The gauntlet has been thrown down!

The buildup to my latest epic X-Wing dogfight

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I have an addiction. And that addiction is the Star Wars X-wing Miniatures Game. Those little plastic ships are my crack-cocaine.

I loved Star Wars as a kid, but when it comes to gaming, I’m definitely a late bloomer. My brother and I got coaxed in to a Games Workshop by a man when we were about 10 years old saying “Do you want to play some games?” (sounds a bit creepy by today’s standards) and I’ll be honest- as we had our demo, neither of us had a clue what the fuck was going on. I’m now 26, I still don’t have a clue how the fuck Warhammer 40k works, and I have no interest in a game that I have to build, paint and have to read a rulebook which I could quite easily lodge into someone’s skull every time Games Workshop feel they need to milk their players some more and bring out a new one.

But, by chance, I came across the X-wing Miniatures Game in my local comic book store, then bought it from Waterstones when I had the money for it and said comic book store was sold out! Unbeknown to me, this was just after Wave 2 came out. I honestly had no idea where it would lead, but it was only £30 and I got to play with toy Star Wars ships- so it was worth a go right?!?

It has now exploded somewhat- I own at least one of every Rebel ship bar two, every Scum and Villainy ship, and duplicates of some of them. And as much as I really like pushing plastic ships about the board, what I really like is creating lists- combining ships and upgrades in an ongoing quest to see what works and what doesn’t (much like the Pokemon cards and Beyblades of my youth.)

But I find 100 points too constricting. I play in tournaments and I enjoy it, but I don’t feel there’s enough potential for builds. Support ships, such as Jan Ors in the HWK-290, take up too much of the 100 point limit for my liking, and a 3′ x 3′ board is too small to hide her on. My favourite format is epic dogfight, and without a timelimit- something there’s not as much of written on the internet, and something I’d like to write more of. Which brings me to what this article is all about.

The Story so far

My first ever epic game we don’t talk about anymore! We were still learning the finer points of the core game, and making the odd stupid mistake with the rules. But my friend Luke had just bought a Tantive IV expansion pack, so we tried a 2 v 2 team game (Scum and Villainy vs Rebels.) Two things I would say to anyone thinking about trying epic: make sure you are really comfortable with the core rules, and make sure you have lots of space for your ship cards! If you don’t have an epic ship (like the Scum and Villainy faction) you will need a LOT of room!

My second epic game I played early this year (1v1 with 300 points each), for which myself and Luke travelled to Twisted Comics in Doncaster. The only rules we got wrong is the starting edge and the number of obstacles. This time, I was Rebels and I flew the CR-90. What I didn’t think about was the way the huge ships turn. I placed it right near the edge of the board, and when I turned- well, you can guess what happened with a little under half my squads points. And who won the game…

WP_20150726_001My second epic game setup and ready to go at Twisted Comics in Doncaster

While I had it on the board the CR-90 wasn’t that impressive, and even as the CR-90 sailed past the enemy fleet, I only got two out of four potential attacks off, and it had very little impact on the enemy. The game took about 4 hours, and set-up took ages as we weren’t prepared.

My next attempt at epic, I finally had hold of two E-wing expansions. This time we went to The Grid in Doncaster. I was playing James who had never played epic before, so I took this as a chance to play pretty much all of my favourite ships, dripping in upgrades. Stupid amounts of them. I only had 8 ships in a 300 point match! I think Corran Horn was 44 points on his own (clearly not a smart move in a timed tournament scenario.) I didn’t expect to win, I just wanted to fly some combos I knew would work well and would be fun to fly. Unfortunately, I ran out of points and couldn’t fit in my favourite ship from the film (a Y-Wing.)

WP_20150926_001The ships are put together and obstacles placed, just waiting to deploy ships at The Grid, Doncaster

The result was probably the most fun game of X-Wing I’ve played to date! Although I won, the enjoyment was more down to the fun of highly manoeuvrable ships (such as an A-Wing that could boost and barrel roll and a YT-2400 with a boost) and some of the powerful synergy that the Rebel builds can bring (such as rolling 5 red dice from a B-Wing each turn thanks to Heavy Laser Cannon and Jan Ors trailing behind doing 1 speed moves.) The whole game took about 4 hours again, set-up was much quicker as we’d separated our squads out the night before.

The game got me hooked on epic and the potential to create really devastating combos.

Challenge… accepted!

So with this in mind, I bought the Rebel Transport expansion pack. It looked incredibly dick-ish. Use the jam action to stress enemy ships, then use slicer tools to give them unavoidable damage. What I didn’t realise at the time was as it only has one ship card I can only do one action per turn. But at 30 points, plus 5 points for automated protocols, I can build a ship that is tough, can go round the board giving out free actions to other ships with the co-ordinate action, then ‘heal’ itself by recovering shields. I think for 35 points this will work well. The hard bit is what to sacrifice from my last over-the-top squad to fit it in.

So Craig, who also frequents the new local games store OG Games, has agreed to play me at an epic game. We shall see what horror I can inflict on him with the GR-75. And he is trying out both of the Imperial’s huge ships himself. This could get messy…

Battle report to follow.

One thought on “The gauntlet has been thrown down!”

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