Monday, November 30, 2015

X-Wing - Playing among the stars

The last two weeks were a little busy so Penny and I didn't get to play much X-Wing together.  She still asked on a daily basis though so I think she's quite interested in the game.  That didn't stop us from doing other X-Wing related things together though.  Like making a starfield battle mat.

I was tired of having the ships slide around so much on the dining room table so spent a few days looking how other people made their DIY starfield battle maps.  Lots of things came up on the internet ranging from felt cloth (decided against this as it would just slide off the table) to yoga mats (lots of pros but relatively expensive compared to other DIY solutions).  So armed with this knowledge of what others had done, I spent an afternoon (while doing other errands) looking for some materials and pricing them out.  I ended up picking up two black anti-slip shelf liners (something like this but 18" wide and shorter) from the dollar store for $6 and taping them together underneath to make a 36" wide field.  The mat looked good, gripped the dining room table well and the ships didn't slide so much when placed on the mat.

To make the mat even better, Penny and I looked up various star fields on the internet as references and spent an evening painting the mat.  She had a lot of fun flicking the toothbrush of white paint on to the mat and adding some large pink gas clouds/planets/stars to one of the quarters.  The following was our end result

We were happy with it, but I might try and find a way to make her pink celestial bodies blend better with the rest of the star field at some point in the future.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

X-Wing - Adapting for a 5 year old

Since picking up the Force Awakens Core Set for X-Wing last Sunday, Penny has asked to play the "Star Wars game with ships"' almost every day this week.  Sadly I could not oblige every day because of work but we did play a few more games.

Having a second ship certainly helped even things out since we weren't playing with Actions or pilot skills.  The game at this level was basically just ships moving and shooting at each other so a lot of our games came down to who could point their ship at the enemy and roll better.  With only 1 ship, Penny had quite a disadvantage despite the added shielding, but with 2 ships she was able to hold her own much better.

My TIE Fighters chasing down a Z-95. Penny's X-Wing coming in fast to help the Z-95.
Earlier today we went back to Game Quest and added a bit to each of our respective forces (pay day!).  Penny wanted the YT-2400 but she didn't have enough money for it.  She was going to settle for just the HWK-290 and another Z-95 but I mentioned to her that we could look through our old video games and trade in any games that we didn't play anymore to see if we could get the extra money to get the freighter.  She was quite happy I suggested it and we ended up getting a fair amount for the games we traded in.
HWK-290 and YT-2400
After pooling all of our money together, we got enough to get the YT-2400 and a HWK-290 for her, and Slave I and a TIE Bomber for me.  I had a hard time deciding between Slave I or the Imperial Aces expansion (both the same price at Game Quest) but finally decided on Slave I as it was the only one they had and I needed a big ship too.
TIE Bomber and Slave I

Anyways, what I really wanted to write about was how to modify the game a little (and it really is just a little) so that someone as young as 5 years old can play.

Monday, November 9, 2015

X-Wing - Getting into the game

Last night I found out that they released a new trailer for The Force Awakens so I decided to watch it before dinner.  While I was doing this, Penny asked what I was watching and jumped into my lap and watched the trailer with me.  Afterwards she asked to watch the other Force Awaken trailers on the playlist so we did.  She's really excited by the new movie and I really want to take her so to help prep her for the new movie I decided to take her to Game Quest after dinner to see what Star Wars X-Wing stuff they had.

We ended up buying the X-Wing Force Awakens box set and proceeded to learn the game as soon as we got home.  The game officially has an age limit of 14+ but ever since Penny was a baby, I've been pushing the envelope so to say with her toys and entertainment.  While taking out all the tokens and templates she ended up choosing the X-Wing as her ship.  So I ended up with the Imperial TIE Fighters (well I guess First Order) as mine.

We played through the tutorial mission easily enough.  She understood how to use the maneuver dial and what dice to roll and what the symbols meant except for the Eye as it's not described in the tutorial mission and took me a while to find out what it actually does.  It took her a few turns to realize she shouldn't tell me her plans as it would allow me to plan my own moves better.  Unfortunately for her, the dice just did not go her way and my TIE fighters finished off the X-Wing at the end.  There was a moment mid-game where she annihilated one of the TIE fighters in one volley though and that made her happy.

While we were cleaning up all the tokens she declared that she needed another ship.  I did not dispute this because the two TIE fighters had a slightly higher point value than the lone X-Wing.  Using just the basic ships with no actions or pilot abilities heavily favours the side with more ships I think.  As we play more games I might introduce actions but I don't want to overload her as she just turned 5.

So today, after her skating lessons, we went back to Game Quest and picked up a Z-95 Headhunter for her.  That should even the playing field against my two TIE fighters.  Haven't had a chance to play another game but we will no doubt get a few games in on Remembrance Day which we, with me being a teacher and her just starting school, both have off.

I don't think my wife has seen this comic yet, but I think I'll send it to her soon.