Monday, 10 February 2014

Contemplating X-Wing wave 4 and a general hobby update...

Howdy Folks!

Its been a while since i've posted anything really. So i'll treat this as a few mini updates before i get to my main discussion topic.

Most of my hobby time of late as been spent attempting to plow through some of my unfinished painting projects.

I've still got maybe 8-10 guys to finish the detailing and basing on for our doubles weekend, as well as finish my fortification (Im building a void shield generator! ooooh!) Theyre coming along steadily and im confident they will be done in time but ive been doing them alongside another project.
Following an enjoyable foray back into the land of square bases ive dug out my necropolis knights and have been making a concerted effort to get them painted, despite that fact that the process isnt especially fun.

In fact, lets make that discussion point #1, models that you really just dont 'enjoy' painting.
I know some of us just dont enjoy painting full stop, i wouldnt class myself in that bracket but there have been a few models over the course of my hobby life that really just havent clicked with me once ive started taking a brush to them and i find it a real chore to get them finished. The ones that really stick out in my mind are both from the same range actually, the aforementioned necropolis knights and the tomb kings chariots.
I think the problem with the knights is that i just couldnt in my mind figure the process out.

When painting a new unit i tend to work out what i think will be a good process, as in, undercoat black, base  with colour A, paint a layer with colour B, wash with wash X, drybush with colour c, details, sand/paint the base, varnish. Hopefully job done.
In practice this might vary slightly but once ive got the process down and i know the end result looks good i can get to work on all of them.
With the knights and with the chariots i just couldnt visualise the process in my mind and as such the few that id started painting all ended up using different processes and that just turned me off of the whole thing.
And in the case of the chariots it really didnt help that the riders kept breaking.
Anyway, end aside.
The 6 knights are now very nearly done and im looking forward to getting a chance to field them in a painted state finally!

Topic 2!
Managed to meet up with Pete last week to get a couple of games of x-wing in, we played twice, i was imperials both times and we shared the spoils with 1 victory a piece. As we've played a few more games i've started to spot 2 little balance issues that rankle with me somewhat, but nothing too extreme.
It's mainly from the point of view of a mainly Imperial player getting reamed by nasty tech on the rebel side that deny dodge rolls.
The culprits are Wedge Antilles and the nasty autoblaster, in my opinion part of the balance of the imperial side compared to the rebels is that, while the imperials are more fragile in terms of hit points this is balanced in part by the generally cheaper cost of the ships and partly by the extra dodge dice that the imperial ships get to roll.
However Wedge and the autoblaster negate 1 or more of the dodge dice the imperial player would get to roll. Obviously Wedge is not a cheap pilot, so i get that. And the autoblaster is available to both sides, but its a lot less useful when shooting at a ship that has 1 dodge dice but somewhere between 4 and 8 hit points between its shields and hull points than it is when shooting at a ship that has 3 defence dice but only 3 hull points. Maybe im not looking at the equipment in the right way and theres something i could be using as an imperial player to help level the field in similar ways but its not jumped out at me as of yet.

Anyway, Saturday morning rolls around and some interesting news breaks.

It was curious timing i think that id played a couple of games of x-wing and was contemplating the balance of the hardy but fewer in number rebel fleets versus the flimsy agile swarms of imperials when Fantasy Flight spoiled the next full wave and its a decent spread of true fighter craft that further muddy the waters of that original balance.

If you havent seen the announcement yet its here:

Im very curious to see the full stats on all these ships, but as its not out till around June i think we shall be waiting a while to see more of them yet.
The key points that really jump out at me from what we can see so far though are the fact that the rookie pilot Z-95 is only 12 points and it can even mount a missile.
The E-wing is on par with the x-wing in terms of its stats and what upgrades it can mount, but can also barrel roll (my second favourite action in the game behind Boost!)
The TIE Phantom has a cloaking device (god knows what the mechanic will be for that, but i do love me some stealth!) and appears to have a base FOUR attack dice but only has 2 defence dice.
The TIE Defender is the ship i've been waiting for since i first got into the game and it doesnt look like it disappoints, powerful, tough and agile (though im guessing not quite as agile as the interceptor, seeing as it doesnt come with boost)

Personally i think this looks like the most exciting wave yet in terms of ships i want to get my hands on and use, but judging by the official forum and some blog comments its had a mixed reaction so far.
As i understand a big part of that is purely because this is the first time a wave has been entirely made up of expanded universe craft, some people are stoked about it and some arent so pleased, i get that, fair enough.
A chunk of criticism has appears to be directed at the ships in game terms though, the fact that the rebels will be getting a 12 point ship akin to the academy TIE and that the imperials are getting a tough ship with good damage output in the form of the TIE defender (something i think would equate to an imperial equivalent of the b-wing).
So Discussion Point #2
What are your thoughts on wave 4? Does the loss of that playstyle dichotomy between the 2 factions dilute the game or make it more interesting?

Forgot i had this little snapshot of a particularly nasty centre of board pile-up from the first game. Thankfully we managed to get out of it without too many crashes in the end. Was quite satisfying to realise we're getting the hang of maneuvering about in confined spaces.

1 comment:

  1. Posting that photo reminded me of another little thing i wanted to mention.
    I got 2 games in with very similar lists, both including a Lambda shuttle.
    In the first game i equipped it with a heavy laser cannon and intended to use it as a big bruiser gunboat. It was pretty shit if im honest.
    As its the first big ship without the ability to fire outside of its main arc it has to actually manoeuvre to line up its shots. Problem being its dial is pretty shocking for this. Its only hard turns are stressful manoeuvres. If i recall it got to shoot once, maybe twice, it did cause a couple of points of damage, but it spent most of the time not having anything to shoot at.
    Second game i changed its gear up and attempted to use it more as a general support ship, i took the pilot that is able to absorb someone elses stress tokens and anti pursuit lasers (can cause damage to ships that overlap it)
    I didnt once get to use either of its abilities, but it got a couple of shots off, soaked up some damage and just generally got in the way.
    I think the primary use for this ship will be to complement a strategy that requires target locks (probably something to do with missiles and torpedos)