Posted in Hobby, Shadow War Armageddon, Unboxing, Warhammer 40K

Armageddon Blog 1 – Unboxing Shadow War Armageddon!

Look at what the mailman brought. A shiny new box of Shadow War Armageddon!

It has been a while since I played with my Warhammer 40K miniatures, but Games Workshop latest skirmish tease has me back in a flash, ordering a box of Shadow War Armageddon (which also sold out in a flash, so I’m clearly not the only one). Continue reading “Armageddon Blog 1 – Unboxing Shadow War Armageddon!”

Posted in Hobby, Unboxing

Havox – Professional Photography Light Box Review

Taking photographs of miniatures can be hard. Worse, I am not much of a photographer. Usually, I simply use my iPhone.

However, I did have a small foldable light box that made it a bit easier to take pictures of small things. Most of my Imperial Assault pictures on this site were taken this way. Continue reading “Havox – Professional Photography Light Box Review”

Posted in Scum and Villainy, Star Wars, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing Scum & Villainy StarViper – Part 2

X-Wing Miniatures StarViperThis is the second part of my StarViper unboxing. In the first part of this article, I talked about ship as a model, its basic statline and maneuver dial.

This second part examines the named pilots and upgrade cards – everything to really tool up and customise your StarViper for a space battle!


The Unique StarViper Pilots

princexizorguristarviperThe StarViper Expansion Pack for the X-Wing Miniatures game comes with four pilot cards: The generic Black Sun Enforcers (pilot skill 1) and Black Sun Vigo (pilot skill 3), as well as the Prince Xizor, leader of the Black Sun himself, and his bodyguard and human replica droid Guri.

Prince Xizor is the top pilot for the StarViper, though his pilot skill of 7 is slightly below most top pilots of other ships. His ability to palm off damage to nearby ships – and inverse Draw Their Fire – is very thematic, both for the crime prince himself and for the Scum and Villainy faction as a whole.

That said, Rebels are probably still better suited for squadrons using Draw-Their-Fire-like abilities, as they have more ships that can regenerate shields.

Guri has the more interesting ability, I believe. Her ability to gain a free focus up and close to the enemy synergises very well with the StarViper‘s role as a close-combat dogfighter and frees up an action to use for barrel roll and/or boost (with abilities like Push the Limit)

Both Guri and Prince Xizor can take an Elite Talent.


Scum & Villainy Upgrade Cards

Let’s start with the cards unique to the Scum and Villainy faction.
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Virago is the StarViper‘s unique title. It can only by used by Prince Xizor and Guri and adds the ability to equip both Illicit and System Upgrades to the ship, opening up a lot of customisability.

Bodyguard, featuring art work for Guri, is a card obviously designed for Guri. It works well with Guri‘s ability to generate a free focus. It makes Guri a nice companion, especially for large ships (more so than Prince Xizor), allowing her to boost the other ship’s agility. I am tempted to try with with, say, a Firespray 31.

Inertial Dampeners is a one-use-only card, though it can be a nice surprise to stall out a pursuing ship. It is also a cheap upgrade.


Generic New Upgrade Cards

Upgrade cards from this expansion that anyone can use.

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Autothrusters – the one Modification that brought arc dodgers back into the game against turrets. These days, it is impossible to go to an X-Wing tournament and not see Autothrusters. Arguably. this upgrade – and you get two in the expansion – sold FFG more StarViper expansion packs as the ship itself.

Accuracy Corrector – if Autothrusters are amazing, Accuracy Corrector is a System Upgrade without a place, at the moment. For one, the few ships currently able to take System Upgrades all have plenty of attack dice, making two guaranteed hits less exciting. For another, System Upgrades, rare as they are, include some amazing cards. The Accuracy Corrector is also rather expensive.

Hull Upgrade – A card seen before and, in this expansion, arguably meant to go on Prince Xizor‘s ship, potentially making him a bit more tanky.


The Final Two Upgrades

Yes. Two more. There really is a lot of fun things in the StarViper expansion pack!

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Calculation – a Elite Talent featuring Prince Xizor himself (don’t expect to get this from other expansions anytime soon. Yet another way to use of Focus Tokens (the Episode VII starter set added a few of those too). Situationally powerful and cheap, but I would not use it over abilities like Predator.

Ion Torpedos – a secondary weapon I have not used. This torpedo has great potential to wreak havoc among swarms of small ships. Imagine taking out somebody like Howlrunner with the Ion Torpedo and (!) ionizing her swarm. Still, 5 points is a lot to gamble on a one-shot weapon.

It should be noted that the expansion also comes with 7 (yes, seven!) Ion Tokens, in case the Ion Torpedo (the only ion weapon in the expansion) works as intended!

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Final Thoughts

Autothruster modification cards put the StarViper expansion pack on the shopping list of every X-Wing tournament player. Yet even ignoring the Autothrusters, I feel this expansion offers a lot for budding Scum-and-Villainy-players.

  • It offers a very nimble, elite ship with a cool, unique look
  • It is bulging with unique upgrade cards and abilities. Though most (except Autothrusters) may not be the top-shelf tournament stuff, they offer some interesting and fluffy builds. With the possible exception of the Accuracy Corrector, no upgrade here seems bad.

The StarViper is definitely an expansion worth buying!

Posted in Star Wars, T-70 X-Wing, The Force Awakens, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – T-70 X-Wing

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New T-70 X-Wing (left) and old X-Wing (right)

In this installment of unboxing the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set, after looking at the TIE/FO Fighter, I will examine the new T-70 X-Wing.

The box comes with one T-70 X-Wing miniature. Unlike the TIE/FO Fighter, which is largely a cool variant paint-job, the T-70 X-Wing clearly is a different model with a longer cockpit, a more square nose and, most notably, a split turbine on each side in the place of two smaller ones on the old-school X-Wing.

I like what Disney did with the ship’s design. It is still clearly recognisable an X-Wing, while giving one of the most iconic designs in movie history an update.

I am looking forward to seeing it fly in the new Star Wars movie.


A New & Improved X-Wing

Old X-Wing vs. new X-Wing

Like the new TIE/FO Fighter, the new T-70 X-Wing packs a lot more umpf per point than its predecessor.

Comparing the basic Pilot-Skill-1 pilots, we see the T-70 X-Wing brings …

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  • One extra Shield
  • The ability to Boost
  • The new Tech upgrade-slot
  • The ability to do the new Tallan Roll maneuver
  • All-green maneuvers at Speed 2, where the old X-Wing only has the straight maneuver at Speed 2 as a green.

For all this, the T-70 X-Wing costs 3 points more at the same pilot skill. That is not a lot of points for all this.

While an extra shield makes the fighter slightly more robust, the main emphasis with the T-70 X-Wing appears to be all about improving maneuverability.

This is clearly different from the changes to the Episode VII TIE-Fighters, which – already maneuverable – ultimately gained more tricks to deal a bit more damage.

As with the First Order pilots, the new T-70 pilot also display the new logo of the New Alliances, essentially a colour-inversion of the old Rebels-logo.

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New Alliance (left) and Rebel (right) pilot cards

The T-70 X-Wing Pilots

There are four different T-70 X-Wing pilots included in the core set.
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  • The Blue Squadron Novice is the cheapest pilot with a pilot skill of 2. Unlike the non-unique TIE/FO pilots, there is only one card included (as there is only one miniature for the T-70).
  • The Red Squadron Veteran, for 26 points, comes with a pilot skill of 4 and the ability to take an Elite Talent, one of the most versatile and popular upgrade-slots in the game.
    NewT70XWingPilots

.Two unique pilots in the box are the “Blue Ace” and Poe Dameron, the latter arguable the only true “named” character in the box (perhaps aside from BB-8 below).

  • The “Blue Ace” is an odd entry, bringing even more unpredictable movement to the T-70 X-Wing, but losing, compared to the Red Squadron Veteran, the ability to take an Elite Talent, making him far less versatile.
  • Finally Poe Dameron is the star of this selection, with a pilot ability reminiscent of Luke Skywalker’s built-in defence from the original core set, if more versatile. His incentive to “safe” a focus token is a nice new twist on the tokens/action rule.

New Upgrade Cards

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Of course, the new T-70 X-Wing can take the Weapons Guidance and, where applicable, the Wired Elite Talents I already talked about. The new astromechs are, of course, unique to the New Alliance/Rebels double-faction.

  • R5-X3 is cheap. As with Wired, I like these new, more affordable upgrades. It has a place in this box, particularly for beginners, allowing you to make one piloting-mistake without consequences. Perhaps there also are some advanced strategies to use the droid and asteroids to your advantage.
  • BB-8 is already a Star Wars fan-favourite from the movies, and the rolling robot brings his signature ability to an X-Wing he joins.

Because BB-8‘s ability triggers before the actual green maneuver is executed, a popular combination is to combine him with the Elite Talent of Push the Limit to perform two actions (one of them the BB-8 barrel roll) before the green maneuver clears the stress gained from Push the Limit.


Final Thoughts …

I like the look of the new T-70 X-Wing.

As with the TIE/FO Fighter, I like how FFG is pushing the established X-Wing mechanics in creative new ways to keep the game interesting.

I am a bit disappointed how the new T-70 X-Wing so clearly overshadows the venerable and iconic old X-Wing, which is already a rare sight on many tables.

That one gripe aside, I am excited to get this ship on the table and try the new tricks!

Posted in Star Wars, The Force Awakens, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – Books & Tokens

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At long last, the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set with the shiny new Star Wars Episode VII ships arrived in the UK! It has been a long wait.

Let’s open the box!


The Rulebooks

The Force Awakens X-Wing Rules

Along with a bit of advertising for other products from Fantasy Flight Games, the new X-Wing starter set come with three separate booklets.

1. A Learn-To-Play-Guide, which is nearly identical to the one included in the old – or “classic” – X-Wing starter set, though a few rules have been revised.

2. A Rules-Reference-Booklet, which is a new addition that was not included in the old X-Wing starter set. It includes (almost) all the rules, which have been added to X-Wing in the various releases since the original starter set in 2012, for example the rules for Ion Weapons, Large Ships, Cloaking and more.

Funny enough, it does not include the recent “SLAM”-rules from the K-Wing, which were plagued by unclear wordings, revisions and nerfs.

Though the old X-Wing starter did not include a comprehensive Rules Reference, many newer FFG-games, such as Imperial Assault, do include them these days.

3. A Mission Guide with three introductory missions using (only) the contents from the starter-box.


The Cardboard

TFAXWingStarterCardboardThe new starter comes with four card-board sheets full of tokens and game-materials, including plenty of tokens for the missions (right side).

One new addition is the “initiative token” (upper right corner), which didn’t exist in the old X-Wing starter. Unfortunately, both sides feature the new X-Wing. Having a TIE-Fighter on the flip side for Imperial players would have been nice.

Another minor novelty is the new set of unique asteroids.

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Also included are – of course – the new manoeuver dials. I will talk about those in more detail when I talk about the new ships.


To Be Continued …

Read more about the X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set: