If you aren't aware of the phenomenon that is Star Wars X-Wing by Fantasy Flight Games then you must have been living in another galaxy far far away.
Although the Devon Wargames Group is very much aimed at enjoying historical wargaming we are known to vary the diet with other genres with the caveat that the games need to be nicely presented and no silver surfers (unpainted miniatures) on the table.
A couple of the chaps, Steve L and Mr Steve have built some really nice collections of the Star Wars miniatures and rolled them out in this impressive stellar dust up as one of our three games this month.
The guys even managed to draw my eldest son over to the "dark side" as he, spurning the chance to play Napoleonics, eagerly belted himself into a X-Wing and sped off into the void only to come up against a veteran TIE Fighter Jedi, Jack, who started to tie the young Padawan up in knots.
I present some pictures of the action taken as I dragged myself away from a very entertaining Peninsular War set to accompanied by an AAR by Mr Steve.
This game really ticks all the boxes of being nicely presented and with the stunning models from Fantasy Flight - enjoy.
Return to the Twin Moons of Whipton – an X-Wing adventure
After being defeated at the first battle of Whipton Moons, Darth Vader gave orders for what remained of his fleet to fall back and regroup, he then gave instructions for an extensive ship building programme to be started immediately; he wasn't going to fail a second time.
Unfortunately the Rebels realised that Darth Vader was probably the type of homicidal megalomaniac that might hold a grudge and so they too greatly increased their ship building and ship acquisitions as well.
The previous game that we had put on at the club saw a total of twenty five small ships and one large one on the table (280 points a side) and whilst it was very enjoyable we thought that with a little more effort we could do much better.
So this game was played with forty ships (620 points each), the Imperials supplied by myself had twenty-two ships, mostly Tie’s of various types, the Decimator from the previous game and two of the new Huge Epic ships.
Steve Land supplied the eighteen Rebels, a mix of various fighters along with three large ships and one Epic Tantive IV
Imperial Raider plus various toys and crew
Imperial Assault Carrier
4 x Tie Advanced (includes Darth Vader)
8 x Tie Fighters
3 x Tie Interceptors
1 x Tie Defender
1 x Tie Punisher
2 x Tie Bombers
Tantive IV plus toys and crew
Millennium Falcon (Han Solo)
6 x E Wing
6 x X-Wing (Luke, Wedge)
2 x ARC-170
If you want more information on any of these ships then I recommend looking at xwing-miniatures.wiki (see link below)
Given the size of the game and also that it was very likely that some of the players would probably not know the game very well, we decided on a few guidelines when picking the forces.
1. Not too many additional toys (special abilities, missiles, elite crew etc) on the ships as people wont know what they do and will most likely forget about them (which is actually what happened along with also completely forgetting to use their various pilot abilities as well).
2. Don’t make the Epic ships super powerful and don’t use their ability to fire their main weapons twice per turn. We hadn't used them in a game before and were unsure how devastating they might be, getting a potential three shots per turn seemed enough.(1 x main, 2 x secondary weapons).
3. No deliberate ramming of other ships with the Epic ships, (results in an automatic destruction), accidental ramming would be allowed but only if you could make it sound really sincere.
4. One minor tweak was to allow the Assault Carrier to have different fighter types.
We split the Imperial forces into two, I took the Bomber flight, a Tie section (1x Tie Advanced, 2 x Tie Fighters), the Imperial Raider and the Assault Carrier which had Darth Vader along with two other named Tie pilots slung underneath. On my right, Jack had two Tie flights, a Tie Interceptor flight, the Decimator and the Tie Defender.
As for the Rebels, it’s probably best to look at the attached pictures; all I could see was a huge wave of ships all of whom seemed to be heading straight at me.
As most of our fighters had no shields we needed to present a massed front to prevent getting picked off as we came in, Jack's elite Tie Interceptor flight leader being ahead of the rest found this out the hard way and was the first to explode under intense Rebel fire.
We also discovered on the first turn that we were greatly out skilled by the Rebels (order of firing is decided by Pilot skill). I had a bad feeling about this.
My one good idea (only idea) was to fly the Assault Carrier right into the thick of the fighting hoping that its numerous shields and large hull would keep it alive long enough to allow me to drop Vader’s hit squad onto the Rebels at point blank range and with their high Pilot skills they should thus be able to fire first and do a lot of damage in one go.
As it happened Steve decided to concentrate his fire on my fighters which allowed the carrier and the Raider to lumber forward in the centre without too much trouble whilst my fighters and bombers hung back. Conversely out on the right hand side where Jack and Tom were fighting it out, it was point blank stuff with twenty ships inter-mingled and going in every possible direction, the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo on board was bravely leading the way, (not a good spot for a ship with limited evade capabilities).
Jack had kept the large Decimator towards the back and was using it to finish off whatever got past his fighters. Eventually both of these two large ships lack of saving throws would see their destruction however by that time Jack had gained the upper hand over Tom and with the occasional bit of help from the Huge Imperial Raider, the Rebels were fast running out of ships on this side.
Over on my bit of the universe it was Vader time, the front screen of Ties all of which were by now damaged to various degrees had speed past the first wave of Rebel fighters so as to engage the large ‘Ghost’ ship that was following up behind.
The Bomber flight now realised that they were never going to make it past all of the E-Wings/X-Wings and engage the larger ships as I had planned, instead they started to drop their Bombs on any suitable target that presented itself. This luckily coincided with the Rebel fighters turning back around after passing through their opposition and flying straight back into the explosions. Fortunately for Skywalker he still had most of his shields still up but it wasn't much fun for some of the others including one of Vader’s attack team who unluckily got finished off by his own side. (for unlucky, read stupid move)
Still, the plan had worked, after dropping from the carrier the hit squad finished off a damaged ‘Wedge Antilles’ along with a second ship and then joined in the long process of wearing down the large ‘Ghost’
By now, Steve’s original ten ships were looking a bit thinner, He had diverted the huge Tantive along with the two older ARC fighters across to the other flank to try and help out Tom; and three of his E-Wings along with Luke’s X-Wing, after passing through the Tie fighters, had turned around and were now trying to head back towards the main action.
This was taking place around the ‘Ghost’ which was surrounded by Tie ships of all types,who despite the rain of fire being put into it couldn't quite finish it off.
What turned out to be the final turn saw the Millennium Falcon blow up along with another of Tom's E-Wing’s and at last the annoying ‘Ghost’s’ luck finally ran out as well, The Ion cannons on my Raider had been slowing down the ARC’s movement leaving them in the middle of the table and three of my Ties had broken off and were already starting to shoot into the rear of the Tantive.
The rebels decided that they never really liked the Twin Moons of Whipton and so ordered an immediate evacuation but they made sure that the unarmed transports completely disregarding the vast dimensions of space and flew directly towards the Imperial fleet whilst making their escape.
Good job we are such bad shots.
Thanks to Steve Land who was the Rebel leader and supplied the Rebel fleet and also to Jack and Tom.
This has been a Mr Steve production in association with 21st Century JJ.