Sunday, 24 January 2016

076. Different hobby - X-WING...

Col. Ackland (Ray) piped up on our little group chat the other week about his recent purchase of a few X-Wing starter sets and I went all fanboi, squeeing in delight, that someone in the group fancied playing X-Wing, a game I've wanted to try since its release, but which I wasn't sure the other lads were bothered with (silly me for not simply asking!).

His kit duly arrived this week (my purchase - I jumped in feet first once I knew he was keen - is still awaiting shipping), and even though he's got a touch of Nurgles Rot, I braved being struck down and went round his place last night for our first game (Ray had run some solo demo games during the week to get a handle on the rules).

Ray went all in for a couple of the new Force Awakens core sets plus, some expansions (ie the stand alone TIE F/O and T-70, Vaders Advance and the Falcon) so we had plenty of things to choose from.  I picked up the Rebel side while he went First Order.

The volume of cards and tokens boggled me at first, but the rules themselves are fairly intuitive once you get started.  Having so many upgrade rules on the Pilot, Ship and Equipment cards simply means it was more likely we'd forget to do something - like Ray forgetting his Squad Leader perk for most of the game!

We built a basic 100 point list each (I actually had 102 as I overspent with Rays permission on Astromechs) - I went with:
- Poe - Targeting Astromech, Cool Hand, Advance Proton Torpedoes, Integrated Astromech

- Blue Ace - R5-X3, Weapons Guidance, Proton Torpedoes, Integrated Astromech
- Blue Squad Rookie - BB8, Weapons Guidance, Integrated Astromech

Ray had five FO Toes of various pilot calibers.
First turn movement - the FO TIEs are fast!  I really hadn't expected them to be able to boost down the board as quick as they did
The view from my Blue Ace - Poe on his right.  Ray was able to keep those three TIEs in formation for nearly the full game - great spacial awareness and movement decisions

Starting to mix it up.  I invariably stalled my movement by clipping other ships when they moved in the Pilot Skill sequence which I forgot every turn so kept aiming my ships for spaces that Ray was able to occupy first.  This resulted in lots of turns of me fumbling Poe around the middle of the scrum, while my Blue Ace dallied around the fringe, always facing off away seemingly from the fight.
Our mate Dale turned up at turn 3 and took over the Falcon.  Ray received two more TIEs with kit in compensation.

Rays new TIEs rush towards the fray.  He seemed to constantly manage to get his TIEs behind or in my flanks - he is a very canny player.
The Falcon swooping in.  Dale suffered like me in his movement, constantly getting blocked by Ray (or myself!!) with the Falcon dithering around and then getting smashed by laser fire from the TIEs.
Late in the game, Ray, worn out from his fight against Nurgles Rot. and general sleepiness (this is near midnight!) pondering what to do with his next move sequence.
I called the game just after midnight.  Ray took down the Falcon in his last turn, as well as my Blue Novice.  Dale and I had managed to take out three TIEs and strip another two of  all but one hull point each, but once we totted up the remaining damage counters, Ray came out on top by three.

It was a great game, and with that one under our belt, I feel confident the next time we face off we'll be able to knock a game out under this ones four hour play time!  I'm expecting an original trilogy collection of Rebel ships in the next few weeks, and after seeing Rays repaints on Vaders Advanced, think I'll do a spot of touching up to model my X-wings after the Rogue Squadron colours from the Dark Horse comics and Michael Stackpole novels, with the A-Wing and B-Wings getting touch ups to match squadron colours in Jedi.

On the 40K front I have been very lax the last month.  I have yet to finish the Gretchin crew I started before the new year, let alone lift a brush for anything else.  I have assembled a few minis for the planned Lost and the Damned force, and leave you with this crappy phone camera images of the force as it currently sits.  I want to add some Plague Drones, Blightkings, a Plague Hulk and then some armoured support of some type later on, but there is enough here for me to sink my teeth into slowly this year.
Renegade Command, Cultists and Beastmen Auxiliary
Death guard heavy hitters and Renegade Ogryns
The professional element of the Renegade force using DKoK, and the Daemon contingent
Cheers all,


Friday, 1 January 2016

075. 2015 ends and the Green Tide in review...

Well 2015 has drawn to a close - I just missed out on getting a final post up for the year as Blogger was playing funny buggers with the upload function.  I thought the best way to wrap up 2015 was a quick and dirty post showing off where the Green Tide ended up this year given it was the focus of my attention all year (with a bit of meandering occurring midyear).

The photo quality isn't great seeing as they were taken under the rubbish lights in my dining room where I had the space to lay it all out.  I'm also still using just the phone to take the pictures - I really should borrow the missus' apple as that at least has a better camera than my Samsung.  Maybe next year we might invest in a proper camera.
The Green Tide as at 1 January 2016
The right limb
And the left limb
I think I can say more than half the force is now painted - with 85% of what is painted painted in 2015!
The other Mob of 20 Boys that need painting - these weren't part of my pledge this year unlike the other Mob which I did manage to paint
And the Shoota Boy Mob also needs some attention - again not part of this years pledge
All the Nobs are done barring the second (modified) copy of the Black Reach Warboss
A profile of the second Warboss - I changed up his Power Klaw and converted his Twin Linked Shoota into a Kombi Skorcha
The Big Lad himself - Ghaz - and his two lackey Shoota Nobs (there's no place for them in the Nob Mob).  I didn't end up getting the time to Start Ghaz as part of my December stretch target as I chose to spend the time with the missus and kid instead and enjoy the festivities of this time of year.
As with Ghaz - I didn't end up getting back to the Big Guns crew before the end of the year so they are still languishing in a semi painted state.  I'll finish them this next week before I take stock of my Chaos stuff.
The Kans were done this year, but the Dread wasn't looked at as part of the pledge.  He'll have to wait until a later date to see some colour on him.
I kind of forgot I had this - its a Killkrusha tank and a right shite to got together being of an earlier FW design philosophy.  I found him in a box under the bed in the spare room I use as my hobby room - I built him up slowly each night after Xmas.
So that's the state of the Green Tide - I made massive progress on it by my standards this year, getting to a point where more than half is painted and I can actually see a point where I will have a fully painted army again, which is something I haven't had since I was 12 or 13 with my first Ultramarine force.  All up it comes in at around 2,000 - 2,500 points depending on what extra kit and gubbins I give each unit.  Young Col. Ackland made an impulse purchase of around 200 Orks earlier this month and has floated ideas of running a Savage Ork list complete with Squiggoths!!!! which should turn into a fun match up if we ever get around to having a Waagh v Waagh mash up.

This year was light on gaming which is understandable since most of the lads have jobs, spouses and their own little sprogs to work around.  Talking to Ackland earlier this month we really need to try harder this year (2016) for more frequent catchups to game or just hobby.  Painting alone in my back room and engaging with the lads on face book is one thing (similarly engaging with you wonderful folk on the old blog), but nothing beats regular time face to face with others who share enthusiasm for the hobby to really rev me up and motivate me to keep pushing on.

As always its been lovely having people comment on the blog - its refreshing to know others are reading along with me and taking the time to comment about what I am putting up.  I try each day to follow along with my blog roll and comment on as many blogs as catch my eye.

So here's hoping you all have had a lovely and safe new years, and that 2016 is full of more awesome releases for whatever system floats your boat, you all carry on enjoying this diverse hobby of ours, and you all keep posting away giving me something to read, laugh at, and have a natter on.

My next post will be a breakdown of my painting goals for 2016, having taken stock of my Lost and the Damned situation.

Cheers all,