Still Good For Bull’s Eye-ing Womp Rats.
Just recently, two new ships for the X-Wing game shipped. I have been awaiting the Ghost, from Star Wars: Rebels for some time, but alas, it was not in this shipment. This release was only two tiny starships…the First Order TIE Fighter and the T-70 X-Wing, both from “The Force Awakens.”
The modern incarnation the X-Wing design, the Incom T-70 X-wing fighter is the combat craft of the Resistance forces in their fight against the First Order. In the expansion pack, you get one of these starfighters, carefully detailed and pre-painted, as well as four ship cards, five upgrades, a maneuver dial, and everything else that you need to fly your T-70 X-wing.
Except, in my case, one of the lasers.
The tiny model had one of it’s four lasers missing. You could see it in the box, even. The guy behind the counter let me know about the defect, on the spot. That was cool of him…since it was the only T-70 he had in stock, and could have blown the sale. Still…despite the griping in the webcomic above, the missing laser made me like the thing more, and I decided to give the broken little spaceship a home.
It comes, as I mentioned, with a mess of cards. One of them, a big boost, is the new “X-wing only” modification, Integrated Astromech, which allows you to discard an astromech upgrade to discard any damage card you are dealt before you resolve its effects. That’s kind of a huge deal…allowing you to sack an Artoo unit or similar card to keep an X-wing in play. No player wants to discard an astromech droid as useful as BB-8, D2, or the “Targeting Astromech”…but when the alternative is losing your whole ship (along with the droid), the decision is pretty easy to make. Especially since the Integrated Astromech modification costs you ZERO points.
So…that’s a big deal. The T-70 itself is a slightly beefed up X-Wing that has a better maneuver dial. My friend who was an early adopter of them says he thoroughly enjoys them, and is going to take an all T-70 squad to a local tournament in Ventura. Considering that I look to him as an expert…that’s a pretty big support for my broken little ship.
Obviously, the line of dialogue about the Artoo unit has to do with yesterday’s art. It would be uncool to just jam her into some kind of round socket outside the spaceship. Plus, Skrull Space Princess, who we haven’t seen in about a year…just because. Its not like she is helping with the situation at all…although what’s she supposed to do…buy a new laser? Right now, this moment? Pretty impractical.
However, I did go back and color the art from yesterday, for use with various X-Wing ships, including today’s T-70 X-Wing. I colored it, made a digital cutout, and then imported a background…the corridors of the spaceship Tantive IV, from the beginning of Star Wars. That background was a chore to make, by the way.
That came out pretty well. As I set to the idea of making X-Wing cards with my art on them, I also thought hard about useful combos incorporating these two…Artoo Detoo and See Threepio. I have been pining after the Wave Eight “Ghost” Expansion, with the Star Wars: Rebels ship of the same name…and the stats have finally been released online. The Ghost has an agility score of zero…so even though its big and tough, it takes ALL the his against it. No fancy dodging. Granted, it has a fantastic steering dial, so the theory is to stay out of the way of shots via actual steering talent…which is reflected in the ship’s build.
Still…It got me to thinking about the C-3P0 crew card. That card is really popular for the Falcon, a ship that has some similarity to the Ghost, in being big and less agile. Threepio’s card says…”Once per round, before you roll 1 or more defense dice, you may guess aloud a number of evade results. If you roll that many evade results (before modifying dice), add 1 evade result.” Boring, right? Especially if you don’t play the game. The thing is…with him on the Falcon, if you guess zero, you either get your natural evade and not Threepio’s, or you get one off of the card. No matter what, you get one…which helps the Falcon stay in play.
The Ghost has zero agility…so it seems like you can guess zero, and be right all the rime, massively helping out the Ghost. Looking closely at the card text, though…it says, “before you roll one or more defense dice.” Technically, you are rolling zero with the Ghost. Sigh.
You see why the game is interesting, though…the way the cards fit with the tiny ships. Artoo is also great, because Artoo fixes you ship’s shields. Both of those cards are tough to get now…Artoo because it was part of the original core set, now replaced, and Threepio because it only comes with the Tantive IV mega ship. That’s sixty dollar spaceship, versus the fifteen dollar X-Wing I just got. As good as the Threepio card is…I don’t want to spend sixty bucks. I just don’t play often enough.
I do have an Artoo card though. Considering I’d probably play the two at the same time, but on different tiny spaceships, I made a digital “proxy” for the two. For non gamers, a “proxy” is a stand in for the card for some reason…in Magic the Gathering, it was usually because the card was too valuable as a collectible to play with. Which seems silly.
For me…I just wanted my “upgraded” Artoo art, and the ability to use a card I don’t have sixty bucks for. Let’s look at the proxies.
I thought it was clever. The way they fit together to make one large corridor in the Tantive IV. That way, I can play the two cards next to each other, and there’s matching. The X-Wing game doesn’t really have matching.
So, there we go. A whole post about X-Wing…because i don’t have a care in the world, on vacation.
Because some of the readers are interested in the process, and I have a sense of completeness, here’s the original color, pre-merge with the corridor background. The corridor came out with a slightly different texture to it, so in some ways I like this pre- background version better. Although the background sort of lends to the effect, especially in the matching cards, there’s something in the simplicity of the art without, and the unified texture of the piece. Lighting makes a big difference…it’s where the qualitative difference came in the two images, background and foreground.
I may very well see if I can make one of those color versions into something besides “proxy cards”…I rather like the way they came out.
Next Issue: A Truck!