In a move that should be unsurprising to most, I put my foot in my mouth. Read On…
I have finally picked up a copy of the X-Wing Miniatures Game and been able to have a game or two. This article is in two parts; the unboxing with my ten year old son and the game we had, and the second part is the game played with Drew of Back in Drew’s Day fame.
Christmas comes but once a year, and so does the availability of discretionary spending funds! This year I visited my FLGS, KayJay’s Games and Hobbies to check out their range of X-Wing Miniatures. Ian maintains great stock levels of X-Wing and I was sorely tempted to go mad with the credit card. In the end I was able to restrain myself and just purchased the main rules box set.
Mister Ten was excited to check out the contents including one X-Wing and two Tie Fighters. This lead to the obvious question, “How come there is only one X-Wing?” I had to tell him the truth; he’s old enough now to hear it …
Stormtroopers can’t shoot for crap!!
Along with the ships are attack and defence dice, quick start rules and the rulebook, all the templates in the world including some cool turning/movement templates and even some cardboard asteroids used for scenery.
There were exclamations of “Cool!” from both of us as we pulled apart the box and had a quick glance through the rules. A couple of the customers at KayJay’s recommended the quick start rules for younger players and I found it really helped with the game later against more experienced players. At least I knew why I was getting shot down …
I won’t go into too many details about that first game. Suffice to say, I LET HIM WIN and he definitely didn’t hand me my ass on a plate.
This is the only action shot I managed to get from the Drew games. He and Greg (another Hampton-ite) battled out a one hundred point game. Drew’s dice rolling was terrible and (thankfully) it was a recurring theme in my game against him.
Our game was one hundred points of ships and upgrades. Surprisingly, once you take upgrades and stuff, there are only three or four ships per side to fight it out. The game mechanics are pretty simple, players move and shoot in order of experience of their pilots. More experienced pilot move last, but shoot first. They’re better able to manoeuvre their ships into prime firing position to blast the rookies into atoms.
My fleet contained a Z95, the classic X-Wing fighter and the Millennium Falcon piloted by none other than Han Solo! As the more experienced pilot, Han Solo was the last ship to move. As the most experienced pilot, Han. shoots. first. End of story.
The game started with me screaming my Z95 and X-wing towards my Imperial opponent. I moved the Falcon around to flank on the left side expecting both of my rookie fighter to get turned into dog food by the approaching Tie Fighter stealth machines. Tie Fighter Advanced (from memory) ships, have a stealth field. Who knew?
I greatly underestimated my beginner’s luck and while my Z95 kept colliding with things, both mobile and immobile, the Rookie X-Wing pilot was out to prove he should be instantly elevated to Jedi status. It was amazing! He couldn’t miss nor could he be hurt. Truly the Force was strong with him that day.
Instead of taking the expected pounding, the Rebel fleet was able to hand out an old fashioned whooping to the Imperials. By the time the Falcon had moved into an attack position there was only a couple of heavily damaged ships left to finish off.
For those interested in checking out the X-Wing Miniatures Games, Fantasy Flight Games have this awesome primer on Youtube that covers the basics really well.
Also, Wil Wheaton, a giant nerd who has a show on Youtube, did a segment on the game and it’s another helpful demonstration of the game mechanics. To quote Wil, “HAN SOLO ALWAYS SHOOTS FIRST!” Damn straight!
The X-Wing Miniatures Game should be available at all FLGS-es. It is a quick and enjoyable game with a great mechanic and can even be played by your ten year old son, who will beat the snot out of you.
I highly recommend the game and give it four death sticks out of five.
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On Sunday I was fortunate enough to attend the Memoir 44 Cup held at the Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant.
Memoir 44, by Days Of Wonder (Amazon link) is a WWII table top war game. Days of Wonder are responsible for games like Ticket to Ride and Memoir 44 is a solid offering.
From the description:
Memoir ’44 is a unique historical game from Days of Wonder where players command a horde of little plastic Army men facing-off in dozens of WWII battles on an oversize hex game board. Each battle scenario mimics the historical terrain, troop placements and objectives of each army. Deploying forces through a variety of Command cards, the smart commander uses the unique skills of his units to their greatest strength. Easy to learn and fast-paced, Memoir ’44 requites strategic card play, timely dice rolling and an aggressive, yet flexible battle plan to achieve victory. There are 17 unique historical scenarios, including a monster-size double-board version of Omaha Beach. The game has a double-sided, three section board map of the battlefield, featuring beach landings and countryside terrain. There are 44 lavishly painted double-sided terrain hexes, along with the 3D miniatures and obstacles to go on them. Also included are 60 Command cards, including 20 WWII Tactics cards and 40 troop movement Section cards, and two Army bags of incredibly detailed miniatures. You also get a cardholder to share with your “command staff” and some time-saving Terrain summary cards.
Leading up to Sunday I had no experience with the game apart from checking it out online. Going into the Memoir 44 Cup I was very nervous about playing a game that I had almost no knowledge of. The organisers assured me that there wouldn’t be a problem as the game rules could easily be picked up on the fly and they weren’t wrong.
I’ve never been a fan of historical war gaming, preferring my wars fought in fantasy or sci-fi settings. A lot of my preconceptions were about having to adhere to historical accuracy when all I want to do is throw some dice, move some toy soldiers around and have a few laughs with mates. Memoir 44 didn’t disappoint.
My first opponent was a hand picked veteran of the game and helped guide me through the first couple of turns to get the feel for the game. From that point on, I was on my own and made a pretty good account of myself. The rules are simple enough to be interesting, but there is a tactical depth involved in being able to play the right cards at the right time on the right units to get the desired effect.
The hex board and hex terrain cards play a part in the overall movement and efficiency of you army’s ability to wipe out the other guy. Victory is achieved by kill points when you wipe out another unit. There are also medals deploy on certain key strategic points that also add to your victory points.
There is a level of historical accuracy to the scenarios. However, there isn’t a massive emphasis on the historical aspect. Each of the missions we played had a preamble detailing the history of the scenario and it had a bit of an impact on the forces that were deployed but that was about it. The game came back to moving toy soldiers around the hex board and rolling some dice.
Another aspect of the game was that we played bot sides of the scenario. For one game I played the Axis and in the next, the Allies for the same mission. The Memoir 44 Cup was played over six games but only three missions were used. Each player played each mission twice; once as each side.
The game mechanics are simple enough that an 11 year old can play. One of the players and his son came along and played as a team and the Young ‘Un had a great time moving tanks and troops across the board to wipe out the other side.
All the pieces and the cards needed are included in the box along with some nicely detailed miniatures both troops and tanks. As a painter, you can paint up your forces to give the game even more impact.
Memoir 44 also has a mass of expansions allowing players to experience multiple theatres, from Europe to the Pacific, from the rolling green hills of France to the Deserts of Africa.
As a casual gamer (at the moment) Memoir 44 is a gem. Each round of the Memoir 44 Cup took about an hour to complete, and we were easily able to play six rounds in the day. It’s a fast, simple, brilliantly executed game and although easy to learn would really take some mastering too.
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I have discovered a new FLGS (Friendly Local Games Store) in Footscray. Not so local, but accessible.
Much like Bushido and Dark Age, I’ve been looking at Osprey Publishing’s A Fistful of Kung-Fu for ages. Whilst checking out the Infinity casual play night out at Kayjay’s Games and Hobbies Café, I took the chance to lighten their stock of the Osprey Publishing’s range.
Kayjay’s Games and Hobbies Café is what a games store should be, spread across two floors. The ground floor of the store is dedicated to stock, and stock there is. Kayjay’s carries a massive range, everything from Warhammer through to the more obscure games like A Fistful of Kung-Fu.
Osprey Publishing have produced a game that takes all the best elements from some of the kick ass Kung-Fu films: from Enter the Dragon and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to the cult classic Big Trouble in Little China.
The game rules themselves are light weight at only sixty-four pages, but that is part of the appeal; it’s a quick, brutal skirmish game based on Kung-Fu films. What’s not to love?
The gang generation system is extremely open, as well. You can create anything from a Kung-Fu master, a cyborg, a seasoned cop or an ancient Chinese Vampire. Characters take “traits” that allow a further level of custom character and gang generation.
A Fistful of Kung-Fu is played with a small number of models, typically from five to fourteen models. The Protagonist is the leader. Each Protagonist is joined by a single Bruiser and a heap of henchmen, or Extras.
I picked up two kits, ideally to run games, both full of archetypal characters you see in the classic Kung-Fu films.
The Kung-Fu Masters are led by the Dim Mak Master (the Protagonist), the Martial Arts Champ (the Bruiser). Three Shaolin monks, a martial arts fanatic and two marital arts students make up the extras.
The demons are led by a Taoist sorcerer (The Protagonist), supported by a minor demon (the Bruiser) and backed up with three more minor demons, one Hopping Vampire, and three human cultists.
The two Protagonists, the Taoist Sorcerer (left) and Dim Mak Master (right).
The 28mm scale miniatures by North Star Figures are great representations of the characters they portray. The Taoist Sorcerer really does remind you David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China, and the Dim Mak Master could be the venerable teacher from any Kung-Fu film.
The detail on the figures is crisp and clear and I can’t wait to get some paint on them. There is some flash left from the moulding process, but no more than you would expect from any other metal miniatures and it isn’t in places that obscure details at all.
In other games, scenery is there to give you something to fight over. In A Fistful of Kung-Fu it is something to fight with! This is one of my favourite things about the ruleset; the celebration of the cinematic stereotypes that make these sorts of films so enjoyable. The author, Andrea Sfiligoi, has a real appreciation of the genre and has done an excellent job of transferring some of its staples to the table top.
The ruleset is an adaptation of Ganesha Games‘s Song of Blades and Heroes and the simplicity of the rules really lends itself to the frenetic pace of our favourite Kung-Fu films.
I am definitely planning on getting some serious game time (and going back to watch some of the classics) with A Fistful of Kung-Fu.
As with the Diner and the Multi Use Building, it’s made of laser cut MDF and the level of detail in this piece is amazing. Like all the other BP Laser terrain, it’s multi-part and has more than one hundred and thirty pieces.
The HTV-T is a tracked vehicle with large flatbed and is capable of carting a medium container on its flatbed.
The assembly instructions can be found online here and the HTV-T can be assembled with PVA glue. The wheels are attached with small tacking nails that attach easily to their mount points.
Best of all, we have one to give away!
To win this awesome piece of Infinity terrain, all you need to do is subscribe to our handy, dandy RSS feed below.
It’s a pretty impressive piece of kit, so enter now!
The winner will be chosen randomly from all existing subscribers on the 2nd, September 2013.
The winner will be contacted by email to find out a shipping address.