turn with the exception of Fel, who was off doing his own thing as he is wont to do. Howlrunner crashes into an asteroid, much to my opponent’s annoyance (and probably why from this point on he argued every close call he stood to benefit from). Here I get my revenge for my early mistake, stripping two hull points from an Academy Pilot and blowing Howlrunner off the asteroid she had perched on.

Turn four was a bit of a clusterfrag, with everything getting so close it crashed. Fel picked off a Z-95 while another Bandit picked off the damaged Academy Pilot.

Turn five saw some appalling flying on my part, with every ship crashing into another. There was (thankfully) no shooting however, I’d gotten away with this mistake!

Turns six and seven saw the minutes winding down. My opponent liked to take his time with his dials, which you can’t really afford to do with a swarm, and I was beginning to wonder if he was deliberately running down the clock because he was (at this point) going to get a modified win. That being said, the two final turns saw Fel kill a Tala in return for two Academy Pilots and two hull from Fel. Three hits against the damaged Interceptor at range one were met by three natural evades just after time was called – jammy bastard!

Result: 54-37 victory

Game Four (Dan) – Boba Fett (scum), Black Sun Soldier x3

image4

I hate scum Boba, I just want to get that out now – the ability to re-roll a die for every ship in range one is broken, it should be one per turn.

Turn one saw the Bandits all turn to face their opponents while the Black Sun and Boba all charge forward.

Turn two saw everything move into closer range, with Boba hitting a Bandit for two shields and a hull, but without taking any damage in reply (damn Heavy Laser Cannon…)

Turn three saw the Black Sun Soldiers crash and Fett piled into the back of them. Shooting from both sides accomplished nothing.

Turn four saw the Talas strip three shields and a hull from Boba in return for one Tala losing two shields and a hull, the final hit point being claimed by a Black Sun Soldier while a second Soldier kills the damaged Bandit. In return, the remaining Bandits pull three hull from Boba.

Turn five saw the Bandits and Talas deliberately crash so Boba cannot move (no actions for you!) and converge on the Black Sun Soldiers. Boba’s shooting is ineffective, while the Bandits swarm and destroy one of the Black Sun Soldiers.

Turn six saw the swarm scatter in a (successful) attempt to continue to prevent Boba moving and manage to knock two shields from a Black Sun Soldier, although this is punished (rather vindictively in my opinion) for the loss of a Tala.

Turn seven saw Fett bumping (again) while the remaining Black Sun Soldier tries to flee and in the attempt blows a Bandit out of space.

Turns eight and nine saw the remaining ships attempt (and fail) to block Boba, though they do manage to kill the remaining Black Sun Soldier and then finally manage to not only block Fett one last time, but also get enough hits through that not even his broken re-roll power could save him!

Result: 100-50 victory

So ended the swiss, at about 9.30PM. We were all tired, and though I knew I’d done well I wasn’t aware of how well anyone else had done… Turns out I was the only person with four wins, which put me into first place… My good friend Pete was in second, Tom (with the Imperial swarm) was third and Dan’s broken Fett list had come fourth.

All that was needed now was to play two more rounds and see which one of us would be crowned store champion. It was going to be a long night!

But that’s a story for another time, I think…

Sand-blasting – Paint stripping for the future?

i wanted to bring you something slightly different today, as I’ve been playing about with a new acquisition of my father’s that just so happens to fit on my compressor – an abrasion brush/air eraser.

So it looks like an airbrush and behaves like an airbrush, but rather than pair it sprays a layer of sand that in theory rubs off any paint on your model. This is an interesting idea, as in the UK the usual methods of removing paint from plastic models (Dettol or Fairy Powert Spray) have been rendered impossible due to formulaic changes that have made them much less potent.

I selected two models to strip, because they were to hand:

     

I loaded up the little hopper with sand, and after about half an hour of coating the inside of my conservatory with a fine layer of sand, this was what I was left with:

  

I admit it isn’t perfect, and is more labour intensive than simply leaving your model in your solution of choice, but it’s also a lot more fun to watch the paint flake off and fall away! Even better, you can re-use the sand to cut down on costs!

I wouldn’t recommend this for large models, purely because it would take you forever to do anything, but for small models or individual components this is definitely quicker. You could even use it as a weathering method!

The eraser in question cost £26, adding in a decent compressor and the whole lot will be in the range of £100+ but it is worth it,and if you already have a compressor because you have an airbrush, great!

That’s all for this meagre offering, as I now have to go wash my eyes out!

Until next time!

Defenders of the Empire – Rochester Store Championship Battle Report

Welcome one and all to another Store Championship Battle Report! This one is a little shorter than the last, as this tournament was only four games played between sixteen players. Counting the different lists, I counted seven large ships shared among six players, and only one Phantom! The meta is not so strong in this tournament!

So without further ado, I present you my list:

Rexlar Brath: Veteran Instincts, Shield Upgrade, Heavy Laser Cannon
Colonel Vessery: Decoy, Shield Upgrade, Heavy Laser Cannon
For a total of 97pts.

Game One (Adam) – A-Wing, A-Wing, X-Wing (Jake Farrell, Tycho Celchu,Wedge Antilles)

image1

Turn One – The Rebels blast forward as fast as they could, while Vessery and Rexlar both turned performed a one bank and barrel-rolled.

Turn Two – Vessery makes a three turn to the right while the Rebels continued to burn forward as fast as they can and Rexlar moves two straight forwards and performs a barrel-roll.

Turn Three – Vessery banks one to the right and focuses while the Rebels bend in to engage. Rexler banks one right and target locks Tycho, who in the long-range exchange of fire loses a shield.

Turn Four – Vessery moves two straight forwards and focuses  as Tycho turns hard right. Jake performs a three-speed turn while Wedge banks in. Rexlar moves two forwards and locks onto Wedge. Vessery fires first, stripping a shield from Wedge’s X-Wing and loses two of his own shields in return before Rexlar hits Wedge for four points of damage, and after zero evades Wedge is destroyed.

Turn Five – Vessery makes a three-speed turn to the left and focuses while Tycho and Jake pursue him. Rexlar crashes into Jake, and opens fire on Tycho, causing him to take a critical hit – Injured Pilot. No more Push the Limit or performing actions while stressed! Jake fires on Vessery and damages his sensors, and in an appalling display of dice rolling, Tycho blows the Defender out of space.

Not good…

Turn Six – Jake and Tycho both turn left, Rexlar tries to follow and crashes into Tycho…

Turn Seven – Tycho turns sharp left while Jake moves two forward. Rexlar banks one and focuses, before blowing Tycho out of space.

Turn Eight – Jake performs a three turn, and Rexlar manages to skip over him so no shooting is declared.

Turn Nine – Jake performs another three turn around an asteroid, while Rexlar performs a similar move the other way – rolling to get into arc. Rexlar’s Heavy Laser Cannoms hit Jake for two shields and a hull point.

Turn Ten – Jake makes a one left turn and boosts, while Rexlar performs a Koiogran turn and blows the small A-Wing out of space.

100-48 Victory!

Game Two (Craig) – Firespray, Interceptor, Interceptor (Krassis, Royal Guard, Royal Guard)

Craig is an old friend, who I only found out recently plays X-Wing. His list was a little different, but had me slightly concerned – Outmaneuver on those Interceptors might sting…

image2

Turn One – Krassis moves one forward while Rexlar and Vessery both perform their obligatory (or signature now?) one bank and barrel role move. The two Interceptors both rush five forward and boost to get further down the board.

Turn Two – Krassis moves one forward again while the Defenders perform banks the opposite way to previous turn to straighten out. The Royal Guard at this point bank away from the Defenders, no doubt in an attempt to swing round and get behind me.

Turn Three – Krassis performs a two bank, while Vessery makes a three turn over an asteroid without damaging himself. The Royal Guards turn in on the attack, and Rexlar manages to crash into one of them. Rexlar hits one of the Royal Guard for two hull (take THAT Stealth Device!) and Vessery follows up to finish him off. In reply, Krassis knocks three shields from Vessery (I can see where THIS is going…)

Turn Four – Krassis moves two forwards while Vessery performs a Koiogran turn and strips three shields from Krassis. What the Royal Guard and Rexlar did, I can’t remember and can’t tell you because I forgot to write it down…

Turn Five – Krassis performs a speed four Koiogran turn, and Vessery crashes into Krassis. The Royal Guard burns forward four, with Rexlar performing a one hard turn. For the second time in as many games, the green dice fail me and Vessery falls apart in a hail of laser-fire.

Turn Six – Krassis moves three forwards and the Royal Guard moves five forwards. Rexlar moves in and causes one shield and three points of hull to be removed from Krassis.

Turn Seven – Krassis performs another Koiogran turn while the Royal Guard turns sharp one and barrel rolls. Rexlar moves two forwards and focuses, but there is no effective shooting.

Turn Eight – Krassis performs a hard two turn, retaining his stress token. The Royal Guard banks two towards Rexlar and rolls, while Rexlar moves forward four and hits Krassis for another point of hull damage.

Turn Nine – Krassis moves forward four (still retaining stress) while the Royal Guard moves three forwards. Rexlar banks in at speed three and blows Krassis off the board, before losing a shield to a long-range shot from the last Royal Guard.

Time-skipping through the five turns of jousting with no hits being caused on either party…

Turn Fifteen – The Royal Guard gets fed up of jousting and performs a hard two, boosting round an asteroid. Rexlar performs a Koiogran turn, and rolls to ensure fire arc doesn’t go through asteroid. Rexlar’s Heavy Laser Cannon hits the Interceptor three times, and zero evade dice are rolled.

100 – 48 Victory (Again!)

Game Three (Ian) – Defender, Defender (Rexlar, Vessery)

image3

This list was going to be a toughie – my last “mirror match” didn’t go so well, and this was very similar. These two Defenders both sported Marksmanship, Proton Rockets and Munitions Failsafes… This could be rough…

Turn One – The “good” (mine) Defenders do their one bank/roll intro, while the “evil” (Ian’s) Defenders boost five forward.

Turn Two – Vessery straightens out with a one bank and focuses. The evil Defenders bank in to try and get some long-range shots in. Rexlar also straightens out and acquires a lock on evil Vessery. Vessery hits evil Vessery twice and pulls off two shields, while Rexlar follows up and hits Vessery for another shield, a hull and a critical – Minor Explosion. Ian rolls an attack die, rolls a hit, bye-bye evil Vessery! In revenge, evil Rexlar hits Rexlar for two shields.

Turn Three – Vessery performs a three bank and evil Vessery crashes into him. Rexlar performs a Koiogran turn and shoots his evil twin, stripping a shield from him.

Turn Four – Vessery performs a Koiogran turn while evil Rexlar performs a one sharp turn and stresses himself. Rexlar crashes into his evil twin while Vessery strips a second shield from evil Rexlar.

Turn Five – Vessery performs a one bank and focuses while evil Rexlar charges four forward and focuses and Rexlar performs a three turn and focuses. Vessery fires first (Decoy at PS10 is really throwing people off!) and hits evil Rexlar for one shield and two hull, damaging the Defender’s sensors. Rexlar follows up and hits his evil twin four times, evil Rexlar rolling three evades and still taking the last shot that brings him down…

100-0 Victory!

Game Four (Macey) – YT-1300, A-Wing, A-Wing (Chewbacca, Jake Farrell, Gemmer Sojan)

image4

Holy crap I’m on top table! The winner of this game wins the tournament! So far from three games, I’ve lost two ships (both 48pts), Macey (like Craig a long-time friend I didn’t know played until recently) had only lost one A-Wing in three games. This could be rough…

Warning in advance – this one’s a lengthy one!

Turn One – Chewie moves two forwards while Gemmer moves four forwards. Vessery performs his now-traditional one bank and roll, while Jake moves five straight forward and Rexlar copies Vessery.

Turn Two – Chewie moves three forwards and Gemmer turns two to the right and boosts. Vessery performs a two-speed bank and focuses as Jake moves five forward, boosts and barrel-rolls. Rexlar follows Vessery by performing a one bank and a barrel roll.

Turn Three – Chewie turns hard left and evades while Gemmer moves three forwards and turtles. Vessery makes a three turn in towards the A-Wings and focuses while Jake makes a two turn and boosts out of Vessery’s arc. Vessery takes a long-range shot at Chewie and knocks off one shield.

Turn Four – Chewie turns hard right and evades while Gemmer moves three forwards and boosts. Vessery moves two forward and focuses while Jake makes a one hard turn and boosts. Rexlar moves two straight forward, and Vessery strips another shield from Chewie.

Turn Five – Chewie makes a three turn to the left while Gemmer copies his larger wingmate. Vessery banks one and focuses as Jake performs a two bank and turtles. Rex banks one and acquires a target lock on Jake, stripping all two of his shields in the subsequent shooting.

Turn Six – Chewie makes a hard turn at speed two while Gemmer moves three forwards and boosts, locking Vessery with Push the Limit. Vessery performs a Koiogran turn and focuses as Jake moves five straight forwards and boosts. Rexlar performs his own Koiogran turn and locks onto Gemmer. Vessery fires, hitting the A-Wing for two shields and one hull (it has two left from Hull Upgrade) before Rexlar finishes the little ship off.

Turn Seven – Chewie performs a three bank to the left and marksmans. Vessery performs a three hard turn and focuses while Jake performs a two hard turn and boosts. Rexlar turns three and rolls, but no Imperial shooting this turn. Jake, however, pulls a shield off of Rexlar while Chewie pulls two shields from Vessery (here we go again!)

Turn Eight – Chewie hard turns and marksmans again while Vessery performs a Koiogran and focuses. Jake reveals a red manoeuvre, but is still stressed from Pushing the Limit last turn. I could turn him three left and ensure next turn he’s off the board, but I don’t want to be that guy so I turn him hard right onto an asteroid (I didn’t want him flying off, didn’t mean I didn’t want him dead!) Jake takes a critical hit – engine damage, meaning all his turns are now red (and he’s still stressed!) Rexlar crosses an asteroid and loses a shield, before the pair of Defenders hit Jake for two hull and finish him off.

Turn Nine – Chewie moves three forward and crashes into Rexlar, meaning both Rexlar and Vessery crash into Chewie.

Turn Ten – Chewie sharp turns two and marksmans, while Vessery banks three and rolls and Rexlar moves five forward and focuses (this is the point I considered moving away and running down the clock, but given what I’d already done I chose not to!)

Turn Eleven – Chewie banks one and evades while Vessery and Rexlar both perform Koiograns and roll to get themselves into better position.

Turn Twelve – Chewie performs a three bank and evades again, as Vessery and Rexlar bank to pursue.

Turn Thirteen – Chewie performs a one sharp turn and marksmans while Vessery banks and focuses and Rexlar moves two forward and acquires a lock on Chewie. Vessery and Rexlar both fire, knocking the last four of Chewie’s shields down, while Chewie’s return fire hits Rexlar for one shield.

Turn Fourteen – Chewie banks away from the Defenders and evades while Vessery and Rexlar both perform Koiogran turns and focus (Vessery) and lock (Rexlar). Between them, they hit Chewie for four hull points.

Turn Fifteen – Chewie banks one and evades again while Vessery performs a three bank and focuses. Rexlar banks two and once again locks onto Chewie, before the pair of them inflict four hits on the damaged YT-1300 and end the game.

100-0 Victory!

Results

I knew I’d done fairly well, and four out of four is a tournament record for me! I knew I was top three, but I thought it would all come down to margin of victory. As the results were read out, I got gradually move and more tense – especially as the final three were announced. Macey (my final opponent) came third, and when I realised I was not second it dawned on me:

I HAD WON A TOURNAMENT!!!

I was so stunned I didn’t realise they’d even started clapping, and graciously accepted my prizes and congratulated all my opponents and thanked the two fantastic umpires and the store manager. So to round out this report, I present my first-place prizes:

image

That’s a funky little medal from the 2014 Winter Tournament pack, a Han Solo alternate art card, a Scimitar Squadron alternate art card, what I assume to be a bye ticket for a regional (or something along those lines) and oh yes, a free Tantive IV!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of my opponents for a fantastic game, the umpires for ensuring fair play and answering rules queries, and the staff at Rochester Games, Models and Railways for organising the event and providing the venue and the food. For those in the South-East of England who wish to visit the store, their facebook page can be four here.

Now I’m going to sleeve up my new cards, inspect my new toy and take a nap because I just realised I’ve missed the first twenty minutes of Top Gear finalising this entry! Thanks for reading, until next time!

Dark Sphere X-Wing Tournament – Part Two

So it’s a little later than I first intended, but here is part two of my Dark Sphere tournament report!

Game 4 (Andy): Decimator and Phantom (Captain Oicunn and Echo)

image7

Great, a Deci/Phantom list… I’d heard how nasty these could be, but I had yet to face either ship on the board. This was going to be interesting…

Turn one saw careful initial moves, each player knowing what their list could manage (or fail to considering we were on table 18 of 22).

Turn two saw the two sides merging aggressively, with Vessery stripping three shields from Oicunn for the loss of one shield from Echo. Rexler fired his cluster missiles at Echo, but missed completely…such a waste…

Turn three saw Oicunn ramming Vessery and knocking off one hull point while return fire from Vessery prevents Oicunn from firing this round.

Turn four and Oicunn turns hard onto an Asteroid. Vessery moves in to perfect kill range while Rexler crashes into a different Asteroid. Vessery fires the only shots that turn, stripping four hull points from the beached Decimator.

Turn five sees Rexler hit Oicunn for a hit and a critical hit, knocking off a total of three hull points through the Critical Hit! card. Things go a bit pear shaped from here on out, as Echo lands enough hits on Vessery to kill him and I manage to roll no evades! Well…poo…

Turn six sees Rexler out of position to fire, losing a shield from Oicunn’s long-range fire while Echo repositions herself to swoop in.

Turns seven and eight saw Oicunn turn towards Rexler and the exchanges of fire knock two hull from Oicunn while Rexler lost one himself.

With Oicunn wounded on two hull, it looks like it’ll soon be Rexler vs Echo. The Decimator should die in turn nine, right? WRONG! Through some SERIOUSLY shoddy dice rolling, I manage to not inflict ANY damage on Oicunn, who in turn lands two hits on Rexler and blasts him out of space…

Damn… second 0-100 of the day…

Game 5 (Rob) – TIE Phantom, 4x TIE Fighter (Whisper, Howlrunner, 3x Academy Pilot)

image5

Game five was going to be a bye round for me (giving me a win because I’d done so horrendously badly I didn’t even qualify to play on bottom table) but somehow had quit the tournament and not informed anyone. I was then rather politely asked to play Rob and his Phantom and mini-swarm list. Having just faced a Phantom and never faced a swarm of any kind with this list I was a little concerned, but at least I was playing a game and getting the most out of my £10!

Turn one sees both forces charging at one-another, a tactic that by now I should probably have realised doesn’t really work! I’m not using my bye, so if I lose this I’ll probably get another one next round, but I’d rather try and win at least ONE game fair and square…

Turn two sees things hotting up quickly. The Academy pilots all make a sharp turn to the right, with one crashing into an asteroid in the process and losing a hull point. Vessery and Rexler move in towards the Academy pilots while Whisper turns towards the fight and Howlrunner falls into position with her own turn over an asteroid which results in a critical hit – Thrust Control Fire. Whisper fires first and knocks three of Vessery’s shields down, while Rexler and Vessery pick off Holwrunner. To cap off the shooting, an Academy pilot brings down Vessery’s last shield and inflicts a critical hit – making Vessery unable to perform actions (oops!)

Turn three sees the Academy Pilots all perform a speed four Koiogran turn, two across the asteroid they had previously crossed and both taking a point of damage (at this point asteroids have done as much damage as my own shooting) and one crashes into Rexler. Rexler and Vessery both perform their own Koiogran turns while Whisper misjudges his decloak and ends up out of arc of Vessery. With only the two Defenders firing, Rexler picked off one of the Academy pilots while Vessery dealt a critical hit to another.

Turn four saw the two remaining Academy Pilots split up, with one moving towards the board edge and the other crashing into an asteroid and exploding. Vessery uses his action to repair his sensors (yay actions!) while Whisper circles to try and get into a better position.

Turn five saw the last Academy Pilot fly off the board, and I’m beginning to suspect my opponent is either exhausted or just fed up of rolling green dice so badly! I think I would be too in his position! Ships are still manoeuvring to get into better position at this rate, so there is no shooting – the same is true for turn six.

Turn seven sees the final showdown. Critically damaged Vessery and mostly unharmed Rexler against an unharmed Whisper. It started with Vessery making a mistake in which I hadn’t set my dial properly and did a speed two bank rather than straight. I figured this was it for my poor Defender, until Whisper performed a hard two turn and put himself out of firing position by a few millimetres. Rexler finished off the iffy movement phase by crashing into Vessery and was deprived his action. Vessery unloads his Cluster Missiles into Whisper, knocking out the shields and one hull point and the game ends as Rexler finishes off my opponent with his lasers.

My first win! 100-0!

I was understandably quite pleased with this result. After some shoddy rolling the game before, I could at least come away saying I’d won a game legitimately AND killed a named Phantom!

Game 6 (Janus) vs 2x TIE Defender (Rexler and Vessery)

A mirror match (almost). The two players on bottom table both had similar lists; mine having Ion Cannons and Cluster Missiles, both of which I was considering wasted points by this point in time, and Janus’ Defenders having Heavy Laser Cannons – something I now consider to be a vastly superior (if not fecking expensive) option.

image6

Turn one saw the two pairs of Defenders moving forwards, mine favouring a more aggressive stance while my opponent plays it a little slower and calmer.

Turn two sees the shooting begin with both “evil” (i.e. Janus’) Defenders locking onto and firing at my Rexler. After my luck last game, my dice desert me and out of six defence dice rolled, I fail all of them and my extremely points-heavy Defender goes up in a ball of smoke in the second turn of the game…

This’ll be quick…

Turn three saw some iffy manoeuvring by both sides, the six hours of play combined with the two-on-one scenario not doing my concentration any favours.

Turn four saw all three Defenders perform Koiogran turns and a smattering of attack dice thrown, seeing both sides’ Vessery (Vesseries?) losing two shields.

Turn five and everyone Koiograns again (yay jousting!), though this time evil Rexler is hanging on Vessery’s backside like a flea on a dog. Vessery tries to fire his Cluster Missiles at Evil Vessery, but manages to miss spectacularly and loses his last two shields in the return volleys.

Turn six and I am well and truly screwed! All ships Koiogran again, and though Evil Rexler misses and Vessery has a chance to at least try and take someone down with him, he rolls badly in both attack and defence and dies rather ashamedly…

0-100 for the third time!

Post-Event Thoughts

The event was the biggest I had ever been to, and also the most fun. The people I played against were all fantastic and every loss I had was a well-deserved win for the victor, even if one or two of them apologised for games they did not believe they should have won. The event was also the worst I had ever placed, as excluding dropouts who naturally do not count in these things, I came stone dead last!

I didn’t even qualify for the fancy art card😦

Still, I learned a lot about playing new people and have decided that Dark Sphere is definitely my go-t0 place for casual X-Wing games in the future. I also learned how not to fly in a tournament, and while there are people out there who will claim that my losses are because I ran a squishy two-ship build, I’d like to remind them that in at least two of those games I might have won had I a) equipped Heavy Laser Cannons instead of Ion Cannons and Missiles and b) been able to roll dice properly. That being said, I hadn’t gone to win I’d gone for fun – even after five defeats (three of them near-humiliating) I still had an excellent day, and really enjoyed running the list!

I will probably be tweaking it and running it again soon enough!

Dark Sphere X-Wing Tournament – Part One

Good evening boys and girls, tonight’s offering is a report of the Dark Sphere Store Championship for X-Wing that I attended this last weekend. The event was attended by close to fifty people, and what follows is my own humble (and mostly disastrous) account of the six swiss-style rounds leading to the final…

My list:
Rexler Brath with Veteran Instincts, Ion Cannon, Cluster Missiles and Shield Upgrade
Colonel Vessery with Decoy, Ion Cannon, Cluster Missiles and Shield Upgrade

I don’t often run Imperials, and I’ve never run Defenders in anything other than their basic Pilot Skill 1 form. This list boasted speed, manoeuvrability and firepower though so I was confident that if I was going down I could at least take SOMETHING with me…

Game 1 (Oliver): Dual YT-list (Chewbacca and Dash Rendar)

image2

Turn one saw the two sides approach each other fairly cautiously, the two larger ships boasting better firepower, hull and shields than the two Defenders but lacking somewhat in speed, manoeuvrability and agility. The 360 degree turrets on both ships (Heavy Laser Cannon of course on Dash!) meant that my agility and manoeuvrability advantage were somewhat nullified – I was going to have to get clever, or get dead!

Turn two saw the opening salvoes of what would become a rather tense game as the four ships closed into firing range. Rexler and Vessery both open fire on Dash, knocking three of five shields from his YT-2400 while return fire strips three of four shields from Rexler’s Defender – hardly a fair trade!

Turn three saw me make something of a mistake as Rexler decided to target Chewie instead of Dash, knocking a paltry one shield from the YT-1300. Dash and Chewie, in revenge, blast all four of Vessery’s shields away from his Defender and leave him not only unable to fire because of fire arc issues, but totally defenceless!

Turn four saw something of a change in fate for the Imperials as Vessery performs a Koiogran turn to get out of range as Chewie and Dash blitz towards my side of the table. Dash doesn’t quite make it far enough, however, as Rexler curves in behind at point blank range and strips his final two shields and causes two points of hull damage.

Turn five saw little in the way of effective shooting, with Vessery not doing anything, Rex hitting Dash for one hull point and Chewie hitting Rex for his last shield and one hull.

Turn six  is where things change in the favour of the Imperials. With no shields and very few hull points standing between the brave Imperials and the cold vacuum of space, the pair converge on the crippled YT-2400 of Dash Rendar and open fire. When the light-show is over, Dash is nothing but free-floating atoms…

Turn seven saw no shooting as ships repositioned themselves to square off against one another. Though the Imperials are winning in points, Chewie has more hull and shields remaining than the two Defenders had combined at the beginning of the game!

Turn eight saw a minor mistake on the part of my opponent in that Chewie crashed into an Asteroid (pretty sure Han would’ve avoided it!) Without actions or shooting, Chewie sat helpess as Vessery streaks in and causes three points of shield damage to the beached YT-1300.

Turn nine saw things go a little wrong for the Imperials… I say a little, when really I mean really, REALLY wrong! Chewie, now free of the Asteroid, turtles (by which I mean performs a focus and an evade action) and so neither Rexlar or Vessery manage to score a hit. On the other hand, some excellent marksmanship and totally abysmal evade rolls saw Chewie blow poor, heroic Vessery out of space…

Turn ten was going to be the final round, we both knew it. Unless my manoeuvring was clever and I somehow avoided Chewie’s guns… No… But all was not lost! I was at range three and there was an Asteroid between us, so I had five evade dice to roll against Chewie’s two hits! Surely I could manage that, or at least some focuses to convert into evades?

Five. Natural. Blanks.

Poor Rexler never knew what hit him…

Thus game 1 ended in a defeat, 52 points to me and 97 to my opponent…

Game 2 (Danny) – Firespray and 2x Interceptors (Kath Scarlet, Soontir Fel and Turr Phennir)

image3

Turn one saw the two sides creeping towards one-another, wary of just what the other is capable of. It’s all a little timid for the Imperial Navy, but what can you do?

Turn two saw some pretty weak opening salvoes. The two sides continue to cautiously approach one-another, with a handful of range three shots being thrown just to test the water. Rexler scrapes two shields from Kath, and loses one shield of his own for the trouble.

Turn three sees the action really heating up! The two sides converge, with Fel and Turr crashing into Kath due to a misjudged manouevre. Rexlar begins the festivities by opening fire on Kath and stripping her of her remaining shields, while the return fire strips Vessery of three shields and Rexlar of two. Vessery manages to land a lucky critical hit on Turr, which could come in handy later during the game!

Turn four sees it all go a little pear-shaped as Vessery, through no fault of his own, is blasted out of space by a Direct Hit! critical damage card, though Rexlar has his vengeance by putting two points of damage on Fel.

Turn five sees Fel fleeing, trying to preserve his last hull point. Kath follows, shielding the smaller ship while Turr performs a Koiogran turn to get a better shot at Rexlar. Enter the previously-mentioned critical hit, as the Koiogran is a red manoeuvre Danny has to roll an attack dice and see what happens. Hit! Boom! Something vital falls off and Turr is down to one hull point. Rexlar tries to finish him off, but nothing happens…

Turn six sees some more careful moving from my opponent, while Rexlar continues his quest for vengeance. It seems he gets a little careless in his endeavour, though, as he is hit for two hull points – one of which damages his sensor array and means he cannot perform any actions until it is repaired.

Turn seven and eight are pretty much endgame. One shieldless Firespray plus two critically damaged Interceptors STILL equal more than one ruined Defender. If I can somehow kill Turr AND Fel and live to the end of the round, I may win…

Nope…

The game ends with me having killed a big fat nothing! Ah well, there’s always next game…right?

Game 3 (Peter) – E-Wing, 2x A-Wing and 2x Z-95 (Etahn A’baht, 2x Prototype Pilot, 2x Bandit Squadron Pilot)

image4

This was a game I was confident I had a chance at winning! Low pilot skill and low hull make fun targets, though the agility on the A-Wings and E-Wing were going to be annoying…

Turn one saw both sides charge at each other, with only Etahn veering away from the merge zone.

Turn two saw the ships merge, Vessery hunting down the Z-95s while Rexlar went after Etahn. Rexlar’s shooting strips two shields from Etahn, while Vessery’s strips both shields and a hull point from his chosen Bandit target. In return, Vessery soaks up ten shots for the loss of only three shields.

Turn three saw the A-Wings turn in a rather odd fashion while the Bandits seem to get confused and crash. Rexlar continues to pursue Etahn, managing to miss him entirely while R2-D2 gives the E-Wing a shield back. Elsewhere, Vessery takes a shot at one of the Prototype Pilots and strips its shields, losing his last shield in return.

Turn four sees it all go a bit weird. Vessery manages to crash into an Asteroid and lose two hull points from a Z-95’s shooting while Rexlar finally gets through Etahn’s shields and sets his control console on fire. One more hit would put the annoying E-Wing out of my misery, but it was not to be…

Turn five saw the end of brave Colonel Vessery, cruelly brought down by one of the A-Wings he had attacked earlier. In revenge, Rexlar abandons his pursuit of the ever-shield-regenerating Etahn (maybe a mistake) and blows the damaged Bandit Squadron pilot from the board.

Turn six saw a little manoeuvring but no effective shooting, while turn seven and eight just see ships flying round in circles unable to fire. The same is true of turn nine and ten as the clock is running down. With ten minutes to go, Rexlar kills the damaged A-Wing.

Turn eleven sees endgame, whether by time limit or Rexlar’s demise. Rexlar goes for the glory of killing the damaged Etahn, but some poor dice see him only strip two shields before two measly attack dice sneak through his three evade and Direct Hit! him out of the game.

Third game, third loss. 30-97…

I’m going to end this entry there, as this has been over 1500 words already and I’m only half way through my day! The next entry may make it online tonight, but if not, check back again tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

Part two here!

2015 – Hobby Renewal and Things!

Happy New Year everyone!

It has been a long time since I last wrote for this blog (coming up on a year now, I expect!) and I think that it is time I got back into regularly updating this thing! My hobby has progressed only marginally since my last post, and hopefully renewing this blog will help me renew my hobby!

My first goal is to complete my Rogue Squadron re-repaint project, for which I only have one X-Wing to go. After that, I have already developed something of a to-do list:

  • Finish Raven Guard Battle Company (2 Tactical and 2 Devastator Squads to go)
  • Finish Raven Guard extra units (as many special units as I want + Fire Raptor, Tempests and Thunderhawk)
  • Do something with Ordo Xenos army plan (D-99 plus Deathwatch, maybe)
  • Finally finish painting Khorne Daemons

I also want to get more gaming in, but finding opponents and venues that fit around my University schedule is something of a pain! I expect I may find myself at Tabletop Nation in Essex a little more often nowadays, what with it being only 45 minutes from University by train for a fairly reasonable cost. Maybe while I’m there something/someone will inspire me to try a few new side projects, we shall see…

Now it’s time for me to try and do some painting, so that my next blog entry actually has some content worth reading about!