Sunday, January 6, 2013

What I'm working on...

Batallion Matamoros and Light Cavalry charge the 1st Battalion,
Republic of Texas Regulars and a Six Pounder.

    Unfortunately, not much painting over the holidays.  In-laws in town for two weeks.  I did manage to complete my Texian artillery battery...well they still need flocking too.

The Two Sisters

    The figures are 28mm (hence the blog title) Old Glory and the cannon I picked up loose at the 2012 Historicon.  I've been focusing on modeling and playing the Texas Revolution (1835-6).  It fits my likes for small tactical gaming.

     I've completed the skirmish and battalion rules for the game my sons and I play (Savage Frontier: 1835), but still need to complete the scenario diagrams and photographs.
     My projects in varying states of completion are:

                  1) Parker's Fort:  Gate house (Dogtrot Cabin-See photos above), Cabin, Blockhouse, Palisades, Blacksmith shop (incomplete).
                  2) Presidio La Bahia:  East gate house is the only thing complete.  Still need to complete barracks, chapel, officer's quarters, walls and two bastions.
                  3) Tres Villas Battalion:  Mexican Reserve Unit-Needs command.  Foot soldiers are a mixture of Old Glory and converted Regimental Honours Austrians (a little putty, knife work and filing).
                  4) Mexican Light Cavalry:  Need to complete officer, standard bearer and bugler. (Old Glory)
                  5) War of 1812 Sailors (New Line Napoleonics)
                  6) Texas Rangers Mounted (Converted from some Ohio Mounted Rifles from the flea market at Historicon.
                  7) Sauk y Fox Indians (I put some Conquest minis in my stocking)
                  8) 2x Boxes of Saxon Warbands: Perry Plastic.  Bought these while on a business trip to Honolulu last year...still not painted.  This is dangerous because this is a different time period...This is one of the symptoms of "Lead Poisoning".

Star Wars X-Wing: Fantasy Flight Games

    So, as I grew up with Star Wars (which is not to suggest that I ever grew up), I had to buy my son the X-Wing Miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games as soon as I saw it on the shelf at the toy store.  What are sons for, if not to use as an excuse to buy toys at which your wife would otherwise raise an eyebrow?

     In any event, he enjoys the game-and I did too.  Its a ready to play (pop out a few cardboard pieces, read the instructions and go) tactical dog-fight game (two-dimensional).  The fighters (two TIE Fighters and one X-Wing) are pre-painted and they did a decent job.  It certainly makes the game more marketable to a larger audience, that being said, if you are a habitual modeler/wargamer, it is disappointing.  Don't worry, there's a solution to that.  The set also comes with maneuver tracks, upgrade cards, character cards, etc.

     There are expansion packs that come with additional cards, tokens, spacecraft etc.  A bit pricey at $14.99 (X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE Fighter TIE Advanced). 

     There are new expansion packs that were due out in December, but I've not seen them readily Available.  The Millenium Falcon and Slave I weigh in at $29.99, with the TIE-Interceptor and A-Wing at the comparatively spendthrift $14.99.  What, no B-Wing?

     In any event, we bought a second base set (this was one $39.99), which at the price gets us three more ships and another set of dice ($51 if bought separately as expansion sets).

    Movement  is determined by each player, in the blind on dials (which depict maneuvers).  Combat is determined by D8 rolls (There's an app for that).  Easy day.

      Here's what's good about the game:

1)  Its Star Wars.  What's not to like?
2)  Game play is simple and moves reasonably fast with the three pieces.
3)  My ten and six year-olds understood it and liked it.
4)  It can be played by more than two players (My six year old and I controlled the TIEs against the ten-year old Luke Skywalker).

      Here's what's bad about it:

1) The price and limited nature of expansion packs.
     Solution 1:  I have a bunch of Star Wars plastic models (Star Destroyer Interceptor, Correllian Corvette, Rebel Transport, Millenium Falcon, Slave I, Naboo Fighters, etc. that I plan to repaint and craft my own rules for them).  The only problem is that sanctioned gaming events, such as the Kessel Run: Dec 2012 do not allow prototype models.  I'll have to go to the Outer Rim with my Correllian Corvette.

2)  There are only Rebel and Imperial Ships: No other factions (i.e. Naboo, Trade Federation, Mandalorian, Pirates... (See Solution 1:  With the plethora of memorabilia out there and the increasing Clone Wars stuff-the possibilities are endless, but again, you can't use them in sanctioned games).

3.  Game play will slow down as more space craft are added to the mix.  It is supposed to be played at a 100 point fleet value (you don't get much for 100 points).
     (Solution 3:  Section/Squadron rules.  Real fighters don't operate individually, but fight as sections,  flights, squadrons, etc.  Having the option to execute the same maneuver for two ships in a section makes sense tactically at times, and is realistic.)

4.  Luke Skywalker is nearly impossible to beat.  I suspect Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Boba Fett will be as well.  No surprise, but that does create a serious imbalance.

5.  I've been playing this and have only finished painting two Texian artillery crews over the Christmas holiday.

    All in all, it is a fun game to play.  I recommend it.  If your willing to make your own models and scenery (i.e. space junk, asteroids, moons...the approach trench for Death Star 1 or the guts to Death Star II) the possibilities are endless!