A quick update. …

Sorry it’s been a quiet month on Tales From The Mancave….the girls have been excitedly preparing for Christmas and I’ve been kept busy with shopping, wrapping, chopping, cooking and playing games that sadly aren’t the kind I’d usually post about. So I’m going to give a quick update to keep your all advised of what’s been going down.  Let’s keep this simple. ….

I managed to grab three Star Trek Attack Wing Reinforcement Blind Booster Bricks for the forthcoming Temporal Cold War OP Series. I’ll be trying to post about each vessel and stick some pictures up as soon as I can.

Sticking with a space theme I’ll move next onto Star Wars.  I managed to grab a viewing of The Force Awakens on opening day and was like a child in a sweetshop with Daddy’s credit card!  Lol. Gaming wise I managed to pick up the last remaining ship I required to complete my Star Wars X-Wing collection. …the Tantive 4. Now onto Wave 8.  Being a massive Imperial fan I also wanted to get my dirty hands on the impressive Gozanti class Imperial Assault Carrier to swell the ranks of my Imperial Fleet.  I grabbed one for a very good deal of £39.67 (including P&P) from boardgameprices.co.uk which I was very happy about!

Sticking with Star Wars Christmas was very kind to me and I managed to get a whole heap of Star Wars Imperial Assault goodies from my girls.  I received Dengar to add to my wretched hive of scum in IG-88 & Boba Fett. I’m aiming to put together the whole line up of Bounty Hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. …so I need 4-Lom, Zuckuss and Bossk.  Then I’ll have then go toe to toe with my other games worth of hunters….the Predators from Prodos’ AvP.  I also got a copy of the latest expansion for SW:IA Return to Hoth. Finally I was given a load of Villain and Ally packs to build my SW:IA forces; – a Royal Guard Champion,  Kayn Samos, Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2 & C-3PO and Princess Leia. So I can now assemble the whole gang from the films.  Happy gamer!

I did post a while ago about me returning to the Judge Dredd fold at NAGA to have some games with Brent Jay and Co. Well I was watching some very good deals on EBay and add luck would have it I did manage to scoop up the whole lot for a very decent price of £37 (including P&P). I ended up winning auctions for gangs for Judge Cals Personal Retinue, Justice Dept. Mega City Judges and Specialist Judges. So they’ll go onto the gaming table for use at some point in January against Brent.

The Hairy Gamers (me and Tris) took a little road trip to Dragonmeet in London during December to collect our AvP Wave 2 pledges and boy was there a whole load to struggle through a busy convention with.  I now have 3x Alien Warriors, 2x Alien Queens, 2x Royal Guards, 2x Alien Crushers, 2x Predaliens, 2x Alien Eggs, 2x Berserker Predators, 2x Predator HellHounds, 2x USCM Powerloaders and 1x each set of Dice (USCM, Aliens & Predators). I also bought an extra two boxes of Alien Warriors from Asylum Wargames Online Shop for a great price of £10 each. You can grab some too by visiting them on http://asylumwargaming.tictail.com/ . These guys have great deals on all sorts of goodies residual if you’re interested in Macrocosm or AvP.

This takes me neatly onto Macrocosm. Despite the awesome Chris Nicholls being very busy with his adventure into fatherhood for the second time he managed to go above and beyond to send out my Macrocosm Malignancy pledge.  Once the chaos of Christmas has subdued I’ll try to take some pictures and post more about this! Thanks Chris.  If you too are interested in Macrocosm then you can find more details on the website at http://www.macrocosm.co.uk/

Whilst we were on our road trip I managed to teach Tris the rules for The Devils Run and we even managed to grab a couple of demo games on the stand the Word Forge Games team were using.  Both of us are mad keen for this game and with any luck I’ll be able to help Mark Rapson with some more play testing and reviewing of the game in the build up to shipping.  With so many ideas for this game, with me posting regular bat-reps and reviews and with Mad Max Fury Road available on Blu-Ray and DVD it was inevitable that others would be drawn into the TDR:R666 game. Recently Tris and I expanded the Hairy Gamers family by inviting Gareth Mosley and James Hall to join our ranks. Both have the R666 bug and are busy trash-bashing and scheming for when R666 drops.  James has been busy using any and all HotWheels and Matchbox cars he can get his busy hands on to bash together some cars to use.  I myself am waiting until my pledge drops to see what gaps I have in my collection before getting too busy with trash-bashing. My ideas are mainly for scenery and game tiles based on British Roads rather than the American ones in the game.

Guildball now. ….as some of my regular readers will recall I play in a local Guildhall league at Black Dragon Games in Hinckley. Sadlt this has not been going to we’ll for my Fishermen who have lost their opening two encounters against Craigs Mort-Union team (12-8) & Andy T’s murderous Butchers (12-4). This week I have a double header of games planned against David Mustin and Mark Southerd in store on Tuesday so watch this space for that.  I’ve gone in half’s on a Union Starter with David to get me a copy of Avarisse and Greede to add to my Union Starter of Blackheath, Decimate and Gutter. I also added a Harry “The Hat” Hallahan to my Union line-up this month as well as hopefully getting the miniatures I’m owed by Jay Finnegan in the form of Fangtooth and Hemlocke. At some point I’ll have to grab me a copy of Coin,  the Union Mascot, so I can play Union too. I’ll do a “Gaming on a Budget” post later to cover my Guildball activities.  Having seen a couple of demo’s at Dragonmeet and spoken to one of the brains behind Guildball, Rich, Hairy Gamer Tris had also picked up a great deal on a Masons team for Guildball so we’ll probably throw down at some point even if it’s just to teach him the rules.

Lastly im going to talk about Frostgrave. Not the game or any bat-reps or warband stuff but mostly terrain.  I managed to grab myself two of the old Games Workshop Mighty Fortress plastic kits from EBay as a starter for my planned scenery. I wanted to build the walls of Felstadt. I also picked up 84 Lemax Snow Covered Wintery Pine Trees, a Garden of Morr kit from GW and some rather large Amera plastic moulded kits for their F204 Large Hill Top Ruin (Fantasy Realms page) & Z236 Corner Ruined Building  (Future Zone page). You can take a closer look at thier range on the link below;-


Once I get the chance to do anything with any of the above I’ll post something.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all!

Mancave update – Birthday and stuff

Sorry Mancavers….its been a while since I last posted because its been crazy here recently.  Most of August has been crazy busy with work and child summer holidays etc but stuff has been happening so bear with me whilst I try to paraphrase everything and start anew.

Firstly August was my birthday and my girls know me really well!  I was given a copy of Twin Shadows, the Tattooine expansion from Fantasy Flight Games for Star Wars Imperial Assault.  I also managed to get a set of extra dice for running my STIA campaign.  Both the girls seem to love it too….Phoebe has a thing for rolling dice and taking them in and out of bags and Grace has a worrying knack of rolling Evades on Defence dice.  I knew there was a reason I didn’t play her often!

Star Wars Imperial Assault Twin Shadows

Star Wars Imperial Assault Twin Shadows

The birthday also brought other goodies to the Mancave.  I invested in an Airbrush and Compressor for painting miniatures.  I opted for a deal from eBay and even though the airbrush provided isn’t the greatest it should allow me to develop my skills and improve.


Ooooo....a big white box...what could it be?

Ooooo….a big white box…what could it be?

Well well well....its a Compressor for my airbrush.

Well well well….its a Compressor for my airbrush.

My new Airbrush Compressor...just waiting on my Iwata Neo now!

My new Airbrush Compressor…just waiting on my Iwata Neo now!

I also bought an Iwata Neo Airbrush for when my mad crazy lack of painting skills improve enough to warrant a better quality airbush, then I’ll use the cheap one provided with my compressor for things like priming and painting scenery.  The two brands and models highly recommended were the Iwata Neo and Badger Patriot 105.  I opted for the Iwata Neo.

Iwata Neo Airbrush

Iwata Neo Airbrush

So I’m definitely looking forward to getting involved and practising with my airbrush.  To prompt me to do more I’ve also entered a monthly painting competition with some of the PRODOS guys on the Warzone Facebook page.  Each month we’ll be taking a mini or unit from sprue to final painting.  Its more of a painters support group rather than a serious competition.  Damn you Evans!

Lastly as an impulse purchase the Mancave has received an upgrade……..we bought a Barcrest Aliens Fruit Machine!!!!  Yes we have a fruit machine in the Mancave.  Its crazy awesome!

The Mancave - before.....

The Mancave – before…..

The Mancave - after by dark.....

The Mancave – after by dark…..

The Mancave - after by light.....

The Mancave – after by light…..

The Aliens Fruit Machine

The Aliens Fruit Machine

I have actually managed to get some gaming in this month too.  Ive been getting involved with Star Wars Armada, building fleet lists and tweaking my builds but only managed 1 serious competitive game.  I grabbed a cheap Gladiator Class Destroyer off eBay to help me build something I’ve been planning.  I’m considering running a swarm of Gladiators rather than using the Victory Class Star destroyers as they’re more maneuverable.  One of the Admirals available to my Imperials, Admiral Motti, will grant extra hull points to each of them so they can be a little tougher when engaging those Rebel Assault Frigates.

Star Wars Armada Gladiator Class SD

Star Wars Armada Gladiator Class SD

I’ve had my first competitive game of Star Wars Armada against Dave Baxter at NAGA.  My Imperial Fleet comprising of two Victory Class Star Destroyers with upgrades, 6 squadrons of TIE Bombers and 2 Squadrons of TIE Interceptors as Escorts managed to eek out a technical victory against Dave’s Rebel List of an Assault Frigate, two Corvettes and 8 squadrons of X-Wings.  It was a tight game but after one of my VSD’s was destroyed by focus fire Dave’s Assault Frigate was forced off the board and unable to turn quickly enough he lost it.  178-165 to the Imperial Fleet!

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Last night saw a defence of my position in the NAGA X-Wing League against a very determined Scott Russell and his Psycho Tycho and Outrider Dash combo.  As soon as Scott sends me his fleet list I’ll post it as a comment on this post.  My Imperial Fleet consisted of the following:-

Darth Vader (32) TIE Advanced (29), TIE/x1 (0), Calculation (1), Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1), Advanced Targeting Computer (5)

Colonel Jendon (43) Lambda-Class Shuttle (26), Fire-Control System (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4), Emperor Palpatine (8), ST-321 (3)

Lieutenant Colzet (25) TIE Advanced (23), TIE/x1 (0), Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1), Advanced Targeting Computer (5)

Colzet's TIE Advanced (left) and Vader's TIE Advanced (right) flank Colonel Jendon's Lambda bearing Emperor Palpatine.

Colzet’s TIE Advanced (left) and Vader’s TIE Advanced (right) flank Colonel Jendon’s Lambda bearing Emperor Palpatine.

My Fleet less the Twin Ion Engines (unshown)

My Fleet less the Twin Ion Engines (unshown)

The idea was to advance slowly using Jendon to Target Lock the biggest threat and pass his Targets Locks off to Vader and Colzet.  With the constant Target Locks and ability to K-turn and close quickly using soft 3 greens I could try to slide past the rebel ships and take down the biggest threats.  Scott’s fleet closed very quickly using 2-3 actions per ship and stressing itself to ridiculous levels allowing his two ships to strip shields from Jendons Lambda but my twin TIE Advanced’s both assaulted Tycho and closed quickly not allowing Dash’s Outrider to use its Heavy Laser Cannon at R2-3.  The setting of dice from Palpatine really saved the day as neither TIE Advanced even took damage.  My three ships destroyed Tycho in a couple of turns even with his ridiculous numbers of evade dice.  He parked on an asteroid and without a shot Colzet and Vader tore him to pieces as Jendon stopped dead and caused Dash to smash into the back of him.  Now with three ships versus Scotts 1 it was merely a matter of time before Colzet and Vader did the business and finished Dash off.  After 5 turns with Dash whittling a few hits off the Lambda every round it eventually fell and was destroyed onto to have Colzet sweep in and finish it off for the win.  Victory to my Imperial fleet.

So all in all its been a really busy time here.  I have made a vow to attempt to post more often following a super bust August including my daughters Summer Holidays.

I started painting my Xenos from my AvP core box set.  I’m not going with anything clever just a nice clean table quality paint job.  Grace, my eldest daughter, wanted to have a go at painting one herself so I helped her assemble and glue one of the Xenos before helping her prime it and drybrush it.  All her won work but once its based and finished (during her next visit) I’m sure that it will be very difficult to distinguish between hers and mine.  She’s better than I gave her credit for!

I’m hitting them up with a Black Prime basecoat, then drybrushing the highest points with Pure Silver from the P3 range, following that a wash of Nuln Oil from GW to add depth before spraying a Satin Varnish all over to protect the paint.  Only once this is dry will I start to paint the domes of the Xeno heads with GW’s ‘Ardcoat to add a wet look.  Heres some WiP shots of my work so far.

Next week I’ll be getting a demo for Guildball from Mark Southerd at NAGA so I’ll finally get a chance to play my fishermen team against his Alchemists.  he’s not only a very good player but also a professional demo guy for it so I should be on the wrong end of a beating!  Im still doing my “Gaming on a Budget” series of articles and will be posting one as soon as I decide what this months purchases will be.

Over and out for now Mancavers!

Watch this space for more Mancave updates.  There will be Star Trek Attack Wing updates as the new waves drop, Star Wars X-Wing updates including hopefully a glimpse of the new core set from Fantasy Flight Games for The Force Awakens, a review of the new Smash-Up:Munchkin and hopefully more updates on painting all my AvP stuff.  With so much going on its going to be a very busy time!

Mancave update

Apologies to everyone in Mancave-land as I haven’t posted in about a week a lot has happened.  Firstly its been the birthday of two important people in my life in the last week.  Last weekend it was my youngest daughter, Phoebe’s, birthday and this weekend just gone it was my better half, Lucy’s birthday.  Happy birthday ladies!

So what has been going on then?  Well firstly after nearly two years of waiting my copies of AvP:The Hunt Begins finally arrived in the Mancave following a haphazard and uncommunicative Kickstarter.  I’ve enjoyed limited success with Kickstarters and to be honest this entire experience has left a rather bitter aftertaste for me.  I’ve watched as “limited edition Kickstarter exclusive” copies of a game I and many other have funded and made possible made their way to retailers before we’d even been given a sniff of the game….so much for our Limited edition copies eh?   Everything that made our game exclusive is now anything but.  Regardless of that fact my two copies eventually arrived…only 9 days after I could have walked into a FLGS and bought it cheaper.  I’ll do a full review some other time as I’ve now punched all the card elements and started assembling models from one of my copies.  The other copy I gave to Hairy Gamer and long term geek-mance Tris who is still waiting to receive any semblance of notification for his AvP Kickstarter.

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Monday saw the monthly Imperial Assault campaign swing into action again.  Dave returned to the fold to pick up his sniper and get his kill on.  Recently we had enjoyed moderate success in the campaign picking up a few close but hard fought wins.  This session our objective was to attack and deactivate a secret Imperial Research Facility and achieve this within 5 game turns.  The Facility was heavily fortified with armoured doors and Stormtroopers defending it.  With no idea what was within we had to clear any resistance to us from outside and get through it as fast as possible.  To be honest we were not expecting success and thought Alan, our GM, may have some nasty surprises in store for us inside.  By the end of turn one our organised teamwork had allowed us to kill five Stormtroopers and Stun and destroy the Probe Droid guarding the door.  Next turn we blasted through the door and my smuggler stressed herself to race through the structure and see what was lying in wait.  Everything was going to plan as everything Alan deployed got very quickly destroyed by our Soldier with his Havoc shots.  Everything happened so fast I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures and for that I apologise again.  We were outrageously successful this month and I’m sure that next month Alan’s Imperial’s will come back stronger and nastier.  With only 3 sessions left until the end of the campaign I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed participating in it and will hopefully run one of my own once this is finished.  Dave Baxter and I were also chatting about the skirmish variant of the game so with any luck you may see some reports of that on the Mancave as things progress.  Watch this space!

Other things have been going on though…..it seems like pretty much everything I do is sponsored by the letter T.  So much like Sesame Street todays update will be sponsored by the letter T.

T stands for TIE-Advanced.  This week saw me finally get my dirty Imperial hands on Darth Vader in his TIE-Advanced for my Star Wars X-Wing collection.  I’ve been after a TIE-Advanced for a while as it was one of the few ships I was missing plus with the Imperial Raider inbound in August it was going to improve the Imperial Navy.  I may even get to use it next week in the NAGA X-Wing League match I have scheduled with Brent Jay on Wednesday.

T also stands for Terminator:Genisys.  Recently I deboxed and reviewed this game by RiverHorse Games in a blog post but hadn’t up until last night had the chance to do much more to it.  During the May trip to Salute 2015 Hairy Gamer Tris and I watched in awe as Warlord Games ran a competition to see who could assemble the Terminator Endoskeleton miniature from this game in the fastest time.  I don’t know what the final timings were but people were able to assemble these snip and clip miniatures in about 40-50 seconds each.  Armed with my snips, some files and a camera I set about assembling the 10 Terminator Endoskeletons, 5 Crawlers, 16 Resistance soldiers and 1 Limited Edition white metal Kyle Reese (athough it should be resin) in their varied configurations.  Sadly only 2 variants of the Terminators are supplied but the Resistance have a reasonable amount of customization with 4 different poses and 6 different weapon options.  .  I wasn’t really trying hard to do it quickly but a little under an hour later I had a full set of assembled miniatures that I was happy with and could game with.  I must admit that they were very easy to assemble and get to grips with.  Once assembled they do have the look of little green Army men about them.  They aren’t without their issues (some of the faces look a little like Nuclear disaster victims) and its nothing that a spot of glue here and there and maybe some green stuff filler cant fix but for a first pass they will certainly do.  Next will be to get some paint onto them.  I imagine painting Terminators will be as easy as painting Xeno’s from AvP and Resistance fighters will be similar to USCM Marines from AvP.  I can use similar techniques and styles for both although I imagine the results will be very different.  I posted pictures of my progress on my Facebook page last night.

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Lastly, my final T stands for Trek.  Tonight I managed to debox my last few ships – two copies each of the Federation USS Prometheus, Klingon IKS Ning’Tao and Bajoran Ratosha from Wave 15 of Wizkids Star Trek Attack Wing.  I had previously previewed these ships on Mancave so all that is left for me to do is post some pictures and total up the damage.  I would post the same pics in this blog post but for some reason WordPress is being a bit funny with me so I may use links instead:-

Bajoran Scout Ship, Ratosha.

Bajoran Scout Ship, Ratosha.

Klingon B'rel Bird Of Prey, IKS Ning'Tao.

Klingon B’rel Bird Of Prey, IKS Ning’Tao.

Federation Prometheus class, USS Prometheus.

Federation Prometheus class, USS Prometheus.

I find myself sitting on 287 ships now including at least 2 of every ship (some as many as 4 and one 15!!!) and 3 of every prize and Limited Edition release available.  I have 21 ships awaiting purchase of a new storage cabinet/display case so they can be put away properly.  So a little trip to Ikea may be required this weekend to buy another Detolf Display Case although I have been trying to source some spare shelves to mod my existing units.

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.

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 Wars Imperial Assault Campaign aka If you go down to the woods today…….. (@ NAGA 08-06-2015)


Last night at NAGA saw the monthly Imperial Assault campaign return.  After last months absolute battering at the hands of the Empire we decided on a more sedate leisurely session…..no more doors, no more Transdosian traps.  Our party’s soldier character Fenn Signis had suggested a little walk in the woods and this seemed like a great idea….until we saw the setup.

The setup for our Imperial Assault campaign.  We are top left.

The setup for our Imperial Assault campaign. We are top left.

The mission was as follows……we, the Rebels, must disarm six explosives placed in the woods to halt the Rebel advance before the main forces can move in.  We have five turns to do so.  Each Explosive takes an Engineering action to disarm and if Mitch’s character, Fenn Signis is within 3 squares of the disarming character then we get to keep that explosive as a weapon to use.  We can use it by using an action to place it on an enemy.  It would be the ebst way to topple that ATST as it was hella tough!

Diala Passil - Rebel Jedi.

Diala Passil – Rebel Jedi.

Fenn Signis - Rebel Soldier.

Fenn Signis – Rebel Soldier.

Mak Eshka'rey - Rebel Sniper.

Mak Eshka’rey – Rebel Sniper.

Jyn Odan - Rebel Smuggler.

Jyn Odan – Rebel Smuggler.

Alan, the DM and Imperial Commander, had to stop us from disarming them all or force each character to be wounded or take enough damage to “flip” them.  To aid him in this task he had a Self Destructing Probe Droid (top right), an E-Web Heavy Weapon (bottom right), an Imperial Officer (bottom left), two Red Royal Guards (left) and an ATST (centre).



Imperial officers

Imperial officers

Royal Guards

Royal Guards

Probe Droid

Probe Droid



So with a simple plan in place to rush forward and disarm as many explosives as quickly as we could whilst avoiding the firing lines of the E-Web and ATST we set forth.  If we could use the explosive charges on the ATST then even better but it was of secondary importance.

The end of Turn 1.

The end of Turn 1.

Turn 1 – Worryingly the ATST was not only able to escape from the small area it was placed in but it was surprisingly fast too.  The Jedi pushed forward to meet any oncoming attackers as the smuggler grabbed the first explosive, the sniper positioned himself to lay down covering fire and the Soldier advanced to try and shoot at the ATST.

The Imperial troops rushed forward to block us from getting past and grabbing boxes, the same tactics we had seen last month.  If the ATST hadn’t blocked firing lines and movement we could have taken a lot of damage, although the fact it could now fire at any of us was a huge problem.  The E-Web advanced as ordered by the Imperial Officer without a shot.

The end of Turn 2.

The end of Turn 2.

Turn 2 – The Sniper rushed forward to disarm a second Explosive, he wasn’t close enough to the Soldier, Fenn Signis, to retain it as a charge for use later though.  This left himself in a good position as the ATST couldn’t target him.  The Sniper opened up on the ATST to try and damage it.  It had 15 health points and we could use our explosives to blast five points of damage onto it.  Facing the fire power of an ATST someone in our team was going to get hurt rather badly this round.   It moved aside to allow the Royal Guards to intercept and block the Jedi and Sniper stopping the faster more engineering minded smuggler from getting past.  As the Imperial Officer assessed his targets he felt the explosive carrying smuggler was a priority target and blasted at her.  She took seven damage and was in a bad way.  If the ATST continued to unload on us like that we’d get beaten very quickly.  My smuggler used her dodging abilities to retreat and moved back to regroup and attack the oncoming Royal Guards.  After being blasted the Smuggler dodged away.  The E-Web advanced again with no shot at the Rebels.

The end of Turn 3.

The end of Turn 3.

Turn 3 – It was beginning to look like another loss for the Rebels as we had yet again become boxed in by superior numbers and tough to shift Imperial opponents.  We would struggle to grab the remaining explosives if we continued to get bogged down in Imperial troops.  The Empire deployed some reinforcements in the form of three Jetpack wearing Stormtroopers.  They would become an issue as they had deployed protecting one of the explosives we needed.  We decided to go for broke and push forward.  With firepower concentrated on one Royal guard we opened up a gap and rushed through.  The Soldier engaged the Stormtroopers as the Smuggler ran forward and planted her explosives onto the ATST.

Both the E-Web and ATST maneuvered for better firing positions as the Royal Guards continued to plague the Jedi.  The sniper remained in his position of advantage and took pot shots at the Royal Guards and ATST.  Two Stormtroopers advanced on the Soldier and the cowardly Imperial Officer shot him in the back of the head.

At the end of the turn the thundering sound of twisted metal was heard through the woods as the Smugglers explosive charge ripped at the legs of the wobbly ATST.  Another 5 points of damage.  Only 5 more to kill it.

The end of Turn 4.

The end of Turn 4.

Turn 4 – The Jedi had been badly hurt, as had the Smuggler, if we were to win this we would need to disarm some more explosives as quickly as possible.

The Jedi used his force powers to throw the Stormtroopers backwards and damage them.  The Soldier rushed past and grabbed the explosives they had been protecting before they could reblock the corridor.    This plan of ignoring loot crates and focussing on mission objectives seemed to be working.  Like a well oiled Rebel machine we slipped past the Imperial guards and disarmed everything we could hopefully leaving us in a strong position for turn 5.  We had to grab or disarm all the explosives by the end of turn 5 or the Empire would win.  It had been a slow start but once we got our game faces on we did well.

The ATST turned and fired at the Soldier to damage him as much as possible hoping to “flip” him and stop him using his explosives on it.

Both the Sniper and the Smuggler rushed under the ATST and the Sniper grabbed a strong position away from the threat of being fired upon whilst my Smuggler disarmed and grabbed a second Explosive charge.  Now the Soldier and the Smuggler were carrying a charge each and the the ATST had used its attack so couldn’t target the Smuggler who was well placed to plant more explosives and bring down the lumbering damaged walker.

The E-Web fired at the Smuggler and caused her to be sufficiently damaged that she would “flip”.  She was the first player to suffer in this manner and if Alan, the Imperial DM could do the same to everyone else he’d win.  The smuggler jinked her way closer to the E-Web and remaining explosive using her skills to help the team disarm one of the last explosive charges.

Another Probe Droid was deployed as reinforcements and as  last ditch desperate play our DM, ALan, detonated one of the explosives being carried by the Soldier causing him enough damage to force a “flip”.  Now two of the team were in very bad ways.  Maybe the Empire could grab a win next turn if they could concentrate fire on the remaining fit and healthy team members.

The end of Turn 5.

The end of Turn 5.

Turn 5 – This turn was make or break for the Rebels, we had to grab two explosives and the Empire had to stop us from doing so or “flip” the Soldier and Sniper to win.

Forming a plan based on necessity it was agreed that if the E-Web and ATST fired on the Smuggler she’d probably end up dead so I should activate her first and grab an explosive if I could.  Having taken the opportunity to advance on the Explosive whilst under fire I was close enough to move into the difficult terrain water and make an attempt.  I rolled my engineering check and made it!  Stage 1 of our plan was complete.  Only 1 explosive left to disarm.  The Imperial Officer and remaining Stormtroopers tried to cause as much damage as possible to halt our advance but with our second activation the game would be over.  The decision was whether to allow the Soldier to attempt to blow up the ATST with hjis explosive charges and risk the Empire somehow stopping us or to simply take the win and disarm the remaining explosive charge.  After a small team debate it was decided.  We couldn’t lose again!  The previously uninjured and healthy Sniper leapt out from cover behind the ATST and charged across the woods to grab the last box which had been guarded by the Imperial Officer.

Win for the Rebels!  The Mai Tai drinking moonwalking heroes of the Rebellion were at it again!  Grabbing victory from the Imperial jaw(a)s* of defeat.  A strong team outing saw us do what was necessary.  Now onto bigger and better things.  We have XP to spend and credits to use to buy better gear.  Lets see what next month brings.

* A little Star Wars joke there…….see what I did?

Great work guys…Alan Mathieson, Ed King, Mitchell “Mitch” Dunton and Dave Baxter

Star Wars X-Wing “The Trench Run” Demo @ NAGA (13-05-2015)

Tonight at NAGA I was taking an old LARping buddy of mine who had recently moved into the area along to meet the guys and see what NAGA was like.  He’d expressed an interest in playing Star Wars X-Wing so with that in mind I booked a table and came up with an idea to show him the ropes.  Initially I consulted with fellow Hairy Gamer, Tris, who being a huge Star Wars nerd and all round X-Wing guy gave me some advice.  The plan was simple, two fleets using “big recognisable” names from Star Wars that  Wayne could choose from.  As the ships for both fleets were put on the table Wayne decided he’d take control of the Rebels which were as follows:- 

130 points ——

Han Solo (50) YT-1300 (46), Chewbacca (4)

Luke Skywalker (32) X-Wing (28), R2-D2 (4)

Biggs Darklighter X-Wing (25)

“Dutch” Vander Y-Wing (23)

That obviously left me with the Imperials to fly and my fleet to face those Rebel scum would be as follows:-

130 points ——

Darth Vader TIE Advanced (29)

“Howlrunner” TIE Fighter (18)

Backstabber TIE Fighter (16)

Black Squadron Pilot TIE Figfhter (14) x 2

Boba Fett Firespray-31 (39)

The idea was that most of the pilots in this battle participated in the Trench Run from Star Wars:A New Hope, so they would be something a fan of the franchise would understand and have “seen in motion”.  The only exception being Boba Fett, who wasn’t there but everyone loves Boba and I included him rather than spend those 39 points on more TIE Fighters.  At least this way Wayne would see the difference between high skill pilots and low skill pilots, big hull and shield ships versus no shield ships, hard hitting 360 degree arcs and 90 degree fwd arcs.

With our fleets decided we setup.  The first turn was quite slow as Wayne was new to the game.  There were some mistakes made and Actions forgotten but as we went along I reminded Wayne.  I was getting him into the habit of taking Actions even if he couldn’t do anything in the Combat Phase……so that later taking those Actions would feel like second nature to him.  The two fleets tentatively Advanced and I encouraged him to take at least one of each Action available in his fleet if possible so I could “learninate” him and explain what each action did.  With no Combat after turn 1 we had an opportunity to build up the learning turn by turn.  We took our time and I explained how the Maneuver Dial and templates worked.  It made sense to him.  I also covered some basics like crashing into other ships and obstacles such as asteroids.

We also had a number of named pilots with unique abilities so as we deployed and moved I explained how Wayne may way to use those abilities.  He was flying “Dutch” Vander with a wingman of Biggs Darklighter.  Biggs can take an attack if he could be targetted on behalf of “Dutch” and when “Dutch” takes a Target Lock action another friendly ship within range 2 can also acquire a Target Lock.

As we made our way through turn 2 the two fleets closed on each other.  Boba’s Firespray and Backstabber and Black Squadron Pilot TIE’s advanced on Dutch and Biggs on Wayne’s left flank.  My second Black Squadron TIE and “Howrunner” advanced into the asteroid field ready to take on his YT-1300 captained by Han Solo with Chewbacca.  Down Wayne’s right flank father and son advanced on one another as Luke Skywalker left the safety of accomanying Han and went for Vader in his TIE Advanced.

Now we were in a position to fire and we slowly made our way through this.  The process was explained that unlike maneuvering we now give the higher skill pilots an opportunity to go first.  Starting with our 9’s.  As we both had a pilot skill 9 captain the first shot was determined by Initiative.  The Empire always get Initiative in ties so Vader shot first.  At long range Hans’s YT-1300 gains an additional defense die.  We roll, we modify results and we compare final results.  This process continues until we finish the round.  I explain how Target Locks and Focuses work along with Evade tokens.

All in all a good game was had and Wayne picked it up very quickly.  In hindsight both Luke Skywalker with R2D2 and Han with Chewbacca were a little tough to break down and despite an impressive showing from a resilient Black Squadron Pilot I couldnt break down that YT-1300.  In the end after more than 2 hours of playing it ended up with a fully hulled and unshielded YT-1300 versus my 1 Hull point Black Squadron TIE.  If I could get close enough to fire Wayne would get the first shot and probably destroy me.  It was getting late and we were on opposite sides of the board so to finish the game off I displayed what happens when a ship lands “off the mat”.  My plucky TIE took one for the team and flew off the board so we could both get home.

I’d like to think Wayne enjoyed the game.  He was a little suprised at the cost of some of the components especially in the aftermarket such as EBay.  He seemed to like the fact that playing the game did not mean he had to invest as heavily as he would have to in other games such as Warhammer 40k or Warhammer FB and he could only buy 2-3 ships and play.  I’m thinking of doing a Star Wars Armada demo next week for Wayne if hes interested?

Its been a very Star Wars month in the Mancave as I did a review/deboxing of my Star Wars Armada, did a demo for Wayne of Star Wars X-Wing and yesterday my Star Wars Imperial Assault game arrived.  Im seriously considering running a campaign for a few mates at Chez Marden once a month.  I currently play in one at NAGA and really enjoy it.

Star Wars Imperial Assault Campaign aka How I hate Transdosians so very very much (@ NAGA 11-05-2015)

So tonight at NAGA we ran our monthly Star Wars Imperial Assault campaign.  Alan was GMing and playing Imperial Forces, Mitchell, Dave, Ed & I play Rebel heros.

Having had a small measure of limited success recently following my hiatus from gaming I returned to play Imperial Assault.  The scenarion didnt look or sound too bad and even Alan was complaining that it sounded like a cakewalk for the Rebels.  We had two objectives;-

1) Rescue a Rebel Captive and escort them from the facility (not timed)

2) Prevent a transmission of some sensitive Rebel data being made and disclosing the location of Rebel spies throughout the Empire. (4 Turns)

There were a number of locked doors between us and the location of the terminal for the Transmission but we could walk relatively unobstructed through the corridors to the location of the Captive.  Only 1 door stood between us and him.  Given my relative handiness with engineering based tasks I accepted the mission of stopping the transmission.  As luck would have it I have just bought some new gear that would allow me to re-roll a dice when performing an engineering check, my “Slicing Tools”.  So being the fastest Rebel and the best at Engineering checks I would race ahead and attempt to get through the sealed doors and stop the transmission whilst the heavies took out the Imperial forces and made their way to the Captives cell.  Sounds like a plan until the Empire got involved.  The two Royal guards advanced into the doorway between us and the rest of the facility and blocked it off.  They’re tough hombres to begin with but two together buffing each other makes for a really difficult to overcome obstacle.  This trapped me behind our lines for a turn making it difficult for me to get to the door i needed to get past.  Once Ed’s jedi had thrown one of them aside I could sneak past and make a run for it.  The coast was clear.

Ed’s Jedi, Dave’s Sniper and Mitchell’s Soldier fought off the two Royal Guards and got caught by an exploding Probe Droid before the Imperial reserves arrived.  An E-Web was stationed at the far end of the corridor and bitter experience has shown us to get rid of these horrible things as quickly as possible.  Luckily it was badly positioned and couldn’t do us much damage for now.  By the end of turn two I had made it to the doorway and performed my first engineering check, needing two “boons” to successfully override the doors locking mechanism.  I failed and used up my “Slicing Tools” to re-roll just about managing to open the door.  I could now take a shot at stopping the transmission but it would have to wait until next turn, giving me two full turns to stop the message.  The rest of the team were getting bogged down in the corridor facing the seemingly indestructible Royal Guards.  As the door opened within the  room stood two Transdosian Mercenaries with their devastating shotguns and an Imperial Officer, who now activated got turns before any of us could respond.

Sensing the threat from my Smuggler our GM Alan’s nefarious plan sprung into motion and I was targeted by both Transdosians.  I took a lot of damage from point blank shotgun blasts and was forced backwards into a corner where my “moonwalking” dancing skills would be wasted as they had penned me in.

Thankfully I had only flipped but was bleeding quite badly and this was stopping me achieving too much.  I was stressed and desperately needed a med-pack and rest.  We activated my Smuggler first and I had an attempt at stopping the transmission…..taking damage from a harmful effect for doing so.  Another smuggler fail as I failed to stop the message.  Again both Transdosians targeted the Smuggler and blasted her to pieces in the corner as the Imperial Officer joined in for fun.  I hastily applied a med-pack to remove the harmful effect and hopefully grant me a fourth turn to have another attempt at stopping the transmission.  Ed’s Jedi was badly beaten and stressed, Mitch’s Soldier had already flipped and was badly wounded and Dave’s Sniper was injured but doing ok.  It was looking bad for the Rebels.

Turn four began and I was fairly confident that I would not last the round unless some small miracle occurred.  I attempted to stop that transmission again and this time exhausted every re-roll I had trying to scrape a partial win but still to no avail as I failed again.  Unable to run away or dodge I had to simply stay put and let the Imperial Officer and Transdosians kill me.  Two shotgun blasts later a seriously wounded and unplayable Smuggler fell and crawled away into an air vent.  I was out of the game.  Mitch’s Solider followed suit rather quickly being taken out by some Imperial Reserves in the form of an E-Web….yes another bloody E-Web!!!

Dave and Ed forced onwards attempting to rescue some measure of success from an already failed mission.  The trasnmission had been sent and we couldn’t possibly win.  Now all that was left was to save face and escape with the Rebel Captive.

The Jedi and the Sniper managed to evade and get past the Imperial forces and sneak around to the corridor where the  Captive was located.  Having eventually forced their way into the cell they realised that escaping would not be easy as the captive could not help them attack in any way nor did he move very fast.  His move of 2 was almost half of my Smugglers normal movement of 5 and it wouldn’t take long for the Empire to close in around them and block the corridors making escape almost impossible.  Slow progress would have been better than no progress at all except that the Imperials blocked our Rebel heros into the cell and proceeded to beat and shoot them to death slowly.  Eventually both succumbed to the weight of imperial troops and died heroically, crawling off to fight another day.

Well its appears our celebrations in March were short lived as the Empire came back with a vengeance this month.  They certainly gave us a good kicking and taught us not to be so cocky.  We shall be back though!  Watch out Alan!!!!!

Star Wars: Armada deboxing and first thoughts

During my self imposed geek-exile in April the long awaited and eagerly anticipated Star Wars:Armada was released.  Sadly due to taking a month off it languished in the Mancave awaiting the TLC it so dearly craved from me.  I did manage to grab a quick demo game at the Wayland Games stand at Salute 2015 but now I’ve had a chance to tear away the plastic and take a look at the contents and give my first impressions.

I scribbled down some initial thoughts for anyone interested in it.  Please do let me know what you think and I’d like to hear your thoughts and feelings on Fantasy Flight Games latest game in their massive Star Wars collection.

Star Wars Armada First Thoughts

Star Wars : Armada – First thoughts

Tonight I managed to take a look at my Star Wars:Armada box and jot down a few of my thoughts on it based on a quick run through of the game tonight and at Salute 2015 with Hairy Gamer Tris.  Let me know what you think.


Happy reading!