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.

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 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 Imperial Assault Campaign aka Margheritas and High Fives (@ NAGA 09-03-2015)

The setup

The setup

The Imperial Forces deploy whilst we plan out starting positions inside the Imperial Bunker.

The Imperial Forces deploy whilst we plan out starting positions inside the Imperial Bunker.

My "moonwalking margherita drinking" smuggler - Jyn Odan.  A girl on a mission to collect as many crates of shoes and handbags as possible whilst dancing around Imperial blaster fire.

My “moonwalking margherita drinking” smuggler – Jyn Odan. A girl on a mission to collect as many crates of shoes and handbags as possible whilst dancing around Imperial blaster fire.

The First turn is underway, Daves super sniper emerges from the bunker to take on some Stormtroopers as Mitch's soldier sneals out to fire at the E-web.

The First turn is underway, Daves super sniper emerges from the bunker to take on some Stormtroopers as Mitch’s soldier sneals out to fire at the E-web.

Turn two.  The Imperials receive Royal Guard reinforcements and the E-Web finally succumbs to Rebel fire.  The Empire try to blast their way inside.

Turn two. The Imperials receive Royal Guard reinforcements and the E-Web finally succumbs to Rebel fire. The Empire try to blast their way inside.

Ed's Jedi takes on the Royal Guard before he takes the hiding of a lifetime and gets saved by a stacked and packed Smuggler about town with two medpacks.

Ed’s Jedi takes on the Royal Guard before he takes the hiding of a lifetime and gets saved by a stacked and packed Smuggler about town with two medpacks.

Having lost the token in the first room we beat a fighting retreat to protect the remaining ones as more Imperial reinforcements arrive......and yet another bloody E-Web.

Having lost the token in the first room we beat a fighting retreat to protect the remaining ones as more Imperial reinforcements arrive……and yet another bloody E-Web.

Shopping complete, medpacks used its time to stress up and get me some Imperial kills.

Shopping complete, medpacks used its time to stress up and get me some Imperial kills.

Tonight’s Star Wars Imperial Assault Campaign started as an exercise is damage limitation.  Having failed in our first mission and gotten Han Solo killed last time out our morale was at an all time low.  At least tonight we started inside a sealed bunker that the Imperials had to break into.  So once the scenario was explained we set about planning.  We, the Rebels, had 8 game turns to stop the Imperial player and GM(Alan Mathieson) from killing us all and occupying the bunker.

Our goal was simple slow the inevitable advance of the Empire and do as much damage as possible whilst hoovering up as many crates of loot as possible.  If one of the Imperial models was occupying a room during the end phase and no healthy Rebel was present he could claim the token.  Once the Imperial player had four tokens he won.  We had eight turns to stop him.

My smuggler would act as runner and grab all the crates inside, being the weakest in combat and fastest.  Ed’s Jedi, Mitch’s Soldier and Dave’s Sniper would run interference and try to do as much damage as possible to the initial waves of Imperial troops before I joined them to harass and heal.  I would hopefully grab some med packs and stims to help keep the guys from flipping so the Empire couldn’t claim rooms easily.

First turn came and we easily grabbed the first crate, no med pack but a Sonic Grenade which may become useful later.  Mitch took pot shots and attempted to stop the E-Web from getting a good shot down the corridor and taking us out one by one.  Daves sniper left the safety of the reinforced bunker to battle the Stormtroopers outside.

As the turns progressed the massed firepower of the Imperial troops broke the resolve of the door and soon they flooded inside.  The Royal Guards seriously messed up our Jedi so a hasty retreat was made for the safety of Smuggler healing, who had now found two med-packs.  The Rebel Soldier and Sniper hid and took cover and took down more Imperials as they pushed forward.  By the end of turn 3 they were inside and by the end of turn 4 Mitch’s Soldier was in a bad way and the Imperials had claimed their first room.

Turn five saw the second of the rooms claimed by Imperials as Mitch’s presence wasnt enough to stop them due to him being flipped.  We planned to beat a fighting retreat and hold at least the last two tokens to stop the Imperial advance.

Now it was time for the Smuggler to shine, stepping forward to use her abilities and her grenade she threw it forward killing a Royal Guard, whose fellow Royal Guard also took damage before some vintage Blaster fire took him down too.  Breathing space achieved I used my abilities to moonwalk my marghertia drinking smuggler ass back into the safety of the room we were protecting.

Vader and his beefed up Stormtroopers arrived to help the Empire and another E-Web used the lift to appear in the previously lost corridor.

Being the lead healthy Rebel a lot of fire was thrown my way during turn 6.  Each attack I made that damaged allowing me to move and each attack directed at me also allowing me to move a space.  I was a dancing and a drinking….screw you you Imperial Scum.  Can’t hit this!  This girl has her booze and blaster, has shopped time she didn’t drop and ain’t going down without a fight!

Our GM informed us that at this point we had a technical win and wouldn’t get any negatives if we lost now.  Unbelieveably we had actually worked together and saw out our plan and were very happy with our “technical” win.  it was high fives time all round!

The E-Web and one of the remaining Stormtroopers began to fire on another door to break into it.  By the end of the turn sheer weight of numbers saw the resistance of the door broken and it seemed like the writing was on the wall for us.

Vader and his Stormtroopers snuck around the back and attempted to ambush Mitch who has evaded the worst of the fire by sneaking out the back door.  Now trapped between Vader and a hard place it looked grim for him.  Vaders damage output is ridonkulous and he’s mentally tough to put down.  Even if Mitch had two perfect actions of firing with maximum damage Vader would still have health left.  Vader threw everything he had at Mitch and following a jedi powered re-roll he managed to laugh at Vader befor slumping to Stormtrooper blaster fire against the door.

Turn 7 saw the Imperial Officer run through the now smouldering wreck of a door and claim the Imperials third token.  Two more Royal Guards advanced into the room we were holding.  Ed’s Jedi using his limited but awesome force powers to throw one down the corridor and Dave and I finished off the second.  The Smuggler was proving one evasive mo-fo dancing backwards down the corridor as the Royal Guard attempted to fight her.  By the end of turn seven the Imperial forces had claimed 3 tokens and the only way they could win now was to cause Dave’s Sniper, Ed’s Jedi and my Smuggler to all flip and get someone into the room I was holding.

Turn 8 began with another rush of Imperial troops.  Ed was busying throwing Imperials away from our rooms and Dave was sniping and taking down targets as the Imeprial officer snuck around the back to attack my Smuggler who had taken a beating from the Royal Guard in the last round.  i couldn’t attack as he activated due to being stressed so was left to face the inevitable attack and hope that my rolling was good.  The Officer fired, I took damage but managed to move backwards as a consequence.  He shot again trying to finish me off.  A bad roll left us ruing our hard work but thanks to a re-roll from Ed’s Jedi I man aged to stay in the game and hold the room.

Alan’s Imperials conceded defeat as our heroic Rebel effort yeilded dividends and we claimed our first victory in the Campaign.

Time for cocktails!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Smuggler

Jyn Odan, The Smuggler

The Rebel Commander

Gideon Argus, The Rebel Commander

The Jedi

Diala Passil, The Jedi

The Soldier

Fenn Signis, The Soldier

The Sniper

Mak Eshka’rey, The Sniper

The Wookie

Gaarkhan, The Wookie

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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