This weeks gaming night was an epic battle of X-Wing, and not just epic in terms of the gaming definition. But epic in the term of flippin' HUGE! Yes, just when a 300 point battle of X-Wing wouldn't do. Lets have a 600 points a side battle. To give guys who don't play an idea of the scale, X-Wing is designed to play at 100 points a side, 300 points for what is called a large 'Epic' battle. So we absolutely tipped the scales with a tubby Jabba the Hut there with the volume of ships and bonkers on the table.
The game plan was a simple one; use a 6x3 table, Rebels on one side, Imperials on the other side both supported by a faction of Scum (Bounty Hunters). Each force would then have a one ship from the Huge class. This huge ship will be the sudden death objective, once the huge ship on one side is destroyed the destroyers win. We applied all of the usual set up rules, and with six guys playing we split the points at 200 each for fleet selection; three guys a side, 200 points each. A grand total of 1200 points of X-Wing awesome ready to battle.
When it came to picking a 'Huge' class ship, for the rebels, they went with the Gr-75 Medium Transport (the one from Empire that escapes from Hoth with some X-Wings supported by the big boobie Ion gun):
When it came to the Imperials ship; well, let's just say they went a little more aggressive with the monster that is the Imperial Raider (This thing is designed to do a lot of killing and blowing stuff up. Hey, it's the Empire. It's what they do.):
Set up took a bit of time (of which we defo underestimated), but after many minutes of scrabbling for cards, drinking Yazoo and lots of humming of the Imperial March we were ready for battle.
Turn one kicked off with a bang! Not that anyone went 'Bang!', just that Boba Fett misjudged the distance between his ship and and some space debris. This left the coolest bounty hunter in the galaxy giving a floating junk pile a bit of a 'kiss' with the hull of Slave One and taking a Critical Hit for his troubles as well (I'm sure there was a space slug in there that attacked him) - so not the best start for the Rebel team.
As with most games of X-Wing, despite the size of this one, there was lots of moving, a little shooting, and not much damage in the first turn of any game. Other than Boba Fett's little fender-bender (bad-ass bounty hunter my butt, can't even fly in a straight line), only a few ships lost some shields, including the Imperial Raider. Maybe things weren't looking so bad for the Rebels after all.
Turn two started to get a bit bonkers - quickly. I started to get flashes of the scene in Return of the Jedi when the Rebels are ambushed by the Imperials at the Battle of the Death Star. The volume of miniature ships and all the moving parts in this game just became a little overwhelming at times, and I know I wasn't the only one to lose track of things during play. One thing that remained consistent from turn one however, was the pilot skills of the Bounty Hunters and their universal ability to hit things. Notably asteroids and debris. Of the four IG 2000 ships in play, piloted by the four IG-88s, half of them ended up on either an asteroid or caught in debris - so much for their superior logic circuits. I like to think that they copied Boba Fett, maybe under the logic that he was doing something super-bounty hunter sneaky. They were wrong.
On a side note: Boba has this rep, and it is so not deserved. Look at the films, Boba gets handed Han in Empire, and then dies like a total loser in Jedi. Maybe we should accept that he cannot actually fly a spaceship either. Anyway....
The shooting for turn two cranked up a notch from turn one, with the Imperial Raider showing what it is made of by hammering the Hounds Tooth with to within an inch of its life with a barrage of Turbo Lasers stripping shields like they were nothing. The Hounds Tooth was not the only Rebel ship to take a pounding from the Imperial forces. Several fighters took some powerful hits, including Wedge who lost all shields to a savage attack combo from the Imperial Raider and some nasty dark power influence from Darth Vader.
Though the shooting wasn't all one sided with the Rebels hitting the Imperial Raider and a few TIEs giving them some damage and shield losses as well - I had to add that bit, as being part of the Rebel team because I wanted to make it look like we didn't get a right kick in the butt so early in the game.
Turn three is where things got really interesting, so-much-so that by the end of turn three the game was in a place for only one more game turn and the result could go either way.
Both sides closed to each other leaving very little room to breath, the room was heating up like the tropics and, as already said, there were moments where the game had to many moving parts to keep track - things were getting tense!
The Imperials relentlessly hammered the Rebel forces, blowing shields and stripping hull points left-right and center. Several ships coming dangerously close to being destroyed and removed from play. The Rebel Transporter took some of its first few hits costing the great grey whale of a ship several of its shields. The Rebels answered with almost the equal aggression, raking the Imperial Raider with a wave of laser fire, breaching the ships hull, and taking out one of the Advanced TIEs flying a lose escort as well.
Several ships from the Imperial fleet were called away by the Emperor to aid another Imperial ship in distress in another part of the galaxy, leaving the Imperial fleet in very depleted state and hurting.
The fortunes of gaming, especially in a fast paced game such as X-Wing, can change quickly. With a burst of energy, the Imperial Raider was back up to full power and had it's sights on the prize - the Rebel Transporter. With the smaller force, could the brave boys and girls of the Empire win the day?
Turn four - the final turn of the game!
This turn went by in a blur, it ended with a big bang and started with a crunch. The crunch being three of the four IG2000 ships causing a pile-up as they bummped into one another - it must have been a glitch in their programming?
The Rebel Transporter took a serious pounding from several Imperial ships causing it to lose all shields and take damage to the hull, engine damage, and with its escort ship out of range to be any help; the Imperial Raider loomed into range....
...and promptly murdered and obliterated the Bright Hope from the space lanes. Although it was at cost to the Imperials as they lost another TIE advanced and a large amount of damage to the remaining fleet - the Raider included - again, a bit of face saving there for the Rebels at the end.
All-in-all a very cool game, and despite the nose bleed of keeping up with everything, would jump at the chance to play a battle this size again in the future.
The pros: AWESOME fun and very challenging, and how often do you see that many cool miniatures in a game of X-Wing.
The cons: Far to many moving parts to keep track of, I guess that's why it is suggested to stick to a battle half the size of this one. So, more planning next time, and more Yazoo as well.
A well deserved victory to the Imperial Forces, and I must get me one of them Raiders - they are a fantastic miniature and little short of monster when stacked with the right cards.
Next time is a little bit of dungeon crawling with, Dungeon Saga from Mantic.