With January gone, I thought it was high time I jumped back in. A hard drive meltdown took the wind out of my sails for a bit with the loss of several things I was working on but I’m back now and will soldier on.
I’ve been up to a few things during the downtime and I’ll be showing them off as I get them finalized.
One of the bigger items is jumping back into X-wing.
Shortly before I stopped collecting, I found a bunch of these resin DeathStar tiles on clearance and picked them up. These are from JR Miniatures and after opening, I could see why they didn’t take off. A lot of the tiles are warped or cut poorly so that they can’t make a clean connection. They are inconsistent in size and so they don’t really fit together well. I will work with them a bit more to see how clean I can make them but I definitely wouldn’t have paid full price for them. At the end of the day, they work well enough for the effect we’re going for so I don’t regret picking them up.
I hadn’t played X-wing since the 2e release at Gen Con so I was really rusty and had Colton refresh the rules. Not wanting to bust out all the cards I had yet to sort, I asked to use the Quick Build rules the starter comes with.
Quick Build rules were an interesting choice for Fantasy Flight. The point costs and squad building are done solely on their app (or 3rd party options) and uploading the app and figuring out how to build something can be a barrier to the casual player who just bought ships and wants get playing as soon as possible. So FFG came up with an out-of-the-box alternative where they prebuilt ships in logical configurations and gave them a simple “threat” level indicator.
Threat levels replace points in building a squad and make for an easy way to not have to worry too much about build useless squads. Players decide on a threat amount (8-10 threat being similar to a normal-sized game), grab a few quick build cards to equal that amount and then can get all the pilot and upgrade cards they need to make their squad. FFG puts out new Quick Build cards with each ship release so the system remains a viable option even beyond the starter set.
The biggest drawback is that the Quick Build cards are just non-descript cards describing what you need for that ship. You still have to go through all your cards and fish out all the different cards you need for the table. So the building of the squad is quick but actually getting things to the table is still time consuming. Colton was more organized than me and was kind enough to have everything set up by the time I got there.
Playing on the Death Star map, I decided to put together an Imperial Build with Darth Vader leading four Black Squadron Aces. After the game I was looking at the quick builds and saw that I had told Colton I wanted 2 quick builds of the Black Squadron and Vader and I didn’t realize that there were multiple options for Black Squadron pilots, one threat with weaker upgrades but 2 ships each. He built the stronger versions and I thought there was a mistake as I should have 4 TIE fighters so I ended fielding a 12 threat force against his Rebel’s 10. I guess that is just what happens when you fight against the Death Star.
The scene above was pretty brutal. I caught his Y-wing bomber in a really bad way and was shredding him but I forgot that they have bombs and had all four TIEs take a proton bomb in the face. In the end, it didn’t matter as the Y-wing would live to drop another bomb.
After taking down Wedge, the Y-wing, and a little Z-95, the Rebels were left in a desperate fight using their remaining A-wings. It wouldn’t last and my TIE swarm finished them off quickly.
It was nice to play X-wing again and at the turn of the year, I was thinking about the games I’d played and fun I’d had wondering if I should jump back into the competitive scene. I don’t know 2e very well and I’m not sure I’m ready for that kind of commitment again but it is such a fun game.
One thing that is really getting me excited though is the prospect of more Quick Build games, specifically since I found user J1mBob’s Quick Build Squad Builder app. This user made the quick build cards in a style that doesn’t require you to find all your little upgrade cards. All you need to do is select the card and print it. If FFG printed something like this, I would be all over it. I think it is a brilliant utility for the casual market and opens up for some very interesting game opportunities.
One game option I’m exploring is doing a “Draft” tournament where players are given a set of quick build cards and draft one ship and pass the set to the next player, a la Magic the Gathering drafts. I’m not alone (and actually I’m way behind the curve) as this was suggested on X-wing forums several years ago.
All-in-all, I think I may have rekindled my X-wing flame and will start exploring this more in the future.