Thursday, June 11, 2015

Travel and Games

Periodically, I have to travel for work. In this instance, I am travelling for family. But when I am on the road I am always trying to figure out a way to get a game in that is easy to pack and simple to play.

My son is (as I am too) fascinated by all things Star Wars. I showed him the miniatures for the Star Wars X-Wing game and he was hooked. I bought a copy of the basic set and he picked out a second X-Wing and a Tie Interceptor. I played one game at home to familiarize myself with the rules. I also considered using the rules from an old TooFatLardies supplement called Bag the Jedi. But for now, I am sticking with the base set.

While on the current road trip, I picked up a second base set as it is the cheapest way to get reinforcements (3 ships in the box) as the box was on sale. I managed to get in my second game today. It played very quickly even with me fumbling my way through the rules.

The Positives
1) I like how simple the mechanics are.
2) The painted models are very nice.
3) This is easy to transport.

The Negatives
1) The larger ships are no where near scale for the fighters. This is not really a bad negative but it just does not look right to my eyes. I want to get the Star Wars Armada fighters and use them with the X-Wing capital ships and I think that would look better. Not sure if it would break the game though.
2) There is an unfortunate emphasis on having elite squadron building. This seems to be typical for many points based systems which X-Wing definitely is. There are options for the ordinary but how many opponents will actually use them.
3) Lack of a campaign system.
4) Lots of markers on the table.

Honestly, my negatives are really small nit picks that I can live with. I really like the game as is. I can create my own campaign system (use something like Squadron forward). And I probably won't ever deal with capital ships. So really, I have a nearly optimal game to travel with.

But I just can't leave well enough alone

What I would like to do is create a campaign system where squadrons from a particular vessels vie for the control of a given star system. What would that look like? Well, here are my thoughts.

This would be an Imperial garrison being supported by a single Star Destroyer that is holding a given system. The rebels dispatch a small fleet to disrupt, harass and destroy any imperial activity in the system to eventually liberate the system.

Easy enough,but a quick flip through the Wookiepedia (I was almost surprised such a thing existed) revealed a bunch of stats I could use for the capital ships. Neat! It seems that there are bunches of Star Destroyer types. I wanted something moderate, so I chose a Victory Class Star Destroyer.

The Victory Class apparently carry two squadrons of Tie-Fighters of 12 fighters each. This matched up extremely well with a Nebulon B Frigate for the rebels that carries two 12 fighter squadrons as well.

For the sake of the game, one squadron on each side I have declared to be a mixed Squadron so as to allow more than one ship type into play. Sure I could have chosen a bigger or more than one capital ship but I am working on a budget here. :)

So for the Imperials, Squadron 1 has 12x Tie Fighters. Squadron 2 has 6x Tie Bombers and 6x Tie Interceptors. The two Rebel squadrons have one squadron of 12 X-Wings and squadron two has 6 A-Wings and 6 Y-Wings.

These are my personal favorites as they were in the original movies. (Did not like the B-Wing for some reason.) I may at some point get a Tie Advanced to add some fun but this is the starting point.

The initial scenarios within the campaign will be smaller skirmishes or probes as the two sides get a feel for one another. Then culminating in a larger battle featuring the capital ships.

For that larger battle, I will need to get the Armada fighter packs which can be found for around $15 per pack and that gets you a nice size fighter force even though they would need to be rebased. Anyway, that is all still very speculative at this point. I will continue to kick this around in my noggin for a while and see if anything better falls out.


  1. Sounds interesting. I have seen this game at shows, but have never stopped to watch it being played. There'll probably be a youtube video somewhere for me to watch.

    1. The rules are not too complex. They have a fast play starter set in the box as well as the main rules. There probably are some youtube vids around but I have not looked for one ... yet.