Thursday, 31 March 2016

Visiting The Dice Cup Nottingham

Recently my wife and I went to Nottingham for a day out (Yes she is real!) We went round the caves under the shopping centre and then had a few hours to kill before our movie. I suggested we try The Dice Cup Cafe, a board game cafe that id heard about on Facebook. Gav Thorpe is always raving about it and I confess I looked on with no small amount of jealousy. 

I often forget how lucky I am to live so close to the spiritual home of games workshop and warhammer world. Living within an hours drive when many live more than a plane flight away is something I take for granted! Nottingham has a rich heritage in gaming terms, for example warlord games seem to have a big presence there (the caves tour was selling a Robin Hood model of theirs, and I've seen bolt action on sale at the castle). Because of this I was hopeful that the place would be of good quality, and I was not disappointed. 

The basic premise of the place is that you can pay to play games for as long as you like. It's £5 pp, and in busy times they limit you to four hours. So £1.25 pp/ph. I imagine that's more of a weekend thing though. For this cover charge you get free use of as many board games as you can manage to play in that time! 

We picked out the following selection, and over the course of about 2.5 hours worked our way thru. Although we couldn't play the friends game because it's minimum 4 people! There is a real mix of games, 
(helpfully provided here!) and they are helpfully organised into catagories, such as light strategy or party games right up to carcassone or transformers risk. The real benefit for us is that it allowed us to play games we've not got, almost to test them out. If we didn't enjoy it, no loss! 

Of the games we played, "zombies" was a hit. This is a shot of Tabz combining a couple of cards (I don't move, she moves 10 spaces) to fly past me and escape on the helicopter. Totally though I had it! In my opinion, the mark of a good game for us is that it holds both our interests, and that we both have fun. Zombies did that, and is potentially something that we might look at getting at some point. 

As I mentioned, the massive benefit was testing games out, and we played sushi go to see what all the fuss was about. Following that, we actually bought it as well! So proof that thier business model works! I'm actually really pumped about it as wel, it's a lot of fun!  I will review it at some point in the near future In detail. We also played best treehouse ever, which is slightly more complicated version of sushi go, using some similar mechanics to build a better treehouse than your oppenants!

So, that's a broad narrative account of what we did, how did I rate the dice cup overall?
  1. It's clean, well ventilated and full of natural light. Only a couple of nerd places I know are like that!
  2. Friendly staff, helpful and the right amount of welcoming. I've been to nerd places where the shopkeeper shouts across the store to prospective customers, so it was really good to be welcomed properly. 
  3. Decent clean toilets. Again, for some reason not always a given. But the ones in this place were good. 
  4. Vast selection of boards games. Obvious for a cafe of this nature I'm sure, but there was a lot of choice. And lots of possible styles as well, from cash and guns to games that are gonna take all afternoon. 
  5. My wife liked it. At least enough to stay for afternoon! She's not a nerd, but enjoys board games. There are places I've gamed that I wouldn't take her into, but this place was a safe bet. 
  6. Nice cafe. A really good combination of the two, with a proper barista machine to make coffee and the possibility of other things such as milkshakes (if they have ice cream in!)
  7. Fully wheelchair accessible, not a step in the place that I could see! Ramps galore!
  8. No music. It was mid afternoon, and things did liven up by the time we left but there wasn't any background music. I didn't ask about it so it may just have been broken, but i think that would have added to the atmosphere. That was something Tabz brought up actually. 

Probably the thing that deserves most discussion is the cover charge for playing. I don't think it's that unusual to charge for use of tables, although I'm blessed with a local flgs that doesn't charge, and the membership fee for my club is £10 p/a. In that regard, I paid as much for my whole year as I did for one afternoon. However this is an unfair comparison as I go to uni society gaming club (even thou I never went to that uni and I'm nearly 30!) and this was a functioning high street business in the middle of the city. 

I think it's quite normal to charge per attendance at clubs, and I did see that they do discounted rates if you're a member that save you money over the year. When in off peak periods that charge could be for half the day (they open until 11) it's actually quite a reasonable charge I think. I can easily see that if I lived in Nottingham I'd be spending time there regularly. I think the key to getting the most out of it is to plan to spend at least 2-3 hours there. That way the cover charge doesn't seem like that much. If you're just popping in for an hour you won't get your monies worth. 

Overall, I'm very pro this place. It not kept me happy but also was somewhere my wife felt comfortable, something that's very important! I wish there were one in Leicester. If you're in Nottingham and want somewhere to spend a few hours then I'd reccomend popping in. 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Luke goes stripping!

Following on from a friends blog on stripping, I thought I'd offer my thoughts. To be clear, in this context stripping means removing paint from old models. It doesn't means removing clothes from young models. 

I decided to liquidate some old models that are just taking up space to fund other parts of my addiction the models in question were half painted or under coated black. I've actually unsuccessfully tried to sell these sister of battle before, but was unsuccessful. I thought I'd try stripping them down back to the metal before re-selling them. 

I'm using nail polish remover that does contain acetone, as I feel it gets a little more of the paint off. Following a tip from topher, I put them in a sealed jar and left them for about 2 weeks, giving the nail polish remover time to work its magic. 

My top tip would be to leave the jar full of liquid whilst you're cleaning down a model. Whilst holding a mode, take a toothbrush and dip it into the remaining fluid and then brush the paint off the model. Having a wet toothbrush dripping in nail polish remover is great for this sort of stripping. For some reason, it makes a massive difference and the paint comes off way eaiser!

These gals are all finished now, and will be sold in the near future. I think the hour that it's taken me to clean them up will drastically increase their value, they just look loads better. I'm really pleased with how they've turned out. Not bad for only my third or fourth time stripping!

Friday, 25 March 2016

Punishing 1 repaint part 1

Good Friday good morning! Or afternoon! Whatever :) I've decided that the next ship I'm gonna repaint is the jumpmaster 5000! I've seen a lot of cool repaints flying around on Facebook and forums and stuff, and I wanted to take my own spin on it. Even if I haven't learnt how to fly it yet!

(This is my dengar taking 7 out of 8 hit points off y-wing in one turn!)

I decided that the best thing to do was to try some concept sketches as to what I thought would work. So I broke into my wife's colouring pens and did a bit of drawing:

Here's the first offering. I'm really taken by the purple, and I've seen a lot of repaints where the crescent is repainted a spot colour (red, blue etc) with the rest of the hull a normal colour. I thought about adding some detail through a stripe or double stripe, and splashing some white in there as well. All the time desperately trying to avoid the cockpit looking phallic. 

I scribbled down some names as well, I was thinking about something to do with purple, or royalty. I think I've probably settled on the "Royal Court Cartel" if I use this a purple colour scheme. I think I would go for more shading along the crescent, and transition of from quite a light purple to a darker purple. 

My other attempt was inspired by reading copious amounts of wookiepedia. The Crimson Nova were one of the most powerful bounty hunter guilds, and specialised in collecting bounties on Jedi. I went through a few ideas here, trying to get the shockwave of a supernova expressed on the crescent of the ship. 

I took a bit of inspiration from this picture for the third design on this page. And I think that's the one I'm going to use! I'm gonna have a white-ish hull and then paint a shockwave onto it. So this jumpmaster will be flown by a crimson nova bounty hunter. For the second one (if I buy a second!) I might go with the royal Court Cartell, but equally I might do something with the colour green. I have a lot of shades of green paint, where as I don't really own any purple! Stay tuned for updates on the first one soon :)

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

30,000 page views!

Hooray! Sometime over the weekend I broke through the 30,000 page views mark :) which means I'm now officially in the age of crusading across the blog-o-sphere. Soon half my blog will turn away from me and be tempted by the sultry calls of other blogs such as STand wargaming or from the Horus Hersey to infinity and beyond. 

In all seriousness, thank you for reading my mumbling thoughts! In the last month I've had an influx of traffic, and I'm hoping to keep that up. I know my blog has become much more focuses on X-wing at the moment, and I hope you'll beat with me!  I'm hoping over this weekend to get some painting done (hopefully the new ghost or the jumpmaster 5000) so I'll share that when it's done. 

Until then, fly casual!

Friday, 18 March 2016

Darksun Life 14 - Store Champs Vlog report

A vlog! you can watch it here! just click on my face above :) if you'd like to read the blog version of this video, its available here

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Sanctuary Games X-wing Store Championship Battle Reports

Dear reader, please accept my humble apologies for the delay in the compilation of this set of battle reports. I have been, and still am struck down with a virus that has made all forms of narcissism such as blogging and vlogging difficult.

Anyways… on the 5th of March I attended the Sanctuary Games X-wing Store Championships in Sutton in Ashfield. And on this jaunt I had a driving buddy! Shane from Weekend Warlords in Loughborough was along for the ride, with his triple YV-666 list, which drew a lot of admiring looks (plus a sizeable amount of wins) over the course of the day. The Sanctuary “store” is actually a reasonably sized de-commissioned church, lovingly kitted out with a lot of gaming tables (there were 16 games of x-wing going on, and we weren’t using more than a ¼ of the space!), a kitchen to buy coffee and pizza, and some decent toilets. Being a Christian, it is not unusual for me to spend hours in a church praying, but attending a tournament there would require a weirdly different kind of prayers. I would deffo recommend the venue, it’s got a certain sense of grandeur. 
formation flying!
For this second store championships in succession I took my 4 Scum Y-Wings with Twin Laser Turrets (TLTs) and Unhinged Astromechs (all speed 3 moves are green). This is partly because I really like flying the list, but there were a couple of other serious reasons. Firstly, whilst I’m sure wave 8 will shake up the meta I may well take some version of this list to regionals in May so I wanted more practice against different lists. Secondly, with only 1 game night in-between to prepare I would have effectively been flying a new list cold at a tournament.

My first game was against a very friendly chap called Paul who was flying the following:
Commander Alozen (free target locks at range 1)
Lieutentant Colzet (spend a target lock to flip a damage card face up)
PS4 Tie Advanced
(these three all had the title, and the advanced targeting computer which allows you add a crit if you have a target lock)
Omega Leader with Juke and Comm relay for un-blockable shots

I have to confess, I completely underestimated this list. Nothing special I thought. I mean I know Omega Leader is a pain, but even so I thought “this should be a walked in the park”. What a n00b I was. And more importantly, what a disservice I did to my opponent. I deployed in the bottom right, with Paul in the top left. I went straight up the flank, and we engaged ¾ of the way up the star field.  In the first engagement, I think managed to maul one of the Tie Advanced’s, but in return one of the y-wings started to eat crits, and became ps0. I then completely forgot that this meant he’d be moving first, and this poor chap bumped, instead of masterfully dodging out the way. Then Paul burnt him down.

We then had a very close range dogfight in the top right hand corner of the map, where I tried to get cute and double or even triple guess my opponent. This worked about 50% of the time, but trying to block with the y-wings means that they don’t really get shots. I eventually ran for it, with my 2 remaining ships, hotly pursed by Omega Leader and Alozen. I traded Omega Leader for a y-wing, but began triple or quadruple guessing myself in an effort to take the last point of health off Alozen. So much so, that instead of head on jousting with him I turned towards the board edge, and left myself with nothing to do but fly off the edge of the board. This of course, cost me the game.
Result: Loss 74 – 100
they do not have 1 sharp turns.

My second opponent was a chap called Alex, fielding my favourite B-wing Keyan Farlander and Han Solo, both fairly heavily tricked out. This time I went bottom left hand corner, and he went opposite in the top right. I sped up the flank, not wanting to get caught in the side by his heavy firepower, and he swooped in, boosting with both ships. We engaged ¾ of the way up the board, with his targeting computers locking onto the engine glow of my y-wings. The combination of a B-Wing and a Millennium Falcon at short range began to make short work of my fleet. However! They both only have 1 evade dice, so my turrets sliced through the b-wing in just over a turn, leaving me with a very angry Han Solo against 3 y-wings.
this is Alex, wondering why the hell im taking a video of him

I have to confess, I got somewhat lucky here as I correctly guessed so of Alex’s moves and was able to block the Falcon with the y-wing he was trying to kill (if they’re touching they can’t shoot each other). That meant he couldn’t focus his fire down, and I was able to keep chipping away at him. After a few turns of this, Alex tried to break out of my trap, and it nearly left him in a perfect position to even the odds somewhat, but the dice failed him. I wrapped this one up with a win.
Result: Win 100 – 25
following game 1, i couldnt believe this

Game three then. And I end facing the guy that Alex travelled with, called Joseph. He had the other B-wing Pilot (Ten Numb) with a Mangler cannon, Blount with Ion Pulse missiles and Corran Horn with all the normal stuff. This game was a matter of honour for Joseph, who wanted to prove that he had the better b-wing than Alex. I set up in the bottom right, and he chose to joust me. So I immediately ran away, and in his haste to catch me, the angle meant that his ships got drawn into a line and when we did engage in the bottom centre Ten Numb was out of range for the first round of shooting.

This meant that I lit Corran Horn up like the Death Star on a Friday night. However, he’s a tricksy one and came through, with one or two hull left. At least for that turn. I sent him downtown the next turn, but this had allowed Ten Numb to close and prove his worth, whilst Blount had used his auto hitting Ion Missiles to stall a y-wing in the middle of my line astern formation. So I starbursted, flying my y-wings every-which-way in an effort to land his remaining pilots in a kill box. They helpfully obliged and whilst unblockable Critical Hits were very painful, being in the middle of TLT kill box was a deciding factor. I rolled of the winner.
Result: Win 100 – 50 (giving Joseph bragging rights over Alex)
thats me! left middle, with Shane next one down

In my 4th game of Swiss, I played a friendly chap called Richard. (on reflection I noticed that he was the one who gave me parking advice, so thanks!). Richard had two Tie Phantoms - Echo and Whisper and a named Tie Fighter (im really sorry but I cant remember which one!) The most significant thing on the Phantoms was sensor jammer over fire control system. This was actually a bit of pain for me tactically speaking because I was shooting twice with each ship, but only had 1 focus. So I had to think really smart about that.

I tried to position the rocks to make it hard for him to hit me in the flank as I came up the left side of the board, and I think It probably did a bit. Crucially, I bottled trying to block echo’s decloak quite early on, Id forgotten how manoeuvrable phantoms were! Instead of protecting the other 3 wings, I allowed both phantoms into range  1 and they started having a lot of fun. So I sped up, turned back into the board and starbursted. In the process I took the Tie Fighter out, and also got rid of Echo. This left me with 2 y-wings against Whisper. I was winning on modified points, but knew that wouldn’t be good enough to make the cut, not with a loss first round. So I turned around near my board edge and came back for another pass. I decided to bank right, on the assumption that was the unpredictable thing to do. Whisper then decloaked in the same direction and I was gutted, I assumed id blown it. I moved my ships, and then Richard revealed a hard 1 away from my y-wing, meaning he didn’t have a shot! Despair turned to elation, and I was fortunate enough to take Whisper down that turn.
Result: Win 100 – 50

Shane's YV-666 conga line of doom
In the final game of Swiss I faced a double Scum Firespray list, Kath Scarlet and Boba Fett run by Jamie (I think, only name I forgot to write down sorry!). I set up on the left, and he jousted me with Kath, whilst sending Boba to flank me. I remembered my rule of 11 here, and blocked Kath out in the second engagement, meaning she had no actions and she died that turn. Boba was more of a problem, and he chased me around a bit. I starbursted to try and make sure I was always getting 1 shot, and this helped a great deal. In what was to be the last turn, I actually blocked Boba and would have forced him off the board if it wasn’t for inertial dampeners. I was still able to just shoot him with another y-wing, killing him and winning me the game.
Result: Win 100 – 25.

my y-wings hunting down and blocking boba fett
Top 4 Cut
I squeaked into the top 4 in 4th place, getting another challenge coin (man I love those!) and facing Darren, who had gone 5-0. Happily, Shane also made the top 4 cut. That meant that neither of us was waiting around for the other person, or at least not yet! Darren was playing a list that had a YV-666 (bossk crew, tactician and Gunner), 3x ps1 Binayre Pirates in z-95s,  and a ps2 scum y-wing with a TLT and unhinged astromech. Id noticed Darren from across the tables as he had a very cunning fortress that meant he set up in a corner. I think people had been having trouble because it forced them into a joust, and he could just sit there as long as he wanted. Shane had faced him in the final round of swiss and lost, and shared some wisdom with me.
it was something like this. although not completely like this.

What I decided to was head towards him on that flank, and see if he’d take the bait and come out of his fortress. Either way, I wasn’t going to let myself get blocked up, id just turn into the board regardless of whether he followed me or not. If he didn’t, id circle back around and try again. And then again. Thankfully, he took the bait. I think he knew that I didn’t need to face him conventionally what with my turrets and all. On my first pass, after id turned in just outside range 3 of his fortress, he broke the following turn and came after me.

However, the way he broke from the formation meant that I was able to chew off the ps1 corners of his fleet, bringing the entirety of my firepower to bear against half his fleet on more than one occasion. He was very unlucky to land the yv-666 on a rock (one of the big ones that id brought I think!) on a turn when it was in range one of a nearly dead y-wing, which helped me out, and im not convinced that his yv-666 dodged anything I threw at it, so I definitely had my fair share of luck. It ended up with me taking down his y-wing with 3 of mine, sealing me a place in the final.
Result: Win 100-25


And in the final I faced Shane! Which was good for both of us in a way, as neither of us would be hanging around for the other person. However, I was sure to make several thinly (read not at all) veiled threats about his lift home. He didn’t listen to those, in fact he was way to busy getting completely inside my head for the first 30 minutes of our game, and it nearly ruined me! I had to start ignoring him completely. I felt a bit rude, but I couldn’t handle it at all! It was like the whole of basketball in a 3rd of the time. As a reminder, Shane had the following:  3x ps2 YV-666, all with ion projectors and feedback arrays. This loadout also gave him a small initiative bid.
great film. great film.
As per my standard tactics, I set up some rocks to cover 1 flank, giving me the option to creep up my left if I felt like it. I knew that Shane’s list was designed to try and trap you, slapping ion tokens on you every which way and not allowing you to break away. For some reason, I did nothing to stop this happening. I let him box me into a corner, ioning 3 of my ships over various turns. I eventually broke away with 2 y-wings, leaving the other 2 hulks behind. I had by this point killed 1 and a half of his ships, and wasn’t fancying my chances. I regrouped on my top right and this time skirted the top corner of his ships as they came back around, managing to trade a y-wing for a yv-666.
No you idiot! dont get trapped there!
I was suddenly feeling a lot more optimistic. Pulling around back down my left flank, having him chase me meant that he couldn’t trap me, and I was able to keep chipping away at the final YV-666 until it blew up. And with that, I won my second store championships!
Some, from a situation 2 weeks ago where I’d never won a wargames tourney, I’ve now won 2 x-wing store championships in 2 weeks! Sanctuary Games is a really amazing location, being in an old church gives it a grand, imposing atmosphere. The facilities are great, and the staff really friendly. It does get a bit chilly, so make sure you take a jumper and a coat though! 

Do come back later in the week, as i'm hoping to have vlogged this experience. I've got it all ready, i've just been way to ill to do any post production. 
with a fancy glass trophy

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

X-wing wave 8 musings

With wave 8 imminent, I've been played around with what I think I want to try out when the new ships come out. I thought I'd pour out my thoughts onto a blog post! 
get ready wallet!
There's a couple of lists I'd like to think about, and this is the first: 

Ghosting around (98)

"Chopper" (47) - VCX-100
Enhanced Scopes (1), Extra Munitions (2), Sabine Wren (2), Bombardier (1), Ghost (0), Ion Projector (2), Ion Bombs (2)

Ezra Bridger (28) - Attack Shuttle
Push The Limit (3), Ion Cannon Turret (5), Phantom (0)

Bandit Squadron Pilot (12) - Z-95 Headhunter

Bandit Squadron Pilot (12) - Z-95 Headhunter

It's not perfect by any means, but it's working off the idea that the Ghost is a big old ship that's likely to get in the way! With a 4 straight move on a large base ship, you are guarenteed to be able to reach your oppenant quickly. And by reach I mean bump. Or get him to bump you! And that's where the fun begins. 

You've got enhanced scopes, which means if you choose, you can be PS0 in the activation phase. You then move first and jump right in where you think they'll be. If they hit you, they may get ion'ed. they will defo get a stress from choppers ability. Then you shoot something that isn't touching you, but may have got stacked up behind. Then you ion that because you can shoot the attack shuttles' turret! Hopefully if you're facing something in formation, you've really ruined thier day. Potentially, if you play your cards right you can block 3 ships, with maybe only 1 shooting you. 

At this point I have to give complete credit to a friend (Shane hibbard) who showed me who devastating the ion projectors really are. Shoving it into the middle of somebody's formation is horrible!

If not, and they can break away, then you've got ion bombs that can go and speed two away from you. Both the ion projectors and chopper trigger every turn. So you could keep a ship there for a few turns, piling up its stress. When you eventually pull away, you can choose to drop the ion bomb before you move (screwing them again) and then parachute Ezra out if you as well, staying behind them and picking off what's left. The ion bombs help with this because they keep things going slow that extra turn. 

The z95s are useful filler. I'd debated a bwing with a tractor beam, but it's a slower ship and one less ship.  I'll see thou. I do love b-wings!I'm looking forward to trying it out on the tabletop. Do you have X-wing? What are you looking forwards to about wave 8?

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Titan Games Battle Reports: Store Championship

So, this is a write up of last weeks store championships that I attended at Titan Games in Lichfield, with the review of Sanctuary following in the next week. If you'd rather watch the Vlog, go here.

As a reminder, I ran 4 Scum Y-wings with Twin Laser Turrets (TLT) and Unhinged Astromechs. The Twin Laser Turrets shoot twice a turn (at ranges 2-3), but can only cause 1 damage per shot, and the Astromechs make all my 3 speed manoeuvres green. For thems that don’t know, these cards pair really well because it means you can keep your speed up to keep out of range 1 to allow you to shoot twice, and also gives you a whole bunch of different ways to clear stress.

In my first game at Titan, I played Josh, who was fielding 4 tie fighters (two of which were First Order Ties) and Whisper with a whole bag of tricks. I placed my rocks centrally, and deployed on my left. He deployed slightly of centre with the ties and then put whisper on my right. I sped up the board, winning the first engagement and taking a Tie fighter off. At this point, Whisper was avoiding my 4 turrets and coming the long way around. The phantom didn’t get into the fight until quite late on, and by that point I’d chewed up most of the Tie fighters. Whilst I wasn’t very good at dodging Whisper’s de-cloaks, the three remaining Y-wings were too many shots for the Phantom to deal with.
Result: Win 100-25

My second game was against Oliver, who had Soontir Fel, Omega Leader and Vader. They all had lots of tricks and I was a little worried about this match up. I think my lists strengths and weaknesses are magnified against aces. This time I went to the right and swooped up the flank to take Soontir head on as the other two came round the back. Soontir actually dodged a whole round of shooting from me, which was frustrating. However, because rocks, his green manoeuvers were predictable, and I blocked his escape as I knew he needed to clear his stress. That meant that I was able to kill him with primary weapon attacks that turn. Vader followed a couple of turns after, and then Omega Leader shortly after.
Result: Win 100-0

My third game was against Brian. Ah yes. This was, and remains one of the best games of X-wing I’ve ever played. Brian had Kavil in a Y-wing with a TLT, a YV-666 with Boba crew, Gunner, tactician and the Nashta Pup (free z-95), and a Scum TLT y-wing like mine. I got good asteroid placement this game, limiting where he was able to approach me. Brian had initiative, and placed in the top right. I placed in the bottom left and sped up my left flank. I then faked a little at going straight to but actually turned into the board, leaving the YV-666 to face a broadside from all 4 Y-wings. Second round of engagement I burned the YV-666 down, for no loss and was feeling confident. I now only had 2 Y-wings and z-95 to deal with.

We both regrouped, and the re-engaged across the bottom of the map. After the dust had settle, I had 2 Y-wings left against just a z-95. The following turn, my Y-wing with 5 hull left got one shotted by the z-95 and I started to get concerned. I was even more concerned when the z-95 started pursuing my y-wing and dodging most of my shots. I managed to break out from his pursuit, and regrouped. We were both now on one hull. Somehow id traded 7 hit points for 3. I could have played for time, but there was a lot of time and that wasn’t what I wanted to do. We came in for a final joust, he hit me once, I rolled an eyeball and burned my focus. I fired back with the TLT and killed his z-95! I was elated. And drained! Great game, Brian really made me work for it and taught me that you shouldn’t just give up.
Result: Win 100-75

My final game of swiss was against Mike, who had Wes Janson, Biggs and Keyan Farlander (Fire contral system, opporuntist, Heavy laser cannon). Keyan and Wes combined to give a 5 dice target locked and focused attack from Keyan. This meant one of my Y-wings didn’t even get to shoot before it died. That woke me up a bit! However, I got good shots back at Biggs, taking him down to his last hull with the three remaining Y-wings. After Biggs died, I realised that whilst Keyan was scary his 1 agility was no match for my TLTs and took him out. 
Result: Win 100-50

This meant that I was 4-0 and top player after Swiss (they only did four rounds, which I didn't mind, I mean we all have homes to go to!)

I don't know if you can see from this picture, but my MOV was 650. Comfortingly, I didn't just scrape through. But there were a couple of times when I was trying to avoid getting shot to save points. Thats something I've really learnt in the last few months actually. 

So I headed into the top 4 cut, playing a really great guy called Anthony. He had Kath scarlet in a firespray, with a mangler cannon and IG-88A, with HLC, advanced sensors and some other stuff. If the third game of the day was the most exciting, this was the toughest. I did not fly very well at all here. I got a decent rock placement, but just went straight up my right hand side and let him crash into my left flank, getting inside range 1 and everything. After the first engagement, I had two y-wings slightly dinged up vs IG-88A, who was mostly ok. Regenerating shields for fun as he killed me. 

As we swooped around and I tried to get a two vs one engagement, I went for a really dumb block attempt with one of the y-wings. Just read the board and game totally wrong. He just did a super obvious move and killed me. Which left me a half dead Y-wing against a half dead IG. I ran away thru the asteroids, and was left on one hull. I was facing towards the board edge and only had one option, turning into to the left. He was in a reasonable position to turn and catch me in arc, killing me. 

However! This was not what happened. Anthony had to go they an asteroid to get me, which took him down to 1 hull and then he had chosen to sloop with his ship, meaning I wasn't in his arc. But I was able to TLT him, and duly killed him. Winning the game on 1 hull and progressing to the final. 
Result: Win 100-75

Which meant I made the final! I faced Mike from round 4. I got a reasonable deployment of rocks, and set up on the left. Mike set up to joust with me, so I decided that I probably shouldn't joust with him! I broke to the right, and made him follow me thought the rocks. This really benefitted me, because his fleet went from flying next to each other to conga lining through asteroids towards my ships. 

I timed my starburst just right to catch all four TLTs at the correct range, removing Wes and Keyan without loosing a ship. This meant that Biggs was faced with having to deal with all four by himself, and at that point Mike called it. 
Result: Win the store championship!

So I rolled out winner for the whole day, which was a nice suprise. The first time I've ever won a wargames tournament! A really enjoyable day, thank you to all my opponents and to Titan for hosting a great, smoothly run event. Hopefully at some point in the next week I'll do a report on yesterday's store championship as well. Thanks for reading!

Achievement double unlocked: win another tournament

I may have won another X-wing store championships over the weekend.....

Here's a picture from my round one game (which I actually lost!). More information to follow, but I basically didn't loose again all day! 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Poe dameron and T-70 X-wing repaints

Dear reader! Today I'm sharing my paintjobs for my T-70 x-wings! For those not in the know, they are the ones used in episode 7: The Force Awakens. They are a slightly updated version of the older models used in the ironical trilogy, and this bears out in the X-wing miniatures game. 

Being a sucker for punishment, I really like painting fantasy flights ore painted models. (Even if I could be working thru my back catalogue of things to do painting wise!)

I own two T-70s and normally paint a duplicate fighter to signify that it's an ace. I've done it with the B-wings, A-wings etc. This time, I couldn't resist the chance to paint up Poe dameron's ride. A lot of people have done the same, in fact id go so far as to say that it's the most common repaint I've seen. 

I went for a reasonably classic look here, lightly drybrushing skavenblught dinge over the black to pick out the raised areas. I then used a couple of base coats of games workshop orange before following it up with blazing orange. And then I highlighted the orange with a mix of white and blazing orange. 

The engines are a breakaway from my normal orange glow (there was already enough orange!), with an ice blue through to white effect taking place in less than 5mms. Doing t quickly whilst the paint wasn't dry meant that it all blended in quite well. I added shiney gloss to the engines and the cockpit. 

For my second T-70 (although it was painted first!) I used my now standard paint scheme. Bleached bone all over, tin bits on the metal bits and then wash the whole thing in nuln oil. Following that, lighten back up with tyrant stone (basically a bone colour) to give a rugged, well loved feel to the hull. 

The red was a mecharite red base coat, the blood red, then inked, then brought back up with blood red. I ended up putting gloss varnish of the little wing markings as well :)

For the engines I used the standard red/orange/yellow/white combo that goes on most of my repaints. I'm really pleased with how this turned out, I feel like I've got painting small base ships down quite well now. Really excited about wave 8 now! Will be doing some repaints and vlogs of those bad boys, so keep an eye out for that!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Support your local author: world book day!

Hello readers! 

Just a quick one today. One of my friends has written a sci-fi book called "intrinsic". Recently released, it's been a passion of his for a while. And on top of that, It's world book day today, so why not buy it! At the moment it's only available on kindle, but I believe you can get a kindle app for iPhones. 

I've read part of it so far, (he gave me a script to read about a year ago and I couldn't put it down!) and I really enjoyed it. I only meant to read a couple of pages and ended up reading a couple of chapters! 

When the hard copy comes out later this month, I'll be snapping this bad boy up, and also doing a proper review of it.  For now we can "make do" on our electronic devices! 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Darksun Life Vol 12: Xwing Store Championship Vlog Report

Here it is! A new vlog for a new year. Can't believe it's taken me until March to do one. But at least it's a cracker! Enjoy :) 

The blog write ups of my games will follow sometime in the next few days. For now, you'll have to make do with the soothing sound of my voice.