Naturally, our games often come before homework, which really isn't a problem for me as a parent since this game still involves mathematics and social development.
We had a chance to sit down and play another 2 missions from the Heroes of the Aturi Cluster campaign and it was so much fun it deserved a blog post.
This mission really allowed the kids to focus on their own single ship, discuss tactics and movement in greater detail in an open forum, and, of course, bask in the glory of taking down TIE Fighters.
The kids certainly love gaining the experience points and spending it as they look for upgrades that can help not only their own ships but bring better combinations in order to create a more dangerous ship.
One of my sons is leading by a large margin on experience points. When he first started he ran a Y-wing hesitantly, however, it has certainly become the workhorse of the squad. Armed with Twin Laser Turret, it provides a solid firebase and covers the rest of the squad very well.
On the other hand, I started in an X-wing and eventually upgraded to a B-wing, which is my favourite Rebel ship. My dice rolls however certainly haven't been as great as my son's though, which means I'm falling behind in terms of experience points.
After a few passes, the sudden realisation sinks in that it isn't easy trying to get the drop on TIE Fighter AI groups. The squad of Rebels eventually rallies and re-groups. They have a discussion about grouping their fire-power together and also which ships to take out first to remove their range bonuses. This is pretty advanced coming from 8- and 9-year-old kids.
Once the squad had re-focused their efforts, it was easy to lead the damaged HWK off the table for the victory.
With the experience points gained, we each bumped up some pilot skill to unlock further options for our next mission. I just took a tractor beam on my B-wing to add some flexibility to the squad and also brought Hera Syndulla along for the ride. Astromechs were upgraded on X- and Y-wings, torpedoes were loaded, and elite pilot talents were claimed, ready for the third HotAC mission.
After carefully explaining this to the squad, my eldest son just screams in with a straight-4 manoeuvre and fails to destroy the first sensor. He rolls to see if a patrol group come, and naturally 3 x TIE Interceptors turn up on an annihilation course.
Despite the adverse situation, the kids rallied together and pulverised the TIE Fighters and Interceptors. I felt like I'd nobly sacrificed myself for the greater good of completing the mission, taking heavy fire for many rounds before being destroyed. I rolled some dice and it turns out I lost all my experience points that I'd just gained in that mission. Damn!
It is fantastic to have another iteration of X-Wing available for free, rather than focus on the competitive PVP. To have another medium that pools the same fun core mechanics and enhances them for co-op play is simply amazing.
If you haven't introduced Heroes of the Aturi Cluster to your gaming group yet, I cannot emphasise how much of a top quality product the campaign is. The 'AI' is simply amazing and I'm often scratching my head at how I am out flown by a sheet of paper, but it happens.
The experience points-based system allows for some incredibly fun upgrades that keep the game fresh and the depth and variety of missions are well thought out.
Lastly, if you have kids, Heroes of the Aturi Cluster is an ideal way to keep them interested rather than the 100 point dogfight, which is so commonplace now.
Thanks for reading.