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!

20150805_193707 20150805_193713 20150805_205433

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!

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.

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!

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 : 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!

Geek Exile is over! Im back!

Ok folks, my geek exile is over.  I took the month of April off to have a holiday with the family and look after my daughter over Easter break.  I’m now back!

I did manage to sneak an appearance at Salute 2015 into my month off but mainly to support PRODOS and pick up my Imperial troops for Warzone Resurrection.  Thankfully whilst some of the items I really wanted were out of stock I did manage to pickup two Imperial Wolfbane Starter Boxes, a Morten Oakenfist, a set of Grey Ghosts, some Imperial Special Forces and the Freedom Forever Salute exclusive diorama. Lots to be done here.

The Cybertronic Voltigeur was also released during April and rather than miss out I ordered a couple to add to my Cybertronic forces.  These really need “the Matrix” treatment as I really think Voltigeur Drones need some awesome mechadendrites as they skulk and crawl across the battlefield.  I created a Pinterest board showing my inspiration for my Cybertronic:-


A slow by steadily increasing pile of awesomeness has been developing in the Mancave and I’m working my way through it.

Whilst at Salute I managed to grab some images of the models for AvP.  Anthony Evans aka Anton from the Blog The Anarchy of Anton was demoing a fantastic looking jungle temp table using AvP minis and a “homebrew” set of rules based off WZR rules.  I stepped in to run a demo whilst he was away and the minis are generating quite the buzz.  The same question kept popping up over and over again “When will I get my KS minis?”.  Poor Hairy Gamer Tris wasn;lt even volunteering or demoing and he still had to face these questions.  With final approval in the pipeline and only a matter of a signature from FOX to get things moving its an exciting and stressful time for the guys at PRODOS and for all us AvP KS backers at the same time.  It was commented that they hoped to have retail copies available for UK Games Expo at the end of May.  I’m going to cross my fingers for that!

I added an Oversized Borg Cube to my Star Trek Attack Wing as it was a peach of a deal from Tritex Games at £50.  I also managed to grab hold of 10 x IRW Praetus for my Romulans which adds 10 sets of cloaked mines to my 4 sets I already had.  Im seriously considering a very Cloaked Mine heavy build for something in the future.  I think it has to be done….maybe in a pre-TOS era game?

Wave 13 Star trek Attack Wing also arrived in the Mancave.  I added 2 x ISS Enterprise, Constitution class starship from Mirror Universe, 2 x Reklar, Galor Class Warship from the Dominion and 2 x Goranus, Gorn Ship from Independants faction.  With Wave 14 not that far away and my Peak Performance & Q-Continuum OP kits on their way I really need to pick up some new display cases from Ikea to house the huge amount of ships I now have.  I think I’m in the 270 region now.

I also have a few Star Wars X-Wing goodies to open up.  My YT-2400 arrived along with 2 x Z-95 Headhunters and a B-Wing for my Rebels.  The Empire was reinforced too in the form of a pair of TIE-Bombers.  Lastly my Scum and Villainy picked up a third M3-A Scyk Interceptor and a Starviper.  Happy days indeed and a good way to celebrate Star Wars Day (#maythe4thbewithyou).

More Star Wars goodies arrived in the form of Star Wars Armada and luckily Hairy Gamer Tris and I managed to squeeze in a quick game at Salute 2015 when we attended.  A minor victory was mine as his Rebel Scum were taught a lesson by the might of the Galactic Empire.  I just need to debox and review my Armada.  Better late than never eh??

So, I guess you can look forward to more content from me as the weeks go by now I’m back.  More battle reports from NAGA, more STAW OP events run by yours truly and Scott Young at Youngs Hobbies.  If you want to see anything please do let me know.

Star Wars X-Wing League @ NAGA 25-03-2015

Sorry Brent......I couldn't resist!

Having beaten Mitchell Dunton a fortnight ago I advanced a step on the X-Wing League Ladder to 6th position which opened up Brent Jay as a potential opponent and would allow me, if I wont to leapfrog Alan Mathieson into 4th.  With that in mind I challenged Brent Jay to a game of X-Wing.  I had watched Brent play previously and despite his losses against the leading players he was a solid and knowledgeable opponent.  I was not optimistic about facing him but I had nothing to lose and everything to win.

I decided to take my Twin Falcon build that was my second choice versus Mitchell Dunton a fortnight ago.  The build was as follows:-

====================== “Fat Han & Skinny Lando” or “The Smuggle Struggle” ======================

99 points Pilots

Han Solo (49) YT-1300 (46), Veteran Instincts (1), Dash Rendar (2)

Lando Calrissian (50) YT-1300 (44), Veteran Instincts (1), Nien Nunb (1), Engine Upgrade (4)

It was the first time I had used a Falcon or in fact even flew Rebels so I didn’t know what to expect.  Brent un-beknowst to me had also gone with Rebels although having watched some of his previous battles I was aware he was a fairly tidy Rebel player.  Brent was primarily using B-Wings (I had seen him use Keyan before) this was his build:-

===================== Brent’s Rebel Squadron =====================

100 points Pilots

Ten Numb (31)

Keyan Farlander (40) B-Wing (29), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Opportunist (4)

Wes Janson (29)

With the forces determined it was time to setup.  I had both initiative being on 99pts and superior pilot skills as mine were 11 and 9 versus Brents 8, 8 and 7.  So setup last, moving last and firing first.  This firing first would probably be the main reason for my win.

Brent setup to follow the table edge facing the right.  I opted to setup with my YT-1300’s in formation flying at range 1 so they passed either side of an asteroid as they advanced.  Han was less worried about this than Lando as he could still fire if he bumped an asteroid.

Turn one was posturing, no turning towards my YT-1300’s from Brent and I advanced my Falcons towards Brents forces.

Turn two saw the YT-1300’s get into range 3 as they shot forward.  Lando Boosted to narrowly avoid an asteroid and Han entered the asteroid field.  None of Brent’s ships had arc on me so I was free to target whoever I liked.  I had already resolved to take down those pesky B-Wings first as Keyan and Ten Numb worried me.  Two shots later Ten Numb had no shields left.

Turn three saw proper engagement between the fleets, the two B-Wings Koorigan turned to bring thier arcs on Lando’s YT-1300.  Lando turned to face them as Han jinked his way through the asteroids clipping one and taking damage.  Han fired on Wes Janson ignoring the asteroid between them and stripping all his shields away.  Lando put more hurt onto the now unshielded Ten Numb and reduced him to two Hull points.  Wes fired at han and Han managed to hide his YT-1300 behind an asteroid and evade the entire attack.

Turn four saw the B-Wings split as Keyan continued to be elusive.  Ten Numb was in trouble as Lando koorigan turned behind him and Han smashed his YT-1300 into him.  The B-Wings took target locks on Lando.  Han couldnt fire at ten Numb so took his opportunity to attack the X-Wing of Wes Janson leaving him with a solitary single Hull point.  Lando finished off Ten Numb with a hit and a crit as I believed Keyan wasnt a target as he couldnt fire on me.  This wasn’t the case.  Keyan was a close call and at range 1 too.  it was potentially a game defining moment.  I argued that Brents should take the shot and he argued that Keyan was slightly out.  Taking a third opinion they agreed with me and Brent fired.  Four hits and a crit!!!!  Lando was rocked and was now in trouble, with low evade dice he could fall in a single turn of combat.

Turn five was all about close flying.  Keyan kooriganed again to bring his fwd arc to bear on the rear of Lando’s YT-1300, Wes Janson tried to run.  Han arced past Lando performing a hard 3 to chase Keyan as Lando pursued Wes.

Han shot first!  (sorry couldn’t resist!) A natural roll of 4 hits against Keyan stripped him of his three remaining shields and leaving him unshielded.  Keyan returned fire taking a couple of Hans shields away but leaving him with 1 remaining.  Wes was out of range to fire at Han.

Turn six saw an opportunity for my Rebel squadron to do significant damage to Brents by taking down Keyan Farlander.  Keyan slowly crept forward with a 1 forward hoping Han would shoot past.  Wes crept forward clearing his stress and moved into a position to get a shot off at Han’s YT-1300.  Han again would be firing first.  He had a Target Lock, a Focus and his ability to re-roll so I was quietly confident I could see off the remaining two hull points on Keyan.  I rolled and to my amazement got absolutely nothing, a complete squiff of a roll.  Using Hans ability I re-rolled all the dice.  Much better this time around, three natural hits.  Keyan only had one evade dice so no matter what roll he made he was toast.  Brent rolled and gained the one evade but the remaining two hits got through and finished Keyan off.  Wes in his X-Wing fired on Han and stripped the last shield and put one damage to Hans hull.

Turn seven saw the end of the encounter.  Wes Janson went balls out and roared up behind the YT-1300 to close to range 1.  He took a Focus to try and evade some of the damage that was inevitably coming his way.  Han pulled a hard 2 left to avoid an asteroid.  Taking a Focus Han prepared to fire at the X-Wing.  Han fired first with PS 11, rolling another great natural roll of 3 hits Wes needed to achieve 3 evades to avoid being destroyed.  Brent rolled and pulled two Focuses.  Spending Wes’ token to flip them both to evade the final shot managed to get through and destroy the badly damaged X-Wing of Wes.

Victory to Team Smuggler and their YT-1300.  I had lost Lando to some pretty devastating firing from Keyan but had scraped a hard fought out victory!  This propelled me up two spots in the NAGA X-Wing League from 6th to 4th pushing Brent down to 5th and Alan Mathieson down to 6th.  My overall Star Wars X-Wing record being 4-2 with both losses to NAGA members (Sean & Alan).

Star Wars X-Wing League @ NAGA 11-03-2015

On Wednesday night I had my third game (and only my 5th overall) in the NAGA Star Wars X-Wing League.  I had somehow found myself in seventh place having defeated Owen Cartwright a fortnight ago and lost to the gatekeeper of the Top 5 Alan Mathieson when he tabled and humbled me quite badly last week.

In an attempt to not have to face Alan again I challenged Mitchell “Mitch” Dunton who occupied 6th place.  It was only a potential gain of 1 position but it means that if I win I can jump Alan and challenge Brent Jay or whoever occupies 4th place.

I had looked at a couple of different builds.  I’d previously used my Decimator and Phantom list against Owen, and a Twin Phantom List versus Alan.  Having published both lists on here already I needed to come up with something new.  I had just received my Scum & Villainy stuff so I thought I’d give them a try.  They play differently to the other two factions so might work for me.  Between that and my mysterious second build I’d never flown any of the ships I’d be using tonight.

The eventual build I settled on was as follows:-

===================== Scyk To My Kath Teeth =====================

100 points

Serissu (28) M3-A “Scyk” Interceptor (20), Swarm Tactics (2), “Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4)

Cartel Spacer (20) M3-A “Scyk” Interceptor (14), “Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4)

Kath Scarlet (52) Firespray-31 (38), Veteran Instincts (1), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Recon Specialist (3), Hull Upgrade (3)

Mitch arrived and it was at this point that I discovered he too would be playing a Scum list, a Twin Agressor Scum list which worried me greatly as I had heard Twin Agressors would become the new “meta” in SWXW.  Mitch’s list was as follows:-

====================== Mitch’s Twin Aggressor ======================

100 points

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)

I had to admit to fearing the worst when I saw this list.  I figured they’d quickly eat up my Interceptors then focus fire Kath into oblivion.

We setup.  I deployed my Cartel Spacer first on the right flank ready to skirt down the side of the board once I knew what Mitch was doing.  Mitch deployed his Aggressors opposite my only deployed ship.  Serissu sat beside the Cartel Spacer just inside so he could benefit from Serissu’s ability.  Kath Scarlet’s Firespray finally deployed at an angle with a straight routed through the asteroids pointing towards the Aggressors.

With fleets set and deployed we got underway.  Due to his Enhanced Scopes Mitch’s Aggressors had a pilot skill of 0 during Planning and Activation so he moved first.  A tentative advance followed by a cheeky boost action and a free evade.  Nice combo!  I must remember that for the future!

I then advanced my two Scyk Interceptors, with no Boost action I couldn’t get in range.  I also couldn’t Target Lock so as I was also out of range I took an Evade simply just to perform an action.  Kath fired up the engines and charged quickly into the asteroids to meet the Aggressors.  Again no shots but to get in the habit of remembering I used my Recon Specialist and took two Focus tokens.

Turn two was the beginning of my downfall.  Mitch’s Agressors pulled hard turns and entered the asteroids parking pretty much where I had planned to have my Interceptors end up.  Luckily only my Cartel Spacer actually bumped.  This activated the Anti-pursuit Lasers which proceeded to strip the only shield my little ship had and left me with no actions and no arc as I couldnt fire at the ship I was touching.  Serissu just about avoided a bump so could fire.  Kath crunched into the front of the first Aggressor leaving her with no actions.  Again the APL were activated and Kath avoided getting damaged.

The Aggressor that had been bumped twice used its Hot Shot Blaster to try and pick off Serissu’s Interceptor.  The evasive little ship managed to shrug that off.  Mitch fearing Serissu for some reason targetted him again with the other Aggressor and this time successfully tore away a shield leaving him with his 2 bare hull points.

Serissu fired upon the forward Aggressor but caused no damage.  Kath couldnt target the lead Aggressor as she was in touching in base to base contact.  So targetted the rear one at range 2.  Using her Heavy Laser Cannon she stripped all four shields off it.

Turn three saw Mitch advancing slowly whilst bumping.  He needed my ships to move away.  Serissu koorigan turned and brought his weapons to bear on both Aggressors.  Kath pushed past the two robotic Bounty Hunters vessels and readied her primaries to fire using her auxiliary arc.  My Cartel Spacer was stuck between the two Aggressors and wouldnt survive the turn.

As the Attacking phase began both Serissu and Kath focus fired against the now unshielded Aggressor hoping to remove it.  Some poor rolling with lack of dice modifying actions later and some excellent dice on Mitch’s behalf it was still standing.

The Aggressors fired back and my Cartel Spacer was no more.  Serissu would last a little longer.

Next turn saw Serissu chasing down the two Aggressors as Kath needed to turn.  My choice was korrigan or arc around the asteroid and hope to keep some arc on the Aggressors.  I chose the latter.  Both of Mitch’s Agressors chose some curved Koorigan turn and fixed Serissu in their firings arcs.

With no shot from Kath the Aggressors destroyed Serissu and now I was very worried.  Both of my Interceptors had been destroyed and Kath was now facing two enemy ships alone.

As Kath rounded the asteroid she brought her weapons to bear on the lead Aggressor as the other gave chase.  In a flurry of pin point accurate shooting with focus tokens for modification she stripped all the hull off the unshielded ship.  With one Aggressor destroyed I may now see the abilities of his ships change as the IG-2000 Title allows all Agressors with that upgrade to share abilities.  I had my first ship down.  Kath was still strong and undamaged.  I might just be able to do this.

The second Aggressor gave chase.  With only a front arc weapon it had limited ability to fire upon me now it had exhausted its Hot Shot Blaster.  Kath slowed to a crawl to allow the faster Aggressor to catch up.  Dropping four dice from her Auxiliary Arc she took all the shields off the healthy Aggressor.  The next turn would be cruical.

I planned to have Kath take a gentle 1 in the hope the Agressor would either overshoot me or bump into the back of me and lose its actions and shot.  As luck would have it Mitch didnt bump but couldnt fire at me.  I had my rear arc open to fired upon the unshielded lone Aggressor.  Not a great attack but two damage, one of which was a crit.  Mitch’s Agility had been reduced by 1.

The next round proved to be the last as Mitch maneuvered his ship hoping I would Koorigan and face him head on.  I didn’t.  I took a hard right turn leaving me at range 2 with an asteroid between us.  Knowing that both my primary from my auxiliary arc and Heavy Laser Cannon would be enough, with Focuses, to destroy the smoking Aggressor I fired my Primary.  Two hits and a Crit, it might be enough.  With two Focuses left for defence and an intervening asteroid for extra evade dice I wasn’t worried.  Mitch rolled his defence reduced by one for the Crit but increased by one for the asteroid.  I’ve never been so happy to see three blank dice before.  Taking the damage the last of Mitch’s ships crashed and burnt leaving Kath to fly off into the black and enjoy a fruitful evenings work.

Victory for my Scum and Villainy.

Following this battle I challenged Brent Jay to a match on 25th March for his 4th position.  We shall see what future for me and my fleets.

Star Wars X-Wing League @ NAGA 02-03-2015

Again I must apologise for not getting many pictures tonight.  Im sure Brent captured the final inevitable moments of the demise of my Imperials so check out the NAGA Facebook Page and look at the event for Monday Night Gaming (02-03-2015).

So having navigated my way past Owen for the right to challenge for 5th place in the League Mitchell Dunton and Alan Mathieson fought over 5th.  Once Mitch had been dispatched by Alan I was free to make my official challenge.  Alan accepted and last night we fought our league match.

I decided that as we weren’t timed I would spend the remaining points in my build on a third ship, so here’s the list:-

100 points Pilots

“Whisper” (44) TIE Phantom (32), Gunner (5), Fire-Control System (2), Veteran Instincts (1), Advanced Cloaking Device (4)

“Echo” (42) TIE Phantom (30), Recon Specialist (3), Sensor Jammer (4), Veteran Instincts (1), Advanced Cloaking Device (4)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)

Whisper, Echo & the Black Squadron Pilot

Whisper, Echo & the Black Squadron Pilot

Tonight's list;- Twin Phantoms and a TIE Fighter

Tonight’s list;- Twin Phantoms and a TIE Fighter

Alan in a bid for initiative went for the following, or something very similar:-

97 points Pilots

Rexler Brath (45) TIE Defender (37), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Veteran Instincts (1)

Kath Scarlet (52) Firespray-31 (38), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Veteran Instincts (1), Recon Specialist (3), Hull Upgrade (3)

We set up and got ready to go.  My twin Phantoms were positioned with a nice straight path through the asteroid field and my TIE was set-up to sweep in behind Alan’s ships and try to cause as much mayhem as possible.  Alan set-up Kath Scarlet in the farthest corner away and Rexler Brath just inside closer to my ships.

At the end of turn one his ships were skirting the edge of the asteroid field whilst my Phantons jinked between them trying to setup shots.  My TIE was advancing quickly down the opposite flank ready to sweep inside.

Alan wasn’t too familiar with some of the interactions of the cards used on my Phantoms so he got really rather scared when I took a Focus, a Target Lock and a free cloak after attacking Rexler Brath but as he had initiative and Higher pilot skill the superior firepower of his Heavy Laser Cannons began to take their toll.  Despite Cloak some really shocking rolling lost me Echo in turn 2 to focus firing.

Turn three wasn’t much better as both Alan’s Firespray and Rexler Brath were too close to Whisper to use their Cannons so used them against the TIE Fighter which crumpled in a heap and exploded leaving Whisper to go it alone.

The next turn of firing went just as badly for me.  I hit Rexler but the whole attack was evaded, so I took my Target Lock and Focus and enabled my Gunner who allowed me a second shot.  I spent the Target Lock and Focus and still couldnt manage to hit a barn door at five paces.  When i did manage to hit it was evaded.  It was not an evening for dice rolling as the gods of dice were against me.

By the end of Turn five both the Firespray and the TIE Defender had Whisper in their sights and duly finished her off for a slightly humbling and embarassing defeat for me.  I had fallen to one of the weaknesses of the Phantom, higher skilled pilots.  Lesson learnt!

Kudos to Alan for his build though, he was ready for some high skill Phantom shenanigans and whilst I own one of each of the ships he played with I’d never looked at either as a go to ship but I was very impressed with both.  He in turn admitted to being somewhat wary when two ACD Phantoms lined up against him and even more surprised when a third ship was possible for only 100pts.  I like the Phantoms I do, they suit my play style and are very “Romulan”.  I need to expand and try new stuff out especially some of the lesser known or underused ships.

Well done Alan!  I will be back.