Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Game of X-wing (XWG)

So like most gamers I'm a total geek, and few things can make me geek out like Star Wars.

A work-in progress.

I've been a fan of Star Wars since I first watched the Empire Strikes back at a friends house. Late at night watching the battle of Hoth for the first time on a grainy old 20 inch TV and a worn out VHS tape, was all it took. I got into things just as the Expanded Universe was beginning to flesh out George Lucas' universe. Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy and a plethora of computer games such as Rebel Assault I & II, Dark Forces I & II and of course the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, kept me full immersed in the fight against the Empire. I read all the novels and comics of the mid to late 90's and loved them but with the prequel trilogy and later EU novels (spaceships made of coral shooting lava, and powered by black holes, WTH), I lost interest...

Fast forward to 2012, and Fantasy Flight released the X-Wing Miniature game. It had been years since I paid anymore than passing attention to Star Wars, the odd video game, KOTR I'm looking at you, and catching the occasional episode of the Clone Wars series. But something about seeing those miniatures revived hope in me that maybe this game could recapture some of that magic of the original trilogy and the Alliances battles against the Empire.

It's hard to capture nostalgia, but FF seems to have done just that with the X-Wing Miniature Game.

Last week Matt and I met up at the local Hobbytown USA and got into the action.

Red Squadron making a run at the Death Star.

Matt's Rebels: Luke Skywalker, Two Red Squadron pilots and a Rookie, with a couple of Astromechs spread around. This was our second game at 100pts, I the first game Matt had taken only three X-wings with lots of extras. My five TIEs that swarmed them and shot them up at close range, so he decided to add another ship in his force.

Maareck Stele and his flying circus.
My TIE's: Maarek Stele with a cluster missile, Howlrunner, Mauler Mithel, Backstabber and a lowly Academy Pilot. Both Mauler Mithel and Howlrunner had marksmanship.

Matt's great Death Star tiles.
An so it begins.

The Imperials keeping formation.

The tough X-Wings form a wedge to break through.

The point of contact, several X-wings were damaged.

But Mauler Mithel was destroyed by a Red Squadron pilot, I didn't even use his marksmanship.

Now the maneuvering begins.

Stele and Backstabber come into the flank of the fight.

The Rookie X-Wing nails backstabber, but he amazingly barrel rolls through the fire (amazing rolling)

Stele's cluster missiles finish off a Red Squadron X-wing.

Frantic maneuvering.

The battle spreads out.

Luke's shields are knocked out good thing he has Artoo with him.

Things get close.

Howlrunner is surrounded and destroyed.

Luke goes head to head with two TIE's and is hit multiple times.

But it is the Acedemy pilot who makes the kill.

The last two damaged X-Wings try to get some breathing room.

But the TIE's close quickly.

Backstabber lives up to his name and the Rookie pilot is destroyed.

The last member of Red Squadron evades long range shots.

But there are to many TIE's left and the Death Star is safe for another day.

We are still new to the game and checked the rules oftern and took our time with maneuvers, even with that this game only took around an hour. We had several exciting moments such as, Matt rolling three attack dice and getting two hits and a critical then I rolled three evades with three dice. And Luke and his Rookie pilot took a tremendous amount of fire before being destroyed, Artoo restored shields the whole game and the Rookie just evaded everything.

All in all a ton of fun and I'm looking forward to playing more of this game.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bringing Out the Big Guns! (FOW)

This weekend I was able to get some painting in, and first up was my Panzer VII Lowe.
The Lowe or Lion was one of many German paper panzers, or tanks that never really got past the planning stage. But thanks to HEER46 we have this monster in 15mm, ready to slug it out with the Soviet's heavy armor.

I picked up this tank especially for a FOW mega game I'm planning. After all I needed something to take on all the Soviet KV-5's.

All the parts that come with the kit.

The quality is amazing with no mold lines or warping of the resin parts.

The mini comes with both a 105mm and 150mm main guns.

The parts fit snugly to the hull.

The Lowe assembled.

I forgot to add any FOW minis in the foreground to show how massive this tank is.
The painted Lowe.

The Lowe's tank commander, with that many eyes, no one is sneaking up on his tank.

One of the only drawbacks of this mini is that the hatches are molded shut. That's not a big deal but I do love to put a commander in my rare tanks and it would require a lot of work to add a new cupola.
The tank costs around $21 US, but that's a good deal in my book if you like odd tanks.

Finally I took some pictures a the shop with some terrain for scale and to add general esthetic value.

The tank on the prowl for targets.

And with a high velocity 150mm gun, everything is a target.

The tank is definitely larger than a King Tiger.

An ambush from this big nasty is not a pleasant proposition.

I'll try to add some comparison shots with FOW minis soon.