Monday, January 11, 2016

The Evolution of the 4-Player game of X-Wing


Yes, this happens all the time. Rather than play 2 separate games and/or use a scenario, we usually have 4 players who opt/prefer just slug it out on one 3'x3' play area. Over the past year or so, the idea of playing 'regular' 2-player games has curiously gone by the wayside. I'm not sure why, it just has. Alongside of that, out multi-player games have evolved as well.

Initially, four (and sometimes six) player games were played on a 3'x6' play area, with the two sides forming up into teams to fight the other. In most cases this just resulted in essentially 2-3 side-by-side games, with a few random pot-shots crossing into other player zones (for lack of a better term). There were exceptions of course, the most memorable for me being where my force collapsed, and my last remaining fighter running full speed into someone else's dogfight in a desperate attempt to shake off Kushial's pursuing fighters!

Despite the game's evolution, I'm still taking shitty in-game pics on my crummy iPhone, and not my new, 20-megapixel camera...

Then we discarded one game mat, and everyone just took a side of the remaining game mat. The problem there being you can end up with enemy fighters in range 1 on deployment, causing people to bunch up in the middle of their deployment area (to avoid that). Nowadays we deploy in corners, diagonally (basically a triangular deployment zone) out to range 2 or 3 depending on the general consensus. Not sure who came up with that idea (it wasn't me), but it works very well.

(this is where the 'evolution' part ends, and the just general rambling begins...)

Sometimes we form teams, other times its a free-for-all. The entry of the Scum & Villainy into the mix (with can be kinda neutral) has made a mess of forming teams as there's no longer a clear-cut 'us' vs. 'them'. Or there's what seems like the 'everybody get him/her!' games. Whether intentional or not, invariably someone will feel like they're being 'picked on', but generally its a case of finding yourself in the middle of everyone else's crossfire.

In-game alliances tend to be shady affairs these days. Allies finding themselves with no viable targets aside from each other is the usual culprit for them to fall apart. Of course there are players (like myself for example) that frequently open fire on an unsuspecting and helpless 'ally' who finds their ships directly in front of the mine at range one can I resist that? Seriously! I was shooting at the ships on the other side, but you were in the way...

More often than not however, 'teams' will change on a turn-by-turn basis. Sometimes in letting almost wiped out players stay in the game longer (occasionally against their wishes as happened Saturday night) by not putting them out of their misery to let them regroup, to not shooting my beloved Wolfy's new toy this turn after I almost killed it in one volley last turn (and she's wan't too happy with me for a bit...). You laugh, but nobody else shot at that ship that turn either. That said, it died the next turn (and I didn't do it!).

-off topic moment, check it out:

I have no way to tell just how many of those page hits are Russian and Ukrainian spam-bots. I don't want to know, as its probably a dishearteningly high percentage...

No comments: