Monthly Archives: July 2017

eHan/eRey 1.0

It’s a couple of weeks after the latest FFG rules update with its clarifications and errata (which hurt my mono hero mill deck with its ammo belt errata – so I will have to update that deck to a version 3). I’ve been building my initial version of a Han/Rey deck. Which as this post would suggest I’m happy enough with to suffer the slings and arrows of constructive feedback from the Destiny community. Which I really do enjoy receiving as it helps me build stronger decks.

Please remember I do not have a complete set of cards and dice. I’m hoping to correct that soon.

Battlefield: Rebel War Room (Yavin IV)


  • “Fair” Trade (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 1
  • Cheat (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Electroshock (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Friends in Low Places (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Hold On! (0 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 2
  • Loth-Cat and Mouse (0 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 2
  • Rejuvenate (0 cost, Neutral/Blue) x 2


  • Improvisation (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Infamous (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 1
  • Your Eyes Can Deceive You (1 cost, Hero/Blue) x 1


  • DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol (3 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 1
  • Fast Hands (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Force Illusion (1 cost, Neutral/Blue) x 2
  • Holdout Blaster (2 cost, Neutral/Gray) x 1
  • Jetpack (2 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 1
  • Lone Operative (3 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 2
  • Makashi Training (2 cost, Neutral/Blue) x 1
  • Maz’s Goggles (1 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 1
  • Vibroknife (2 cost, Neutral/Gray) x 2

I’m a sucker for graphs! This is the analysis that the app I use gives me for this deck.

    The app I use on my iPhone is SWD Trades. 

    My thinking behind the deck

    This is all about action cheating with Reys ability and ambush, and keeping Han alive with the shields he gets from playing cards with ambush. To a lesser extent I’m getting some “action” cheating also on Han with fast hands.

    Installing an upgrade with ambush on Rey gives two additional actions plus a shield on Han.

    Rey is the big hitter here, and with the vibroknife installed deadly. Add in the Makashi Training upgrade with its plus damage, get the right roll there is potentially seven unblockable damage swinging in. Hopefully all before the other player has a chance to respond.

    How I Play This Deck

    I’m looking for vibroknife/holdout blaster, along with fast hands and some dice removal in my initial hand. This will allow me to start action cheating straight away and put shields on Han through his ability. 

    If I don’t win the battlefield initially my two shields go on Rey usually. Han will be getting shields with my first play anyway. Unless I get a hold on in my initial hand then I put them on Han for the giggles. They will end up on Rey anyway on my first turn. 

    My first play is usually an upgrade on Rey, ideally with ambush so Han gets the shield. If fast hands is in my hand that gets installed on Han, then I roll him in and resolve one of his dice.

    I’m not using Second Chance but Force Illusion is my keep Rey alive a bit longer card.

    I’m also playing upgrades over top of each other so I don’t need as many resources to get them out and I’m getting the action cheating. Although I don’t do this with the vibroknife.

    How’d it do?

    Remember my local meta is Dale. I think I’m 50/50 against his ePoe/eMaz deck. But my wins have been when the starting hand was good for me, and my dice rolling was good. 

    I think I have the edge over his (I want to say) Unkar deck. But I can’t remember which one it was. I must start recording which decks of his I play against.

    Dale tends to target Rey first so I’m trying to do as much damage with Rey before she is killed off in our games. 

    Where next?

    Naturally I need second copies of the blasters. I also think Second Chance might be worth looking at. 

    I might change the battlefield. But I do like the idea of claiming and doing a parting shot with a die I didn’t have the resource for.

    Acrylic tokens for Star Wars Destiny

    So at the weekend a member of the UK Star Wars: Destiny page posted that they had created these acrylic tokens for Star Wars: Destiny. The price was really good (£10 for a set or £18 for two sets). Plus each set came with a bonus traitor trooper token and free UK postage. If you have looked at the likes of the Team Covenant tokens for games it costs so much to get them internationally it’s not worth it.

    I also liked the design because they look just like the cardboard ones that come with the starter sets, even the additional five damage token sticks with the original design. This avoids any confusion and miss use. Some of the tokens I’ve seen on streamed/recorded games are confusing and ugly. In fact if I was playing against them I’d call the judge over and complain. That’s how bad some of the designs are. 

    My order arrived this morning. I went with two sets to make sure I have enough tokens for playing with. I have a few extra given to me as “compensation” for having to wait for my third set (this will be a prize possible ) because the quality of some of the tokens wasn’t up to scratch.

    I love the traitor trooper token. But the tokens are a nice quality. And I’m looking forward to using them in my games against Dale (who also ordered some after I told him about them).

    You can pre-order a set HERE.

    Been a long time since I did this…

    I’ve not done this in Star Realms (the app) in a long long time. So after blurring out my opponents name to save them any embarrassment (they usually kick my butt) I had to share this moment. 

    Which reminds me if you click HERE it will take you to the Star Realms Frontiers expansion. 

    From the Kickstarter page Frontiers has the following features:

    • Great gameplay for 1-4 players.
    • Solitaire and Cooperative mode!
    • Plays on its own, or combined with any other Star Realms set.
    • An all-new 80-card trade deck featuring some new mechanics like the double ally abiltiy which really rewards you for focusing on a single faction!
    • Starting decks for four players.
    • Four sets of new, easy-to-use score cards. 
    • Plenty of Explorer cards.
    • Full color rulebook for two player PVP games, and awesome multiplayer formats like Free-For-All, Hunter, and Hydra!
    • A sturdy, attractive, 4″ x 6″ x 2″ game box

    Plus there are loads of other bits you can get. Just do the $60 all in pledge level and get everything. It’s a no brainer I think for Star Realms fans. Which I think I qualify as with the game at number 4 in my Top 100. My only decision is do I add on a new playmat? 

    All hail King Diego

    It hadn’t been planned this way but to be playing A Game of Thrones the boardgame the same weekend series 7 of the tv show is due to air seemed a great way to celebrate the shows return.

    Jeff, Diego and myself faced off across the battle field using the A Feast for Crows expansion. Yes I know there was only three of us, and the expansion us for four players but we have a reason for doing so. We were expecting a fourth player, and had set up for four players using the expansion. But after waiting 40 minutes we got the impression they were not turning up. So we decided to go ahead using the expansion but take out the Starks. Any objectives that involved the North and Starks would be discarded and a new card drawn. This also meant that we were playing in a pretty compact part of the map. Very much in your face. 

    So who played who? Well I played the Lannisters for the first time, Diego was House Arryn, and that leaves Jeff as the Baratheons. 

    Naturally because of the house objectives Jeff and I are at instant conflict over control for Kings Landing. We both needed it. I also had a normal objective that needed control of it. So if I could keep control for one turn that’s two points. I managed to keep it for the first turn and score those two points. But if I had been braver and attacked Jeff with my forces at Kings Landing instead of defending I think I could have held it for a couple more turns, and possibly got the win. However hindsight is a great tool. And after revealing orders that first turn I was regretting my decision. 

    The above photo shows me learning from my earlier indecisiveness by attacking Diego’s knights before he can reinforce them and attack me.

    Like most games there are moments that stand out. Diego and Jeff were ganging up on me. They had mean most of the game. I had zero influence, Jeff had one (iirc) and Diego had two I think. The Westeros phase was making us bid for the influence tokens. I was looking at losing the Iron Throne token. Jeff and Diego were discussing how they were going to split up the three tokens between them. We all put our bids in for the Iron Throne. Jeff and Diego bid nothing! They had screwed up. One of them should have bid something but they hadn’t. As the current holder of the Iron Throne I got to decide draws. So guess what? I was still in first place and kept hold of the Iron Throne.  That was so funny. When that realisation of how they had screwed up hit them. Boy did I laugh. It also meant I was able to hold on to being able to use to power tokens in the power phase.

    But that was an unexpected victory. In the end I still lost the war. There was a chance to make a final grab for power and steal the win. But miscalculations, poor execution and Diego attacking me in one area I needed to control put an end to any little chance I had.

    Jeff and Diego both had 7 victory points. So it was down to tie breakers. Which saw Jeff lose to Diego on the second tie breaker.

    Well done to Diego our new Overlord. May your reign of tyranny be short. 

    I liked how A Feast for Crows worked with three players. The compact nature of all the armies being so close together I thought worked well. 

    Right I’m off to start up the resistance/rebellion to Diego’s reign. 

    Penguins and Mutants

    Last night an unadvertised session at the White Lion took place. I hadn’t got round to setting an event up on the Facebook page for it. Only two people yesterday morning asked if anything was going on. So arrangements were made to play some games.

    Earlier in the day Dale and I had successfully avoided a crappy Summer by getting our students work and our marking passed by an external verifier from the awarding body we were using. Which was my excuse for a nice cold pint of Thatchers. I was also happy how my eHan/eRay deck was holding up against Dales eMaz/ePoe deck. I’ll do a post soon with the initial deck list and my thoughts about it. 

    Back to last night and the games I played. Once Edmund had arrived I introduced him to 51st State Master Set with the new expansion Scavengers (which I bought at the expo).

    Scavengers plays with the discard pile, so now each player has a personal discard pile. During lookup the discarded card goes into the first players discard pile. You now due to card abilities have the chance to take the top card from an opponents discard pile. There is also more to stuff there to do with ruins but we didn’t really hit any of those cards. A third connections deck has been added also.

    I like 51st State, it works well with 2 players. But unless you play it a lot you won’t see all the cards. So with the base game cards plus the expansion I think that’s a 120 cards roughly for the common deck. So we were not going to see everything this expansion had to offer.

    The future history books will see that my post apocalyptic group of survivors were the stronger. 

    Our final game was one that had been on my radar for a long time, Hey That’s My Fish. Every time I visited my FLGS The Hobbit Hole and saw the box on display. I’d be curious but never pulling the trigger and buying it. But then a friend I was selling Inis to was planning on selling his copy at the bring n buy at the expo. Saw it was in the original small square box that I preferred to the current rectangle box. So I bought it from him.

    It’s a very light game. Plays quickly. Well our 2 player game of it did. But it had something Barenpark doesn’t (apart from being fun) player interaction. You are trying to get the high value fish, while trying to cut off/isolate your opponent. 

    I lost both games (Edmunds revenge for 51st State) but enjoyed both games.

    A great evenings gaming. 

    Fenland Gamers July 17 Monthly Meet Up

    What a busy week at work so far. Staff training (I need to keep my thoughts about some of that to myself else I’ll get in trouble), team meetings and planning for next year. Life in the under funded and forgotten FE sector.

    So the monthly Fenland Gamers meet up at its temporary home of the White Lion Hotel last night provided much needed respite.

    Diego, Justin and myself played Scythe. Which for those that wisely avoided my recent Top 100 games will not know, is my number 1 game. According to the BG Stats app that I’m recording all plays with, it has been 5 months since I last played Scythe.

    This was Justin’s first time playing this epic game.

    I was playing the Nordic Kingdom for the first time. I have to admit I did like the factions special ability of having my workers being able to swim across rivers right from the start. Justin was playing Crimean Khanate, and Diego had Albion from the Invaders from Afar expansion.

    Justin did well and got to the Factory first, with me quickly following. Much of my game plan then revolved around trying to abuse my chosen factory card which allowed me to either get a mech or building for the trivial cost of one popularity. So I was flipping mainly between my factory card and bolster which on my player board gave me a popularity after I had built my monument.

    I did trigger the end of the game, but that was more out of self defense. Justin was hovering on 5 objective points, and Diego was on 4. I needed to win one combat to do that. Up until my go I had been eyeing up attacking Diego, but he drew two combat cards on his go. So he had the possibility of winning a battle. On the other hand Justin had no combat cards and zero bolster points. Perfect. So I built my last mech, and took the move action to attack Justin for the foregone victory.

    Both Diego and I had zero or 1 popularity so were not going to get lots of points that way. I had zip resources at the end. After the dust had settled with Justin into the next scoring zone on the popularity track, he took first place. Whilst I managed to pip Diego to second. I suppose a better player would have worked out the optimal time to pull the trigger to end the game. They would have worked out every ones relative points, and maybe strung out the game for a turn or two more to maneuver the situation to their advantage and victory.

    I really did enjoy getting Scythe back to the table. I had a blast playing it. Another great monthly meet up.

    Playing in the Sandbox

    Back in the day. Oh how I fecking hate that saying. Look back in 1984 I was like 16, studying at the Isle of Ely College. And this game Elite was somehow on the Beeb micros there, along with Frakk, and clones of popular arcade games of the time. I was programming in BASIC on the Beeb, my Commodore 64 and any other platform in front of me. It wasn’t until it came out on the Commodore 64 that I got to spend real anytime on this open world sandbox game. I remember enjoying the game but not exactly being any good at it. 

    It’s that memory of Elite from my teenage years that attracted me to Xia: Legends of a Drift System and it’s expansion Embers of a Forsaken Star. It looked and sounded like Elite the boardgame. 

    Luckily Edmund gave me the chance to get Xia to the table yesterday when he invited me to an afternoons gaming.

    We played without the NPC ships, but with everything else from the base game and expansion. We set the fame point target to achieve to the suggested first game target of five.

    Neither of us took weapon upgrades for our initial ships. Edmund was flying wildly doing blind jumps into sectors, while I spent the energy to scan first. 

    Both Edmund and I ended up with bounty on our heads when we traded in the wrong part of the galaxy. Guilt by association.

    Edmund did manage to complete a mission and earn enough credits to upgrade to a tier 2 ship and get rid of his bounty. He was also better at trading than me and earns a couple of fame points that way too. 

    Me I was bumbling around space going “lalala”, “oh look pretty star”. Pretty much no different to when I was playing Elite way back.

    We didn’t even get close to scratching the surface of Xia. With more players and the NPC’s thrown in the experience would be different again. There is so much to explore with this game. Each game will be familiar, yet different due to the modular nature of the tiles. 

    Xia takes up a massive amount of table space. The quality of everything is really high. Metal coins, pre-painted minis.

    This is an impressive game. It’s epic in scope. I love it. I can’t wait to play it again.

    I am the Overlord

    Yesterday evening Justin invited me and his brother Jason to go seeking adventure and great treasures in a game of Descent.

    This game was a recent addition to his collection. So naturally this was a first play for all of us. I’d tried watching Rodney’s Watch It Played! videos for the game. But the heat of the day had been making me drowsy along with a bit of a headache. Luckily much of what I saw was familiar from my little experience of skirmish plays of Star Wars: Imperial Assault. Which is itself an updated version of Descent set in the Star Wars universe.

    I was asked if I didn’t mind being the Overlord. Which I didn’t. 

    We played the introductory scenario. Which is there really to introduce you to the game and it’s mechanics. A job that it does really well.

    I knew before we played I’d like Descent. I like Imperial Assault. I like fantasy, the whole Dungeons and Dragons thing. So it’s a no brainer for me. I generally like to play magic users, Gandalf types casting fire balls all over the place. But most people type cast me as a halfling/hobbit or dwarf!

    This introductory scenario is nicely balanced. I felt it could have gone either way. Despite me winning, I think that Justin and Jason could have won if they had a bit more experience at this type of game, and a change of tactic that would deny my goblin archers camping in the scoring zone for my objective.

    Definitely after playing this scenario we are keen to start the campaign. I did point out there is an app (iOS link) that acted as the Overlord. Jason and Justin both downloaded it there and then to look at. Which will be cool if we use this for the campaign because I can play as an adventurer.

    So I’m definitely looking forward to the campaign starting once the logistics of it are all sorted out.

    Thanks Justin for inviting me along for the evening of gaming. I really enjoyed myself. And somehow I still left your dog with you!

    Egg meet face

    I’ve had to cancel this evenings kickoff event for a Magic the Gathering League at our gaming group due to lack of interest.

    I’m kind of feeling a little disappointed.

    A while back I tried to get something going for Ashes at my FLGS. I bought an OP Kit from Plaid Hat (two actually) out of my own pocket. Tried to get a tournament going, and attract interest locally for the game. It was myself and one other. I wasn’t looking to make money out of it, that wasn’t the reason I was doing it. At best I was hoping to break even and kickstart a local meta for the game. That day for the one kit cost me £40. I eventually sold the second kit on at a loss for me. Happy to get something back.

    That experience didn’t put me off. After seeing the Magic the Gathering league format. I thought that’s a great format for new and seasoned players. It doesn’t rely on having lots of cards. Decks are 30 cards built from the cards you get from purchasing 3 booster packs, and adding in any extra lands that you need. Then strengthening your deck once a week by purchasing an additional booster pack. If you got three loses in a row I think it was, you could also buy an additional booster pack to strengthen your deck with. This kind of put everyone on an even playing ground. Plus not going to break the bank. I think at my FLGS prices the initial 3 packs would cost £10, and £2.95 (?) a booster after that.

    So I sounded out the group for interest in playing Magic the Gathering using these rules. I think there were five or six that showed interest. Enough to warrant setting up an event and getting in booster box.

    Which I did. Sadly, at best tonight there would have been 3 of us. So it looks like I’ve taken another hit in the wallet.

    If I run something like this again, I’m going to ask for money up front. But at the moment, I’m not feeling like I want to put the effort in. Feeling a bit bruised.

    But feeling that way about organising stuff for the club for other games too. Maybe disheartened is a better word to use. maybe it’s me! I know, you find that hard to believe. But I am an acquired taste.

    Oh well maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow after spending an evening watching videos about games I won’t get to the table soon. Oh wait no I won’t because an event to find people to play Xia, has 1 possible, and that’s it. So I might find myself going to see the new Spider-Man movie again.

    Yep that’s right, again! I saw it Wednesday evening. Bloody brilliant movie. Easily the best Spider-Man movie so far. Refreshing to have a reboot that doesn’t cover the origins of Spider-Man again. I think as a superhero movie it’s in the top 25% I would say.

    Right later folks