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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Star Wars X-Wing - Battle Report: Fur Ball Play Test

When X-Wing came out I immediately noticed a lack of missions in the back of the book.  Games quickly turned into the same thing over and over with lines of TIE fighters facing off against lines of X-Wings.  Having played other aerial combat games (and non areal combat games) I felt confident that I could easily come up with new missions to give more variety to my X-Wing battles.

One of the Missions I came up with is called the Fur Ball. I loosely based it off of the Dust Up Mission found in the Flames of War V3 rule book.  The mission involves enemy forces engaging each other and calling for reinforcements to help sway the tide of battle.


We had about seven guys over at the house to play and I got my new Hotz Star Mat in the mail this week, so made a few adjustments.  We played on the Hotz Mat which is 72" by 45" and used enough points to ensure each player controlled about three ships.  I find that three ships is the optimal number of ships a player to control when playing a large scale game.  Another adjustment we made was we had reinforcements come in on turn six because it took so long for our ships to close.  I think having them arrive on turn three will be fine for a 3' x 3' game area.

Rebel Force
I used Jason's X-Wing squad builder to make the forces

X-Wing Squadron Builder - Rebel
X-Wing Squadron Builder - Imperial

Total Squad Points: 251

Pilot: Wedge Antilles
X-Wing (29)
  • Marksmanship (3)
  • Proton Torpedoes (4)
  • R2-D2 (4)
Pilot: Horton Salm
Y-Wing (25)
  • Proton Torpedoes (4)
  • Proton Torpedoes (4)
  • Ion Cannon Turret (5)
  • R2 Astromech (1)
4 x Pilot: Red Squadron Pilot
X-Wing (23)
  • Proton Torpedoes (4)
  • R5 Astromech (1)
2 x Pilot: Gray Squadron Pilot
Y-Wing (20)
  • Proton Torpedoes (4)
  • Ion Cannon Turret (5)
  • R2 Astromech (1)
Imperial Force 

Total Squad Points: 252
Pilot: "Backstabber"
Tie Fighter (16)
Pilot: "Dark Curse"
Tie Fighter (16)

Pilot: "Howlrunner"
Tie Fighter (18)
  • Expert Handling (2)
Pilot: "Mauler Mithel"
Tie Fighter (17)
  • Expert Handling (2)
Pilot: Darth Vader
Tie Advanced x1 (29)
  • Swarm Tactics (2)
  • Cluster Missiles (4)
Pilot: Maarek Stele
Tie Advanced (27)
  • Marksmanship (3)
  • Cluster Missiles (4)
5 x Pilot: Black Squadron Pilot
Tie Fighter (14)
  • Marksmanship (3)

Pilot: Storm Squadron Pilot

Tie Advanced (23)
  • Concussion Missiles (4)
After Action Report

While patrolling a remote section of space Red and Grey Squadron encounter an Imperial patrol

The Rebels split up to take on the in coming Imperials

Protons cut through a TIE fighter

Pew Pew Pew

Rebel and Imperial reinforcements race to the rescue

Another TIE bites the space dust

An Advance TIE fighter take out Wedge

Pew Pew Pew

The initial Imperial wave suffers another loss

And another

With only two fighters left of their original patrol the Imperials are glad to see their friends

They immediately score a kill

The Rebels come about for another pass

A TIE is knocked out

Pew Pew and boom goes another X-Wing

A Y-Wing ties to mount another Y-Wing

Another X-Wing goes down

Two TIEs take down a X-Wing, we are running out of ships

Pew Pew Pew

A quick shot from an Ion Cannon takes down another TIE

Five ships remain from each side, but the Rebels have taken heavy damage

Dutch's Y-Wing finally falls apart

The Rebels tear through another Imperial

An X-Wing shoots at a TIE coming out of the sun

Pew Pew Pew

Stele was caught dead to rights by an X-Wing so he barrels rolls into him so the X-Wing can't shoot him

Too bad for me I got called on in (you cannot intentionally barrel roll so you touch another ship) so had to wear the cheese hat.

TIE fighters take down another X-Wing

Then a Y-Wing

That leaves one X-Wing who was full hits and shields against three damage TIE fighters and one limping Advanced TIE

After a bit of shooting and fancy maneuvering Maarek Stele scores the final kill and secures victory for the Imperials.

After Thoughts

Sweet game.  Had seven guys over, two who had never played, and by turn three they were flying like pros.  I am still amazed at how simple, yet in depth these rules are.  One thing we did keep forgetting about where some of the pilot special abilities.  For example, my Dad kept forgetting that Wedge reduces his targets defense by 1.  That would have made a huge difference on a couple a shots.

The game was pretty close, even though the Imperials had four ships in the end.  The Rebels crushed the first patrol, but had taken damage.  The battle had migrated toward the Imperial reinforcement board edge, so the Imperials' reinforcements got into battle one turn before the Rebels.  This allowed the Imperials to even the odds.   At the end of the game the remaining Imperial ships had five hits between them.  With one hit left on three of those Imperial ships, the lone Rebel could have take them apart quickly.

The mission worked well for the high number of ships we used.  Every ship we owned was on the board for tonight's game.  Having half the ships start on the board, then having the other half show up later in the game reduced how crowded the board got.  This allowed more maneuverability and the use of actions, since ships where not colliding as much.

One other thing we play tested was the idea of using a sun.  Our rule was, if the line you drew from your ships through your target also hit the sun (which was being held up by Darth Tater) you could not shoot at range three, you treated range two as range three (giving your target an extra defense die) and treated range one as range two (giving you no modifiers to your attack).  This rule only impacted range modifiers and did not impact any pilot traits, missiles or torpedoes.  It only effected two shots in the game, but it was a cool little tweek, that gave flavor.  Both sides wanted either their starting force or reinforcements coming from the run side to take advantage of the rule. 

I also want to mention one of the cool things that happened during the game.  We had the Star Wars sound track playing on repeat during the night.   At one point an X-Wing took a shot at a fresh TIE fighter scoring three hits.  The sound was getting to the exact moment when the Death Star blew up in New Hope and John rolled  his save dice and they all came up blank.  KABOOM!  It was the most cinematic moment of the evening.

Also a special thanks to Joe who had the Star Wars sound effects on his iPhone.  Every time a ship was destroyed he gave use an appropriate Pew Pew sound effect to maximize the moment.

If you have any thoughts on this mission or other missions you know of feel free to share with the community of the WWPD forum.

“Craig Baxter is the Director of the WWPD Northern Research center in Anchorage, AK. When he’s not contributing to he is busy blogging, painting, modeling and rolling dice. You can find more of his work and articles at”

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