Ok, look, yes, I know. I said that I’d be taking 2 weeks off. Has it been 2 weeks? No, it hasn’t. But things have happened and I’ve got thoughts in my head about them so I guess I need to dump them out onto my keyboard so that the posts that I already have planned (until, like, mid-September) don’t become these huge, unreadable 6000+ word posts.
How come this always happens when I take a week off?!?
First, the cool stuff…
The main bit – part 1…
Yes, brand new stuff has been announced/spolied (yay!) and while I won’t go into it all in detail (because a – that’s not really what I do here and b – if you’re reading X-Wing blogs you’ve almost certainly seen the reposts that people have made on Facebook/Reddit anyway), there IS something I want to talk about.
Ok, two things actually.
First is the good. The Resistance Y-Wings. We all know that the sequel factions (FO in particular) have been lacking in chassis and while recycling an original trilogy ship AGAIN perhaps isn’t very original, they can only work with what Lucasfilm give them which itself is the same old stuff based on profiting from our nostalgia.
Anyway, my main point here was more about the design of the ship. Not the model, but the card (or cards, more specifically). The option of a ‘worse version’ of a ship (in the case of these Y-Wings, having less overall health than normal) but with config slots for significant changes is really interesting. The config that’s been spoiled is Wartime Loadout which allows you to gain a missile and a torpedo slot, replaces the ship ability with a new one AND also adds 2 shields, taking it up to the ‘expected’ Rebel +1 number which is what if probably have expected (like a T-70 over a T-65).
Additionally, the TIE Whisper has its very own config which allows you to jam the crap out of other ships (or yourself?!) with no stress AND have a linked action AND roll an additional green die. Interesting.
I love this design space by FFG. And yes, if you look at the cards, they are still FFG branded, not AMG. As such, I hope this is a thread that AMG continue with moving forward because there are a reasonable number of ships (mostly Rebel ones come to mind but that’s probably my own preference/bias coming out) that could do with a shot in the arm and this is a great way to go about it.
After all, they’ve already done it with the B-Wing.
The second thing I want to talk about? It’s not that it isn’t good per se, it’s more that there’s something I want to see.
Let me tell you a story. Don’t worry, it’s not too long!
Back in the late 90’s I finished my A-levels and went off to Cardiff university. Now, my time at university didn’t exactly go as planned and after just a few months I had decided that it wasn’t for me and after discussing it with my parents I dropped out and started work.
The one thing (and I do mean the ONLY thing, well aside from the time that I accidentally made hydrochloric acid gas…) that really stuck with me from those few months was that I had discovered the Star Wars X-Wing series of books.
I had enjoyed Star Wars as a child but it was these books that really got me entrenched in the galaxy far far away. Corran Horn, Tycho Celchu, Mirax Terrik, Talon Karrde, all new characters I fell in love with. They also expanded on the well known established characters like Luke, Han and Leia but also the ones we’d seen much less of like Wedge Antilles too.
Then, much later, Disney swooped in and bought Lucasfilm and all the EU (expanded universe) was effectively binned as Disney wanted to reboot everything and make more money. Not that I blame them for that, of course.
Out of all of it though, one thing has bothered me. In the EU, Luke Skywalker became the most powerful Jedi Master that the galaxy had known. He led Rogue Squadron, battled ancient evils, overcame invasions and re-established the Jedi order.
Then Disney made the sequel trilogy and reduced him to a bitter, whiney old hermit. I hated that.
Anyway, back to X-Wing (finally!). When 2.0 released and Force was a thing, I was excited for Luke Skywalker with Force points.
Was I blown away by him though? Weeelllll, no, not really. Not at all, in fact. Yes of course he’s good, I’m not denying that, but is he great? Like, auto-include in any Rebel list sort of great? No, he isn’t. But that’s ok because he’s actually only ‘A New Hope’, Red Five Luke. Yes he blew up a Death Star with the Force guiding him and that’s cool and everything but that’s not the Luke I want.
No, I want the older, more experienced Luke. The Jedi Master Luke.
I want the Luke we saw in (SPOILER ALERT! Sorry!)…
THAT Luke doesn’t just have 2 Force points. No way.
I’ve thought for a while that we should get a new Luke. This was then reinforced by the Phoenix Cell squadron pack where we not only got a younger Wedge with lower initiative and slightly nerfed ability (for a suitably lower points cost) but we also got an older Hera with fantastic ability and a higher initiative AND an older, better Ahsoka (compared to her Republic version) with higher initiative and MORE FORCE!
A precedent has been set. As we get reprints of pilots further along in the timeline they are better in some way.
Then the FO pack details are announced and what do I see?
That’s it! I need a new Luke Skywalker. I don’t care if his ability is changed (even if it’s worse! In fact, it probably should be worse so that he doesn’t have to be points costed to oblivion), I’m not overly bothered whether he goes up to initiative 6 (I mean, you could argue that going by EU material that he definitely should. I understand though that there’s not as much current canon material to support it. Or none that I’m currently aware of anyway. Plus it would make him even more expensive), I just firmly believe that the Rebel faction, nay, the game of X-Wing as a whole deserves to have Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. With 3 Force. Please.
Ok, rant over, I’ll get off my soap box now.
Or will I…?
The main bit – part 2…
Around 10/11 days ago (at time of publishing anyway) what I believe to be the first large scale in-person X-Wing event since Covid happened – the Lone Star Open in Texas.
It appears that a good time was had by most, but not all as some disagreements were had over various things and cast a bit of a shadow over the whole thing.
So I’m not going to talk about it any further. Various podcasts (and maybe some blogs?) have covered it anyway and it’s already been posted about many times in several Facebook groups.
What I’ll talk about instead is a tournament played at my FLGS (JARGON ALERT!!) – Firestorm Games Newport – this past weekend!
Sadly it managed to coincide with my time away and so I wasn’t able to take part myself but the 14 available tickets sold out in just one evening. Impressive.
A great time was had by all and after was won by Ben Saunders (he of What The Actual Zuck blog fame…). He has blogged about the day here but I’m also delighted with the list he won it with:
Dash Rendar (85)
Trick Shot (4)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
False Transponder Codes (2)
Ship total: 109 Half Points: 55 Threshold: 5
Wedge Antilles (A-Wing) (35)
Ship total: 41 Half Points: 21 Threshold: 2
Ahsoka Tano (A-Wing) (49)
Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW77W54WWW369Y452X126WWWY463XWWW&sn=Dash%2C%20Hera%20%26%20Jake&obs=
YES! A DASH RENDAR LIST WON A TOURNAMENT AT MY STORE! Sure, it wasn’t me that won with it but still….
So well done to Ben and to everyone who played. I’m so glad that the pandemic hasn’t killed off my local scene and the 14 tickets for this event selling out in just a dew hours has encouraged the store to put one on every month going forward. Yay!
So if you fancy driving to sunny* Newport in South Wales for game, check out The Battlefields website (link is filtered for Newport events) for upcoming events. Maybe I’ll see you there! (although the August event ALREADY sold out in just 10 hours!)
I also want to give a MASSIVE shout-out to Cog ‘O’ Two here for providing some of the prizes. And when I say providing, I do mean it in the most literal sense as when I contacted them to ask for prices on a few things Michaela replied with this:
we’ll sort all this out with no cost. It’s been a difficult 18 months with no events taking place and we’d like to show our support for up coming events with gaming groups. You know we help out where we can.Jon and Michaela – total legends
WHAT?!?! I mean, like WHAAAAATTTT?!?!?
Seriously, thank you!
I have always recommend these guys where I can since meeting them at the UK System Open in 2019 but this is truly an amazingly generous gesture and THIS is the kind of thing that we (as the X-Wing community) should be focused on and making posts about, not the gossip about whatever controversial thing might have happened in some tournament that most of never even attended.
So in short, go to their store and buy stuff, they deserve it!
The main bit – part 3…
Ok, this is just a quick one really but – I’m going to a tournament!
If you’ve been reading my posts for a while then you’ll know that I haven’t done all that much in the way of tournament play outside of what happens at my local. There have been some exceptions, namely the UK System Open which certainly opened my eyes to the wider community.
Recently I played in (and won! Still pumped about that!) a small 3 game tournament at a store around 30 minutes from me but apart from that and two 4 game tournaments at the ‘almost but not quite as local as Newport’ Cardiff Firestorm (and the UK System Open, obviously, which doesn’t quite count in the same way as it’s not a local store) I’ve not played anywhere else.
With my not being able to attend our local tournament this past week I was keeping an eye out for anything that popped up within reasonable distance and I quickly found that Mr Richard Greenaway was organising a store tournament in Excelsior Games in Bristol on the 21st of August!
I checked (and double checked) my calendar and got in touch with him to book and pay and so here I am, heading to my first ‘outside of normal area’ tournament! How exciting!
Typically, my FLGS has now announced tickets for another tournament at the end of this month (which I’ll almost certainly go to as well mind you…) but it’s probably about time that I looked at broadening my horizons a little further when it comes to tournament play!
As of right now there are still 6 spaces available so if anyone fancies it, check out the Facebook event and get in touch with Richard to sort it out.
I can’t wait! Now I’ve got to pick a list I want to fly….
Ok well since this was meant to be just a quick thought dump (nice mental image there), I’ve somehow managed to still make it just over 2000 words. Oops!
I’ll be back next week with a post that I’ve been working on for some time and, with the recent furore at the Lone Star Open suddenly feels quite timely.
Catch you next week!
If you’re looking to buy some gaming ‘stuff’ and don’t have a local gaming store, you can use my affiliate link for Firestorm games. They’re great!