Well, it’s that time of year again, when a mild mannered middle aged functionary takes a week off from his daily scheming to run a camp for kids at the St. Stephens and St. Agnes School, Alexandria, VA. I’ve been doing this for about a decade now, and I have to say I look forward to it almost as much as the kids, if not more. For starters, we had a real challenge being down on the lower campus, as we were in the very lower back of the school, making it difficult to load and unload boxes and such for our day’s work. The space itself, however, rocks. It’s a small gymnasium built for lower school Physical Instruction, so it’s not us reusing a teacher’s classroom, something I’ve always been sensitive about– I’m married to a teacher and I’m sure she wouldn’t care for a pack of hooligans messing with her stuff. :=)
So aside from the A/C problems (e.g. muggy and sticky) and the parking (non-existent) and the distance to hump gear (long) we were running Star Wars Armada for our first day. Now, I really do enjoy their X-Wing Miniatures game, and I really liked the big-ship version too. In fact, I probably liked it better– this is how I picture big spaceship battles.
We played a Heavy Imperial Fleet Patrol (4 Destroyers, fighter escort) bumping into reinforced Rebel Squadron with One MC80 Star Cruiser (Home one), One Mc30C Scout Frigate, one Assault Frigate Mk IIA, and two large fighter squadron escorts, mixed A Wing, B Wing, Y Wing and X Wing. I’m not sure how you (officially) run a multiplayer game in Armada, so I used the Turn Order flight stand tokens from X-wing, which I have plenty of.
Startup positions.. Empire
Startup positions.. Rebellion
And we’re off, Playing STAR WARS ARMADA (Fantasy Flight Games)
my tiny rebel fighter squadrons take on 3 Imperial Star destroyers. Sure, we got converted into Space Plasma, but sometimes it’s the journey, not the destination.
The Rebs did surprisingly well, considering
Home One (Admiral Akbar’s ship) and the Daisy (the Assault Frigate) flanked left and I caused a distraction by flying my fighter squadron up the center, into 3 Destroyers in line. Yeah, live fast, die young, leave atomized goo for a corpse.
The game moved slow in the beginning as we all sort of figured it out. I’m new to Armada, I’m CERTAIN I did a lot of things wrong and compromised on more. In my defense, I think the rules are rather shoddily written. I had a decent idea of how ships move, and shoot, and defend themselves, and what all the dice kinda sorta mean in what situations, but really, there were niggling little situations that cropped up all day that aren’t SPECIFICALLY called out in the rules, or were easy to exrapolate, so I house-ruled it right and left, as one does.
Stretch break selfies.. we played a dodge ball variant.. best idea ever.
In general, we really enjoyed this one– a first for this camp, though we have ran X-Wing Miniatures in the past. I’m glad FFG continues to support it, but man, like all FFG games, it’s a bit token heavy, the rules need some ‘splaining and there is just a mega ton of setup for what is a simple game, after all.
Astonishingly, the Rebellion, who always seems undergunned, put in a great show for itself. I tagged along to help out, and shot down the middle with my fighters to take on Star Destroyers. They got all distracted and turning every which way, which allowed the Home 1 and the Daisy to flank to the left and really punish them. They lost their TIE fighters pretty early (like the Empire does) but there’s more where that came from, eh? Our fighters were very aggresive, but so was the Empire. By end of battle, the Rebellion large ships hadn’t taken that much damage but the fighters were almost all killed off. Whereas two Imperial Star Destroyer had lost all shields in a single zone and was taking hull damage. I gave it to the Rebels, at game end.. who knows what would have happened a few turns later, the Empire still had hitting power.
Fortunately, my son Garrett is assisting as counselor this year, and regaled the kids in the down time with a game of ROOM 25, which I really like for camp.. it’s fast, with lots of backstabbing (if you play it right) and a nice SF patina.
So, a good first day. Tomorrow, it’s Garrett’s turn. He will run Battletech, while I do some clean up on Big Danged boats and get it ready for Wednesday.
B-Tech is already set up, we will hit the ground running. I will also be bringing stuff for people to paint tomorrow.
A great day!