CR-90 Vs C-ROC

So I recently bought a Tantive-IV expansion pack, mainly because I was able to get it at a good price and I though the model would look cool on my shelf (where most people’s epic ships sit.) I’ve had a couple of goes with the Tantive IV before and wasn’t impressed. You have to line up the broadside and keep it pointed at the enemy, whilst also keeping it at the right range to line up all four shots to get the most out of it, especially as it can easily push close to half your squad list, and your dice modification is more limited than with small and large ships. The Rebel Transport supporting a number of buffing aces seemed like a better use of points to me. However, I bought it, and I wanted to fly it. So it seemed like a good opportunity to test it vs the new Scum Epic ship, the C-ROC Cruiser. James and I went to York Garrison, and we decided to go with the standard 300 points for a more accurate gauge of the two ships.

I built my list around Roarak Garnet, expecting some heavy hitters including powerful ordnance volleys. I decided the best way to deal with this was to shoot first. Roarak makes a ship pilot 12 skill during the combat phase, so I figured he could make the Tantive pilot skill 12 and fire off all 4 shots before anyone gets to shoot at it, and if I was really clever I could use a few ships with Swarm Tactics to pass this ability round and get multiple ships to fire at pilot skill 12, and destroy a Jumpmaster 5000 loaded up on ordnance quite comfortably. To do this, I had to find the cheapest generic Rebel pilot with 3 attack dice and an Elite Pilot Talent slot. It wasn’t easy! There aren’t many of them! But I settled on the Red Squadron Veteran T-70 X-Wing pilot. And the finished list is below:

list

If I can keep everything in range, Roarak makes a Red Squadron Veteran Pilot Skill 12 > Red Squadron Veteran #2 > CR-90 Corvette, which gives a total of 6 shots fired at pilot skill 12 before anyone else fires. This could easily be enough to take down a threat before it gets close to plough a large amount of damage in to the CR-90. To make the shots from the CR-90 count, I gave it Weapons Engineer and Sensor Team, so it’s multiple shots can be modified against multiple targets, and by target locking at ranges 4-5, I can make the most of my long range weapons, and hit threats hard before they even get close. Having Esege Tuketu nearby makes up for not being able to assign focus tokens to huge ships, as I can just steal his! Optimized Generators makes sure I have enough energy after powering my hardpoint weapons to recover shields.

James had opted for heavy hitting. A C-ROC with Heavy Laser Turret and cards to back it up such as IG-RM Thug Droids and Mercenary Co-Pilot. Dengar and Manaroo with lots of ordnance, plus Dengar had Swarm Leader with three Scyks to feed him evade tokens to power the rail gun! He also had Kath Scarlet built to deal some damage in her rear arc, with Tail Gunner and Outmanoeuvre equipped.

We placed obstacles in a curvy line across the board. I think we were both making sure our huge ships had room to manoeuvre. As huge ships place first and the C-ROC is only pilot skill 1, this played right in to my hand! James had to place first. As I wanted to take out the C-ROC first (as it has a 4 dice turret from a huge base and can recover shields plus jam my small ships), this meant I could easily place my CR-90 with it’s broadside pointing at the C-ROC. I placed my fighters behind the CR-90 to protect the blind spot (it’s rear) and James placed his Dengar Swarm Leader rail gun to the left of his C-ROC, and Manaroo and Kath Scarlet ahead of my fighters.

WP_20170708_11_17_27_ProSetup and ready to go

WP_20170708_11_17_37_ProA closeup of my setup

The CR-90 and C-ROC close up. So pretty!

Round one, and there was some action. My Rebel ‘mini swarm’ moved fowards towards Kath and focused up, and Kath and Manaroo came foward too. On the other flank Dengar and the Scyks started moving, with Dengar curving round to rail gun the CR-90 next turn. The C-ROC did a two forward, which meant when the CR-90 moved forward it was able to target lock at range 5. Success! This lead to a more bloody than usual first round of combat. Roark made Red Squadron Veteran Pilot Skill 12, who then used Swarm Tactics to pass this on to Red Squadron Veteran #2 who did the same to a B-Wing. The three ships then attacked at pilot skill 12, but with only focus tokens the attacks were average. Kath and Manaroo returned fire and dented the shields on a B-Wing. Esege made some unmodifed TLT attacks on Manaroo. James’ dice weren’t in his favour. It was then the CR-90’s time to shine! Using the Single Turbolaser in the Aft section, I managed to get Manaroo down to just one hull. I spent an energy to boost the primary weapon with an extra dice, and attacked the C-ROC with the primary weapon and the Fore section’s Single Turbolaser. I removed all the shields and got a damage card through on the C-ROC. A good start. Both of the focus tokens on Esege had been used in the volley, this was a great support combo! The final B-Wing finished off Manaroo.

Round 2 saw more blood for the Rebels. The Sycks bumped into each other, causing them to not have range or an evade token for Dengar to use. I didn’t want Kath to zoom past me and have me in her rear arc, so I banked right to form up and go help the CR-90. However, Kath crept forward which I didn’t expect, and caught 3 of my ships with an EMP device.

The combat phase started, and I made my CR-90 pilot skill 12. I then used all 3 weapons that could strike at range 3-5 to finish off the C-ROC in one turn, with backup from Esege and his focus bank. Dengar came round the front of the C-ROC, and managed to get an extra dice with swarm leader and took 4 shields off the front of the CR-90. Kath used EMP device ionizing 3/4 of my ‘mini swarm’ and one of the Syck’s took a pot shot at my CR-90 which bounced off the reinforce token.

WP_20170708_12_24_53_ProThe end of the combat phase round 2

Round 3, I used Raymus Antilles to successfully guess Dengar was doing a white manoeuvre (he was turning right in a Jumpmaster!) which I meant I got to assign a stress token to him. This meant he couldn’t barrel roll out of the way, and was flattened by the CR-90. This was the only point in the game where I successfully guessed a white manoeuvre with Raymus, but despite being 6 points I’d probably use him again (though with a lot of the newer ships adding so much green to dials, he is only going to get harder to use.) Considering this led to the destruction of about 50 points worth of ship, he paid for himself, although it was quite situational. With the ‘mini swarm’ ionized, Kath crept forward 1 and was able to use Tail Gunner on a B-Wing and Range 1 with 5 dice. James had switched dice at this point and was having much better rolls, and 4 of the dice provided hits, which meant the B-Wing had just one shield left. The CR-90 took shot at Kath with it’s primary weapon with no target lock, and one hit got through. The Sycks were too close for the Single Turbolasers, and I had moved my Red Squadron pilot that wasn’t ionized to help intercept the Sycks. Now there was only one big hitter left, the Swarm Tactics wasn’t as important.

Round 4, and my ‘mini swarm’ K-Turned/ Talon rolled (including the X-Wing that had gone off, so it was now facing the Firespray.) The Firespray did a 3 sharp left, and was bearing down on Roarak Garnet. The Sycks forced Esege to bump, so no focus bank. However, I used the co-ordinate action from the CR-90 to give Esege a focus action, so I had my focus bank back! Roarak made the CR-90 pilot skill 12. The primary weapon finished off Kath’s shields, and one of the Single Turbolasers bounced off Kath as it grants double agility to the defender. The second Single Turbolaser did get a damage through. Kath used cluster missiles to get the Roarak down to one hull, and a Syck finished it off. The ‘mini swarm’ unleashed on Kath, and she was left with one hull. We decided to end it there. Victory for the Rebels!

WP_20170708_13_42_29_ProThe end of Combat round 4

Thoughts on the CR-90

I honestly thought that the CR-90 was going to be rubbish. Keeping all 4 potential shots lined up to get the most out of it would be difficult, making the heavy points investment hard to pay back. It’s also vulnerable if you run out of energy. And once you loose the CR-90, you’ve lost the game as it’s all the firepower in your list gone. However, we worked out afterwoods both hardpoints cover half of the 3×3 section of the board. You have quite a lot of firepower that can shoot before you opponent can even fire at you, which the C-ROC found out. I did expect James to sink more points into swarms of small ships to sit behind my engines and pummel the CR-90 in to it’s weak spot, but getting through the range 3-5 shots the CR-90 to get to that blind spot; James convinced me it was harder than I thought. It would be interesting to see how the CR-90 would do against an Imperial list, as ships like the Tie Defender would just shrug off Single Turbolaser attacks. However, they’d also struggle to sit in the blind spot without a 1 forward on their dial. Ion attacks would cripple the CR-90 as it’s reliant on energy, but that’s if you can get close enough!

Weapons engineer is a must equip on the CR-90. Optimized Generators was also amazing and I can’t imagine playing the CR-90 without it. Esege providing the focus bank was great, and before Wave 7 (K-Wing) and the Imperial Raider (which brought Optimized Generators to the table) I don’t know how effect the CR-90 would be.

While I like the Dodonna’s Pride title, I was too busy performing target locks to co-ordinate, so it was a bit of a waste. I think the Tantive IV title and a Breach Specialist is probably a better idea.

Thoughts on the C-ROC

Unfortunately this fight didn’t give us enough to comment on how good it is. It does have a notable weakness that it is a pilot skill 1 huge ship, so it will always place first. This makes it easy for the opponent to plan their approach. If you have a CR-90 or Imperial Raider you can easily line up your arcs for an opening volley.

Man of the match

No Jan Ors in my list this time! Man of the match goes to the CR-90 which was just a massive damage canon, although Roarak and Esege buffing him had a huge impact on the effectiveness of the CR-90 and there is an argument for them to have man of the match status too! Esege’s focus tokens were mainly used by the CR-90, Esege was very generous! The beauty of the list is you need to take down Roarak and Esege to make the CR-90 less effective, but they are very difficult to get too, and Esege is tough as nails with him being in a K-Wing. It’s not a call I’d like to have to make if I was playing against this list.

Summary

I really enjoyed this match, and I really enjoyed flying the CR-90. I was incredibly surprised by how good it was in this match. I might actually pick it over the Rebel Transport next time! It’s just a shame swarms and mini swarms are so effective in epic, it makes it difficult to run lots of aces like I enjoy.

Family Ties Expansion

WARNING: Contains spoilers for the PC game X-Wing Alliance

One of the things that playing  X-Wing Miniatures has done is get me more interested in the Star Wars expanded universe, and it reminded me of the old PC game X-Wing Alliance, which I dug out and started to play again. It follows the story of the Azzameen family (if you haven’t played the game this is where Emon Azzameen comes from) and it introduces the YT-2000 freighter. I found a YT-2000 model on Shapeways and I knew I just had to bring it to the table.

I had a look at custom cards other people had done online, and I didn’t like any of the stats. So I decided to make my own. The first task was to pick a faction. Should it be Scum or Rebels? Ace joins the Rebellion, but the rest of the family stay independent (hence Emon Azzameen is a Scum pilot.) To me this was an easy choice, I felt the pilots should be Scum and Villainy to fit as independents, but also when I did the ships stats I didn’t want it have access to C-3PO, R2-D2 (crew) or Chewbacca as this would make the ship too powerful.

So next was the base stats. I compared the YT-1300 and YT-2000 on Wookiepedia, in the Millennium Falcon Haynes manual and also compared the hull and shield stats on an X-Wing Alliance FAQ and did some maths to work out the hull and shield values. I can’t remember exactly what my sums were, but I reduced the hull value a little as I was at 16 hits total which is 0 agility territory, and I felt this ship needs a green die. I then popped the stats into a custom card creator and used the YT-2400 dial and that gave me a points cost. And behold, the Twin Suns Pilot was ready!

tsp.png

The basic YT-2000 pilot

The next job was to playtest this as is to make sure the baseline stats were OK. With a token 100 point list I played one game against my friend TJ and two against my friend Max. It won a game against Max and lost the other two. I was OK with this as a loss means it’s not undercosted and overpowered, and both opponents felt it was a fair and rounded ship. So I was free to design the rest of the pilots, and indeed I went overboard and did a YT-1300 for the Scum faction as well.

So without further ado, I give you the Family Ties Expansion pack!

fmties

 

YT-2000 pilots

As I’ve previewed the basic pilot above let’s jump straight to the named pilots. But first, a look at the Otana title, the name of the YT-2000 in X-Wing Alliance:

otana

This was inspired from the opening cut scene when the Otana comes under attack from a Star Destroyer, and we see blue ion dancing across the ship as it licks it’s wounds. For one point, the Otana can suffer a 3rd ion token before it suffers the ion effects. This seems pretty situational – ion isn’t used much in the game, although it does mean the ship is immune to Conner Nets, Ion Pulse Missiles etc. and can use 4-LOM crew an additional time before suffering an ill effect. However, it was mainly designed to synergise with some of the pilots and crew in the expansion.

Galin Azzameen

galin

Again, taken from the opening cut scene, Galin co-pilots the Otana, and offers to patch the ship up as they limp away from trouble. As a pilot, Galin can manipulate the controls when doing easier manoeuvres (green manoeuvres) to mitigate the effects of damage to the ship. This does come at a cost though of diverting  power, and this assigns an ion token. Galin is a late game tank, loosing his shields he is able to ignore the effects of 25 of the 33 critical effects in the damage deck, possibly never being ioned thanks to the extra leeway the Otana title grants him.

 

Tomaas Azzameen

tomaas

Another one from the opening credits (Galin and Tomaas don’t appear in X-Wing Alliance much!), this ability is similar to Galin’s. Tomaas is determined to limp home while the Otana is damaged, and this is shown in this card. You are not restricted to revealing a green move on your dial like you are with Galin, but the effect is just for one round, so picking a pilot depends on your play style, but either way you have a late game tank. Again, with the Otana title, you are not ioned straight away.

 

Ace Azzameen

ace

I struggled to come up with a pilot ability for the star of X-Wing Alliance. I’m still not convinced this was the best choice, but as the only ship with an Elite Pilot Talent slot, you can equip the Family Ties talent (see later) and turn him in to a 4 dice, 14 hit tank. I noticed when playing X-Wing Alliance, I was much more accurate when staring down a ship with target lock, so this ability was designed to reflect that. The ability should mean you need to spend a target lock less often, so you should see some reward in terms of action economy, freeing you up to focus more often. If you already have a target lock, perform a focus action you can turn a roll of a hit, focus and blank in to 3 hits without having to spend the lock. A bit circumstantial at times, but it should see some mileage.

 

YT-1300 Pilots

Before we start, let’s look at the titles

titles

The Sabra was the ship that Ace flies in X-Wing Alliance, and the ability is mainly there to make a 2 dice ship have some extra millage, especially against Autothrusters. This may become a 0 point upgrade with a playtest.

The Selu was the ship of Aeron Azzameen (Ace’s older sister), and in one level they disguise it as the Venix, hence the dual title. Aeron is a computer wizz, and when they name the ship Venix they are planting a trap with illegal spice, hence the choice of upgrades the the titles provide. The card works like Adaptability and you make your choice after setup. Will Fire-control System be useful, or would an Emp Device help more? You can decide after you setup and have seen your opponents list!

 

The basic pilot

tst

The Twin Suns Transport is a copy of the basic pilot from the Millennium Falcon expansion pack, but for the Scum and Villainy faction. I kept the stat-line for the basic YT-1300 throughout the cards, as the Falcon is heavily modified and the Azzameen craft are nearer stock level. The two attack dice is not great in the current meta, and will struggle to hit the likes of The Inquisitor or Whisper, but it’s a cheap way of using the Family Ties EPT (see the upgrade section of this blog post), and with Zuckus and 4-LOM crew on you can get the most out of those two dice.

 

Emkay Azzameen

emkay.png

The psychotic droid co-pilot loves shooting things, which I have shown here by gaining the chance to remove stress with attacks. There isn’t much you can do to stress him, although it offers protection against the likes of Asaji Ventress, Rebel Captive etc. You could also equip Gonk and Experimental Interface and be able to regenerate shields quicker whilst not being as restricted to green moves to shed the stress.

 

Aeron Azzameen

Aeron.png

Aeron flies alongside you in some of the family missions, and always manages to hold her own in a fight. By being able to treat her focus token as an Evade (on a ship that can’t naturally evade), she is able to survive longer in a one agility ship. With an EPT slot, she can also equip Family Ties.

 

Ace Azzameen

ace13

Ace also makes an appearance in a YT-1300 (which you start X-Wing Alliance with.) His pilot skill, pilot ability and EPT slot are the same as the YT-2000, but in a weaker ship you can get him on the board much cheaper, and with only two attack dice you’ll probably use his ability more often.

 

Upgrades

Family Ties

ft.png

The main feature of the included upgrades is the Family Ties expansion is the Family Ties EPT. They encourage you to run a thematic list of Azzameen and Twin Sun pilots. Most importantly, it makes the YT-1300 pilots more useful as if you can keep them together, they have three attack dice and are much more potent. Including Emon Azzameen from the Most Wanted pack, this would give you a total of 9 ships that can grant the bonus die, and three ships that can equip it, though realistically you can only fit two in the same 100 point list. You could potentially run Emkay, Aeron and Ace (YT-1300) with Aeron and Ace with the Family Ties upgrade, giving you two three dice and one two dice ships if keep them in Range 1 of each other. This was inspired by a mission in the game where you fly alongside Emon and Aeron and become a formidable fighting force if you stay in formation. There are two copies in the pack.

Missile Launcher

missilelauncher

To me, this is a YT-1300 fix as the stock YT-1300 should have a missile launcher. This will let you give a missile slot to the base Rebel or Scum YT-1300. I designed this before the Smuggling Compartment in Heroes of the Resistance was revealed, so it’s nice to know I think along the same lines as the X-Wing developers. There are two copies in the pack although you’ll probably only ever use one.

Crew

crew

Ace Azzameen- I was struggling for ideas for Ace and Galin crew at this point. For Ace, I settled on a slightly more powerful version of the Luke Skywalker crew, being able to change a blank result to a hit instead of a focus. At 8 points, he’s expensive to fit in a list. As Ace joins the Rebellion in X-Wing Alliance, I have made this card Scum or Rebel.

Emkay Azzameen – Whilst blowing stuff up, Emkay frequently gives you ‘primary target updates’, and so the ablity to get a free target lock when your lock target is destroyed seemed apt. For one point, it also could be useful saving you taking fresh target locks, although obviously it will be more useful against a Tie Swarm than a two ship build (which made it difficult to cost the upgrade card.)

Galin- Another take on his mechanical ability with very little in X-Wing Alliance to go off, nothing special here but there’s worse uses of one point then being able to flip a damage card facedown.

Aeron Azzameen- Aeron is noted for being a computer wizz, and her slicing skills are mentioned in X-Wing Alliance. I designed this before Black Market Slicer Tools was previewed, so I wasn’t sure how slicing would work away from Huge Ships. I felt sacrificing power from the shields to power the slicing tools was a good way of representing this, and with a ship with lots of shields such as the YT-2000 or YV-666, this is a good way to finish off evasive ships with just one hit remaining. Pair this up with Black Market Slicer Tools and Experimental Interface, and you can do some serious slicing!

I didn’t create a crew for Tomaas Azzameen as he is included in the GR-75 Scum conversion kit, which you might think is obsolete now as FFG have released an official Huge Ship for X-Wing, but I still think it’s a good kit and has a place on my table.

Also in the pack, I would include

2x Concussion Missiles – what use is a Concision Missile launcher without missiles?

2x Countermeasures – these actually featured in X-Wing Alliance, and when I designed this pack were only available in the YT-2400 expansion

1x Flight instructor – Currently only available in the Lambda shuttle expansion, and as this pack features all one agility ships, it will help with survivability.

YT-2000 movement dial

To save building a working dial with cardboard, I decided to use the YT-2400 dial and this was used in the cost calculation of the ship. However, I also priced up a custom dial points wise and the difference was negligible.

dials.png

FAQ

Tomaas Azzameen- if using your pilot ability causes you to be ionized whilst using this ability, you are not ionized until the next round (a bit like if a Conner Net goes under your ship before you reveal your dial.)

Missile Launcher – If you equip Smuggling Compartment, you can also equip Missile Launcher and another modification upgrade as the two stack.

 

Conclusion

Well, I hope you enjoyed my take on the YT-2000 and how I’d introduce it to X-Wing, and my nod to the classic PC game X-Wing alliance. I will be playtesting this more thoroughly in August and posting the results.

Did I get it right? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

 

If you want to use the cards, please feel free to download the PDF’s to cut out and keep.

Please note, although every effort has been made to make sure these files are virus free, you download at your own risk. Have fun!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tbhf9dzjwj9qidm/FamilyTiespack.zip?dl=0

My Top 10 Star Wars characters

In honour of Star Wars day, I’m going to do a list of my top 10 Star Wars characters from the Star Wars franchise that I have discovered so far

WARNING: May contain various spoilers. You have been warned!

10: The Grand Inquisitor – I’m not normally a fan of bad guys, but the concept of the Grand Inquisitor intrigued me. He had a British accent (as all good villains should) and started off fighting with a rapier style lightsaber in a very gentlemanly style of fighting. Different enough from your traditional bad guy that it resonated with me. I also really liked the temple guards from the clone wars, which of course the Grand Inquisitor was before.

9: Wedge Antilles – Cool, calm and collected, Wedge is probably the Rebellion’s best pilot but doesn’t have the ego complex of Anakin Skywalker or Han Solo to go with it. Wedge was a key part of the battle of Yavin and at the battle of Endor blew up the second Death Star along with Lando Calrisian. I’ve only read a couple of old legends comic with him in, and again he is a level headed and an incredibly competent pilot and military leader.

8: Hondo Ohnaka – Hondo got on my nerves at first, but eventually I found him hilarious. There is one episode of Clone Wars in Season 5 where my girlfriend sat upstairs was concerned about the strange barking laugh I was making! Hondo does bring comedy to Clone Wars and Rebels, but he quickly makes friends then double crosses and makes friends again – it keeps you on your toes! His gang were also smart enough to capture Count Dooku, Obi Wan and Anakin. Not something every pirate gang could do.

7: Hera Syndulla – Hera shares a lot of the same qualities as Wedge. She is passionate about the Rebellion, but her and Kanan become almost adoptive parents of the Ghost crew. Unlike Rey they don’t make Hera an expert at anything she turns her hand to. She is an amazing pilot, and has some fighting and espionage skills (especially in the novel A New Dawn) but they don’t over do it in other areas. Her leadership abilities and loyalty are recognized and she slowly makes her way up the ranks of the Rebellion. She also provides a solid character to bounce off of with the humourous scenes in Rebels, usually setting up a funny scene with Chopper.

6: Captain Rex – Rex is a badass Clone Trooper, always ready for action, and a solid part of the Republic Army. I think the scene that most sums him up is when trying to retake a Republic outpost. One of the Clones asks to take point, and Rex replies “I always go first!” I also like the modifications Rex has made to his armour, and his choice of dual blaster pistols so he can get stuck in at close quarters.

5: Anakin Skywalker – But not in the films I might add! The character was whinny and the acting was terrible! But in the Clone Wars, Anakin is an amazing character. A powerful force user and incredible in lightsaber combat, as well as the best pilot in the Galaxy, Anakin is sent by the Jedi council to do the most difficult of tasks. And where the rest of the Jedi fail, he usually succeeds. He’s not afraid to use questionable techniques to get the job done such as force choking. While this was probably added to show a more gradual decent to the the dark side, I feel Anakin could still have used these powers and stayed loyal to the Jedi if they hadn’t been such dicks to him. Time and time again, Anakin saves the day, and the Jedi rarely cut him any slack (especially Mace Windu.) Anakin’s banter with those who are close to him (Obi Wan, Rex and Ahsoka) also is a core chunk of the humour in the Clone Wars, and the story arcs with Anakin and Ahsoka in are the best ones in the series.

4: Embo – Embo was a Kyuzo bounty hunter, who didn’t speak much but his combat scenes are amazing. The concept of his hat/ shield/ surfboard/ Captain America shield is unique in the Clone Wars (and probably the rest of Star Wars), but he also has some other cools things like his bowcaster (traditionally a Wookie weapon) and his pet dog thing. He also seems to have some sort of code of honour, as he was one of the bounty hunters defending the farmers in the story with Hondo trying to steal from them (hardly a high paying job?) His competence in combat also gives Anakin Skywalker a run for his money when the two fight. Hopefully we will see Embo in Rebels at some point.

3: R2-D2 – R2-D2 has been my favourite character for years. As a kid, the gadget laden whistling droid was always fun, plus he looks really cool, but growing up I still appreciate the heroics and loyally of the droid. He has developed personality and resourcefulness above any other droid due to escaping frequent member wipes. Anakin and Ahsoka genuinely care about the droid, and he responds with what the puppy equivalent of love must be! He has a few spotlight moments in the Clone Wars which are fun and show off what a capable droid he is, not forgetting how many times he saves the day in the films. His reunion with Ahsoka in the novel Ahsoka also got me right in the feels. One of the best parts of the book. Anakin always called R2-D2 “buddy”, and one of the tradgeys of Anakin’s turn to the darkside is the end of this friendship. In Revenge of the Sith, as they head to Mustafphar, you can tell R2 is nervous, and knows something is wrong with Anakin. R2 just wants his old master back.

2: Ahsoka Tano – My reaction to Ahoska’s introduction in the Clone Wars film was the same as everyone else’s. “Who is this annoying little girl and why have they brought her in to ruin Star Wars?” However, as the character grows and develops through the series, so does your appreciation for her as a character. She always wants to do the right thing but often gets clouded by this and gets reckless. She was the perfect Padawan for Anakin Skywalker, and the dynamic between the two of them is a big part of the Clone Wars series. She also becomes best friends with Rex and respects the astromech droids like R2-D2 as though they were equals. Again, she becomes very powerful with the force, especially for a Padawan, and her lightsaber form is very different and cool to watch. Like Anakin she is not scared to use force to interrogate prisoners, but she seems more weary of the dark side then Anakin does and manages to avoid falling for it’s trap, even though the Jedi look down their noses at her just like they do with Anakin. After the Clone Wars she becomes a fearsome warrior in her own right but never looses the compassion powerful Jedi like Mace Windu seem to have lost. And the scene where she defeats two Inquisitors whilst the Rebels crew just watch is fantastic.

1: Chopper – My first thought was that Chopper was a stupid design. I didn’t like the two weird arms coming out of his head. However, the cantankerous droid is hilarious and a big part of why I watch Rebels! He carries out orders, but in his own way, and isn’t scared to wind up his crew. Essentially, he’s a bit of a dick! He saves the day on a number of occasions and isn’t afraid to show off about it. Like R2-D2, he seems very human, though maybe a bit crazy. One of my favourite moments is when Hera asks him to blow up the house, and he runs around planting explosives, laughing manically. He has his serious moments too. I liked the episode where he was talking to another Clone Wars droid, he refereed to himself as a ‘War Hero’ and showed that he kept a hologram of Hera. Despite being a dick, after all these years he recognizes and appreciates her saving him.

Other notable mentions that didn’t make the list:

K2-SO

Quinlan Vos

The Guardians of Whills

Rey

Kea Moll

BB-8

 

Hope you enjoyed my list! May the 4th be with you!

The Power of the Generic EPT

And so my latest epic X-Wing game has concluded. This one was not pretty!

Max and I travelled to York Garrison wargames just outside of York for a 350 point game. As we set up, we could see we’d both gone for very specific tactics. I’d built a list full of aces and lots of ways to dish out stress, with a GR-75 with slicer tools to back it up; the logic being Imperial ships can be hard to hit whereas slicer tools is guaranteed damage. Max went for a list using generic pilots that have Elite Pilot Talent (EPT) slots- 4x Tie Defenders with Tractor Beam and Ruthlessness, 4x Tie Bombers with Deadeye, Assualt Missiles, Extra Munitions and Guidance Chips, plus a Gozanti Cruiser to carry the bombers in to battle and an Upsilon Class Shuttle for support.

My list consisted of:

Coran Horn + R5-P9 + Fire Control System + Adaptability (40)

Jan Ors + Adaptability + Ion Cannon Turret (30)

Ten Numb + Fire Control System + Mangler Cannon + B/E2 + Tactician (40)

“Dutch” Vander + BTL-A4 Y-Wing + Ion Cannon Turret (28)

Nera Dantels + Flechette Torpedoes + Flechette Torpedoes + B/E2 + Rey (34)

Etahn A’Bhat + Trick Shot (32)

Braylen Stramm + R3-A2 + Gunner + Alliance Overhaul (32)

Zeb Orrelios + Sabine’s Masterpiece + Black Market Slicer Tools (15)

GR-75 Medium Transport + Dutyfree + Shield Technician + Frequency Jammer + Slicer Tools + Tibanna Gas Supplies + Automated Protocols (53)

Gold Squadron Pilot + BTL-A4 Y-Wing + Ion Cannon Turret (23)

Rookie Pilot + Flechette Torpedoes (23)

Total = 350 points

The Tie Bombers unfortunately won’t take stress from Flechette Torpedoes, but I did have Tactician, R3-A2 and the jam action on the GR-75, so the ‘stress and slice’ plan wasn’t completely scuppered from the offset. Max won the coin flip and got initiative.

So here’s the setup:

wp_20170211_11_06_15_proSetup at the start of the game

We looked at each other’s lists but I didn’t realise how powerful Ruthlessness would be, or how quickly the Bombers would deploy. I figured in a joust against the Defenders I’d win, so I set up most of my forces for this. This not only  cost me the game, but set it up for a crushing defeat.

I figured if Max used his head, he’d bring a Gozanti, and if he used his heart he’d bring the Imperial Raider, so I’d brought two Y-Wings with the BTL-A4 title to take down a Raider, just in case. For some reason, despite it only being a 3 dice attack with no ability to use focus tokens, I’d decided in my head the Gozanti was a big threat, and committed my Y-Wings to it (seen to the right, ready to flank.)

And we were off, for probably the most action packed first round X-Wing has ever seen! My ships all went forward, no faster than speed 3 due the ARC-170 and B-Wing dials. The Defenders raced forward and focused up, and the Gozanti raced forward at top speed. To my horror, he managed to deploy all 4 bombers expertly with some well placed barrel rolls from 3 of the Bombers.. He then used General Hux to give the 3 Bombers that had barrel rolled focus tokens. Suddenly, I was scared. 4 Bombers with Deadeye and all in range. Shit! I think the highlight for me was getting 3 stress tokens down from the GR-75 with a jam action and Frequency Jammer upgrade.

wp_20170211_11_27_36_proStart of the combat phase, round 1

wp_20170211_11_27_58_proStart of the combat phase, round 1

I opened the joust. Ten Numb had target locked a Defender but not one he could use Tactician on. I decided damage was more important than the stress token, and I went for the locked Defender, and chipped off a couple of shields. Jan was out of range, and Corran took a range 3 shot.

Then the volley opened up. Defender on the ARC-170. Tractor Beam. Hits. No more green dice. Ruthlessness on Corran. Primary weapon. 3 damage on the ARC un-contested from a green dice. Another damage to Corran. This continued, and as Ruthlessness doesn’t need to do any damage (it just needs to hit), the Tractor Beam attacks were also hurting. Corran was destroyed entirely by Ruthlessness, and other ships suffered damage during the onslaught. After the Defenders finished firing, I’d lost Braylen Stramm, Corran Horn and suffered a fair bit of damage. Then it was the Bombers to fire. I braced myself for more pain!

The Bombers managed to finish off Nera, Etahn A’Bhat and Rookie Pilot. Nera and E’tahn got to fire with the simultaneous attack rule, and I chipped away a few more shields on the Defenders.

Zeb took a pot shot at a Tie Bomber at Range 3 and missed. At the end of the round I’d lost the bulk of my forces, and defeat was inevitable!

wp_20170211_11_43_02_proEnd of combat phase, round 1. The board is looking much emptier!

Round 2, and the Imperials began mop-up duty. The Y-Wings got in range of the Gozanti and Dutch got them both a target lock. Zeb squared up with the Bombers, but was in no position to use his Black Market Slicer Tools. Jan Ors and the GR-75 did their best to get somewhere useful, but it was too late.

Combat opened with Jan firing an unmodified Ion Cannon Turret at the stressed defender, which missed. The Defenders and Bombers then launched at Jan and the GR-75. Jan was destroyed, and the GR-75 lost it’s shields. It later used Slicer Tools and Automated Protocols to put the stressed Defender to it’s last hull, and recover all it’s shields. Zeb did a damage to a Tie Bomber, and the Gozanti did a damage back to Zeb. The Y-Wings had slowly started to chip at the Gozanti, attacking at range 3 with just their primary weapons.

wp_20170211_11_57_21_proStart of combat phase, round 2

Round 3, and Max moved the nearly-dead Defender in the way of the GR-75, ready to give it a faceup damage card when the GR-75 ran over the Defender. But I’d finally take a ship! The Bombers straightened their formation, and the Y-Wings closed in on the Gozanti. Unfortunately, the GR-75’s faceup damage card stopped it from doing the jam action, which was key to it’s strategy. I tried and failed to fix it, then recovered my shields. I hammered at the Gozanti with the Y-Wings, getting 4 damage cards through and 2 ion tokens, so I knew Max would have less energy to recover shields next turn. The Gozanti destroyed Zeb, leaving me with just 3 ships.

wp_20170211_12_18_37_proEnd of combat phase, round 3

Round 4, and Max started turning his forces back towards the Y-Wings. We managed to destroy each others huge ships. At the end of the round, I had two Y-Wings that hadn’t taken much damage against a pretty healthy mix of 8 ships (the Gozanti had shot at Dutch twice.) And turn 5, I’d have to avoid a 4 dice firing arc on the Upsilon class shuttle.

WP_20170211_12_57_28_Pro.jpgEnd of combat phase, round 4

It took Max 2 more rounds to finish off the Y-Wings, here is the last Y-Wing just before destruction:

WP_20170211_13_12_03_Pro.jpgLast stand of the Y-Wing

So yeah, that happened!

Moral of the story, always pay attention to your opponents list at setup! This wouldn’t have been quite the whitewash if I hadn’t kept my ships at range 1 of each other, and I still could setup so I could have used my buffing abilities. Even so, it would have been a hard battle.

I was particularly impressed with the Gozanti’s delivery of the Tie Bombers, setting up a perfect flanking position.

Changes in the meta

Max’s list utilised some new changes to the meta: generic pilots with EPT’s which are becoming much more common, and we have seen the rise of this with the triple Jumpmaster lists and Crack Shot swarms. Ordnance has also become much more common with Extra Munitions and Guidance Chips. It’s had it’s rise to glory in the 100 pt dogfight meta, but it’s clearly got lots of potential in the epic meta. General Hux compliments the Deadeye Tie Bomber very well, and docking them with the Gozanti protects a ship with no shields until it is in position to deploy for a devastating ordnance assault. I was expecting Max to run all the fiddly aces (Soontir, Inquisitor etc.) but his list was very well put together, and had a very high damage output!

Upwards and onwards

So a lot to think about for my next list, especially in terms of deployment. This was the first time I’d run the Rebel Transport without Toryn Farr, which is a shame as I’d have got to use her this time! She would have stopped the Deadeye ordnance assault dead in it’s tracks.

There’s always next time.

Remember, fly casual!

I’ll Show You the Power of the Dark Side!

Although I am mainly a Rebel and Scum player, I have invested in a few Imperial ships (mainly for specific upgrade cards, but some were to play in a squad like the Tie Phantom and some were just because (I had two Tie Fighters in the core set so it seemed only fitting to splash out £10 and get Howlrunner and Backstabber too!))

My main issue with Imperials is only about 10% of it seems to work in 100 point games. Palp aces is a thing. Three arc-dodging aces is a thing (a mix of Soontir Fel, The Inquisitor, Darth Vader and possibly Whisper or Omega Leader) and Imperial Veterans (usually Colonel Vessery and crack shot Tomax Bren.) Tie swarms aren’t as common but are still effective. But the thing is, you very rarely see anything else.

So I decided to have a ‘what the hell’ match with James. He let me pick an amount of points, and he agreed to match it. I flew every Imperial ship I had, including my favourite pilots and loadouts on Slave 1 and the the Tie Bomber that are too costly to be viable in competitive play, and worked out I needed 420 points. After some last minute tweaks I ended up at 419 points.

We went to York Garrison Wargames for the first time to try out the club.
My list compromised of:

Darth Vader: Tie/x1, Advanced Targeting Computer, Veteran Instincts, Engine Upgrade, Proton Rockets (38 points)
Boba Fett: Slave 1, Extra Munitions, Heavy Laser Cannon, Homing Missiles, Proton Bombs, Navigator, Engine Upgrade, Veteran Instincts (66 points)
Soontir Fel: Royal Guard Tie, Push the Limit, Autothrusters, Stealth Device (35 points)
Whisper: Advanced Cloaking Device, Fire-Control System, Veteran Instincts, Intelligence Agent (40 points)
Captain Kagi: Reinforced Deflectors, Heavy Laser Cannon (37 points)
Howlrunner: Swarm Tactics, Shield Upgrade (24 points)
Omega Leader: Comm Relay, Juke, Stealth Device (29 points)
The Inquisitor: Push the Limit, Concussion Missiles, Tie/v1, Autothrusters (35 points)
Major Rhymer: Extra Munitions, Proton Torpedoes, Assault Missiles, Deadeye, Proximity Mines, Guidance Chips (45 points)
2x Black Squadron Pilot: Crack Shot (15 points each)
2x Epsilon Squadron pilot: Weapons Guidance, Hull Upgrade (20 points each)

I knew James owns 6 Kihraxz fighters and 5 Protectorate starfighters, so I was prepared for a swarm of red dice. My biggest fear was Fenn Rau with Fearlessness, Concord Dawn Protector and Stealth Device. That thing is hard to hit, but also I only had two ships at a higher pilot skill and two fragile ships with the same pilot skill, so if he decided to give away initiative it could end up with Fenn Rau in Range 1 of Soontir or Whisper without a cloak token potentially taking 5 damage. I wasn’t too far off the mark- James decided to give his new Wave 9 ships a try, and I was up against Moralo Eval with a Heavy Laser Cannon, Asaji Ventress in the Shadow Caster ready to dish out stress, 6 Kihraxz fighters including Talonbane Cobra and Graz the Hunter, and 5 Protectorate starfighters including the 3 named pilots.

Setup I had to consider carefully. I had several ships that need to arc dodge and would just melt in a joust. I also wanted to protect Major Ryhmer, Howlrunner and ideally Boba Fett from target locks with Captain Kagi to try and keep them on the table longer. I new I had to spread my aces out otherwise I would get swarmed and my ships would be popped one by one (although maybe not as quickly as Rebel ships due to the fiddly nature of Imperial aces.) James let me decide initiative so I gave it away in order to arc dodge effectively.

img_0168Setup complete and ready to go. Darth Vader and Soontir Fel are in the bottom left (not pictured)

I had 4 ships to place first, so I began to build my mini swarm with my first 4 ships. James answered with two Protectorate starfighters, and Moralo Eval ready to bear down on the swarm. He placed a wing of Kihraxz fighters at the other side of the board, keeping his options open. I reinforced the swarm with Major Rymer, Howlrunner and Captain Kagi. I placed my aces to the left to deal with the Kihraxz fighters (Darth and Soontir to the far left, the other three near the middle), and James placed Asaji Ventress in the middle of the board, and reinforced the Protectorate starfighters with aces (including the dreaded Fenn Rau!), and I placed Boba Fett to reinforce the Tie Swarm. I was a little concerned about my aces of the left flank, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get behind the Kihraxz fighters, but that was a job for later!

img_0169Start of combat phase on turn 1

Turn one saw shots fired in the combat phase. The Kihraxz fighters had moved slowly, but Asaji moved faster and my aces in the middle of the board began to get in position. My mini swarm moved in, but because Captain Kagi moves so late, he was unable to stop a target lock on a Tie Fighter. Boba did a k-turn, ready to drop a bomb the next round.
All of the combat was on the right side of the board (this was very much a game of two flanks.) Using Deadeye and a focus token, Major Rymer fired a well placed Assault Missiles at one of the Protectorate starfighters, damaging another and Moralo Eval in the process. There were quite a few ships with shots, and by the end of the combat phase I’d lost a Tie Fighter, and James had lost the Protectorate starfighter that had been hit by the Assault Missiles. Moralo Eval had also had his shields chipped at, with help from a Crack Shot, Swarm Tactics and Howlrunner’s ability.

During the second round, the left flank began to move closer together. I bumped Vader into Soontir Fel, and he would loose a shield to a range 3 pot shot from a Kihraxz for this. Asaji Ventress moved closer and moved her firing arc to her left. Whisper, Omega Leader and The Inquisitor all lined Asaji in their sights. Unfortunately, Whisper ended up in the mobile firing arc, which ended up giving Whisper a stress token, so no free cloak later on. Fortunately, the dice were in my favour, and Whisper evaded the attack, whereas I managed to remove the shields from Asaji Ventress. On the right flank, Boba Fett dropped a Proton Bomb, and managed to deal faceup damage cards to three Protectorate starfighters, before moving and getting a shot in with his rear firing arc. Major Rymer managed to fire a Proton Torpedoes at Moralo Eval, but I split my fire with the ships that had arc between Fenn Rau and Moralo Eval, meaning he was still up at the end of the round. Again, the dice favoured me, and although no ships were destroyed, I had damaged two or three ships to near destruction. James was getting very irritated with Major Rymer at this point, and tried to focus him down, leaving with with a console fire crit and two hull remaining. Captain Kagi was now in position, meaning James couldn’t target lock the ships he wanted, and his blank rolls were useless to him.
However, the right flank was now quite tight, and I had to evaluate my next move quite carefully. I opted to k-turn the Tie Swarm, and get Major Rymer out of the way as best as I could. I did a sharp turn, dropping a Proximity Mine hoping to trip up one of this ships. But while the mine was perfectly placed to trip up any of 3 ships either this turn or next, I forgot Howlrunner was yet to move, and she set it off, destroying her. Whoops! My mini swarm instantly lost some punch!

On the left flank, the Kihraxz fighters closed in, and my aces started to take formation. Whisper cleared the stress from Asaji Ventress (I love how Imperial ships generally have a nice amount of green on the dial), and I started to find my stride with my formation. Omega Leader and Ventress exchanged shots, and Darth Vader lost another shield to a pot shot (he would’ve been dead without his two actions.)
On the right flank, Moralo Eval was destroyed, as well as a Fenn Rau. I took damage split across my ships, but Major Rymer hung on with one hull left and I only lost a Tie Fighter.

img_0172A closeup of the right flank at the start of the combat phase in round 3

img_0173End of combat phase after round 3. James looks sad after heavy losses!

Turn 4, and the game started to focus on the left flank. Whisper, the Inquisitor, Vader and Soontir all ended up at Range 1 of Ventress. Ventress gave Soontir a stress token on top of the one he already had from Push the Limit, which made me concerned for his next round. However, the aces finished off Ventress, and with efficiency from things such as Advanced Cloaking Device and Tie/v1 (as well as some lucky rolls), the aces brushed off the attacks from the Kihraxz fighters. Mopup duty began on the right flank, dealing with two damaged Protectorate starfighters. Quite a successful round for me, and I was enjoying a comfortable lead.

img_0176Combat in turn 4

Round 5, and the aces began to engage the Kihraxz  wing. Whisper and the Inquisitor lined up at Range 1 of a Kihraxz fighter, and destroyed it before it could fire. Boba came round for another pass, and the large ships were ready to fight. Captain Kagi had largely been bumping, but Heavy Laser Cannon with 4 dice meant one or two damage was still getting through. Darth Vader did not survive the round, falling to a good shot with a target lock from Graz the Hunter.

Round 6, and the Protectorate starfighters started to chase down Boba Fett. However, Boba was ready, and was able to drop a Proton bomb which hit both of them, and he was able to finish one off with his rear arc. However, Talonbane, now pilot skill 0 from a crit, finished off Boba. I didn’t know it yet, but this would cost me the game. I thought I was still winning at this point.
The aces swarmed another Kihraxz fighter, and destroyed it. At this point, I was loving the manoeuvrability of the aces. Generally, I couldn’t avoid all of the arcs, but I could make sure I could avoid some and still take a shot, with a nice amount of them at range 1. Abilities such as Soontir’s pilot ability made sure I was never at a disadvantage, still able to defend with tokens even after a boost or barrel roll.

img_0179End of round 6. Down to my aces and my shuttle

At this point, we were running out of time, so played one more round. James was left with one Protectorate starfighter, chasing down Captain Kagi who was slowly heading to support the left flank with his Heavy Laser Cannon. Most of the Kihraxz fighters had done a k-turn, and Whisper and Omega Leader were looking at two firing arcs. I damaged a Kihraxz but didn’t destroy it. The game ended with 5 of my ships on the board (the shuttle just being on half points having taken damage but also got a shield back thanks to Reinforced Deflectors) and 6 of James’s, but I was confident I’d won it as they were all my expensive aces that were still on the table.

We began to tot up the points, but as it happened James had stolen it by 23 points (the cost of the Kihraxz I’d failed to blow up.) It didn’t help I’d sunk 111 points in two ships that weren’t that agile (Boba Fett and Major Rymer) as they hadn’t touched half their ordnance, but they were a lot of fun to fly! Destroying them allowed James to easily rack up points.
The Inquisitor had lost two shields, but Soontir, Omega Leader and Whisper were on full health. The Kihraxz fighters had a lot of firepower and health between them, and it would have been interesting to see where the game would have gone with a bit more time.

Thoughts on the game

The game was a lot of fun. I love Major Rymer with Deadeye and Guidance Chips, but it’s just too easy to pile points in to a crit magnet. Captain Kagi did his job nicely when he got in to range, and helped keep Rymer alive. Boba Fett was my man of the match- the Proton Bombs and Extra Munitions were fantastic, delivering a total of 5 faceup damage cards, and pretty much every turn he took a shot from his rear firing arc. Navigator was only used once though as I got the manoeuvres right each turn, with Navigator merely helping me adjust range on that turn.
The aces were a lot of fun to fly, though they had the higher pilot skill which made it easy to flank their prey. It’s surprising how much ground they can cover with push the limit. I remembered to decloak Whisper consistently (the main problem Tie Phantom pilots face) although one turn I did cause a friendly crash by blocking with my decloak.

This was the second time I’d fought against the Shadow Caster, and I’m still not impressed. The abilities look nice on paper, but both times I flew against them they were merely an annoyance. The mobile firing arc makes it predictable, and moving the mobile firing arc on a 3 speed or higher move at the end of the combat phase seems under-powered considering the new Tie Defender Tie/x7 title that gives an evade token you can use the same turn.

James wasn’t very impressed with the Protectorate starfighters. I personally felt they did quite well, and kept my right flank occupied for a long time, but they suffer a similar flaw to the Tie Fighters I guess- if the green dice fail you then you are looking at squishy hull, which isn’t helped by the fact they have no evade action.

York Garrison

This was out first visit to York Garrison, and I was very impressed. We pre-booked a table, and they fitted us in despite having a Guild Ball tournament on that day. They had a 6′ x 4′ table we could use which was ideal. The guy in charge of the club game over to introduce himself and tell us about the club, and the first session is free which is a bonus!
But I will definitely join up and play more epic X-Wing there.

Not in my Name

October saw the Conservative party conference, and Prime Minster Teresa May spelling out her vision for the future of Country.
Now since the EU referendum, the United Kingdom has certainly shown it’s ugly, racist side. Hate crime went up 41% after the result. People feel that they are legitimately allowed to call out things such as “we voted to leave, now you have to leave” in the streets to foreigners. The Country that once established an Empire that covered nearly a quarter of the world, and forced itself upon it is now complaining about having people coming to it. For the UK to get so high and mighty about immigration is hypocritical, but the nature of what’s happening in the streets is disgusting. Many of these incidents are just one or two people who are causing the abuse, but many of them also feature bystanders who do nothing to intervene. The videos I’ve seen have brought be close to tears. How can anyone feel compelled to abuse a fellow human being like this?

You would expect the Government to act responsibly and try and encourage some calm, making a stable exit from the EU and controlling the hate crime it’s top priority. But it seems to have enabled the Conservatives to be even more nasty and go even more right wing.
The policies coming out of the Conservative party conference are disturbing. Giving a speech that was compared to Hitler’s book ‘Mein Campf’, the Home Secretary, has put forward a proposal that all businesses should register how many foreign workers they employ. Schools have also sent out questionnaires asking for the ethnicity of pupils. The talk is of a ‘Hard Brexit’, sacrificing the single market (much to the dismay of big business who are the parties biggest donners) in order to limit migration (in a delusional fantasy that British people will suddenly start doing the jobs that they have not been taking up as much like fruit picker or doctor.)

The vote was on whether to leave the European Union or not, but it seems to have been interpreted by the people as largely being voting for a product or idea. People weren’t voting to leave the EU, people were voting for this idea called ‘Brexit’ (or #Brexit if you prefer) that the media were peddling- as demonstrated by “What is the EU?” being the second most Googled search term the day after the referendum (hmm, maybe should have looked in to that before voting guys?) People were taking pictures of their poling cards and posting #Brexit. No explanation- “I’m voting to leave the EU as I feel it will benefit the Country because xyz.” Just #Brexit. Whatever that means.

I can’t help but wonder if remain had a catchier hashtag than #StrongerIn it may have done better. But the catch is the people who have been pushing the product of Brexit (The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Sun) have also been pushing anti-migrant bile and Islamophobia for years. I can almost see why people feel legitimised to do what they are doing, but I would have thought common sense and human decency would have prevailed.

I’ve often wondered why people in Germany didn’t leave as the Nazi’s came to power. But as my Country gets more and more like Nazi Germany every week, I get it. My friends are here, my family are here. My job is here. The places I go to do my hobbies are here. My cool shit is here. And the countries I admire; Norway, Sweden and Germany- I don’t speak the language (although if Scotland leaves the UK it looks really appealing!) At what point does it get so bad you pack your things and leave? And and what point (like in Nazi Germany) is it too late to leave?

Whilst the idiots who are yelling abuse at foreigners, punching pregnant Polish women in the belly and ripping Hijabs off Islamic women are in the minority, the amount of people who tolerate it or sympathise with it is too high, and the Government is using this to be every more nasty and nationalistic. We must look like a nation of despicable people to the rest of the world.

And so I rid myself of my things with the Union Jack on them in my house- stickers off my guitar, a patch off my coat, and my guitar strap. All gone.

I am no longer proud to be British. These atrocities are not in my name.

I Want My Country Back

And no, this isn’t going to be one of those far-right rants about how we need to get all the ‘Immigants out of ur engerland’. Quite the opposite. But I’m going to steal their phrase to make my point.

The EU referendum has brought out a lot of ill feeling. There have been mis-truths on both sides. But through social media reading comments on various articles, you can read the hate and the desire to keep everyone out who isn’t British. And just last year, all this was hate was driven at all immigrants (particularly Muslims) as demonstrated by this vile petition presented to the Government. In the general election the same year, UKIP got 12.6% of the vote share! That’s a lot of people with very right wing views who want to cut the UK off from the world.

But when did we become this vile, hateful, isolationist country with a superiority complex?

One of the things that made Britain great in modern history was it’s willingness to contribute to the European stage. It defended Belgium in World War One. It defended Poland in World War Two. Now we’re just regarded as the sh*theads who invaded Iraq for oil.

We were amongst the first group of Countries in the first wave of enlargement of the EU (a movement formed with the desire to stop further conflict in Europe) in 1973, clearly seeing the need to be part of something greater than ourselves. We were forward thinking enough in the field of civil rights to be a founding member of the Court of European Human Rights and the European Human Rights acts. Outisde of Europe we also founded the Commonwealth.

But now, if the polls are anything to go by, the majority of the public want to say goodbye to years of progress and cut ties with the EU, giving up our seat in Brussels and our chance to change things in the EU for the better.

I want my Country back from the people who want to throw all this away because they are scared of ‘immigrants’ which have been demonised in the media.

What makes Great Britain ‘Great’? It is a Union (like the European Union is…) of four Countries, and many different peoples. The Celts, The Saxons, The Vikings, The Romans, the immigrants from the Commonwealth who came here after World War Two to help rebuild, the Polish people in our factories doing the jobs spoilt Brits don’t want to… we are a mix of many different peoples. We shouldn’t be demonising these people from other Countries- we are them!

I want my Country back from the bile that is our tabloid newspapers- lies after lies in the Sun and the Daily Express about Muslims, whipping people up in to a frenzy! Scandals about people on benefits, giving the Tories social license to cut lifelines to the majority of benefits claimants who genuinely need it, causing indignity and even death to the poor, the sick and the disabled.

tabloidbileVenomous bile in the UK tabloids

I want my Country back from the hatred- people cheering on the bombing of Syria, knowing full well innocent families will be caught in the blasts. Families coming to Europe fleeing our bombs on boats that are not safe to brave the sea, and the same people in the UK crying ‘send them back to their own Country!’

I want my Country back and my democracy back from the Tories. The NHS was founded when the Country was broke after World War Two, and provided free health care for all. But now, perhaps our greatest social achievement is being sold off and deliberately run in to the ground. Inequality is higher than it’s ever been, and public services are being cut and slashed while MPs get huge pay rises, bankers who caused the crash get massive bonuses, and tycoons funnel vast sums of money in to tax havens. Meanwhile, the Tories show utter contempt for our democracy in the underhand ways they act in parliament- for example fillbusting or the way they are changing the law for fracking (see the bottom of my article here.)

I want my Country back from the madness. An MP was murdered last week for trying to make the world a better place. A soldier was murdered in the streets in 2013. This isn’t normal for a developed Country.

Through all the hatred, I think for the first time ever I am genuinely ashamed to be British.