Friday, December 26, 2014

Tutorial : Ultramarine blue

Over the years I have had  a few people asking how I get my shade of blue for the Ultramarines.

This article will be a quick and dirty tutorial for that (sorry for the blurry pictures).

Monday, December 22, 2014

X-Wing Showcase : VT-49 Decimator repaint

When I saw the wave 5 ships, I just knew I needed to repaint the Decimator. With it's sleek lines, aggressive angles and overall badassness it just begged for a good paint job.

Monday, December 15, 2014

30000 page views and a new home :

With twenty thousand page views in the last six months and almost thirty thousand since the blog creation, I decided to splurge and buy a nice domain name : . Please update your links and bookmarks.

I'm still on blogger though, so ultimately everything should be the same for you, as the old blogspot address should redirect to the new domain name.

Hopefully I setup everything alright, but please leave a comment if you notice anything amiss. You can also contact me on the facebook page or on twitter.

Mandatory filler picture! Aren't you excited about that game too?

Friday, December 12, 2014

X-Wing World Championship 2014 debrief : part 3

Game 3 :  Robert Thomas 2Bs and 2Ys

Robert was playing a control list, with :
Dutch, ion turret, R7
Gold squadron with ion turret and R5
Blue squadron with FCS
Blue squadron

Like MrFroggies list, this list was heavy in hitpoints but low on agility. With mostly PS2, they would not arc dodge me so the swarm should do fine.

Robert deployed facing the center and I deployed to meet him in the middle.

I was expecting him to turn between the top leftmost asteroids, because otherwise I would get free shots on his flank but he temporised one turn too many. It left Jet 6 in a bad position (no place to bank because of the asteroid just in front), but gave me a couple of free shots.

He finally turned and my obsidians flanked him while the academies took position to block him on the next turn.

The lead B-Wing was taken down to 2 hulls in the exchange while I lost a hull or two due to the range.

I finished the B-Wings first and after that it was just mopping up as the Ys don't have the necessary firepower to take down Ties.

In the end I lost 2 ( maybe 3)  Ties before finishing him.

Game 4 :  Jeff and his YT+HWK

Jeff played :
Chewie, concussion missile, R2D2, C3P0, predator, millenium falcon title, hull upgrade
Jan Ors, recon spec, moldy crow, blaster turret, stealth device, squad leader.

On paper it is a very favorable matchup for me but I totally misplayed the first engagement.
Jeff build can really lay down the hurt with his first opening shot of 5 dice concussion missile with predator reroll and focus. but after that its just a falcon with 4 attack dice if Jan Ors is alive.

He played his 2 ships in a queue, with Chewie moving then Jan Ors moving to occupy the space that Chewie jsut left to prevent me from blocking her.

Turn 3 I moved to block Chewie, guessed his move right ( a 2 hard ) then totally forgot to barrel roll my Tie... This meant that Chewie and Jan got actions and that my swarm only target was Jan. With Stealth Device on and her recon spec tokens, it took my whole firepower to remove 1 shield!

I took her down in the next turn, loosing a couple of Ties, then came the boring chase of Chewie with my remaining Ties. He managed to whittle them down to 4 before being destroyed.

Jeff played beautifully in the face of a bad matchup.

4-1! Just one game to go!

Game 6 : Kinetic Operator and his 3 Phantoms list

Aaron played:
Echo, veteran instincts, rebel captive, advanced cloacking device, sensor jammer
2 Sigma squadrons, stygium particule accelerator, intelligence agent, enhanced scopes.

Falcons to the left of them,
Falcons to the right of them,
Phantoms! in front of them,
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Aaron is well known in the X-Wing community for his skills with Echo and his unconventional builds. He did not disappoint for worlds! That list is nasty in the right hands and he flew it perfectly.

As I told you in the part 2, the only ship I really feared was Echo. He is so unpredictable that he is impossible to block with the swarm and can take it on by himself. Well, it's going to be an uphill battle but let's do my best!

Aaron deployed his ships in front of mine:

And advanced straight forward to cloak:

His sigmas move before me due to enhanced scopes but fire before me (he got initiative), so I'm pretty sure his plan his to gun it forward (so with decloak a 7 forward), do as much damage with the sigmas as he can and finish me with Echo. So I devised a pretty devious plan : I'm going to advance as much as possible with the left Ties and turn left with the right ties to deny shots to his right sigma.

I think my tiredness was starting to show (the game was at 3AM Paris time), because even then I made a mistake with the 2 front left Ties : I moved 4 or 5 forward to allow Jet 2 and 3 to get actions. What I should have down was either bank left, or (more risky) K-turn. This took them out of the game for a couple of turns. But my plan worked! right sigma has no target!

Disaster! The dice are not with me and the 2 phantoms with targets proceed to one shot a Fighter each, while my return fire does nothing. One shot odds in this configuration are around 30% dropping to less than 10% for both so its definitely possible. I should have evaded as its the best defense against 5 attack dices.

After that severe blow, the jetlag got the better of me and I played really poorly. Landing on a rock and bumping my own ships. (Look at Jet 2 and Jet 4...)

I think in the whole game I managed to strip 2 shields of his sigmas!

I finished day 1 with a 4-2 record and a 31th place. Not really glorious, with 2 disastrous games but not that bad all considered. The level of play was incredible and I learned a lot!
My list was good considering the rest of the meta, maybe a bit hard to play when tired, but at the time it was the only list I was really confident in.

I did make the supplemental list for day 2, so stay tuned for more swarmy goodness!

Time to reload,

Monday, December 8, 2014

X-Wing World Championship 2014 debrief : part 2

It's day one at FFG X-Wing World Championship and I've come here to eat bananas and kick ass ... and I'm all out of bananas. Cause it's illegal to import bananas to the US and well, they don't joke with those things at Dulles Airport Customs. So let's kick some ass!

Article en Français

I've decided to go to worlds with my trusty 4 academies, 4 obsidian swarm for 2 reasons:
1) After some testing, the only builds I really fear are Echo builds and I'm not expecting to see many at Worlds. I've done okay against Whisper builds (50-50 odds), as I'm usually able to block them with my numbers so the hardest matches will probably be mirror matches.
2) For such an event and with the jetlag involved you should go with the build you've practiced the most. Never change your list at the last minute!

Due to my national win I got a bye in the first round so I got to roam around, and watch a few games.

Game 2 : MrFroggies

And we're up! Game 2 is against none other than MrFroggies! A big name for the first game, I need to hit the field running. He is running 3 Blues with tactician and a gold with ion turret and R3A2.

This is a great control list and MrFroggies is going to carry it to the top 32. But if I play correctly I should be okay as with only 1 defense dice B-Wings ans Y-Wings are easy targets for Tie fighters.

I put my rocks in the corners and MrFroggies clumps his in the middle of the board to disrupt my formation. I deploy my Ties in 2 groups to flank his formation if he goes in the middle.

He goes left to use the rock formation and I reform my Ties to attack!

He told me later that he was hoping that the rocks would disrupt me more, but after my moves he only has 1 choice left. turn right and channel himself in the rocks where I would be able to block him using the academies.

The lead B-Wing is destroyed and I only loose 1 Tie in the exchange with another ioned. This actually helped as it allowed that Tie to do a 1 forward!

Next turn I know that he's not going to be able to evade my swarm with all 3 ships so I let the lead B go and concentrate on the stragglers.

Going for the firepower I take down another B.

The Y tries to escape but also buys it and I finish the last B shortly after that.
MrFroggies was a great opponent and I'm really happy to have met him.

1 win, 3 left!

Game 3 : Dustin and his Tie swarm.

Dustin was playing a pretty good list with
OGP+ enhanced scopes
5 academies

So PS0 blocking and some nice firepower.

Alright I totally misplayed that game. The asteroid field was great for me, forcing Dustin to go through it while giving me lots of room to maneuver. But I took the bait and went for the shuttle instead of going for the swarm. I thought I could get a few shots in on the shuttle when my range 3 shots are not really effective on Ties, then turn right for the brawl.

That plan was not bad, I just needed to weather a round of long range shooting, hopefully doing some damage in return and swing my swarm right. However what happened is that Dustin 5 academies took down 2 of mine (hit and direct hit twice!), while I only stripped 3 shields from the shuttle.

- Freeze frame. A moment of choice.

- The swarm is defensive. I have a chance to get back in the game right here. Better turn right and face the swarm than push a bad position.

With a heavy feeling of doom, I picked up my dials and planned my next move.Things were bad, but if I could defeat the ties, even a lonely academy could probably defeat the shuttle in the endgame.
There I had 2 choices with the left obsidians and I really picked the worse one, as it spread my firepower. Jet 4 K-turned behind the shuttle, while Jet 3 tried to cross the asteroid and got blocked on it. What I should have done was take a hard 1 right with 3 and 4, bank Jet 2 behind and hard 2 Jet 1.

Instead what happened is that even with some luck on my side I lost another 2 ties, taking 2 of his in return. My swarm cannot withstand firepower of this magnitude!

After that I just played really poorly while Dustin mopped me up. I landed on an asteroid at least once, and just generally failed to do anything right.

2-1 with 3 games left, I need to pull my shit together for the last 3 games, solid play may still carry the day!

Time to reload,

Monday, December 1, 2014

X-Wing Showcase : Dagger squadron B-Wing with folding foils

For my latest repaint, I was a bit late for my club monthly painting challenge (read : I still had not painted anything on the evening of the last day...) so I decided it was the right time to try a new B-Wing mod : folding S-Foils. Nothing like trying something new and superfluous when you're short on time!

I think it turned out OK, but not as good as I would have liked, the port wing especially is a bit crooked when folded.

Lock S-Foils in attack position!

If you've seen a lot of B-Wings, something should be strange by now. Try to find it or scroll to see the answer.

I used exactly the same techniques as on my first B-Wing for the rotating cockpit and paintjob, you can find the tutorial here.

For the foils it was a pretty simple mod all considered. 

It's just that when I glued the wing back on, I glued the wing inverted! I'm so used to my other B-Wing that is inverted that I glued the wings with the same side up only realizing my mistake when I had to paint the squadron markings. If you try the mod, don't make the same mistake!

You will need: 
- superglue
- a thin paperclip
- a sharp x-acto
- a hand drill of the diameter of your paper clip

Here is what you're aiming for:

First remove the bottom wing ( try to wiggle it off the main peg, applying pressure alternatively on either side, you should hear a small crack when the glue breaks, then just pry it off).

Next remove the foils, they form a single wing.

Now's the hard part: using your X-Acto, make 2 cuts on each wing to separate them from the central core (forgot to take pictures, so this where to make the cuts, just imagine that the wing is separated):

When the wings are cut, drill a hole in the wing for the paper clip :

And 2 corresponding holes in the core of the wing:

Now take the paper clip, cut to size, bend it and glue:

Here is the finished model with my original (notice that the wings have the same side up...):

I was a bit pressed for time and did not strip the paint, now that the model is painted it definitely shows, especially around the cockpit and the engine where the original model had a heavy coat.
It was not necessary on the lambda, but it really makes a difference for the smaller ships.

Time to reload,

Public Service Announcement : for my Parisian readers, there are 2 tournaments coming soon.
1) The Paris Open on the 6th of December 2014: registration and info
2) Uchronies games tournament on the 14th of December 2014 (full already) : info