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The Vintage Tempest’s First Days with Star Wars: Legion

11 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Fantasy Flight Games has a new miniature battle game for Star Wars fans to enjoy. Legion is different from Armada such that players are commanding soldiers than spaceships. The rules are the same; the dice are different coloured and length of time to play better than the space-faring cousin. It’s possible to play short skirmishes. I went to a demo at my nearby game store to get my Jedi on and instead went Sith!

I am impressed with the plastic figures which come in the base set. Vader and Luke command their respective forces, and the bits include barriers for the Stormtroopers or Rebel Forces to hide behind. With no surprise, since laser blasts are guided by the roll of an eight-sided dice, neither can hit the broad side of a barn. The rules are nice and simple. Those who have played Armada know how this game works. Combat moves fast.

As for how much larger these battles can get will depend on expansion products offered. Prop packs to recreate battles on other planets exist, and for the adventurous modeler, Mos Eisley can be recreated.

With only two major factions offered in the main box, the enjoyability comes in how many times can Vader lay the smack down on Luke. I normally side with the forces of good, but to know how powerful Vader is requires looking at this character translates into gaming. The abilities are by no means unique. For Vader, he has “Master of the Force,” which means one of the upgrade cards can be ready for use. Luke has “Jump.” Since both are Force users, they have “Immune: Pierce” to sidestep certain attacks and “Deflect” since they have lightsabers to bounce laser blasts.

This game is no different from the augmented reality cousin, “Trials of Leadership” in Star Wars: Jedi Challenge. The electronic version has you pointing your wand (lightsaber) to direct forces to strategic points to defeat the opponent. The miniatures have a lot of rules to consider and it is more turn-based to decide the outcome of the game. I enjoy this physical version more for the simple reason that calibration for the said stick is always fickle and the click from this stick feels off when compared to using measuring sticks to find out how far a team can go in the battlefield.

This game has potential when expansions come out. I’m looking forward to Hoth (Empire Strikes Back) and seeing AT-ATs enter the field. In the items offered now, the smaller AT-ST and RTs are available.

In what is available now, it’s possible to simulate the land fight from the Battle of Endor. No Ewoks are available yet, and as for whether Fantasy Flight Games will include them, fans will have to wait and see. Inevitable sets will include the Separatist Droid army commanded by Dooku, the Clone Troopers with Yoda and the First Order with either Kylo Ren; General Hux; Captain Phasma in command. The latter can be fun and perhaps this time, Phasma will not get her butt kicked. She is an embarrassment in the films.

For diehards, I can imagine a multi-table setup where players move from infantry battles to get to a waiting cruiser, and whoever captures that, moves on to a space-based fight in Armada. To play this sequence can be epic. However, to have all the miniatures needed to recreate it is a pricey investment. I’m sure the rules can be adapted so fans of LEGO Star Wars (the scale is almost the same) can use minifigs. It may be cheaper than buying Fantasy Flight’s products, and at least for me, it can be more fun than playing another TT Games licensed product.

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Impressions One Year Later with Star Trek: Deviations and Beyond

2 Mar

startrek-deviationsii-cover-mockonly

IDW Publishing

Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Josh Hood
Colors: Jason Lewis
Letters: AndWorld Design
Production Design: Neil Uyetake
Editors: Sarah Gaydos and Chris Cerasi
Publisher: Ted Adams

Star Trek is created by Gene Roddenberry.

By James Shaw
(The Wind Up Geek)

The Story: This Star Trek one-shot takes place in the Star Trek: The Next Generation timeline where sometime in the past, instead of the Vulcans making first contact with Zefram Cochrane human race after the defeat of the Borg by Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, it is the Romulans. It is this point human history deviates from the TNG storyline. Humans are enslaved and mankind never reaches the stars outside their own galaxy. The story starts in an altered TNG timeline with familiar faces (William Riker, Deanna Troi, Worf, Geordi LaForge, and Data) escaping from their Romulan captors.

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Debugging Lenovo + Disney’s Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

25 Jan

by Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Lenovo + Disney’s Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is an imperfect augmented reality game. This product can be ordered direct from the manufacturer or online. Best Buy had this product as an exclusive before the movie The Last Jedi. Fans lucky enough to get this product as a gift were no doubt excited, and hopefully, they did not have to return it as not all smartphones work. This product supplies the hardware to play and the software needs to be downloaded. This game is definitely for the lightsaber enthusiast. Trials of Combat, provides one heck of a workout for the arms and the other two (Insight and Leadership), knowing some board game battle strategy helps.

However, one huge problem exists: The tracking beacon (aka the Holocron) is supposed to indicate where the “floor” is. When I held it in my hand, the software did not recognize how close it was to my face and the hologram being projected did not scale down like it is supposed to (as seen in the series). I was often staring at the lower part of the map or my opponent’s feet.

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The Pros & Cons of the Five Anticipated Films of 2018

1 Jan

solo-a-star-wars-story

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Not every upcoming movie for 2018 will get fully embraced. To make a top five list is more challenging because the interest for these films is just not quite solid.

Whether the film involved is plagued with production problems or franchise fatigue is setting in, the reasons can vary. The worry with this first film is not because the principal directors were let go, but can reshoots fix a film? In this case, it’s the actor who defined the role than casting someone younger to take the mantle. I feel shades of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull will be on the thoughts of many considering going to see this movie.

Han Solo (May 25, 2018)
Nobody can replace Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Nobody. Not even the actors who played younger versions of the characters he made famous get remembered for these roles. Okay, Sean Patrick Flanery is wonderful in the Young Indy series when he was a teen and he put a lot of effort in the role to not only sell the show but also become quite the sex symbol himself. The age difference from a young teen on television to an adult in cinema helped make this transition work.

Alden Ehrenreich is an okay substitute to show when this scoundrel was at his best. Whether the masses will accept him is the big question. The secondary issue is when this story will take place. Since the idea is to spotlight a younger version of the character, the hive mind is most likely not going to have this film lead out to Solo travelling to Tatooine  anytime soon. Rumours suggest this movie will be a Western, and this idea can work to see this scoundrel turn saviour for the day. However, to follow up on the heels of The Last Jedi is going to be tough. Expectations will be very high, and if this film does not deliver, perhaps Disney / Lucasfilm will have to reconsider if these side-stories are needed at all.

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