Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Games part 1 - X-Wing

I think we're close enough to count this as a Christmas game for 2017 don't you?

Gus and Arthur came over on Saturday to join Charlie and me in a game of X-Wing.  I planned a scenario to take advantage of the models I own.  The Empire was launching a strike on a rebel base.  To complete the mission they had to get a strike package off the far end of our nearly six foot long table.

The strike package consisted of two TIE Bombers with a Lambda class shuttle as electronic warfare support.  Escort for the bombers was in the form of four TIE fighters from the Black Squadron under the command of Gus.  I ran the bombers as it was easier than explaining the bombing rules to someone else at the start.

I kept the TIE Fighters pretty vanilla so Gus could concentrate on flying them in what was only his second game.  The TIE Bombers were loaded down with exciting ordnance including concussion and fusion bombs, which I was keen to try for the first time.

Of course the strike mission had to get through an asteroid field to get to the mission location.  The Rebel forces could come on from any of the other three edges of the table.  Charlie picked three Z-95 Headhunters while Arthur had Luke Skywalker and his rookie wing-man.  Again, for ease of play I avoided too much in the way of enhancements to these ships, though some of the pilots had spiffy abilities.

The Rebel leaders chose to both come on from the same edge...

The Rebels seemed to be a bit hypnotised by the bulk of the Lambda class and concentrated their attacks on it. This left the faster TIE Bombers free to make a dash for the bombing line.

Luke's wing-man seemed not to have paid too much attention to the "wing-man" part of his brief and proceeded to get well stuck in going after the Lambda class.  This left Luke to deal with two TIE Fighters.

In the picture above the TIE Bombers are at the half way mark and there's no-one handily placed to stop them so I decided that Han Solo and Chewbacca should intervene.  The Millennium Falcon entered from the edge nearest the Empire's objective.

Just as the shuttle had attracted fire from the Rebels, so the Millennium Falcon was a bullet magnet (plasma magnet?) for the Empire forces.  Gus developed a tactic of throwing TIE Fighters into the path of the Falcon to keep it from firing while I shot at it with missiles and dropped bombs in its path!

In the pic below the Falcon has already met an explosive end!  Also Rookie Pilot (who seemed to be something of a bomb magnet) has joined Han and Chewie in being spread thinly across the Galaxy Far, Far Away.  Quite frankly I detected but a minor disturbance in the Force.

As you may notice, there are two Z-95s and an X-Wing (Luke) on the shuttle's tail.  Just moments after this was taken the shuttle also broke up in a flaming ball of expensive special effects.

However, next move the Bombers were off the table to give the Empire a marginal victory.

On the whole, I'm not entirely unhappy with the scenario balance.  I wasn't sure how many players I was going to get so I broke the available models into roughly similarly pointed packages.  We ended up using five out of the eight.

I have to admit that the Bombers did get rather more points as they were supposed to be the number one target for the Rebel side.  If the Rebels had started from both sides of the table they would have had more chance of slowing down the TIE Bombers.

An enjoyable game and we finished in time to get in a couple of games of Tsuro afterwards.  My thanks to the players; we must do this again some time!

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