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« Reply #15 on: 10 June 2014, 22:30:03 »

Battle Plans

An X-Wing (TM) Turn Zero Article by 2013 World Champion Paul Heaver


“The Empire doesn’t consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they’d have a tighter defense.  An analysis of the plans provided by Princess Leia has demonstrated a weakness in the battle station.”

    –General Dodonna


In his “Turn Zero” articles, reigning World Champion Paul Heaver offers a look at one of the most critical components in mastering the game of X-Wing… getting started.


Previously, Paul explored the importance of asteroid placement and of determining how best to place your starships at the start of your game. Today, Paul continues his exploration of the important decisions that you make in every match well before the first shots are fired and the first defense dice are rolled…




2013 X-Wing World Champion Paul Heaver


2013 X-Wing World Champion Paul Heaver on Forming a Battle Plan


Welcome back to “Turn Zero”! In this edition, we’ll look at how to form a plan for victory.


There are multiple steps to consider, starting with one that you can begin days or even weeks before an event begins:


Step One: Study the Metagame


The first step in your tournament preparation is to analyze the current metagame. For example, as I prepared for tournaments toward the close of FFG’s 2014 Store Championship season, Rebels had posted more wins than Imperials, primarily with a variety of four-ship builds. Usually, these utilized some combination of B-wings and X-wings.




Squads of two X-wings and two B-wings are common at tournaments.


Five-ship Rebel builds were also seeing some popularity, and builds that utilized Chewbacca plus two other fighters were still going strong.




Chewbacca remains a popular addition to squads with two X-wings.


On the Imperial side, the TIE swarm still reigned.




The TIE swarm is still as every bit as effective as it is intimidating.


Sometimes, a shuttle replaced two of the TIE fighters. After the swarm, I saw Imperial builds that used three Bounty Hunters, or two Bounty Hunters and another ship or two for support.




Squads of three bounty hunters use the Firespray-31 to great effect.


All told, as I planned to head to tournaments toward the end of the Store Championship season, I expected most people at my event to be running lists that could be placed into one of the major archetypes listed above. Since my region tends to be heavy on Rebels, I planned on facing squads with two B-wings and two X-wings, as well as builds with Chewbacca and two fighters. I also expected to face a few Imperial swarms. Of course, your local metagame might be different!


Once you form an educated guess about the lists that you’re likely to face, you need to decide what to play. You don’t want to play something that will fall apart to the most popular builds in the metagame! For example, if you have someone that always shows up with a squad that uses two YT-1300s and consistently does well, you might want to think twice about a three-ship list featuring TIE interceptor aces.


Generally, I also like to avoid complete mirror matches, so if I choose to play a common archetype, I try to bring something specifically for the mirror of my list: I may include a HWK-290 with an Ion Cannon Turret in my four-ship Rebel build, or I may drop my TIE swarm to ninety-six points to win initiative.


Step Two: Plan Three Turns Ahead


So, if you’ve figured out which builds are likely to be the most popular, what’s your plan for facing them?


At the very least, I recommend developing plans for asteroid and ship placement against two or three of the popular builds. I always start by planning how to confront TIE Swarms since their setups are well-documented. You know they want to set their asteroids as close to them as possible to minimize their impact, and you know they’ll place their ships first in one of the usual formations. Next, I’d plan to face the popular Rebel lists that utilize two B-wings and two X-wings. Usually, two detailed plans are good for most events. My previous articles dealt with asteroids and ship placement, so you can look there for my advice.


Once you’ve developed your plans for asteroids and ship placement, you’ll want to practice three turns of maneuvers. Usually, that’s about the length of time it takes for both fleets to approach the first round of combat. As you practice, you’ll assume the TIE swarm you are practicing against is going to move toward you as aggressively as possible while dodging asteroids. On the other hand, the Rebel squad of B-wings and X-wings will run roughly halfway down the edge of the board before turning into the center.




Understanding and anticipating your opponent’s maneuvers helps you better plan your initial approach. Here, we see how a squad of two X-wings and two B-wings and a swarm of TIE fighters might approach each other.


How can your squad take advantage of this knowledge? Ideally, you’d find a way to get a free round of shots at your opponent, but, realistically, that won’t happen. In most cases, the best that you can do is develop an opening that allows you to encounter your opponent’s starfighters after they’ve lost actions bumping into allied ships or performing barrel rolls and boosts to bypass asteroids, and if all goes well, you’ll have saved your actions for focuses and target locks. Additionally, a perfect opening is one in which you can encounter your opponent’s squad with all your ships in range to fire, but one or more of enemy ship lagging behind and out of range. Practice is essential to the development of such a successful opening.


Another bonus to planning out the game’s three opening rounds is that you can place your dials quickly in the beginning of your matches. Being able to project confidence in your plan is often enough to cause your opponents to question their plans, second-guess themselves, and make mistakes.


Step Three: Study Your Opponents


Once you get to the event, look around! Study your opponents. Most people will have their ships out, ready to set up, and visible. Did you guess the metagame correctly? You’ll have a chance to find out. If you see a ton of YT-1300s, you should start thinking about what you need to do to work around their powerful turrets. If you see a lot of bright red TIE interceptors, you should start planning what you’ll need to do to block their moves and prevent them from dodging out of your firing arcs.


Then, throughout the tournament, take time to watch other matches after you complete yours. You may possibly discover some interesting tactics you might not have thought of, and you may also see how your future opponents act. Do they avoid asteroids at all costs, or do they fly over them for a tactical advantage? Do they clear stress tokens immediately, or do they sacrifice actions in favor of position?


Finally, when you get to the table, you need to determine how your opponent plans to win and which are his most important pieces.



       
  • Does he have a vulnerable wingman that he plans to hold away from the front lines to give bonuses to his other ships? “Howlrunner,” Biggs Darklighter, and most of the HWK-290 pilots fall into this category. Usually, you want to destroy them first.




       
  • Is there an ace pilot that he’ll try to use to establish a flank? Set up your asteroids to make flanking difficult. Alternatively, you can plan on setting up a trap where you can pounce on the flanker without exposing yourself to the rest of his fleet. If you use just two asteroids to protect your planned attack routes, then you can use the last one to close off your opponent’s most obvious attack route.


When you place your ships, you’ll want to think about your three-turn plan, and how it will interact with your opponent’s probable location after three turns.


Switching to Plan “B”


In some cases, you’ll need to abandon your plan. After placing your asteroids, you may realize that if you follow your ship placement and three-turn plan, you will be woefully out of position. Do not just stubbornly follow the plan anyway! Spend a moment to think about what you can to do to salvage this situation. Perhaps, you can move super slowly to react to your opponent’s movement, or you might rocket down the edge of the map as fast as possible to throw off his plan.


Hopefully, by now, you will realize how important it is to master the game before the game. As in a chess match, you can sit down knowing nothing but the rules and still win, but you stand a much better chance if you know a few openings and known counterattacks. Games of X-Wing are often won or lost before the first shot is fired.


Thanks, Paul!


In X-Wing as in the original Star Wars trilogy, matches are won and lost with daring maneuvers and heroic shots. Still, just as in the original Star Wars trilogy, your victory also requires careful planning. It takes a great deal of coordination to get all your heroes into position to make the most of their contributions, and that planning starts well before you sit down to the table.


If you’re looking to improve your skills as an X-Wing player, then, it would serve you well to follow Paul’s advice, and while you’re thinking about how to develop and counter a number of different opening gambits, you can share your thoughts with the members of our community forums!

...


Source: Battle Plans
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« Reply #16 on: 11 June 2014, 07:00:03 »

A Twisted Plan

A Guest Article on Twist of Fate in STAR WARS (TM): The Card Game

Star Wars™: The Card Game is made up of hundreds of unique cards, divided across two sides of the Force and six affiliations. Many of these cards have distinctly shaped the way the game is played, but has one card had a greater influence than any other? In today’s guest article, Zach Bunn asks that question and offers his thoughts on one card’s effects on every game of Star Wars: The Card Game.

Zach Bunn on Twist of Fate

What would you choose as “the most important card” in the Star Wars: The Card Game? Maybe you’d choose Sleuth Scout (Edge of Darkness, 340) for its meta-defining ability, or Orbital Bombardment (Core Set, 103) for the way it shifts the dark side’s endgame. The Defense of Yavin 4 (Core Set, 138) isn’t a bad pick either, since it gives speed and efficiency to an entire deck.

There are certainly more than a few fantastic cards in the game, and all of the above are worthy picks. But when we’re discussing the most important card in the game – a quite prestigious title – I can’t get away from a relatively simple one that impacted the game since the beginning: Twist of Fate (Core Set, 171).

Twist of Fate is a straightforward card. It cancels the current edge battle and forces players into a second edge battle. So what is it that makes Twist of Fate so important?

To understand the power of Twist of Fate, you have to also understand the power of edge battles. The edge battle is one of the most critical components to winning or losing a game of Star Wars. If you’ve played a few games, you should understand the importance of edge battles for determining the outcome of a game.

But Twist of Fate isn’t about winning edge battles. Let me say that again. Twist of Fate is not about winning edge battles.

Twist of Fate is about card advantage.

Two Steps Ahead

In my first article posted to the FFG website, The Flow of the Force, I discussed the importance of cycling through your deck and not holding onto cards that you know you won’t be using. Twist of Fate doesn’t get you extra cards, but when used ideally, it costs your opponent cards.

Imagine a typical scenario, where your opponent attacks and you block. You each have three cards in your hand. They play a card into the edge stack. You play a Twist of Fate. Even if they predict your Twist of Fate and pass, a new edge battle begins, forcing them to either put another card into the edge stack or automatically lose the edge battle.

If they don’t call your Twist of Fate and put a second card into the edge, you can pass, and they have now spent two cards and will need to spend their third just to have a chance of winning the edge battle.

This accomplishes so much:

         
  • Your opponent has less cards for more offensive edge battles on their turn
  •      
  • Your opponent has less cards for defensive edge battles on your turn
  •      
  • Your opponent now has less options in hand
  •      
  • You now have a better chance of winning the current edge battle, if desired

That was a defensive example, but even on offense having a Twist of Fate can be big. Effective offense in this game is predicated on your ability to divide attacks to force your opponent to give you one of a few determined outcomes.

Perhaps you want to obtain the Balance of the Force. Maybe you send an initial attack that won’t  be as damaging as your second attack, but by attacking in this way, you force your opponent to choose which attack to block. Ideally, you should be forcing your opponent to give you some, if not all, of the outcomes you want on a turn. Managing the cards in your hand and your opponent’s hand is a skill that leads to huge turns.

If you have a Twist of Fate, you can often have your cake and eat it too. If your opponent only has a few cards in hand, you can often attack in such a way that should they attempt to stop your initial attack, you’ll empty their hand and have your way with any further engagements.

While Twist of Fate can win you an edge battle, it ought to lead to card advantage. But even with all of this, Twist of Fate’s largest impact is deeper than winning edge battles and gaining card advantage.

Unseen Effects

Once you pass the new player experience level and start anticipating Twist of Fate, the effect this card has on the game grows immeasurably. The most important cards aren’t really the ones that need to resolve or trigger. Rather, the most important cards are the ones that alter how the game is played regardless of whether or not they are ever seen. Sometimes, these cards might not even be in a player’s hand or deck!

For example, we can all agree that Darth Vader (Core Set, 35) is extremely powerful. However, his effect on how the game is played when he isn’t on the board is minimal at best. The effect that Twist of Fate always causes, purely from existing, is incredible.

Consider for a moment the example I used earlier, but this time you’re the attacker. You dropped a single card into the edge battle and your opponent followed suit. What do you do? If you play a second card and they played Twist of Fate, you’re in a really bad position. With no other knowledge, this might cause you to pass and hope the one card wins you the edge battle. But what if your opponent’s single card was a single card with a high Force icon count? Twist of Fate single-handedly forces players to approach every edge battle differently.

Investigating Objectives

Without looking, how many objectives for light and dark sides contain Twist of Fate? The answer might surprise you.

Currently, the dark side has six objectives and the light side has five objectives with Twist of Fate. What’s most interesting to me is the mental impact this card has on every top-level player I’ve played against and discussed the game with, even though it’s in relatively few objective sets.

Below are the objective sets that contain Twist of Fate:

Light Side

Dark Side

For me, knowing this list is extremely important. By the middle of a game, when edge battles get absurdly important, I ought to know most of the objectives in my opponent’s deck. Knowing the odds of them having a Twist of Fate can open up winning opportunities that I would overlook if I assumed my opponent had the cards to shut me down.

More importantly, this illustrates a grander point. The mental effect we allow important cards to have on us can be negative. There’s a reason power cards have the mental impact that they do, but it’s important to keep an open and observant mind and remember that your opponent doesn’t always have the answer. Full awareness in these moments allows great players to make game-winning plays.

Until next time, may the Force be with you.

Zach Bunn

Thanks, Zach!

Zach Bunn is a Star Wars fanatic, a lead member of Team Covenant, and a member of the winning team from the Star Wars multiplayer tournament held at Worlds. In coming weeks, stay tuned for more Star Wars guest articles from Zach and other writers!

...


Source: A Twisted Plan
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« Reply #17 on: 11 June 2014, 15:30:03 »

Four STAR WARS (TM) Dice Bags Are Coming

Secure Your Dice and Tokens in These Durable and Stylish Dice Bags


“My ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.”

    –Yoda


Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of four different Star Wars™ Dice Bags for Fantasy Flight Supply!


Whether you follow the path of the Jedi or succumb to the dark side, you’ll find these bags perfect for toting about the custom dice or components for any of our Star Wars games:



Secure Your Bounty


“Oh… they’ve encased him in carbonite. He should be quite well-protected — if he survives the freezing process, that is.”

    –C-3PO


Secure your bounty of dice and tokens in style.


Fantasy Flight Supply is committed to providing you the best materials to protect, customize, and enhance your games. To that end, each Star Wars Dice Bag provides a handy, durable, and thematic means to transport your Star Wars game components:



       
  • Galactic Empire. Order your components as you would order the galaxy. Nothing shall escape your grasp!

  •    
  • Stormtrooper. Keep your dice and tokens in a dice bag adorned with the Stormtrooper’s iconic white helmet, and you will always be ready for battle!

  •    
  • Boba Fett. You always have a few tricks up your sleeve… and in your dice bag.

  •    
  • Rebel Alliance. To topple the Empire and win the fight for galactic freedom, you’ll need to safeguard your resources and make good use of every single one of them.



Star Wars Dice Bags are all crafted with a durable blend of polyester and nylon, feature a polypropylene draw string, and measure 6.25” by 9” (15.9 cm by 22.9 cm), enough space to carry bundles of dice and large enough for nearly everyone to reach inside with ease. This means each bag nicely performs double duty as a repository not only for your dice and tokens but also for other game components like your X-Wing asteroids and your Star Wars: The Card Game Death Star dial.


Permit No Escape


“I will not give up my favorite decoration.”

    –Jabba the Hutt


Star Wars Dice Bags give you a handy and thematic way to hold fast to all your Star Wars game components as you head to battle. Look for them to arrive at retailers everywhere in the third quarter of 2014!

...


Source: Four STAR WARS (TM) Dice Bags Are Coming
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« Reply #18 on: 12 June 2014, 00:00:03 »

Serve the Emperor

Preview Character Creation in Dark Heresy Second Edition


In Dark Heresy Second Edition, you and your friends assume the roles of Acolytes in the service of an Inquisitor, battling heresy within, without, and beyond. An Acolyte can come from any planet and any background, but all Acolytes must face the universe’s secrets – the existence of the Warp, and the ravenous hunger of the Warp’s Daemons. In creating an Acolyte, you craft a character to strive against these terrible threats.


These steadfast men and women that you create are all that stand between the Imperium and the extinction of all Mankind. In this preview of Dark Heresy Second Edition, developer Tim Huckelbery introduces how you create characters in Dark Heresy.


A Designer Diary of Character Creation in Dark Heresy


Character creation in Dark Heresy is comprised of three main selections: the Acolyte’s home world, background, and role. A character can be made from any combination of these choices, so there’s a huge variety of possible Acolytes to be created! Each selection a player makes develops his character, from generating starting characteristics and equipment to granting special rules unique to his selection. The Dark Heresy core rulebook offers dozens of examples of settings, organisations, and people from the Askellon Sector, giving players new ways to create their own characters.



Stage 1: Choose Home World


A character’s home world is the planet or location where he was born and likely spent much of his life. It determines his physical appearance, mannerisms, and perspective on the Imperium as a whole.


Dark Heresy contains six home world types in the core rulebook. Four of these are archetypal Imperial planets – feral, forge, hive, and shrine worlds – giving players a range of primitive savagery, technological immersion, cut-throat survival, and devout service. The other two home world types represent origins that could come from planets across the Imperium: the power-drenched environs of the highborn, and the artificial, empty reaches of the voidborn.


Stage 2: Choose Background


A character’s background represents what he has done with his life up to this point, including the previous Imperial organisation that he served. It determines what sort of training the character received throughout his life, what kind of resources he can access, and who he knows.


Seven potential backgrounds are included in the core rulebook: the Imperial agencies of the Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Ministorum, and the Astra Militarum, along with Outcasts, those who have escaped the confines of any group or organisation. Forming a character with a background in an Imperial agency allows players to create Acolytes from powerful organisations, steeped in connections, but simultaneously entrenched in their own structures. An Outcast has greater relative freedom, but fewer allies, save for others who also exist outside the Imperium’s many strictures.


Stage 3: Choose Role


Roles illuminate an Acolyte’s essence. While a home world establishes where an Acolyte came from, and a background indicates his prior experiences, his role reveals who he really is underneath his clothing, armour, and cybernetics. It reflects how he views the world around him and his place in it, and broadly defines how he faces dangers, interacts with others, and resolves problems. A role also dictates what areas of expertise he excels at, and how he grows and learns with experience.


Dark Heresy includes eight roles in the core rulebook: Assassin, Chirurgeon, Desperado, Hierophant, Mystic, Sage, Seeker, and Warrior. While it is common parlance in the Imperium to mention that someone comes from a feral world, or works for the Adeptus Mechanicus, roles do not actually exist as titles or Imperial designations. Roles operate within the context of the game, indicating a mindset or attitude that a character adopts over his lifetime. Desperado or Seeker, for example, don’t exist as actual occupations or titles in the 41st millennium. Instead, players will find a Trade Sable smuggler or a Hive Desoleum Bondhound Sanctionary.


Continuing Growth


Once these major choices have been made, players develop their new Acolytes further by advancing initial characteristics, skills, and talents, as well as purchasing weapons and other gear. Players also bring their characters to life by giving them names, selecting special Divinations to show the Emperor’s Will in their lives, and choosing other additions to make their character unique.


Character creation doesn’t have to end once you have a character, though, as players can use elite advances to modify their characters. Elite advances represent large, defining aspects of a character that set him apart from his peers. Each is unique and could be the result of a new position, an aspect of a character that has been part of him his entire life, or an ability that emerged more recently due to external stimuli.


Dark Heresy includes three elite advances in the core rulebook: Inquisitor, Psyker, and Untouchable. Using these, an Acolyte can rise to become an Inquisitor himself, allowing a group to have one or more Inquisitors if the players desire. A character can also become blessed (or cursed) to become a psyker and wield the terrible powers of the Warp, or discover himself an untouchable, one of the soulless pariahs who are anathema to psyker and Daemon alike. An elite advance doesn’t alter a character’s role, however. A Warrior still views violence as the best solution to problems, even if he gains the Psyker elite advance. A role defines how a character views the galaxy and his position inside it. Elite advances may take a character along different paths, but they don’t change how he walks upon them.


Success Is Measured in Blood


Thanks, Tim!


The endless threats of the Askellon sector threaten to completely overwhelm the Imperium. Only you and your Acolytes can keep humanity safe for another day. In our next preview, developer Andy Fischer creates his own Acolyte. In the meantime, preorder Dark Heresy Second Edition at your local retailer today!

...


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« Reply #19 on: 12 June 2014, 17:00:03 »

Serve the Emperor

Preview Character Creation in Dark Heresy Second Edition

In Dark Heresy Second Edition, you and your friends assume the roles of Acolytes in the service of an Inquisitor, battling heresy within, without, and beyond. An Acolyte can come from any planet and any background, but all Acolytes must face the universe’s secrets – the existence of the Warp, and the ravenous hunger of the Warp’s Daemons. In creating an Acolyte, you craft a character to strive against these terrible threats.

These steadfast men and women that you create are all that stand between the Imperium and the extinction of all Mankind. In this preview of Dark Heresy Second Edition, developer Tim Huckelbery introduces how you create characters in Dark Heresy.

A Designer Diary of Character Creation in Dark Heresy

Character creation in Dark Heresy is comprised of three main selections: the Acolyte’s home world, background, and role. A character can be made from any combination of these choices, so there’s a huge variety of possible Acolytes to be created! Each selection a player makes develops his character, from generating starting characteristics and equipment to granting special rules unique to his selection. The Dark Heresy core rulebook offers dozens of examples of settings, organisations, and people from the Askellon Sector, giving players new ways to create their own characters.

Stage 1: Choose Home World

A character’s home world is the planet or location where he was born and likely spent much of his life. It determines his physical appearance, mannerisms, and perspective on the Imperium as a whole.

Dark Heresy contains six home world types in the core rulebook. Four of these are archetypal Imperial planets – feral, forge, hive, and shrine worlds – giving players a range of primitive savagery, technological immersion, cut-throat survival, and devout service. The other two home world types represent origins that could come from planets across the Imperium: the power-drenched environs of the highborn, and the artificial, empty reaches of the voidborn.

Stage 2: Choose Background

A character’s background represents what he has done with his life up to this point, including the previous Imperial organisation that he served. It determines what sort of training the character received throughout his life, what kind of resources he can access, and who he knows.

Seven potential backgrounds are included in the core rulebook: the Imperial agencies of the Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Ministorum, and the Imperial Guard, along with Outcasts, those who have escaped the confines of any group or organisation. Forming a character with a background in an Imperial agency allows players to create Acolytes from powerful organisations, steeped in connections, but simultaneously entrenched in their own structures. An Outcast has greater relative freedom, but fewer allies, save for others who also exist outside the Imperium’s many strictures.

Stage 3: Choose Role

Roles illuminate an Acolyte’s essence. While a home world establishes where an Acolyte came from, and a background indicates his prior experiences, his role reveals who he really is underneath his clothing, armour, and cybernetics. It reflects how he views the world around him and his place in it, and broadly defines how he faces dangers, interacts with others, and resolves problems. A role also dictates what areas of expertise he excels at, and how he grows and learns with experience.

Dark Heresy includes eight roles in the core rulebook: Assassin, Chirurgeon, Desperado, Hierophant, Mystic, Sage, Seeker, and Warrior. While it is common parlance in the Imperium to mention that someone comes from a feral world, or works for the Adeptus Mechanicus, roles do not actually exist as titles or Imperial designations. Roles operate within the context of the game, indicating a mindset or attitude that a character adopts over his lifetime. Desperado or Seeker, for example, don’t exist as actual occupations or titles in the 41st millennium. Instead, players will find a Trade Sable smuggler or a Hive Desoleum Bondhound Sanctionary.

Continuing Growth

Once these major choices have been made, players develop their new Acolytes further by advancing initial characteristics, skills, and talents, as well as purchasing weapons and other gear. Players also bring their characters to life by giving them names, selecting special Divinations to show the Emperor’s Will in their lives, and choosing other additions to make their character unique.

Character creation doesn’t have to end once you have a character, though, as players can use elite advances to modify their characters. Elite advances represent large, defining aspects of a character that set him apart from his peers. Each is unique and could be the result of a new position, an aspect of a character that has been part of him his entire life, or an ability that emerged more recently due to external stimuli.

Dark Heresy includes three elite advances in the core rulebook: Inquisitor, Psyker, and Untouchable. Using these, an Acolyte can rise to become an Inquisitor himself, allowing a group to have one or more Inquisitors if the players desire. A character can also become blessed (or cursed) to become a psyker and wield the terrible powers of the Warp, or discover himself an untouchable, one of the soulless pariahs who are anathema to psyker and Daemon alike. An elite advance doesn’t alter a character’s role, however. A Warrior still views violence as the best solution to problems, even if he gains the Psyker elite advance. A role defines how a character views the galaxy and his position inside it. Elite advances may take a character along different paths, but they don’t change how he walks upon them.

Success Is Measured in Blood

Thanks, Tim!

The endless threats of the Askellon sector threaten to completely overwhelm the Imperium. Only you and your Acolytes can keep humanity safe for another day. In our next preview, developer Andy Fischer creates his own Acolyte. In the meantime, preorder Dark Heresy Second Edition at your local retailer today!

...


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« Reply #20 on: 13 June 2014, 01:30:03 »

The Forms of Battle

An Example of Battle in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest

Amidst the grim darkness of the future and crushing chill of outer space, mankind still stands against the waves of xenos, heretics, and traitors that attempt to bear them to the ground. Every day, the battle is fought anew on a thousand planets spread across the far flung reaches of the galaxy. In Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, you take your rightful place in that story, commanding the armies of your faction as you strive for ultimate control of the Traxis sector.

In past previews, we’ve examined separate aspects of the game round. In our first preview, we explored deployment and the strategy behind placing your armies at different planets. Our next preview expanded the command struggle, in which you and your opponent gain resources and draw cards based on your armies’ influence on the planets of the Traxis sector. Most recently, we took a closer look at combat, exploring the broad picture of battles, including how they happen, how units fight, and some of the keywords that can come into play.

In today’s preview, we’ll see the flow of combat firsthand by looking at an example of a battle for just one planet in the Traxis sector.

Opening Salvos

The beginning of the combat phase finds the armies of Chaos and the Astra Militarum clashing at this round’s first planet: Osus IV. Jack has three units present: his warlord, Zarathur, High Sorcerer (Core Set, 4); an Umbral Preacher (Core Set, 86); and an Alpha Legion Infiltrator (Core Set, 81) with the Mark of Chaos (Core Set, 80) attachment. On the other side of the battlefield, Kate’s forces consist of her warlord, Colonel Straken (Core Set, 2) fighting alongside a Ratling Deadeye (Core Set, 35) and a Leman Russ Battle Tank (Core Set, 38). In addition, Kate has a Catachan Outpost (Core Set, 53) support in her headquarters.


 Click to see the image from the Chaos player's point of view.

Battle begins by determining which player has initiative. If only one warlord were present, that player would automatically win initiative, but since both warlords are present, Jack will strike first, since he holds the initiative token this round. After initiative is determined, the ranged skirmish occurs, allowing any units with the Ranged keyword to fire upon the opposing army from afar. Since Jack has no units with Ranged, he must forgo the opportunity to strike in favor of Kate.

Kate exhausts the Ratling Deadeye to strike at the Alpha Legion Infiltrator in order to negate this unit’s high attack power before it has a chance to strike. The Ratling Deadeye deals one damage to the Alpha Legion Infiltrator. If a unit has damage on it equal to or more than its hit points, it is destroyed, and one damage is enough to destroy the Alpha Legion Infiltrator.

The vanquished Alpha Legion Infiltrator leaves play, but this triggers the Mark of Chaos attachment, dealing one damage to each enemy unit at the planet. This damage is increased by the Chaos warlord’s Interrupt ability, which reads, “When damage is dealt to an enemy unit at this planet, increase that damage by 1.” Each of Kate’s units at the planet take two damage, destroying the Ratling Deadeye. Since there are no more ready units with the Ranged keyword, the ranged skirmish is complete.


 Click to see the image from the Chaos player's point of view.

Chainswords and Lasguns

As normal combat begins, Jack has the chance to strike first with either of his ready units, because he has initiative. He chooses to strike with the Umbral Preacher against Colonel Straken, dealing one damage, plus an additional damage from Zarathur’s Interrupt, to Straken. This damage, combined with the two damage Straken took from the Mark of Chaos, means that the Astra Militarum warlord can only take two more damage before he is bloodied.

It is now Kate’s combat turn and she decides to remove the threat of the Umbral Preacher, whose ability prevents units from retreating. Before she strikes, Kate also exhausts the Catachan Outpost support card, granting her next attacker a higher attack value. Colonel Straken exhausts to strike, dealing four damage with the aid of Catachan Outpost. Four total damage is more than the Umbral Preacher’s hit points, and that unit is destroyed.

On Jack’s next combat turn, he has only one unit remaining: Zarathur, High Sorcerer. He chooses to strike at Colonel Straken, hoping to deal the last damage necessary to bloody Straken. However, Kate has a card in her hand that can be discarded to shield damage! Promotion (Core Set, 174) has one shield icon, blocking part of the damage from Zarathur’s attack. Straken is dealt one damage, leaving him able to take one more hit point of damage.

Finally, Kate strikes with her remaining ready unit, the Leman Russ Battle Tank, dealing four damage to Zarathur. At this point, all units are exhausted and the combat round is over. All units ready, and both players have the opportunity to retreat any number of units back to their headquarters. Jack examines the board, and determines that, while he would most likely be able to bloody Straken, his own warlord would be bloodied by the Leman Russ Battle Tank, and Kate would still win the battle at the planet. Not desiring this outcome, Jack chooses to retreat Zarathur back to his headquarters, leaving Osus IV to the Astra Militarum!

The Fruits of Victory

As the victor of a battle, Kate chooses to trigger the Battle ability of Osus IV, allowing her to take a resource from her opponent. After taking the resource, Osus IV is placed in Kate’s victory display because it was the first planet, and her units are returned to her headquarters.

Since this was the only battle in this combat phase, the headquarters phase now begins. The first planet token is moved forward to the next planet in line, indicating that this planet will be contested and added to one player’s victory display in the next round. Next, if there are any facedown planets at the end of the row, the next one in line is revealed, offering a new location for players to deploy units. Both players draw two cards, receive four resources, ready all units, and the initiative token is passed to Kate, beginning a new round!

Thus far, our previews have focused on the gameplay of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, but in our next preview, we’ll begin an exploration of each of the factions you’ll find in this game, beginning with the most loyal servants of the Emperor, the Space Marines. Check back for more previews, and preorder Warhammer 40,000: Conquest at your local retailer today!

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Source: The Forms of Battle
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« Reply #21 on: 13 June 2014, 10:00:03 »

Your Tale Begins

Winter Tales Is Now Available at Your Local Retailer

The White Rabbit paused his daily inspection on a freezing balcony, high above the hissing construction of the Nightmare Factory. Beneath him, dozens worked, brainwashed into mindless service, creating weapons and monstrosities for the winter regime. The White Rabbit sipped his wine, warmed against the chill in the air. He started this war with the products of his factory, and he would end it in the same way.

In the frosty city of Wintertown, two factions wage a constant struggle. On one side,  Snow White, Candlewick, Mad Hatter and the other soldiers of winter strive to maintain their rule and ensure that winter never leaves. Opposing the winter regime are the spring rebels, including Alice, Dorothy, Pinochio, and others, attempting to overthrow the oppressive soldiers holding Wintertown in its grasp.

Take your place in these struggles and weave your own stories in Winter Tales, now available at your local retailer!

The Story So Far

In Winter Tales, you and your friends control characters fighting for either the spring rebels or the winter soldiers. Every action your characters take expands the story of the struggle. During the struggle, you play story cards, each of which features art that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Your characters move, quest, and fight by interpreting the art on story cards and weaving it into your narrative.

In our first preview, we examined how you and the other players use story cards to move through the streets of Wintertown and complete quests. Quests offer you opportunities to complete key goals, such as establishing a safe house for the resistance, or spreading propaganda to uphold the regime. Quests can be contested by characters from the opposing faction, and when a set number of quests are completed, the game’s epilogue begins.

Next, we took a closer look at ways you can keep your opponents from ever reaching their quests. Winter soldiers have the opportunity to interrupt the rebels’ movement with battle, potentially incapacitating them if they are unable to escape. The rebels are unable to fight openly, but they can still lay traps for unwitting soldiers. A well-laid trap can incapacitate a soldier, or force your opponent to waste his story cards breaking free.

Once a certain amount of quests have been completed, the story reaches its climax and the epilogue triggers, as we explored in our third preview. At this point, the story you told throughout the game comes to a head, as each player tells of his characters’ final efforts to tip the outcome of the game in his faction’s favor. The faction which wins the epilogue wins the game, and you bring your story of spring rebels and winter soldiers to a dramatic conclusion.

If you’re looking for ways to bring greater strategic depth to your stories of Wintertown, you can add this with advanced rules, as we showed in our most recent preview. Whether you tap into powers gained by successfully completing quests, give characters specific objectives, or take advantage of each character’s unique skills, these advanced rules enhance both strategic gameplay and the richness of your narrative. The full rules for Winter Tales are now available for download from the game’s support page.

Chapter One

Your chance to create enduring stories in the fantasy world of Wintertown has arrived. The reign of winter will endure forever unless a committed band of rebels can topple its leadership.
 
 Decide the fate of Wintertown when you pick up your copy of Winter Tales from your local retailer today!

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« Reply #22 on: 13 June 2014, 18:30:03 »

Empire vs. Rebellion

Announcing an Upcoming Card Game of the Galactic Civil War

“Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe!”
    –Admiral Motti, Star Wars: A New Hope

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Star Wars™: Empire vs. Rebellion, an upcoming card game for two players that pits the villainous plots of the Galactic Empire against the heroes of the Rebel Alliance.

A massive civil war shakes the galaxy. On one side of this struggle, the men and women of the Rebel Alliance plan for the day when the Empire will be overthrown. The Rebels are unafraid to use their military might, but clever diplomacy and reconnaissance may accomplish what displays of strength cannot. Opposing the Rebellion is the unlimited power of the Galactic Empire, under the command of Emperor Palpatine. Whether conducting reconnaissance and searching for Rebel spies or crushing insurgents beneath the heel of the Imperial Navy, all the galaxy knows to fear Darth Vader and the Empire.

Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion puts in you in command of the Empire’s unlimited reserves or the heroes of the Rebellion and challenges you to tip the outcome of key events in your favor. Every round, you must extend your might and commit your resources towards taking control of the Galactic Civil War, whether you use military power or diplomatic aplomb to achieve your goals. If you can outwit your opponent’s schemes and claim victory in crucial events, you can shape the future of the entire galaxy!

Take Command

To overthrow the Empire or crush the Rebel Alliance permanently, you will need to demonstrate your superiority by ending several key events in your favor over the course of the game. You win the struggle for an event by employing all the resources at your disposal, whether political connections, military forces, timely reconnaissance, or the Force itself.

At the beginning of each round, Imperial forces clash with the Rebels over a newly revealed event card, such as Mos Eisley Spaceport. On your turn, you will continue the struggle for the revealed event card, utilizing all the contacts, tricks, and martial force at your disposal. When a struggle for an event card first begins, you must establish your forces in the event by drawing the top card of your resource deck and place it in your play area.

Cards in your play area contribute their resource value, shown in the upper left-hand corner, to the current struggle. For example, the Rebel Alliance military resource card shown to the right has a resource value of five. Every event card has an objective value in the lower left-hand corner; Mos Eisley Spaceport, for example, has an objective value of eleven. Your goal is to use your resources and connections to bring your total resource value as close to this event’s objective value as possible without going over. If your resource value surpasses the event’s objective value, you have overcommitted your forces and your opponent easily claims the event.

Ultimate Power

Each turn, you must decide your faction’s best strategy for gaining the upper hand in the current event. You may choose to call for the support of your faction and put another card from your deck in play, but your ability to tip the event in your favor is limited. The number of your cards in play cannot exceed the event’s capacity, shown to the right of its objective value. Likewise, if the total resource value of your cards exceeds the event’s objective value, your efforts are discovered, and the opposing faction wins the event.

Alternatively, you may put your resources into action by using the special power of a resource card currently in play. To trigger a resource card’s power, you must exhaust the card by rotating it 90 degrees clockwise. While a resource card is exhausted, it contributes its exhausted resource value, which is located in the lower-left hand corner of a ready card. Activating your resources’ powers gives you several ways to control the outcome of the event.

A card’s special ability varies based on its type: military, diplomacy, recon, or the Force. Engaging in a military show of force allows you to discard one of your opponent’s resource cards, potentially depriving him of his most useful card. Diplomacy helps you manage your own resource cards by inviting you to discard the exhausted card or one of your other resource cards. Engaging in timely reconnaissance of Empire or Rebellion activities filters your resources or your opponent’s, allowing you to look at the top two cards of a resource deck – discarding one and replacing the other on top of the deck. Finally, drawing upon the Force helps you keep your opponent’s options at a minimum by exhausting one of your opponent’s ready resource cards.

An exhausted card cannot use its power again, but if you’ve already used a card’s power, you may wish to use that power again. Fortunately, the Rebellion has contacts and connections that span the countless worlds of the galaxy, and there are always those willing to sell information to the Empire. Influence tokens represent these connections, and they can be called upon to help you in the struggle for an event. By spending an influence token, you may ready one of your exhausted resource cards, letting you use that card’s power again.

When both the Empire and the Rebellion have completed their operations around a current event, their total resource values are compared. The player who came closest to the event’s objective value without surpassing it claims the event, along with its victory points and extra influence. The player who claims seven victory points from events first is victorious!

Strategies for the Future

Your struggles in the Galactic Civil War gain added depth from the presence of iconic characters and overarching strategies. Key characters like Leia Organa or Boba Fett provide a higher resource value than other resource cards while ready, but if they are exhausted, the resource value they provide plummets to one. Sometimes, however, a lowered resource value is worth the cost of triggering a character’s powerful effect. A single hero can make the difference between a lost cause and a triumphant victory.

Strategy cards offer another way to tip a struggle into your favor. Before a struggle begins, both players secretly choose strategies for their faction in this event. These cards determine your faction’s approach to their operations surrounding the event, and they can drastically change how you choose to play your cards during the struggle. At the end of the struggle, both players reveal their strategy cards, and they take effect, potentially allowing the Empire or the Rebellion to snatch an unlikely victory!

Claim the Galaxy

Your struggle for supremacy may take you to the heart of the Empire, or to the very reaches of the Outer Rim. Wherever the Empire finds the Rebellion, however, a strategic battle must occur. Take command of one faction’s resources in Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion, an upcoming two-player card game! Head to the Empire vs. Rebellion description page for more details, and look for this game of galactic struggles at your local retailer in the third quarter of 2014.

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« Reply #23 on: 14 June 2014, 03:00:02 »

Fight for a Cause Greater Than Yourself

A Preview of the STAR WARS (R): Age of Rebellion (TM) Roleplaying Game


“General… count me in.”

    –Leia Organa


With the Star Wars®: Age of Rebellion™ Roleplaying Game, you and your friends gain the opportunity to fight for a cause greater than any one person. As members of the Rebel Alliance, you’ll undertake desperate and daring missions to help undermine the evil Galactic Empire and restore freedom to the galaxy!


In Age of Rebellion, your success is vital to the Rebellion. It’s vital to the Rebellion’s next intelligence operation or military success, and it’s vital to the people you know and for whom you care. Your missions are matters of life or death. Your actions touch upon the fates of hundreds of planets and thousands of Rebels. This is war, and you must prevail, no matter the odds.



Heroes of the Rebellion


One of the ways that Age of Rebellion grounds you in the civil war raging between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance is through its use of Duty.


In an earlier preview, lead developer Andrew Fischer explored the concept of Duty as it relates to character creation and advancement, as well as the Game Master’s ability to shape the campaign. Still, it’s worth noting that Duty is a positive mechanic in Age of Rebellion. Players want their characters to accrue Duty points; the more they receive, the more they’re recognized, and the more central they become to the Rebel Alliance and its efforts.


In turn, this means that Age of Rebellion is a relatively selfless gaming experience, and your character is a true hero. He or she isn’t hunting credits or swindling other con artists at a sabacc table; your character’s using his or her talents to aid the Rebellion.



       
  • Fly your starfighter into battle alongside other Rebels.

  •    
  • Rally talented scientists to the Rebellion's cause.

  •    
  • Operate a listening post deep undercover in Imperial territories.

  •    
  • Launch guerrilla strikes against Imperial supply ships.


The variety of missions you can undertake are limited only by your imagination, but whatever you do, you’re doing it for the good of the galaxy. You're risking your life to free others from the tyranny of an evil, authoritarian regime.


Even the careers and specializations you’ll find in the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook suggest that your conflicts may resonate with other actions on a much grander scope. Careers like the Commander and the Diplomat are well-suited to players who want to keep an eye on the bigger picture. One of the Engineer specializations, the Scientist, is all about devising new ways to help the Rebel Alliance stay in the fight against the much richer Galactic Empire and its newest technological advances. Even the Soldier career suggests a character’s role within a larger conflict; its specializations – the Commando, Medic, and Sharpshooter – all lead characters into clearly defined roles that are meant to interact well with their teammates and other members of the Rebel Alliance.


In Age of Rebellion, you and your friends are the protagonists of your adventures, but those stories are defined by your roles within the Rebel Alliance. You’re heroes, but you’re not the only ones.



Fighting for Galactic Freedom


It’s important that the characters in Age of Rebellion are part of a force greater than themselves because they’re fighting against an overwhelming military force that no single individual could possibly hope to withstand.


The evil Galactic Empire has subjugated countless worlds. Its Navy uses Star Destroyers and swarms of TIE fighters to spread fear through the galaxy. It marches across battlefields with AT-AT walkers. Its military presence in the galaxy is completely unmatched.


Despite this fact, the Rebel Alliance continues to fight. Massively outnumbered and outgunned, the Rebellion must rely on tactics other than pitched battles to strike at Imperial forces. Defeat and retreat against the superior foe is common, and victories are hard-won. Living to fight another day is essential to the success of the Rebellion. Retreat is often not only a wise long-term move; it is built into Rebel battle planning.


The Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook allows you to participate in the countless skirmishes, battles, and incidents that occur between the Rebellion and Empire, and you’ll find a vast array of the Empire’s mightiest weapons brought to life amid the book’s sections on adversaries, vehicles, and starships. You’ll also find stat blocks for Rebel starfighters like the X-wing, A-wing, and B-wing, but none of these ships will hold up long against a full squad of TIE fighters or TIE interceptors. Ultimately, you’ll need to learn how to coordinate your actions with the rest of the Rebellion in order to make your shots count.



Hope, Faith, and Courage


Members of the Rebel Alliance don’t live easy lives. Instead, they devote themselves to the cause of galactic freedom. Against the unparalleled military prowess of the Galactic Empire, they rely upon cunning tactics and each other.


We’ll look more closely at Rebel tactics and the Rebellion’s unique view of the galaxy in our next preview. After that, we’ll explore the new starships and vehicles appearing in the Core Rulebook, along with the rules for Barrage starship actions that allow players to run meaningful capital ship encounters within the timeframe of a single gaming session. Then, in our final preview, we’ll look at the Core Rulebook’s adventure, Perlemian Haul, and how it serves as an example of the type of adventures you can expect during your service to the Rebel Alliance.


You’ll soon have your chance to make your mark in the Galactic Civil War. The Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook is scheduled to arrive at retailers everywhere early next month. Head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy today!

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« Reply #24 on: 14 June 2014, 11:30:03 »

Bring Out the Big Guns!

Announcing the Fifth Wave of X-Wing (TM) Starship Expansions

“I owe the Outrider the best. She's brought me home when any other ship would have scattered me across space.”
     –Dash Rendar

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of two new starships for X-Wing!

In this, the game’s fifth wave, two large starships arrive ready for the heat of battle: the Rebellion’s YT-2400 and the Imperial’s VT-49 Decimator.

In addition to their starships, each of which is sculpted faithfully at the game’s standard 1/270 scale, the YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack and VT-49 Decimator Expansion Pack introduce a host of new upgrades and terrain pieces that allow you to explore a wide range of new tactics in your space battles.

You’ll also find a large cast of characters drawn from the expanded Star Wars universe, the first Imperial turret weapon, and upgrade cards designed by the game’s first two World Champions.

YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack

A fast and resilient light freighter, the YT-2400 features no fewer than thirteen weapon emplacement points, making it an attractive vessel for smugglers, mercenaries, and other individuals looking for a heavily armed “transport.” Although a stock YT-2400 light freighter has plenty of space for cargo, much of that space is often annexed to support modified weapon systems and oversized engines.

The YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack brings this formidable light freighter to your table as a Rebel starship with two attack, two agility, five hull, and five shields.

The highlight of the YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack is its detailed miniature starship, which is enhanced by one new mission, three debris cloud tokens, a maneuver dial, all requisite tokens, and four ship cards, including one for the famed smuggler Dash Rendar.

Of course, a ship as readily customizable as the YT-2400 needs to come with a host of upgrade options, and the YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack comes with thirteen upgrade cards, including a Lando Calrissian crew upgrade, the Outrider Title, and upgrade cards designed by each of the game’s first two World Champions.

VT-49 Decimator Expansion Pack

To be granted command of a VT-49 Decimator is seen as a significant promotion for a middling officer of the Imperial Navy. A heavily armed transport, the VT-49 Decimator is one of the Empire’s most feared warships, often used to provide long-range reconnaissance or to deploy raiding parties past enemy forces.

The VT-49 Decimator Expansion Pack brings this intimidating Imperial gunboat to X-Wing as the game’s largest ship yet designed for Standard Play. Even at the game’s signature 1/270 scale, the expansion pack’s detailed miniature towers over its base and smaller starfighters.

In addition to its imposing, pre-painted miniature, the VT-49 Decimator Expansion Pack introduces four ship cards, three debris cloud tokens, a new mission, a maneuver dial, and all the tokens you need to fly your Decimator into the thick of combat. Finally, you’ll find thirteen upgrade cards, which introduce a variety of crew members like Mara Jade and Fleet Officer designed to help you fill out the Decimator’s three crew member slots.

Blast into Action

With its two high-powered new starships, multitude of upgrades, debris cloud tokens, and new missions, the fifth wave of X-Wing expansions is destined to make a massive impact when it blasts into action across gaming tables everywhere.

Wave V is scheduled to arrive late in the third quarter of 2014. Until then, keep your eyes open for more X-Wing news, including previews of these new hard-hitting expansion packs, which will look more closely at their various unique pilots, their new debris cloud tokens, and their missions!

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« Reply #25 on: 16 June 2014, 23:00:02 »

Reinforce and Retaliate

A Preview of the Hammer and Hold and Legions of Darkness Expansions

“Every vale, ford, and copse has seen the blood of warriors spilt, and for each battle paid homage by the minstrel’s lute there are a multitude that lie shrouded in the mists of time.”
     –Warhammer, “The Years of Conflict”

The Hammer and Hold and Legions of Darkness expansions will soon add six new races to the brutal battles of Warhammer: Diskwars. They will also allow the four Core Set races to bolster their armies with a slate of new reinforcements and command cards.

Today, we preview the units and command cards these two expansions will offer the Empire, Orcs, Chaos, and High Elves.

The Empire

With Hammer and Hold, the Empire, the game’s most tactical race, can recruit two new units to field an even more varied army.

Commanders looking to establish a solid defensive perimeter would do well to look toward the Talabecland Halberdiers. For a mere five recruitment points, they boast a highly respectable counter strength of four. If that’s not enough to discourage your opponents from breaking through a line of Talabecland Halberdiers, there’s also the fact that their counter is swift, meaning they’re likely to finish off would-be assailants before they even suffer damage.

Meanwhile, the Empire’s Priest trait becomes significantly more meaningful with the addition of the Warrior Priests and the Shield of Faith command card. Like Luthor Huss, the Empire’s Warrior Priests gain resistant (,) when they’re empowered, and they can benefit from even greater protective blessings with the Shield of Faith command card, which can potentially negate a fatal blow and, instead, remove all damage from the unit. With those kind of protections to inspire them, it’s no wonder these Warrior Priests arrive to battle ready to trample their foes underfoot, and Impact 2 helps them do just that.

Orcs

The Legions of Darkness expansion allows Orc players to reinforce their armies with hordes of malevolent and cunning Goblins. Though they’re smaller than the Orcs, they’re nonetheless bound to make a huge impact upon the game, some of them quite literally.

At just four recruitment points for a unit with Impact 5, the Goblin Doom Diver offers your Orc army an obvious and lethal punch. Of course, it’s every bit as lethal to your Goblin Doom Diver as it is to your opponent; the Goblin Doom Diver suffers a wound whenever it deals impact damage.

Additionally, to fling your Goblin Doom Divers into battle, you’ll need to field a Doom Diver Catapult. Though this War Machine allows you to deliver some of the game’s hardest-hitting (live) ammunition, it’s also slow and frail, meaning that you’ll want to consider bringing two of them to battle, or carefully protecting the one you’ve got, or bringing two to battle and protecting them both. Fortunately, since a Doom Diver Catapult only costs you five recruitment points, it should be easy enough for you to work it into any flexible Orc army.

Orc players gain even further army-building flexibility from the addition of another Goblin unit, the Night Goblins. Like the Goblin Doom Diver, this Infantry unit costs just four recruitment points, meaning that you can soon expect to see it fielded by those Orc players who want to spend early activations to lure your units into position before bombarding them with impact damage. Moreover, whenever the Night Goblin enters an engagement within short range of another Orc disk (yours or your opponent’s), it can hit just as hard as some larger and more expensive units.

Finally, the command card Brain Bursta supplies your Orc army with more damage potential and instability. Capable of dealing damage to enemy leaders from long range, Brain Bursta can deal as much as five damage… or fizzle completely. It’s the sort of spell that’s well-suited to an aggressive army, like the Orcs, that’s willing to take some risks in pursuit of power and destruction.

Chaos

Only one of the two new Daemonic Chaos units from Legions of Darkness incorporates the expansion’s new fear keyword, but both are likely to cause fear in your opponents.

Because Screamers only have an attack strength of three and three movement, it’s possible your opponent may overlook their potential effectiveness… once. However, if your opponent ever ignores the threat that your Screamers pose, he’ll likely learn his lesson when they pin a foe and use their fear ability to reduce its counter strength to “1.” Used wisely, your Screamers can paralyze an enemy hero or elite unit with fear and set it up for the killing blow delivered by one of your other units.

You might even deliver that killing blow with your Daemonettes. At just six recruitment points, the Daemonettes pair four attack strength with the swift keyword. That’s the sort of perfect combination that pleases even the Chaos God, Slaanesh. However, your Daemonettes’ perfect attack comes at a cost, and in this case, the cost is fragility. With just three toughness, Daemonettes are vulnerable to quick demises, so you’ll want to lure your opponents into position before sending your Daemonettes into the fray.

Meanwhile, in the event that your opponent would counter your ambitions by fielding a unit immune to fear or one with a swift counter, the Chaos command card Acquiescence can squelch that unit’s text for a round. When you want your opponent’s unit to die, this command card offers an excellent means to strip away irritating abilities or defenses.

High Elves

In a game as brutal and bloody as Warhammer: Diskwars, it’s possible that even a race as skilled at defense as the High Elves may, at times, need to adopt a more offensive stance. To that end, Hammer and Hold introduces two new High Elf units capable of making early, decisive strikes against their enemies.

The Lothern Sea Guard enters the game as the least expensive High Elf unit at just five recruitment points. For those points, they offer modest attack and counter strengths, but they enhance those with five movement, a ranged missile attack, and the mobile keyword. This combination of offensive and defensive abilities make the Lothern Sea Guard an excellent fit for a range of strategies and offers your army good tactical versatility as the tides of battle shift one way or the other.

Less versatile, but certainly no less powerful, are the Silver Helms, which can race into battle from distance and cut down their foes with Impact 3, and five swift attack strength. Of course, such martial prowess is bound to make them an early target, but you can use that to your advantage. You’ll get two copies of each non-unique medium disk in Hammer and Hold, meaning that when one Silver Helms unit draws a crowd, the other can easily ride over to support it. Moreover, because your Silver Helms have five toughness, it ride away from even some of the deadliest engagements.

Finally, the High Elves gain the ability to call upon some timely healing with their new command card, Isha’s Mercy.

There Will Be War. There Will Be Blood.

Six new races will soon arrive to Warhammer: Diskwars, and its battlefields will drown in blood. The races from the Core Set may need to adjust their strategies to survive their skirmishes with these new foes, and if their armies look to adapt, they’ll find plenty of potential recruits in Hammer and Hold and Legions of Darkness.

The Old World will quake. Muster your armies. The Hammer and Hold and Legions of Darkness expansions arrive at retailers everywhere later this week!

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« Reply #26 on: 17 June 2014, 07:30:03 »

Ready for Anything

A Guest Article on Tournament Preparation for STAR WARS (TM): The Card Game


Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi… A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind.

   –Yoda, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back


Star Wars™: The Card Game takes you and your friends to interplanetary battles in a galaxy far, far away, but a vital part of Star Wars: The Card Game is participating in tournaments. Regional tournaments have already begun, but some new players may not know what to expect from a Star Wars: The Card Game competition.


If you’re unsure of what awaits you, today’s guest article by Matt Brown offers a closer look at how to prepare for any Star Wars: The Card Game tournament, from Regionals to Worlds.


Matt Brown on Tournament Preparation


A new Regional season has already begun, promising larger and more competitive tournaments than last year leading up to the National Championships. For many players, this may be their first exposure to any tournament larger than local league events. What should you expect as the tournament season progresses through Regional tournaments into Nationals and the World Championships? Today, I want to present a quick overview of the tournament process and offer some tips for tournament play.



Before the Event



       
  • Make sure you contact the local store and know exactly when the tournament is going to start. You may also want to check in the day before the event to make sure that the time hasn’t changed. Nothing is worse than driving several hours for a tournament and missing it because you didn’t realize that the schedule changed.

         

  •    
  • Decide on your deck lists as early as possible. Star Wars: The Card Game is a very tactical game, and knowing your deck well is extremely important. It can be difficult to make good decisions throughout the tournament if you change your deck the night before, leaving you without time to test it. Generally, last minute changes are acceptable if your testing identifies a critical weakness in your deck, and even then you want to have time to test your revised deck several times.

         

  •    
  • Write out your deck list. When everyone comes to the event with their deck list filled out, the tournament starts much smoother. You don’t want to be the person flipping through objective decks and writing them down while everyone else waits to start. A pdf copy of the deck list sheet can be found on the support page of the Star Wars: The Card Game minisite.

         

  •    
  • Read the most recent FAQ (pdf, 6.1 MB), also available in the support section. Know the current errata and rulings, especially as a few previous rulings have recently been reversed. Make sure you pay special attention to rulings or clarifications that could affect cards in your own deck, but be familiar with all of the rules so you know how your opponents’ cards work without needing to ask.

         

  •    
  • Read the Tournament Rules (pdf, 8 MB), once again available in the support section. I’ll provide a brief outline of the tournament format below, but reading through the full version of the rules at least once is a good idea.

         

  •    
  • Sleep!




Click on the thumbnails above to download the new FAQ (left) and Tournament Rules (right)


What to Bring



       
  • Your decks in opaque or art sleeves

         

  •    
  • All materials needed to play: tokens, Death Star dial, Force marker, etc.

         

  •    
  • A pen to record your game outcomes

         

  •    
  • Water bottle and snacks are a good idea unless forbidden by the store. Tournaments can be long and keeping yourself hydrated and fed helps you play your best.

         

  •    
  • Optional: a notebook or device to record match details between games. This isn’t required, but the community always appreciates a good tournament report and taking notes after the game helps you include more details if you decide to post one later. It is important to note that taking notes during a game constitutes cheating.


During the Event



       
  • Arrive early to allow the tournament to start on time.

         

  •    
  • Tournaments start with a Swiss-style section. This means that every round after the first, you will be paired against someone with a similar total score to yourself. Thus, if you keep winning, you’ll face other players who have also won. In the first round, pairings are random.

  •    


       
  • Each match consists of two games, one with each side of the Force. Each game is worth four points. Additionally, winning the match nets you a bonus point. If both players win with their light side decks, the match winner is the player who won when the Death Star dial was lower. If both players win with their dark side decks, the match winner is the player who destroyed the most total objectives during the match. In the case of a true tie, neither player gets the bonus point, so each player scores four points.

         

  •    
  • Matches have a time limit between sixty and eighty minutes. If you’re unable to finish both games within that time, you miss out on points throughout the tournament. You don’t have to be a speed master, but make sure you’ve practiced enough that playing two games within an hour isn’t too hard.

         

  •    
  • After a number of rounds using the Swiss system, larger tournaments cut to a smaller number of players and play single elimination rounds. During this segment, winning a match determines who moves on to the next round instead of giving a bonus point. In the case of a true tie after the final cut, the player with the higher seed advances. The exception is the championship match – this is the only time a third game is played as a final tie breaker.



Final Tips



       
  • Don’t be a sore loser or winner. You’ll win some games and lose some games. Either way, shake hands with your opponent and thank them for the game. If you lost, think about what you can learn instead of complaining about bad luck. If you won, be gracious. Resist any urge to point out your opponent’s mistakes unless they ask for tips, since unsolicited advice can come off as gloating.

         

  •    
  • Teach others. No matter how long you’ve been playing, there’s probably at least one player present less experienced than you. Immediately after beating them probably isn’t the best time to correct their mistakes, but you can usually find ways to engage in discussion that can help them learn more about the game. A simple way to do this is by asking about their deck choices. If they’re playing something unusual, ask them why. You can discuss the pros and cons of the deck and why you might consider a different deck. Don’t discourage them because their deck is different, but really discuss their methods and things that need to be considered.

         

  •    
  • Have fun! At the end of the day, we all play this game because we love it and we love Star Wars. Don’t let your competitive side overwhelm that. Smile, meet new people, make new friends, and enjoy playing Star Wars: The Card Game!


I hope you found this helpful as you prepare for the remainder of the tournament season. Whether you’re a new player or a seasoned veteran, make sure you get out to these events and have fun. Spread the excitement around your local play group. Get everyone together for a road trip to a distant Regional. The more enthusiasm we show for the game, the more attractive the game becomes for new players.


Thanks, Matt!


Now that you know how to gather the information you need from your opponent’s deck, you’ll need to make the most of it in your games of Star Wars: The Card Game. Look for more guest articles from Matt and others in coming weeks!


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« Reply #27 on: 17 June 2014, 16:00:02 »

Find a Route Through Fog on the Barrow-downs

RETAILERS: Apply to Host a Fellowship Event for The Lord of the Rings

“They found that they were upon an island in the fog. Even as they looked out in dismay towards the setting sun, it sank before their eyes into a white sea, and a cold grey shadow sprang up in the East behind. The fog rolled up to their heads until it became a roof: they were shut in a hall of mist whose central pillar was the standing stone.”
 –The Fellowship of the Ring

This October 10-12th, join the worldwide The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game community for an exciting, global Fellowship Event!

                                         
                                                                                                                  

Are you a retailer? Register today to host your own The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game Fellowship Event!

What Is a The Lord of the Rings Fellowship Event?

October’s Fellowship Event for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a chance for players to come together and share their appreciation of the game even as they attempt to navigate the treacherous turns and trials of a special, all-new scenario.

The centerpiece of October’s Fellowship Event is the new, standalone scenario, Fog on the Barrow-downs. This fifty-five card scenario, produced by FFG’s in-house manufacturing, comes complete with seven quest cards and forty-one encounter cards. During the event, players will play through the scenario in groups, and each player who participates will walk away with his or her own copy!

Additionally, each player who participates in October’s Fellowship Event will receive an exclusive playmat, featuring art from The Black Riders, and an alternate art version of the Core Set Aragorn.

Note: Each Fellowship Event kit supports up to four players. Be sure to order enough kits to meet the expected number of players.

Brave the Barrow-downs

In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and his fellow Hobbits barely made it through the Barrow-downs alive. The fog obscured their path, spells made them drowsy, and Barrow-wights lured them into the ancient barrows. In truth, their journey across the Barrow-downs was as harrowing as any of their adventures in The Fellowship of the Ring, and the Fog on the Barrow-downs scenario that players can play during October’s Fellowship Event provides them an opportunity to encounter many of the Barrow-downs’ deadly threats—as well as to meet a well-known character from The Fellowship of the Ring.

Note: The Fog on the Barrow-downs scenario will be made available for purchase at a later date. Playmats and alternate art cards are exclusive to the Fellowship Event and will not be available after the event.
 

How Does This Tie into the Gen Con Fellowship Event?

The Fellowship Event at Gen Con Indy 2014 includes a separate standalone scenario called The Old Forest. Players do not need to play The Old Forest before participating in October’s Fellowship Event. However, both The Old Forest and Fog on the Barrow-downs were designed so that they can be played with The Black Riders Saga Expansion in campaign mode, and come with new Boon and Campaign Mode setup cards. Players can use one or both of the scenarios when playing a campaign.

Encourage Your Favorite Local Game Store to Apply Today

Players, October’s Fellowship Event is your first chance to play through the challenges of Fog on the Barrow-downs and your only chance to get your hands on the event’s exclusive playmat and alternate art Aragorn. Let your favorite local game store know that you want to participate.

All applications are due by July 3rd at 11:59 PM CST, so talk to your retailer about this Fellowship Event today!

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« Reply #28 on: 18 June 2014, 00:30:06 »

Fresh Blood on the Pitch

Preview the Three New Teams from the Foul Play Expansion


Well, Jim, we’ve certainly had a lot to see so far from the new teams of the Putrid Players’ Guild.


You’re absolutely right, Bob. Between the Nurglings’ disease, Chaos Dwarf riots, and Goblin cheating, this upcoming season might be our most interesting yet.


The fans certainly agree, and opposing teams are racing to adapt to some of the PPG’s more… unconventional tactics!


Foul Play introduces the Putrid Players’ Guild to the Team Managers’ Union and to your games of Blood Bowl: Team Manager. The PPG’s new teams distinct play styles and unorthodox techniques are sure to make a splash, and the best talent scouts are already investigating what these new teams can offer. In today’s preview, we’ll bring you an update on the newest teams to take their positions  on the pitch.


Nurgle’s Rotters


As the team devoted to the Chaos god of disease, Nurgle’s Rotters rank as the most odorous players in Blood Bowl – no mean achievement! In fact, few players can use noxious disease as a weapon the way Nurgle’s Rotters can. The Pestigor, and other key players in Nurgle’s Rotters, have the Spread Disease ability, which allows you to place a disease token at midfield. When another player is committed or moved to a matchup with a disease token in midfield, that player immediately receives the disease token, lowering his Star Power by one.



In addition to spreading disease, Nurgle’s Rotters make excellent use of the downed skills first introduced in the Sudden Death expansion, especially regeneration. Whenever a player is downed, he immediately resolves any downed skills he may possess, including cheating, passing, or even regeneration. When a manager attempts to regenerate his downed player, he rolls two tackle dice. If a die shows the “Tackler Down” result, you may immediate stand your downed player, bringing his full Star Power back to the matchup.


Whether you stop your opponent’s passes with the Beast of Nurgle or use a star player like Pusbubble to spread disease, Nurgle’s Rotters have plenty to offer.


The Zharr-Naggrund Ziggurats


Masters of destruction and revenge, the Chaos Dwarfs love to walk the ball to victory over a field littered with the bodies of their former opponents. With players like the Bull Centaur and Hthark the Unstoppable in the Zharr-Naggrund Ziggurats’ roster, it’s not hard to see how they’ve gotten a reputation for fighting to the last breath and beyond. Chaos Dwarf players feature a massive amount of cheating and tackling skills, helping them crush any opponent that stands in their way. If an unfortunate player downs a Chaos Dwarf, however, he’s certain to get more than he bargained for in return. Nearly every Chaos Dwarf player has at least one downed skill to get revenge on your opponents.



The Chaos Dwarfs also showcase the new skill introduced in the Foul Play expansion: fouling. One place you can find this skill is as a downed skill for the Hobgoblin Thrower. If you choose to use a player’s fouling ability, you choose an opponent who has a player at the matchup. Then, you take one card from that manager’s hand and secretly look at it, before choosing to discard it, or replace it in your opponent’s hand. By using the fouling skill, you not only gain knowledge of your opponent’s players, but if it’s one of your opponent’s best players, you can discard it. If it’s a lowly Lineman, however, you can replace it in his hand, keeping him from drawing better cards!


The Lowdown Rats


For sheer insanity on the field, there’s no team that can match the Lowdown Rats. With typical goblin ingenuity, they’ve contrived entirely new ways to break the rules, whether by using pogo sticks, chainsaws, or bombs. You can use a Looney to take down your opponent’s best players with his trusty chainsaw, his Dauntless ability, and his array of offensive skills. On the other hand, maybe you prefer the wide-spread damage of the Bombardier. By pitching bombs around the field whenever he successfully tackles another player, the Bombardier can cut a swath of destruction through your opponent’s team.



Other goblins stay ahead of rivals by just being faster than anyone else. A Star Player like Scrappa Sorehead has well-developed sprinting abilities, even after being downed. If one of your opponent’s players is unlucky enough to miss a tackle on Scrappa Sorehead, you may use this player’s superior mobility to move him to safety at one of your other matchups. Whether you rely on crazy plans, frantic cheating, or chainsaws and pogo sticks, the Lowdown Rats have the tools to bring in fans and get you to the top of the Team Managers’ Union.


The Blood Bowl Awaits


The three new teams of the Putrid Players’ Guild offer unique skills and powers to any manager who can control them. There’s more to discover in Foul Play than new teams, though. In our next preview, we’ll look at some of the new mechanics introduced in this expansion, including penalties, stadiums, and a corrupt ref.


Pre-order your copy of Foul Play at your local retailer today!


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« Reply #29 on: 18 June 2014, 09:00:03 »

Born of Magic

Preview the Skarn Lieutenant Pack for Descent: Journeys in the Dark


Deep within a haunted manor, a new threat has been created. Skarn is a magical construct infused with life by the death of a high mage, and he possesses the ability to increase his size and strength endlessly by incorporating pieces of his environment. If left unchecked, Skarn could grow large enough to threaten all of Terrinoth with his enormity.


Skarn emerges from the ruined mansion as an agent of the overlord in the Skarn Lieutenant Pack expansion for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition. Within this Lieutenant Pack, you’ll uncover a sculpted plastic figure and a unique, ten-card Plot deck, that allows you to bring Skarn to life beyond the bounds of the Manor of Ravens campaign. (The full rules for Descent Lieutenant Packs can be found on the Descent support page.)


Today, we’ll preview the massive power that you can unleash on Terrinoth through the Skarn Lieutenant Pack.



A Twisted Soul


Skarn’s ten-card Plot deck, Twisted Soul, imparts some of Skarn’s potent defenses to your other monsters. The Plot deck begins with What Doesn’t Kill, a card that you may exhaust whenever a monster suffers one or more damage. If the monster wasn’t defeated by the attack, it recovers a damage, and you mark the monster with a threat token. Every marked monster then adds a brown die to its defense pool, maximizing your monsters’ resistance to the attacks of the heroes.


What Doesn’t Kill also allows you to gain the benefits of other Plot cards that enhance monsters marked by threat tokens. A monster once touched by Skarn’s regeneration is forever changed, as evidenced by the Thick Scars and Bitter Rage Plot cards. Thick Scars gives two additional health to your marked monsters over the course of a quest. Bitter Rage, on the other hand, grants additional damage to every attack performed by a marked monster. By marking your monsters with What Doesn’t Kill, you can quickly bring your monsters to impressive new levels of power.


You can also use the Summon Skarn Plot card to summon Skarn as an agent into any quest. As a powerful guardian and agent of the overlord, Skarn’s ability to repair damage to himself is unmatched in all of Terrinoth.


Hardy Defenses


The power of your presence in Terrinoth grows to enormous levels when you summon Skarn into a quest as your agent. Skarn is powerful in combat, and since he features massive amounts of health and powerful defense dice, destroying him is a formidable task for a band of heroes. Skarn’s surge ability only make him more difficult to defeat. He can spend a surge in combat to activate the Mend 4 ability, recovering four damage as he repairs himself with materials at hand.



In battle, Skarn’s other abilities give you more options for widespread damage. Skarn can spend a surge for extra damage, and Thrash invites you to perform an attack that affects every figure adjacent to Skarn. By combining Skarn’s widespread damage capabilities with his powerful defenses, it’s clear that Skarn excels in the center of a hero party, shaking off blows and spreading his damage far and wide. You can even negate the heroes’ options with the Energy Drain 4 ability. Whenever a hero takes damage from Skarn, you may choose that hero to suffer up to four damage as fatigue instead, reducing the hero’s options for triggering abilities, gaining movement, and resisting your monsters.


Agent of Darkness



After you summon Skarn into play, his Plot deck gives you plenty of ways to gather additional threat. If you have Possessive Nature when Skarn enters play, you may use Possessive Nature to gain threat tokens equal to the number of relics in play. The Unknown Origin Plot card gives you another way to seize threat; by using Unknown Origin, you force each hero to test his Knowledge when you summon Skarn. For each hero that fails, you receive a threat token. Even Skarn’s defeat can bring you more threat tokens. By exhausting the Faithful Guardian card when Skarn is defeated, you immediately gain three threat tokens, giving you enough threat to repurchase the Summon Skarn Plot card, allowing Skarn to heal himself and regenerate for the next quest.


As Skarn’s threat looms over the lands of Terrinoth, your darkness spreads to consume the realm. Preorder the Skarn Lieutenant Pack at your local retailer today, and gain access to the magical construct’s unparalleled abilities!


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