Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Pete Week

Instructor Phenir banked his Tie Interceptor to the left in a graceful arc whilst keeping his eye on the four rookies who were bumbling around in their Tie Fighters.
 "Pattern Alpha Four Left !" Phenir barked into his intercomm. Three tie fighters rolled left - whilst one rolled right - the sergeant in his Tie advanced peeling off to follow the single inept rookie. 
"I said left you saalarkian hog ! Do you not know right from left ?! I will have you back at guard duty TK-426 !" . The miscreant Tie wobbled in space before joining back with his newbie compatriots.  
A flash of silver glinting in the dark of the void - Phenir snapped his attention to the right flank. There in the distance, a rebel recon flight hauled into view. Phenir cursed into his mask.  
"Z squadron form up, battle speed,  flank right, bandits approaching. Rookies stay close, remember your training !"  
As the Tie engines whined up to full speed, laser fire crackled between the combatants, the rookies getting a harder lesson today than they had bargained for.

This week must have been Pete's birthday or somesuch, as both Race for the Galaxy and Hansa Teutonica were played - and Pete got to partake of both. These two games are something that makes Pete a very happy NoBoGer.

With some discussion about what to play, and a debate about the merits of various Archipelago shenanigans, it was decided that a couple of lighter games would kick off proceedings for the eight of us.

Ewan sitting in on his first bewildering encounter with Race for the Galaxy joined Sam, myself and Pete for a relaxed pace blast through this classic marmite card based game. Not to be confused with marmite twiglets, a delicious crunchy snack with a hint of marmite. Race for the Galaxy is more a mental marmite - you either love it or you hate it. No chewing on the cards required. Or you play it enough that you get to like it, because goddamnit you have to play it at least 30 times to get the learning curve, and you will play it at least 30 times it's in your contract. Pete said so.

Declaring myself to be aiming for second place - behind of course Pete - the game set off, with Sam getting a great start, and Pete playing in a laid back manner.

Ewan sat in the corner looking perplexed. Not untypical for your first hand of Race. I think he was mulling over whether he liked this curious marmite flavour. Disgusting ? Or interestingly piquant ?

Cards were cycled through, planets settled, developments developed and Pete by mid game had set up a devastating economic engine. Sam hadn't quite fully capitalised on his setup, Ewan was struggling with his military worlds, and I was tromping through the mud of trying to get something to work.

With a few blasts of high earning VPs for the last couple of rounds, Pete ended up the comfortable winner, I was second, Sam came in a half dozen points behind me and Ewan behind Sam.

In other words, the positions matched the level of experience. Coincidence ? Maybe.

No chewed cards, so probably a victory for everyone then.

Notre Dame. This is what Paris looks like. Apparently.
  In other non galaxy racing parts of the universe, Stu, Fletch, Nicky and Matt had a stab at Notre Dame.

Not sure who won this, but there were some curses and groans as this played out, clearly vying for influence in the Parisian suburbs is a cut throat affair. I was intrigued by the board layout for this, and the game chatter sounded like it was a fun outing.

Half time was called and everyone had a switch around. Despite Pete being up for some Star Wars action, the temptation of Hansa proved too much, so he Nicky, Matt and Ewan went off and played Hansa Peteonica. A vanilla outing for the board game this time - no alternative board nor funky objective cards - and Matt, a proponent of the Actions Are Important line of thinking, aced his way to five actions, linked up the two main cities and romped home to a convincing score.

Pete is slipping at Hansa. I think it can no longer be referred to as Hansa Peteonica, as quite a few people have given him a drubbing at this lately, and I am hard pressed to remember the last time he won.

Star Wars was setup on the other table, myself, Fletch and Sam sitting down to this, with Stu participating in a purely observational capacity.. and the odd jibe at passing hap hazard pilots.

Sam in his first play at this picked Imperial, Fletch went Rebel, so deciding to join the inexperienced Sam I too went imperial.

Sam picking quality, opted for a Tie Advanced with some missiles, and a Tie Interceptor flown by some Imperial Bad Ass ( Turr Phenir ), for a total of 52 points. Deciding I needed to therefore weigh in on quantity - I am with Comrade Stalin here, that quantity has its own quality - I pulled four rookie academy pilot tie fighters out, at a cost of 48 points. Four juniors in non upgraded tin cans. Don't worry lads... you'll be fine.

Fletch chose himself a spread of war machinery, an X-Wing flown by non other than Wedge Antilles, a somewhat inexperienced A Wing, and a veteran Y-Wing. Needless to say all three ships were packing - R2 units, missiles, fancy systems, you name it. Pfah. Those rebels and their bling. A real man sits in a non upgraded tin can. With no life support. Or heat. In a funky flightsuit. With only a red lightbulb for illumination.Yeah.

A no nonsense fight kicked off with a fairly short ranged brutal pass that resulted in damage to the A-Wing, a minor shield dent for the X-Wing and that was about it. Roaring past each other, half the Imperial force wheeled around to find the A Wing startled in headlights and quickly shot to pieces - its missiles unspent.
The interceptor is just about to bite the dust, but
Imperial payback is screaming in from the right

As Tie fighters wheeled about out of position, Wedge got R2 to repair his shields and rounded on an Interceptor bearing down on him - annoyingly the tricksy boosting out of his way. The Y-Wing behind Wedge however, with quick reflexes and a single shot blew the oh so clever Interceptor out of the sky - the Imperials top pilot biting the dust in a fraction of a second. Ah the fragilities of the Empire.

The Rebels chuffed with success, failed to notice the Advanced and flanking rookie Ties targetting Wedge and in a flurry of fire the X-wing also disintegrated in a burst of laser cannon and missiles.

This left the Y-Wing alone against all four Tie rookies and one advanced. Poor odds.

The Y-Wing pulling off some amazing moves for its aged frame managed to keep the worst of the incoming fire away, but found its systems blowing up and collapsing as the Empire took its toll.

The rookies had survived, Instructor Phenir however was dust...Guard duty my ass, thought TK-426.

Very fun game. Must play this more.


Mr Bond said...

Has that Y-Wing been given a paint job?

Minitrue said...

Yep, a subtle one. Changed the insipid yellow that is supposed to be 'gold' to a more rebelly red. Also put a few more colour highlights on it.

The other Y-Wings have similar but not exactly the same bling jobs in different colours ( blue, green, a richer yellow/gold ). Look better imho.

I was doing some research on capital ship sizes last week. A corvette comes out at around 12 times the size of an X-Wing, which would make it something like a foot or so long if you trim it a bit. Not impossible to slam out onto the minimum 3'x3' table. I love scratch building models. But eh, quite a few other projects on the go atm.

Minitrue said...

I should also mention, the whole left right thing occurred during the game... again. I managed to make one of the Tie's turn in the wrong direction. Excellent work. Shortly after Sam did the same thing with his Advanced.

Left and Right is not a strong point of the Empire.

Mr Bond said...

There are pictures of a nice Nebulon B Frigate on the Geek. The scale isn't quite right - though it's still quite massive.

Perhaps they stick to the old D&D mantra that left is right and right is wrong.

Mr Bond said...

Nebulon B Frigate

Also put longer flight stands on his fighters.

Nebulon B Frigate plus Tie Fighters

Minitrue said...

Pretty nice work, and a lovely project to do, but yeah, scaling is fudgey. If you did a corvette to the same scale I don't think it wouldn't be a million miles away from the Falcon size ( half as big again ? )

Personally I woulda gone for the corvette - 150m rather than the frigate - 300m.

Then again, Corvettes at half scale like the frigate would mean you could actually make a few and have them make meaningful moves on the table, instead of just being the centre piece.