26 May 2014

Link to the Scenarios

So here's a link to a GDrive folder with all of the scenario submissions for the contest.

If I got your name wrong or you wanted your internet handle and I have your real name or whatever, just shoot me an email or leave a message in the comments and I'll fix it. I'll make a much nicer presentation page in the near future when I add this to the Scenarios section. 

Thanks again to everyone who entered! Winners, I'll be sending your addresses to Miniature Market today! 

23 May 2014

Miniature Market and TMB Scenario Writing Contest 2014- THE RESULTS!

First, sorry this took so long, but we had more entries than I'd thought, so it took awhile for me to really go through them all (which was a nice problem to have, by the way). Much like the painting contest, it was really difficult trying to pare down the entries and whatnot as there were 6-8 I thought were really pretty strong. There were all kinds of entries for this thing (27 or 28 total as I recall)- a lot of Extended Universe referencing (Disney be damned), a lot of asteroid chases and movements, some comedy, some drama, you name it. As that Highlander guy said though, "There can be only one", or in this case, three. So without further adieu- 

3rd Place
Shuttle Shell Game by Jonathan Chapman

I like this entry because it introduces a relatively simple mechanic (hidden crew members) that really changes the strategy for both the Imperial and Rebel player without introducing a ton of new rules and whatnot. Is rating this scenario as highly as I did extremely subjective? Yes, absolutely. That said, I think a lot of folks would enjoy this scenario because it's different enough from regular X-Wing Miniatures dogfight games that it'd feel like something different without totally changing everything up and making it inaccessible to the average casual gamer. Nice job Jonathan!

2nd Place
The Guide by Chromatic

I can't remember if I've ever made a Hitchhiker's Guide joke on here or not- I'm guessing I've probably made one or two in the past 300+ posts, but I don't think it's like terribly obvious that I'm a Douglas Adams fan. I am though. I read all five books in the trilogy as well as two of the Dirk Gently books, so when I read Chromatic's entry in the contest, it definitely brought a smile to my face. 

Surprisingly detailed and well presented, and at the end of the day it's actually more of a campaign than just a scenario as it includes the rules and whatnot for five different missions (see the connection there? Huh? Huh?), it's really, really good stuff y'all. Those of you who have not read the late, great, Mr. Adams' books would still enjoy playing the scenarios, but if you actually have read his stuff, you'll like them even more. Brilliant work, Chromatic! Thanks for sharing it with the class!

1st Place
Dogfight Barfight by Tailsgod

I honestly can't tell you if Tailsgod wrote Dogfight Barfight with me and TMB in mind, but I will say this- I had an idea for a series of linked scenarios last summer that I still haven't found the time to complete, but I have some notes saved in my GDrive regarding three or four different scenarios. 

When I read Dogfight Barfight, for a moment, I thought I was reading one of those files. Obviously, I wasn't- Tailsgod just happened to tap into a similar muse regarding bars, booze, and uh, buh-starfighters. B-Wings? Blasters? Nah, I'ma stick with buh-starfighters.

It's got a drunk pilot game mechanic for Christ's sake. I mean, how could I not pick this as the winner? 

Thanks again for everyone who took the time to enter the contest, and thanks as always to Miniature Market for being the coolest sponsor ever!

I'll go through the rest of the entries, make them fit for sharing across the internet (translation- delete people's real names and street addresses from their entries), and share them so y'all can enjoy. For now, see how the titles are links? If you click on them, they should take you to that particular entry so y'all can enjoy the winners right now and the rest when I have a chance to go through them. 

Winners- I'll forward your addresses on to Miniature Market. Chromatic- email me your choice of an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter Expansion when you get a chance. 


21 May 2014

Hosting a Demo Game by Cliff

A few weeks ago I mentioned that a guy named Cliff was trying to revitalize/ start the X-Wing scene here in Evansville, Indiana by doing some demo games at the local stores. I attended one of his demos and he has a pretty interesting way of getting new folks into the game without overwhelming them. He's done a write-up of his system that I'd like to share with y'all. Take it away Cliff!

I have recently volunteered to host a series of demo games at 3 stores that sell the X-wing game. As I write this, it occurred to me that I’ve taught this game in multiple informal settings prior to the store demos. I’ve taught it to nephews at different family reunions and I’ve taught it at Boy Scout summer camp to about a dozen teenagers. I’ve taught adult co-workers, fellow archaeologists, when we were out on an excavation with not much going on at night when the work day was done. Some of the players I’ve taught had not even seen the movies, but they could tell from the excitement around the table that they too wanted to play this game.

I’d like to share a few tips that I’ve come up with to help explain the game to noobs. First, the game owner needs to do some prep work. Don’t just bring your collection as is. To break the game down into bite size chunks I created a bunch of 50 point packets. In each plastic bag is also all the tokens that each player will need. (That’s a great time saver by itself.) I don’t want to overwhelm a new player and about 50 points is all they should be expected to keep track of. Remember 50 points can be 4 Tie Fighters and that’s a handful! For the store demos I preplanned a 3 vs 3 game for 150 points on each side. In one demo that was a perfect fit; in another a vetern player showed up, so that person fielded 100 points while I and the new player simply picked 2 pre-packaged packets (and I gave the new player choice of the 3).

Another thing I do is to not overwhelm the new players with too many rules before the first game even begins. An example being all discussion of pilot skill can be eliminated if the game owner prestocks the movement bases with the number tokens in squential order. No longer am I X-wing # 8 because its my favorite number, but because I’m the 8th ship to move.

(As shown in the photo this is how I bring my stands to the demo game. It’s a great time saver to not have to dig through your collection looking for a specific ship’s base thus creating more game time.)

Another tip for not overwhelming a noob with rules is to delay talking about collisions until one happens. I say something like “Don’t hit the asteriods, but WHEN you do we’ll talk about it.”

I also simplify the Target Lock tokens. I have some from a 3rd party vendor that are numbered and sometimes I’ve had to put a sticker on the tokens that came with the game. So now Target Lock #2, matches ship #2 and that ship is the second pilot to move. That’s much more straight forward than the alternative of having: Pilot skill 6, moves 3rd, is labeled 9 and has a Target Lock of G.

I also like to designate the more powerful ships with 2 pegs and the peons with 1. That way the players can remember which X-wing is Luke at a quick glance.

The next thing I’ve done is to create a poster that explains the card stats, the symbols on the dice and has a turn Sequence listed. In the 3 vs 3 game at the most recent demonstration I could see the players looking at it to answer their own questions. Later on when the game was almost finished, I was still in teaching mode; whereas, the players had mastered the sequence already so ironically I was slowing down game play instead of enhancing it.

A couple memorable sound bites are: Spin your Wheels, Move Up, Shoot Down. Those phrases are great shorthand for what happens in a turn.

(The above poster was made with an oversized card from a tournament promotional pack)

So there ya have it. Let Cliff know what you think of his demo system in the comments! 

16 May 2014

Potpourri for $500- Scenario Contest, Fab's Now in Portugeuse, Crew Member Han, Crew Member Leia Leaked!

Scenario Contest Update

So I apologize but I'm still reading through the entries for the Scenario Contest. I'd really hoped to reveal the winner today, but it's been a busy week and I just haven't found the time to finish going through the scenarios. I ended up getting quite a few on Sunday just before the deadline and we ended up having about 30 folks enter, which much like the painting contest, doesn't necessarily mean we only got 30 entries- some folks sent multiples. 

Anyway, let me see what I can get through over the weekend and hopefully Monday I'll not only announce the winners, but also have the entries available for download. 

Fab's Squadron Generator Now in Portuguese!

Yup, so the French Connection has been at it again. Now Fab's Squadron Generator is available in Portuguese! He's also added the leaked info on the Phantom as well as all of the cards from the Transport. Fab's also got a new mode for his software that lets you run what used to be the separate Manual and Random modes as a single version now in addition to including ship maneuvers alongside the selected ship's pilot information. Last but not least, Fab added in a Play mode that allows you to build squadrons for Epic and Escalation. Pretty sweet, huh? Thanks Fab for all of your hard work! Fab's can be found here or over there in the right sidebar o' links under Listbuilders and Whatnot. 

Crew Member Han and Crew Member Leia Leaked!

An aficionado sent me some leaked info on the Crew Member Han and Crew Member Leia cards that'll be included with the Tantive IV Expansion. I'm always hesitant to run pictures of things I didn't take myself or that you guys took yourself and give me permission to use, or that is available as reasonable free use (i.e. images from the FFG site, the models themselves, my cats, etc.), so I'm not going to post pics of the cards themselves, but I will tell you what they do. 

Crew Member Han Solo
Rebel Only (of course)
2 points
When Attacking, if you have a Target Lock on the Defender, you may spend that Target Lock to change all of your <Focus> results to <filled explosion> results. 

Crew Member Leia Organa
Rebel Only
4 points
At the start of the Activation Phase, you may discard this card to allow all friendly ships that reveal a red maneuver to treat that maneuver as a white maneuver until the end of the phase. 

So there ya go. An olive branch for not finding time to get through the Scenario Contest entries. Have a good weekend, y'all! 

14 May 2014

Flying with Large Ships by GlassJoe

EDIT: My bad on the pics not showing up, y'all. Completely my doing. 

I received some pretty interesting emails from a guy named GlassJoe recently. He suggested I do an article about maneuvering Large ships, much like what I did with the old TIE Swarm back in the day in those Moving and Maneuvering a formation articles. 

I thought it was a great idea, but knew it'd require some homework on my part- lots of picture taking and experimentation and whatnot. 

Lucky for me, after only a little crying about my work schedule and all, GlassJoe did the homework for me. The following is his work entirely, so if you dig it, give him a shoutout in the comments. 

Take it away Joe! 

Flying with Large Ships
by GlassJoe

Kamarov: Stop pissing, Yuri. Give me a template and a direction, and I'll fly the asteroids in a Falcon with no windows.

Flying with large ships - Objective
This article is designed to assist new players or people who have picked up a large ship for the first time and want to introduce it on to the battle field. Familiarity with the earlier formation articles posted on TMB is strongly recommended.

Overall considerations - You should know this
Know your possible combinations on the dial. Nothing like trying to pull off something you can't achieve or if it is a stress move- I'm talking to you shuttle pilots. You don't have any turns, only banks.
Understand the collision ramifications - not only will lose your action it can push you far out of position.
Pilot Skill plays a large role when behind a large ship a place not to be.

The big and small relationship - Let's light this candle
One of the first things you notice with the large ship base is the size of the base in relation to that of a small ship base. The starting position of the small base (top, middle, bottom) can have a significant impact on the successful maneuvers you can perform.
The example below shows that large base 2R turn might work with a small base 1R turn depending on staring location.

(Small ship on top hits, lower clears)

If you think ahead you can adjust you orientation quite easily with the proper combination as shown below.

(Top start -2 keeps pace, 1 drops to back)

(Bottom start - 3 moves to top, 2 keeps pace, 1 drops to back)

Now let's take a look at 1 Turn with ship on opposing sides. Having everyone Bank 1L (side note is there some standard notation used to denote all movement? No, not that I know of anyway- C) no collisions but there might be a significant problem. Can you spot it? Hint: PS is a factor.

(Everyone Bank 1L)

Did the small ship base on the right hand side catch your eye? His movement, while not obstructed, has limited potential next turn if it has a lower PS than the large. I tested all the combinations at list was my result. Green = no collision, Red = collision, White = too close to call
Mad props to http://cardcreator.atelierdufaucon.com for the image below.

Here is the white one, you make the call. You'll have to forgive the crudeness of this model. I didn't have time to paint it or build it to scale.

You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia," but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!"
Seriously consider NOT getting behind your own ship.

So end the lesson....


So- what did you think? Good stuff, no? Thanks again for the article Joe! 

13 May 2014

Potpourri for $500- Tantive IV Now Shipping, Wave 4 Rumors, Jim's Asteroids!

Just a couple of items here in a short update.

First, I got a few anonymous emails over the weekend regarding the release of the Tantive IV and Wave 4 Expansions. The emails said the Tantive would be shipping towards the end of this week and that the Wave 4 ships would be shipping around the middle to end of June.

One of those predictions has already come true. The Tantive IV is now shipping and is slated to be in stores for my wife's birthday, 22 May. Now, if you don't mind paying full price, but potentially getting your hands on the ship a few days early, you might keep an eye on your local Barnes and Noble. You may recall they put the GR-75 on their shelves a few days earlier than the actual street release date. Of course, if you'd rather save nearly $30 off the retail price, now would be a great time to pre-order from Miniature Market!

Will the second part come true about Wave 4 ships being in stores by the end of June? Could happen. I mean look- they're giving some away at the Imdaar Alpha events that are being held at the end of this month, so it's not like they're nowhere in sight, y'know?

Pure conjecture here, but I could see FFG wanting there to be less of a delay between Imdaar and the actual release than the other time around with the Kessel Run (Dec) and the Wave 2 release (March). Lots of folks hit multiple tournaments and some of the folks that won turned around and sold their ships on Ebay, which seemed to hack off a lot of the community at worst and divide it on whether or not that was acceptable and ethical behavior at best.

Either way, I'm inclined to believe in the projected release date this time.

Lastly, I got an email from an aficionado named Jim showing off some 3D asteroids he'd made awhile back. He mentioned in his email that when he went to pick some up at one of the big chain home improvement stores, he was dismayed to find out they only sold them in 50 pound bags, which was, of course, way more than what he needed. Well, as it turns out, Jim tells them he only needs a handful for "an art project" and they let him walk out with them free of charge!

So those of you who haven't gotten around to making your asteroids yet (and don't forget- there's a great howto that Flocky from Australia sent to me awhile back here), you might try the Jim Acquisition Method for yourself. I like his swanky blue bases and stands too.


12 May 2014

The Entry Phase Has Closed

Hey y'all!

Just a quick note today to remind you that the Miniature Market/ TheMetalBikini.com Scenario Writing Contest has come to a close. While you're more than welcome to submit your scenarios for me to post up on the site, you will not be eligible for the prizes as the entry deadline was about four hours ago. 

Thanks to all of you who took the time to participate. Give me a day or two and I'll post the winners. 

You guys once again did not disappoint. We had entries from all over the place again- from Siberia to Finland to Vermont. I'm very eager to read through the scenarios to see what y'all came up with! 

Thanks for playing!

08 May 2014

TIE Phantom Preview

Yup, so in keeping with tradition, a few days ago FFG revealed the last Wave 4 ship- the TIE Phantom

I guess this ship is from one of the video games I didn't play (quick Googling reveals it was Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire) because I don't know much about it, and obviously it wasn't in the movies. 

While doing the aforementioned Googling, I discovered the TIE Phantom has five guns on her- the two right below the front glass like most all TIEs have, but then apparently there's another gun on the tip of each of the "wings" as well. I guess in FFG terms, having five guns nets you 4 Attack dice, if you were curious as to why this thing has more guns than any other starfighter currently available. 

Past that big Attack value, the rest of the stats are rather ho-hum with 2s the rest of the way down. With that in mind, and the fact that FFG seems to be strongly encouraging, and by strongly encouraging I mean like how Morrie was strongly encouraged to pay Jimmy Conway the money he owed him in Goodfellas, all of us who have ever run a Swarm to consider other alternatives. 

This kinda leaves the Phantom in interesting territory. 

If you're mainly Imperial and you're looking for a ship with stats for days, you're going to likely pick up a Defender. If you're looking for something that plays different, you've got the Shuttle or a Firespray or heck, even a Bomber. 

Where does the Phantom fit in? It's base stats aren't great, and it's kinda expensive for the points...

As part of it's base Action bar, the Phantom has the Cloak Action. 

I didn't really talk about this much in the first reveal article where we touched on the Phantom, but more or less, it works like this- Cloaking your ship counts as an Action, hence the title of the card. I realize that sounds kind of duh obvious, but there's a reason why I mention it that we'll get to in a moment. Once you're Cloaked, you get to place your fancy new Cloak Token on the table near your ship and add 2 Defense dice to your rolls, but you can't perform Attacks, Primary or Secondary. 

Decloaking yourself is not an Action, the card refers to it as an Event, which I guess is as good a term as any for something that's kinda Action-like, but isn't actually an Action. 

So the main question on everyone's minds is, when can you perform your Decloak event? The answer is just before you reveal your dial. So long story long, no, I can't think of a way off the top of my head to Cloak and Decloak in the same game round, although it goes without saying that Decloaking then Cloaking in the same round is no problem at all.

So what happens during a Decloaking event? Well, as mentioned, you spend your Cloak token to Decloak, then before revealing your dial, you can either do a Straight 2 or a Barrel Roll using the Straight 2 template rather than the Straight 1 template. The card goes on to say you can Decloak even if you have a Stress token, but you can't Decloak if you can't pull one of those two maneuvers without overlapping another ship or obstacle, and as was the case with Boosting, if your template overlaps the obstacle, you also can't Decloak. 

Assuming you can though, you can proceed as normal with your Activation phase once you Decloak. 

So yeah. Long story long, Phantoms are kinda vulnerable to blocking meta, at least on paper, but with several options available for movement after this Decloaking business, for players who take the time to get past the inevitable learning curve, they'll be pretty tough to block out, especially with them having their normal maneuver right after the Decloaking event moves.

One of the named Phantom pilots, "Echo", further compounds this unpredictability and learning curve, by disallowing the use of the Straight 2 template and instead requiring the player to use the 2 Bank template instead for the Decloak moves. That's nuts. If you're curious as to what that looks like, FFG made a couple of images to illustrate the possibilities, but the first image assumes you chose a 1 Turn after the Decloak, so it isn't truly indicative of Echo's moves. 

Last bit about all this Cloaking and Decloaking business, bear in mind that the timing of the Decloaking card states that bit about revealing your dial. If you get yourself into a situation where you don't get to reveal your dial, like when you've been stuck with an Ion token, then you won't be Decloaking. 

All that in mind, FFG also revealed the Phantom's dial- 

Nothing that exactly takes your breath away, but it's not terrible either. Kinda TIE-ish, which is nice in keeping with the theme, and has two K-Turns: one at 3 and one at 4. I keep on imagining how much ground these guys can cover with a Decloak Straight 2 and a Straight 4 on top of that. I know a lot of folks are already kind of penciling in the Defender to be their main jousting ship, but a Phantom could make for a decent stand-in, and has more of the intermediate maneuverability the Defender kind of lacks. 

The rest of the Actions in the Phantom's Action bar are standard fare for most Imperial ships- Focus, Barrel Roll, and Evade. 

Like most ships in X-Wing Miniatures, we've got 2 named pilots and 2 generic ones in this Expansion, and also like most ships in X-Wing, the two named guys have access to Elite Pilot Skills. The stock upgrade bar is interesting in that even the generic Phantoms may stock a System Upgrade as well as a Crew Member. Navigator seems like complete overkill, but hey, this is a miniatures game, right? And most of the time in a miniatures game, you're well off trying to really maximize what you already do well, so I'd say at least consider him. Of course, anybody like a Mercenary Copilot that makes that 4 Attack dice hit even harder is probably worth bringing along for the ride, and guys like Rebel Captive and Saboteur could work here as well. 

The other named Phantom pilot (sorry I kinda got out of my usual article progression there- it just made so much more sense to talk about Echo back there with the rest of the Cloak/ Decloak stuff), is "Whisper". 

So that's pretty nice- you can burn your Focus during your Attack phase and not be all worrying about whether or not you should. Bear in mind, the Attack has to Hit (i.e. you actually land some damage on the Defender- not like you rolled a filled or unfilled explosion symbol) for that token to come back, but for God's sake- if you can't land a hit with four Focused Attack dice, well, what in the world, man? 

As for Modifications, if you don't mind shelling out a few more points, Stealth Device seems pretty close to being a no-brainer as 5 Defense dice when Cloaked will be extremely hard to hit for just about anybody but another Phantom, or if you fear Crits more, maybe invest in a Shield Upgrade. My dad once told me not to play golf for money if the other guy carries a 2-iron and a deep tan. I hate to even imagine what somebody could do with a Phantom and Engine Upgrade after it's been available for a couple of months. 

There's another Mod that is included with the Phantom though that you might want to consider. 

So that's pretty nasty, right? Decloak, attack your target, then immediately Cloak those two green dice back? While it isn't cheap, it seems like a pretty good Modification option. 

There were some other cards that were fully revealed with the Phantom too. And one of those is also a Modification. 

So this is kind of an interesting card. It's a little budget-minded being only 2 points, but getting a free Evade token when you Cloak or Decloak isn't so bad for the price. What's kind of interesting to me is that it isn't "TIE Phantom only" kind of Modification, so it kinda makes you think that maybe down the road, some other ship(s) might end up having access to the Cloak Action, despite what those guys on the bridge of the Executor might think about small ships not being able to have them. 

Potpourri for $500- Fab's in Italiano, Wave 4 "On the Boat", Scenario Contest

The French Connection is what I've arrived at when referring to Fab of Fab's Squadron Builder fame. 

The French Connection emailed me today to let me know that his Squadron Builder is now available in Italiano, courtesy of a guy named Replay! So if you're of the Italian persuasion and loves the X-Wing, by all means, head on over to Fab's, capice? Forza Roma

Eagle-eyed Aficionado +Daniel Driscoll emailed to let me know that all of the Wave 4 stuff is now officially "On the Boat"! Good stuff! Thanks Dan! 

Last thing, I did an update on the Scenario Writing Contest article to clairify the wording for the deadline and me getting your Right to Publish consent. 

05 May 2014

Miniature Market and TheMetalBikini.com's Scenario Writing Contest!

Hey y'all!

So, remember how we did the Miniature Market and TheMetalBikini painting contest awhile back because I wanted to feature a bunch of cool custom painted ships on the site?

Weeeellllllllll, I've wanted more scenarios on the site for a long time, so when MM contacted me about running another contest, I figured I'd see if I could get lightning to strike twice!

Short Version
(Details below)

Miniature Market and TMB Scenario Writing Contest
1st Prize- GR-75 Transport Expansion from MiniatureMarket.com
2nd Prize- A TIE Fighter or X-Wing Expansion of your choice from MiniatureMarket.com
3rd Prize- A set of X-Wing Miniatures Dice from MiniatureMarket.com!

Deadline- 11:59pm, Central Daylight Time, Sunday May 11 2014

Entry Guidelines-
1) Your scenario needs to be something you've written, preferably all by yourself, but if you and a buddy teamed up on it, one of you needs to decide who's going to take the actual credit for it and send it in to me. Needless to say, this person will be the guy who wins the prize if you're selected. Please include your name, the name you'd like to be referred to (i.e. your internet handle, gamer tag, nickname, whatever), the name of your scenario, your physical address, and your email address.

2) I'm just going to come right out and say it- there's no real way for me to police this. I can threaten you with Googling some random sentences from your scenario in an effort to try and root out instances of plagiarism or theft, but that's not foolproof by any means and hey, it's entirely possible that you and I both might have thought of the same idea for a Beer Run, Part 1 scenario legitimately separately. Please, please, please, don't steal your entry. That said, on the off chance I can somehow conclusively prove your stole your entry, it should go without saying that it will be rejected.

3) I can really only read English. Sure, I can drop your stuff into Google Translate or whatever, but hey- so can you! And since I'm the conduit to the prizes, you have to enter in my language. Note, I will accept those weird Canadian/ UK spellings of stuff like "favourite" or "armour" or "football." :)

4) When sending your entry, PLEASE MAKE SURE IT IS A PDF. It should be easy enough for anyone to produce a PDF copy of their writing these days- if nothing else, most word processing (not to mention browsers) have a built-in PDF printer option. Just do that. I'm saying this with peace and love- no submissions in the body of your email or in formats other than PDF.

5) You can make your entry as elaborate or as basic as you want, but I'm going to judge primarily on the originality of the scenario premise, balance/ fairness from a gameplay standpoint, clarity of instruction, and yeah- production value (i.e. you made a map of setup, custom tokens or counters, interesting flavor text, original artwork, etc.)

Sidenote- Go as nuts here as you want. Everyone is always talking about a third faction or Black Sun or Pirates or whatever, right? Well here's your chance to play that! Want to make a funny scenario about a bunch of thirsty pilots racing to their favorite pilot bar, the hippest joint in the galaxy? Do it. Figure out how to do a five-player free for all? Write it up. While there's nothing wrong with staying true to the Empire and Rebellion, you know what a sucker I am for cool, original ideas.

6) As I'm (probably very foolishly) using my usual email address for this contest,please make the subject of your entry email, "TMB and MM Scenario Contest" so I can keep my own personal email at least halfway organized. Your PDF scenario should be attached to this email. Again- please don't send your scenario entry as inline text.

Other Information:
While I will absolutely credit you for your scenario, it will become property of TMB so I can post them for use by the larger X-Wing community as a whole.

EDIT: +Jeff Wilder pointed out in the comments below that this was kind of a strange request, so let me take a second to clarify the statement- I don't want your copyright, I just want your permission for posting it here on the Bikini and leaving it up forever so folks can use it in their games. If you send me a scenario, this is you agreeing to let me post it on here.

I'll be picking the winning entries as usual, though I'll likely consult with a cadre of folks whose opinions I value in the event of a tie or other tough decisions need to be made.

If you'd like to enter multiple scenarios, feel free. Just be sure that each entry is it's own separate PDF file. And don't over do it. Remember- each of these scenarios will be posted here on TMB. If you're just writing scenarios to try and increase your odds at winning a prize, it'll probably show through in your writing. 

If you'd like to enter an entire campaign, that's cool too, but please send campaigns as a whole- that is a single PDF file unless you feel as though the scenarios making up the campaign can stand on their own individually, in which case, you're more than welcome to submit them individually. My fear is that somebody is going to send me "Mission 4- Back to the Front" and I'll have no idea what's going on because I didn't see Missions 1-3, you know what I'm saying? 

As stated before, I'm not a lawyer or anything, these rules may change if necessary. If they do, this article will be updated accordingly.

Lastly, if you didn't follow the rules posted, your submission will be rejected immediately so please, please, please pay attention. If you get in a hurry and realized you screwed up your entry, just send me the whole thing, pics and all, over again rather than send me an email saying, "Oh hey- I forgot to put my address on my entry, here it is."

1st Place- A GR-75 Transport Expansion from Miniature Market
2nd Place- A TIE Fighter Expansion or X-Wing Expansion (your choice) from Miniature Market
3rd Place- A set of X-Wing Miniatures Dice from Miniature Market.

Deadline for entry is midnight on Monday, May 11 2014. The deadline is now 11:59 this Sunday evening which is 11 May 14. I'll post the winning entry probably that Friday as it'll take me several days to go through everything. 

Send your entries to my usual email address here- cidmcdp@gmail.com.

Thanks again to Miniature Market for sponsoring another contest for TheMetalBikini.com!

Good luck and may the force be with ya!

03 May 2014

Tantive IV- "Later This Month"!

I was just browsing around the FFG site on my lunch hour here and was reading today's new article about Epic Dogfight and stuff, when I noticed towards the end (second paragraph from the end), they make a reference that the Tantive will be available at retailers, "later this month."

Good news, no?

02 May 2014

Another Contest This Way Comes...


Hey y'all!

Just wanted to give you a brief heads up that Miniature Market and I have come up with another contest for you guys!

I'm hoping that much like the Painting Contest we did before, I can get some cool entries from y'all that I can turn back around and host for the larger X-Wing Community as a whole to use and enjoy while you guys get the chance to compete for some cool prizes from Miniature Market.

So stop by on Monday to get the full scoop!


E-Wing Preview

I know I'm a few days late on this one- a bunch of y'all emailed me back on Monday when the reveal article was published on the FFG site, but with my work schedule last weekend and the Huge ship rules stuff taking precedent, this is kind of the first chance I've really had to talk about the E-Wing. 

First though, I want to talk a little meta. 

We discussed on here before that a lot of the more recent releases and reveals seem to be focused on trying to make low count squadrons viable again. Or more viable than they currently are. Or hey, if you're a cynic, getting rid of the dominance of the TIE Swarm. 

The Defender seemed to be a pretty good head fake in that direction, but I've seen a lot of Imperial type folks not exactly getting behind the notion. And hey, with good reason. For one, the Swarm is still quite viable as we've discussed on here before, but also because those Swarm players have quite a bit of dough wrapped up in their Swarms, not to mention a lot of hours flying them. Trying to talk them out of what they know is kind of asking a lot. 

That said, I think trying to sell Rebel players on the idea of a two or three ship list rather than a four or five ship list is a much easier sale, hence the E-Wing. 

Stats-wise, the E-Wing is the most capable Rebel starfighter out there. While it's not quite as fancy as the Defender, it's no slouch either. More or less, it's an X-Wing with an extra green die, and having the ability to throw down three greens at any given time is nothing to sneeze at.

Perhaps more importantly, it's the subtle switcheroo between the hull and shields when comparing the E-Wing to an X. Still the same 5 hit points, but with three Shields, you've got one more hit before cards start flipping faceup and counting. Again, not a massive difference, but one that you will feel after a few games with the E-Wing I think. 

The E-Wing is also the only Rebel Starfighter besides the A-Wing to feature 4 Actions stock in the Action bar. While most folks make their living with Focus and little else, the E-Wing features the other Rebel standby Action Target Lock, as well as Evade and Barrel Roll. Much like the switch between Hull and Shields, I think this is another subtle advantage that people will really start to catch on to once they've played around with the E-Wing. 

Remember that list I made back in Wave 2 that was centered around the notion of Action passing and why it didn't work as well in real life as it seemed to on paper? This is a ship that would benefit tremendously from being part of a list like that. Rebel lists featuring Squad Leader are/ were relatively uncommon, because with only having two Actions available on most Rebel ships, there's kind of a limit to what you can do when you can't pick the same Action twice (especially when you've got other pilots like Dreis and Dutch available). With these guys having so many more options though, now you can start to imagine lists featuring not only Squad Leader, but also stuff like PTL, as well as maybe even Lando. I know, I know, you're thinking you'd never take Evade and you don't really ever Barrel Roll in your Action phase if you're a Rebel player, but dig what I'm saying here- you probably would still take Focus for your 1st Action, but what about your second Action? What about your third if you could snag one from a ship throwing around Free Actions? 

We tend to kind of look at stuff like this in a vacuum in these previews because we've not pushed it around on a table just yet, but I think an E-Wing will be a nice compliment to some Rebel pilots and upgrades out there that just aren't seeing much playing time these days. 

The E-Wing also sports the potential for some very interesting upgrade combos too featuring both an Advanced Systems slot and an Astromech slot on even the generic pilots. Throwing on a System Upgrade like Sensor Jammer, then pairing it with an Astromech like R2-D2, R2-F2, R7 Astro, or R5-P9 is going to be very hard to kill outright with those upgrades as well as the three Defend dice. God help your opponent if you decide to invest in a Stealth Device or Shield Upgrade on top of that.  

The named Pilots have both been revealed for the E-Wing as well. We talked a bit about Etahn A'Baht in the initial Wave 4 reveal article, but Corran Horn is now a known quantity too. 

He ain't cheap, but he has high Pilot Skill, an Elite Pilot Talent slot, and a very interesting bit of card text to go along with everything an E-Wing already brings to the table. Effectively, you get to make two Attacks in the same round with Horn, but then you sit out the next Combat Phase. To me, this screams for Upgrades that aren't Actions so you can really maximize that second Attack, should the opportunity present itself. Opportunist seems super nasty on this guy since his target probably won't have any Evades or Focuses left at the start of the End Phase, as does the unreleased Predator card since E-Wings are supposed to be super maneuverable and will probably have a pretty capable dial. Of course, if you're concerned, you could always take an Engine Upgrade as your Modification.  

So there ya go- very expensive, but pretty capable in a lot of ways and undeniably difficult to kill pretty much sums up the E-Wing, at least at this point. 

The Gaming Guild Demo Game (Evansville, IN)

I ended up arriving about 45 minutes late, but I did get a chance to stop by The Gaming Guild to see how +Clifford Holm and his demo was going earlier tonight.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see about a dozen guys sitting around a table, each with at least one ship to fly, playing a demo of X-Wing Cliff had created. Most of them were very new or first timers, but I think a couple of them had maybe played a time or two before.

Main reason I mention it on here is Cliff has taken steps to organize an X-Wing league here in Evansville. At the time of writing, we're looking at meeting up at The Gaming Guild on the first Thursday evening of the month and at Comics Quest on the third Thursday of the month. As it was 1 May when this game went down, the next event will be at CQ on the 15th, which I hope to attend on time.

I didn't really have a chance to meet or talk to any of the folks in attendance tonight as the game went right up until closing time, but hopefully I'll have a chance to rectify that on the 15th.

And big ups again to Cliff for organizing and hopefully mobilizing the Evansville area folks into playing some X-Wing as a group. If you're in the area and want to take part in his league or just stop by to see what all the fuss is about, by all means- come on out!


01 May 2014

Huge Ship Rules, Part 3- Movement and Whatnot

Yay! Finally some new pictures!!!

I kind of purposely left this movement bit for last because it's a little less sexy than Huge ship combat or how the new Energy resource works, and well, because I was having a hard time getting my head around it. 

Today in the mail, I got my hands on my Transport as evidenced by the cool, TMB style pics throughout this article (except where I shamelessly and lazily stole, er borrowed FFG's for clarity and simplicity's sake) and I have to say after punching out the new stuff and actually laying it down on the floor, it does make more sense to me now. 

Before we get started though, remember the rules for the Huge ships are available here on FFG's site. 

Moving the Huge ships is relatively similar to moving the rest of the ships in X-Wing Miniatures; that is, you still choose a maneuver on the ship's maneuver dial and you still use templates. It does get a little different using the Huge ship templates though, so let's take a look at that first. 

What wasn't exactly apparent, at least to me, in the promo pics of the Huge ships is that their base consists of one long cardboard insert (with some wings towards the center) that sits on two separate plastic bases (which I think are Big ship sized, but I didn't think to actually check when I had all this stuff out earlier). The tall flight stands actually anchor all of that stuff together into what functionally ends up being one long base. 

For whatever reason, I was kind of under the impression it was one long base which is probably where I started getting confused about how to use the new Huge ship movement template. In any case, hopefully you can see from the above pic what I'm talking about here.

Also evident in the above pic is that blue equator line that separates the Fore from the Aft for the purposes of targeting and Actions and whatnot, but also comes into play in regard to movement as well. 

Speaking of which, let's get on with this show and talk about how these things move. 

As previously mentioned, Huge ships Activate after all of the other smaller stuff has moved on the table, (kinda) regardless of Pilot Skill. Once again, this is one of those things more easily explained with an example, so- 

You don't completely throw Pilot Skill out the window, but you do ignore it for a bit when it comes to moving and activating your Huge ship(s).

Right, so you've moved all of your little ships and now it's time to reveal your Huge ship maneuver. Let's say for simplicity's sake, you've chosen a Straight 2. How does this play out? Lucky for me, FFG made a pretty useful graphic that illustrates this saving me a tremendous amount of time and effort. 

So that's not too bad, huh? Admittedly, I think when you start playing these Epic games and there's ships all over the table it's going to be hard to fit that template in tight places, but for the purposes of just understanding what's going on here, it's pretty straightforward (pun intended). 

If you reveal a Straight maneuver, you take the Huge ship template and align the horizontal line just above the notch and that business so that it's rear edge lines up with the rear edge of the Huge ship's front base and the long edge is right up against the side edge of the front base. Again- don't let the image confuse you- the front base ends well before the blue equator- the cardboard base insert has some wings that don't actually sit on top of the base, but effectively extend beyond it. 

Then you hold the template so that it stays in place and move the ship forward until the Huge ship's front base rear edge lines up with the horizontal line just above the number of your chosen maneuver. 

I kind of thought about trying to take some pictures and stuff of just the template and the base, as for me at least, the cardboard insert kinda throws everything off when you're looking at 2d images rather than the 3d model sitting in front of you, but the whole thing gets pretty goofy without the cardboard, so I just decided to use the graphic from the Huge ship rules. If y'all want though, I can pull my stuff out tomorrow and take some pics if this is still confusing. Let me know in the comments. 

All right. So Straights aren't too bad, what about Banks? 

Well, banks are a little trickier, but again- I think the key to getting how this works is remembering that you've actually got two separate bases under this thing connected to each other via the cardboard base insert. 

Ok, so once you reveal your Bank maneuver, you take that Huge ship template and set it down on the side you're going to be banking (again- how this is going to work out in Epic games kinda worries me, but oh well). Then align it so that the notch cut-out in the template hooks onto the Huge ship's front base's rear edge corner. Hold the template in place on the table. This is going to establish where your ship is going to end up- it'll kinda being hanging at a 30 degree(-ish) angle off to the side. 

Next, move your Huge ship so that the front base's front edge corner in the direction you're banking aligns to the template's right angle just below the Bank number. 

Thank GOD these things don't have a K-Turn or I'd probably have a stroke just trying to understand it, let alone trying to turn around and explain it. Holy mackerel. 

So all that said, I threw an "and Whatnot" in the title of this article- what's the "and Whatnot"?

"and Whatnot"

Well, first, what happens if your Huge ship, behemoth that it is, overlaps something? 

If your Huge ship overlaps somebody else's Huge ship, the Huge ship rules refer you to the standard X-Wing Core Rules for overlapping ships with one exception- rather than losing your Action, both Huge ships get a faceup Damage card for their trouble from the deck of the affected Section in both cases. I don't know about you, but I can't wait until I run one of these dudes into another Huge ship and have to try and move back along the template. Lols, sarcasmfont, etc. 

If your Huge ship overlaps a Large or Small ship, regardless if they're friend or foe, they're immediately destroyed. The Huge ship does not lose it's Perform Action step, but as a penalty, the Huge ship owner rolls an Attack die for each small ship he obliterated and two Attack dice for each Large ship he ran over and suffers any hits (filled explosion symbols) and crits (unfilled explosion symbols) on his Fore section. 

So yeah. May not be a great idea to get too close to the nose of a Huge ship. Good news is you ought to have room for that maneuver template though. 

If your Huge ship overlaps an Obstacle (asteroids, etc.), it works pretty differently than when Large or small ships overlap an obstacle. First, unlike the smaller ships, if a Huge ship's template touches an obstacle, nothing happens. The following penalties only come into play if one of the Huge ship's Sections actually overlap the obstacle (and a Section is defined as being the base and cardboard insert, I guess). If you end up overlapping an Obstacle with a Section of your Huge ship, you draw a faceup Damage card from the appropriate Damage Deck for that Section. If both Sections are overlapping, your opponent gets to choose which Section takes the hit. Note that even if both Sections are overlapping Obstacles, you don't take two cards. I didn't measure to see if that's possible with the rules for deploying Obstacles to even know if that could happen, but if it can, that's the story. Additionally, the rules go on to say that the Huge ship still doesn't lose it's Perform Action step, and they don't say anything about Attacking, so I guess you can so long as you've got a target in arc, have the Energy, etc., etc. 

Last thing about Obstacles- if you do end up overlapping one with a Huge ship Section, the Obstacle gets removed. So yeah, you can use these things like icebreaker ships if you're so inclined. 

The last possible situation that could arise with overlaps is going the opposite way- what if a smaller ship overlaps a Huge ship? 

The Huge ship rules define an overlap in this situation as the smaller ship's base overlapping the Huge ship in one of it's Sections, as opposed to it's template, so it's the same in that regard so far. In fact, they go on to say you're supposed to just use the existing overlap rules from the Core Rules with one additional penalty- the owner of the smaller ship doing the overlapping rolls an Attack die and suffers the consequences of any hits or crits he rolls. 

The very last thing I think I have left to cover in regard to Huge ships is a little tidbit they threw in towards the end that states in a regular game of X-Wing, a player can drop a Huge ship on the table to be used as an obstacle instead of three asteroid tokens. You can only do it in friendlies or Casual play, and the Huge ship can't be destroyed or damaged, and it's obviously not controlled by anyone so therefore it doesn't move, shoot, or do anything but sit there.