Monday, January 26, 2015

X-Wing -- Death Star Trench -- A Cooperative Scenario?

Hi everyone,

Today we had a chance to test out our Death Star Trench a little bit.  All in all, it was quite a bit of fun.  And, we do have some adjustments to make before the next game.

[Here is a link to our posting on building our Death Star Trench.]

But, all in all, we are wondering if this makes a good cooperative scenario for X-wing?  We can probably figure out how to balance the rules well - but since everyone knows that the Death Star blows up - making that a cooperative goal might be a fun way to play.

The other reason we're wondering about the cooperative game idea is that for those of us who are a little bit younger, playing a game of X-Wing where you charge down a trench with TIE fighters shooting at you turn after turn can become a little bit stressful.  And, if main tactic is to sacrifice your Biggs X-Wing pilot to draw fire from Luke, that can become a little bit grim.  But...  if the game were cooperative, then you'd have your teammates to commiserate and cheer with as you go....

Here's how our test went:

1)  Turbo Laser Turrets.  We didn't have these ready.  This made the game more simple - but looking forward to having them as part of the game.

2) Modified Rules.  We got from help on the Fantasy Flight forum page)....

- Start from one end - headed for the exhaust port (at the other end)

- Points.  If this was a cooperative game, you could say we played on "easy".  We had something like 150 points for the Rebels, and about 100 points for the Empire.

- Rebels:  X-Wings - Luke, Wedge, Biggs; Y-Wings - Dutch, Gold Squadron Pilot; Falcon - Han

- Empire:  Darth, Mauler, 3 Academy Pilots

- Empire places ships at the end of Turn 3, gets to move in Turn 4.  [We at first tried after Turn 2 -- that is too early given the speed of TIE fighers.]

- Millennium Falcon joins in Turn 5.  [That seems to early as well - but we were eager to have fun.]

- Proton Torpedoes - we loaded all of the snub-fighters up with these to attack the Exhaust Port.

- Turbo Lasers.  Something like 4-5 attack dice - but snub fighters get double defense dice against these clumsy attacks.

- Using the Force.  We played that Luke got 2 extra attack dice when shooting at the Exhaust Port.  Seems that Darth should also get bonus attack dice when shooting at anyone other than Luke and Wedge.

Our First Test Battle:

In the first turns it became clear that keeping X and Y wings in formation was tricky - because of the greater speed of the X-wings.

Snub fighters in the trench - making their run!

By turn 3 the X-wings were a fair bit ahead.  In fact, far enough ahead that the Biggs special rule (of you can only target Biggs) wasn't going to be helping the two trailing Y-wings at all.

In Turn 4 the empire started shooting - with lucky saves by the rebels.  However, the shields were removed from the Gold Squadron Pilot.  Otherwise, not very eventful.

In Turn 5 all 5 empire ships and the two Y-wings could exchange fire.  And, the Falcon joined the fray.
- The Falcon hit and removed shields from Darth's ship
- The Y-wing "ion" cannoned a lead TIE fighter
- The empire hit the Y-wing ships a couple of times, but spending focus tokens saved the day

Darth:  "What!!!???"

In Turn 6, Luke, Wedge, Darth and Han shot early.  Wedge hit the exhaust port.  But, we were giving it 5 defense dice.  (Not sure if that works or not....)  So, he didn't cause any damage.  Luke, though, using the force (with our force rule), did hit the exhaust port - and got through the defenses.

"You're all clear, kid!"

So - the Death Star blew up!  (We had been giving the exhaust port only 1 hit point.)

Key Take-aways for Playing as a Cooperative Game

- If we were to play this as a cooperative game, thinking about the following rules to make it more of a scenario....  Break the game into two phases.

"Phase 1:  Snub Fighters vs. Turbo Lasers."
- No empire ships, just the Turbo Laser turrets
- The rebel ships make their run -- Luke is not allowed to shoot or use the force (yet -- Ben hasn't told him to!)

"Phase 2:  Enemy Fighters."
- As soon as the rebel ships take their shots at the Exhaust Port, they fly off the board and a second run starts
- Empire enters the board on turn 3
- Falcon enters the board on turn 5
- Use the Force rules for Luke and Darth apply

- Harder = closer to a point balance
- Easer = farther from a point balance

Team play:
- With more than one player, divide ships into squadrons or pilot+wingman....

Empire run rules:
- Flying the Empire TIE fighters gets pretty easy - very few decisions to make unless you select more advanced ones.  But, clearly to play a cooperative game you need to define what they'll do....  "Empire ships fly forward at full speed, and fire upon the nearest ship.  Empire ships always take Focus and spend Focus at the earliest opportunity."

We'll post again after we've tried this a few more times....


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