Sunday, 23 November 2014

474 - X-Wing Game 6: 'Attack Run' (Epic)

In my last post I outlined our pre-game minigame of X-Wing, which the Rebels won. The idea of this was that the winner of that pre-game would take the role of the attacker in this game - 'Attack Run'...but as it happened, the Empire ships never had much of a chance, and besides, DS and I really wanted to try out his shiny-new flight of TIE Bombers...so the we decided that the Empire ships would be the attacking force in our main scenario.


[above] "Assume attack formation!"
We'd decided to play Babaganoosh's 'Attack Run' mission [please see footnote] and I'll summarise it here:

220 pts of Empire are attacking lengthwise down a 6'x3' table to strike at a 'research installation' with 2 shields and 6 hull points. Stopping them are 150 pts' worth of Rebels with another 100 pts in reserve: to arrive behind the attackers at the end of turn 2. Ouch! The Research Installation is also protected by a field of rather nasty proximity mines explosive asteroids. Ouch, ouch!
Very long story short: the atttack failed, the action barely left the attacker's third of the table, and it was really really good fun!

The forces, some pics, then notes:

Annyingly, some of the images just won't go vetical today...:
[above] This is my mostly accurate reconstruction of what DS brought to the table - he doesn't use a digital version (yet).
[above] The round marker at this end constitutes the target Research Station. DS keeps reminding me that it's time for Drax to get building some space scenery...
[above] The lines close...
[above] ...and in come my reinforcements! They quickly launch some torpedoes at the Bombers...and one X-Wing dies to TIE fire. 
[above] Mxing it up more. Check out the poor old Y-Wing at the back!
[above] One bomber down...
[above] ...and the other. Y-Wing had a part in this one's demise too! *grins*.
[above] And a neat wee barrel roll brings that last bomber just into Dantels' arcs. Sadly since then I've realised that the 'Enhanced Scopes' means that you have to move as if on Pilot Skill 0: I thought at the time that it was optional thing. Oops: sorry!
Highlights of the game:
  • DS's formation flying: never in the field of galactic combat has a squadron of TIEs moved so balletically. Seriously: he moved them in unison, headed-off my every move and stymied my shooting so much that I failed to kill a single measly one of them!
  • My lone Y-Wing on guard duty: tasked with simply pootling left-to-right across the edge of the minefield. I did exactly that - in a gratifyingly useful way!
  • The TIE Bombers looked AMAZING.
  • Rather pleasingly, the fatal last shot was made by Nera Dantels in her B-Wing after a really really nifty wee barrel roll: we've not done much of that before, and it was one of only two bits of good flying I did all game (DS definitely has the edge on me there).
  • We didn't disclose to each other our upgrades, or what I had in reserve. This became particularly pertinent as I thought that DS's Firespray and Defender were guning for the target too (it could only be damaged by ordinance), so I thought I was absolutely on the ropes and about to lose. Turns out the destruction of the last TIE Bomber also ended DS's chances  for success.
  • Linked to not knowing about upgrades, just as Dantels' B-Wing had turned broadside-on to the flow of battle, DS's Onxy Squadron TIE Defender pilot utterly banjaxed her by opening up with a surprise ion cannon. Git.
What could've made it better and lessons learnt:
  • The mission really didn't use all of the table - barely a third - and it really needed to: the mines, for example, didn't come in to play at all (and they would've been really hard to deal with if they had, too!)
  • The defender's reinforcements arriving right up the exhaust pipes of the attacking bombers gave me WAY too much of an advantage - not that I used it as fully as I could! Instead of this, it might be better for the defender's reinforcements to arrive from a randomised position, or later on, or in (randomised?) dribs-and-drabs, or even start on the table beside the Research Installation!
  • The imbalance in points allocation made no real sense, given the current mission as it is.
  • I mistakenly equipped Dantels with an ion torpedo, which the squadron builder program I use told me came with my 'Rebel Aces' pack. It turns out it doesn't. If it seems odd that I didn't realise this, there are legitimate reasons too dull even for me to go into.
  • The 3-attack-dice proximity mines really would have been utterly brutal had they been encountered by a shot-up attacking squadron - especially as there is no indication in the mission briefing that defence dice may be rolled!
  • Maybe the defender's starting ships could start further back too, in order to give the attackers time to manoeuvre into some formation other than line abreast.
Despite what appear to be our many reservations, though, the game was a real blast to play, and I'm very grateful to DS for having the grace to continue to fight on, even though he was absolutely on the ropes with his last bomber whilst I laboured under the panicked impression that his bombers were but a decoy for the unscather Firespray to zoom down the flank and destroy the target with impunity on its own.

Not even my lone Y-Wing could'v stopped it!

Thanks for reading. There'll be a non-X-Wing post soon, I think...

- Drax.

Footnote:
Babaganoosh is a frequent and popular contributor to the entirely excellent Fantasy Flight Games Mission Control (Beta), and whilst I'm fairly sure I'm not allowed to reproduce images from their site here, I urge you to visit it (not through Internet Explorer, mind) here [link].