Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grudge match: Luke vs Vader!

Popped out to TCOW again as it is rapidly becoming my X-Wing gaming venue of choice! I went head to head with Rob again, this time taking the Rebels - I wanted to test out a squadron with Luke, Wedge and Horton (with an Ion Cannon, R2-D2 and 2 Proton Torpedoes). The plan was that he would fire off a couple of long range salvos, then Ion Cannon targets for the X-Wings whilst R2 repaired his shields.

Rob had a plan of his own though taking three TIE Advanced (with Vader and Maarek Stele), matching my elite fighters with some of his own!

(Forgive the really bad photoshop explosions, not my best effort.....)

Both sides close on each other...
The TIEs break right trying to throw off the Rebels aim
Vader and Wedge pull of Koiogran turns and a TIE takes fire from all three Rebel ships (and explodes)
Maarek Stele gets caught in a cross fire and is destroyed
Vader pulls in behind Horton whilst Luke and Wedge flip around to save him
Horton hits Vader with the Ion Canon and breaks right, meanwhile Wedge pulls the "Hazell Maneuver"*
Vader shakes off the hit and swings around to finish off Horton...
But cannot shake off the X Wings, with Luke getting the final
The X-Wings managed to pull off the win, but there a few rough patches - I think I need to move the 2nd set of Proton Torpedoes to one of the X-Wings (thinking Wedge at the moment, although Luke should be pretty handy with them too....). Also not convinced by Horton Salm, I might have to go back and read up on the other Y-Wing pilots. Last of all it might be worth moving R2 over to Wedge as well (I hear he is broken-good when used together) as Luke has inbuilt defensive skills, the Y-Wings have shields and hull points to take a few hits, where-as Wedge found himself pretty badly beaten up by the end of the encounter.

More thinking required, especially if our local store is going to try to run a Kessel Run event (hopefully the NZ distributor of Fantasy Flight product is getting these promo packs in!).

*The "Hazell Maneuver" is where you plan on turning one direction, but accidently find yourself turning the other direction. Confusing to both friend and foe alike it can sometimes be useful, but is generally met with much laughter. Named after an occasional TCOW visitor....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Road to the FlamesCon 2012 - Israeli Sherman Company (1956)

With FlamesCon less than 1 week away I am starting to look a little dire on the painting front. I have all my tanks basically finished and it just a case of working on the details, my artillery (25pdrs) are painted, but the crew are not.

St Andrews Cross "masks"
With regards to the tanks I have been having a bit of a whinge about the fact I cannot get hold of the St Andrews Crosses which are used as Air Recognition symbols, or the Israeli tank number decals. In stepped a couple of friends... Victor whipped up a "cut file" in photoshop that could go into one of our lasers at work and Jeff finished the job, getting a sheet of masking tape "masks" cut for me.

With a little bit of fiddling about they worked a treat (thanks guys), so now I have one tank with the cross added, and need to get the rest done tomorrow night.

Mask added to the tank and painted blue
Interior cross mask put on the tank
And the gap painted white
Masks removed leaving a nice blue and white cross (best of all they are meant to be slightly off angle making it easier to do!)
After a quick tidy up, ready for a quick drybrush to make it look dusty and then varnish, unless....
Now despite the fact I have not finished my artillery battery, I am thinking about having a go at adding three more pieces details:

  1. Aerials - not too hard, just requires some careful drilling
  2. Bridge weights - just need to see if Blake's holepunch is about the right size and I can punch some masks out so I get nice circles to paint blue
  3. Vehicle numbers - as I have mentioned before Israeli tanks have unique identification numbers painted on (later they actually welded on so that if the tank is destroyed they can more easily determine the number of it).
The numbering I am talking about is the little black bit on the side of the hull with the barely visible white writing

I've picked up a white pen from an art shop and might have a go at painting the small rectangle and then adding tiny numbers tomorrow, meanwhile I should probably focus on the artillery crew and finishing the Shermans before I do anything to crazy.....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Death of a Jedi

Popped out to TCOW (That Club Out West) this afternoon for another game of X-Wing. Ended up having a game verses Rob and his rather fantastic home made fighters. I took the same squadron as last time with Vader and 4 friends in Tie Fighters, Rob took 3 X-Wings (including Luke) and a Y-Wing (Mr Salami). He purposely went for the extra X-Wing over upgrades trying to even up the numbers.

Lining up, Backstabber takes the flank whilst the rest goes up the middle
Both sides close.
Backstabber breaks to the right a little early, but Vader is about to claim his first kill.
The furball begins and a Y-Wing finds itself in trouble.
Koiogran Turns are the order of the day as both sides pass through each other and turn for another run.
The furball continues with both sides trading shots and an X-Wing is caught in the crossfire.
Vader lines up Luke... but the Force is strong in that one and Vader misses.
Luke puts some distance on the Imperial fighters and turns for a final pass.
Unfortunately his turn puts him in the middle of a nest of Tie Fighters. Vader watches his son...
It was an outstanding match up, this time Vader managed to come out on top with a little more luck on the dice front and better use of their numbers to put the hurt on one fighter at a time. I was also a little fortunate that Rob ran out of points to put an Ion Cannon on the Y-Wing as those things are definitely my nemesis!

I am still looking for a good (and budget) miniature storage option, although I think I might end up with my old favourite, the Filemaster A4 Storage box with some non-slip mat. I keep looking at the cool foam trays that are on sale and they all seem a little over-kill on the $ front, so the hunt will contine.

I also need to sit down a work out a good Rebel fleet - I liked Robs force but I think I will go for 2 X-Wings and a Y-Wing, all pimped out to one extent or another - if you cannot beat the Ion Cannon club, join 'em I say!