Monday, May 5, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You!

Yesterday was Star Wars Day, so I thought there was no better way to celebrate than to host some games of Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures. Man, where was this game when I was a kid?

Several of the boys dropped by during the course of the afternoon for some beers, fellowship, and to push tiny ships around.

DavidA (a local author of some note) expressed his confusion when I tried to explain the game's mechanics. Accordingly, Conscript Frederick stepped up and put him through his paces, each pitting a couple of ships against the other. After only two turns, David was already calculating what he should do next, in response to Frederick's likely moves.

Success! Another player joined the Dark Side.

After another beer, a few of us decided to play a 4-handed game. PaulK and Frederick ran a team of 4 TIE Interceptors vs. DavidA and myself, running Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, a B-Wing with a Heavy Laser Cannon, and an X-Wing.

Below, the action hots up as the Interceptors navigate their way through the asteroid field. In retrospect, the Imperial players acknowledged that this deployment split up their forces too much; they probably should have ganged up on one flank.

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David maneuvers Chewbacca (with an elite Gunner on board) towards the fray.

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My Star Wars Family tee shirt came from Tee Fury.

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Fist Blood, as the Rebel star fighters down an Interceptor.

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The Rebel star fighters angled north, under the covering fire of the Millennium Falcon. The Imperials got a measure of revenge, destroying the X-Wing after the latter had turned around to face them.

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However, those two gray Interceptors got caught in a squeeze play between the Falcon and the B-Wing...

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...whose combined firepower proved overwhelming. With the final Interceptor having only one hull point left, facing much larger ships with no hull damage (in fact, the B-Wing had all its shields, too), the Imperials conceded the match.

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In the last year or so, I have played more X-Wing Miniatures than any other game. The mechanics are both intuitive and easy to grasp, but it retains your interest with surprisingly deep tactical possibilities.


Most of those present were old enough to have seen Star Wars (or, "Episode IV-A New Hope") in the theatre when it was first released. I still remember seeing it on May 25, 1977, with my brother; we sat in the very front row, at the extreme leftmost seats. Some aspects of the movie don't hold up so well over time (for example, Luke's whiny, painfully-delivered line, “But I was going to go into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!”). However, I still get that feeling of wonder when I think about Luke staring out at the twin setting suns, or when Gold and Red and Squadrons begin their attack on the Death Star. Watching Star Wars changed my life, sparking a life-long interest in science fiction literature, movies, conventions, and games.

Note: I met my wife at a local science fiction convention.

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