Category Archives: X-Wing Miniatures

X-Wing Miniatures

Use the force Luke

Yesterday was the Hobbit Hole's X-Wing Store Championships. Which because of the required playing space (each game play area is a 3' X 3' space) and number of players was being held at the local working men's club hall (also home of the Chatteris Warlords).

I wasn't taking part, I dropped out of buying the X-Wing expansions and keeping up with the meta just before the Scum and Villiany expansions hit. Which was the around the same time Imperial Assault came out. I wasn't getting to play X-Wing, still not selling my collection as the models are amazing, plus I can only afford to follow one of these type of games, and I thought I'd stand more chance getting Imperial Assault to the table.

The new Ghost model from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon is beautiful. And what surprised me the ship is bigger than the Falcon. I may be tempted to get this one, for its model factor.

So why was I there then if I wasn't going to take part in the tournament? Well rumour before hand was there might be some other games being played as well on the fringes. So with some games and decks in a bag I had turned up in hope of playing some games.

My first game was against March Jamie (and yes I do give him some banter about being from March) and a friendly game of Magic the Gathering. This time my green/black deck worked! The two previous times I played this deck I struggled to get the lands needed to play cards. This time I got after a couple of mulligans I got a starting hand I was happy with, and was getting cards I could play, and the lands I wanted. The game ended up being very close. I was left with one point of health, as I delivered a finishing blow to get a win!

The second game I got to play was a three player game of Colt Express, once more with March Jamie and a third anonymous party. The third party was very keen to play this game, because they wanted to play with the time machine promo, and I knew the rules for it. Maybe a little too late we discovered the anonymous third party may or may not have been influencing the cards that appeared in their hand of cards to play! Not surprisingly that anonymous third party won! This was a casual game, and played for fun.

After that March Jamie and I continued the earlier Magic the Gathering theme by getting Arena of the Planeswalkers to the table.

At last!

I didn't win a single game of this out of the three we played. But I had a blast playing it. After each game we swapped to a Planeswalkers that hadn't been played yet.

There were some great moments, like when I was playing Jace and using his spells and enchantments to frustrate Jamie by sending his squads back to his reserves. Or when March Jamie found out about Ob Nixilis and his ability to simply destroy an adjacent enemy once a turn. That was funny, because he had moved a single unit strong water based creature next to him to attack.

Ok that last game there was a little bit of time pressure because the it was getting dangerously close to the end of the time the hall had been booked for. So I did a mad rush in with Ob Nixilis to take on the opposing forces when I should have moved everything up together.

But still as I said there were many fun moments that made the game very enjoyable. It's is such a shame that Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro are not getting more behind this game. This game needs more expansions fast. Such as a landscape expansion adding more landscape to the game, the 3D element makes the game much more interesting, not just visually but game play wise. It affects line of sight, bonuses when attacking and defending, and also movement.

A major element of this game is also the squad building, or would be if there were more squads. That's the other expansion this game needs, more so than landscape. Not being able to build squads or tailor your spells deck is really limiting the game.

The models are really quite impressive in their detail considering the cost of this game. Not the best quality, but surprisingly good. The play area is quick to setup, but you do need a large table to play.

Arena of the Planeswalkers is a blast, but let down by poor support. Which is a shame, it deserves to be better supported, FFG would have done so much more with this. Actually I'd love to see PlaidHat licence this to make an Ashes version.

So glad this got to the table, will definitely be playing again.


What are you doing May the Fourth Day?

For those of us in the UK (particularly in EnglandShire – not sure about that funny lot north of the wall) this Monday coming is a Bank Holiday. Yep a loooong weekend for us, we'll an extra day. This year it also happens to fall on the same day as a popular geek celebration day May the Fourth Day, where geeks around this little globe of ours celebrate all things Star Wars.

I love that this most excellent of days coincides with a holiday this year. It allows me to pretend that here in the UK we have made May the Fourth Day a holiday (if only).

So what am I planning to do on Monday to celebrate this most auspicious of occasions?

Well for starters this blog will have a post dedicated to photos of these Lego minifigs I have that are Star Wars related. I do have one or two if you remember. These photos will also be pushed out via Instagram to Twitter and Facebook. Yep I'm going to spam social media.

I'm also going to use this post to invite any of my friends in the Wisbech area to pop round and play a Star Wars related game. I appreciate I may of upset one or two today with my political views and disappointment/annoyance that once more candidates have not canvassed my home (I'll leave the full rant for that Facebook discussion).

I have X-Wing (sadly rarely played), Imperial Assault and a Star Wars themed Risk. I'd love two or three friends round to play Imperial Assault, or at least one friend to play it in skirmish mode. I've not played the game and really want to.

Will this happen, will this invite be accepted?

We will find out on the day.

In the meantime I must make sure iTunes Match has logged my Star Wars OST cd's so that they can be playing in the background, and I may play catch up on Star Wars Rebels and rewatch the original trilogy. Well those two are the backup plan.

Catch you in the next post.


A Star Wars Celebration

Over in the US of A there is a three day Star Wars celebration currently going on. Already we are getting to see the new teaser trailer for Episode 7, a trailer for the new Battlefront video game, and fan pictures of the ships and figures that make up the Fantasy Flight Games offerings that will be joining their official licenced boardgames later this year (hopefully) from their stand. Naturally at these sort of events there are panels, cosplay and more. And yes I wish I was there.

Above is my “fleet” for when I get to play X-Wing miniatures. Definitely not the largest “fleet” out there by a long shot. However considering the number of expansions they have released, the amount I get to play the game (hardly ever), and the number of other games in my collection that release regular expansions I think my “fleet” is very large. Naturally it could be bigger, for starters the Scum and Villiany ships could be there, but I'll add to the “fleet” when resources permit. One thing that anyone who sees these models up close does say is “wow, those models are amazing”. FFG do knock it out of the park with the X-Wing models.
All your farms belong to us!
It's funny to think what an impact and impression Star Wars and the franchise has had on western society. Who would of thought in 1977 after falling in love with Olivia Newton John as Sandy in Grease, and her bad girl look in the song “You're the one that I want” from the end of the movie. Which seemed to be constantly on tv and Top of the Pops. That the clip that rivaled it for being on tv all the time that year of Han and Luke operating the guns on the Falcon shooting at tie fighters ending with Han saying to Luke “great kid, don't get cocky” would be such an amazing film and still fueling the imagination of people decades later.
Some of my rare childhood memories that I have are linked to Star Wars. I remember queuing up round the corner with my family waiting to get into the cinema at Kings Lynn to see the rest of the movie that went along with that clip. Lucas really did capture the people's imagination everywhere. Marvel comics hit a home run with the comic strip adaption that made it over here in a UK comic book edition. I missed the first issue but got the following ones.
My friends and I were mad for anything Star Wars, it was all our playground conversation was for a long time. I even made my own tie fighter in class using a ping pong ball, cardboard, paper mâché and paint. I remember being jealous of those that had official merchandise, but still I had my tie fighter.

Back in the late seventies we had panini sticker books for football, and from time to time the odd hit movie. It was never like this day and age where there seems to be a sticker book to collect for everything that could even remotely be pimped to the public. We also had bubble gum cards and I remember collecting the cards and stickers for Empire Strikes Back. Well not exactly the cards but definitely the sticker book.

If seventies Darren had access to the stuff modern Darren has he would of been in a fanboys dream world. Back then we never had a foggiest the journey we would be taking with Han, Luke and Leia over the years. Let alone the constant fiddling Lucas would do to the movies we loved so much. South Park did such an amazing job of capturing what every fan was thinking (the clip below is definitely not safe for work) about Lucas and Spielberg because they did the same with another beloved character of theirs Indy.

On the video game front the first Star Wars game I played was a Commodore 64 port of the classic Star Wars arcade game in all its wireframe goodness. From there I progressed to the Atari ST port of the Return of the Jedi arcade game. After that in the nineties while working in Byfleet for a credit card company on my first pc, an Amstrad 16Mhz 386sx clam shell laptop I got taken totally away into the Star Wars universe and lived every fans dream of being able to pilot an X-Wing in the groundbreaking game X-Wing. Naturally the follow up X-Wing vs Tie Fighter was more of the same amazing goodness. And then the Star Wars franchise jumped on the Doom band wagon with the amazing Dark Jedi Knight, a rather cool Star Wars FPS.

My only brushes with the Star Wars games during the Sony console dominated late nineties and early noughties was by proxy of my boys when they played them. However I'm getting a chance to play some of those games now thanks to a recent Humble Bundle that gave me a crap load of them for under a tenner. But the Humble Bundle folks also gave me a load of Star Wars comics (including the original Marvel ones) recently as well, also for a criminally low price. TOP TIP keep an eye on the Humble Bundles, sign up for their alerts they have some great value deals on regularly.

In the late nineties I collected the cards that made up the Star Wars collectable card game that was out at the time. Didn't get to play the game sadly. Plus in a box when there were the anniversary celebrations and special editions released I collected the Tazos and little plastic busts that Walkers did as part of the promotions that Lucas film had given them the licence for.

Now days it seems we are spoilt for good quality Star Wars related boardgames. the main plus side is that we don't have to put up with thinly rebranded editions of Risk and Monopoly. But can experience the rich tapestry of the Star Wars universe with X-Wing miniatures, Armada, Imperial Assualt or the Living Card Game to name some of them. FFG have done such a great job bringing the Star Wars universe to the table top, although I think none gamers and gamers will agree not always cheaply.

Having implied that rebranded versions of Monopoly and Risk are just cashing in (well I'm not a Monopoly fan), one cashin that I would love to see is the Star Wars theme being applied to Love Letter. I think it would work very well, and I love Love Letter especially the Batman Love Letter, and a Star Wars themed version would be awesome.

I don't know if the above words make any sense or form some sort of coherent narrative, or even have a point. But I hope you enjoyed them, what are your experiences of Star Wars growing up and of the games (which ever media).

Finally if you haven't seen the movie Fanboys it's worth a watch, it's been out a while.


Eggbox Terrain Starscapes Playmat

Finally my starfield playmat for X-Wing arrived! This was an Eggbox Terrain Kickstarter for Starscapes that I backed last year, £26 for a 3' by 3' playmat. Amazing value. It looks gorgeous. Look how awesome it looks with a couple of ships on it.


The only drawback is my “gaming table” (a fold down dining table) is about an inch not wide enough. But I will work round it. I'm so excited to take this with me on my next visit to Nathan for us to play on.


Mid January New Arrivals


Well technically one is a new arrival (today) the other two came just after the New Year.

First to arrive were two promos purchased from Board Game Geek (BGG) for the games Alhambra and Tokaido (top half of the photo). I like that BGG gets promos (not all sadly) to sell. Most promos are gained from attending conventions (majority based in the US). So the only chance to get one is either eBay or BGG. BGG tends to be the kinder option of the two selling the promos at a reasonable affordable price.

Promos aren't necessary for a game. There said it before someone else did. So why do I like them? I have a character flaw. Sadly companies exploit people like me. My flaw? I'm a completesionist (is that a real word?) If I like something I have to have all the bits for it, expansions, promos, different covers (if comics), appearances (even if it's a single panel in a comic). So you get the picture. Yeah I'm weird. Besides my flawed character, promos add a little variety or new options to a game. For example the Takaido promo I got adds a new character for players to chose to play with. While the the Alhambra promo adds new tiles (buildings) to purchase.

In the later half of last year Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) announced the Scum and Villainy faction for the X-Wing miniatures game, which is wave 6 iirc. Now the Scum and Villainy version of the Aces packs for the Imperials and Rebels comes with extra cards etc that convert one or two ships to the new faction if you want to use them with the new faction. One of those ships that can be converted will be Slave-1 which I didn't have. Now the ships in X-Wing have print runs, and if you try and get a ship between runs it can cost you a lot more (depending on how desperate you are) than the rrp. Luckily Slave-1 and the Falcon (already got) have just been reprinted and the container ship has hit our shores and the contents distributed to the game stores. Which means these ships can now be bought for a sensible price again. Hence I've bought the Slave-1 while it is available. There will be many like me that will have waited for this reprint, and snapping up the ships at the correct price. Which means they will sell out quickly again and become scarce and expensive once more. It's a vicious circle.


Father and Son Games This Christmas

Below you will find a list of the games I will be playing with Nath this Christmas when we spend some quality father and son time together over the holiday period.

I'd been after Space Hulk for a couple of years. It's a game I played once or twice while I was studying in Brighton many many moons ago. Which I had fond memories of, and now I wanted to play with Nath. Space Hulk is basically aliens the boardgame but set in the warhammer universe with space marines and gene stealers (the aliens). Nath would love playing this. Sadly the game was out of print and going for rediculous prices on eBay. But fate stepped in or more to the point Games Workshop did by doing a one off limited run of the game a couple of months back. Luckily I was able to get a copy at a lot more affordable price than the eBay ones from my local game store The Rift in Peterborough.
One of the hot games of this year, and rightly so. A japanese city building card game, which is great fun to play. Not sure how Nath will get on with this one, I think once he gets the idea he'll like it. I love the game.
We have played this once not long after I first got the game. Several ships later, and hopefully a star field playing mat arriving in time, Nath and I will be recreating skirmishes between the Empire and the Rebellion.
Marvel Legendary I'd been thinking about getting this for awhile. Researching it over the Summer. Then I saw the planned list of games for season three of Table Top. Marvel Legendary was on that list. If I didn't buy it soon, there would be little chance of getting it once the episode aired with it in. So I picked up this collaborative deck building game based on the Marvel universe. Since getting it I have got the Dark City expansion, and waiting on a couple of others to arrive. Nath will enjoy this I think. Nice thing is this has solo play rules, so once again I can learn the game before we play. Which always makes teaching Nath easier.
Staying with the collaborative deck building based on the same system as Marvel Legendary, is the game Legendary Encounters Alien. I think this is going to be Uber fun playing the movie scenarios with characters from the movie. But more importantly we will answer the question Wolverine vs Alien. Yes the games are interchangeable, so you can bet we will be dropping Wolverine into the Alien universe. It kind of reminds me of the crossover comics Dark Horse did in the late 80's early 90's where the alien/predators took on the likes of Batman and Superman. Ripley and Wolverine taking on the ultimate predator!

Another deck building card game, definitely one of the contenders for game of the year. This two player sci fi space battle themed game is great fun. I've been playing the iOS version to learn the rules so I can teach it to Nath. With a second deck it's possible to have more than two players. However this a quickish game to play, quick setup, and a blast. It lives up to the hype. I'm hoping Nath likes this one.

If this game wasn't one of the hot games of this year it will be now after being on TableTop. It started off the new season as the game played in the first episode. Not sure about how Nath will get on with this game. I won't explain the game here, go watch the episode of Table Top it does a far better job than I could. It's been hard finding an english version that is affordable. Amazon are selling a French edition! The U.S. editions on eBay are working out over £60. Well I suppose that's due to the Table Top effect. Luckily a Belguim company had an English language version at a much more reasonable price, and it will cross fingers be here before Christmas.

Finally coming out the week before Christmas Star Wars Imperial Assault. Descent the game set in the Star Wars universe. Another one of the hot games of this year and next (considering the time it's coming out). Nath and I will be playing this in skirmish mode if just the two of us. It's Star Wars of course Nath and I will love it.

So there you have it the list of games Nath and I will be playing this Christmas. I know considering how big a Zombicide fan I am, and Nath enjoys playing the game, why isn't that going? Well I do have a collection of games I've bought to play with Nath, a lot we haven't even gotten round to playing. So we have to make our way through those at some point too. My next Zombicide session with Nath will most likely be when season three comes out (I backed it on Kickstarter – so touch wood will get it in March). No DiceMasters either this time despite it being the game I'm playing the most at the moment. Well that's the plan but I may give in to temptation and include it.

I'm looking forward to my visit with Nath. Gaming whether cardboard or video gives me some quality time with my son. How we will squeeze everything in I don't know. We will give it a heroic effort to do so. But as long as we are having fun who cares if we don't play everything?

I hope the above list has given you some ideas of games to consider. I can assure you these are way way more fun than the “mainstream” stalwarts like monopoly and cluedo (to shame a couple).


New Tabletop arrivals

The last month has seen some tabletop arrivals and I thought I just do a “quick” post to tell you about what has come in, with more in depth looks later on (possibly).

First arrival is The expansion Toxic City Mall for one of my favourite tabletops Zombicide. Decided to go for this over Prison Outbreak because … well you will have to wait and read why.

Next in was Box of Zombies – Set #1: Walk of the Dead an expansion for the game Zombicide. So at the basic level this is me just buying some more walkers and fatties to use in the game putting off that moment when you run out of zombies and and have to give all the zombies on the board an extra activation phase because you can't spawn any more zombies! But when I look at this in more depth I'll cover the main reason I bought this expansion.

Continuing with Zombicide Expansions I also got the Zombicide Compendium #1, a collection in one place of sceneries and campaigns for season 1 of Zombicide (that's the original game). Bought mainly for the designer notes in it. But that's for a later post on another blog.

I ended up with these Munchkin Boxes of Holding unexpectedly because the retailer I ordered the Zombicide compendium from on Amazon screwed up my order and sent me these instead that were meant to have been sent to a person in Paris! So I can only assume my order went to Paris. I do hope they enjoyed the compendium. Anyway I got a refund and they never asked for these to be sent back despite me asking them to send a prepaid envelope to send them back in.

To celebrate I think 35 years since the original release of the game Ogre, Steve Jackson games have reprinted that edition and released it at its original price! So had to get just for that reason alone let alone I'm interested in trying the game anyway before buying one of the bigger editions.

Managed to get one of the current hot games to play the collectable Marvel Dice Masters Avengers vs X-Men, plus some of the boosters for it and an official play mat. This game is ridiculously cheap to get into, and the boosters are mega cheap.

Ok this was an impulse buy while purchasing the last item on this list. My latest addition to my Imperial fleet for the X-Wing Miniatures game a Lambda class shuttle. It's beautiful.

Finally out today a game I've been after for ages (it is out of print) that I wasn't expecting to be able to buy, and a total surprise that I have, but Games Workshop have just done a limited run reprinting (which sold out on the official GW website within a couple of days – eBay the game it goes for silly money hence why I hadn't bought it). Anyway my friendly local game store The Rift in Peterborough (great store – the owner Trevor is a really great guy, very friendly and helpful) got some in, and I was able to get my mitts on a copy. Oh the game? Space Hulk.