Whiskey Squadron versus the YV-666

The lumbering space freighter grew ever larger as the two T-65 X-Wings sped toward it.

“It seems a shame to destroy that thing since it’s filled with beer,” said Arlo Durkan as he assessed the YV-666, which looked to him like an angry whale.

“Stay focused Whiskey Two,” said Bake Travnor. “If we blow that bucket out of space we’ll be drinking for free at the Steamline Tavern and Lew the Hutt will pay us handsomely.”

Bake was the leader of Whiskey Squadron, employed by Lew the Hutt to help wage the Tavern Wars. Lew owned the Steamline and his rival Elmer, owner of Argy’s space tavern, had a huge shipment of kegs aboard the YV-666. Whiskey Squadron was tasked with making sure it never made it to the thirsty Argy’s patrons.

“Roger that Whiskey One. But you know, most squadrons have 12 ships. We scrambled so fast it’s just you and me against this big ugly.”

Bake checked his sensors then cast a wary eye around their target.

“Stay on my wing Whiskey Two. We need to concentrate our fire. And be alert. I bet a bottle of Correllian whiskey this guy has a small fighter nearby flying escort.”

Mission Setup:

(Updated Squad Points for Second Edition)

Steamline (Whiskey Squadron rules*): 75 squad points. Must have two small ships.

Argy’s: 70 squad points. Must have 1 YV-666 and one small ship (Suggested list below**).

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X-Wing Whiskey Squadron is born

Bake Travnor sipped his Corellian whiskey on the rocks and surveyed the scene at the Steamline Space Tavern. Travnor, a former Rebel and New Republic pilot who had spent 25 years flying X-Wings, A-Wings and Y-Wings on missions across the galaxy, smiled as he noticed the several hundred other patrons at the Steamline were also enjoying the name brand booze. Bake had helped escort the freighter carrying the spirits to the Steamline, a remote watering hole just outside the Aturi Cluster.

“You humans do love Corellian whiskey,” Dans, the two-headed Troig bartender, said from his left head. “When we announced the shipment had docked I thought I would go deaf from all the cheering – and I have four ears.”

Bake laughed.

“Lew the Hutt wants to see you,” Dans said from his right head.

The veteran pilot finished his drink, setting it back down on the large, horseshoe-shaped wooden bar carefully. Why would the Steamline owner want to see him? His tab was paid and he didn’t think he’d done anything recently to offend Lew; people who upset Lew didn’t last long, especially now as the Tavern Wars raged.

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Are Y-Wings underrated?

Since they are yet again available for purchase it’s time to re-examine the Y-Wing. The ship was seen in quite a few competitive squad lists following the Most Wanted expansion pack release in early 2015 but if you look at the breakdown of popular pilots and combinations in the meta these days you won’t find many Ys. That’s too bad because in addition to being a cool looking spacecraft the Y-Wing is a great all-purpose option and one that’s effective in Tavern Wars missions.

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X-Wing solo mission: Blast the jammer

(Updated squad point totals for Second Edition)

Elmer, owner of Argy’s space tavern, has deployed a communications jammer that has disrupted all signals to the Steamline Tavern. The Steamline is owned by Elmer’s rival in the Tavern Wars, Lew the Hutt. Now the Steamline’s juke box won’t work and, most annoyingly for Lew, he can’t access information about the bar tabs owed by the many smugglers who frequent his joint. Lew has dispatched ships to destroy the jammer in the container near the space taverns. Pilots hired by Elmer will try to stop them.

Mission Setup:

Steamline (Solo player): 95 squad points. (Must have two ships).

Argy’s (AI): 135 squad points.  (Must have three ships.).

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The joys of simple X-Wing lists

Fresh off a shuttle that had stopped at the Steamline Space Tavern to refuel the Bith walked to the bar and sat down. Dans, the two-headed Troig bartender, asked the traveler what he was drinking.

“I’d like a Ramble Blaster, with a cucumber wedge instead of an olive,” the Bith said, wearing a black turtleneck and looking slightly out of place at the remote saloon outside the Aturi Cluster.

“A Ramble Blaster,” said Dans from his left head, annoyed and amused at the same time. “Where do you think you are? At some royal function. A Ramble Blaster is one shot of sloe gin from Coruscant aged in oaken barrels and a jigger of sweet vermouth from Mon Cala, shaken with six ounces of tonic.”

Several patrons at the long,  horseshoe-shaped wooden bar, mostly smugglers at varying levels of sobriety, laughed.

“What would you suggest?” the Bith asked meekly.

“Whiskey on the rocks,” Dans’ right head said as he reached for a bottle of cheap booze. “Since the Tavern Wars began everybody has had to make do with less.”

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Making do with less is one of the fun parts of running X-Wing missions with 50 or 75 points. A standard 100-point squad list is cool, too, obviously. But at times playing with myriad upgrades, astromechs and elite pilot skills gets cumbersome and confusing. When you’ve only got a few points to spend you have to pick your additions wisely. It also makes each round faster and more focused on the flying.

Below are three of our favorite 50-point lists, one for each faction:

Continue reading “The joys of simple X-Wing lists”

Band on the run – clear debris

Elmer has hired plutonium rock band Disaster Area to play at Argy’s but the route to the space tavern is blocked with debris. The Argy’s owner needs pilots to blast the debris into oblivion so the band’s spaceship can make it to the venue. The Disaster Area vessel is, of course, large, packed with amps, instruments and the band’s personal stash of spirits. Pilots hired by Lew the Hutt from the Steamline will be trying to destroy the Argy’s ships, just one of the hazards of bar ownership during the Tavern Wars.

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A bar bet: YT-1300 mission

“It’s only been done two times,” Elmer said to the smuggler as several drinkers tried subtly to get the space tavern owner’s attention. They needed refills, but knew better than to be too aggressive in asking for them; Elmer served patrons when he was ready. If they were in a hurry they could head down to the busier end of the massive wooden bar at Argy’s where the hired help quickly dispensed beer, booze and cigarettes.

“And both times by Han Solo, I know,” said the smuggler, a cocky young human who had told Elmer his name was Rico and that his YT-1300 was docked at the mini spaceport connected to the tavern. “I can do it. And when I succeed I want half your winnings and an open tab for life.”

Elmer grinned, something the wizened old man rarely did, especially since the Tavern Wars began. He arched his white eyebrows and said: “An open tab for a year – that’s what I’ll pay. That and half the winnings will make you a very rich and very drunk man. Agree to that and I’ll place the bet with the bookie. Lew the Hutt will be happy to take the other side – and to send ships to shoot you down.”

And with that the smuggler had agreed to try to complete the four-square run.

Elmer’s grin grew into a toothy smile.

“You can even pick any pilot in this place to be your wing man. If you both live, I’ll offer your partner a year of free drinks as well.”

Rico finished his beer and placed the mug back on the bar. He turned and saw a growing number of pilots slowly approaching him. Would one of them be brave – or foolish – enough to join him?

Continue reading “A bar bet: YT-1300 mission”

X-Wing Tavern Wars mission: Get the rum

Lew the Hutt, owner of the Steamline space tavern, has a shipment of Scarifian Rum for pickup on a storage container outside the Hook Nebula. A Steamline regular within an overdue bar tab tips off Elmer, owner of Argy’s, about the stash. Pilots hired by both joints rush to the container coordinates for another Tavern Wars clash.

Mission Set Up

Steamline: 125 squad points.

Argy’s: 125 squad points.

The Steamline player places a container token within Range 1 of the edge of the Steamline side of the play area. Each player places two asteroids at Range 2 of the edge of their respective play area sides. Both players set up their ships  within range 1 of their sides on a 3′ by 3′ play area.

The Steamline player has initiative.

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X-Wing miniature repair without glue

Tired of sticky super glue fingers when trying to reattach X-Wing miniatures to the receiver peg? We’ve had more than a few models snap off the receiver peg when running through Tavern Wars missions. It’s a tough galaxy out there, especially when the pilots have had a drink or three.  Super glue, of course, can work to reattach the ships but the fit can be imprecise and often they’ll just snap off again a few rounds later. Now we use removable mounting putty, that sticky stuff used to hang posters and pictures to avoid pounding nails into walls.

For small ships cut off a piece a little smaller than a dime, roll it into a ball, then flatten it onto the hull bottom. Simply stick the peg into the adhesive and adjust as needed. It also worked to reattach the Millennium Falcon to the receiver peg, using the same method but with a chunk of adhesive about the size of a nickel.

 

The Basics (Tavern rules)

The X-Wing missions in Tavern Wars are designed to be played quickly:

Round time is 50 minutes, to be played on a 3′ by 3′ battle mat.

For a two-player skirmish each person picks either Argy’s or The Steamline to represent. Squads are 150 (Second Edition) points a side, depending on mission specifics.

Argy’s players may use Force abilities, and pilots but Steamline players cannot.  Steamline players may use Whiskey Squadron special rules.

For solo play, pick a 125-point squadron. The AI gets a 150-point squadron. (This usually means the live person gets 2 ships while the AI plays with 3).

There’s no prohibition against having squad lists made up of ships from different factions, though generally players stick to one.

Minimum of 2 obstacles, maximum of 4, depending on player preference or mission specifics.

The winner: A) Destroys all enemy ships.  B) Completes the mission objective. C) Destroys the most points by the end of the round if neither A nor B is accomplished.