Christian Busch

Broomfield
Colorado
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Background

Ever since we demoed this game at Gencon, my friends and I had been chomping at the bit for it to come out. So when we all found we were ordering the same amount, we decided to start our X-Wing adventure off in grand style: a massive 400pt vs 400 pt war using every ship we collectively own. We knew this would be an all day affair but we still wanted it to be reasonable so we decided against a massive kill em all session and instead went with a modified scenario.

The Scenario we chose was the Political Escort mission from the Core Set rules. To make it work with this many ships, we modified the scenario by including 6 Rebel Shuttles. These shuttles had all the same stats as the original rules except each had 6 Hull and 2 Shields. Also, each shuttle would be worth varying points and the Rebels would win if they could get a minimum number of points across the play area. Because we were using a 3' x 6' mat, we increased the shuttle move speeds to 3 speed straight templates and 2 speed banks (L and R).

Before the game began, the Rebel team would secretly assign point values to the shuttles and place them at the rebel end of the table. The point values were 5, 3, 2, 2, 2, and 1. The rebels needed to get 6 points of rebel shuttles across the map to win the game.

Lastly, the 1 point shuttle ship, if destroyed, explodes and can deal damage to all nearby ships. To make this quite dynamic, we made the explosion pretty brutal: ships within range 1 receive 4 hits, ships within range 2 receive 3 hits, and ships within range 3 receive 2 hits. Ships hit in this way roll Agility normally to see how much damage they actually take.



Initial Set Up

We gave each team an option to place a minimal number of ships closer to the center of the map as scouts. The Rebels declined and placed all their ships near their shuttles on the back edge of the board. The Imperials decided to place 7 or 8 ships in an advanced deployment to help soften up the shuttles before meeting their main fleet.

Rebel starting set up


Empire starting set up


And so it begins...


The rebels push forward with most their ships moving at full speed straight while the imperials follow suit. In the beginning, 3x6 seems a little too big but we'll soon find out that once the battles are joined, there won't be a map big enough to contain the grand melee that is 42 ships trying to destroy each other.



By round 2, the first imperial scouts reached the Rebel main forces. Due to some insane shuttle defense rolling (3 shots in a row were completely negated because the shuttle defense roller threw down max evades). The Empire's scout rush strategy failed miserably as 7 of the 8 scout fighters were destroyed in the next couple of rounds. With a wall of 15 rebel escorts, the scouts had really no chance.

First salvos from the Imperial scouts


Imperial scouts press farther into the Rebel defenses


Imperial scouts destroyed


The rebels got a moment to regroup after removing the scout threat...


but soon ran into the bulk of the Empire force.


2 Shuttles went down quickly against multiple packs of TIE fighters supported by missile toting TIE advanced fighters.

Shuttle 4 is in some serious trouble


A squadron of Ys can't protect Shuttle 6


The last minute sacrifice by Biggs draws off TIE attacks from the high point shuttles...


Allowing the rebels to push their remaining shuttles through a treacherous asteroid patch and get some distance away from the TIE packs.


The rebels were all jammed up in the backfield while the Empire took down the ammunition shuttle (destroying a TIE Fighter and TIE advanced, while wounding 2 Ys).


The rebels desperately needed to remove the remaining TIE pack before it could descend on the remaining high point shuttles. At this point, if the TIEs could remove the big 5 point shuttle, they could still win the game even though they were quickly becoming out numbered. Two critical Ion Cannon hits forced the remaining pack TIEs into an asteroid.


Even though the TIEs survived, they couldn't fire and ruined what would ultimately be their final attack run on the shuttle group.


Vader ended up doing 3 damage to one of the remaining shuttles but couldn't finish it off before the rebels regrouped and dogpiled 5 target locks on him, taking him down.


The remaining turn cleaned up the last remnants of the Empire and left one lone Black Squadron pilot to try to make it home and report about their failure to stop the rebellion escape.


The final board showing the ships tracking right before the end. This board was invaluable during the game and really helped to keep things running smoothly.


Conclusion

The scenario played out extremely well. At first, with the imperial scouts wiped out in the first few rounds, everyone thought this game was going to be a runaway. After the main fleet of TIEs came into play and showed that even a gang of 3 or 4 is enough to wipe out a shuttle, the rebels really started to sweat it. Had the TIEs found some of the higher point value shuttles, this game could have turned against the rebels very quickly.

We had a blast playing this epic sized game and it really drove home how open-ended this game can be.

Stats

Empire ships:

Vader
Steele
Howlrunner
Mithel
Backstabber
Gundark
Dark Curse
Nightbeast
4 Storm Squadron Pilots
4 Black squadron pilots
5 Academy pilots

Only one Black Squadron pilot remained when we called the game with the remaining rebel shuttles within one move of the end of the mat. Empire had 3 Concussion missiles and 3 cluster missiles. Talents were 3 Determinations, 1 Squad Leader, 2 Swarm tactics, and 2 Marksmanship.

Rebel ships:

Wedge
Luke
Salm
Dries
Vander
Biggs)
5 Rookie Pilots
4 Gold Squadron pilots
6 Rebel Shuttles

We had a little mess up in the upgrade cards and the rebels were short 2 Ion Cannons so only 4 Y wings had Ion Cannons. 4 proton torpedoes, 4 R5 Astromechs, 3 R2 Astromechs, and the rest of the unique Astromechs finished out the rebel squad (R2D2, R2F2, R5D8, and R5K6).

8 players (3 Rebel, 5 Imperial)
Set up time: 60 minutes
Tear down: 30 minutes
Gameplay: 6 hours
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Eric B.
United States
East Lansing
Michigan
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Looks amazingly fun. I want to play with you guys!

The idea for using six shuttles with the hidden values is a really nice touch and a way to add another nice element to the game.
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SCOTT WADYKO
United States
St Louis
Missouri
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Amazing brother. best one yet!
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Bernd Caspers
Germany
Mönchengladbach
Unspecified
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Amazing!
6h is really quick for that kind of monster session, in most other games you would start something like that off with enthusiasm and then after a few hours you realize that the game will take forever to conclude, get desillusioned and quit.
It really speaks for the game design.
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Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
Australia
Perth
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A very good read, and even though the table did look pretty packed with tokens and things the board seemed to really keep things together, a good reminder for myself when I have the mates around for a big game in the future.

Nice scenario variant too.
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Jeffry Welfare
Australia
Guildford
New South Wales
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I'm guessing that whiteboard was worth it's weight in gold trying to keep everything in order. And with the price of gold at the moment....

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Mike Stevens
United States
Nebraska
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Great session report and photos. Although 6 hours is a long time, I bet it flew by. My buddy and I have each had a couple of 100 point battles and they took right around 2 hours to finish but the actual gameplay just seemed to fly by.

I really like the scenario you set up with the 6 shuttles each having a different point value. It reminded me of trying to get my highest valued people off the island in Survive: Escape from Atlantis!.

If there is anyone in the Nebraska/Iowa area that has some ships and wants to try to get a big game of Star Wars X-Wing going please contact me.
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Pat Johnston
United States
North Liberty
Iowa
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Where are those shuttles from? Much cooler than cardboard chits...
 
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Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
Australia
Perth
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WoTC SW Starship Battles
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Sebastian Grawan
Germany
Eicklingen/Celle
Niedersachsen
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Superb session report.

I LOVE how you handle the 3d Asteroids with the crystal bases. This way you still can see the cardstock asteroids beneath them. Genious!
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Ken Newell
Canada
Prince George
British Columbia
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What were the asteroids made of? They looked great!
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Christian Busch

Broomfield
Colorado
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Thanks all! I was also surprised by some of the players mentioning that, though it was 6 hours, it didn't feel like it (until we were all driving home at 10pm on a Sunday...). It really was one of those situations where we were like, hey when did the sun set? Ah well, let's finish out this round. Hey, anyone hungry? Nah, let's just push through and get this round done... Is it REALLY 9:30??

As Squallgoku mentions, the shuttle proxies are from the WotC minis line. They are Republic Cruisers and I picked them up on ebay for about $3-$5 a ship. The bases for the shuttles and asteroids come from a 25 pack of 1.375" hex base Litko Flight stands. The asteroids are lava rocks spray painted tan to sort of match the existing asteroid templates. Drilled a hole in the bottom of them and they sit right on top. As Rashktah says, the stands are clear so that we can still follow the official obstacle rules and see the general template shape. When a ship looks like it will run through one, it's easy to move the 3D asteroid, complete the move, and replace as needed.

And yes, the whiteboard will be a staple of any battles we run over 100 points. We need to add a few things like who had what talent because the board had people forgetting which astromech they had or if they had some talent or another.

The other testament to the game system is that we had 3 people with 8-10 plays under their belt, 1 person with a couple of plays in, and 4 completely new players. It still taught up very fast and was engaging for the new players as well as the "veterans".
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Dave Smith
United Kingdom
Gillingham
Kent
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Excellent, there must have been a heck of a lot of collisions though.
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Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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Impressive, most impressive.

I have to bribe my friends into buying some ships of their own
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Christian Busch

Broomfield
Colorado
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Major Mishap wrote:
Excellent, there must have been a heck of a lot of collisions though.


yeah, but in a way, that makes the game quicker as people aren't debating on what action to take. It seemed to cause more issues for the Rebels than the Imperials (as you can see in that traffic jam shot with all the rebel ships).
 
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Mike Brown
United States
Ohio
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Man , thats a small game board for that many.
 
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Will Harvey
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I'm trying to find models to use for the shuttle too so that I can give more of a feeling of depth to my games instead of just protecting a marker. Are the titanium ships the best bet for this?
 
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Christopher Taylor
United States
Lake Forest
California
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Epic session report and pics. Thanks for sharing.
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Baphomet Natas
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Stunning! What size was the white board?
 
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Chad Hackman
Canada
Brampton
Ontario
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Come on...support the game and buy a few ships. You don't have enough yet!

Great report and I love the effort put into it.
 
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Christian Busch

Broomfield
Colorado
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Baphomet69 wrote:
Stunning! What size was the white board?


I think it was the large 35" x 22" size.
 
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Christian Busch

Broomfield
Colorado
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xKoBiEx wrote:
Come on...support the game and buy a few ships. You don't have enough yet!

Great report and I love the effort put into it.


Yeah I don't know what's going to happen when we double the ship count with all the Wave 2 stuff... Maybe have to make a whole weekend around it ;-)
 
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A Warlock of
United Kingdom
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All those ships, but no-one had a clothes iron?

Great game!
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Gordy Crozier
United Kingdom
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About to drown in my own dribble just looking at the photos! Far too cool! My fiance is buying me a core set for Christmas and I'm going to try to pick up some of the individual blisters myself, especially after reading that!
Was it difficult remembering whose ships were which? Do you think there is scope for bigger ships (Corvettes, Star Destroyers, Mon Calamari cruisers) or do you think it would upset the scale too much?
 
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Christian Busch

Broomfield
Colorado
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Quote:
Was it difficult remembering whose ships were which? Do you think there is scope for bigger ships (Corvettes, Star Destroyers, Mon Calamari cruisers) or do you think it would upset the scale too much?


It wasn't too bad remembering who had what. We wrote down whose ships went with what before hand and tried to organize it logically- all my ships were the generic academy pilots and rookies, etc. regarding the tokens, we all had the same amount so we just made sure everyone had the same amount of tokens at the end. It took a while to tear down to be sure.

I'd like to do another mega session with a Corvette instead of the little shuttles but it will take some designing to make sure it's balanced before hitting a long multi-hour session again. I've seen some great variant designs on a Corvette so I'll start there. Large ships are going to be tough and won't really ever scale to the game except in scenario set pieces. Star destroyers won't really work IMO because they will be just too large

I'm glad to hear more people getting into the game and I hope you have fun!

Quote:
All those ships, but no-one had a clothes iron?

Ha! That does look a little bad in the pics. We didn't really notice during game.
 
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