Tuesday, 13 May 2014

"Dare To Dream!"

This week my friend CH is staying with me while he does some teacher training type stuff. Or something. Anyway, because I not only (finally) received my TIE fighter expansion pack, but I went to the trouble of buying a piece of black drill cotton to make into a 3'x3' playing area today, I introduced him to Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures, and he likes it, which is excellent. I only have Imperial Navy vessels, however, so we had to do some 'training exercises'.

Black 3, 'Backstabber', finally arrives...

Darth Vader's Black Squadron, or at least half of it. L-R, Black 6, Black 4 'Dark Curse', Black 5, Black 3 'Backstabber', Black 1 Lord Vader, Black 2 'Mauler Mithel'.

The first exercise pitted a Tempest Squadron TIE Advanced (CH) against an Obsidian Squadron Pilot and an Academy Pilot in TIEs. This game ended after the Tempest Squadron ship, having 'killed' the Academy Pilot, flew off the board by accident.

Then we played a scenario from the rulebook, whereby I, taking the part of the OPFOR (Howlrunner with Swarm Tactics, Mauler Mithel with Marksman and Winged Gundark) was up against Marek Stele in his TIE Advanced with Cluster Missiles, and two Academy Pilots. This game showed us the true power of the Pilot Skill 1 TIE, as the rookies out-flew and out-fought the veterans. Every 'kill' in the game came from the laser cannons of Academy TIEs - Howlrunner first, then CH's two Academy pilots to the guns of Howlrunner's replacement... an Academy pilot!

CH busily crashing Marek Stele into 'Winged Gundark'. Early on in Exercise 2. You can see that his Academy Pilots on the left have survived a pass by Howlrunner and Mauler Mithel, who are yet to move.

So, in a fit of giggles, we created ACADEMY SQUADRON: eight Academy pilots, costing 96 points. Motto? "Dare to dream!" Radio chatter heard during the game? "That wasn't required reading!" (on crashing) "See you at graduation!" (on killing Howlrunner) "Do I get bonus credit for that manoeuvre?" (on pulling a K-turn) and so on. I fully intend to take this unit to a tournament, with a t-shirt showing a TIE pilot giving the thumbs up over the slogan "See you at graduation, scum!" on the front, and 'ACADEMY SQUADRON - DARE TO DREAM' on the back. I don't expect to win, but I do expect to cause much laughter.

In the end, CH won that second game, with Marek Stele, having killed nothing but scanned two of the three satellites, flying off the board to the impotent rage of the surviving OPFOR. Half-rations for Squadron Leader Cive 'Howlrunner' Rashon!

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