Star Wars X-Wing League @ NAGA 30-06-2015

I had been quite lucky during my self imposed geek exile that no-one had challenged me in the NAGA X-Wing League however events had caused me to slip down the rankings a bit and drop down to 6th position.  Earlier in the month I had attempted to challenge Brent Jay who beat his first opponent and leapfrogged out of challenge range which left me with Mitchell Dunton to challenge.  So I duly proposed a game, our first attempt  got cancelled but last night we managed to finally get a table and get down to some Star Wars:X-wing action.  It had been over 3 months since I last played and I was a little ring rusty.  I proposed a 150pt game.

I took Scum and Villainy and hadn’t even played three of the ships that were in my list.  I’d enjoyed moderate success previously (against Mitch ironically) with M3-A Scyk Interceptors although it was Kath Scarlett who won that day for me.  Tonight I would try the IG-2000 Aggressors and a Y-Wing for the first time (and unpracticed) and a Scyk Interceptor.  My list would be as follows:-

Kavil (32) Y-Wing (24), Autoblaster Turret (2), Unhinged Astromech (1), Veteran Instincts (1), Engine Upgrade (4)

IG88-D (46) Aggressor (36), Veteran Instincts (1), Fire-Control System (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4), Inertial Dampeners (1), IG-2000 (0), Autothrusters (2)

IG88-B (46) Aggressor (36), Veteran Instincts (1), Fire-Control System (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4), Inertial Dampeners (1), IG-2000 (0), Autothrusters (2)

Cartel Spacer (19) M3-A “Scyk” Interceptor (14), “Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (2), Ion Cannon (3)

My IG-88B.

My IG-88B.

My IG-88D.

My IG-88D.

My Cartel Space M3-A Scyk Interceptor.

My Cartel Space M3-A Scyk Interceptor.

My Kavil in his Y-Wing.

My Kavil in his Y-Wing.

My build was only at 143 points and sadly I did not realise this until this morning.  This might have allowed me more points to upgrade Mangler Cannons to Heavy Laser Cannons or add Hot Shot Blasters to each of my Aggressors.  Stupid me….missed a trick there and should have paid more attention.

I had no idea what Mitch would be playing but when i arrived I saw a very similar list across the table from me, almost identical:-

Syndicate Thug (24) x 2 Y-Wing (18), Ion Cannon Turret (5), Unhinged Astromech (1), BTL-A4 Y-Wing (0)

IG88-B (50) Aggressor (36), Veteran Instincts (1), Enhanced Scopes (1), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), “Hot Shot” Blaster (3), IG-2000 (0), Anti-Pursuit Lasers (2)

IG88-C (50) Aggressor (36), Veteran Instincts (1), Enhanced Scopes (1), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), “Hot Shot” Blaster (3), IG-2000 (0), Anti-Pursuit Lasers (2)

Mitch's IG-88B.

Mitch’s IG-88B.

Mitch's IG-88C.

Mitch’s IG-88C.

Mitch's Syndicate Thug Y-Wing #1.

Mitch’s Syndicate Thug Y-Wing #1.

Mitch's Syndicate Thug Y-Wing #2.

Mitch’s Syndicate Thug Y-Wing #2.

Micth's Fleet List #1.

Mitch’s Fleet List #1.

Micth's Fleet List #2.

Micth’s Fleet List #2.

With both players ready and ships on table it was time to do battle in the manliest of contests……using plastic ships!  We both setup.  I had inititiave so my Cartel Spacer set-up first out on the right flank hoping to sweep in from out of arc and hit with his Ion Cannon.  Next Mitch deployed both of his Syndicate Thugs in their Y-Wings who would fly down Mitch’s left flank to intercept my Scyk Interceptor.  Then my Aggressors deployed at an angle opposite the debris field to maximise firing arcs.  Then Mitch’s Aggressors set-up opposite the debris field to face my Aggressors.  Finally at PS9 Kavil deployed last and took the my left flank to try and hit Mitch’s Aggressors in the flank or behind from close using his Engine Upgrade to boost.  I’d try to take picture wherever I could but sometimes the heat of battle gets in the way and we forget.  I know Craig Bean and James Hall were also taking pictures at NAGA so they may have captured some of the action.

The End of Turn 1.

The End of Turn 1.

At the end of turn 1 both of Mitch’s aggressors had turned towards Kavil and entered the Debris field.  Mine had done so too but trying to keep Mitch’s ships at R3.  My Cartel Spacer and Mitch’s Y-Wings postured on my right flank not willing to give too much away.

Kavil and my Agressors managed to strip some shields away on Mitch’s Aggressors and he returned the favour.  Mitch seemed as fearful of Kavil this time as he was of Serissu the last time and seemed determined to destroy his Y-Wing quickly.  Kavil was sadly a) inneffective at range and b) inefficient in arc so I had to close and get into the flanks and rear of Mitch’s Aggressors.  Mitch had equipped his Aggressors with 360 firing Hot Shot Blasters which would make sneaking past them prohibitively difficult.  Had I remembered I was way under the 150pt limit I may have equipped them too but I simply missed it.

End of Turn 2.

End of Turn 2.

The battle quickly degenerated into a dogfight in the debris field between the Aggressors.  One of Mitch’s Sengoor Looped out of the field allowing Kavil to squeeze between them and catch him at R1.  My Aggressors both brought wapons to bear on Mitch’s Aggressor in the debris field.  Mitch had equipped his Aggressors with Enhanced Scopes and Anti-Pursuit Lasers which meant he was very happy to see ships bumping as he would move first and cause damage when a ship bumped his.  Still now knowing what my Cartel Spacer would do Mitch was forced to play cautiously with his Y-Wings and cover both the flank and the flank of his Aggressor in the debris field.

Kavil did a number of Mitch’s Aggressor stripping 3 shields off it before it returned the favour.  Of my two Aggressors only 1 had a shot thanks to bump so it tore into the shields of Mitch’s second Aggressor in the centre.  The other could have benefited from a Hot Shot Blaster at this point to help my Cartel Spacer by firing on the Syndicate Thug covering Mitch’s left flank.  Sadly with no 360 arc shot it was unable to fire.  The Cartel Spacer attempted to fire his Ion Cannon but missed horifically (this would be a theme of my firing tonight).  Mitch’s loadout on his Y-Wings made them very punchy when attacking in their forward arc and two shots later had stripped the shields off my Cartel Spacer and the last shields off one of my Aggressors.

End of Turn 3.

End of Turn 3.

One of Mitch’s Aggressors fled the debris field attempting to come about and bring weapons to bear whilst the other re-entered having Sengoor Looped last turn to chase Kavil.  Both Y-Wings entered the field and Kavil attempted to come about whilst keeping Mitch’s Aggressor close for a 360 shot with his Autoblaster Turret to get a shot on Mitch’s Agressor.  One of my Aggressors held position by discarding its Inertial Dampeners hoping for a good shot on Mitch’s Aggressor in the debris field.

With so many Aggressors on the mat it was starting to get confusing and I must admit to putting my dial against the wrong ship on more than one occasion.  The ring rustiness was beginning to show as Mitch’s experience flying the difficult Aggressors was evident.  Those Enhanced Scopes were making my life very very difficult as everywhere I wanted to be Mitch’s ship was already there.

Shield tokens were traded, one of Mitch’s Aggressors started to take some Crits and damage and Mitch’s Y-Wings dispatched my limping useless inneffectual Cartel Spacer.

End of Turn 4.

End of Turn 4.

My twin Aggressors pulled in behind Mitch’s Y-Wing and left it in a very bad position ready to fir upon it.  Kavil bumped into Mitch’s chasing Aggressor stopping it from firing at him.  Mitch’s remaining Aggressor and Y-Wing were busy maneuveuring around the debris field to return to the fight.

End of Turn 5.

End of Turn 5.

In this turn I rather foolishly discarded the Inertial Dampeners on my Aggressor to remain still clocking up a stress token and a second one for remaining in a debris field.  I also took a damage.  This was very stupid in hindsight!  It also allowed Mitch’s second Aggressor to sweep in from outside and have a free shot into the rear of my Aggressor in the debris field.  My second Aggressor was off chasing a Y-Wing as Kavil closed on it chasing Mitch’s second Aggressor and his badly damaged Y-Wing from the assault my Aggressors gave it last turn.  By the end of turn 5 Mitch’s limping y-Wing had been dispatched by the combined firepower of Kavil & my Aggressor but Kavil had also been Ioned by the double attacking Y-Wing leaving him vulnerable next turn as Mitch knew exactly where he would be.  Mitch’s Aggressor obsessed with Kavil couldn’t finish him off as they were touching but the Anti-Pusuit Lasers did hit Kavil.  This last Aggressor did manage to finish off my second Aggressor which was badly damaged already.

End of Turn 6.

End of Turn 6.

Are you Tycho is disguise?

Are you Tycho is disguise?

My sole remaining Aggressor had only taken damage from Anti-Pursuit Lasers and Debris and seemed to have the luck of the evade dice on its side.  It had also been quite lucky keeping Micth’s ships at R2 or more or out of arc so was able to use its Autothrusters when attacked.  It now had a stack of Stress tokens and Mitch was joking that Tycho was in the cockpit.  I was very limited in what maneuveurs I could perform and certainly wouldn’t be taking any actions anytime soon.  My only realistic choice was to make a run for it and hope that I could keep Mitch’s ships at R2 or out of arc.  This Benny Hill-esque chase lasted another three round whilst I managed to clear all my Stress tokens.  Every shot Mitch’s ships poured into my Aggressor was shrugged off and despite the absolute barnstormer of a game Mitch simply couldnt dispatch this last ship.  All of his were now unshielded and all damaged in some way.  it had been a real slugfest of a dogfight but now my time was done.  It was only a matter of time before Mitch’s superior numbers overwhelmed me.  I would continue to run and hope to evade long enough to drop one maybe two of his ships.

End of Turn of Turn 9.

End of Turn of Turn 10.

Sooooo close!!!!

Sooooo close!!!!

Having evaded for three more turns and cleared all my stress tokens I was now left facing a tight turn to remain on the board. It would need to be a Hard 2 but all of Mitch’s ships moved first.  The only ship was worried about was the Aggressor that was attempting to turn inside my Aggressor and force me off the gaming mat.  I still had a slim chance that my maneuveur would leave me ok if I bumped.  Sadly with 2 Shields and 4 Hull remaining following a bump the rear left corner of my Aggressors baseplate was outside the gaming area and I had lost due to fleeing the field.

Congratulations Mitch on a great victory.  That’s 1 win each now….next time will be the decider!  I hadn’t lost any League position as Mitch was above me but I would need some serious game time if I was going to continue to play Scum.  I need some practice anyways simply to keep up with the players in the League.  I think this leaves my record as 5 wins to 3 losses.

I honestly hadnt expected Mitch to field the same Aggressors as he had when I defeated him before and secretly thought if I could beat him with Aggressors (the build he’d lost to me with previously) then not only would I advance in league position but it would be a nicer win too.  Fair play though, Mitch came storming back and flew those Aggressors very very well.  the build was solid and his superior experience in the game and with those ships certainly showed.

Onwards and upwards and onto the next challenge.

Gaming on a budget – The Challenge (Part 1)

Some time ago I reviewed Tabletop Gaming’s first issue of its magazine and whilst discussing this review with Hairy Gamer Tris we decided that an article about gaming on a budget would be a great idea.  Tabletop Gaming hadn’t done it so we resolved to set a budget and start a new project.

I had also spoken to some old LARPer friends of mine Andy Bridgwater and Andy Thomas who had just invested in Guildball from Steamforged Games.  This game appealed to me because it was a low fantasy american football style game.  It was to Fantasy Football as Game of Thrones is to Fantasy Fiction….no Elves, no Dwarves, no Orcs or Goblins.  It also fit quite nicely with my project to game on a budget as it wouldnt take a huge investment to get involved.  With all this in mind I asked around on the Guild Ball Supporters (Gu.B.S) page on Facebook ( and spoke to the Andy’s and took advice from Alex Cairns who all affirmed my belief that it might be the project I was looking for.

Andy Thomas was kind enough to write a review to give me some idea what it was all about:-

So it’s Sunday, I’m sitting at a table and looking back is my best mate and we are about to kick the living bejesus out of each other!

I’ll explain… At the UK Expo we met up with the creators of a fantasy football game called Guildball and we liked what we saw. I really wanted Dreadball but when we asked for a demo… Mantis weren’t keen so we decided to go back and chat a little further… £60 each later and 4 of us now have full teams and a rule book.

Forward wind to our first game, a 3 on 3 between the Brewers guild and my Butchers! I’m having a strange feeling like I’ve been here before and it’s awesome, but ask me what the something is… I have no idea. I’ve read the rules to death and been mostly confused, tried to learn what my players can do and chosen the three that I’m sure can get me to the 6 victories points I need for a win! At this point I’m still confused how stuff works but armed with my rule book and cheat sheets… I’m ready as I will ever be! 6 points later, I’ve put his leader off the board and his quick player off twice and it’s taken around 30 minutes of non stop action where neither of us had to watch the other move 11 players, resolve 11 actions…fall asleep.

The rules I thought were complicated are actually streamlined and easy to follow, allowing the game to flow like a game should. Because of the turn system where 1 player activates a model then it switches to player 2, you never feel like you are in downtime and for someone with the attention span of a gnat, this rocks!

The players I chose had abilities that complimented each other and by knowing what each could do and how that can buff my other guys or rebuff the opposition I had a range of interesting plays I could bring to the table. Again, my non existent attention span is pleased that it has lots to do but at the same time not get overwhelmed. Then it hit me… That feeling I had been here before, I recognise it as the first time I played Bloodbowl. That little child inside me who loves the idea of fantasy football but doesn’t have 2 hours to play a game just got the cake and ate it.

That cake is called Guildball and if you love Bloodbowl or Dungeonbowl, there’s a new cake you should buy and eat…. It’s called Guildball”

images  download

Well anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Blood Bowl and have done since it was first released by Games Workshop many many years ago.  I have complete and untouched copies of 1st Ed, 2nd and 3rd ed plus multiple teams.  I also all love all things contact sports.  This sounded just like the game for me.  Having spent many years playing Blood Bowl and primarily the Humans, Skaven and Elf teams I knew I’d favour a team that were fast and agile and quick to score.  I’m not so much of a bash’em’up sort and like flair and speed.  Reading some reviews online and the article in Tabletop Gaming it sounded like the Fishermens Guild would be the guys for me.  So it would be my “gaming on a budget” project.

Fishermen Guild

Fishermen Guild

Having made the decision I went to my FLGS in Coventry to grab a Starter set.  When I enquired the store volunteer hadn’t ever heard of the game and had no idea what I was talking about, which left me rather at a loss.  I would have to go online to try and find what I was looking for.  I try to support my FLGS whenever I can but on this occasion the Internet would need to come to my rescue.  I asked the members of the Gu.B.S. group on Facebook about where was best to buy from and the general concensus seemed to be Element Games, based in Stockport and the same building as Steamforged Games:-

Looking at the website I had a budget of £30 a month which I would need to buy at least a Starter set.  So I picked up:-

Fishermens Starter Set Season 1 (Shark, Siren & Angel) – £19.76

Fishermans Guild Starter Set.

Fishermans Guild Starter Set.

Shark, Angel & Siren.

Shark, Angel & Siren.

Kraken – £12.10



Total – £31.86

I was a little over my original intended budget but I figured I could recoup this next month by spending less.  Once shipping of £2.95 was factored in then I was at a total of £34.81.

For a similar price I could invest in many similar skirmish level games that I had considered in the past such as Judge Dredd by Warlord Games, Batman by Knight Models, a new Corporation for Warzone Resurrection (I already have Cybertronic, Imperial and Mishima) by PRODOS Games Ltd.  I was happy with my final choice.  Now all that remains is for the postie to drop a box of goodies from Element Games through my letter box and for me to get them assembled and painted ready to bring some fishy hurt to the Andys (Thomas and Bridgwater), Pam aka Mrs Andy B and Jason W who had all invested at UK Games Expo.

I should only ever need 7 models to play the Fishermens Guild and once my package arrives I will have 4 of those so I’m a happy, little, lazy painting, budget gamer!

Im now off to download the free Rules PDF so I can read up before my team arrives.  That was another selling point.  Whilst I like a glossy shiny looking rulebook on the shelf in the Mancave the fact that I can get free rules and put off that purchase for another month was a huge advantage for me.

I can also go onto the Guildball Forums to pick up tactics and general Guildball advice.  Here is a link:-

Thats about all for now.  Thanks to the Gu.B.S guys on Facebook, Alex Cairns, Andy B & Andy T for the inspiration and ideas.


Rumors/Preview – Age of Sigmar Model Leaks (Sigmarite and Chaos)

Im not personally a huge Warhammer Fantasy Battles fan but I can see just how much potential the new Age of Sigmar release miniatures have. They would make awesome conversion fodder for all those Inquisimunda and Necromunda readers of this blog.

Straight out of the box these miniatures are amazingly detailed and easy to assemble and use. One could even be convinced to give some of the new series of miniatures a try.

Watch this space for more Age of Sigmar updates!

Clan Khorvaak

Holy shit.

I didn’t intend to ever post Fantasy stuff on here because of the focus being Clan Khorvaak, but I have to stop and give a major shoutout to this.

The first Age of Sigmar models have leaked and they are GLORIOUS!

Straight out of the box they’re amazingly detailed and a cool looking Sigmar faction (very akin to Fantasy Marines as many are saying.) However, their conversion and bits potential is NUTS! Especially for Inquisitors and Space Marines.

I cannot wait to get myself a box of these guys painted, this might just be what gets me into collecting fantasy.

Also, I finally have a freaking source of some sick shields for my Iron Guard! Those shields even have a hammer on them, which is the symbol I use for my guard! (A gauntlet grasping a hammer.)



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Time to get Terminated!!!!! Terminator:Genisys first thoughts


Tonight in the Mancave I received Hairy Gamer Tris’s and my copies of Terminator:Genisys by Riverhorse Games.

Terminator:Genisys Box Front.

Terminator:Genisys Box Front.

Terminator:Genisys Box Back.

Terminator:Genisys Box Back.



I’m going to put down some first thoughts as I debox it and at a later point I will do a proper review with pictures etc.

Designed by, Alessio Calvatore, the brains behind some of Games Workshop’s recent successes and Mantic’s Kings of War this game is timed perfectly to coincide with the cinematic release of the same name.

Distributed by Warlord Games this skirmish game costs £70 which is towards the top end of most gamer budgets for a single game. The Hairy Gamers copies came in at around £54 each after scouring for a great deal online. The game is designed for 2+ players of ages 14 and up and is planned to take roughly 1 hour after setup. Due to many small parts it is not recommended for children under 3 years of age.

The game itself weighs in at a decent 1.25kg and is deceptively small at only 12″ x 9″ x 4″. Whilst its may be small it is certainly crammed full of awesome miniatures by Renendra Ltd and some nice components. The box itself is a little flimsy and given time and use will certainly suffer as a consequence.

Once opened the player is presented with:-

a glossy 128 page Rulebook,
a quick reference sheet of all the weapons and troops available in the game,
a “fast-play” 16 page reference booklet,
2 sheets of “punch and play” game tokens and range rulers
a folded full colour double sided gaming mat.

Box Contents.

Box Contents.

beneath this collection of goodies is a box containing the miniatures for the game:-

10 Terminator “Endoskeletons”
5 Terminator “Crawlers”
16 Human Resistance Soldiers
1 Exclusive Kyle Reese Resistance miniature
2 sets of polyhedral dice (2xd4, 2xd6, 2xd8, 2xd10, 2xd12, 2xd20)
1 Fate Dice

Game Miniatures.

Game Miniatures.

Overall I’m very impressed with the miniature quality. They are clean crispy miniatures with superb detail up there with other miniature manufacturers I have dealt with previously.


Im really looking forward to getting the minis snipped off the sprues and doing some painting. Watch this space and my review page on Facebook, The Hairy Gamers, for further updates, a full review with pictures and a play through/game report.


Tabletop Gaming – Issue 1

This is a direct copy and paste from my “other” project The Hairy Gamers on Facebook:-

Fathers Day reading at the Mancave.

Fathers Day reading at the Mancave.

So this weekend saw the first issue of a new gaming magazine called “Tabletop Gaming” released by Warners Group Publications. It is priced at £5.25 and has an annual subscription charge of £19.99; a total saving of £1.01 if, as assumed, it is quarterly.

I found my copy at my local WHSmiths but its also available in other places, mainly Forbidden Planet.  If you cannot find it at either of those or you live far away from either then you can always order online:-–First-Issue/_prod3381

With a plethora of online review websites and blogs already in a fairly saturated market it was a very brave decision to enter this realm but is “Tabletop Gaming” any better than what is already out there?

Firstly it is a slick looking publication, a decent size and not badly priced. One could be worried that it would be filled with classifieds and full page advertisements for gaming stores and companies but refreshingly it wasn’t. I think there were about 10 pages of ads in total leaving the vast bulk of the magazine free for reviews and articles.

The cover promises “in depth reviews and interviews” listing a number of games that reads like a who’s who of current games and “101 games you need to play”. You also get some exclusive interviews and articles.

The Editors Welcome by Rob Burman promises much in the future from this publication and a slight change to format to accommodate more play tests, hobby tips, store reviews, club spotlights, etc so only time will tell if this magazine lives up to the promises. I found certain things odd about the content of this magazine but more of that later.

Most of the 162 pages seem filled with little reviews for the 101 games you must play. Given each review is limited to only about 300-350 words they do well to sum up each game in such a short space. Each review gives you some basics to allow you to compare and contrast games against one another, the producer, the no. of players, the price, playtime etc. This is some good work although I’d like to see some kind of rating system or a score out of 10 or 100. I realise this would be subjective based on the reviewer but if I’m looking at two very similar games it would be nice to know which they consider to be better. That aside each review is punchy and to the point and contains a huge variety of games and styles.

The articles are nicely laid out and well presented. They are clear and include exclusive interview with game designers don’t fill the magazine with needless content, each being around the 5 or 6 page mark.

Full page glassy adverts, some with discount codes break up the relentless assault of game reviews. Companies such as Element Games, Chaos Cards and Wayland Games participating give this magazine a feel of already belonging to the industry rather than being some imposter or new kid on the block. The magazine feels like it has been around a while already which is testament to the authors and editor who have clearly worked hard to give it that feel.

I was pleased to see articles on Steamforged Games Guild Ball, FFG’s X-Wing and River Horse’s Terminator:Genisys as all of these games either get played at Hairy Gamer HQ or are being dispatched to us currently. The Guild Ball review gives the new player everything they would need to be able to decide which Guild or Team suited them best which is just the sort of article I’d be looking for as a potential new player converting from Blood Bowl.

I was hoping the X-Wing article would be more of a tactics article in the same vein as Neil Amswych’s articles on FFG’s website or the content shared on State of The Federation by Will Sanchez, Tucker Cobey and David Montgomery. It would also have been nice to get an interview with the current X-Wing UK Champion who would have been crowned at UK Games Expo a few weeks ago possibly even an interview between the two, like a passing of the torch.

The one page painting guide offers the novice painter some advanced tips for improving their style and abilities but sadly falls foul of the exact same problem almost all painting guides do. In most publications I can understand having a single, preferred source of paint….its almost expected in White Dwarf or painting guides released by painting companies but if you’re representing the entire industry you may want to provide alternatives from each or at least the bigger manufacturers. Please, please, please, please when doing painting guides consider that not everyone buys the same range of paints…….Citadel are not the only range out there so if you’re going to do them please refer to p3, Vallejo, Army Painter etc (other brands are available).

I’m hoping, longer term, to see more battle reports and army tactics guides etc. There are already some very good sources of this information out there so some may argue why re-invent the wheel? Well the point is that this game should include content from the complete novice up to the advanced player. Every game has advanced tactics regardless of its type or style. It would be good to see how the pro’s or better players play games that we perhaps take for granted or don’t consider to be “tactical”.

One very strange, almost suspicious, thing is the complete lack of any content or reference to Wizkids or their games. Knowing Wizkids this could have come from their side but given that they produce two of the most popular games available out there currently in Star Trek Attack Wing and Dungeons & Dragons Attack Wing I was very surprised to not see anything at all anywhere about either game. Both Armada and X-Wing get content or adverts and are similar games so hopefully this is a temporary glitch.

It would also be nice to have some kind of Kickstarter Watch feature or article where the next quarters Kickstarters and their end dates are listed and discussed but as this is a first issue I may be jumping the gun somewhat. We’ll see what Issue 2 brings and hopefully it will bring more great articles and features that all gamers can get their teeth into regardless of what they play or do.

I think the magazine could benefit from some regular articles on particular styles of game. Does it cover Wargaming? If so it would be nice to see more content related to that.

As an “in” to tabletop gaming and the sort of thing an interested yet uncommitted party might use as a guide to gaming its a solid start. I could see people who ask me about which games to buy using this as it provides far more information than I ever could. Its a great read for a new player but possibly hasn’t hit the heightss required for the more experienced gamer yet.

On a similar note it would also be good to have a regular feature about gaming on a budget. Not all gamers are lucky enough to have huge disposable incomes to spend £60-80 per game plus expansions so some features about the cheaper end of gaming or alternative gaming on a budget would be a beneficial guide.

I could also see the benefit in having a quick table or feature showing the release dates for various games and popular eagerly anticipated expansions coming in the next quarter.

All in all I think this first issue of “Tabletop Gaming” is a success and I think I will be subscribing at least for the first year. Only time will tell whether the rest of the industry feels the same. Covering such a wide, rich and varied selection of games, styles and content it would be very easy for this magazine to fail on all fronts and be spread a little thin. Other magazines only concentrate on Historical Wargaming or just the games of a certain company, hopefully Rob and Co at “Tabletop Gaming” will be able to keep up the great work.

I’m looking forward to Issue 2 and my subscription is in the post

Star Trek Attack Wing Review: USS Pegasus

Always good to see more blogs out there advertising the hobby especially one of my favourite games; Star Trek Attack Wing.

Notes From The Bunker

Hi - I'm the clay pigeon of your Attack Wing game.  Hi – I’m the clay pigeon of your Attack Wing game.

When I saw Wizkids was releasing the Pegasus I was excited because it offered a potentially tactic-altering piece of technology – the Phasing Cloaking device.  Remember watching it in Star Trek TNG?  You could install this thing on  ship and it could fly through enemy ships, through space bodies, etc..  Yeah, it was a tiny Oberth class ship, but was saw in the episode, it could be installed on any ship.  I pictured flying a ship right through a planet or asteroid or through the enemy ships.  I didn’t see it as a game-changer, but it sure would offer something new and different.  Being able to pass through planets and other ships could upset the enemy just enough in battle. Sure it was evil, but I’m not one of those tournament gamers – I play just for grins.


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Mancave move around

So this weekend it was time to try and make the Mancave a little more usable.  Recently, and especially since my month off, it has been more of a dumping ground for geekery and little to no room for actually gaming etc.  So Lucy and I set about making some space in there and re-organising.

We mainly use Ikea furniture to display and organise the geekery in the Mancave.  Kallax storage units make great shelving and are robust and sturdy so can handly a lot of usage.  The Detolf Display Cabinets are cheap (only £40), easy to build and look quite swish however there is a lot of dead space within them.  With only 3 shelves you could easily fit another 4 shelves in each doubling the storage capacity.  Recently I’ve been struggling to get all my Star Trek Attack Wing ships into the two Detolf Display Cabinets so now they have moved I think Im going to have to look into modding these units to carry more ships.

After some searching around I found a forum which had a nice “how-to” for modding the shelves:-

Modding Ikea Detolf Shelves

Armed with this information I trawled EBay to find some 3/16″ Wire Rope Clips.  Happy with my purchase (I needed 32 but got three packs of 12) I now need to find a local glazier to cut me some sheets of glass for shelves.  I’ve measured up and reckon 8 off (15 1/2″ x 11 1/4″ x 1/8″) with a pencil grind edge should do the trick.  Just need to find a decent and cheap source for them.

We removed a lot of the books, cookery and baking that had been occupying space on my shelves and stored them in the loft.  This freed up a lot of space to put more games onto the shelves, so the two copies of Star Wars Armada and the copy of Star Wars Imperial Assault found new homes along with some older games that hadn;t been unpacked from the move until this point; War on Terror, Apples to Apples, Skyline 3000, The LOGO Game, Key to the Kingdom and an old copy of Necromunda I had kicking around.

Other related projects include finishing off my folding 4’x4′ gaming table.  I got one half made before bad weather set in last summer so I had better get on with that as soon as I have a free weekend.  You can see part of it lurking on the left of the picture of the Kallax Storage Unit above.

I’m also going to try and get a semi permanent painting station set-up for me so painting becomes less of a chore and I’ll be able to jump in and out of painting a lot easier.

The Star Trek CCG cards need sorting too.  They’ve not really been unpacked since we moved from the ‘Nam to Coventry.   I’d like to be able to get back into the CCG scene and complete my collection.  Im only missing The Motion Pictures (TMP) and All Good Things (AGT) sets.  They’re still astronomically expensive and very difficult to find for retail anywhere near me.  Sadly I think I’m going to have to abandon my idea for a huge picture displaying a full set as the frame cost is prohibitive and I’m a little short on wall space.  It would have been an ace picture to put up displaying 363 black bordered rare cards but at over 2m long by over 1m tall its not a small undertaking.  Even tweaking the numbers I still cant get it much smaller than over 1.8m by just under 1.4m.  Such a shame!

Its FFG Friday at the Mancave!

As well as yesterday being an all round awesome day for Star Trek goodies in the Mancave I also received some other lovely little surprises.

My supplier also sent me the Spring 2015 Tournament Medal’s for both Star Wars Imperial Assault and Star Wars Armada.  This means I now have a spare Armada medal…what to do….hmmm?



Star Trek Thursday – Q-Continuum:Deja-Q

Evening Mancavers!

Tonight I will be showing the cards and ships from the Q-Continuum Month 2 OP Event “Deja-Q”.  The Prize for this event is the I.K.S Korinar, a Klingon B’Rel class Bird-of-Prey.

It was featured in the Deep Space 9 episode “Sons of Mogh” where IKS Korinar warned the runabout USS Yukon away from investigating an apparent explosion of a cloaked object in 2372, claiming that the Klingons were conducting military exercises. The IKS Korinar was in fact participating in a Klingon effort to mine the Bajoran system.

Were I to try and build a ship in a Ship Pure environment using Wizkids Suggested Rules Format out of this expansion I’d probably go with:-

IKS Korinar (22)

Kurn (3)

Mauk-To’Vor (5 reduced to 3)

Klingon Stealth Team (5)

Ambush Attack (5)

Cloaked Mines (3)

Total (41)

Sadly there aren’t enough cards in this expansion to even fill all the upgrade slots on this vessel, which is annoying.  I;d have thought even a generic set of Photon Torpedos would enhance this ship especially given the Rear Arc.  Its a nice little ship with some clever tricks such as the Elite Talent Mauk-To’Vor which allows you to sacrifice your Captain to add a number of Attack Dice equal to half their Captain Skill rounded down (upto 3 max).  This isn’t very useful in this pack as Kurn isn’t the highest skill captain, also in general it suffers from some of the issues that Klingons have…Action heavy, expensive, discard upgrades with limitations.  Its a common problem with Klingon upgrades.

Klingons also get access to some Cloaked Mines which on the face of it seem like a poor variant of the Romulan ones.

All in all this ship will make a nice little “wingman” type vessel for harrassing flanks and attacking as part of a pack.  I don’t think it has the longevity to shift the better Klingon vessels out there…the K’Vort’s, K’Tinga’s and Vor’cha’s.

Let me know what you think.  Post a comment and I’ll reply as soon as I can.



Legendary Encounters playthrough (@ NAGA 10/06/2015)

Legendary Encounters

Legendary Encounters

Recently at NAGA I played Legendary:A Marvel Deckbuilding Game and this prompted me to take the plunge and buy a game I had been watching for a while now, Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deckbuilding Game.  I decided to run a playthrough at NAGA last night so here goes my little report.  Players were Brent Jay, James Christie-Green, Derek Maynard and myself.

Firstly it takes an absolute age to get the same set-up straight out of the box.  If you include the time taken to sort through 602 cards into the correct decks and separate them then you’re looking a good hour and a half at least.  The cards come in no particular order and took me and my OH a good hour or so to sort through.  There is also the small possibility that “some” cards might be missing so its worth checking before you play.

Legendary Encounters Box Contents

Legendary Encounters Box Contents

I list 602 playable cards because that’s what the card list I downloaded told me there were. Here’s the card breakdown:

  • 10 Role Avatars
  • 10 Role Character cards
  • 35 Specialists
  • 25 Grunts
  • 10 Sergeants
  • 224 Character cards (16 characters, 14 cards each)
  • 4 Locations
  • 12 Objectives
  • 132 Hive cards (12 mini decks, one for each Objective)
  • 24 Drone cards
  • 14 Hatchery cards
  • 40 Strikes
  • 4 Alien Avatars
  • 36 Alien Player cards
  • 15 Agenda cards
  • 5 Secrets Revealed cards

Once set-up has been done once I’m sure it will get easier for me.

Legendary Encounters Game Mat Set-Up

Legendary Encounters Game Mat Set-Up

Rather than complicate the matter we decided we would concentrate on learning the new and different mechanics that had been added and we would run though a 4 player, basic version of the ALIEN game using the following Objectives:-

1 – The SOS

2 – No One Can Hear You Scream

3 – The Perfect Organism

Legendary Encounters Objectives and Objective Decks

Legendary Encounters Objectives and Objective Decks

The objectives play out like the plot of the ALIEN movie.  We would be using a famous location from the movie to generate Hazards and conditions for our game.  The location for ALIEN was The Nostromo so that was our location but the core set covers all four films in the quadrilogy so the others were:-

The Nostromo

Hadleys Hope

Fiorina “Fury” 161

The Auriga

Legandary Encounters Locations

Legandary Encounters Locations

The game also includes characters from all four movies in the set and during tonights game as we were playing the ALIEN storyline we used the characters from that movie.  Each film adds four characters, once you are comfortable playing you can mix and match the characters even to the point of using four versions of Ripley.  The main characters from the ALIEN film that formed our Barracks were:-

Captain Dallas

Navigator Lambert

Chief Engineer Parker

Warrant Officer Ripley

You may be forgiven for thinking that stacking your deck with Ripleys will help as she managed to survive the movie but a good combination of each will allow you to function well and combine cards at the right time to do the right thing.

Warrant officer Ripley's Deck (forming part of the Barracks)

Warrant officer Ripley’s Deck (forming part of the Barracks)

Before the game begins each player gets 7 Specialists and 5 Grunts to populate their draw deck.  These represent the resources at their disposal to battle enemies and “recruit” Heros and Sergeants to help them.  Grunts add to your Combat score (denoted by the slash icon in the bottom left of the card and a number above it) and Specialists add to your recruitment” (shown with a star and a number in the bottom right).  Certain cards may require you to spend “recruitment” points to perform certain action or Combat points to “Scan” a room but more of this later.

Starting Deck - Specialists and Grunts

Starting Deck – Specialists and Grunts

They each then select an Avatar which represents how much Health that player starts the game with and allows them to add an additional card to their Draw Deck.  The basic example game limits which Avatars are used:-




Medic (4 player game)

Scout (5 player game)

as you gain experience in playing the game more and more Avatars can be used and if you wanted to you could simply pick any of the Avatars from the deck.  Derek had the Gunner, I the Researcher, Brent the Medic and James the Technician.

Legendary Encounters Roles

Legendary Encounters Roles

There are actually a couple ways to play Legendary Encounters: fully cooperative, fully cooperative until somebody dies, semi-cooperative with a potential hidden traitor. I’ll only cover the basic fully cooperative mode first, and then explain the other variants in later reports as we add layers of depth to the game.

In the basic cooperative mode, the goal is to accomplish three mission objectives before everyone dies—these objectives will be selected during setup.

If you’re already familiar with Legendary Marvel or Upper Decks other Deckbuilding games there are a few key differences, which we’ll cover first, and then get into more detail later:

Hidden enemies: Enemy cards aren’t revealed as soon as they’re taken from the deck. Instead, they enter the Complex face-down and you must spend “Combat” points to scan the rooms to reveal them.

Strikes: Instead of Wound cards that just fill up your deck with useless cards and deny you heros to do battle etc, there are Strike cards that sit next to your Avatar card and do damage. Take too much damage, and you die.

Roles: Each player starts with the same deck of Specialists and Grunts, but then gets an additional role character card that gets shuffled in, giving each player a slight specialization.

Alien Players: If a player dies because of a Chestburster, they can become an alien with a new objective: kill the humans.

When you start your game the only cards placed on the gaming mat are the Sergeants Deck (generic USMC Sergeants to help you fight the Alien), the Barracks Deck (made up of the decks of the four characters named above), the Strikes Deck (the damage that Players avatars take when events occur or Aliens attack you), the Hatchery (comprising the three objective decks and one Drone card per player per deck), the Location Card (in our case “The Nostromo”) and the Objectives (the plot of our game – loosely following the ALIEN movie in our case.  Before play begins you move the top five cards from the Barracks deck into the HQ area of the gaming mat.  These represent Heroes you can “recruit” to help you fight or save you from Alien strikes etc.

Each players turn is broken down into four phases:-

Hive Phase

Each turn you move the top card from the Hive Deck (made up of the 3 relevant Objective Decks and a number of Drone cards from the Drone deck – 1 per player per deck) into the Complex starting with the Ventilation Shafts moving through the locations (Ventilation Shafts – Power Station – Weapons Locker – Med-Lab – Airlock) until the enemy eventually drops into the Combat Zone whereupon they are instantly revealed and any abilities etc resolved.

Action Phase

The player can then spend his cards each turn to “recruit” new Heros, “Scan” a room or Battle an enemy.  Scanning is a new mechanic.  To keep the game suspenseful and interesting enemies now move through the complex face down and remain a mystery until it is scanned by spending “Combat” points.  It is then revealed and you action any “Reveal” abilities on its card.  It may also trigger other events such as the Hazards on the Location card or the Events on the Objective card.

You can spend “Recruitment” points to hire Heros by paying their recruitment value.  When a Hero or Sergeant is acquired in this way they are added to their discard pile for use later.  This is how you go about building a deck to do battle with the Xenomorph menace.

Players can also spend “Combat” or “attack” points from cards to attack any face-up enemy in the Combat Zone, the Complex or infront of that player I.E Facehuggers.

There are five “classes,” represented by little icons at the top left of each card. Each card has at least one class. Many cards will have a class icon followed by an ability in the description section—to use that ability, you must have already played another card with that icon on your turn.

There’s also the new “Coordinate” ability: some cards say “Coordinate” in the description section. During a player’s turn, each other player may play one Coordinate card and draw to replace it. The active player may choose to use that card as if he played it, counting any card effects (including the class icons). It’s a way to share icons for needed effects, as well as boosting attacking or recruiting power for a player who needs a few more.

The game mat "in play"

The game mat “in play”

Strike Phase

Players then get attacked by any Enemies in the “Combat Zone” taking “Strikes” dependant on the enemy performing the attack.  These “Strike” cards damage the player directly by reducing the health value shown on the bottom left of their Avatar card.  Once a player takes “strikes” equal to their health they are dead and removed from the game.

Cleanup Phase

Lastly each round each player discards all cards in their hand or in play unless they have the “Vigilance” ability and redraw 6 new cards from their Draw Deck.  You tend to cycle through these cards very quickly.

So the game progressing slowly to begin with and many checks of the rulebook were made.  Sometimes a cards text isn;t so clear and having the rulebook handy will certainly help.  Each player took their turn attempting to recruit new Heros or Sergeants and Scanning rooms.  Almost immediately an Egg was revealed.  The Egg lays dormant until an Event card is revealed, which could be at any time and then the player that revealed the Event suffers both the Event effects and any other Event effects from Egg’s and the Objective, etc.

Eventually, in my absence I hasten to add, a card dropped into the Combat Zone on my turn, when it was revealed it was an Event.  That event triggered the effect of the Egg which forced me to take the Facehugger card from the Hatchery Deck.  Through some other mechanism I also managed to acquire a second Facehugger on the same turn.  This was leaving me in a very bad place as I could only kill one this turn and relied on my fellow players to attack and kill the second one or risk me falling prey to a Chestburster.

About the Facehuggers, there are a lot of these, and they can crop up in a couple different ways. If you get a Facehugger, it sits in front of you, and you have until the end of the next player’s turn to kill it. If it isn’t killed, then you put a Chestburster card into your discard pile. As it says: “When you draw this, you suffer extreme pain and die.”

I had enough “Attack” to kill one of my Facehuggers but was reliant on Brent, James and Derek to co-operate and co-ordinate and kill the second or I die.

Legendary Encounters - Facehugger and Chestburster

Legendary Encounters – Facehugger and Chestburster

I survived my turn but had a Facehugger leftover.  Brent took his turn unable to kill it.  This chain of events, much like the film caused a knock-on affect where other players then began to suffer because they hadn’t co-operated and aided me.  At the end of Brent’s turn my second Facehugger turned into a Chestburster and was put into my Discard pile.  Only once I drew that Chestburster was it “Game Over Man, Game Over!” for me.  I had enough cards in my Draw Deck to survive another turn but my number was up, eventually I would succumb to the beast and die.

Brent had his own issues to worry about as he took drew a Facehugger and was unable to deal with it, so it remained in front of him waiting to be killed by James.

James was unable to help Brent during his turn and by this point both Brent and I had been affected by Chestbursters.

The play progressed and after James turn Brent and I were no longer affected by the Alien Strikes as any player with a Chestburster is considered to be “part of the family” and is ignored by the Aliens.  My wounds got ignored and any bad stuff would affect the next player, Brent, who too had a Chestburster so had the same effects.  All our collective bad stuff was passed onto James.

During James’ turn he scanned and revealed our ultimate enemy in the game “The Perfect Organism”.  It was unkillable except for a single chance.  If it was within the Airlock location and the Airlock Controls event card was attached to that location then the guys had a chance to kill it, if they could muster 10 attack.  As neither could do anything about it the beast passed down into the Combat Zone.  This was pretty full now and there were a number of nasties in there doing Double Strikes and Strikes that were unavoidable.  During the Strike Phase of James turn he was forced to draw 8 Strike cards which killed him outright.

This left Derek as the only living player, although that wouldn’t be the case for long.  The situation got far worse for Derek as another enemy dropped into the Combat Zone.  Without enough attack to do any serious damage to anything in the Combat Zone and without enough “recruitment” to move “The Perfect Organism” back into the Airlock Derek was forced to draw 9 Strike cards in the Strike Phase which rapidly reduced his health, not helped by the fact that one was a double damage card.

All in all a brutal example of how this game can work.  I cannot stress how important it is that players co-operate and co-ordinate attacks and share heros etc.  This is the ONLY way to win this game.  Playing solo wont help.  I like the idea of the Strike Deck as you pick up minor wounds, some of which can be healed, etc.  The suspense of never knowing what damage you will receive makes taking Strikes a real threat rather than simply acquiring useless cards in your draw deck like Legendary Marvel.

This is a great game and gameplay will never be the same twice although a limited number of Objectives will mean that playing the same missions will feel samey but there is replayability there.  I can reccommend a basic game first to get your head around the new mechanics etc before you move onto fully-cooperative mode (until someone dies) and finally semi-cooperative mode (with hidden agendas).  I’m going to play through each movie one by one to see how each plays out and then start to mix and match decks and Heros.