STAW 8: “Worst” Contact aka Never Invite Borg to a Birthday Party (NAGA @ 28-01-2015)

Tonight at NAGA it was Owen Cartwrights birthday, so he chose the rules for tonight’s game.  It was going to be a Fleet Pure 150pt game with no Suggested Tournament Format.

My opponents would be Owen Cartwrights Twin Reman Warbirds captained by Toreth and Shinzon, stacked to the hilt and loaded with torpedoes.  My other opponent would be Daniel Ryans Federation Fleet consisting of the USS Enteprise-E captained by Picard, the USS Voyager captained by Janeway and a Galaxy Class Starship captained by William Riker.

I decided to run a dual Borg ship build using the following list:-

Queen Vessel Prime (42)
Korok (4)
Indy Klingon Flagship (10)
Magnetometric Guided Charge (5)
Access Terminal (2)
Borg Assimilation Tubules (8)
Regeneration Sequencers (5)
Ship SP: 76

Tactical Cube 138 (46)
Borg Queen (5)
Full Assault (6)
Subspace Beacon (5)
Borg Ablative Hull Armor (7)
Regeneration Sequencers (5)
Ship SP: 74

Total Build SP: 150

Stardate 28-01-20-15

We are the Borg. We will add your biological distinctiveness to us and serves us as the Borg.  Your birthday is irrelevant.  Your slab of birthday cake is irrelevant. Resistance is Futile.  You will be assimilated”

It is the birthday of Romulan Praetor Shinzon, clone of Jean-Luc Picard.  In an attempt to ease the tensions between the Federation and the Reman clone, Jean Luc Picard is bringing a bottle of Romulan Ale and some Photon Torpedoes to the party.

Through liberal use of Subspace Beacons and Transwarp Conduits the Borg have also decided to attend the party uninvited in an attempt to retrieve their former Federation counterpart Locutus and create a Romulan equivilent from Shinzon, Fake-utus, to deliver its message of conquest to the Romulan Empire.

The Borg fleet entered the rendezvous location first from behind the blue planet as the Federation fleet entered from the far side of the sector.  The Romulan fleet split its forces, sending the Reman Warbird captained by Toreth to intercept the Federation Fleet as Shinzons Scimitar tried to engage the Borg fleet with its Tholaron Weapon.

The Federation fleet swiftly engaged Toreths Warbird and stripped away its shields before it was given an opportunity to cloak.  Both Picard 8’s Enterprise-E and Janeway’s Voyager alpha striking the lone uncloaked warbird with focused phaser fire.  Picard 8 with his declared hatred of the Romulans, especially Shinzon, fired into the warbird dealing it critical damage as its shields crackled and failed.  Janeway followed this up with a devastating reply from close range as her weapons tore into the unshielded hull of the Reman Warbird.

In reply Toreth brought her weapons to bear and attacked Voyager but with its maneuverable deft pilot Tom Paris at the helm it was about to shrug off some of the phaser fire and some of its shields were damaged in a tense close range phaser fight.

On the opposite side of the sector the Borg advanced slowly and with menace as they rounded the blue planetoid.  Moving up towards and behind the planet Shinzon cloaked his Scimitar and prepared his Tholaron Weapon to engage the Borg Cube.

Picard and Janeway moved past the now heavily damaged Reman Warbird of Toreth and Picard dropped his party gift of Anti-Matter Mines right onto the rear of the ship.  As the mines had been dropped onto the ship they immediately struck the Romulan vessel.  The combined damage from the previous turns firing and the Anti-Matter Minefield almost finished off the crippled ship as Rikers Galaxy turned and brought the ship into arc.

Firing into the stricken hulk of the Reman Warbird the Galaxy tore the the vessel to pieces as it was unable to return fire due to critical damage to its weaponary.

The Borg fleet engaged as the Queens Tactical Cube and Scimitar came face to face.  Shinzon fired first and attacked with the devastating Tholaron Weapon.  The powerful life stripping weapon killed the Queen and completely destroyed the Borg ships Ablative Armour without further damage to the structure of the Tactical Cube or its shields. Now without its Queen would the Borg fleet waver and fall to pieces?

The Borg Cube returned fire tearing into the hull of the cloaked, unshielded vessel as the Kuroks Octahedron assimilated the Photon Torpedoes out of the Scimitar.

The Scimitar hadn’t planned for this as it swept in front of the Borg Cube and attempted to fire its torpedoes from its rear arc.  Its plan had been foiled as it was now at frighteningly close range of the Cube and Octahedron with no weapons to fire.

In a last ditch attempt at destroying the Tactical Cube Shinzon turned his ship to fire but found the Borg waiting exactly where he had been planning to maneuver to.  Crashing into the Borg behemoth both ships traded phaser fire.  Shinzons vessel destroying layers of Borg shields before the close range primary weapons of the Cube finished off the Praetors Reman Warbird.  The Federation fleet swept out from behind the second planet in the sector, the yellow Nuneaton Prime, and began their advance on the Kurok’s Octahedron.  Before they could close the distance the combined firepower of the Borg destroyed the Romulan Clone Shinzons Scimitar….an ominous warning to the Federation fleet.

The Borg cube reversed back into patrolling the centre of the sector as Janeways Voyager engaged the Borg Octahedron.  With Kurok able to make even mundane phaser fire devastating he was able to destroy the last of its shields and wreak havoc upon the unprotected hull.  Janeways only option was to run and regroup and she fled the fight leaving Picards Enterprise-E and Rikers Galaxy to defend against the Borg.

Strong combined fire from both Borg vessels into the rear of Voyager finally destroyed the Federation vessel.  Only Picard returned fire as he was the only Federation ship in range and arc.  His ferocious firing at the Octahedron stripping away its shields even with the evasive actions of the Borg crew.

Rikers Galaxy turned and drove directly at the heart of the Borg fleet hoping to draw their fire at close range even if he was destroyed in the process allowing Picard to bring his rear mounted Photon Torpedos to attack the Octahedron.  Before he could do so Kurok assimilated them and added them to his Alpha Quadrant Photon Torpedo collection gathering dust in the Octahedrons cargo hold.  The surprised Picard was left without ability to fire and was forced to take a wide maneuver to come around and return to the fight.  The Enteprise-E was targeted at long range by both Borg ships who had chosen to ignore Riker sensing a trap was being laid.  Dealing some devastating damage to the big-E it was left unshielded and badly damaged.

Now Rikers trap had been avoided both Borg ships closed on it leaving it nowhere to maneuver and it crashed into the side of the Borg Cube leaving its crew dazed and unable to act.  Without the ability to modify its primary attacks and without Picards support the two Borg vessels easily crippled then destroyed the Galaxy class starship.

Picard slowly maneuvered to face his aggressors but before he could bring weapons to bear and attack the badly damaged broken hull of the Federation starship was torn asunder with focussed critically damaging fire from both Borg vessels.  If only he had now had those Photon Torpedoes stolen!  Kuroks voiced boomed over the hail as the remaining lifepods of the Enterprise-E disappeared into the low orbit of the blue planet, Nuneaton Secundus…..”Humans are irrelevant.  Romulans are irrelevant.  Your celebration is irrelevant.  Your biological distinctiveness, albeit one year older, will be added to us and will serve the Borg.  Your torpedoes have been assimilated.  Resistance was futile.

Miniatures Art Team Barrel Scenery Sets

Some of the guys who play WZR in Poland and frequent the WZR Page cast some awesome resin Barrels and scenery elements to use in games as Cyberpunk, Dieselpunk, WW2 or Industrial terrain.  It was a roaring success and almost overnight prompted them to offer the same scenery out to others due to massive interest.  I immediately purchased a very reasonable MEGA-Set including 80 pieces of terrain and 11 laser-cut MDF bases.  Postage was amazing even though it was from outside the UK.  They shipped immediately and are now running a small endeavour to sell their scenery commercially.  I cannot recommend this stuff highly enough.  Its a great price and great deal.  It would suit any game from WH40K to Warzone Resurrection to Necromunda to any similarly scaled and styled game.

Check them out on their FB page!

https://www.facebook.com/MiniaturesArtTeam?fref=photo

or better yet go to their website:-

http://miniaturesartteam.blogspot.com/

you can also email them with commission paint jobs or other resin casting requests:-

gowin.jakub@gmail.com

Small Scenery Set £11

Small Scenery Set £11

Medium Scenery Set £19

Medium Scenery Set £19

Large Scenery Set £25

Large Scenery Set £25

Mega Scenery Set £30

Mega Scenery Set £30

Cartel Tactical Centre (Community Magazine for WZR)

Being a recent convert to WZR its really aided me to have supportive and helpful players out there willing to give you ideas, explain certain rules and create fluff and scenarios to support my wargaming.

Cartel Tactical Centre (CTC) is a fan-made magazine covering Prodos Games’ Warzone: Resurrection. We will have regular issues available for download via Dropbox and some FB interaction via a dedicated page.

These guys in particular go above and beyond to produce a monthly magazine called CTC available on Dropbox:-

https://www.dropbox.com/s/32hbvoznvbb0uv3/CTC%20Magazine%20Issue%202%20Jan%202015-%20Standard%20Quality%20for%20Screen.pdf?dl=0

you can also visit their FB page:-

https://www.facebook.com/CTCMagazine

you can also contact them directly via their email CTCMagazine@outlook.com

Here are some examples of the great work CTC do!  Enjoy!

ctc3 10854238_864987540191322_626313223298121433_o 10947340_864987523524657_9129434574963511718_o 1932555_865534736803269_433514056672907665_o 10649046_865534763469933_2563684756583724273_o

Warzone Resurrection: Imperial Hurricane Walkers (2nd Entry, 5th AHPC)

Another great blog including WZR content.

dhcwargamesblog

So as promised last week, I am finally going to keep up with new entries for the AHPC competition.

And continuing with my Imperial forces for Warzone Resurrection, here are two of their light walkers known as Hurricane Walkers. Now the Walkers themselves (minus the Gun Nests) were done the previous weekend, but the bases and Gun Nests (and the Minotaurus from yesterdays theme round) took another week. The main time drain was the water on the one base which took ages to cast, followed by the gun nests. The later essentially contain three full models, but cast as one, which makes the details somewhat hard and time-consuming to paint. But here are the models.

Now I bought myself two models of these. That is… I did so even though I knew that in all likelihood I would only ever get to play one at any time. Under the OOB my group…

View original post 899 more words

STAW 7: De-Generations aka A New Source of Dilithium (NAGA @ 21-01-15)

Tonights outing at STAW saw a variation on the Scenario in the Starter Set Rulebook “A New Source of Dilithium”.

Rumors of a new planet harboring dilithium crystals reach the ears of the Federation, as well as the Klingon and Romulan Empires.  So rich is the new source that it threatens to provoke open war from the Romulan Empire, and even threatens the Khitomer Accords between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Three Player Scenario, standard three player set up.  Recommended: Federation/Klingon/Romulan.

Each Player recieves 40 Squad Points and must includ at least one CREW Uprgade.

Be the first player to obtain three Mission Tokens and warp out by returning to your starting point OR eliminate all opposing ships.

The scenario is intended for 3 players with one ship each (from the starter box) but we had decided to run it with 4, increase the points limit from the scenario standard 40pts per fleet/ship to 80pt fleets with no ship more that 50pts ( as per the WK Suggested Tournament Format) and make it Ship Pure.

There were some special actions available to ships to enable them to drop Away Teams to gather the Dilithium resources from the Scenario:-

When a ship is within Range 1 of the Planet, it gains the following Actions

ACTION: If your ship is not cloaked, disable all shields and disable your captain and one crew upgrade..  They are now considered your Away Team on the Planet and cannot be re-enable except by using the Action below.

ACTION:  If your ship is not cloaked, disable all shields and re-enable your Away Team.  They are now consider back on board your ship.  Any Mission Tokens on your captain are transferred to your ship.

While on the Planet, members of your Away Team cannot be targetted by any other cards or effects.  Your ship is considered to have a Captain skill of 1.

During any end phase that you have an Away Team on the Planet, take one Mission Token from the Planet and place it on your Captain.

With the scenario set we set about building fleets.  Derek chose a triple Keldon Dominion build, I had a Reman Warbird flanked by two Romulan Science Vessels, Daniel had a pimped out Enterprise-E and a Galaxy Class Starship, Josh flew an Enterprise-NX class and a Intrepid Class.  My exact fleet is as below:-

80pts Rom Pure List v3

Romulan Science Vessel (12)
Romulan Captain (0)
Bochra (2)
Cloaked Mines (2)
Ship SP: 15

Romulan Science Vessel (12)
Romulan Captain (0)
Romulan Pilot (2)
Cloaked Mines (2)
Ship SP: 16

Reman Warbird (36)
Mirok (2)
Indy/Dom FleetCaptain (5)
Adm. Hiren (1)
Parem (1)
Cloaked Mines (2)
Cloaked Mines (2)
Ship SP: 44

Total Build SP: 80

The plan was to advance quickly with my ships and drop mines at range 1 of the planet making it prohibitively difficult for ships to come in drop off crews and orbit without taking damage.  Then all of my ships could dump away teams and mission tokens could be gather quickly.  The nippy Science Vessels made dropping mines easy and the fast strong Reman Warbird made dealing with ships once they’d deposited Away Teams easy because I’d have a firing advantage after my away team went planetside as Admiral Hiren would take over captaincy and have Initiative in the Attack Phase.  With a plan in place we set-up.

Each fleet had a corner to deploy in the deployment area was range 2 from the corner in both directions and range 1 deep so an L shape on each corner.

The fleets assemble to race to the planet and gather Dilithium.

The fleets assemble to race to the planet and gather Dilithium.

Turn one was posturing and guesswork as all fleets began their plans.  Dereks Dominion fleet (bottom left) arced towards Joshs Federation fleet (top left).  Joshs Federation fleet arced towards Daniels Federation fleet (top right).  Daniels Federation and my Romulan Fleets (bottom right) raced directly towards the planet forwards.  I had forgotten just how small a 3×3 gaming mat was as before I knew it the ships were in close around the planet making deploying mines a tad difficult.

Both Science Vessels deployed mines at the start of turn 2 from cloak in front of Dereks Dominion and Daniels Federation before J-turning and leaving.  The Reman Warbird dumped its Away Team and flew over the planet.  Derek had managed to put his only Away Team down too.

Derek began using his superior 180 arcs to damage Joshs NX Class.  The two Federation fleets went at it with shots being traded.  Both the Intrepid and Galaxy Class ships taking heavy damage.

Elsewhere some very accurate torpedo fire from Daniels Enterprise-E caused a Warp Core Breach on the Romulan Science Vessel.  Which began to limp away hoping to evade the Federation ship.

So in the End Phase both Derek and I began acquiring Mission tokens.

The Reman Warbird dropped a set of mines to the left of the planet, I had now dropped 3 of my 4 sets in roughly where I wanted getting decent coverage around the planet.  Sadly the Dominion had already managed to place an Away Team the turn before.  Turn three saw the destruction of the Intrepid and Galaxy Classes as the two Federation fleets engaged one another and the Dominion fleet of Gul Dukat, Sar and an uncaptained Keldon arced around the planet and engaged them.

The Reman warbird appeared from behind the planet and began to reign down phaser fire into the rear of Gul Dukats Keldon whilst Luaran and Boheeka hid on the planet.  Choosing Admiral Hiren, who later became Captain Hiren in Miroks absence proved to be an advantage allowing me to destroy the rear Keldon very quickly before it could reply.  Gul Dukat had clearly forgotten his Dorsal Phaser Arrays.  In closing down the Dominion fleet I opened myself up to an attack from the superior firing arcs of the Keldons.  With no sheilds and cloak engaged the resultant phaser fire tore into the unprotected hull of the Reman Warbird.  Had my captain been aboard I would have been able to repair some damage but he was gathering Dilithium and fighting Dominion on the planet.

The Reman Warbird targets the Keldon of Sar  as they pursue the NX Class.  The Enterprise-E pushes through the minefield past the critically damaged Science Vessel to attack its sister ship.

The Reman Warbird targets the Keldon of Sar as they pursue the NX Class. The Enterprise-E pushes through the minefield past the critically damaged Science Vessel to attack its sister ship.

The Romulan Science Vessel was restricted due to some earlier torpedo fire from the Enterprise-E.  It was limping on maneuvering thrusters as the big Federation ship passed through its minefield.  Unable to evade the big ship its only hope was to get in close from the side or rear and try to remove as many shields and hull as possible.  Without arc on the damaged Science Vessel the Enterprise-E turned her phasers on the sister ship which was dead ahead.  Some great firing later and it was blasted to pieces.

The start of turn four saw two away teams on the planet gathering Dilithium and most fleets having lost one ship each, the Science Vessel on without warp being under serious threat from Picards Enterprise-E.  The planet had been mined making it difficult for further Away Teams to be placed.  The Dominion fleet followed the now wounded NX-Class round towards the far side of the planet, where the limping Science Vessel was harrying and harassing the Enterprise-E.  The loss of its Warp Core made out maneuvering the Federation ship difficult and it crashed into the side of the Enteprise.  Once the Enterprise moved away it had range and arc on the little minelayer.

The NX Class attempted to evade the two remaining Dominion ships which were in fast pursuit.  The Reman Warbird was badly placed to attack unless it could turn around quickly so it pulled a J-turn to flip it around and leave it facing the planet and its escape route once it picked up its Away Team.

The Enterprise-E unleashed a devastating salvo of torpedos at the limping Romulan Science Vessel tearing it in two.  Its Romulan crew left floating in the black of space slowly dying.

Concentrated phaser fire with Target Locks and Battlestations from the Dominion ships destroyed the NX-Class whilst the Reman Warbird managed a long range shot at the Keldon closest to the planet in an attempt to destroy it and make it more difficult to retrieve the Dominion Away Team.  Even a long range the Reman ship was able to destroy all the shields of the Keldon and damage its hull.

Turn five saw a tough decision for me, do I lower shields and retrieve my Away Team then race for home under cloak or do I keep shields up and move back over the planet but risk giving the Dominion fleet two turns of firing at me?  I chose the former and collected my Away Team.  The two Dominion ships arced back towards the planet which given their firing arcs gave the damaged Keldon a shot at the now uncloaked, unshielded and damaged Reman Warbird.

The Reman warbird was unable to attack as its 90 degree arc couldn’t be brought to bear on the Keldon.  Had it had arc it could have finished off the Dominion beast before it could reply but sadly the Keldon shot to its side and applied just enough damage to leave the Reman Warbird a floating hulk.

The lone Enterprise-E was now being pursued by the two Keldons.  They closed quickly whilst she navigated around the multiple minefields.  Each field causing minimal damage to the Enteprise but slowly stripping shields away one by one.

The Dominion collected their Away Team and Dilithium and raced for home with only the Federations Enteprise-E to stop them.

Some concentrated torpedo fire by the Enterprise saw Sars support Keldon destroyed as Luaran and Boheeka managed to scrape home.

In the end the winning ship, Luaran and Boheekas Keldon had 1 hull points and no shields remaining whilst Daniels Enterprise-E had 2 hull points and no shields but also no Dilithium.

Great game, great scenario and I shall definitely be looking back through some of the scenarios from the ship expansions to tweak and alter them and make them fit our regular STAW crowd.

Thanks to Derek Maynard, Daniel Ryan and Josh Pemberton.

Imperial Assault Campaign – The Battle for Yavin (NAGA @ 19-01-2015)

imperial_assault_1.jpg.400x0_q100_upscale

Star Wars: Imperial Assault was released on December 31, 2014 by Fantasy Flight Games is designed for 2-5 players of Ages 14+.  The box literature and design of the game puts it at 1-2 hours per game.

So last night at NAGA we started the Imperial Assault Campaign that will be running every third Wednesday of the Month.

There were four “hero” Rebel players (Mitchell “Mitch” Dunton, Dave Baxter, Edward “Ed” King and I, Jason Marden) and our GM, Alan Mathieson, playing the Galactic Empire.  Our brave rebels were positioned outside a building, whilst inside and ready for war were an Imperial squad consisting of: three Stormtroopers, an Imperial officer, a probe droid and an E-Web Heavy Repeating Blaster (a bloody great big tripod mounted immobile gun).  Our objectives were to grab the crates, destroy the Access Terminals and stay alive.

Alan had to leave early due to other commitments but we’d get a few turns played hopefully.  The game started without me so I missed how easy it was to setup and get into it.  By the time I’d arrived a few of our party had already taken significant damage from the well positioned E-Web sentry gun…..not helped by Ed opening the door to the bunker it was hiding behind.

Its created quite the buzz around the SWXW and NAGA communities I hang around in and was very eagerly anticipated with high numbers of pre-orders.  I will admit to not being a huge fan of the SW franchise and only having me and OH Lucy to play made purchasing this myself pretty low on my list of gaming priorities for 2015.

We discussed buying it at Hairy Gamer HQ with Hairy Gamer Tris and we both felt that it was a bit meh so wouldn’t invest.  Tris later grumbled something about “mistakes being made” and how he “just happened to be passing a shop with large stocks of the game” so he now has a copy.

Fantasy Flight Games has been doing great things with the “Star Wars” license including Star Wars X-Wing, and the release of “Imperial Assault” only adds to this reputation for exciting yet sensitive handling of the SW Universe.  It would seem that everything FFG touch turns to gold with regards to SW.  The quality of the components and the thought gone into the game cannot be questioned and it certainly gives a very SW feel.

As a new player to Imperial Assault at first looks it has the feel of old school games such as “Space Crusade” or “Heroquest” but brought right up to date.  Other players likened it to “Descent”, a game I have not played.  Bringing the classic play and style from games like “Descent” and “Space Crusade” into the SW Universe is a smart move. By all accounts from my fellow players it’s certainly a tweaked version of “Descent,” so if you’re familiar with that game, you’re going to feel very familiar with “Imperial Assault” right out of the box.

The box is huge and contained everything we needed to get involved.  There are a large number of  modular double-sided board pieces are gorgeously illustrated with classic Star Wars imagery.  The decks of cards have evocative images from the Star Wars universe.  The four books Learn To Play, Rules Reference Guide, Campaign Guide, and Skirmish Guide are well written, formatted, and organized.  There are also a number of sheets of token which required “punching out” before you could play.  Plus of course all the miniatures required to play the game which I’ll cover next.

There are a number of Rebel characters to play (shown by the buff/sand coloured miniatures in the picture below).  These include: a Wookie, a Sniper, a Jedi, a Smuggler, a rebel Commander, and a Soldier. Each has their strengths and weaknesses e.g. weapon range, movement and health, but working together means you can have a solid unit to try and complete the mission at hand. including Smugglers, Jedi, etc.  Each  can be further tweaked with the addition of equipment and gear.  There are also a “cast of thousands” of Imperial characters for the GM to play.  They range from the ubiquitous Storm Troopers, to Patrol Droids, to Royal Guards and Imperial Officers.  Again each can be tweaked by gear.

The Smuggler

Jyn Odan, The Smuggler

The Rebel Commander

Gideon Argus, The Rebel Commander

The Jedi

Diala Passil, The Jedi

The Soldier

Fenn Signis, The Soldier

The Sniper

Mak Eshka’rey, The Sniper

The Wookie

Gaarkhan, The Wookie

The GM plays the part of the Empire who is able to command almost limitless amounts of troops, while the rest of the players take on the persona of a single rebel character.

(Mitch – Soldier, Dave – Sniper, Ed – Jedi, Jase – Smuggler)

The game has two modes; the straightforward skirmish game pits two players against each other. The set contains enough pieces to cobble together Rebels versus Imperial Forces games with plenty of bad guys but less selection for the goodies. In the skirmish game, each player also selects 15 command cards, and these provide an interesting set of advantages. This ability to tinker and refine the game to suit your play style makes this version of the game stand out from its competitors, and also injects a fun Star Wars feel.

But the main appeal of Star Wars:Imperial Assault for me personally is its scenario-based campaign mode. The game comes with a beautifully detailed, narrative campaign book that allows upto five players to play through a series of Star Wars-esque adventures. This is the mode we will be using.  One player, Alan, takes the role of the Galactic Empires forces, whilst everyone else picks a single Rebel character to play. After you’ve stopped squabbling over who gets to play the Wookiee or the Jedi, play begins. By all accounts those that have previously played Fantasy Flight Games’ “Descent” will be on familiar ground here, missions within missions and small win conditions even when you lose; lots of baddies to kill, a goal to achieve, and an enemy determined to stop you. Each successful mission leads to the winning side getting rewarded with a ‘level-up,’ making each game as compelling as the last.  Grabbing crates of loot leads to Experience points extra gear to use and credits to be equally shared amongst the party.

The game comes with a variety of figures for play, including an incredibly cool looking, huge AT-ST, as well as figures for each individual rebel hero; Jedi’s, Smugglers, Wookies. Some of the limbs, weapons and parts on the miniatures are very fine and suffer the same frailty issues as some of the X-Wing miniatures.  Dave commented that before the box was even opened he had a broken leg on his Patrol Droid but in a display of the usual excellent Fantasy Flight Games Customer service a quick email resolved that and a new droid was dispatched.  The miniatures do have some very bendy components which can be put back in place with some warm water (this tends to occur on things like Lightsabres).  Tris did mention that elements of the AT-ST were quite difficult to assemble being an interference fit.  This meant a liberal application of brute force to get the bits together and a fear that the model would break under such strain.  This wasn’t to be the case but you have been warned.  They come unpainted, so if you’re a painter, this gives you a lot of “Star Wars” themed miniatures to work on.

imperial_assault_2

The game board is modular and can take a bit of time to set up between missions, but it’s a great map system and improves upon the map tiles from “Descent.”  With the new board comes new line of sight rules from Fantasy Flight that might cause some consternation among some players. In an effort to streamline play and make it move faster, line of sight works as long as you can draw two unobstructed lines to different corners of another square from any corner of your origin square.

The basic rules only took us through the actions (move, attack, interact, rest, and special), how the turns work and combat (using the array of dice included in the game). The Rebels move one character, then the Imperials and so forth. The odds at this very early stage of play seem incredibly stacked against the Rebels but within the Star Wars reality, this was the case around the Battle of Yavin. As we hopefully explore the game in more depth in the coming weeks, it will become clear if this remains or if the game offers the Rebel Alliance a chance to get the upper hand.

Your characters basic actions and statistics are governed by his/her statline from the Characters Card.  The Key stats are Health, Endurance, Speed (for movement) and Defense.  The card also defines how many dice and what types of dice you roll for certain actions.

Combat is based on a number of coloured dice.  You roll the dice specified on your weapon (red, blue, green, yellow) and the total of the numbers rolled plus any modifiers equals the range your weapon can fire.  The number of “explosion” hit icons determines the damage taken plus any modifiers from special skills or equipment or weapons.  The number of “lightening” boon icons determines any special effects or additional damage based on skills and equipment. The defending character rolls a defense dice, either white or black dependant on what the characters card says.  Certain symbols cancel hits and other symbols cancel Boon abilities.  If you are hit you receive damage tokens equal to the number of hits.  Once you reach the same number of tokens as your Health, as determined by your character card then your character card is “flipped” over and all damage removed, leaving any other tokens such as Stress.

Your character can use Stress tokens to perform certain actions or take extra movement allowance (1 stress per square).  My character, the Smuggler, can take two stress tokens to interrupt an enemy characters activation and shoot them, like a “sentry” or “overwatch” type action.

The best thing about Fantasy Flight is that they’ve been able to, across their entire “Star Wars” line, create gameplay that promotes the feel of “Star Wars.” The game is paced briskly, there are more roleplaying and problem solving elements than you’d expect, and you feel like the fate of the galaxy is at stake. That you’re able to use actual “Star Wars” characters in the game is a bonus.

Another bonus is that the game brings extra playability to it with expansions. For those looking for the “big names” of Star Wars there is a steady release schedule throughout 2015 introducing infamous characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. By the looks of things each expansion comes complete with figures, cards to play with them, as well as new maps and missions specific to their characters. Again I feel that the limited selection of factions to play will hinder this game.  I felt the same way about Star Wars X-Wing (another Fantasy Flight Games product) but they will shortly be releasing the Scum and Villainy faction.  It would be nice for other film elements to be introduced.  I would love to see more prequel era stuff or different factions such as Bounty Hunters and Separatists incorporated into the game and hopefully the expansions can bring that to us. It would be a smart move for FFG to look at an expansion pack or prequel box to come out that will be Jedi vs. Seperatists focused. This game focuses pretty heavily on the Rebellion, though.  In fact it focuses mostly on the hours/days immediately after the destruction of the second Death Star, the Battle of Yavin.

Overall, I find this game a worthy addition to any Mancave, not just those of “Star Wars” fans. It’s made for a few great game nights in my house and I think it would do the same in your house. I’d recommend not playing with less than 4 players, though. Less than that didn’t seem as though it would be as fun. Games like this always seem to work better with larger groups.

The appropriate age-range is pretty wide, too. I had a lot of fun playing with a group of my peers. The basic rules are easy to grasp and the gameplay is very fluid, so I think the recommended age range is a little higher than it needs to be.

Summary

I’m going to give it an 8.5 out of 10. It looks great, has a lot of replayability, is reasonably easy to learn, and builds on a winning formula.

The models are nicely detailed and unpainted allowing for players to customize them themselves.  Sadly they can be easily broken.

I think the rules could have been laid out in a far more user-friendly way and perhaps were a little text heavy.  We certainly questioned the text of certain cards and the interactions they had. Then again, I don’t think this sort of game (costing between £65 and £80) is one that someone might buy on a whim.

There is a massive campaign version of the game just like FFG’s previous outing “Descent” as well as the option to play in skirmishes, offering enough replayability to make the suggested retail price more than worth it.

Mancave or should I say Mankitchen Update – Mancave Hotsauce

One Decent Bunch of Coriander.

One Decent Bunch of Coriander.

5 Cloves of Garlic

5 Cloves of Garlic

A large "thumb sized" chunk of Ginger.

A large “thumb sized” chunk of Ginger.

10-15 Scotch Bonnet Chilli peppers (13 on this occasion)

10-15 Scotch Bonnet Chilli peppers (13 on this occasion)

Cider Vinegar (to taste, I used 3 Tablespoons)

Cider Vinegar (to taste, I used 3 Tablespoons)

The juice of two Limes

The juice of two Limes

One Juicer/Blender (you will use the Blender attachment)

One Juicer/Blender (you will use the Blender attachment)

1 x 400ml Can of Plum Tomatoes

1 x 400ml Can of Plum Tomatoes

De-stem the Scotch Bonnet Chillis.  You can de-seed and de-pith the chillis if you want to remove some of the heat.  I kept both the seeds and pith.

De-stem the Scotch Bonnet Chillis. You can de-seed and de-pith the chillis if you want to remove some of the heat. I kept both the seeds and pith.

Transfer your chopped chillis to a bowl.

Transfer your chopped chillis to a bowl.

2 Dried Chipotle Chillis (for flavour)

2 Dried Chipotle Chillis (for flavour)

The Garlic and Ginger needs to be peeled and roughly chopped.  The dried Chipotle chillis de-stemmed and chopped.

The Garlic and Ginger needs to be peeled and roughly chopped. The dried Chipotle chillis de-stemmed and chopped.

The Garlic, Ginger and Chipotle Chilli post chopping.

The Garlic, Ginger and Chipotle Chilli post chopping.

Add the chopped Garlic, Ginger and Chipotles Chillis to the bowl with the roughly chopped Scotch Bonnet Chillis.

Add the chopped Garlic, Ginger and Chipotles Chillis to the bowl with the roughly chopped Scotch Bonnet Chillis.

To add liquid and falvour add the Plum Tomatoes.

To add liquid and falvour add the Plum Tomatoes.

I added four plum tomatoes in total.  Leave the liquid in the tin.

I added four plum tomatoes in total. Leave the liquid in the tin.

Add the Plum Tomatoes to the bowl.  At this point add the juice of the two Limes and season with table Salt.

Add the Plum Tomatoes to the bowl. At this point add the juice of the two Limes and season with table Salt.

Put everything in the Blender.

Put everything in the Blender.

Whizz the contents of the Blender until a paste like consistency.  Add the Cider Vinegar and more salt to taste.  In all I added one TBSP of Table Salt and three TBSP of Cider Vinegar.  You can add  to your own personal preferences.

Whizz the contents of the Blender until a paste like consistency. Add the Cider Vinegar and more salt to taste. In all I added one TBSP of Table Salt and three TBSP of Cider Vinegar. You can add to your own personal preferences.

Lastly, at the very last second, add in the large bunch of Coriander and whizz it up.

Lastly, at the very last second, add in the large bunch of Coriander and whizz it up.

So its not often we do a non-gaming thing on Talesfromthemancave but today we did.  We moved from the Mancave to the Mankitchen at Chez Marden and made some hot sauce.

We had a bag of Scotch Bonnets so wondered what we should do.  We could have made some Chutney or Salsa but anyone who knows me will know my love for insanely hot chilli sauces.  Hairy Gamer Tris and OH Lucy will both attest to my cast iron stomach and ability to consume the sort of chillis sauces used to clean driveways and engineblocks.  I figured it cant be that hard, so armed with some chillis, a Blender and a cupboard full of ingredients I set about making my own.  I present Mancave Hotsauce – putting the ‘eek into Geek.

Firstly a warning, Scotch Bonnets or Habanero Chillis are fearsomely hot (although not in the Naga Jolokia or Trinidad Moruga Scorpion range) and rank in the 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville Units range.  They should only be handled wearing rubber gloves and you should be very careful when handling them that you do not touch and sensitive part of your body.  Believe me I talk from experience!

Ingredients:-

10-15 Scotch Bonnet Chillis (other chillis can be used)

1 Bunch Fresh Coriander

1 Large “Thumb Sized” Piece of Ginger

5 Gloves of Garlic

1 x 400ml Tin of Plum Tomatoes (just the Tomatoes not the Juice)

2 Dried Chipotle Chillis

Cider Vinegar

Table Salt

Juice of 2 Limes.

Method

De-stem and roughly chop the Chillis.  You can de-seed and de-pith them if you do not like it hot.  The heat comes mainly from the pith.  Add to a bowl and set aside.

Peel and roughly chop the Garlic Cloves and Ginger.  De-stem the Dried Chillis and add everything to the bowl containing chillis.

Open the tin of tomatoes and add 4 plum tomatoes to the bowl.

Juice two limes and add the juice to the bowl.

Put the contents of the bowl into the Blender and whizz up until a rough paste.  Taste the sauce.  Be warned that at this point the vapours within the Blender will be eye wateringly strong so do not, as I did, take a deep whiff of the contents.  Add the Cider Vinegar and Table salt to taste.  I’d recommend doing it one Tablespoon at a time for each.  In total I added 3 TBSP of Cider Vinegar and 1 TBSP of Salt.  At this point you can, if you like, add some of the tomato juice to dilute and weaken the mixture.

Once you are happy with the flavour put the bunch of fresh Coriander into the blender and make sure it is well mixed.  It should have a very strong and slightly salsa-esque flavour.

Give it a try and let me know how you all get on!

New Cybertronic troop releases from PRODOS for WZR

New Armoured Chasseurs for Cybertronic.

New Armoured Chasseurs for Cybertronic.

Pieter Diamond,  Cybertronic Mirrorman posterboy and Hero.

Pieter Diamond, Cybertronic Mirrorman posterboy and Hero.

Seems like I got involved with Warzone Resurrection and especially Cybertronic at just the right time.  Some conversations with various people about some of the older models had prompted me to go out on a limb and say they simply didnt have the “look or feel” of Cybertronic as I understood it.  Then lo and behold the guys at PRODOS reveal that the new models shown in the pictures above will be released at the end of January.

We Cybertronic guys can look forward to seeing a Pieter “The Shield” Diamond model and a new set of models for Armoured Chasseurs which are awesomely sculpted and in super fine detail.  I for one cannot wait to add these guys to my forces.

The former Bauhausian Cybertronic Mirrorman Pieter Diamond has an interesting backstory bringing him to the Cybertronic fold.   He is a Squad Commander upgrade for a single squad of Mirrormen in your Cybertronic army, or a great figure to use as a Create your own warlord.

‘The unbelievably handsome Pieter Werhowen was once a highly esteemed Jaeger Korps officer, but his station and masculine beauty had a price, he was regarded with an insatiable envy by friends and enemies alike. Little did he know that one day this jealousy would bring him his final Bauhausian breath. On the ice plains of northern Venus, Werhowen led a shock assault on a Cybertronic Research Facility. The three sins of covetousness: jealousy, cowardice and envy, converged under the watchful gaze of Semai; Werhowen’s
friend and protégé, Paulo Kilermann, blasted the unsuspecting officer in the back. As Werhowen breathed his last, a solitary tear ran down his cheek and he mouthed ‘You will pay!’ to the turncoat. The death of their leader routed the Korps instantly, each and every one to be cut in twain by Cybertronic lasers. Only one man, the damned man, survived.
Pieter ‘The Shield’ Werhowen was Diamondised and enhanced shortly after by his foes, bringing the fallen Bauhaus hero back from the dead. He is now regarded as ‘the’ poster boy of the fifth megacorp. His media-darling status is continually furthered by his acts of heroism on the battlefield; where he fights with an utter finesse, wielding his CSA404 Heat Sword and Mirrorshard Shield in a perfect unison. He is a media-savvy man that knows what he is doing, using stealth and his camouflaged suit to appear out of the shadows as a visage of Cybertronic excellence exactly where the media cameras are pointing. Once he has their attention he turns on the chrome, dazzling and delighting his fans to a heady euphoria. Little do they know that behind his perfect public façade, one thing and one thing alone drives him; a passion from his past too powerful to forget, his unrelenting and unending thirst for revenge, ‘Paulo Kilermann will pay!’

Thanks to Rob Alderman of PRODOS and Gamewire for the fluff above.

Star Trek Thursday

So tonight in the Mancave the better half goes out and I get to crack some plastic and punch some tokens.  Luckily a big box of Star Trek Attack Wing ships had arrived yesterday and I had at least five to debox and display.  The most recent additions to the Mancaves display cases were 3 x Assimilated Vessel 64758/Cardassian Galor Class Starship which were prizes from the Resistance is Futile OP3 event and 2 x Tactical Borg Cube 001 which were the Grand Prizes for the entire Resistance is Futile OP Series.

I believe this now takes my collection of ships to 221 ships.

I do love plastic crack, now I need an opportunity to fly some of these beasts against unsuspecting opponents.  Thankfully I think I will be playing STAW at NAGA on Wednesday next week.  Lets get scheming!