The Plucky Resistance!

This past weekend saw the UK South-East X-Wing Regional at Wayland Games in Essex, with almost 100 people in attendance. Lists were due in on Wednesday night so they could be validated and confirmed, which meant the list I chose (for funsies rather than any desire to win games) hadn’t actually been playtested, as I usually play on Thursdays. This would come back and bite me in the behind, and rather hard.

Doors opened at 9.30am with the tournament set to begin an hour later. Due to problems with the railways (aren’t there always?) I left home at 6.30 am to ensure I had plenty of time to complete the journey despite the interference of rail replacement buses and other potential disasters. I arrived at 9.21am (half an hour before my travel apps estimated I would), with plenty of time to get some sugar and caffeine into me before the day ahead.

Note: I apologise for the blurry pictures. The camera on my iPad isn’t what it used to be, and the lighting in the hall wasn’t brilliant.

The List

As I said, I threw together the list for fun. One or two of the cards often make their way into Rebel/Resistance “meta” lists, but the rest of them go together to form what I believe the X-Wing community now calls a “jank” list.

“Red Ace” — T-70 X-Wing: R2-D2, Comm Relay, Autothrusters (Red T-70)
“Blue Ace” — T-70 X-Wing: Flight-Assist Astromech, Primed Thrusters, Autothrusters (Blue T-70)
Jess Pava — T-70 X-Wing: Flight-Assist Astromech, Primed Thrusters, Autothrusters (White T-70)

The idea was that Jess and Blue Ace would make nuisances of themselves with their ability to perform boost and barrel roll actions while stressed, while Red Ace hangs back while tanking damage and regenerates her shields.

It didn’t quite work itself out that way…

Game 1 – Vader, QuickDraw, Nu Squadron Pilot

Woo. Harpoons.

I’d never actually faced Harpoon Missiles before, but I’d read about how disgusting and broken they supposedly were, and looking at this match-up I was slightly (very) concerned.

Turn 1

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The Nu moved forward at speed 3, using its Long-Range Sensors to target lock Blue Ace. All thee T-70s move slowly forwards at a sedate speed 1. Vader charges forwards at speed 4, and Quickdraw decides to hang back with a leisurely speed 1 manouevre.

Turn 2

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The Nu banks in at speed 3 to engage the T-70s. Due to a slippy dial, Jess ends up performing a speed 1 bank which she then boosts to correct, while Blue and Red Aces both move one speed straight forward. Vader also banks in to attack, while Quickdraw banks in to attempt to attack from the flank. At this point I already see my mistake in letting my opponent dictate the engagement, and I hope that I can weather enough fire to get some hits back on something. The opening salvo hurts, a lot. Jess loses all three shields AND two hull points to combined Harpoon fire from Vader and Quickdraw, while the Nu puts the hurt on Blue Ace by stripping his shields and a hull point with its own Harpoons. All I manage to do in return is strip two shields from the Gunboat. My dice are cold this morning!

Turn 3

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The nu pilot saunters forward at speed 1, while my T-70s all slowly move into range 1 and Jess repairs the critical hit she had received last turn (I neglected to write down what it was :/ ). Vader banks into the formation, BARELY fitting in front of Jess, while Quickdraw is not so lucky and crashes into Jess. Jess is gunned down fairly easily at this point, while my return fire strips the final shield and two hull from the pesky Nu.

Turn 4

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Jess is dead and I’ve only managed to hit my opponent five times. I need to start putting the hurt on things, and FAST!

The damaged Nu, realising he’s now in danger, performs a 3-speed turn and then SLAMs out of harm’s way. Blue Ace performs a K-Turn and rolls thanks to Primed Thrusters and Flight-Assist Astromech, while Red Ace simply performs a K-Turn. Vader miscalculates (maybe he’s giddy from killing Jess?) and crashes into an asteroid at the cost of a shield, while Quickdraw sloops. Both Red and Blue Aces fire at the becalmed Vader, as he’s close and token-less, but cold dice strike again and out of eight dice I roll precisely zero hits!

Turn 5

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The Nu continues to flee, while both remaining T-70s perform 1 banks to try and corner Vader, who is extremely limited in his options. Vader performs a K-Turn over the asteroid, stripping his last shield and once again leaving him token-less. Quickdraw is a lot more calm about things, slowly advancing upon Blue Ace, who he promptly blows out of space. Red Ace, enraged by the loss of her comrades, focuses on Vader and manages to land a Direct Hit! critical damage on him. With Vader on such low health, he’s a tempting target…almost dangerously so…

Turn 6

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Come on Red Ace! Do it for the Resistance!

The Nu continues to flee, performing a 3-speed bank and a reload action. Red Ace, rather than turning to get behind the damaged Nu, decides to perform a K-Turn to get a shot on Vader. This is a mistake I would pay for later, as though Vader is crippled he’s faster, more agile, and has greater action efficiency than Red Ace. Vader moves forwards at speed 2, barrel rolling and evading in the hopes of evading Red Ace’s shots. Quickdraw turns in hard and locks Red Ace, stripping one of her shields.

Turn 7

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Things are about to get dicey, I can feel it!

The Nu turns back in and used Long-Range Scanners on Red Ace, who herself moves forward at speed 3 (regenerating a shield thanks to R2-D2). Vader zooms off at speed 5, while Quickdraw sloops again. Cold dice do me no favours, and the Nu strips two shields from Red Ace.

Turn 8

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Well this isn’t going as well as I’d hoped…

At this point, I’ve realised my mistake. Trying to catch Vader is going to be next to impossible, and even if I do I can’t reliably score enough hits on a focus-evade ship with 3 agility at range 3 (that’s four modifiable green dice and an evade token) to force that last damage through. I therefore turn my attention on the Nu, who realises his danger and banks at speed 3 before SLAMing away. Red Ace responds by peforming a Tallon Roll. Vader continues to flee, while Quickdraw advances cautiously at speed 1. What little shooting there is does absolutely nothing to anyone.

Turn 9

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The Nu banks again at speed 3 and SLAMs, hoping to put enough distance between itself and Red Ace to escape her vengeance. Red Ace banks at speed 1 to clear the stress and boosts. Vader stops running and banks around the asteroid, while Quickdraw performs a slightly more urgent bank to slot in behind Red Ace once again.

Turn 10

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The Nu continues to flee, banking at speed 3 and focusing rather than SLAMming. Red Ace turns hard at speed 3 and boosts to get into range and arc, while Vader continues his bank around the Asteroid. Quickdraw continues to stalk Red Ace, dropping her shields back down to zero. Vader fires. Two hits and a Critical at Range 3, and I have no evade tokens. Two natural evades! I draw a faceup card, Critical Hit! Following the facedown card Red Ace had received following a Harpoon detonation, it’s game over for the plucky girl!

Result: 100-0 loss.

Thoughts: I made mistakes in this game, namely I let my opponent decide the terms of the engagement and I pursued Vader when I should have eliminated the Nu. Then I MIGHT have been able to take Quickdraw and Vader had I played daringly enough (though I doubt it). The game was an awful lot of fun, though, and my even my opponent admitted that trying to guess where one ship was going while organising THREE ships to try and defeat it required a lot more thought than he’d originally imagined.

Game 2, 3 and 4

These games were…not fun. A combination of Bombs, Harpoons, Tractor Beams and cold dice basically meant I was an observer to my own games. The notes I took would not make for a decent battle report even as a “this is how not to face list…” At the end of game 4, having had a nearly 3-hour journey in and faced with the prospect of a similar return journey, I was seriously considering dropping out and going home. Ultimately I decided not to, as although I hadn’t enjoyed the games as much as I perhaps might’ve, the people I played were lovely and I should really have expected something like that from a Regional Tournament.

Game 5 – Quickdraw, Backdraft, Countess Ryad

This was a near-mirror of the list I’d faced in Game 4, so though the previous list had battered me 100-0, I thought I’d give it a good go and if I could actually KILL a ship all day (I was still sitting on a kill count of 0 at this point), my day would be successful.

Turn 1

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All three T-70s Tallon Roll to reverse direction, while Ryad and Backdraft do a 3-speed bank towards each other. Quickdraw is a little more cautious, instead doing a speed 2 turn.

Turn 2

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Jess and Blue Ace both move forward at speed 3, using their Flight-Assist Astromechs to Barrel Roll then Boost. Ryad performs a rarely-seen 3-turn and uses Intensity to gain a focus token. Red Ace follows her comrades, boosting to catch up, while Quickdraw and Backdraft both perform 3-speed banks to reposition themselves for an attack run.

Turn 3

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Jess performs a 2-speed turn, while Blue Ace moves 1 forward. Both focus to better withstand the incoming fire they know is coming. Ryad turns AWAY from the engagement, not wanting to face down massed X-Wing firepower. Red Ace turns to follow her comrades and boosts to catch up once again. Backdraft makes a speed-2 turn and rolls, while Quickdraw manages to narrowly avoid collision with a 3-speed bank. The shooting is relatively light, with Jess losing a shield, while bringing down two of Backdraft’s shields with her return volley.

Turn 4

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Jess moves forward at speed 1, while Blue Ace banks at the same speed. Ryad does what she does best, a speed-3 K-Turn to attack the flanks of the T-70 formation. Red Ace bumps Blue Ace, denying her an action. Backdraft, not wanting to be in the line of fire, performs a 3-forward manoeuvre and rolls, while Quickdraw banks in to engage. The shooting this round is a little more effective, with Jess losing her remaining shields. In return, the plucky T-70s strip Backdraft’s last shield and land two points of hull damage of their own.

Turn 5

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Jess performs a K-Turn and boosts back into close range of her target, while Blue Ace Tallon Rolls and similarly boosts. Ryad zooms forward at speed 5 to re-engage, and Red Ace shuffles forward slowly. Backdraft, conscious of having no shields, banks at speed 1 and focuses, while Quickdraw sloops to get into better position.

This is where things get a little bloody…

Quickdraw lands two hits on Jess, who is finished off by a horrific three further hits by Backdraft (cold green dice again!) In response, Red Ace kills Backdraft while Blue Ace strips two shields from Quickdraw, whose ability triggers and strips two shields from our favourite rebel in red.

Turn 6

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I neglected to write down what Blue Ace did from this position, but Ryad performed a speed-2 K-Turn and used Intensity to assign an evade token. Red Ace performed a K-Turn of her own, while Quickdraw performed a 1-speed bank. Weapons fire from the T-70s brings down Quickdraw’s last shield and lands a Critical Hit! card on the TIE, whose ability dealt one critical damage to Red Ace – Major Explosion. The following card was a Direct Hit! of my own, and Red Ace was scattered across the cosmos, leaving Blue Ace to fight alone…

Turn 7 & 8

The photos for these turns are pretty awful, but the three ships enter a two-turn furball with nobody able to get a reliable shot on the other.

Turn 9

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Blue Ace moves forward at speed-1, while Ryad does a speed-4 K-Turn and rolls to get a better arc. Quickdraw banks around the asteroid but doesn’t get far enough to avoid the vengeance of Blue Ace.

Turns 10-21

This is where things got both hilarious and silly at the same time. For the next ten turns, yes TEN, Blue Ace and Ryad failed to land shots on one another. For half of the turns, they didn’t even have arc on one another! For a few turns I considered fleeing, to save points and dictate the terms of the engagement, but a shieldless Blue Ace versus an untouched x7 Ryad was only really going to end one way… In the spirit of the game opposed to the spirit of saving points, on turn 21 (two minutes before the final buzzer), Blue Ace turned to re-engage Ryad. Blue Ace failed to score any damage, while Ryad quite handily blew Blue Ace out of space.

Result: 100-60-odd loss.

Thoughts: Should I have kept on running to preserve points and give my opponent a modified win rather than a full win? Maybe. Is that what X-Wing is about, even at competitive level? Not to my mind. Again, I made mistakes early on – I let my opponent dictate the engagement and getting caught in Quickdraw’s arc when shields were stripped cost me dearly. That said, again this game was a lot of fun, and shows what a lone ship can do if the pilot (and player) refuses to give up!

Game 6 – Captain Kagi, The Inquisitor, Major Vynder

No Harpoons. No Bombs. This was going to be an interesting matchup. Like me, my opponent was on 0 wins going into this game, but unlike me he had killed 0 ships all day (though I’d only killed my first in Game 5).

This was the competition for the wooden spoon. The only competition that matters!

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All T-70s Tallon Roll, though Red Ace manages to bump due to a mis-timed boost from one of her comrades. Vynder races into the action with a speed-3 forward and SLAM, using Advanced SLAM to lock onto Blue Ace. The Inquisitor moves forward at speed 3, and boosts, likewise Kagi also moves forward at speed 3. This is an aggressive first turn!

Turn 2

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Jess and Blue Ace move forward at speed 3, using their Flight-Assist Astromechs to roll and boost. Red Ace leaves them to it, moving forward at speed 1. Vynder makes a turn at speed 2 and SLAMs once again, while The Inquisitor zooms forward at speed 5. Kagi is a little more sedate, banking at speed 2. Vynder unloads his Cluster Missiles at Red Ace, missing completely (dice so cold it makes Hoth look like a tropical resort) and due to Saturation Salvo, Vynder strips two of his own shields.

Turn 3

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Jess makes a 3-speed bank and rolls, while Blue Ace makes a 2-speed turn and focuses. Red Ace banks away from Vynder at speed 1. Vynder moves forward at speed 2 and SLAMs while reloading thanks to Advanced SLAM, while The Inquisitor does a 3-speed bank and boosts. Kagi remains sedate, and continues to cruise along at speed-2.

Turn 4

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Jess moves forward at speed-4 and boosts while Blue Ace performs a 3-speed bank and similarly boosts. Red Ace is a little more cautious, banking at speed-1 and boosting around the debris. Vynder continues zooming round the board like a crazy person, banking at speed-3 and SLAMming. The Inquisitor banks at speed-3 before boosting while Kagi continues his speed-2 journey with a bank. Once again, Vynder unloads Cluster Missiles upon Red Ace. Once again, Red Ace survives unscathed, though Blue Ace loses two shields and Vynder takes two points of hull damage.

Turn 5

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Jess and Red Ace perform K-Turns, which is nearly disastrous for Red Ace as she bumps. Blue Ace performs a Tallon Roll and boosts to get a better firing position. Vynder calms down a little, slowing to a 2-speed bank with focus action. Kagi makes a (surprise surprise) 2-speed turn, while The Inquisitor zooms up at speed-5 to target lock Jess. Jess loses her shields to combined fire, but her return fire combined with that of Blue Ace is enough to remove Vynder from play.

Turn 6

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Jess crashes into an asteroid, while Blue Ace bumps Red Ace. Red Ace performs a 3-forward manoeuvre to clear her stress, which is putting her dangerously close to the board edge. The Inquisitor does a 1-speed bank and focus/evades, while Kagi makes a 1-speed bank. The Inquisitor’s salvo strips two shields from Red Ace, and he remains undamaged.

Turn 7

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Jess and Blue Ace both Tallon Roll while Red Ace performs a 2-speed turn and boosts away from the edge of the board. I’d originally intended to Tallon Roll her as well, and I think she’d have made it, but it wasn’t worth the risk. Kagi floats forwards at speed-2, while The Inquisitor banks in at speed 1 again. Blue Ace is stripped of a shield, while Red Ace is stripped of her final shield and a hull point.

Things are starting to look a little precarious!

Turn 8

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All T-70s move forward at speed 1. Kagi makes a speed-2 turn, and The Inquisitor makes a speed-1 turn which he follows up with a boost and roll. In a stunning display of cold green dice, Jess manages to strip two shields and one hull point from The Inquisitor, evening the odds a little.

Turn 9

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Jess makes a speed-1 bank and bumps into Blue Ace, who performs a speed-3 turn and boosts. Red Ace makes a sedate 1-bank to regenerate another shield. Kagi banks at speed-1 and bumps into The Inquisitor who has just made a speed-1 turn and turtled.

Things get messy from here on…

The Inquisitor fires first, killing Jess. Even with a focus/evade combo, he in turn is killed by Red Ace. With nothing else to shoot at, Blue Ace focuses his ire on Captain Kagi and strips the shuttle of three shields.

Turn 10

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Blue Ace banks in towards Kagi, as does Red Ace, who hits an asteroid. Kagi stops and attempts to tractor beam Red Ace. He fails. Blue Ace hit Kagi three times, stripping his final shields and dealing a Major Hull Breach critical damage card.

Turn 11

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Both T-70 pilots perform K-Turns to get the kill shot on Kagi, who moves forward at speed-2 and repairs the Hull Breach. Combined T-70 shooting brings Kagi’s hull down by a further three points, leaving him with only one remaining.

Turn 12

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Unless something really weird happened here, this was endgame and everyone knew it. Blue Ace banked at speed-1 while Red Ace moved forwards at speed-2. Kagi made a speed-2 turn to try and dodge out of firing arcs, but was unsuccessful and blown out of space by Red Ace.

Result: Win 100-29

Thoughts: I won! Woo! Seriously though, this game could have gone so much differently if my opponent’s dice hadn’t hated him so much. For Vynder to lose his own shields was kinda funny, but I also felt really bad for the chap as he’d had absolutely awful dice all day (with which I could sympathise) and until Turn 9 of this game, hadn’t killed a single enemy model. That said, I think this game was when I started to finally get it right: I dictated the engagement, I concentrated my fire, and emerged victorious.

Final Thoughts

I had a lot of fun in these three games! Games 2-4 not so much, mostly because of the way things like Bombs and Tractor Beams basically remove your input from the game entirely, but that’s the state of the meta and I need to get used to it, I guess! To my opponents in games 2, 3 and 4: if you’re reading this I apologise for any saltiness you may have experienced during our games! It wasn’t you, it was me!

That said, Games 1 and 5 were two of my all-time favourite games of X-Wing ever, as having one ship flying around the board causing havoc is just funny for everyone involved!

The list was not optimised, definitely not “meta”, I’d had all of two practice games, and I think my attitude going into the tournament was less than confident. This coupled with mistakes I made due to unfamiliarity with the list and fatigue from the journey meant I performed worse than I could have done. Will I fly the list again? Definitely! Would I fly it again in a competitive scenario? Unlikely.

However, I do believe the triple T-70 list is viable if built properly and played by the right person. I may experiment further and see what I can come up with!

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Back in the Cockpit – Part 1

So, after my last post, I thought “sod it, I want to play some X-Wing!” so I signed myself up for the South-East Regional at Wayland Games in Essex. Then I realised that, having not played for nearly two years, it’d probably be an idea to get some practice games in! So two weeks ago I messaged trusty fellow pilot Pete (who I have beaten all of once, ever) as I knew he’d give me a decent game and provoke minimum levels of saltiness should everything go horribly wrong, and we both moseyed up to Dark Sphere in London for a game.

The Lists

I brought Wes Jason, Poe Dameron and Jake Farrell, as they’re pilots I’ve got experience playing and I figured I might as well bring something I vaguely remembered how to use!

Pete brought 5x Alpha Squadron TIE Interceptors with Authothrusters, which would prove annoyingly difficult to kill.

The Game

Turn 1

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The first turn was fairly docile. The Alphas all bumped into one-another in order to allow me to close the range before Pete started moving, while my entire force moved forwards at speed 3.

Turn 2

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The Interceptors, now knowing where I am, begin to make their turns into attack formation. Jake surges forward while Poe and Wes make more conservative moves into attack position, while the only shots on target (Poe vs the nearest Interceptor) prove ineffective.

Turn 3

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The Alphas all bank in towards the Asteroids my squad is hiding in. Jake banks right in towards the Interceptors while Poe and Wes both perform slower bank to get better angles on their targets. The initial volley from Wes and Poe destroys an Alpha, but the savage return fire followed by some piss-poor dice on my part sees Poe hammered down to one hull point remaining.

Ouch.

Turn 4

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The Alphas all K-Turn or make turns to block the avenues of movement for X-Wings, and I begin to realise/remember the issues inherent in ace lists vs low-PS swarms (memories of using eight Z-95s as a roadblock, for example). Poe and Wes both crash into other ships, while Jake swings around behind the group and knocks two hull from an Interceptor. Once again, Poe is focused down and rolls terribly, suffering four damage and being blown apart.

Turn 5

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One of the Alphas bumps Wes in an attempt to block him, while the damaged Alpha limps forward. The other two perform 3-speed K-Turns to  get back into arc. Jake and Wes both move too slowly for their own good and bump into Interceptors, and Jake finds both of his shields hammered down to nothing.

Turn 6

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One Alpha K-Turns while the remaining three all perform turns and banks to get themselves into blocking positions. Jake makes a hard turn and rolls, while Wes banks. Neither has a shot on the damaged Interceptor, but both manage to put damage on the two undamaged Interceptors at a cost of Wes’ shields and one hull point.

Turn 7

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The Interceptors block Wes, who bumps into them and is brutally gunned down while Jake swings around to attack from the flanks again.

Turn 8

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Two Alphas K-Turn to get arc on Jake, while the third turns and boosts. Jake turns, boosts and locks the damaged Interceptor and blows it away with three critical hits. (The boost to get into arc was a gamble and it probably would’ve made more sense to evade, but we both agreed it would’ve likely been the end of Jake if he’d survived.)

Turn 9

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Jake is stressed from Push the Limit and therefore predictable at this point. The two Interceptors predict correctly, Jake bumps, and is gunned down by the rearmost Interceptor.

Endgame

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Loss 60-100

Final thoughts:

I made mistakes, I freely admit that. Bringing a synergistic Aces list on my first game back probably wasn’t the best choice, but it got me thinking a lot more tactically a lot earlier than if I’d brought something silly. The dice hurt me at times, but that was mainly down to me not efficiently/effectively using the list more than fate conspiring against you – I’ve said it before, it doesn’t matter what game you’re playing, you have to stack the odds in your favour using strategy and unique abilities so that you’re less reliant on dice rolls if you want to succeed.

The list still has legs, just not quite so much as it did in 2016. Though I lost, this was a very good game and proved to me that I can still enjoy playing X-Wing! I’ll be posting another Battle Report from last Thursday later this week, in which I break out the old favourite (Double Defenders) and take it against a “Meta” list, with hilarious consequences!

Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

It’s been…four? months since I last updated this blog? Having finished painting my army, I’d gone into the Throne of Skulls weekend feeling quite happy with myself and the state of my hobby; I was stoked for five games under the new edition, and thought the weekend would be a joyous experience and a refreshing change from my previous ventures to Warhammer World for competitive play.

I was wrong.

I had fun, don’t get me wrong, and I did manage to win a game (against Imperial Knights of all things!), but I came back with a sour taste in my mouth and no desire to upload any of the Battle Reports from the weekend. I also haven’t touched my 40k army since. I’ve played four games of Age of Sigmar since starting my all-female Wanderers project (which I’ve only really posted about on Instagram), but that too has gotten old. As for X-Wing, I’ve not played that for about eighteen months since the last tournament I played at Warboar in Bromley when I found myself on top table against one of the best players in the world (who is a great guy and phenomenal player) and the players around me all told me (as a matter of fact) that I had no chance of winning (I promptly lost).

Now, there are lots of reasons why players quit games. I like to tell myself that my reasons are due to my busy schedule what with being a Masters student and a Graduate Assistant at my old university, which prevent me from visiting my formerly-regular club on Tuesday evenings. This is perhaps 50-75% true. My main concerns with wargaming revolve around two things: updates and the community.

Now when you hear “the community” online and it relates to why a player stops playing, it’s usually because the player has had some kind of falling out with the local/online community. This is not the case at all; I like to consider myself friendly to members of the local gaming communities, if not outright friends. The issue is that after a while, playing the same opponent with the same models gets old. This may not be a problem if you don’t work nights or have guaranteed free time, but throw a more restricted schedule into the mix due to studies and work, and suddenly the opportunity to meet new players evaporates. Sad times.

The other issue, I may even argue the main issue, is updates. Games must be updated every now and then to create new opportunities for play, keep the game interesting and up-to-date (see above comment about getting old), and make the company money. I do not dispute that, games need updates in order to survive. What bugs me is how updates tend to be handled: in Age of Sigmar or 40k, new armies are usually more powerful than previous ones to the point where an army may become obsolete/non-competitive within a year of release; with X-Wing it becomes a hole different ballgame, rather than making ships obsolete (though some would argue this does happen), X-Wing has become an arms race where to remain competitive you are virtually required to buy every expansion in every wave to have the upgrade cards that make older ships viable. Of course, the issue here is what happens when they inevitably sell out? Well you’re basically stuffed, unless you want to buy individual upgrades/pilot cards from third party retailers for an inflated price.

Overall, these two factors have contributed to a general hobby malaise that has lasted for an awfully long time. I now see two options here: quit, or try and rekindle my hobby love. But how?

I still quite enjoy painting, and I have a fairly significant backlog: I started redoing my Rogue Squadron X-Wings a while back to generally improve the way they looked, but never finished them, and I still need to finish both my Wanderers and Raven Guard. That’s step one to reclaiming my hobby enjoyment. As for playing, well, I think I just have to seize any opportunities to play that I get! I’m attending the UK South-East Regional at Wayland Games in two weeks, and hopefully won’t suck too hard given my general lack of practice and being at least three waves out of date!

Note to self: clean off desk and start painting X-Wings!

That’s all for now. Thank you to whoever stuck with this until the end! All being well, some kind of regular blog service will now resume.

Throne of Skulls 2017 – An Inauspicious Start

So, 40k 8th Edition is in full swing and the first big tournament of the new edition is on the horizon. Well, it’s actually tomorrow…

The event is a Throne of Skulls, at Warhammer World in Nottingham: five games using the Maelstrom of War-style missions and built to a 100 Power Level limit. Armies are not fixed and may be changed between games. Nice and simple, right?

I decided to attend this event later than perhaps I should, and due to issues arising in my personal life, I was nowhere near as prepared as I should have been. Yesterday, two days before the event, I had only just settled on my Army list… I confess I almost pulled out several times; I couldn’t make a list I liked, the use of Power Level over actual points worried me, amongst other reasons, but I stuck it out and after a nightmare journey up from London, here I am; 9.30pm on the Friday night in my hotel room getting my thoughts onto paper.

…and doing some last minute finishing touches to get these last few models into a gameable, if not ‘finished’ condition…


They’d be more finished if I hadn’t forgotten my Averland Sunset or Mephiston Red to do the shoulder rims on two men and the eyes on all of them, but oh well… It’ll do!

I’m not confident I’ll do well this weekend, but my list looks and feels reasonably fun and balanced:

  • Shrike
  • Captain with Relic Blade
  • Lieutenant
  • 2x Tactical Squad with Combi-Melta, Meltagun, Rocket Launcher
  • 2x Tactical Squad with Combi-Plasma, Plasma Gun, Rocket Launcher
  • 2x Assault Squad with 2x Plasma Pistols
  • Vanguard Vets with Lightning Claws
  • 2x Devastator Squads with Combi-Plasma and 4x Lascannons

78 models, 99 Power Level. It’ll take some clever play to beat purpose-built shooty or assaulty armies, but it is certainly possible. Ultimately I’m here to play five games against new people, the result doesn’t matter as much as the enjoyment of the game.

It’s now 9.45pm, so I’m going to end this entry there. All being well, I’ll get at least a highlight reel of tomorrow’s games up tomorrow evening and Sunday’s games on Sunday. If all goes absolutely perfectly, I may even get the actual battle reports up!

New 40k Edition, New Look Blog (Part 2)

Good afternoon! Today we see the second part of my Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition first glance!

We will start off with something I neglected to include last time because I wasn’t 100% on how it worked:

Psychic Phase

In recent editions of 40k, the Psychic Phase was a bit convoluted and, in my opinion, not really worth the hassle. Now everything is a lot simpler: choose a power, roll 2d6 and beat the power level. Double 1 or double 6 is a Perils of the Warp (inflicting a Mortal Wound), and if your Psyker dies the power fails and everything within 6″ takes damage. So much easier!

Charge Phase

The charge phase isn’t all that different; you pick a target to charge with, your opponent overwatches, and with a 2d6 roll you determine whether your unit has successfully charged or not. Unlike older editions, models now have to get within 1″ of enemy models to consider the charge successful, which means some of those iffier distances are more likely to be successful!

Also a part of the charge phase, the new(ish) “Heroic Intervention” rule means that Character models within 3″ of a combat may pile in to it at the beginning of the phase.

Combat Phase

The combat phase sees a few changes, notably the order in which units fight; all charging units fight first, then players alternate picking units to fight with (player whose turn it is picking first). This means that players have to be tactical in picking which units to fight and when, lest they make a bad decision and lose a strategically-placed unit before it gets to strike.

Models with more than one close combat weapon now have the opportunity to divide their attacks rather than having to choose one weapon with which to attack.

Morale Phase

The final phase of the turn is the Morale Phase, where players roll a dice and add the total of models slain in a unit that turn. If the number exceeds the Leadership value, the test fails and a number of models equal to the score the test was failed by are removed from play; exactly like in Age of Sigmar.
So, that’s the basics of 40k 8th Edition! I think we are in for a much easier time, playing a much simpler game, which seems to have shed the fattening rules of previous editions. Love it or hate it, we are in for something special!

The next post will cover the different options for playing games and the methods of army building that go with them. 

Until next time, keep the hobby positivity flowing!

New 40k Edition, New Look Blog (Part 1)

Good morning everyone!

Two months ago, I promised that this blog would be returning from the dead like a phoenix from the ashes. It turns out, however, that this particular phoenix wanted a lie in and continually mashed “snooze” on his alarm, for which I apologise!

Today I wanted to go through a brief overview of the new edition of Warhammer 40,000; the long-awaited and much-debated 8th Edition. Since it isn’t out yet and I haven’t gotten as good a look at the rulebook as would be required for a decent review (which will be coming soon), I’m just going to cover the basics:

Moving: Nothing much has changed here, except models all now have movement values; Humans are slower than Eldar, Bikes are faster than Infantry, etc. Running has been replaced by “Advancing”, which seems to act in much the same way.

Shooting: Models may not fire at enemy units within 1″, but different models in a unit may fire at different units. Models can now fire multiple weapons per turn; this includes both barrels of combi-weapons, which are no longer one-shot only. Heavy Weapons can be fired on the move with a -1 To Hit penalty. Assault Weapons can be fired after Advancing with the same penalty. Pistols cannot be used in conjunction with other weapons (except other pistols) but can be used to fire at targets 1″ away. Gone are the days of the flamer and blast templates; the weapons now roll a set or randomly-determined amount of dice.

This brings me to the To Hit and To Wound rolls: rather than set Weapon or Ballistic skills, models hit specifically on a set dice roll which can be modified by things like cover or moving with a heavy weapon (both incurring a -1 To Hit penalty). To Wound is still based off Strength vs Toughness, but the rolls required have changed: equal Strength and Toughness still require a 4+, higher Strength than Toughness requires a 3+ and lower Strength than Toughness requires a 5+. Only when the Strength is DOUBLE the target’s Toughness do you require a 2+ To Wound, or when HALF the target’s Toughness do you require a 6+. I don’t think needing a 6+ isn’t going to be particularly common, unless you are dealing with vehicles, which I will address later.

That’s it for this initial look at 8th Edition 40k. Tomorrow I will cover the Psychic, Combat and Morale phases, as well as some of the changes made to how units function: namely AP modifiers and the different types of Vehicles.

Thanks for reading!

My (slightly less than) Glorious Return!

I have neglected this blog and its readers over recent months/years, and I feel you all deserve an explanation. This blog started out as a way to document my thoughts and feelings as life progressed, but life got in the way as it often does and left me with little time to indulge in hobbies or other extra-curricular activities such as writing.
So what I’m going to do is give you a brief update on where I am currently and what is happening next, and hopefully a more normal service will commence soon (I’m hoping for one post a week, maybe every two weeks minimum).
I started a degree in Education Studies at the University of East London in 2014, I graduated with a First Class Honours in 2016. Between September 2016 and March 2017 I assisted at that university as a Gradiate Teaching Assistant, and I am due to start a Masters degree at King’s College London in September of this year. I also worked in retail where and when I could find the hours, so as you can imagine I was fairly busy!
Hopefully my academic timetable come September will allow me to continue to post, but expect regular updates over the course of Spring and Summer!