Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stay On Target: X-wing Miniatures Review

Fantasy Flight released their new Start Wars star-fighter combat game a couple of weeks back.  As someone who's been pretty disappointed with anything Star Wars for the last decade, it's nice when something of quality gets released with that name attached.  I guess when you stamp Star Wars on enough products the law of averages would mean at least one of them would be good right?

I've always been drawn to the star-fighters and space battles in Star Wars over the woo-woo Jedi stuff.  I like mystical laser sword wielding samurai as much as the next guy, but as far as I'm concerned the closer the story is to X-Wings, Wedge Antillies, and Han Solo the better. Well ,X-Wing Miniatures has all of those.  Yes, yes and Luke and Vader if you're into that sort of thing.  Personally I can't wait until I can get Baron Fel in his TIE\In.  Is it late Q4 yet?

So the game is fighter scale very similar to games like Wings of War.  From what I understand, it's a bit simpler.   Each player has about 3-6 fighters on a 3'x3' board.  Movement is simultaneously planed using maneuver dials, and movement is executed using templates.  Each ship will get to move, perform a utility action, and make an attack during a turn.  These actions are executed in order of pilot skill.  Lower skilled pilots move first, and higher skilled pilots attack first.

Attack and defense rolls are made using custom d8's.  The game is also heavy on the fiddly bits.  Templates for moving, dials for maneuvers, damage cards, upgrade cards, ship cards, focus counters, evasion counters. They are all very high quality components(the game is published by Fantasy Flight), but I think they could have improved the game design so that so many weren't necessary.  It may have helped cut down on the game cost a little.

The miniatures themselves are [9th Doctor Voice]FANTASTIC[/9th Doctor Voice].  Way better than the old micro-machines and the sculpts used in the WotC startship battles game from a few years ago.  They went back to the old studio models from the original trilogy to get the proportions right.  They are painted exceptionally well for pre-paints, and the materiel is a rigid plastic instead of the bendy stuff used for other pre-painted lines.

Cost is a little high.  The starter comes with three ships(X-Wing and two TIEs) and the necessary aforementioned fiddly bits and costs $40.  Each single ship blister cost another $15.  The ships themselves do come with extra counters and upgrade cards beyond the base set.  And each ship also has multiple stat cards so you can field an X-Wing with a generic pilot or a named pilot like Luke, Biggs, or Wedge.  You'll have to buy at least 2 ships for each side to get the standard 100 point wings.

Currently there are only 4 ships in the game: X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE, and TIE\Adv. Each with 5-6 pilot options.  A second wave is on deck for later this year.  It will include the A-Wing, TIE/In, Slave I, and Millenium Falcon.  Whats cool about Slave I and the Falcon is that they are in scale with the fighters.  This means the Falcon will be slightly larger than an iPhone.

It's a fun game that uses its license very well.  You won't be able to play a game without quoting lines from the Death Star attack a least a dozen times. I have you now!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So, if I played my Ultramarine Honor Guard counts as Grey Knights as an Allied Detachment for my Necrosn, would the universe explode?

I'm really like playing games with my new Necrons.  I've been doing fairly well with them, and I don't feel like I'm being punished as much for my codex choice.

My list has generally been something like this:
2x Scythe Overlords in Command Barges
2x 5 man warrior units with cryptek in Ghost Arks
2x 5 man warrior units with cryptek in Night Scythes
1x 15 man warrior unit with res-orb Lord
2x 4 base scarab units
2x Annihilation Barges
1x Doom Scythe

I would like to work some Wraiths into the list, but I'm holding back on spending any more gaming money for a while(Went kind of deep into the Relic Knights Kickstarter).  Until then I'd like to add a little more kick to the list.  I want access to offensive psychic powers too.  Grey Knights are the obvious choice, but my grey knights are modeled as Ultramarines Honor Guard.  That ought to give the occasional fluff bunny a fit.

I wish the state of the game was not such that you need to ally GK or SW or Guard to be competitive.  But we seem to be transitioning towards Death Star 40K.  So you need to able to field your own Death Star, or be able to deal with one; preferably both.  You can't always do that with one codex, and if you are going to ally, you need to ally the best.

Hopefully the current Death Star trend will implode on itself.  I'm hoping that it's partially due to Nova not quite getting the competitive format right for 6th.  Nova table quarters doubled down on punishing vehicles for being non-denial.  The competitive format needs to either make more use of making heavies and fast attack scoring(maybe even elites too), or allowing vehicles to act as denial in your own deployment zone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm usually the first to defend GW, but REALLY?

Seriously, Really?  11.99 for the psychic power deck on my IPhone?  Well I guess it is $1.26 cheaper than the real deck.  Do they know what the price point is on IPhone apps these days?  That $1.26 is a lot closer to it.

I could tolerate the the full price for the digital codexs.  They did update them for 6th, so they are an added value if you didn't already own one.  I bought the Necron on, and all the hyper-linking to special rules is very nice.

At least their app is functional.  Did Privateer ever fix their unusable train-wreck of an army builder that isn't an army builder app?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dust Warfare Tournament OCT-6-2012

What: 200 AP Dust Warfare tournament
When: Saturday, 6th October, 2012
starts at 9:30, round 1 starts at 10:30
Where: 1551 East Stop 12 Road, Suite F (two doors down from The Game Preserve)
Indianapolis, IN 46227
About 1/2 mile north of the Greenwood Park Mall on US 31
Cost: $10

The Indy 40K guys are putting it on.  More info here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mainstream News Love for 40K

Slate has an article about armed service members who enjoy playing 40K  Pretty fluffy piece, but overall positive about playing with plastic dollies.  There's a few quotes from Mike Brandt and a shout out about Nova.

Friday, September 7, 2012

40K FAQ updates

Updated FAQ's everyone!

Solves so much jankyness.  90% of the issues I've heard people complain about have been covered.

  • No more loop-hole allowing units to assault if their transport was exploded instead of wrecked. 
  • Grounded knocks you back to gliding. 
  • Flying MC can choose to skyfire like Flyers. 
  • What can shoot at fliers is better explained.  
  • Paladins and Nobs squads are not all characters anymore.  
  • Feel no pain upgrades to alternate wound allocation, so no more wondering if you even get a FNP roll in certain situations.
  • Tau get their Target Locks back.  
  • Disruption Pods give Shrouded! Yes SHROUDED!  Flat out Piranhas can get 2+ cover!  Hammerheads with 3+!
  • Drones do not get to count as characters and cannot make look-out-sir rolls.
  • No Fateweaver re-rolls for non Codex: Demons models.
  • Sandwyrm doesn't get to complain about Blood Angel Swords Encarmines(Their either a power sword or ax depending on the model) anymore ;)  
  • And it looks like look-out-sir goes to closest model to the character now.
It's good stuff.  You should read.