Sunday, August 31, 2014

X-Wing: Millenium Falcon Partial Repaint

The X-Wing Millennium Falcon model comes with a pretty decent paint job right out of the box. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. However I still felt the need to tinker around with it and decided to give it a partial repaint.

I have two YT-1300 in my collection. I've already done a full repaint of one of them (see here) and I wanted to keep this one as the Millennium Falcon. This means no changing colour scheme, hence it is only a partial repaint as oppose to a full repaint.

The Partial Repaint

As usual, I did a brief research on the interwebs for some inspiration. After about 3.5 seconds I found a very nice video tutorial on Youtube of exactly what I wanted to do with the Falcon. Check it out here:

I pretty much did the same thing as the video. I'm lazy like that. Read on to see how mine turned out.

The Dirty Bit

The main objective I wanted to achieve with this repaint is to make the Falcon look a bit dirtier. It is a ship that has come through some pretty rough times and I wanted to reflect this 'wear and tear' on the model.

This of course is easily done with a wash.

Falcon before the wash
Using GW Agrax Earthshade, I watered the wash down to the consistency of milk and applied it liberally all over the model.

It came out a little too dark for my taste, so what I decided to do was to take an old brush and use it to scrub the flat parts of each armour panel. This left the centre of the panel lighter than the surrounding grooves and crevices.

Falcon after the wash and scrub

The Spot Colours

The stock paint scheme had a few areas picked out with spot colours including grey, red and yellow. I decided to further emphasize this by picking them out with washes/glazes.

I went over the yellow with GW Lamentors Yellow, the red with GW Bloodletter and the grey bits with the old GW Devlan Mud.

This really helps these colours to 'pop'.

They yellows were a lot more vibrant after the glaze
The Black Stuff

The next step was to darken some of the many recesses on the model with a combination of GW Badab Black wash and VJ Model Air Black. The black was applied using an airbrush at low psi (around 15) to give that hazy sooty effect.

The Engine Glow

I also painted the engine glow using the airbrush.

I started with pure VJ Model Air Blue. I masked off areas which I didn't want overspray to hit with cellotape but this proved too unwieldy so I actually took it off later.

I then gradually added VJ Model Air White to the mix and spray in smaller cones towards the centre of the engine to simulate the glow.

I finished off by painting a line of white using a medium brush.


I finished up by sealing the model with VJ Matt Varnish and the window cockpits with GW Ardcoat Gloss Varnish. I think I used a little too much matt varnish as it really dulled the colour! But given that the ships in Star Wars has that used look anyway it wasn't such a big deal.

And that's pretty much it!

The Reveal

Meet the new and improved 'heap of junk' that is the Millennium Falcon!:

Freedom Fighters
Facing the might of the Imperial Elites. Pew Pew.

This is what I would call a low effort, high impact repaint. Very easy to do but really helps distinguish your model from everyone else's.

I will be doing a lot more partial repaints in the near future so stay tuned and on target!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

X-Wing: Conclave 2014 X-Wing Tournament Report - Part 2

Last week I published Part 1 of my tournament report of the Conclave X-Wing Tournament held in Limerick, Ireland, back in June 2014 (which can be found here). Part 2 of the report is now here so read on and enjoy!

As a quick recap from last week: I finished up with full wins from my first 3 games. However there were still 2 games to go and a loss or even a modified win in these last 2 games may kick me back down the ladder. The tournament was still wide open and ripe for the taking.

In the last few tournaments I attended I got a bit complacent in the latter stages of the events which had a negative impact on my final placing. This was an important lesson that I took to heart and was determined not to repeat this time around.

Conclave X-Wing Tournament 2014 (continued)

Game 4

My 4th game was against Justin and his elite Imperial Squadron.

This looks to be a pretty elite list with lots of TIE Interceptors. Darth Vader in the Lambda is extremely dangerous against other Imperial lists so I had to keep an eye on him while the Interceptors can be very potent if flown well. For those of you unfamiliar with this so called 'Doom Shuttle', Darth Vader's crew card has the ability whereby he can inflict 2 damage on the Shuttle for 1 automatic critical hit against an enemy ship that was the target of the Shuttle this turn. So against other Imperial lists with no shields this becomes pretty nasty.

The asteroid placement phase was pretty tactical. I needed corridors to fly into but I also wanted to obstruct the Shuttle as much as possible while I assume Justin was trying to do the same to my swarm. We ended up with a clump of asteroids in the middle. Given that I had to deploy first with my PS1 Academy TIEs Justin had a slight advantage. I set up in the middle so that I can turn either left or right depending on where he ends up. Justin set up his entire squadron in the corner of the table to my right.

On turn one I flew straight up into my standard swarm formation. Justin flew straight up with the Doom Shuttle followed by his Royal Guards.

I can see he is trying to flank me. It would be too dangerous for me to try to turn right into him at this stage as the asteroids were just too numerous. I played it safe and continue to shoot straight up hoping the big asteroid in the middle will protect my flank.

Justin saw his opportunity and came in for the kill. With a combination of some fancy barrel rolling and boosting actions, he was able to fly around the asteroids and into range with 2 of his Interceptors.

He was obviously going for the rear rank with Howlrunner and the Black Squadron Pilot (BSP).

This was some pretty impressive flying. He managed to get 2 Royal Guards in range and arc while none of my ships had an arc to any of his ships. This does not bode well!

He let loose with his Interceptors and got in a lucky crit against the BSP through the big asteroid. He also took a hull from Dark Curse. I couldn't retaliate this turn.

On the next turn I started to turn the swarm to my right. I couldn't do a sharp right as the BSP would definitely landed on the big asteroid. Knowing how slippery Interceptors can be I instead prioritise the Doom Shuttle and did a bank 3 towards it.

Once again Justin did some seriously epic manouevring and managed to get 2 Royal Guards and the Shuttle in range this turn. While the Royal Guard in red looped all the way behind my swarm. All the Interceptors were well out of my firing arc. Damn this guy is good!

With Swarm Tactics I had 3 ships at PS8 and got the jump on him. I shot them all at the Shuttle to whittle down some shields. Justin returned the compliment by blowing up the damaged BSP and chip some paint off of Howlrunner. Darth Vader also performed a Force choke in exchange for 2 hit points. The rest of my TIEs fired and did some serious damage to the Shuttle leaving it with only 1 hull point. I had to kill something fast as Justin is currently winning by killing my BSP earlier.

During the next turn, Justin had the initiative and given the flight path the Doom Shuttle took last turn he was forced to fly over an asteroid. I had my fingers crossed and the Force was obviously on my side as he rolled a damage symbol and blew himself up! Take that Vader! I've finally pulled ahead.

On my activation I did a k-turn with my swarm formation to try to catch his squadron in my considerable fire arc.

Amazingly, Justin was able to jink all three of his Royal Guards out of arc/range of my entire swarm. I couldn't believe this. I couldn't fire on any of them!

The only Interceptor that could fire let loose at Dark Curse and dropped him down to 1 hull. This was very worrying as he obviously figured he only needed to destroy 1 more TIE Fighter to win and Dark Curse was going to be the unfortunate victim.

I was on a precipice here. I had to keep Dark Curse alive at all cost.

Once again my swarm struggled to get any decent arc on the 2 Royal Guards to the left. While behind my swarm the other Royal Guard was dueling with Dark Curse. With the help of a barrel roll and a fortunate movement I managed to stay out of arc.

Noting of note happened during combat phase. This was turning more into a cat and mouse game.

On my next turn I thought I had cornered the red Royal Guard but to my surprise I turned the wrong way and 4 of my TIE Fighters were out of arc. Oh uh this is not good. There is no way for me to kill an Interceptor in time now.

To make things worse Justin sent another Interceptor as back up to go after Dark Curse. He now had 2 Royal Guards with PTL on his back.

He tried to predict Dark Curse's movement and attempted to block my flight path with a barrel roll. Thankfully I made the right decision and moved 5 straight running right past both Interceptors. Given that one of them still had range and arc on him I barrel rolled to bring an asteroid between us.

Time was called and this was to be the last action of the game. It was now down to one combat phase to decide the game. Justin only needed to take down 1 more hull point at range 3 to win.

He rolled to attack...............and I dodged them all!

I just about pulled a modified win.

This was the best game of X-Wing I've ever played. It was so close. It went right down to the last dice roll. Justin did the best flying in X-Wing I've ever seen.

He did exactly what he needed to do against a swarm, that is force me to do some actual flying. However I couldn't believe he was able to stay out of my arc for so long. The game was all about out-predicting each other. A proper mind game.

With my modified win I was still in a good position for 1st place. However at this point there was 4 people that could take top place. It all depended on the last game. I needed to win my last game.

Game 5

My last game was against Gary with another elite Imperial squadron.

This is an interesting list. Nice to see a TIE Advance for a change. I have to keep my wits about me if I'm to pull this off.

Again I set up using my standard deployment strategy. Gary split up his squadron with the TIE Fighters on the left and the TIE Advance and Carnor on the right.

On my activation I went in hard and fast. Gary likewise came straight at me. His strategy was sound: present me with an option and force me to make a decision; go left, stay on course or go right.

Against a potential indecisive player this may have worked. Unfortunately I ain't got time to be indecisive. I banked 3 to the left against what I considered to be the softer target. I knew a TIE Fighter's minimum move is a 2 which meant that I will likely be in range 1 with most of my ships.

My prediction was bang on. His TIE Fighters came right up into my range 1 band while his Interceptor and TIE Advance was trying desperately to catch up.

I put my swarm tactics to work and shot one Obsidian Pilot (OP) down while my other TIE Fighters took the other OP. His Mauler Mithel had no arc on me while Carnor was at range 3 and did no damage.

During the next activation I did a sharp right 1 while Dark Curse k-turned.

We traded blows but neither of us took down a ship.

Next I did a k-turn with the swarm and landed Howlrunner on an asteroid like a noob. However I judged this to be the optimum manouevre. I had both Maarek Stele and Mauler Mithel in my sights.

We unleashed hot green lasers at each other and I took down Maarek while he took out Dark Curse. I was also able to put a crit on Mr. Mauler.

I then banked 2 to the right to catch the lonely Mauler Mithel. He didn't last very long. Carnor again was trying to turn back into the fight but was only at range 3 and did nothing noticeable.

I k-turned with the swarm to finish the job but at range 3 was unable to put enough damage to take out Carnor. In reply, Mr. Jax one shot a TIE Fighter.

He then k-turned behind me while I moved up 2 straight to get rid of my stress. This is getting a bit worrying. Carnor was doing the Rambo and might just pull it off if his luck holds. Thankfully he crashed and without a focus failed to take another TIE Fighter down.

Time was called and this was to be the last turn. I k-turned while Carnor continued on and crashed again. We unloaded on each other but no more casualty was inflicted. And that was that!

Hooray full win for me! :D

This meant I took 1st place. My first X-Wing tournament win. Yay!

My prize for winning Conclave 2014

In Closing

This was a brilliant tournament. Winning it obviously helped a lot in forming my opinion of the event but I really enjoy the 5 rounds format. Playing more games means you get to play against more people as well as against more diverse lists. More bang for your buck as they say.

I also feel it allows your dice to balance out more. You can have a horrid time in a 3 game tournament if you had really awful dice in just one of those games. While in a 5 game tournament you can recover from an early defeat and still do really well.

As always I didn't really expect to win but I know I fly a TIE Swarm pretty well so I did go in with the intention of doing my best to win it. I felt the level of competition was pretty high. Gearoíd and Joe whom I beat in game 1 and 2 ended up in second and third place respectively. So that means I was the only one that they lost against.

This is all good as the more good players I play against the better I will get myself. This is of course true of the X-Wing community in Ireland in general. My hope is one day for one (or more) of us to develop to the level where we can compete at the highest level of competition that the big boys in the FFG World Championship plays at.

The event itself went very smoothly so thanks to Kevin and the rest of the Gathering team for running it! Conclave is a really cool event and I hope X-Wing will be a regular feature of the convention going forward.

That's all from me this week, I hope you enjoy the write up. If there's anything you think I can include to make my tournament reports better do let me know! I plan to go to many more tournaments in future.

Again stay on target and keep the flying casual! :D

(Note: If I got any details wrong about the event or any of my opponent or lists. Please let me know and I will make any necessary corrections. I can be contacted at

Sunday, August 17, 2014

X-Wing: Conclave 2014 X-Wing Tournament Report - Part 1

This week I've got another X-Wing tournament report for you to enjoy. This has taken a while to write up but better late than never as they say!

Conclave 2014 is an annual gaming convention that was held in Limerick City on 21-22 June 2014 hosted by The Gathering. This year was the first year that featured an X-Wing tournament. This clearly demonstrates the popularity of the game in Ireland which shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Limerick City is situated at the mouth of the River Shannon
Thomond Park, home of Munster Rugby
Now that's  pretty neat

Limerick is a city located in the west of Ireland. This is where I actually grew up and the Gathering shop was where I used to play a bit of 40k when I was a wee nerd-ling. So in a sense I'm going back to my roots for this tournament!

My List

Given how I've finally become somewhat competent at running a TIE Swarm I decided to stick with it for this event.

See my previous tourny post here regarding the rationale behind this list.

I entertained the idea of swapping out Dark Curse for Backstabber for increased offensive punch but I decided against it. Dark Curse is just too survivable and is highly relevant in a game where destroying one TIE Fighter can be the difference between a win and a loss.

I also considered swapping out Swarm Tactics for a Stealth Device on Howlrunner but I predicted that having three ships at PS 8 will give me an advantage in the local meta of low PS ships so I kept it in.

The Tourny

Game 1

My first game was against Gearóid and his Rebel squadron.

As always I deployed the asteroids to give myself nice corridors to fly into. I set up the swarm using the standard Piqsid Opening with Dark Curse to the left of the formation directly in front of the Rebel formation.

On the first turn I flew up aggressively with a 5 straight with the swarm and Dark Curse.

On his turn, Gearóid banked the squadron to his left to meet me head on.

He then unleashed Wedge at Howlrunner but lucky for me (and unlucky for him) failed to take her out. The rest of the squadron was able to take out one TIE Fighter in the ensuing exchange.

With 6 ships left, I first focused fire on the closest Blue Squadron and sent him back to meet his maker. This was then followed by the Rookie Pilot. Having a focus and the ability to reroll one dice is as scary as it gets in X-Wing.

An eye for an eye and then some.

On the next turn I performed a k-turn with my swarm while Dark Curse flew to the right to chase down Wedge.

The B-Wing banked to his left which left him with no targets while Wedge k-turned towards my formation.

Wedge then did his thing and one shot Dark Curse. Damn Wedge is scary!

In the following turn I moved up with a 2 green to get rid of my stress but did a strategic bump with Howlrunner so that she stays in the middle of the formation away from range 1 of the enemy and still within range 1 of the rest of the TIEs.

The B-Wing k-turned to try to get shots on the swarm while Wedge bumped into the formation in his attempt to get rid of his own stress token.

This was now 5 vs 2 with most of my ships having focused while my opponent had no actions. I promptly shot him off the board.

A win for me. Good start to the tourny! I've never flew against Wedge before and he is rightly feared. Amazing pilot ability. However from the asteroid placement and deployment I knew I had the advantage as I was not forced to do any proper flying which is usually the first and often last mistake a player can make against a TIE swarm.

Game 2

The second game was against Joe and his TIE Swarm. Hmmm this should get interesting!

Joe went for a more elite swarm list with Carnor "Jerk" in a TIE Interceptor in place of 2 TIE Fighters.

I deployed in an almost identical position as last game in a Piqsid Opening formation.

Joe went for something completely different and deployed his swarm horizontally in 2 rows while Carnor was on the right table edge.

Once again I moved up aggressively to get right up on his grill.

Apparently Joe made a huge blunder with his deployment and put Howlrunner in the wrong place which meant he was unable to avoid a collision while trying to move up in formation. His swarm did a sharp turn to his left while Howlrunner crashed. Carnor shot straight up like a boss.

I continued to move up aggressively in formation with the intention of intercepting him as soon as possible.

On the other hand, Joe was trying to recover from his earlier blunder and failed miserably. He's lost his formation. This is never good for a swarm.

Carnor in the mean time did some fancy flying with his Push the Limit to come up behind my swarm.

On the next turn I banked my formation left and let loose with hot laser death but only managed one kill. A TIE Fighter with a focus token and luck on his side can be a pain to get rid off.

In return Joe's TIE Fighters fluffed their shots and did nothing. Carnor continued his fancy flying and shot at Howlrunner but failed to kill her. I was just out of range 1. Phew!

I k-turned with my formation but bumped Howlrunner into Dark Curse. A noob mistake on my part.

Luckily his TIE fighters didn't have the stomach for a close range fight and made a runner. Carnor on the other hand was committed and went in for glory.

And glory he found. Carnor somehow survived 5 TIE Fighters shooting at him. His ability preventing me from using my focus tokens probably had something to do with it. What a lad.

His TIE fighters were too far away and were effectively out of the game.

Carnor's luck was not to last and I promptly vapourised him during my next shooting phase. Time was called.

Another win. So far so good.

Joe's early blunder definitely cost him the game. I could see what he was trying to do: move across the board horizontally stalling for time while Carnor come in from behind and then both element jump in for the kill capitalising on Carnor's jerk-like pilot ability to get an upper hand. Luckily for me this didn't work out!

Game 3

My third game was against a young buck by the name of Seoirse.

I gathered from the grapevine that he was doing pretty well with this list. Not surprising given Han is even a bigger jerk than Carnor.

Once again my opening move was identical to my previous games.

Seoirse set up with Han right on the board edge flanked by the flying tanks on his right.

I went right down to business and moved straight up on turn 1 and banked right in turn 2 to present a wide front to catch his ships. Dark Curse moved up on the right of the swarm formation to try to fly interference.

He did the symmetrical opposite. Given that they were still in formation meant he knew what he was doing. Flying a big ship in formation with small ships is something that takes practice.

Here I became aware of a mistake on my part. If I were to continue on my current course my formation would crash into Dark Curse or an asteriod (or both) as they would move first before Dark Curse. My next movement would be crucial. If I don't recover I would loose the cohesion of my formation and end up like my last opponent that broke his formation early.

Seoirse swooped Han down the board to avoid my swarm while still able to shoot with his 360 firing.

During combat phase Han scratched some paint off of one of the TIE fighters while the B-Wings did like wise against Dark Curse.

I took a bit of time on my next turn but using my trusty MK 1 eyeball, I judged the right course of action and moved up in formation right up in the B-wings flight paths avoiding Dark Curse and the asteroid. Wow that was close!

I celebrated by turning both B-Wings into a firework display with my entire swarm.

Han on the other hand can only watch with horror.

I k-turned with my swarm anticipating that Han will loop back around up the board.

My swarm moved in for the kill against the solitary Han Solo.

With predictable inevitability, Han was swamped and promptly exploded. 7 vs 1 was never going to be a fair fight no matter how good you are.

Seoirse flew really well but unfortunately a swarm is a pretty hard counter against a Falcon and with the B-Wings taken out early there was nothing that he could do to climb back.

With that I got my 3rd win. I was not expecting this but I might actually win the whole thing! However there was still 2 games to go and from what I gathered things were pretty tight. I would need 2 more wins to guarantee 1st place.

That's it for now. Hope ye are enjoying the report so far.

I will cover the last 2 games of the tournament in Part 2 next week. Stay tuned as it will include the best game of X-Wing I've ever played. Ever. :D

Stay on target and fly casual!