Monday, April 8, 2013

X-Wings of War

My regular opponent got himself the new X-Wing miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games and I got a chance to try it out yesterday. The game inherits it's base mechanics from Wings of War (hence the clever topic I'm sure no-one has thought of before me) which means players control a small selection of aeroplanes (or in this case starships) and have a dogfight. As in WoW, player secretly choose their fighters' next move, but in X-Wing, you choose only one move at a time instead of three. Whereas in WoW you draw cards with variable damage each time you get your opponent in your fire arc, in WoW you have a simple die roll mechanic for hitting and dodging, and only critical hits are randomized by cards. In X-Wing, the skill of the pilots determine the sequence at which things happen. The worst pilots move first and shoot last, giving the better pilots and edge, even though you cannot see how your opponent will move before choosing your move.

As you'd expect from Fantasy Flight, the base Wings of War rules are beefed up with some effect cards and special abilities as well. You buy your fighters using a points buy system and can beef them up with special skills, missiles, R2 units and so on. It isn't complicated though, and doesn't slow the game down from what you'd expect from Wings of War.

The game is played using pre painted miniatures of X-Wings, Tie Fighters and so on. The core set only comes with one X-Wing and two Tie Fighters, but you can naturally buy "booster packs" with the associated cardboard stuff. The Expansion packs seem a bit pricey, but the pre painted models acturally look pretty good so if you are the kind of gamer with no shortage for cash but no time to paint then these are not a bad deal. I'm pretty sure FFG is going to be doing a lot of expansions for this and make a bunch of money.

Our game was a simple meeting engagement between a squadron of two X-Wings and two Y-Wings and another of four Tie Fighters and one Advanced Tie. Except the rebels had Wedge Antilles and the imperials had Darth Vader. The game went like a usual game of Wings of War, a true furball without any regard for the z-axis. The rebels ended up losing (possible aided by poor die rolls) as the imperials lost only one Tie Fighter. 

I recommend this for some light beer and pretzels fun (possibly with non gamers) and as a light tournament game.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A couple of pictures from my early wargaming days

I started miniatures wargaming in 1998 through Warhammer fantasy. I had played HeroQuest and pen and paper roleplaying games before, but I had long had that itch towards Warhammer. After playing Warhammer: Dark Omen and getting a coupon for a free miniature I was lost. I found some old photos of my first Warhammer models and I thought I'd share.

My first army was Orcs & Goblins and they have remained close to my heart. I started during 5th edition but in this army shot there's already models from the 6th edition starter set. There's also a nice collection of terrain available. I think the first couple of years I played mostly with bits of cardboard on the table.

I sold off this army after being fed up with a few too many failed animosity rolls. Later I would regret selling that Marauder Giant, a mistake already remedied

Next we have a battle shot between those orcs and a Wood Elf army belonging to an old friend. This is pretty much the level of terrain I had for a long time. I guess my modeling has improved in the past 15 years, huh?

I really liked Warhammer siege games back then, and build that castle for it. I think the castle is still at my parents' house, intact. By the way, that Metallica poster was BAD. ASS.

My second army was a Vampire Counts army for Warhammer 6th edition. It was the first miniatures project I completed, and the first I entered into tournaments with. It was a powerful army and I'm still quite pleased with the figures.

Here they are fighting the wood elves again. I'm afraid the Wood Elf list during 6th edition didn't have a snowball's chance in hell against the Vampire Counts and my friend ended up losing the majority of his games against me. I didn't mind, I was having a competitive streak back then.

There was a period when I played Warhammer 40 000 too. I think I completed a 1000 point space marine army during the third edition, and played with some Tyranids and imperial guard without buying the armies (couldn't afford to). I ended up selling away all my 40K stuff after getting bored with the third edition rules.

Hmm. If I started Warhammer 15 years ago and I'm 30, I guess I've played for half of my life now. I didn't grow out of the toys after all..