18 August 2014

Potpourri for $500- Wave 6 Revealed, Wave 5 and Rebel Aces, Imperial Assault

So, I unfortunately didn't make it to GenCon after all. Work has just been too crazy for me to get away from here lately, but in case you hadn't heard, it was an eventful weekend for FFG's Star Wars games, including our beloved X-Wing Miniatures.

Wave 6- Scum and Villainy Faction, Multiple Expansions
So not only were the ships of Wave 6 unexpectedly revealed over the weekend, but an entirely new Faction was revealed as well! Yeah, that's me with egg on my face for that one. I never thought I'd see the day, but a third Faction has been added to X-Wing Miniatures.

After the initial reveal at the con, FFG went ahead and threw up a big ol' reveal on their website. In case you missed it, check it out here.

Short version? Now there's a third team called Scum and Villainy. Wave 6 will consist of four Expansions total that will make up the Scum and Villainy team. The Expansions are-

  • Most Wanted- This includes 1 repainted Y-Wing and 2 repainted Z-95 models, but pilot cards for those ships as well as the HWK-290 and the Firespray as well as a ton of upgrades and whatnots. 

  • StarViper- This is Prince Xizor's ship from Shadows of the Empire, which I guess makes sense since Dash Rendar is flying around these days.

  • M3-A Interceptor- This is the ship that's in the artwork for the Elite Pilot Skill Intimidation. Apparently it's a Mandalore ship. 

  • IG-2000- Which is IG-88's ship. 

Wave 5 and Rebel Aces On Sale?!?!
Yeah, they were. At GenCon. You may recall, they did this for Wave 3 as well a year ago, then the ships hit retailers about a month later as I recall. That said, if you're desperate to get your hands on a Decimator or an Outrider, they're on eBay. As I write this, the Buy It Now on either ship is a cool $80. Rebel Aces is clocking in at around $60-65. 

Imperial Assault
So this totally came out of left field kinda like Armada did. IA is a super cool looking Star Wars boardgame with a bunch of sweet miniatures.

Apparently you can play it as a campaign kind of thing or in a one-off kind of skirmish mode as well. When they get to the part about it having "Ally packs", it kinda made me think of the offspring if Arkham Horror and X-Wing Miniatures had a kid. Dunno how accurate that is, but I like the sound of it. Get the full lowdown here in the FFG reveal article

So there ya go! Lots to be excited about, huh? 

14 August 2014

Friendly Reminder- Premier League Starts This Weekend!

Just a friendly reminder that the Premiership starts this weekend and if you want to get in on the fun that is Fantasy Football, click here to join up with me and some of the rest of the fans of the beautiful game here at the bar. 


12 August 2014

Double Reveals- YT-2400 and VT-49 Decimator

Good Lord, FFG be keepin' a brotha busy huh? Yesterday, around lunch time FFG revealed some more info regarding the YT-2400, then later in the afternoon, around the time I was working on and subsequently burning myself on a hot melt machine at work, they went and dropped a second reveal on the Decimator!

(Pro tip- if you ever get burned with hot glue, whether it's the 400 degree industrial strength stuff we use at work or your little hot glue gun at your house, DO NOT PICK IT OFF. Fight the urge. Fight it! I mean, remember that part in Fight Club when Tyler gives Jack a lye burn? I don't mean fight it for the sake of reveling in the pain or whatever to remind yourself you're alive, fight it until you can get to some cold water and submerge your burn, glue and all, in the water. After the throbbing subsides after 10 minutes or so, dump out the water and get some more and do it again. Then a couple hours later, you can pick the glue off and you don't lose the top two layers of skin in the process, which is absolutely what happens if you pick it off when it's still hot. Trust me- I know.)

So we already know a fair amount about the Outrider, the main things revealed today were a heretofore unknown Elite Pilot Skill card called Lone Wolf and the other Named Pilots besides Dash Rendar.

If you were on the fence about buying a YT-2400 because it might be too much like the Falcon and you don't really fly the Falcon too much anymore because some hipsters made fun of you for flying it too much back in the day, and well, you don't like being made fun of like that, guess what? This card alone is pretty much worth the price of admission. 

First it's dotted, which is a good ah-HEM-damn thing because if it wasn't, everybody would be sporting one. For only two points, if you're sad and if you're lonely, and you haven't got a friend, just remember that you can reroll 1 of your blanks whether you're Attacking or Defending. How friggin' awesome is that? Admittedly, this card will take some time to find a home- it's basically anti-TIE Swarm and basically anti-Biggs fill-in-the-blank, but holy mackerel, it's pretty sweet. The obvious application is on TIE Phantoms as they move so herky-jerky they're hard to fly effectively in a formation anyway, but this would work well on anybody who can generally take care of themselves, but sometimes hangs around the rest of the crew anyway. There's so many pilots out there now I hesitate to be all, "It'd be good on this guy", but the ship that mainly comes to mind when I think about this card? A-Wings. I think a lot of people have A-Wings picking off the wounded gazelles and this card makes even a Green Squadron really, really tough to hit and maximizes their attack potential for no cost, i.e. not an Action, other than points. Note too that it works on anything- Primaries or Secondaries. Awesome.

As for the named Outrider pilots, we've got Leebo (not to be confused with Deebo) and Eaden Vrill.

Ok, so that's cool- when your opponent Crits you, you draw 2 cards and choose which one to resolve. I mean, you still get stuck with a Crit, but it's the devil you know and all. The ability isn't that great, but notice that you do end up with a PS 5 Outrider that can take an Elite Pilot Skill. That in and of itself is potentially worth something. 

This is potentially an even bigger deal. 

Remember Sean's article about Stress Relief a week or so ago and how we started talking about how the weaponization of Stress is kind of interesting? This guy totally plays off of that notion in spades because he's PS3 and will be firing after lots of folks voluntarily invoke Stress! With a Primary that can fire outside the firing arc lines! In a ship with 5 Shields, 5 Hull, and a 2 Agility! He's not cheap, but man, in the right list this guy could be really tough on opponents. 

The Decimator we haven't had much stuff revealed, officially anyway. You might have seen over the weekend some screen caps (probably from the print copy of GTM) making the rounds on the internet that revealed a couple of cards for the Deci- I have no idea if the second half of today's double-header was a reponse to that or was planned all along, but regardless, we had that leaked info officially revealed. 

First and foremost, we got the Decimator's dial shown to us for the first time.

Take that in for a second. No there's no red maneuvers and there's no K-Turn. I'm going to say, "So what?" to that nonsense. It's got three Speed 1 maneuvers, every Speed 2 maneuver, every Speed 3 maneuver, and a straight 4. Couple that up with it's 3 Attack Primary Turret, and big base and you've got a very user-friendly ship on the surface.

Especially if this guy is driving it-

Dig on that for a second too- this guy damages ships that he runs into. He's driving a big base ship with the moves I already described above. This thing oughta come with the Ben Hur soundtrack cause there's gonna be a whole lotta ramming speed going on. 

Also note this is probably another thinly veiled attempt by FFG to kill low PS generic ship/ swarm meta. He's PS 4, so he's going to move after all the lower PS ships move, but his card text will basically have no effect on anybody ramming him later in the Activation Phase. Unless you put Anti-Pursuit Lasers on him, of course. 

There's also this little gem, but honestly, I don't know that you actually need it. 

Going through the rest of the reveal, it seems that this whole notion of ramming with a Decimator isn't an accidental kind of thing. Check this out- 

Notice that this thing is kinda like Etahn A'Baht's ability in that those lowered Agility values transfer to the rest of your squadron's shooting. So basically, drive the Deci into the middle of your opponent's formation then blast away. 

Again- do we need anymore proof that FFG is trying to actively balance this game so that non-Swarms have a shot? 

We also got to see the other two named Decimator pilots- 

Come to think of it, I think we'd already seen the Rear Admiral (huh, huh, huh you said rear), but Kenkirk is new. Not sure how much of a difference getting a 1 Agility really gets you at that point over the guided missile of blunt force trauma that is Captain Oicunn, but there ya go. I guess when you take into account the Deci only has 4 Shields, you probably would get a lot of mileage out of that card. Nevermind. 

There are a handful of other upgrades and whatnot that were revealed today. 

While I'm sure you could find some uses for Jerjerrod on a Shuttle or Firespray, he's great on a Decimator because it's almost assuredly going to take some crits. Note that you can choose to jettison Jerjerrod or another Crew member when you want- it's not like the first crit you get you have to actually use him. If you get something that doesn't really interrupt your game plan, you can take that one and sit on Jerjerrod until you get a Direct Hit dealt to you or whatever. That's pretty contextual and you know how I love context. 

Eddie Izzard seems like a good fit on that Kenkirk version of the Decimator. At a glance she seems like a pretty expensive upgrade going onto an already pretty expensive ship, but I could see it working. Honestly, I think if you feel like you can get by without a Gunner, this card might just work best on a Firespray. 

It's kinda funny to me that this card turns up immediately after they debuted a new guy who can effectively render this card useless, but there ya go. It is pretty sweet, really and Rendar, Crew Member is only going to buff the ship he's actually on, so even if your opponent takes it, it's still worthwhile. Again, if you're buying into the Captain Oicunn ramming speed idea, this card is a great one if you can't find the points for APLs as it'll likely be out front and center of whatever else you're flying. 

I got majorly sidetracked when I saw this card because it made me think of Adrianne Curry as the Imperial Officer, which subsequently made me think of Adrianne Curry as Leia in the metal bikini, which also subsequently made me think of Adrianne Curry as Aeon Flux

Anyway, Ruthlessness is another one of those anti-area of effect type cards, but this one is kind of interesting in that it's just an Imperial only Elite Pilot Skill. Do your buddies take Biggs all the time? Well, here's the kryptonite for that. Admittedly, it's not totally cheap and you need to watch it as Ruthlessness must hurt somebody at Range 1 if your Attack actually Hits, but it's hard to debate its usefulness against opponents who favor formations. Also dig on the fact that it's not dotted. While multiple 18 point Black Squadron Pilots might not sound like the brightest idea on paper, the collateral damage this card causes certainly does make a case for it, no? 

Long story already long, I really like how these ships change the game. You know that I'm kind of a sucker for trying new stuff and all that, many of these cards that have been recently revealed have the potential to disrupt the dominant meta and really put the match result back into the hands of the guy who can fly his list better, which I think is really cool. It's commendable to me how they've done it without totally destroying the groundwork they've put down up to this point too, y'know?

I mean sure, if you think formations are the only way to play this game, you probably don't share that opinion, but after all of this evens out in the long run, I think most folks will be building their lists around what they actually want to play rather than what they feel like they have to bring to be competitive. And again, not all of y'all may agree with me when I say it, but I think that's awesome. 

11 August 2014

GeekV's Store Now Online!

I got an email Friday from our pal Andrew at GeekV's Clothing Company saying that their online store is up and running! Stop by and give it a looksee and tell 'em Clint sent ya! 

Good luck with the store, Andrew! Guys like you inspire me to someday throw down my yoke from The Man and make a go of it mydamnself! 


Potpourri for $500- Armada Announced, D&D Attack Wing Rules Posted

It's been a busy weekend, huh?

FFG Announces Star Wars Armada

I don't mean for this to sound crappy, because obviously I really, really, really like X-Wing Miniatures, but Star Wars Armada is kinda the game a lot of us have been holding our breath for. Don't get me wrong- I don't plan on giving up on X-Wing or anything, but when I mentioned before, waaaay back in high school and shortly thereafter, that game that BC and I were working on? Of course it had capital ships. I mean, it's one thing to be Han or Luke, it's whole other thing to be Ackbar, you know what I'm sayin'?

So two years(-ish) after X-Wing drops, now comes Armada.

As you've no doubt heard, read, or figured out, Armada is like fleet level engagements as opposed to squadron level dogfights.

The reveal article actually talks a whole lot about the game mechanics and stuff, so I highly suggest you read it when you have a few minutes to take it all in, but I'll hit some highpoints below if you don't have time.

So the box comes with three Cap ships- a Victory class Star Destroyer and a couple of smaller Rebel ships- a CR90 and a Nebulon B. All of these are pre-painted. Also included along with the usual ton of counters, cards, and whatnots are the squadrons of TIE Fighters and X-Wings which are not painted, but are "presented in colors to compliment their fleets." It's kinda hard to get a concrete idea of how big any of this stuff is as we don't really know anything we can use as a reference, but assuming the dice are the same sized as the dice in X-Wing, the image below should give you an idea.

Again, put as much stock in that as you want, but I think you can see why FFG opted to not pre-paint the fighter squadrons. 

As for the game itself, it definitely seems more complicated than X-Wing, but I don't say that in a negative way- truth be told, it should be more complicated than X-Wing. FFG explains it all, but there's an initative system, there is a Commands mechanic that's sorta like a marriage of the secret Choose Maneuver and Perform Action step, and while there aren't static templates like we're used to in X-Wing, there is template based movement to represent the relative maneuverability of the ships. 

I'm like really boiling it down here, but basically, your ship's card has some tick marks on it that tell you how many units you can move the template at what speed. Like, check out the image above- see the little arrowhead at the joints and the tick marks after it? 

The graph deal reads kinda weird, but as I understand it, you choose the speed you want to go, which is represented by the numbers across the bottom, then starting with the number you chose, you read up and that's how many clicks (tick marks) you can change the template and in what sections of the movement template deal. 

So the CR90 card there on the left has four possible speeds, 1-4. If say, we chose to do a Speed 3, we can't change any clicks at the first joint, but we can change the template one click at the second joint, and two clicks at the third joint. 

If we had decided to go Speed 2, we could change the first joint one click, and the second joint two clicks, and so on. 

The Star Destroyer is obviously less maneuverable, so not only can it only choose between Speed 1 and Speed 2, it only can modify it's template a single click in the closest joint at Speed 1, but if it's going Speed 2, it cannot change the first joint, but can change the second joint a single click. 

Here's an example of the CR90 moving at Speed 3- 

So judging by this image, changing a click is a "may" not a "must" kind of thing, dig? 

After the Command and Ship phases, we come to the squadron phase where the X-Wings and TIEs can mix it up, then everything wraps in the Status Phase and if it stopped right there, I'd probably still be on board with this game, but the article then goes on to mention that this game isn't just caps pounding each other for the fun of it- oh no. There's Objectives to be won! 

Before the game starts, you and your opponent choose an Objective which apparently not only changes the setup and stuff, but also gives you some special rules and in some cases winning conditions. 

Past that, there's not a lot of intel about the game other than what's given, but it does allude to fleet building though it doesn't really say if there's going to be a points system or a GW style Force Org Chart or just what. They also don't mention Expansions or booster packs or whatever you want to call them, but the last pic in the article has an ISD with a total of six TIE Fighter squadrons. 

You'll note the contents shot only includes two squadrons of TIEs. You'll also notice that the MSRP on this monster is a cool hundy in US dollars, so I doubt we'll be having those "How many core sets do I buy?", discussions this time around. At least I sure hope we don't. One of the reasons I got out of 40k was the high cost of living- having two little kiddos running around ain't cheap as many of y'all know and the relatively low buy-in of X-Wing is/ was one of the most attractive aspects of the game for a lot of folks and is maybe the only thing that could possibly shoot Armada in the foot at this point. 

Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing Rules Posted

While I was never really all that interested in the Star Trek version (ain't hatin'- it's just not my bag) of the Flight Path, I gotta admit, there's a dorky middle-schooler inside of me that's kinda stoked about Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing. Up to this point, we've gotten very little actual information about it, but over the weekend, BC reported to me via G+ that WizKids had posted the rules for it on their website

Aside from the rules, there's still not a ton of info regarding this game, which kinda makes you wonder when exactly it's going to actually be released, but there's a kind of surprisingly well-developed Organized Play section and some renders of what the dragon models in the core set will look like. 

Going through the PDF, it would appear that there's a quick-start rulebook and a full-on rulebook, which is what the PDF is. 

Right off the bat, they mention that there are rules for customizing your "legion" and playing campaigns, so Expansions or boosters or whatever you want to call it are definitely in the cards. 

The stuff that comes in the starter box seems pretty similar to the stuff you got in your X-Wing Miniatures starter, but with some small differences- for example, there are still Straight, Turn, and Bank templates, but it seems there are more of each in Attack Wing. There are Armor Tokens instead of Shield Tokens, there are maneuver dials, there are Action tokens, and Crits, red Attack dice, Green Agility dice, a Damage Deck, and so on. There are a few new ones too- Pivot tokens, Effect Tokens, Duration counters, Exhaustion tokens, but it really seems if you've got a good handle on X-Wing, you can very likely pick this game up and play it with very little rulebook face time. 

I mean, check out the creature card for the Red Dragon- 

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, mind you. Again- there's tons of us who obviously enjoy the Flight Path ruleset, and probably at least a few of us find the similarity between X-Wing Miniatures and Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing comforting if not attractive, but at some point, you have to wonder if the two games are too close to being the same thing for people to buy both, y'know? 

I will say, one thing that made me sit up a little in my chair was that the rulebook had a setup for a 3-player match. 

It's funny- I've never really wished for additional Factions in X-Wing, simply because while there have been third parties that could conceivably be added like Pirates or Smugglers or the Yuzong Vohn or whatever, I just always think of Star Wars as being the Empire and the Rebels, y'know? But with Attack Wing, a third faction is just another dragon flying around or whatever, so it totally works in my mind. 

Thumbing through the rest of the PDF, anyone who is at all familiar with X-Wing Miniatures will find a lot of common ground- maneuvers have a kind of Stress mechanic, there's an Activation Phase, etc., but everything has enough of a twist on it that I think it keeps the game from being too similar, although again- some folks will complain it's just a re-skin of X-Wing Miniatures, and truth be told, they're pretty much exactly right. There are some new tricks here and there, but they're all bolted on to a very familiar chassis. I guess what I'm saying is, if FFG released X-Wing Miniatures 2.0 and wanted to build in a little more depth, like say for example with mechanics where you can manage power to shields, engine, and guns, or get more detailed weapon effects so that Ion Weapons work more like they did in X-Wing for PC, you'd probably end up with something very close to Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing, just with different names for things. 

And although some folks would hate it if it shows up in X-Wing, there are rules for ground units in Attack Wing. 

Texting with BC and Sean after the Armada reveal Friday, BC wondered aloud how/ if X-Wing Miniatures would continue to be supported model-wise. My answer at the time was "New movies." I mean, we already have seen the leaked/ released pictures of that X-Wing with the weird engines or the Headhunter with four guns, depending on what you think you're looking at, but after all this, I wonder if AT-ATs and Shield Generators could be in our future at some point? 

Did I mention that Attack Wing has an Altitude mechanic?