Restarting the Blog! X-Wing is my new friend

Haven’t touched this thin in a lonnnnnng time.

Probably time to.

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I’ve really done a 360 on my hobbying. While previously a closet 40k player (Blood Angels, Dark Eldar, Orks), I have entire rid myself of anything to do with Games Workshop. While I still love the amazing stories they produce and love looking at the new pretty models produced monthly, I can’t bring myself to invest in a game system I no longer believe in.

With that being said, I have sold all my 40k armies and most residual gaming system to which I am not currently vested in.

Currently, my main systems are;

  1. X-Wing
  2. Firestorm Armada
  3. D&D
  4. Dystopian Wars

And that’s it. Even Dystopian Wars has taken a serious back burner compared to the others.

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X-Wing has seriously taken my attention these last few months. The game system is surprisingly easy to understand and quick to pick up for almost anyone. I’ve expanded into both Rebels and Imperial as both offer different play styles that offer new ways to play.

Right now, I probably favor Imperials more, simply because of the current meta which focuses on hitting hard and flying out of arc like a mad man.

As a part of my pledge to restarting this blog, I plan to post as many of the games I play with simple battle reports (with pictures of course).

Can’t wait to get back into this.

 

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Khans of Tarkir Prerelase Event

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Despite never talking about this here on the Other Side of Endor, I am a huge Magic the Gathering Fan.  Truth be told, I have played on and off since I was in middle school, and now as an adult with some “real” money I have gotten back into the hobby in replace of Warhammer and Firestorm Armada for the time being.

So Thursday night (Friday Morning) was the first night of prerelease for Khans of Tarkir.  I chose not to go based on scheduling conflicts but registered for the Sunday limited event.  First time ever going to an official sealed event and I had a blast!  I won’t do much of a game recap but overall was a fantastic learning experience to improve my playing and just have a great time.  Plus, I came out head with almost $45 in cards outside of the $30 entrance fee.

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Rattleclaw Mystic
: 6.15
Anafenza, The Foremost: 6.17 (down from predicted $8)
Flooded Strand: 20.9
2xPolluted Delta: 22.4
Total= $78.02
All prices from MTGPrice as of Sept 23, 2014

I actually traded for the Polluted Delta with a bunch of my uncommon’s from the event that I didn’t want and and some random multi-coloured rares from my binder.  I actually then turned around and sold it to a my LGS the same day.

The event itself was really well run and the venue we very nice.  Clean bathrooms, spacious playing area, well labelled tables, and even a nice break between the morning and afternoon matches for a chance to grab a quick bite which was nice.

In picking a clan I struggled between Temur and Abzan.  I already have a Gruul Aggro deck for casual/standard play so I was drawn to Temur initially.  However, by Sunday the interwebs were a buzz with Abzan being the top clan to pick for sealed limited.  I went to Reddit, my usual stomping ground for Magic the Gather related information, and decided based on the general consensus to stick to Temur, even though Abzan and even Mardu looked good.  In hindsight since I pulled and Anafenza and an okay selection of outlast creatures I could have done a viable Abzan.  However, my mana fixing for Temur was significantly greater with Frontier Bivouac, Embodiment of Spring, and Rattleclaw Mystic, that I felt compelled to go Temur.

Deck List

Creatures (13)
1x Ainok Tracker
1x Bear’s Companion
1x Bloodfire Expert
1x Embodiment of Spring
2x Glacial Stalker
1x Heir of the Wilds
1x Jeskai Windscout
2x Snowhorn Rider
1x Thousand Winds
1x Tuskguard Captain
1x Woolly Loxodon

Instants
(6)
1x Crippling Chill
1x Dragonscale Boon
1x Feed the Clan
1x Icy Blast
1x Swift Kick
1x Winterflame

Sorcery (1)
1x Barrage of Boulders

Enchantment(1)
1x Dragon Grip

Artifact (2)
1x Lens of Clarity
1x Temur Banner

Land (18)
5x Forest
5x Mountain
4x Island
2x Frontier Bivouac
1x Rugged Highlands
1x Swiftwater Cliffs

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Kinda of a mixed bag with little repetition, as are many sealed prerelease decks. While I actually didn’t win any games. I had two very close tie games against Jeskai splashing black and mirror Temur. Literally down to the wire on time limit, and pushed both games to ties. My two of my three loses were to Strong Abzan synergy decks that were dropping tons of +1/+1 counter creatures. Simply hard to counter unless you can early aggro with Mardu. My last was against Mardu and my opponent an I had a lot of fun. First two games were super close and then then I had some poor draws and couldn’t take on the barrage of hitters on turn five. Regardless, a really fun day with some great opponents.

My MVP cards for the event were;

Rattleclaw Mystic: Awesome mana fixing, great morph flip, a must in sealed or Draft Temur because its just so damn good.
Lens of Clarity: Good for any deck but sooooooo crucial for limited Khans. To see not only what your top card is but also what any morph creatures were for 1 cost is just stupid. Put this out in at least four different games and it saved my ass a bunch.
Icy Blast: Tap for XB. So helpful for those massive punches. Great to drop right after a bears companion.
Thousand Winds: Game winner here for me, flip for 5BB is a lot but I did it in four different games (Had the entire board wiped a few times too…) Probably the best creature in my sealed deck and it wasn’t even Temur.

All in all great event. Looking forward to going to the next one

Welcome back Commander.

Been a while since I wrote on this blog. With the current release of Version 2.0 of FSA, I have been dusting off my Directorate fleet for battle. In comparison to the former versions, the Directorate has improved tremendously.

Right off the bat, I am seriously looking to competitively use my Overseer Carrier with a full compliment of wings for the first time as either support or command element for my fleet. At 125pts with cloaking, Cyber-warefare weapons upgrade, (for free). With a full compliment of wings, this would be a nasty activation. Both the Executioner and Justice Cruisers have both significantly improved over the previous versions. Justice Cruisers now have gun-racks, cloaking, special-forces MAR, and Bio-hazard Ammo available for 5+. So for 170pts I can run two of them and board the shit out of other cruisers.

Judgement Battleship (5pts +1 Turn Limit, 15pts +1 Shield, 10pts Bio-hazard Ammo)=200
Overseer Class Carrier (Cyber-warfare, 5pts +1 Mov)=130
Wing Squadron (6xBomber)=30
Justice Heavy Cruiser x1 (5pts Bio-hazard Ammo)=85
Executioner Cruiser x2 (10pts Bio-hazard Ammo, 10pts Special Forces)=130
Enforcer Frigates x4 (20pts for Bio-hazard Ammo)=120
Enforcer Frigates x4 (20pts for Bio-hazard Ammo)=120

Total Points=815

Essentially Bio-hazard Ammo on as many ships as possible to play havoc on the enemy fleets crews. Special forces spread around as well to increase my boarding opportunities. Maxed out Enforcer frigates, which are now highly versatile with turrets. At this point level, a carrier and a battleship might be too much, should the situation require it, Destroyers can easily be exchanged in this list.

Right now, most of my fleets in undergoing a simple green run in preparation for a new fleet paint job in preparation for the engagement with my fleet. I have also begun painting my Tarakian forces up. I am really considering starting a fleet centrally based on the Tarakian’s as soon as the updated Alliance Fleet Rules get updated.

Anyways, can’t wait to get the fleet out of the dry-dock!

Engage the Warp Drive!

Finally got in another game of Firestorm Armada, what a blast! I actually got the chance to teach two new players the game and then we did a 2v2 with starter fleets.

I took lots pictures and I’ll do my best to recap the entire battle here. I won’t do a fleet list since we only used the basic starters fleets in this engagement but, the teams were Xenos (Relthoza and Sorylians) vs Humanity (Directorate and Terrans). Since this was a learning game for two new players we skipped a few rules, no boarding, not ramming (v1), no wings, no MAR’s (so no cloak or anything), and no fancy terrain rules. We did however put a clump of asteroids in the middle which could not be moved through or shot through, essentially they blocked all line of sight into.

Deployment

Respective deployment zones

Respective deployment zones

Pretty simple setup and a more clear shot of our actual deployment.

Terran and Directorate on the right and Relthoza and Sorylians on the left

Terran and Directorate on the right and Relthoza and Sorylians on the left

No objectives except to smash each others fleets into space dust. We didn’t set a turn limit but with four players essentially it would have been 4 turns then calculate victory points.

Now, we also made up some rules for activations. Essentially, every turn one player from each side (alternating the player each turn) would roll off against the other to determine activation sequence. The winner would set the activation sequence as such;

Team 1 (p1)-Team 2 (p1)-Team 1 (p2)- Team 2 (p2)

I think it worked ok. Next time in a team game situation I would consider trying something else to make it more team based. There was nothing broken about it but it was hard to follow at some points.

Turn 1
So Terran’s won the activation and elected to move frigates and target the leading Sorylian frigates. Both of them dished out fire and put one another down to 2 frigates in each squadron. Some maneuvering on the directorate side with some pot shots at the Relthoza and vice versa with some damage but no casualties. I did make a crucial mistake of moving my cruiser to the left rather than the right, It put them out side of any PD help and still outside of their effective rangeband of 2.

Turn 2

The Retholza and Sorylian Admirals talk strategy

The Retholza and Sorylian Admirals talk strategy


Turn two was much more intense. It started with The Sorylian’s winning initiative and doing a point of damage to each of the leading 2 Terran Frigates and then subsequently being eradicated by concentrated fire from the Terran Razorthorn and the Sentinel Cruisers. The Razorthorn also did some more torpedo damage to the Sorylian Crusiser moving up on the right side around the asteroids.

On the left front, my Directorate Cruisers were punished for there poor placement by taking two points of hull damage and in turn doing little to no damage in return. The other squadron of Sorylian frigates moved to the other front to support the Rethloza. Remaining activations involved the consolidation of the Relthoza Battle line and a few torpedo shots.

Turn 3

I forgot to take a shot at the top of turn three, but I will try to remember it as best I can. I believe Directorate won activation this time and elected to move my cruisers up and do as much damage to the consolidating Rethloza battle line. At the time it seemed like a good idea but very poor rolling on my part led me to doing 1 point of damage and destroying 1 frigate, which was not enough to save them from the counter attack from following activations.
Turn 3
On the other front, the Sorylian cruisers were reduced to 2 and moved in a on suicide run to destroy as many Terran ships as possible. Excellent dice rolls led to many hits but less damage as the crack Terran point defense crews and their advanced shield technology saved them from complete annihilation.

Listing Sorylian Crusier

Listing Sorylian Crusier

On the other flank, the Relthoza moved in much close and punished me for my poor dice rolls criting’ a crusier and putting more damage on another. Following that more torpedoes destroyed another cruiser.
Trun 3
I also took some shots with my Directorate battleship and destroyed a Sorylian frigate (I think..) but in turn took pretty heavy torpedo damage from the Retholza battle ship and cruisers. Enough to inflict a critical decompression.

Terran’s also began to take damage from the Sorylian Battleship, resulting in the loss of 2 cruisers and the remaining frigate at the hands of the listing Sorylian Cruiser.
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Turn 4

The remains of the Terran Fleet at the top of turn 4

The remains of the Terran Fleet at the top of turn 4

So at this point Humanity was feeling somewhat desperate in the conflict with the cruel Xenos. My battleship had taken a fair amount of damage and my crusiers as well. The Terran’s were in worse shape but still had a fully operational battle ship. We made a foolish decision to move around the asteroids to the right to shoot at the Xenos battleships with the Terran Razorthorn. A poor recommendation on my part as the limited speed of the battleship could not catch up with the Sorylian battleship, which high tailed it over to the Relthoza side to support them.
Turn 4
The winning kill on my battleship was an exceptional broadside salvo that double crited’, blasting my Directorates into oblivion. At this point victory looked dire. More ships were destroyed on both sides but it was moot. The Xenos had a big advantage in positioning at this point and could support against any frontal attack.

Just before the Directorate Battleships destruction

Just before the Directorate Battleships destruction


At this point we decided to call it. It was 3:30AM and even space admirals must sleep. Victory for the Xenos. Well done tactics on won them the day.

Overall, it was a great battle. I felt that I did make some serious errors in my deployment and initial movements that did not support the Terran fleets strengths. Upon reflection I should have spread myself evenly across the front and had the Terran Frigates stay in the back fields and move across our deployment zone and lay down torpedoes at RB 4 the whole game instead of moving up. Of course this was a learning game for our two new players so in the end it was all in the name of fun. Also we needed to be on a larger table. 4×4 was too small for a 1000pt+ game and restricted movement too much. Of course for our next battle we will up the stakes and add some more ships into the fray and include wings and other rules as well.

Again, a great battle and lots of fun. Stay tuned for more!

A New Chapter!

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Rejoice! Exams are finished and life is easy once again! It has been a long and grueling semester, but totally worth it. Of course now it is time to dive back into Firestorm Armada headfirst!

I have a few goals to complete this summer are;

1) Paint my ENTIRE Directorate Fleet
2) Build all of my Flight wings
3) Construct at least one planet
4) Build some more asteroids
5) Finish painting my board (nebula effect)
6) Get in at least 1 game every few weeks
7) Play at least 1 game of Dystopian Wars

Okay so lots to do, but it should be fun to accomplish all of this. Anyways I will leave it at that for now! Over the next couple of days I want to do a showcase how to make your own fighter tokens from bergstrom models, complete my 3 part free to play computer game series, and determine my paint scheme for the my Directorate Fleet.

Anyways I will leave it at that! I am looking forward to posting more and continuing my original goal of at least once a week.

Firestorm Armada Update

BATTLE-IN-OUTER-SPACE
With the new small ship design contest over, I am anxious to try out some of the ships. Oh wait! A tie! For the Directorate you say!? Sweeeet! I actually liked both the Hostility Drone ship (which I voted for) and the Liquidator. I am actually going to try them out in my next Firestorm Battle along with my new Directorate Nemesis Destroyers that I picked up at the MiniWarGaming store (which is currently having a 30% off closing sale), along with a Tarakian Ganak Battleship, 2 Tarakian Cruisers, and the orbital space station terrain pack.

You can see all small ship winners over at The Black Ocean. I actually was planing on picking ups some more Frigates for my Terrain’s and Directorate forces, but decided to hold out and see what ships win and what they look like when we get renders to decided whether or not I’ll get them. Until then, I will probably proxy them with my Directorate Frigates in game and vice-versa when playing Directorate. This leads me to thinking up a potential list to run with in the near future.

1xBattleship 180
2xDestoryers 150
3xCruisers 195
3xLiquidator Class Frigate-75
3xFrigates 60
3xFrigates 60
6xInterceptors 30
Total=750

Pretty simple list. I just really want to try out the liquidators. I will be posting the subsequent battle report on the SG forum.

MiniWarGaming Closing???

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I had actually planned that my next post would be focusing on video gaming, specifically Guild Wars 2, game I bought in the summer but hardly played and how I am getting back into it. That will come, but today I wanted to express my thoughts on the closing of the MiniWarGaming store in Welland Ontario. If you haven’t heard the news, check it out at (insert link). As a wargamer, whom like many, started his career with a Games Workshop. I got right into 40k for many years but slowing fell out with the game due to balancing issues, power lists, insane meta game and the aggravation of annual price hikes. My faith for the tabletop game today is completely diminished and I may be alone in saying this, but eventually Game Workshop will eventually price itself out of business. Now the purpose of this post today is not going to be bashing GW (which the undoubtedly deserve) its to give a word of thanks to the team over at MiniWarGaming. These individuals, Matt, Dave, EpicDuck Mike and more, helped shaped and improve the community over the past 4-5 years. The terrain videos they posted and battle reports were engaging and thoughtful as well as realistic. These guys were not like GW, they were real people who posted terrain and painting advice that was attainable by individuals who didn’t have 500 paints and a $250 airbrush. I liked that! It made it feel real. As MiniWarGaming grew they expanded there in store sales online and became quite well known for there yearly sale (which sometimes featured GW product at like 20% MSRP!) I saved a lot of money buying from them and got the satisfaction of supporting both a Canadian business, and a local games store.

Now with Games Workshops new agreement with retails its forced MWG to go close there stores because it would be unprofitable to continue business. They will be missed as there contribution to the wargaming community was very recognizable.

With that I will close. If anyone who read this feels like helping out the MWG team, they are having a 30% off sale. This is great chance to get some awesome 40k, Firestorm Armada, and Dystopian Wars for a great deal, as well as helping out the MWG team in depleting excess stock. While they are not selling at cost, I am assuming they are selling pretty close at this point.

Here’s the link to there online store: http://store.miniwargaming.com/