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.
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.