In my first part of Tales of a Gamer, I outlined how my son (Charlie) had persuaded me to start down the dark path of Star Wars Legion. I amassed a small force and was busy painting, rather than playing. The few games I had played (and these could be counted on one hand) had either been with Charlie or my friend Andrew. With this in mind, one of our local shops announced a small tournament, and Charlie and I thought what better way to spend a Saturday and get some experience.
Before the big day, Charlie and I had been going back and forth through different army lists. The advantage of this small event, was that the army size was only 400. Considering that in your army you need at least one leader and three core squads, this did not leave much room for maneuver. However, having the Rebel Laser Canon just being released during the week, I was really unsure of what to play. Should I go with a cool new unit that I hadn’t even assembled at this point, or stick with my trusted AT-RTs that I had played with before? Not wanting to leave too much to the unknown, I kept with what I knew. I kept my list simple; Princess Leia, three squads of Rebel Troopers (one with an extra trooper) and two AT-RTs both fitted with laser canons. Charlie on the other hand took Han, three Rebel Trooper squads, a two man sniper squad and a single AT-RT with laser canon. It took us long enough to make these simple lists, goodness knows how long 800 points would take us to figure out!
On Saturday, with everything packed, we set off to the store. The store, called Tritex Games (in Stafford), was first brought to my attention by my friend Gavin when we had been looking for a Rivals tournament for Star Wars Destiny. On our first visit, I had been greeted by Jason and Joe, who were not only great at running tournaments, but were especially great with Charlie. They knew how to talk to him and weren’t put off with him being shy. We have returned numerous times and have always had a great time. Equally, Charlie is very confident with talking with them and he loves going to play there. The shop donates 10% of its profits every year to local charities; it gives you an indication of the kind of people who are running it.
When we got there, we were greeted by Joe and another employee, Solomon. Very soon another person came to play Legion, Simon. With us all being Star Wars fans, you can imagine; we just geeked out talking about the franchise, before realising this was it! Now I’m not saying this as a negative, far from it. Solomon, having never played, volunteered to be a fourth player. This was perhaps the perfect situation for Charlie and me. With only four of us playing, we had two very laid back games, which meant that Charlie and me were able to get to grips with the rules, but also we were able to get some cool promotional stuff from Fantasy Flight Games. Having Simon there also worked out very well. He became our own Legion version of Yoda, the fountain of all knowledge. He was patient with all of us and helped to guide us through our games.
So game one. Having never played, Charlie and I both thought it was only fair that Simon show Solomon the ropes of the game, so we volunteered to play each other. At any other time, this could have been extremely boring for us, we had played each other before. However, there was a massive difference to these games; terrain. Charlie and I had only ever used the barricades that came in the core set. Having a board full of terrain suddenly changed the game, the tactics, just about everything. I could see from Charlie’s face that he was excited and so was I. We set up our game and got straight on with father versus son on a board modelled after Endor. I cannot explain how much having terrain affected the game and really brought it to life. Charlie and I were having to think completely differently with our game plans and it really brought the game mechanics to life. Now I wish I could say that I was the kind and considerate father who let his son win. I wish I could… but I can’t! I did give Charlie a good beating! One of Leia’s command cards allows you to take three shots at the enemy and this completely changed the game when I played it. Charlie took the defeat on his shoulders and I think learnt a huge amount, so much so that he would win his next game.
The second game, Charlie faced off against Solomon, who was running a Rebel list as well. As I’ve said he won and had a big smile on his face because of it. I on the other hand, was faced against our resident expert, Simon. It was a pleasant surprise to find him running Imperials and with Boba Fett in the list. We had a time limit on this game and were only able to play two rounds. Just as I had given Charlie a good beating, the force turned around and made sure I also was suitably booted by my opponent. It didn’t matter, I learnt a lot from Simon and had a great time doing it.
It might not have been a full scale tournament but it was wonderful. Charlie and I had an amazing, relaxed time and really got to enjoy ourselves. Solomon, who had never played, said it was one of the best games he’d ever played and is now looking to start his own force. It did show me just what a difference terrain makes and Charlie and I have been discussing what sort of board we need to try and build. This is certainly a project for the New Year, but one that will give Charlie and me another project to work on together. We have started to look at our army lists a lot different, realising that we now need things we never thought we would. And as a bonus, we got some alternative art cards and acrylic tokens. This is very common with Fantasy Flight Games and are prized amongst gamers.
A big thank you to Tritex Games for giving us the perfect day for Star Wars Legion. If you ever want a family friendly place to play, or to try a tournament for the first time, they are the perfect place. And what next? Well, you’ll be surprised to hear that it is back to painting for me. With seeing terrain playing such a big part, I brought a copy of Priority Supplies which comes with some moisture vaporators and things that we can use. I’m also starting to do my research on how to construct a board. Over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to play Charlie and my friend Andrew a few times to really get a grasp on the rules and to try and refine my army list. Expect an update on my journey through the trials of Legion next month, until then, may the force be with you…