Monday, 7 March 2016

Gaming with the Boy

Well, it looks like I'm terrible at keeping a blog updated regularly. 

I introduced my 5-year old son to Space Hulk this weekend. He beat me twice in a row, and I didn't take a huge handicap. Proud dad moment!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Heroes of the Aturi Cluster

Co-op X-Wing miniatures?  

I heard about the Heroes of the Aturi Cluster campaign on the excellent D6 Generation podcast recently. I haven't made time to play FFG's X-Wing miniatures game for a while (a combination of being very busy, and being a pretty poor player) but this campaign caught my interest.

I managed to get a group of interested friends together on the weekend for a game. So, here is the first adventure of Jester Squadron in the Aturi Cluster!

Introducing Jester Squadron

Laserbrain (played by yours truly), flying an X-Wing with an R2 unit and an Engine Upgrade. Nominated Squad Leader for this game, because apparently he's a better politician than a pilot. 
Laserbrain's Blue X-Wing

KillerK, flying an X-Wing with R5-D8 and Flechette Torpedoes
KillerK's bird

Leadbelly, also flying an X-Wing with R5-D8 and Flechette Torpedoes

Leadbelly's "Porkins Special"

Goldmember, piloting a Y-Wing with an Ion Turret and R5-P9 

Goldmember used a stock Y-Wing paint scheme, so I used a stock photo

Mac, flying a Y-Wing BTL-A4 with an R2 unit and a Twin Laser not-a-turret. 
Mac's BTL-A4

Mission 1: Local Trouble

We started our first mission together, investigating some signals in a nearby asteroid field. Sure enough, we found two flights of TIE Fighters. Locking our S-foils in attack position, we prepared to engage!
Starting positions.  This'll be a blue milk run.

We hit the throttles and charged into battle like the overeager, under experienced rookies we were. Laserbrain managed to dodge out of the TIEs' firing arcs, leaving his buddies exposed (oops).
Maybe racing top speed into them wasn't the best plan...
KillerK and Mac took some damage, and we barely scratched the TIEs. We blasted through the enemy formations and spun around for another run. Laserbrain scraped up on an asteroid, weakening his shields.
Most of us managed to turn around, but KillerK needed to make repairs

We unloaded our blasters Adding insult to injury, a pair of TIE Interceptors came screaming in on a flanking vector. 
Uh-oh, incoming Interceptors!

Mac had his Twin Lasers destroyed by a critical hit. KillerK frantically tried to repair her badly damaged X-Wing using her droid, and managed to swing in behind the Interceptors. 
Nice tail, KillerK!

We managed to abandon Mac to the TIEs while we ganged up on the Interceptors with the X-Wings. 
Hang in there, Mac!

Goldmember escaped with heavy damage, and the X-Wings blew up the Interceptors. The TIEs kept bonking into each other as they turned to chase the X-Wings. 
They're on my six!

Focusing our fire, the X-Wings managed to slowly whittle down the TIEs while two more came screaming in!
Starfighters are not great at going back-to-back.

We managed to win, because the TIEs couldn't quite destroy the X-Wings before the time limit ran out!  Mac lost his best upgrade, though, and decided to retire from his career as a combat pilot. 

Laserbrain upgraded with Proton Torpedoes. KillerK and Leadbelly reinforced their X-Wings with Hull Upgrades, and Goldmember purchased a Shield Upgrade and a Seismic Charge.  We welcomed a new pilot, callsign Rambler, who was also in a Y-Wing, this time with an Ion Turret and an R7-T1 astromech.

Mission 2: Capture Officer

Even though it was getting late, we decided to go for a second mission. Rebel intelligence identified an Imperial Moff's shuttle transit and planned an ambush. We made Leadbelly our squad leader this time, since he had shown the most acumen last mission. 

We split up our squadron and flanked the shuttle. We managed to lure its TIE Fighter escorts away, and Leadbelly one-shotted one of the escorts at long range.  Nice shot, and a nice start to the mission!  We were feeling confident.  We started to attack the shuttle when we realized that we needed it to be heading away from its escape route before we piled on it.  Otherwise, it would be able to escape.
Yes, we peeled off the escorts!

Unfortunately we were distracted by an elite TIE Advanced pilot who came racing in from an unexpected direction.  The plan was to get the shuttle heading away from its escape edge, then blast it with ionization until it was disabled.  Unfortunately we waited one turn too long to start blasting it.  Meanwhile, the TIE Advanced was ionized but still managed to blow Laserbrain to smithereens.  The damage to his already-undersized brain meant he would only get half the XP for this mission.

On the other hand, Goldmember managed to drop a Seismic Charge in a beautiful position, next to the TIE Advanced and another TIE fighter when they were both down to 1 hull point.  KillerK accused him of being a dirty, dirty kill-stealer since she had done most of the damage to the elite TIE Advanced already.
Tick, tick, tick... BOOM!

KillerK was suddenly blown apart by lucky shots from a couple of TIE fighters, and lost her Hull Upgrade.  Even more unfortunately, when we only needed to do one more point of damage to disable the shuttle, Rambler and Goldmember nearly crashed into each other, upsetting their focus.  They fluffed their shots on the fleeing Moff's ship, and it sped out of the asteroid field.  Mission failed!
The shuttle escapes our grasp!

Still, we had earned a few more XP thanks to the TIE fighters we'd killed, and all of our pilots survived mostly unscathed.

Now let's blow this thing and go home! 

Overall impressions - this was a really fun way to play X-Wing, and the consensus was that we want to continue seeing the exploits of Jester Squadron.  I personally thought that this was a much more enjoyable way to play multiplayer X-Wing than our usual team battles.