Welcome to this week’s blog!
I’m going to be up front here, this isn’t going to be the usual sort of blog so if you like batreps (JARGON ALERT!!), I’m sorry (and if you don’t, uh, congratulations I guess?!).
Before we go too far I just need to let you know about a few things….
Firstly, Firestorm Games Newport is having another tournament! Yes, we just can’t get enough of them down here!
It’s on Saturday the 26th of November and as well as the usual Exile Squadron themed participation stuff we have got some AMAZING Louis Leong Holocron metal objective tokens!
These things are not only beautiful but they are SO INCREDIBLY THIN that they don’t interfere with ships or templates AT ALL while flying over them. Just Awesome!
There will be at least one of these for every player who plays with the amount you get ramping up the higher you finish!
Oh, there will also be a trophy for the winner. Because that’s just the kind of thing we do here!
Following straight on I’ve got some info on some events going on at Firestorm Games in Cardiff too!
There’s a Halloween themed OP kit event happening on Thursday the 27th of October where you can only fly pilots that have died in any movie or TV series! They will be short rounds due it being an evening event and you can get tickets here and check out the Facebook event page here.
THEN the wonderful people at Firestorm Cardiff are also holding a Christmas Special event on Saturday the 10th of December! Tickets include hot food and there will be 4 rounds of play through the day. Again, check out the Facebook event page for more info!
Right, let’s get started!
Yes, it’s that time again!
It’s coming up to the end of this Patreon quarter (the LAST ONE of 2022!) and so it’s time for me to show you what’s in store! As ever I’ve got various alt art cards and acrylic for supporters. This month I want to start by showing you these which have been in the pipeline for quite a while and I’ve had in my hands for a few months and been DESPERATE to get out to people…
Yep, if you’ve ever seen Finding Nemo then you can probably hear these tokens! I’ve been using my own stash of these as claim tokens in Scramble the Transmission and Salvage Mission to indicate which objectives are mine or which ships are carrying crates.
All Patrons of Veteran level or higher will get at least one of these with higher tiers getting more. Plus there’s other stuff too but you’ll have to wait until next week for the next spoiler!
Same as ever, if you feel like you might like to support me in what I’m doing here then you can do that by clicking here. It would be awesome to welcome you as one of my Patrons but of course there’s no pressure to do so! I am so, so grateful to all the Patrons who support me and love being able to send you guys things like this to show my appreciation!
I’ve been polling for some ideas of what people would like to see as Patreon rewards for next year and if you’ve got an idea (even if you’re not a Patron!) then I’d love to hear it!
Alright, that’s enough shameless self-promotion, let’s get on with it!
The main bit…?
Alright, I’m going to get straight to the point here, I did NOT get to play X-Wing this last week.
I know. It sucks. I started coming down with a cold in the early part of the week and by the time Casual Night came around on Wednesday I felt pretty crappy.
Then at the weekend when I had pondered the possibility of playing an online game through TTS, I encountered a plumbing emergency. That’s not a euphemism, I literally had a leak in the pipes in the bathroom and ended up spending WAY too long trying (and mostly failing) to replace push fit pipes and joints, wringing out old towels that I’d used to soak up water from the floor and driving to Screwfix for yet another part.
It’s not how I’d have chosen to spend my weekend.
Anyway, the net result is very little in the way of actual X-Wing in my life which makes me a little sad.
To balance that out, though, there has been some very awesome stuff happening/announced that has brought my life a little bit of X-Wing colour.
First up, NEW THINGS!
I’m going to preface this section by stating the (probably) rather obvious – I’m FAR from being some sort of high level genius expert on X-Wing. If you think otherwise then bless you but I’ve never claimed to be anything other than an overly enthusiastic, moderately skilled nerd whose list building and meta analysis skills are rather lacking.
Plus, THREE of the podcasts I listen to already covered stuff last week. If you want in-depth thoughts from people who know much more than I do you should check out the Sith Takers, Fly Better or Gold Squadron podcasts, all of which I highly recommend.
Right, let’s do this then!
On Monday night (UK time at least!) last week info started to drop about a new card pack – Hotshots and Aces II.
Not only was there a name and a spread of cards allowing us to see some pilots but it was swiftly followed by a link to the Asmodee store for pre-ordering. So it’s genuine, right?!
Like I said, most of what was ‘spoiled’ in the images has already been analysed and talked about so I’m not going to go in depth on pilot abilities or how good/bad various things are going to be. That’s not my strength and it’s already been done.
No, I want to look at some other aspects of what this pack means for the game in the short and medium term.
First up, the type of cards included.
While it may seem like this pack is only pilots (whereas the first H&A pack had upgrades too), what is significant is what sort of pilot cards these are.
I know that some people aren’t the biggest fans of AMG having ‘ownership’ of the Star Wars games. The changes made over the last year or so have steered the game to, in some ways (and from my very limited understanding), bear some similarity to AMG’s original ‘flagship’ (i.e. only) game – Marvel Crisis Protocol.
One of the announcements made at some point in amongst all the twitch streams was the prospect of ‘standardised’ cards. Pilot cards with a pre-built loadout of upgrades which (since this was before the 2.5 changes and our understanding of how lists would be built as they are now), may have a discounted points cost to compensate for lack of flexibility.
Clearly what was proposed at that point has become the soon to be released ‘Battle of Yavin’ and ‘Siege of Coruscant’ scenario packs.
Pilots with fixed upgrades which, while designed to be thematically built and used with the new scenarios they come boxed with, will also be legal in the standard version of the game.
Now, I’m aware of some people who aren’t keen on the limiting nature of these cards. Given the concerns that people have already had about how list building changed from 2.0 to 2.5 I can certainly see where they’re coming from when it’s suggested that ‘AMG want to kill list building’ under the implication that eventually the only pilots that would be standard legal would be pre-built ones.
I guess then what I’m trying to say is that one of the significant things about this pack is that all the pilot cards pictured are of the style that we already know and currently love – fully customisable and upgradable ones. Since this pack is due to be released AFTER the Yavin pack (but, slightly strangely, just before the Coruscant one despite only just being announced) I’d say it’s safe to assume that list building as it currently exists is here to stay, not being done away with in favour of cookie cutter/duplo block pilot builds. And that’s pretty cool.
And the second thing? Well, it’s less of an AMG thing and more of a Lucasfilm thing. You see, at least two of the pilots being released in this pack (meaning the two that I care most about) are not currently ‘canon’ characters.
Way back in the day, I systematically bought, read and subsequently re-read the Star Wars X-Wing: Rogue Squadron books. I enjoyed the adventures, the hugley extensive world building, the ‘what happens after Endor’ stuff and I LOVED the characters.
In these books Corran Horn is arguably one of the most prominent character with Wedge and Tycho up there too.
Then, when Disney bought LucasFilm, they pretty quickly relabelled most (or all?!) of the Expanded Universe (or EU as it was called) as ‘Legends’ and removed it from official canon, allowing them to make new stories (i.e. print more money) without having to worry about what had been done before or how things might be conflicted.
Personally, I was gutted about this.
Fast forward a few years and as I get into X-Wing 1.0 I’m delighted to see some of the characters are included in the game.
Hang on though, Corran in an…. E-Wing?! What? What even IS that?!
It goes without saying really that something I’ve wanted for a while would be to have Corran in an X-Wing and (erm, spoilers I guess?) having the Force would be even better. Seeing some of the contents of this pack made me really REALLY happy.
I guess that what I’m getting at here is that while I’m excited (understatement!) about Corran and Tycho getting back into the game, I’m wondering what that actually means at a deeper level.
We know (from both FFG and AMG mentioning it before) that pretty much EVERYTHING has to go through approval by LFL before going to public release. Heck, even points changes apparently. So clearly LFL not only have an awareness of these cards but have to have made the conscious decision to go ahead and give them the green light.
My assumption then is that this means one of two things:
Tycho, Corran and others are somehow going to be adapted/retconned/incorporated into current canon somehow.
With the sequel movies perhaps having not been as widely loved as others, are they accepting that there are Legends storylines and characters that they can revive?
Heck, maybe both those are wrong and something else is going on and while I know this is much more a general Star Wars thing than a purely X-Wing thing, it does have potential future repercussions in the game.
Are we looking at a new Kyle Katarn with a Force point? Any of the other Azzameen family? Kyp Durron or Mara Jade? Might we even see the Yuuzhan Vong as a new faction further down the line?!
The list of ships or pilots that we could start to see gets very diverse, exciting and long and since, in turn, means more content over the next few years then I am all for it!
While I’m still sort of on the subject of expansion packs, I have (of course!) pre-ordered my copy of Battle of Yavin. I’ve not put a huge amount of thought into how I think the cards in this pack (and, subsequently, the Siege of Coruscant when it comes out) might affect the meta (JARGON ALERT!!) and whether some or any of the cards will see play outside of the scenario.
As with any cards, it’s mainly cost dependant so until we know points it’s a little premature to discuss but I am definitely interested to find out.
So with several card packs already announced with release dates I’m really looking forward to what future packs might hold. With re-releases needed for some prominent pilots (like Scum Han or Ghost Hera) who have been banned with the release of 2.5 there’s certainly plenty of options for cards to work on.
I for one am DESPERATE for a new Luke Skywalker. The ability doesn’t need to be as strong as the current one but it’s GOT to have 3 force points to reflect Luke’s growth following Yavin. I mean, if even some of the Legends canon could be in play Luke led Rogue Squadron for a while before becoming the most powerful Jedi there’s been. I feel like ‘Red Five’ doesn’t really do him justice.
Whatever happens, continuing releases are great for the game and show that AMG have a medium and long term plan.
Changing the pace a little, I feel like it’s also worth mentioning that the X-Wing 2.0 Legacy project received a points update this last week along with a couple of rules changes.
Now, while my local play group has (and, by extension, I have too) largely adopted 2.5, I know that there are still a good few players who have stuck with 2.0 and while in an ideal world I would prefer we (X-Wing players in general) were all playing the same version with one united community, I perfectly understand people sticking to what they like and I LOVE that there’s a passionate group of people who are working hard at giving other players the resources needed to keep going.
Yes, it’s not been the usual sort of blog this week and I hope you’re not too disappointed. I do have another non-batrep blog in the works but it’s not ready yet but it’ll be coming soon!
If you’ve local to South Wales (or, y’know, even if you’re not. Traveling for X-Wing is awesome!) don’t forget to check out the Newport and Cardiff events that are coming up.
I guess that’s all from me today. I’ll be back next week, I’ll see you then!
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