The forces of the Empire and Alliance were arrayed for battle. To begin, we rolled once for initiative, and the rebels won - thus, they would be moving and shooting first.
The Empire forces were played by (TIES) Albrecht, (bombers)Kenzie and Eljay (a rare treat, to be sure, having Eljay about).
|Scimitar bomber flight with Obsidian TIE escorts
Rob C. (our naval expert) and DeeJay (our hired assassin) flew the CR90 and X-Wing escort respectively.
Turns 1 - 2: were spent with the fighters manoeuvering into position. The TIE fighters came up the middle if the map, dodging asteroids, while the TIE bombers followed. The X-Wings took a long bank toward the flank, while covering the CR90, which slowed and began to power up her guns.
|X-Wing fighter screen
Turns 3 - 4: saw the fighters engage as the TIE bombers attempted to evade the X-Wing screen and set up for their torpedo runs against the corvette. Our boy Eljay had a bomber wander out of formation, to receive a terse command from Lt. Rashon (Howlrunner), but the damage was done, and an X-Wing attempted to pounce on the easy treat. Eljay avoided destruction, but had his targeting computer disabled (ironic, no?).
|"Scimitar 3: return to formation immediately."
Turns 5 - 6: The TIE fighters had entered the CR90's long range, and the main battery and aft turbo-laser opened up on Howlrunner's TIE.
Howlrunner finally went down, having drawn two turn's worth of energy from the CR90, plust some X-Wing fire. "Tis a far, far better thing I do...(PAFF!)
Eljay, a veteran of many a Star Wars video game, saw his opportunity, forgot he was in a bomber, and flew straight across the TIE fighter screen at an isolated X-Wing.
|TIE bomber smells blood...
Much amusing Imperial consternation ensued.
Turns 7: Kenzie's bomber flight had gone round the flank, and was setting up for an attack run.
|Target in range...
Eljay's TIE bomber managed to inflict some damage on a Red Squadron X-Wing, before falling to a combination of Hobbie and some turbo-laser fire.
Then Hobbie went down to combined TIE fire from Albrecht's flight.
Turn 8: The surviving TIE bombers launched their proton torpedoes, and managed to bring down the corvette's shields (despite Rob C.'s frantically shunting energy back and forth like Enron). Unfortunately, they had neglected to communicate which section they were attacking, which blunted the result.
|Just a few more seconds...
The last X-Wing went down under a hail of blaster fire from Albrecht's TIES.
|Last X-Wing toasted
Shortly thereafter, the last TIE Bomber was destroyed by quad-laser fire, and the CR90 - shieldless but otherwise undamaged - was clear to make the jump into hyperspace. The rebels had survived, but at the cost of three X-Wings.
Post Game Thoughts:
This was a lot of fun, and the fellows seemed to enjoy it (and they're not terribly enamoured of the FFG X-Wing rules, either). It's a pity that the TIE bombers didn't coordinate their attacks on the aft section of the corvette, but live and learn.
The bombers definitely need to be tricked out with two sets of protons each to have any chance of damaging the CR90.
One bomber pilot noted that the fighter escort was a bit light - that was intentional. I wanted the TIE fighters to work a bit.
The CR90 corvette is best operated by a single player for maximum efficiency and effect. Rob C. was busily engaged working the systems, and did a much better job than my first foray.
X-Wing makes for a fast game - you won't actually smell the over-heated electronics or feel a stabiliser coming loose the way you would playing "Star Warriors". On the other hand, you won't spend four hours in a two-player head-to-head match, either.
X-Wing isn't exactly a war game - there are too many arbitrary "gamey" aspects (i.e. no collision rules for fighters, just overlap protocols - and a silly initiative rule, inter alia) but it is still a very amusing game...and it's frikken' STAR WARS, after all.
There is an undercurrent of munchkin-ism in the 100-point tournament-style game, as players attempt to min-max their squadrons. Of course, squadron-building is one of the attractions, and can be done at home, at all hours, whenever the fit comes o'er you. Still, the "rock-paper-scissors" aspects could do with a touch of "lizard-Spock".
Some Home Rules a-Brewing:
Torpedoes. We're considering giving these extended range, movement factor and allow them to move on the map using a counter or miniature. The same for missiles. Also allow fighters to attempt to intercept, though there is no mechanic yet in place.
Base Overlap: It's a collision for both - roll a damage die for both. Damage is applied and indicates a lost action. Enough of this fighter blocking nonsense.
Fighter Screens: Shooting past a fighter in the same arc as your target gives the defender an additional defense die. If the range marker passes over any part of an intervening base, it qualifies as a "shoot-past"...Ω