Tag: Tabletop

Hey there everybody!

Man, it’s been a while. Hard to believe it is already June. The year truly has flown by.

I figured I would throw together a post to give a bit of an update on where we are at and where we are going.

Bad news is that there has been such a long break. Ultimately, I have had a ton of things going on with work and the personal life and for lack of a better term motivational issues have limited production on the various projects I’m working on with this blog.

The good news? I plan for that to end right now! So here is the plan for the various aspects of this site so you all have an idea.

Long Distance Drinking: Will continue on as it has been going. This really has been the only thing that hasn’t dragged to a halt. The goal is to get it to release on a more regular, every-other-week schedule, preferrably on Tuesdays. We have a few ideas that we are going to be messing around with on the cast, so as always, let us know what you think!

GOON Gamecast: It has been a long while for this hasn’t it… Well, Game On Oblivous Noobs, because we are getting back in action this month. We have one veeeerrrrrryyyy old episode that has our in-depth review of Rogue Legacy. The goal for that is for it to be live in the next week and a half (aiming for June 7). At that point, GOON as you knew it will be complete…

The New GOON Gamecast: Given the long wait between episodes, we wanted to get things moving with the podcast and have revamped it a bit. We are aiming less for the marathon sessions of some of the previous episodes and settling in on approximately 1 to 1.5 hour episodes with a bit more of a traditional set of segments. The goal is to also hit a every-other-week schedule for releases, either on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. We’re aiming for Episode 1 to be out shortly after the Rogue Legacy episode (it is already recorded, just need to get the beast out of the way). It will still include Tom, Lance and myself, so no worries there. Just a streamlined focus to the shows from our initial aims.

Videogame Posts: One of the biggest struggles I have had was finding a structure for how to write about the various games I’m playing. Coupling this with my huge gaming back-log, I ended up coming up with an idea. My focus each month will be playing through games on my back-log, focusing on working through games of the same series each month. So, starting with June, I am playing through the Borderlands series. So, there will be at least one post a week (aiming for two) that will be relating specifically to the things I am seeing in games from that series. Aside from that, there will also be posts of other random things I am playing too if I get a good idea.

Tabletop Game Posts: There has been a lot happening with Tabletop gaming recently… My goal is to put up a post a week about a topic that strikes me on those. I am aiming for Wednesdays or Thursdays with these posts. Plan on the next few to be about the Warhammer Fantasy new edition on its way and my thoughts or speculation about it. I am also hoping sometime in the future to do some video content of various tabletop gaming topics and those will be shared here as well.

Movie and TV Show Posts: These will probably be a bit fewer and further between. Similar to before, I am planning on throwing out my instant opinions if a movie really strikes me. Then, I will see what other topics or ideas I find interesting with that and write about it about once a month.

June may be a bit of a struggle, but I’m really hoping to get more stuff written and out there. There will be some rough edges on the posts, but if I’m going to be looking at getting a quantity of things posted, there will be a few errors here or there. Similar to terrorism, if you see something, say something and I’ll fix it.

Also, if there are any ideas you want me to weigh in on, just throw it out there. I am also sure Tom will be throwing some posts up from time-to-time as well to get things out there.

So, I hope I can get more stuff out there moving forward and utilize this space much more effectively. There are a lot of things I know that I want to do past what we are talking about, but this is the baby steps to get in that direction.

Cheers!
Joe Burns “Hobby Box” Burns

Game on!

After a bit of an editing hiatus (sorry about that), we are back at it! Over our summer vacation, we had the first opportunity ever to get together as an entire GOON group and play some games, so we played a bunch of board games!

Many games were played – those we discuss on this episode is Deadwood by Fantasy Flight Games, Tokaido from Passport Game Studios, Boss Monster by Brotherwise Games and Battlestar Gallactica from Fantasy Flight Games.

We also discuss what we’ve been playing for video games, as well as preview our next game for the Gamecast, Rogue Legacy.

Also, we’re having a… SHOW NOTES CONTEST! If you’re reading this, you can win! Just email gameongoons@gmail.com with what games and/or TV Shows each of our five break music songs are from/referencing (the last one is a tad tricky). First person to guess correctly gets a free month of PS Plus! (more…)

In what ended up being a very interesting Final Round, Justin Burgy earned the title of U.S. Warhammer Master!

Here is a rundown of the match-ups on the Top 5 tables for the Final Round:

Table 1: Matt Cassidy (NE) defeated Josh Hankin (NE) in the mirror match between Daemons of Chaos 15-5. With a nine point difference between the two players, the split score was just enough to open the door to players at the other tables to take with a big score.

Table 2: Ira Knight (MA) and his Warriors of Chaos ended up with a 10-10 draw against Alex Schmid’s (NE) Dark Elves.

Table 3: Justin Burgy (MW) continued to roll through the second half of the tournament, taking a 19-1 victory over Nick Hall (MA) with his Warriors of Chaos.

Table 4: In the battle between two Dark Elves, Corey Reynolds (NE) defeated Matt Beasley (MA) 14-6.

Table 5: It is a battle of the top two Empire Generals in the tournament, Jake Martin (NE) defeated Meil Vermeulan (MW) 13-7. Jake was able to overcome a 350 point buffer to gain victory.

With those results, here are the final standings:

1. Justin Burgy (MW) – High Elves: 78 Points
2. Matt Cassidy (NE) – Daemons of Chaos: 75 Points
3. Josh Hankin (NE) – Daemons of Chaos: 74 Points
4. Corey Reynolds (NE) – Dark Elves: 72 Points
5. Ira Knight (MA) – Warriors of Chaos: 71 Points
6. Jake Martin (NE) – Empire: 71 Points
7. Alex Schmid (NE) – Dark Elves: 69 Points
8. Jarrett Messing (NE) – Bretonnians: 67 Points
9. Larry Mottola (NE) – Vampire Counts: 64 Points
10 (Tie). Ben Mitchell (MA) – High Elves: 63 Points
10 (Tie). Miel Vermeulan (MW) – Empire: 63 Points

The Northeast Region wound up taking best region in the tournament by a fairly significant margin.

1st Place – Northeast with 361 Points
2nd Place – Midwest with 304 Points
3rd Place – Mid-Atlantic with 396 Points
4th Place – West Coast with 311 Points
5th Place – South with 186 Points

Best Painted Awards went as follows:
1st Place – Johnny Hastings (MW) – Ogre Kingdoms
2nd Place – Ryan Smith (SO) – Orcs & Goblins
3rd Place – Peyton Shipman (NE) – Empire
FInalists – Eoin Whelan (MA) – Ogre Kingdoms, Ben Mitchell (MA) – High Elves, and Fred Whitney (WC) – Daemons of Chaos

The Best Sportsmanship Award went to Kevin Bruins, being the top finisher without receiving another award (Tie-Breaker was lowest comp score). Here are the top rankings:
1st Place: Peyton Shipman (NE) – 14 Points
2nd Place: Kevin Bruins (MW) – 13 Points
3rd Place: Mike Gerold (MW) – 13 Points
4th Place: Mark Cox (SO) – 13 Points

Here’s a look at where the guys we’re following for the tournament:

Player: Alex Schmid
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: Dark Elves
Comp Score: 10.5

Final Place: 7th
Total Points: 69 Points

Final Round Opponent and Result: Alex had a 10-10 draw against Ira Knight (MA) and his Warriors of Chaos.

Player: Mike Gerold
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 9.8

Final Place: 31st
Total Points: 44 Points

Final Round Opponent and Result: Mike was beaten on Table 10 by Ben Mitchell’s (MA) High Elves 20-0 in the final game.

Player: Kris Kapsner
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 0.3

Final Place: 30th
Total Points: 46 Points

Final Round Opponent and Result: Kris suffered a 18-2 loss to Travis Weyforth (NE) and his Lizardmen army. The 800 points given up due to comp was just too much to recover from in this match-up.

Player: Kevin Bruins
Region: Midwest
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 6.2

Final Place: 29th
Total Points: 47 Points

Final Round Opponent and Result: Kevin took a 15-5 defeat to Peyton Shipman and his Empire army.

Player: Mark Cox
Region: South
Army Book: Skaven
Comp Score: 12.3

Final Place: 47th
Total Points: 29 Points

Final Round Opponent and Result: Mark took a 20-0 loss to Johnny Hastings (MW) and his Ogre Kingdoms army.

Player: Robert Brandon
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 14.1

Final Place: 49th
Total Points: 23 Points

Final Round Opponent and Result: Robert suffered a 13-7 loss to Jacob Brandon (MA) and his Daemons of Chaos.

Player: Jason Johnson
Region: South
Army Book: Bretonnians
Comp Score: 17.9 (Highest in the Tourney)

Final Place: 46th Place
Total Points: 29 Points

Round 4 Opponent and Result: Jason finished up with a 10-10 draw against Jeff Daniels’ (SO) Ogre Kingdoms.

Well, that is all there is to write about the Inaugural 2014 U.S. Warhammer Masters Tournament. Congratulations again to Justin Burgy who took away the championship trophy.

I knew I had heard the name previously, but wasn’t able to put a face to it until he accepted the award. At that point, I realized that I had met Justin at Adepticon last year. He is a great guy and this was well deserved on his part. Ironically, on the Friday at Adepticon when I was talking to Justin, that was when the photos were leaked of the new High Elf models that would appear a week later in White Dwarf. A little less than a year later and Justin took the tourney to the Masters and walked away with victory.

You can find a link to the final results on the wargamersusa.com website or by following this link here.

Thanks for reading. If you have any comments, please feel free to share them below or send me a message on Twitter @HobbyBoxBurns. We’ll see you on the next Warhammer Wednesday!

The final round of the U.S. Warhammer Fantasy Masters is about to begin.

Here is a quick review of what happened on the Top 5 Tables in Round 4:

Table 1: Thanks to a brutal couple of turns of magic, Josh Hankin (NE) ended up beating Rhys McDonald’s (NE) Skaven 20-0. A round after one spell caused most of Rhys core Clan Rats and Slaves to flee off the table, a Final Transmutation into the Screaming Bell unit finished off Rhys.

Table 2: Matt Cassidy’s (NE) Daemons of Chaos took a 13-7 victory from Matt Beasley (MA) with Dark Elves.

Table 3: Jake Martin (NE) and his Empire and Corey Reynolds (NE) with his Dark Elves ended up playing to a 10-10 draw, even taking into account the  170 points Corey had over Jake with the comp difference.

Table 4: Alex Schmid (NE) and his Dark Elves overcame the 260 point comp differential to topple Jarret Messing’s (NE) Bretonnians 13-7.

Table 5: Larry Mottola’s (NE) and Vampire Counts could not overcome the 610 point comp difference with Ivan Jen (WC) and his Dwarfs, losing by an 11-9 score.

With those results, including a 20-0 win by Justin Burgy’s (MW) High Elves, here is a rundown of the match-ups on the Top 5 tables for the Final Round:

Table 1: Josh Hankin (NE, 69 Points) will defend the top spot in the Final Round against Matt Cassidy (NE, 60 Points) in a battle between the two Daemons of Chaos players. Matt has a small comp advantage at, 9.3 to 8.6, meaning he will have a slight, 70 point advantage going into the game.

Table 2: Ira Knight (MA, 61 Points) and his Warriors of Chaos take on Alex Schmid’s (NE, 59 Points) Dark Elves. Ira has a slight lead on comp which will give him a 90 point buffer to start the game.

Table 3: Justin Burgy (MW, 59 Points) comes off a huge 20-0 victory with his High Elves to take on Nick Hall (MA, 58 Points) with his Warriors of Chaos, who also had a 20-0 victory in the previous round. Nick has a 14.9 to 11.4 comp advantage, meaning Justin will need to make up 350 points over the game to get a victory.

Table 4: In the battle between two Dark Elves, Corey Reynolds (NE, 58 Points) battles against Matt Beasley (MA, 55 Points). Matt has a slight comp advantage, earning him an 80 point buffer going into the game.

Table 5: It is a battle of the top two Empire Generals in the tournament, as Jake Martin (NE, 58 Points) takes on Meil Vermeulan (MW, 56 Points) and his Mortar of Doom. Meil will have an 11.5 to 8 comp advantage, meaning Jake will need to overcome a 350 point buffer to gain victory.

With so many Northeast players fighting against each other, the gap in the regional rankings has closed a bit. Here is how they sit going into the last round:

1st Place – Northeast with 304 points
2nd Place – Mid-Atlantic with 259 points
3rd Place – Midwest with 245 points
4th Place – West Coast with 232 points
5th Place – South with 154 points

Here’s a look at where the guys we’re following are at going into Round 5:

Player: Alex Schmid
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: Dark Elves
Comp Score: 10.5

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Alex took away a 13-7 point victory against Jarrett Messing (NE) and his Bretonnians.

Total Points: 59

Final Round Opponent: Ira Knight’s (MA) Warriors of Chaos.  Ira’s list includes a Slaaneshi Daemon Prince, kitted out fully, along with two Exalted Heroes and a Level 2 Sorcerer on Death. He is using three 10 man units of Marauders, 12 Forsaken and 6 horsement, including two Shaggoths, a Gorebeast and 6 Hellstriders.

Comp Difference: Ira has a slight lead on comp which will give him a 90 point buffer to start the game.

Keys to Final Round: With his quick hitting army, Alex should still be able to hit fast with all of his fast cav options. Always striking first will be key for his units, as there are some high-strength options for Ira. The Level 4 on Beasts should be able to help combat that.

Player: Mike Gerold
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 9.8

Round 4 Opponent and Result: Mike scored a 20-0 victory overJulien Lesage (SO) and his Vampire Counts to vault up the tables.

Total Points: 44

Final Round Opponent: On Table 10 against Ben Mitchell (MA) with High Elves. Ben is fielding one Great Eagle, two White Lion Chariots, three Repeater Bolt Throwers, a unit of seven Sisters of Avelorn, two units of six Reavers, one unit of six Dragon Princes, a block of 28 Seaguard and a unit of 21 Phoenix Guard. The Level 4 Archmage on Shadow could be key in pumping up the combat units.

Comp Difference: Ben’s comp score of 11.5 will mean he has a 330 point advantage against Mikey G.

Keys to Final Round: Mikey will want to uses his armies speed to maneuver his units into the correct positions. In combat against the Toughness 3 Elves, he should be able to take them down with the army’s high strength. His magic should also help him to be aggressive as well.

Player: Kris Kapsner
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 0.3

Round 4 Opponent and Result: Kris pulled out a huge 20-0 win over Fred Whitney (WC) and his Daemons of Chaos

Total Points: 44

Final Round Opponent: Travis Weyforth’s (NE) Lizardmen. Travis has a large amount of skinks in this army – two units of 30 and four units of 10 (two with blowpipes). Throw in 23 Temple Guard, and it might be difficult to deal with all of the infantry units on the board. Plus, don’t forget the Slann BSB with Heavens and Skink Priest on Heavens, which will add to the combat ability of the Lizards. The Solar Engine on the Bastilidon could also cause some worries in close combat.

Comp Difference: As always, Kris is giving up the maximum 800 points at the start of the game against Travis’ 15.6 soft comp score.

Keys to Final Round: As long as Kris plays aggressive to his lists abilities, he should probably be able to score a good victory over Travis. For Travis to compete, he will need to get some key spells off with his Slann early to affect Kris (a Comet of Cassendora perhaps). I do not think the Skinks will be able to compete at all with the high strength of Kris’ army, but they could be useful speed bumps to keep the game somewhat in line. Avoidance will most likely be the strategy for Travis.

Player: Kevin Bruins
Region: Midwest
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 6.2

Round 4 Opponent and Result: Kevin scored a big 16-4 victory over Mark Cox (SO) with Skaven.

Total Points: 42

Final Round Opponent: Peyton Shipman (NE) with Empire. Peyton has an interesting Empire list, focusing on lots of cavalry. He has a unit of nine Inner Circle Knights, two units of five Knights, a unit of five Demigryph Knights along with the war machine combo du jour of the Great Cannon, Helblaster and Steam Tank with a Master Engineer.
The centerpiece of the army is his General on a Griffon. Otherwise, the rest of his characters – a Captain BSB, Level 4 Light Wizard, Level 1 Light Wizard, and Warrior Priest are all mounted and will most likely join the Inner Circle Knight bus. An interesting addition is the Witch Hunter, which will have to go in the unit of 10 Archers.

Comp Difference: With an 8.2 comp score, Peyton will receive a 200 point advantage against Kevin.

Keys to the Final Round: The high speed of Peyton’s cavalry should be able to keep up somewhat to Kevin’s flying units. Kevin will most likely need to focus all of his attention of his RBTs on the Steam Tank to take it down before it causes much damage. High Magic could also come into play with that as well.

Player: Mark Cox
Region: South
Army Book: Skaven
Comp Score: 12.3

Round 4 Opponent and Result: Big 16-4 loss against Kevin Bruins (MW) with High Elves.

Total Points: 29

Final Round Opponent: Dan Lindley (SO) with Warriors of Chaos. Dan is using an MSU approach, puling out two Khorne Chariots, two units of five Wolfhouns, two units of Hellstriders and a unit of six Knights. The big strength will come from the four Skullcrushers and the Shaggoth.

Comp Difference: With Dan’s comp score of 11.2, Mark will have a slight 90 point advantage.

Keys to Final Round: Skaven can hold up some of the strength in this army a bit, but I think it will be difficult for Mark to hold on in this one. The Abomination will be needed along with his magic to be able to succeed.

Player: Robert Brandon
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 14.1

Round 4 Opponent and Result: Robert suffered a bit 20-0 loss against Mike McTyre’s (WC) High Elves.

Total Points: 16

Final Round Opponent: Jacob Brandon (MA) with his Daemons of Chaos.

Comp Difference: With Jacob’s hard 8.3 comp score, Robert will receive a large 580 point boost in the match-up.

Keys to Final Round: Jason will need to find ways to team up against the different units at Jacob’s disposal.

Player: Jason Johnson
Region: South
Army Book: Bretonnians
Comp Score: 17.9 (Highest in the Tourney)

Round 4 Opponent and Result: Jason scored a 13-7 victory over Ryan Smith (SO) and his Orcs & Goblins.

Total Points: 19

Final Round Opponent: Jeff Daniels (SO) and his Ogre Kingdoms army.

Comp Difference: With Jeff’s 10.5 comp score, Jason has a 740 point lead going into the game.

Keys to Final Round: The four Mournfang Cavalry and other large strength Ogres that Jeff has will make it quite difficult for Jason to take them down. Charging with two units at once and flanking will probably be the key to keeping it close in this one.

That is where the tournament stands going into the Final Round. Once again, Table 1 is being broadcast on Twitch  at the Atomic Empire Twitch feed so tune in to catch the last game at Table 1 to crown the first U.S. Master.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 Eastern Time. I’m hoping we will be able to get the results shortly after that and I will throw up a final review on here this evening.

The final day of the U.S. Warhammer Fantasy Masters is about to begin. Round 3 saw even more sorting around the top of the standings, with some big results scrunching the players at the top together. In fact, the top 10 players are only separated by six battle points. It still is anyone’s title to win.

Here is a quick review of what happened on the Top 5 Tables in Round 3:

Table 1: Rhys McDonald (NE) with Skaven handed Jake Martin (NE) with Empire his first loss, beating him 12-8. The loss was also Jake’s first non 20-0 result of the tournament.
Table 2: Josh Hankin (NE) with Daemons of Chaos defeated Ira Knight’s (MA) Warriors of Chaos army 13-7.
Table 3: Alex Schmid (NE) and his Dark Elves scored an 11-9 small victory over  the Lizardmen of Travis Weyforth (NE).
Table 4: Matt Beasley (MA) with Dark Elves beat Johnny Hastings’ (MW) Ogre Kingdoms by a score of 16-4.
Table 5: The Dark Elves of Corey Reynolds (NE) handed Eric Weidus (MW) and his Warriors of Chaos a solid 20-0 defeat.

Tables 6-9 also saw 20-0 victories in their games, which helped to vault the victors – Matt Cassidy (NE) with Daemons of Chaos, Jarret Messing (NE) with Bretonnians, Larry Mottola (NE) with Vampire Counts, and Ivan Jen (WC) with Dwarfs – up into the Top 10 while sending the defeated down into the middle of the pack.

After all was sorted, nine of the top 12 players in Day 1 were from the Northeast, with two players from the Mid-Atlantic and one from the West Coast filling out those numbers.

Regional Standings go as follows:
First Place – Northeast with 242 points
Second Place – Mid-Atlantic with 202 points
Third Place – West Coast with 176 points
Fourth Place – Midwest with 168 points
Fifth Place – South with 128 points

Here is a look at the Top Five Tables for Round 4:

Table 1: Rhys McDonald (NE, 50 points) and his Skaven look to defend the top spot  against Josh Hankin (NE, 49 points) and his Daemons of Chaos. Rhys will have a 90 point advantage against the 8.6 comp score of Josh.

Table 2: Matt Beasley (MA, 48 points) with Dark Elves takes on Matt Cassidy (NE, 47 points) and his Daemons of Chaos army.  Beasley will have a 120 point comp advantage in this battle.

Table 3: Jake Martin (NE, 48 points) and his Empire will play against Corey Reynolds’ (NE, 48 points) Dark Elves. With a 9.7 to 8 comp advantage, Corey will have 170 points on Jake when the final result is determined.

Table 4: Jarret Messing (NE, 47 points) with Bretonnians takes on Alex Schmid (NE, 46 points) and his Dark Elves. Jarret’s Brets have a 12.3 to 9.7 comp advantage, which means Alex will have to make up 260 points in this match-up. The Dark Elf, cavalry heavy list will be interesting matched up against the Brets.

Table 5: Larry Mottola (NE, 45 points) and Vampire Counts goes up against Ivan Jen (WC, 44 points) with his Dwarfs. Ivan has the second highest comp score in the tournament, which gives him a 17.2 to 11.1 comp advantage. That means that Larry will need to make up 610 points on the Dwarfs. Can the Vamps survive the artillery to smash the Dwarves for a victory?

Here’s a look at where the guys we’re following are at going into Day 2:

Player: Kevin Bruins
Region: Midwest
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 6.2

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Kevin scored a 14-6 victory over Josh Fricke’s (WC) Dark Elves.

Total Points: 26

Round 3 Opponent: Mark Cox (SO) with Skaven.

Player: Mark Cox
Region: South
Army Book: Skaven
Comp Score: 12.3

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Mark went down 20-0 against Jarret Messing’s (NE) Bretonnians

Total Points: 25

Round 3 Opponent: Kevin Bruins (MW) with HIgh Elves.

Comp Difference: Mark’s 12.3 comp score gives him a 610 point advantage against Kevin.

Keys to Round 4: With this being two quite opposite armies facing off, and it being such a comp difference, this will be a very tricky match-up for both players. It isn’t typical, but the Skaven will be at a gross disadvantage when it comes to war machines on the table. These can be key against the low armor blocks as well as some of the bigger items in Mark’s army (Abom, Doomwheel). With all of Kevin’s flying units, he will be able to maneuver around at will against Mark, which should give him a decent advantage.

Player: Robert Brandon
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 14.1

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Robert ended up losing 20-0 against Michael Hengl (WC) and his Warriors of Chaos.

Total Points: 16

Round 4 Opponent: Mike McTyre (WC) with High Elves. Mike is taking the MSU approach, with four units of 10 Archers, two each of Lion Chariots, Great Eagles, and Repeater Bolt Throwers and a unit of eight SIlver Helms. He has two blocks of 18 White Lions.

Comp Difference: With Mike’s 11.1 comp score, that means Robert has a 300 point advantage in the High Elf Off.

Keys to Round 4: Unfortunately for Robert, nothing in his army will be able to handle the two units of White Lions. He will need to get his phoenixes and Skycutters into them to chop them down in order to take them out. Mike also has the advantage in shooting, with 40 Archers on the table and a Noble with the Reaver Bow.

Player: Jason Johnson
Region: South
Army Book: Bretonnians
Comp Score: 17.9 (Highest in the Tourney)

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Jason received a 20-0 loss to Peyton Shipman (NE) and his Empire.

Total Points: 6

Round 4 Opponent: Chuck Gavias (SO) with Warriors of Chaos.

Comp Difference: Chuck’s comp score of 12 still gives Jason a 590 point advantage in the match-up.

Keys to Round 4: This is another difficult match-up for Jason. Without Trebuchets, he doesn’t have anything to the four Skullcrushers or 18 Warriors, except for his Heroic Killing Blow character.

Player: Alex Schmid
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: Dark Elves
Comp Score: 10.5

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Alex earned an slight 11-9 victory over Travis Weymouth (NE) and his Lizardmen.

Total Points: 46

Round 4 Opponent: Jarrett Messing (NE) with Bretonnians.

Comp Difference: Travis’ comp score of 15.6 gives him a 590 point advantage over Alex.

Keys to Round 4:  Alex should have the advantage, using his cav heavy list to pound into the Brets quickly. But, Jarrett has shown to be quite good with his list, so it will be interesting to see what result comes from the Table 4 match.

Player: Mike Gerold
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 9.8

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Mike suffered a 17-3 loss to Josh Stuart (WC) and his Dark Elves.

Total Points: 24

Round 4 Opponent: Julien Lesage (SO) with Vampire Counts.

Comp Difference: Julien’s 8.5 comp score means Mike receives a 130 point advantage.

Keys to Round 4: As is the focus against any Vampire army, attempting to take out the block with the Vampire will be the point of the game. The trick will be getting around the blocks of Skeletons and Zombies.

Player: Kris Kapsner
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 0.3

Round 3 Opponent and Result: Kris ended up taking a 20-0 loss to Ivan Jen and his Dwarfs, probably thanks in part to the 800 point maximum comp concession.

Total Points: 24

Round 4 Opponent: Fred Whitney (WC) and his Daemons of Chaos.

Comp Difference: With Fred’s comp score of 16.7, he will also receive the 800 point maximum advantage against Kris.

Keys to Round 4: Kris should have the upper hand in this match-up, but the comp difference will make it difficult to get the big win that he needs.

Well, that is where we are at the start of Day 2. Once again, Table 1 is being broadcast on Twitch today at the Atomic Empire Twitch feed. We will have another update leading into the final round right around 12:00 Central today.

With Round 2 of the Masters in the books, the crowd is starting to separate a bit. Remember, now that Round 2 is done, players can play against other players from the same region, which could make for some big match-ups to round out the first day.

With some close games at the top tables, only one person has the maximum amount of 40 battle points, Jake Martin (NE) with Empire. He will face Rhys McDonald (NE) and his Skaven, who is at a total of 38 points.

Here is who is playing on the rest of the top five tables:

Table 2: Ira Knight (MA) with Warriors of Chaos on 35 points against Josh Hankin (NE) with Daemons of Chaos on 36 points.
Table 3: Alex Schmid (NE) with Dark Elves on 35 points against Travis Weyforth (NE) with Lizardmen on 34 points.
Table 4: Johnny Hastings (MW) on 31 points with Ogre Kingdoms versus Matt Beasley (MA) on 32 points with Dark Elves.
Table 5: Corey Reynolds (NE) with Dark Elves on 28 points against Eric Weidus (MW) on 29 points with Warriors of Chaos.

Here is where those we are following are at after Round 2:

Player: Kevin Bruins
Region: Midwest
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 6.2

Round 2 Opponent and Result: Kevin suffered a 20-0 defeat to Matt Beasley with Dark Elves.

Total Points: 12

Round 3 Opponent: Josh Fricke (WC) with Dark Elves. Josh’s Dark Elves contain two big combat blocks – 30 Corsairs and 40 Dreadspears, along with three units of 5 Fast Cav Dark Riders, a unit of five Knights and 10 Darkshards (Crossbowmen). Two units of 5 Harpies will add more chaff to the list and they are covered by 6 Warlocks and four Repeater Bolt Throwers.  Josh’s list is rounded out with a Master BSB on foot and two Sorceresses of Shadow, one Level 3 and one Level 2.

Comp Difference: Josh’s comp score of 9.4 means he has a buffer of 320 points against Kevin.

Keys to Round 3: Kevin’s match-ups just aren’t getting any better, as the new Dark Elves are a bit difficult to handle for High Elves. However, with his flying units available, he should be able to influence the game a bit more. One important bit will be finding good ways to whittle down the two big blocks that Josh has along with finding ways to get rid of the bolt throwers.

Player: Robert Brandon
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 14.1

Round 2 Opponent and Result: Robert ended up with a 10-10 draw against Jeremy Campbell and his Ogre Kingdoms army.

Total Points: 16

Round 3 Opponent: Michael Hengl (WC) with Warriors of Chaos. Mike has a fully loaded Lord of Tzeentch and Tzeentch Exalted forging the way for his army. His main combat blocks consist of 14 Nurgle Warriors and 12 Tzeentch Chosen with a War Shrine.
Add in two Slaaneshi Chariots, two units of five Slaaneshi Marauder Horsemen and two units of Chaos Warhounds adds in a solid amount of chaff. Two Level Two Sorcerers – one Nurgle, one Tzeentch – rounds out the list.

Comp Difference: With Michael’s comp score of 13.4, Robert will have a 70 points advantage.

Keys to Round 3: Robert will struggle in combat against Michael’s list. He will need to chaff up the warriors and chosen before he commits to taken them down, as his lack of toughness with his chariots and Silver Helms will hurt him in those combats. Michael has a lot of chaff to get around himself and will be able to move around the table. It will be tough for Robert’s chariots to compete with those Michael is fielding.

Player: Jason Johnson
Region: South
Army Book: Bretonnians
Comp Score: 17.9 (Highest in the Tourney)

Round 2 Opponent and Result: Jason received a 20-0 tabling by Don Gilliland’s Orcs and Goblins army.

Total Points: 6

Round 3 Opponent: Peyton Shipman (NE) with Empire. Peyton has an interesting Empire list, focusing on lots of cavalry. He has a unit of nine Inner Circle Knights, two units of five Knights, a unit of five Demigryph Knights along with the war machine combo du jour of the Great Cannon, Helblaster and Steam Tank with a Master Engineer.
The centerpiece of the army is his General on a Griffon. Otherwise, the rest of his characters – a Captain BSB, Level 4 Light Wizard, Level 1 Light Wizard, and Warrior Priest are all mounted and will most likely join the Inner Circle Knight bus. An interesting addition is the Witch Hunter, which will have to go in the unit of 10 Archers.

Comp Difference: With Peyton’s comp score of 8.2, that gives Jason the full 800 point advantage in this match-up.

Keys to Round 3: Jason will need to get his Heroic Killing Blow champion into the Griffon, Steam Tank or Demigryphs at all costs, he has nothing else that can take them out. The only other way to take out the Demis is if he can get multiple charges off in one turn, but he will need his characters to do the majority of the damage. If he decides to play points denial, he will need to keep his knights circling the table. He must get charges on the Empire’s Knights or he could easily lose those combats.

Player: Mark Cox
Region: South
Army Book: Skaven
Comp Score: 12.3

Round 2 Opponent and Result: Mark managed a 15-5 victory over Todd Wiatt with Warriors of Chaos

Total Points: 25

Round 3 Opponent: Jarret Messing (NE) with Bretonnians. Jarret is using a spam of four Paladin’s, two on horse and two on Pegasus.  He also has a Level 4 Lady on Lore of Heavens and a Level 1 Damsel on Beasts. Otherwise, he has three units of Knights of the Realm (one with nine Knights, the other two with six), six Grail Knights, five Pegasus Knights and two Trebuchets.

Comp Difference: Both armies have a 12.3 comp score, meaning this is a straight-up game between the two players.

Keys to Round 3: The key for Mark will be getting his huge, expendable combat troops in the way of the massive knight units. Unfortunately for Mark, the Pegasus Knights will be able to fly where ever and dictate how they control the game. With this army, again, he needs to find a way to get the Doomwheel and Abomination into as good of a situation as possible and use the Pague Monks to tear face on some of the weaker Knight units.

Player: Alex Schmid
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: Dark Elves
Comp Score: 10.5

Round 2 Opponent and Result: Alex earned an 18-2 victory over Justin Balusik’s Bretonnians.

Total Points: 35

Round 3 Opponent: Travis Weyforth (NE) with Lizardmen. Travis has a large amount of skinks in this army – two units of 30 and four units of 10 (two with blowpipes). Throw in 23 Temple Guard, and it might be difficult to deal with all of the infantry units on the board. Plus, don’t forget the Slann BSB with Heavens and Skink Priest on Heavens, which will add to the combat ability of the Lizards. The Solar Engine on the Bastilidon could also cause some worries in close combat.

Comp Difference: Travis’ comp score of 15.6 gives him a 590 point advantage over Alex.

Keys to Round 3: Alex is the “Master” of moving his Masters around the table and getting them into combat, fast. Whereas Robert had issues breaking the Skinks in combat, I think Alex will be able to tear through them pretty easily. The Cavalry should be able to do some big damage against the Lizards, but the Magic could come up huge for Travis.

Player: Mike Gerold
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 9.8

Round 2 Opponent and Result: Mike earned a 18-2 victory over Dan Lindley’s Warriors of Chaos.

Total Points: 21

Round 3 Opponent: Josh Stuart (WC) with his Dark Elves, who dropped from Table 1 to Table 12. Josh has a pretty combat heavy army, focusing on a unit of 30 Executioners with the Razor standard and 23 Witch Elves. A unit of eight Shades will be able to move around his lines, where small units of Corsairs, Darkshards, Warlocks, Harpies and Dark Riders will be able to chaff around the table and set up re-directors.

Comp Difference: With Josh’s 9.1 comp score, Mike is giving up 70 points to Josh.

Keys to Round 3: The Executioners may be a bit difficult for Mike to deal with, he will need to take out some of those numbers with magic before he commits his Chariots, expecially with DE’s always striking first.

Player: Kris Kapsner
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 0.3

Round 2 Opponent and Result: Kris earned a 18-2 victory against Brian Brown’s Warriors of Chaos.

Total Points: 24

Round 3 Opponent: Ivan Jen (WC) and his Dwarfs. Four bolt throwers, 35 Quarrelers and an Organ Gun supported by two Master Engineers will dominate the shooting phase for the Dwarfs. A Runesmith with the Anvil of Doom will lead the 13 Hammerers, six Miners and 23 Warriors.

Comp Difference: With Ivan’s 17.2 comp score, Kris is giving the maximum of 800 points up in this matchup.

Keys to Round 3: Kris’ top priority will be keeping his Daemon Prince protected while flying across the table to smash the Dwarfs as fast as possible.

Round 3 began at approximately 3:45 Central. Remember, follow Table 1 all weekend on the Twitch feed for Atomic Empire. A bit later tonight, we will have a recap of Round 3 and the first day of competition, preparing for the final two games tomorrow. We will probably also have a couple of other players to focus on that are sitting in a solid position going into day two.

You can follow the pairings and results here.

Round 1 of the Masters is in the books. All in all, there were quite a few close matches. Five people ended up winning by 20-0: Jake Martin (NE) with Empire, Josh Stuart (WC) with Dark Elves, Larry Mottola (NE) with Vampire Counts, Ira Knight (MA) with Warriors of Chaos and Fred Whitney (WC) with Daemons of Chaos).

Apparently, Alex Davy ended up not being able to make it and was replaced by Grant Fetter in the last week (and I just didn’t put two-and-two together).

Here is where those we are following are at after Round 1.

Player: Kevin Bruins
Region: Midwest
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 6.2

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Kevin had a close win against Brian Brown’s Warriors of Chaos 12-8. The victory places him in roughly 20th on battle points.

Round 2 Opponent: Matt Beasley from the Mid-Atlantic with Dark Elves. Beasley won game one 12-8 against Jeremy Campbell (WC) and his Ogres.
Matt’s Dark Elves consist of a Dreadlord kitted up on a Black Dragon, with a Master on a Pegasus and a Master on a Dark Steed. He has three units of five Dark Riders, three Repeater Bolt Throwers, six Knights, 12 Warlocks, 11 Witch Elves and five Shades.

Comp Difference: Kevin’s 6.2 against Matt’s 10.5 means that Kevin is giving up 430 points to Matt. This will make it difficult for a huge victory for Kevin, but if things go right, he could still pull out a relatively close win.

Keys to Round 2: Interestingly, these two are running quite similar lists. Matt will have a bit of advantage with ground troops, but with Kevin’s fast flying, cavalry and chariot options, he should still be able to dictate what goes in where. A main focus in the Magic Phase will probably be trying to get the big magic missle off on the Dragon or Pegasus rider. The fact that both of these armies have hatred for each other should lead to some bloody battles.

Player: Robert Brandon
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: High Elves
Comp Score: 14.1

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Robert Brandon ended up losing to Travis Weyforth’s Lizardmen 14-6. From watching this game on the live stream, Robert looked to have an advantage early, but Travis was able to get enough wounds from shooting to deter enough of Robert’s attack force so that in the war of attrition, his units held off the attacks of the Elves.

Round 2 Opponent: Jeremy Campbell (WC) and his Ogre Kingdoms army. Jeremy had a close 12-8 loss to Matt Beasley’s Dark Elves (described above).
Jeremy is running an MSU approach, with two single Sabertusks,  an Ironblaster, two units of two Mournfang Cavalry, two units of three Yhetees, three units of three Ogres, four Leadbelchers, a block of six Ironguts (which will be the gut star to hold his characters most likely). Magic-wise, he has two Level 2 Firebellies (one with the Hellheart), a Bruiser BSB and a Tyrant General.

Comp Difference: Jeremy comes into the game with a 10 for comp score, meaning that Robert will have 410 point advantage starting the game.

Keys to Round 2: Robert will not be able to do much in close combat. He will most likely want to attempt to get his Skycutter Chariots in a good area to be able to shoot at the multiple-wound Ogres to attempt to peel off as many models as possible. His small units of Silver Helms will only end up being speed bumps for the Ogres, so he will have to attempt to get a couple of units into the chaff in order to take as many points as possible. But, even with the extra points, it looks to be an uphill battle for him against the Ogres.

Player: Jason Johnson
Region: South
Army Book: Bretonnians
Comp Score: 17.9 (Highest in the Tourney)

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Jason ended up taking a 14-6 loss against Ivan Jen and his Dwarfs.

Round 2 Opponent: Don Gilliland (WC) and his Orcs & Goblins. Don’s army has a ton of models. He has three blocks of  Goblins (one 45 and two at 22), a unit of 32 Night Goblins, two units of a 50 strong Squig herd and a unit of 46 Squig Hoppers. Throw in two Rock Lobbers, two Pumpwagons, and one solitary troll and this could cause some issues.
For characters he has two Orc Shamans and a Black Orc Big Boss and Night Goblin Big Boss.

Comp Difference: Don’s 17 comp score means that having the highest comp score in the tournament only nets Jason a 90 point advantage in Round 2, which isn’t what he was hoping for.

Keys to Round 2: This match-up again can cause some problems for Jason. He is definitely out shot in this one, which means he will have to move his knights into combat as fast as humanly possible. Deployment will end up being key as he will need to set up the proper matchups. Without flying units or anything to seek out the warmachines and other goodies, it looks to be a rough match-up for Jason.

Player: Mark Cox
Region: South
Army Book: Skaven
Comp Score: 12.3

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Mark ended up taking a 10-10 draw against Michael Hengl’s Warriors of Chaos

Round 2 Opponent: Todd Wiatt (MA) with Warriors of Chaos. Todd’s is fielding a Slaanesh army, with a Daemon Prince front and center, supported by two Exalted Heroes, one Tzeentch and one Slaanesh. The rest of the army has an MSU approach, with three units of 10 Marauders, two Shaggoths with Great Weapons, two Slaanesh Chariots, and a unit each of 10 Hellstriders and 10 Horsemen.

Comp Difference: Mark has a 130 point advantage, with a 12.3 to 11 comp score with Todd.

Keys to Round 2: As last time, Mark could struggle against the high strength of the chaos army. The good thing is he has steadfast over many of the units. Again, the Doomwheel and Abomination could be key to a victory in this one. I think Mark could have the advantage in this match-up.

Player: Alex Schmid
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Army Book: Dark Elves
Comp Score: 10.5

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Alex ended up getting a bit win against Mikey G’s Warriors of Chaos 17-3.

Round 2 Opponent: Justin Balusik with Bretonnians, coming off of an 18-2 victory against Ben Mitchell and his High Elves.

Comp Difference: Justin’s 11.3 means he will have an 80 point advantage against Alex.

Keys to Round 2: The first focus will be having the Repeater Bolt Throwers take out Justin’s two Trebs. Alex could possibly use the two units of 5 Harpies to tie up the Pegasus Knights and Characters. All-in-all, I feel this is a favorable matchup, with four RBTs able to take out a good amount of models if they hit well. Plus, the extra mounted characters could be used to his advantage as well.

Player: Mike Gerold
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 9.8

Round 1 Opponent and Result: As mentioned before, Mike took a 17-3 loss against Alex Scmid’s Dark Elves.

Round 2 Opponent: Dan Lindley’s (SO) Warriors of Chaos, who lost 15-5 against Justin Burgy’s High Elves. Dan’s army is nearly a mirror image of Mike’s. Both have a Tzeentch Lord on a disc, with Exalted Hero BSBs, the same amount of warhounds and Skullcrushers and a Shaggoth. Both have two chariots, though Dan’s are Khorne. Dan has an extra unit of Hellstriders and a unit of six Knights instead of the War Shrine.

Comp Difference: Dan’s 11.2 score means that Mike will start at a 140 point disadvantage per the comp.

Keys to Round 2: As in any mirror match, it will really come down to who is able to come up with the best strategy. Limiting mistakes and executing the game plan becomes key in this one.

Player: Kris Kapsner
Region: Midwest
Army Book: Warriors of Chaos
Comp Score: 0.3

Round 1 Opponent and Result: Kris lost to Chin Pann 14-6 in game one. That means, the game was more of a draw until comp figured into the scoring.

Round 2 Opponent: Brian Brown (WC) and his Warriors of Chaos. His army features a Slaaneshi Daemon Prince with a Nurgle Exalted Hero and 18 Nurgle warriors, buffeted by six trolls and nine Dragon Ogres. He does have some speed with two Slaaneshi Chariots and a Nurgle Gorebeast Chariot as well.

Comp Difference: Brian comes in with a 6.6 comp score, meaning Kris will need to overcome a 630 point difference in order to pull a draw.

Keys to Round 2: With the comp differential being as high as it is, Kris will need to be as aggressive as possible to get the game to a win. I think the Nurgle Daemon Prince takes out the Slaaneshi Daemon Prince in a head to head matchup. Kris will want to get his chariots into as much of the Ogres and Trolls as possible to clean them out.

Round 2 is well underway now. Remember, follow Table 1 all weekend on the Twitch feed for Atomic Empire. Otherwise, we’ll check back with you at the beginning of Round 3, at approximately 4:30 Central.

You can follow the pairings and results here.

From one dystopian universe to another- today in the 12 Games of Christmas, we take to the stars to visit one of the most beloved franchises in history with…

Game #6

The Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game is a tabletop dogfighting experience to be reckoned with, doing its best to represent the complexity of space battles and the beloved nature of the franchise in an accessible package. And Fantasy Flight Games, for the most part, succeeds brilliantly.

For me, some of my favorite parts of the movies are the massive space battles. This love of space combat was amplified with the classic space battle game X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, which still goes down as one of my favorite games of all time. Its ability to encapsulate the difficulties of space dog-fighting with the graphics of the late ’90s was phenomenal.

In the X-Wing Miniatures Game, you create a squadron from either the Empire or Rebel Alliance’s array of ships – from the classic X-Wing’s and Tie Fighters, to larger ships like Boba Fett’s Slave One and Han Solo’s Millenium Falcon, as well as the more obscure Imperial Lambda-class Shuttle and Kyle Katarn’s HWK-290 from the Jedi Knight series of video games.

Each of these ships comes pre-assembled and pre-painted and look quite impressive both up close and in action on the table-top.

A few of the Rebel Alliance ships in detal
A few of the Rebel Alliance ships

Along with the ships and their bases, you also receive a set of four cards with each ship, signifying the level of pilot operating the craft. Each one of these pilots is worth a varying amount of points – which add up toward the total points limit you are allowed for your squadron for the given game.

The lower point-cost pilots start with the generic “Yellow Squadron Rookie” and increase in cost to named pilots who have special abilities. An example is the X-Wing from the core game set – you have the option of two generic pilots and then Biggs Darklighter or Luke Skywalker; Biggs’ ability attracts fire to himself from friendly ships near him (as in the movie) whereas Luke’s special allows him to change defense die results to help him evade attacks.

Each of the different ships, as in other pieces of the Star Wars universe, are good for different uses: The X-Wing is your all around attack fighter, the Y-Wing resides in more of a heavy support role, the B-Wing brings large amounts of artillery to the party, while the A-Wing adds speed and missiles to the squad. The varying amount of Tie Fighters fill similar roles on the Imperial side while the large ships give you different bonuses and larger amounts of fire power to utilize against the enemy.

Is Slave One running away? No, just firing with its rear attack.

Each player then chooses their squadron to fit within the agreed-upon point limit, selecting combinations of ships and pilots along with adding upgrades that each ship type can add. This system adds variation to the game, using different combinations to craft the play style of your squadron towards your taste and tactics. If you want to out-shoot your opponents, take a B-Wing with some major artillery along with an ion cannon equipped Y-Wing and an X-Wing; if you want to maneuver your way around the opponent, then use a duo of A-Wings with an X-Wing or maybe even the cheapest Millennium Falcon option.

The gameplay then happens in simultaneous turns. This may seem like an oxymoron, but it is the best way to explain it.  Each ship comes with a movement dial, which includes each of the possible maneuvers you can make with that ship. The number is the distance you can move, the arrow shows the direction of the movement and the color is how taxing the effort is on your pilot and if it causes stress – which limits additional movements in this and subsequent turns.

The movement dial for the B-Wing – Very slow and plodding.

Each player chooses the movement for their ship on that turn and flips it upside down. Those movements are then revealed in reverse initiative order and the ships move according to the movement templates included with the core game set.

A Tie Fighter reveals its movement.

If the ship makes a red movement, the pilot is stressed and cannot make additional actions in the next phase until he makes a green movement to remove the stress in a subsequent turn.

Once all ships have moved, they are now able to determine secondary actions, which differ based upon the ship type and player card. These range from “Evade”, if they know they will be targeted, to “Focus”, which allows the pilot to change a focus role to a result of their choosing.

The battle now reaches the attack phase. In initiative order, each pilot receives an amount of dice per their card to roll (usually 2-3) to see the effectiveness of the attack. If the targeted ship is at close range, the attacker receives an extra die; if at long range, the defending ship receives an extra defense die.

The different possible rolls for attack (red) and defense (green).

As seen above (in order), the defender can roll to evade, focus or no result. The attacker can roll a hit, a critical hit (worth two damage) or a focus. The focus rolls are meaningless unless the pilot chooses the focus action. If selected, the player is then able to change the focus result to whichever die result they choose. Aside from doing extra damage, critical hits can also add handicaps to the pilot or ship hit with the attack.

The game then moves forward in these turns until one side claims victory by destroying all of the other ships or completing some form of objective determined at the start of the game.

The most interesting dynamic in the game is choosing your movement and then revealing that decision. Because you do not know how your opponent’s ships are going to move, you have to anticipate where they will be in order to maneuver your ships into the most advantageous position. Revealing movements is fun  and unpredictable – sometimes a ship will end up right in front of you, while at other times, one of your ships may end up far away from the action.

You can expect the first game or two to be pure learning experiences; you will make mistakes and forget different rules, phases or abilities. In those first few games, I would highly recommend trying a range of ship combinations to figure out what options out there fit into your tactical tendencies.

Once you figure out the rules, a moderately sized game (60 – 75 points) will usually not take longer than a couple of hours, making the game fairly accessible for its level of complexity. 100 point games or battles with more than two players will ultimately add to the game time, but it still feels manageable (I guess most things do compared to Warhammer).

There are a few aspects of the game that do cause difficulties, however. At times, especially once you start playing in higher-point contests, the actual movement of the miniatures on the table can get quite difficult to carry out cleanly. Precise movement is paramount in this game – even the slightest extra rotation when placing a ship onto the table or slightest nudge while moving another ship can alter whether a ship is within line-of-sight or not.

There were a few times in some of our games where ships would be crossing on top of each other and you would have to alter the initiative order of the movement to fit ships into place. Even doing that, at times the table looks more like a game of bumper cars than a space battle as ships end up  stuck to each other for a round.

This is only made more difficult once you start playing with the larger ships. This is because the penultimate battles will send your smaller fighters towards those ships. Their smaller movements through the larger bases of the ships sometimes causes one big jumbled mess. Granted, part of that simulates how hairy and discombobulated dogfighting can be, but it can be at times a hindrance to the gaming experience, as you can end up spending more time measuring and futzing around with the positioning of the ships than actually playing the game.

One particularly messy exchange, with the Falcon at its center.

There are also a few combinations in the game that seem overpowered. For instance, an X-Wing with R2-D2 – which can help regain shields each turn – is a nearly unstoppable force for the cost of only four extra points. Granted, it makes sense per the films, but from a game-balancing perspective, it can be problematic. I could see this always being selected in a Rebel army at a tournament.

Aside from those issues, it definitely is an interesting spin on tabletop wargaming. The startup costs are relatively cheap, by wargaming standards: A basic starter set of the core game and two expansion packs of a ship for each faction will run you approximately $60 – $70 at full retail price; utilizing internet deals could drop that cost by at least a third. This gives you enough models to play simple but enjoyable games with both sides – which is perfect for learning the mechanics and rules.

Fantasy Flight Games is soon expanding the game by adding larger class ships to the fray, in the Tantive IV Rebel Command ship and the Rebel Assault Transport. These new ships are ushering in the new Epic Play style to X-Wing, which is starting to encroach into the levels of battles seen at the end of some of the original movies.

So, if you are a life-long fan of Star Wars like me or are just looking to test your tabletop general skills in a galaxy far, far away, you cannot go wrong picking up this game. May the force – and the dice – be with you!

Rating: Six out of Seven Stars

Have you played the game? What ships do you most want in your collection? Share your opinions in the comments below.

Where to Buy

Quite possibly the best place to buy X-Wing Miniatures are from Miniature Market. They always have discounts on items (when they have them in stock) and if you order $99 or more of products from them, it is free shipping.

Amazon will also have deals from time to time on some of the different expansion packs.

You will also be able to find X-Wing miniatures at many comic/game stores and also at the Fantasy Flight Games Online Store or in person at their Event Center.