Cheaty Mages, A Review

Name: Cheaty Mages
Type: Card Game
Publisher: AEG
Players: 3-6
Age: 12+
Playtime: 30 mins
Price:  £16.00
Rating: 3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)

Cheaty Mages, Front of Box

Cheaty Mages is a fast and fun card game published by Alderic Entertainment Group (AEG) and written by acclaimed game designer Seiji Kanai (who also made Love Letter for AEG). It was first published in 2013. The theme of the game revolves around a group of unscrupulous mages who are gambling on the outcome monsters fighting in a pit and who are casting spells on the monsters to help or hinder them in order to influence the outcome of the fight, all while trying to avoid detection from the ever present judge.

Cheaty Mages, Contents

Inside the box you get-

  • 72 x Spell Cards
  • 10 x Fighter Cards
  • 8 x Judge Cards
  • 30 x Betting Token Cards (6 each of numbers 1-5)
  • 30 x Coin Chips (split into 1, 5 and 10 denominations with 18×1, 6×5 and 6×10)
  • 1 x Rulebook

Cheaty Mages, Cards

The cards are all made of a durable card stock and laminated to make sure they stand up to the rigors of the gaming table. The art is basic, but suits the game and is consistent across all the card types. The Fighters all look reasonable, except the Orc who looks decidedly piggish and the Judges are all illustrated so that they resemble their characteristics, be it absent minded, stern or happy. The Spell cards make up the bulk of the set and have the same basic artistic style as the other cards. Some show illustrations of the spell, such as fireball, giants strength or haste while others, like mana boost, just show esoteric symbols.

Each card has a number of characteristics which vary by card type-

Cheaty Mages, Fighter Card

Fighters have a strength, prize amount and maybe a special ability.

Cheaty Mages, Judge Card

Judges have a mana threshold, Judgement and maybe a special effect

Cheaty Mages, Spell Card

Spells have a type, mana cost and effect

The game is simple to play. Deal out 5 fighters, 1 judge and a number of spells to each player (this varies based on the number of players). Each player decides to bet one 1,2 or 3 fighters and places, facedown, the numbered betting cards of their chosen fighter/s. The players take it in turns to cast spells on fighters, generally increasing or decreasing their strength. Some spells are cast face up for everyone to see the effect, some face down. The round ends when every player passes on casting more spells.

Once all the players pass the strength of each fighter, after the spells cast are added, it totalled up, as is the total mana cost of the spells on each individual fighter. If the total mana cast on a fighter exceeds the judges limit then that fighter is subject the judges judgement text (nothing, all spells dispelled or the fighter is kicked out of the competition). Once the judge has passed judgement and any special text on the judge card is taken into account, the fighter with the highest power still in the fight, wins. Anyone who bet on that fighter gets a payment based on how many fighters they bet on at the start.

After 3 rounds have been played the player with the biggest pile of winnings is declared the winner. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward game with a fair bit of strategy behind how you bluff your way to winning a given round.

All in, I like Cheaty Mages. I brought it to the table for the first time recently and taught the other players how to play it inside of 5 minutes and after that we all got into the spirit of being dastardly mages desperately trying to outdo each other, which I feel is half the fun of the game. For what it is the production values are quite high and I think it’ll make it to the table fairly often as one of the first games of the night, while we wait for others to turn up. It’s a little pricey for the contents and it could stand to be a couple of pounds cheaper but it’s by no means expensive and if you find it for under £15 then it’s well worth picking up.

Star Realms, Gambit Expansion Review

Name: Star Realms Gambit Expansion
Type: None Collectable Deck Building Game
Publisher: White Wizard Games
Players: 1-2
Age: 8+
Playtime: 20 mins
Price:  Varies, around £10.00
Rating: 4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)

Star Realms, Gambit Expansion, front of packet

The Gambit Set is a 20 card expansion for the card game Star Realms. It introduces co-operative and solo play as well as new mechanics in the Gambit cards and mercenary ships. As with all Star Realms expansions the Gambit Set follows a Living Card Game (LCG) in that every pack contains exactly the same 20 cards. The Gambit Set represents the commercial release of all of the year 1 promo cards for Star Realms. The cards are as follows-

Star Realms, Gambit Expansion, All Cards

  • 13x Gambit Cards
  • 3x Merc Cruiser ships
  • 2x Nemesis Monster challenge cards (1 for solo play and 1 for co-operative)
  • 2x Pirates of the Dark Star challenge cards (1 for solo play and 1 for co-operative)

Taking a quick look at the packaging and cards I can say that the artwork on the packet if of the usual high standard. It’s actually a bit of a shame to rip the packet open because the artwork looks so nice but nevertheless it houses new goodies and so it gets torn open and cast aside rather quickly.

The cards themselves are quite nice with the Gambit cards themselves being the nicest of the bunch. In terms of quality mine tended to be of a slightly lower standard than the previous sets with some of the cards feeling almost faded. The lack of a full gloss finish hurts the cards here I think. It’s worth noting that the Gambit cards have a grey boarder on the back, as opposed to the traditional black so you can easily identify them if you accidentally shuffle them into you deck. All 4 of the challenge cards also come with the rules for playing those challenges on the back, which if quite helpful.

Star Realms, Gambit Expansion, Gambit CardsJPG

The Gambit cards are the big addition in this set. There are 13 of them and they bring a new mechanic that adds an extra element of change to the game while providing further tactical options. Those 13 cards are made up of 9 unique cards with 3 having doubles in the set and one appearing in triplicate. To use Gambit cards simple deal, face down, an agreed upon number to each player, ensuring everyone gets the same amount (I find 2 each is a good number). They can be revealed at any time but I prefer the mechanic that has all players reveal their Gambit cards simultaneously, at the start of the game so everyone can make appropriate tactical choices.

Gambit cards provide a variety of benefits. Most have a scrap benefit that provides a one off boost to a pool (influence, currency or attack), or allow you to draw extra cards, or both, but there are exceptions that have other uses. Some also provide ongoing benefits such as an additional 1 attack every round or a -1 to damage against the owning player (not their bases). By strategically scrapping these cards at opportune times players can acquire a massive advantage for a single turn, greatly boosting their chances of pulling out a win.

Star Realms, Gambit Expansion, Merc Cruiser Card

The Merc ships are an interesting addition and a powerful ship to add to your force, especially for 3 points. They have no ally ability themselves but have a straight attack of 5 and can align themselves with any other faction, chosen at the time the card is played. This means that they can be used to ally with the Blob the first time it comes out and the Star Empire the next, or any other faction. It makes them versatile and really helps if your deck has a smattering of multiple factions.

Star Realms Gambit Expansion, Challenge Cards

The challenge cards add another mode of play to the game. Both challenges come in two formats, solo and co-op, although they work fundamentally the same way regardless. Both of these challenges seem to come from the app version of the game, where they function as Boss fights on the campaign mode and their inclusion in the card game is a nice touch and allows players to get some practice in, even if they don’t have an opponent.

The rules for each challenge are written on the back of the cards but, as I’ve said, they work the same way aside from their starting influence score. Each turn the challenges play after the players and they take the card in the Trade Row furthest from the deck, placing it face down in front to them. The Trade row is move along one space and a new card is drawn and added. This drawn card determines the ability for the challenge that turn, as specified on the front of the card (making players discard, extra damage, destroy bases etc.). Finally the challenge deals damage equal to the number of facedown cards in front of them, plus any additional based on their ability for the turn.

In this was the challenges get much harder the longer the game lasts as their damage will, almost certainly, increase every turn. They can pose a touch challenge, especially the Nemesis Beast, but are a fun alternative to the standard game and well worth a shot.

All in all this is a very solid expansion that adds some interesting new options to the game. The downside is sourcing a copy in the UK is hard and so I reached out to White Wizard Games, via their Star Realms Twitter, to see if they could tell me a UK supplier. Unfortunately they didn’t get back to me and so, in the end, I had to order a copy from the US, which I managed to get for £11 including postage. Generally though it’s closer to £14 including postage, which is quite a lot for a 20 card expansion to the game, costing more than the base 120 card deck. It’d be nice if more UK stockists had the Gambit expansion and if White Wizard Games were a bit more active in helping the None US player base source cards and expansions for this great little game.

Is the Gambit expansion required for play? No, you aren’t missing out on anything by note having it, but it’s a fun little addition if you can get it for the right price and so it’s worth checking out.

 

The Highs and Lows of Kickstarting Games

Kickstarter Logo

I’ll keep this specific to Kickstarter, since I’ve no experience with the other crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo, but I will say that the Kickstarter process of only charging you at the end of the project, IF it successfully funds, makes vastly more sense to me than charging you immediately for something that may not even receive enough money to be created.

Kickstarter is a wonderful thing, it lets people with idea’s that might not seems commercially viable to big corporations try to bring their product to life. There have been notable successes, Oculus Rift being by far the biggest following its multibillion dollar sale to Facebook and Star Citizen is another, which is still raking in record amounts of money. There are, however, spectacular failures as well, projects that have promised great things and failed to deliver at all.

To date I’ve backed 6 projects on Kickstarter and only 1 has actually delivered. In most cases my buy in is pretty low, less than £30 as I’m happy with the base product most of the time and I tend to back things with little to know postage costs since the postage from America is pretty steep (more on that soon). This far I’ve backed-

  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition
  • Paranoia
  • Tiny Epic Galaxies
  • Shadowrun Hong Kong
  • Epic Card Game

In the near future I’ll also be adding Tiny Epic Kingdoms: Heroes Call to that list.

My experience with Kickstarter is hit and miss. Shadowrun Returns is the only one to deliver and that delivered late, although there was strong communication throughout and that actually resulted in two games a one of the stretch goals was upgraded from an additional mini campaign to a full game in Shadowrun: Dragonfall. It was because of the success of this, along with an excellent and characterful game, that meant I happily backed Harebrained Schemes again for Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Kickstarter

On the flip side of this is Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. This was my first RPG Kickstarter and, if you are a regular reader, you’ll know my love of all things Lovecraftian. I’ve played Call of Cthulhu for a great many years, in one guise or another, and the ability to be part of the new edition, plus the promise of some rather shiny Leatherette Editions lead me to back the project for over $400, once postage and a copy of the updated Horror on the Orient Express were added to my Nictitating Nyarlathotep pledge.

Call of Cthulhu was supposed to deliver in October 2013 but this was, understandably, delayed once the books were upgraded to colour and we were advised of this during the Kickstarter period. Delivery was re-estimated in late 1st Quarter 2014. To date (June 2015) the core books haven’t even gone to the printers and the status of the sizable list or promised stretch goals is in limbo as we’ve heard little to nothing about them. To make things worse Chaosium, a company I’ve always had respect for, went all but silent to requests for information for a significant amount of time and EU backers of their previous Kickstarter, Horror on the Orient Express, which was funded a year earlier than 7th Edition, are still waiting for their copies despite them being available in retail for over 6 months.

This nightmarish situation has developed further in recent weeks, with the announcement that the President and CEO of Chaosium and the Chief Accountant had been removed from the company by the other shareholders and the CEO’s stake was being bought out by the company. The other shareholders, Chaosium founder Greg Stafford and Call of Cthulhu creator Sandy Peterson, have taken on the role of CEO and VP respectively and worrying information is starting to make its way to backers. Now, I give credit to Greg and Sandy, since they took over we’ve had more contact and updates from them than we had in the previous 6 months from Chaosium under the old management but that’s of limited comfort when it appears that everything the backers have been told for a year was, basically a lie.

I won’t speculate on the state of the finances or what happened to the half a million dollars of Kickstarter money here as no solid information is available but, needless to say, I’ll be waiting a fair bit longer for my promised goods and whether I get everything promised is up for debate.

Of the other Kickstarters-

Paranoia Kickstarter Logo

Paranoia is behind schedule as it was due for delivery this month (June 2015) and I have to say that despite a pretty detailed update recently, I’m a little disappointed at the communication from Mongoose Publishing. That said, they appear to have been pretty honest with regards to the delays and when we can expect delivery and so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

Tiny Epic Galaxies Kickstarter Logo

Tiny Epic Galaxies is on track and the communication from Gamelyn has been first rate. They have even provided a pretty precise timeline for when each step is due to be completed and I couldn’t ask for more. I’ve been that impressed by the game and the company that I’ve sought out Kickstarter copies of Tiny Epic Kingdoms and Tiny Epic Defenders and I have no reservations at all about back Tiny Epic Kingdoms: Heroes Call when it begins on 22/06.

Shadowrun Hong Kong Kickstarter Logo

Shadowrun: Hong Kong is ongoing. It’s due to deliver in August 2015 but I’ll be surprised if it does. That doesn’t bother me though, Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall were excellent games and they are so true to the Shadowrun Universe, one I love, that I’d rather they get it right than I get it right now. As with Tiny Epic Galaxies, the communication has been excellent and backers know what is going on. Given that they managed to deliver Shadowrun Returns I have no reason to believe that I won’t get Hong Kong, it might just take a while.

Epic Card Game Kickstarter Logo

Epic Card Game is still live at the time of writing with an estimated delivery of September 2015. There have been numerous updates throughout the project and the stretch goals are modest and spaced fairly far apart, especially for a card game. I backed this one specifically because I love the previous offering from the creators White Wizard Games, being Star Realms. Star Realms was also funded by Kickstarter and delivered without a problem and, given that White Wizard Games have been pretty open about the fact that 90% of the work is already complete on Epic Card Game, I have no reason to expect that this one will arrive significantly late.

So, given that only one project has actually delivered, why do I keep backing things on Kickstarter? Well, partially it’s because I like being part of the creation of gaming products. Like this blog, backing Kickstarters makes me feel like I’m at least peripherally involved in an industry that I love and since I don’t have the skillset to create a tabletop game or RPG of my own, I like being part of helping someone else bring their vision to life. In truth though, the main reason is that I love the exclusive additions that come with the Kickstarter versions of games, from the Leatherette Call of Cthulhu books, to the exclusive Ultraviolet Paranoia box, to the promo cards in Epic Card Game. As a previous article says, I’m a sucker for limited edition variants and Kickstarter offers me those with wild abandon.

As you can see though, backing a Kickstarter isn’t without it’s risks. Looking at the spectacular mismanagement of Call of Cthulhu, there is a chance, hopefully a small one, that is just might not deliver and then I’m out of pocket by over £300. There are no guarantees on Kickstarter and the terms and conditions are pretty clear that a creator has to make every attempt to try and deliver the promised goods but, if they don’t, that’s a risk you accept. Kickstarter isn’t a pre-order service (though some companies certainly treat it as such) and people needs to remember that when backing a project. A recent Court Case in the US does give backers some hope for the ability to take legal action against Creators who don’t deliver and never really tried to – BBC.co.uk.Unfortunately though, this appears to just be the exception rather than the rule at present.

Due to how Cthulhu has panned out and from what I’ve noticed on some other projects that I’ve followed but not backed, I’ve created a few little rules that I try to follow when considering backing a project-

  • Is it EU (specifically UK) Friendly? For RPGs this isn’t an issue as books don’t attract UK Customs charges but for games or RPGs that include Dice/Pencils etc. as stretch goals, it’s important. If it doesn’t ship from Europe and comes in at over £20 then I might get hit for VAT and that’s something I don’t want.
  • Do I get something more than I would if I waited for retail? This might be an exclusive add on, cover, expansion or whatever and it might cost me an extra couple of pounds but if I’m not getting anything different to retail, or it’s not coming in cheaper, then I’m not interested.
  • Is postage stated or at least estimated? Postage from the USA is pretty horrific nowadays. Even if something ships from Europe it’ll often go via the Creator in the US and that can mean that it’s pretty expensive. In some cases the postages of RPG books can exceed $50 and I’m not willing to pay that on top of my pledge unless I’m getting something really special. If a project just states “Shipping to be calculated at the end of the project/time of shipping” then I’m out as I’m not willing to get stung for hefty fees at some arbitrary (given the ever apparent delays) point in the future.
  • Has the Creator successfully delivered other Kickstarter Projects in the past? If I’d though to check on Chaosium I’d have known that they hadn’t delivered anything before and still hadn’t fulfilled their promises to the HotOE backers. I know Kickstarter is about people going out into the world to get backing for their wild idea but, unless you have a proven track record, I’m probably out. If your product is cheap enough, or fascinating enough, I might make an exception but you’ll have to work extra hard to win my money.
  • How much is this going to cost me? I went a bit nuts with Call of Cthulhu and it might end up coming back to bite me. Nowadays I won’t back anything to a degree that I’m not willing to write that money off. Kickstarter is a gamble and you should never gamble with money you aren’t prepared to lose.
  • What are the Stretch Goals? I love stretch goals, they mean I’m getting more for my money and they are often exclusive to the Kickstarter but they can also be an early warning that the project will be delayed or won’t deliver on some/all of the promised goods. I have to keep using Call of Cthulhu as an example but take a look at what the RPG company have promised, above and beyond books and you’ll see what I mean. Chaosium promised Mugs, T-Shirts, Pin Badges, Posters, Music CD’s, Customer Coins, Card Decks and more to backers and that should have been a warning. Every item out of the norm for the company means that they have to engage with whole new industries to bring the item to market and that’s expensive and time consuming, especially for relatively small runs.

To me the stretch goals need to be present and interesting enough, after all backers should be rewarded for their faith in the product, but they should be well judges enough and far enough apart to be realistic. Epic Card Game has gone the other way, offering just additional cards for fairly big leaps in funding but they have, at least, explained that this is ensure that they deliver on time, on budget (since they have to actually make money) and don’t end up losing out on postage costs.

I’d say the perfect example of what to look for in stretch goals is in Tiny Epic Galaxies, they are fun, add quality or usefulness, and are directly related to the game. The Creator made sure, to fractions of an ounce, that the product would come in as close to the shipping weight limit as possible so backers got as much as possible for their faith in the company.

Kickstarter should be treated as an investment (although at present backers don’t have the same rights as commercial investors) and, as such, you should do your research before choosing who gets your hard earned cash. It’s also a two way street as Creators need to realise that backers are investors and need to be communicated with appropriately. Of all my issues with Chaosium over Call of Cthulhu by far the biggest is the utter failure to communicate with me as a backer. Had I been made aware, at appropriate points, of the issues they were facing and been provided with honest and clear information I wouldn’t be half as annoyed as I am. I’ve worked in project management, I understand that there are unforeseen delays, but I expect to be told about them as soon as possible.

My experiences are, as shown, mixed. Despite only one project having delivered I fully expect at least 2 more (Tiny Epic Galaxies and Epic Card Game) to reach me this year within, or close to, the estimated delivery dates. Of the others I’m not concerned about Shadowrun: Hong Kong as it’ll be ready when it’s ready and, at least right now, I’m fairly confident about Paranoia. It’s a shame for me that Call of Cthulhu, the one I wanted the most and the one that has cost me more than double all of my other backed projects combined, is so late and has no end in sight. I’ll continue to back projects but I’ll be a lot more careful about what I back and Chaosium will have to go a LONG way to restore my confidence in them as a company again.

Kickstarter is a great thing. It has meant that more and more people are able to have their vision brought to life by linking them up with individuals who share that vision. Crowdfunding in general is the future for many industries, especially niche hobby industries, and I think it likely that we’ll eventually see more and more large commercial community ventures, such as libraries and museums being funded via this format. It’s not without its risks but as long as you are careful about what you back and with realistic expectations then it can be very rewarding to back projects.

 

Lambda Class Shuttle Unboxing

Lambda Shuttle, boxed

The Lambda Class Shuttle is a large based ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game, released for the Imperial Faction as part of the 3rd Wave of releases for that game. Within the Star Wars Unoverse the Lambda Class shuttle is a transport ship and is most notably recognisable as the ship that Emperor Palpatine emerges from when he visits the 2nd Death Star in Return of the Jedi.

As has become commonplace for the large ship expansions for X-Wing the Lambda comes boxed, with the ship visible on the right of the box, held inside it’s plastic blister packaging and all of the cards and tokens hidden behind the artwork on the left of the box. The Lambda is positions side on inside it’s blister, affording you a good view of the whole ship and its wings folded up in its landing position. Given the size of the ship when the wings are folded down it would be unreasonable to package it otherwise.

Lambda Shutte Contents

Inside the box you get-

  • 1 x Lambda Class Shuttle large base ship
  • 1 x large ship base and pegs
  • 1 x lambda Class Shuttle Manoeuvre Dial
  • 16 x Cards (split between Pilots Cards and Upgrade Cards)
  • 25 x Tokens (I’ll detail these specifically a little later
  • 1 x Rules/mission sheet

The Lambda is an interesting ship, it’s one that seems oddly large to me, though it’s still in the 1:270 scale of the rest of the game, but that’s probably just down to my own personal perception of the ship. In a way, it also feels out of context since it looks much more like an executive transport than a ship that would regularly be involved in the kind of dogfighting that X-Wing emulates, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t have a place.

The model is well made and because of the folding wings actually has more articulation than any other ship releases so far. It also helps owners store the model since it is fairly large when the wings are fully open.

Lambda Shuttle, wings closed

Lambda Shuttle, wings open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like the look of the model, it has a suitably blocky Star Wars feel to it and since it’s from the original trilogy it obviously seems well at home with the other ships in the X-Wing Game. The paint job is terrible though, at the best of times painting white is difficult, just ask anyone who’s ever tried to paint White Scars for 40k, but mass producing it on hand painted models to even a passable level is pretty much impossible.

Lambda Shuttle, Pilot Cards

You get 4 Pilot cards with the Lambda and they are split, as is standard for a large base ship expansion, between 1 Generic Pilot and 3 Elite ones.

  • Omicron Group Pilot
  • Captain Yorr
  • Colonel Jendon
  • Captain Kagi

The art on the cards isn’t particularly inspiring but I like the fact that Captain Yorr appears to be flying within Endor’s atmosphere while Jendon is in a space scene with the second Death Star in the background. No card released thus far for X-Wing has particularly bad art and the Pilot cards in this set fall squarely in the average range.

The Pilot abilities are purely support, allowing target locks to be moved or passed off or letting the shuttle take stress instead of a nearby friendly ship. Overall though, I rarely see any of the Elite Pilots on the table, more often the goal is to field as cheap a shuttle as possible, taking the Omicron Squadron Pilot with Darth Vader as crew and maybe an Engine Upgrade to add some manoeuvrability. This set up still comes in at just 28 points and can add some much needed guaranteed damage to an Imperial List.

Lambda Shuttle, Upgrade Cards

The Lambda Class Shuttle comes with 12 Upgrade cards, which puts if roughly on par with the majority of the other large based ships, excepting the Decimator. Many of the cards in this set are unique to it and have found a place in a variety of lists making it an essential expansion for competitive Imperial and Scum players. The cards you get are-

Crew-

  • Darth Vader (Unique to this set)
  • Rebel Captive (Unique to this set)
  • Intelligence Agent (Also found in the HWK-290 Expansion)
  • Navigator (Unique to this set)
  • Weapons Engineer (Also found in the Millennium Falcon Expansion)
  • Flight Instructor (Unique to this set)

Modifications-

  • 2 x Anti Pursuit Lasers (Unique to this set)

Cannon

  • Heavy Laser Cannon (Also found in the YT-2400 and Slave-1 Expansions)

Title

  • ST 321 (Unique to this set)

Systems

  • Advanced Sensors (Also found in the E-Wing Expansion)
  • Sensor Jammer (Unique to this set)

Many of these cards are exceptionally useful, especially when used with other ships. Darth Vader, as already mentioned, is great with the Lambda but is also exceptional when placed in a Patrol Leader Decimator. The Advanced Sensors are almost a must have on B-Wings and really improve their dial immeasurably and I’ve recently found that Sensor Jammers on Aggressors make the ship even more frustratingly hard to kill when combined with Autothrusters and IG88C. The Rebel Captive has found a home on Decimators as well but also makes a worthwhile addition to the Phantom and really comes into its own against 2 ship lists.

The Navigator works particularly well with an Imperial Boba Fett, making his movement exceptionally hard to predict and counter as well as being a good way of keeping your Phantom alive against an opponent that is skilled in covering multiple arcs of fire. Finally the Heavy Laser cannon has found a home on several ships, not least of all the YT-2400 with Outrider(although the Mangler is arguably a better choice), any Firespray, any Aggressor and on B-Wing lists, making it a very sought after upgrade.

Lambda Shuttle, Tokens

We all know that Fantasy Flight Games just loves providing a whole plethora of tokens with their expansions. The intention is that you don’t need anything else, other than the core box, in order to use your new ship and this is a really admirable business practice, even if it does leave me with hundreds of shield tokens. In this set you get-

  • 2 x Large Ship Base Tokens (double sided as Omicron Group Pilot/Colonel Jendon and Captain Yorr/Captain Kagi)
  • 1 x Lambda Class Shuttle Manoeuvre dial and peg
  • 5 x Shield Tokens
  • 2 x Target Lock Tokens (double sided as letter M and N)
  • 3 x Stress Tokens
  • 4 x Ion Hit Tokens
  • 1 x Critical Hit Token
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 7 x Mission Tokens (3 x Disabled Ship Tokens and 4 x Cargo Tokens)

Overall the Lambda Class Shuttle is an excellent expansion, the ship is nice looking, the upgrades are excellent and many are unique to the set and the ship has a use in several lists. It’s never going to be a game changing ship but the Lambda excels in it’s support roll and as an expendable asset, used in conjunction with Darth Vader, it can easily kill more than it’s points. The Lambda also has a very unique trait, it has a 0 move on it’s dial, something that other ships can only achieve through the uses of Inertial Dampers, which is one use only. This makes the Lambda very useful as a blocking ship, especially against other large base ships.

The key with the Lambda, to me at least, it to keep it cheap. If it exceeds 30 points then it’s probably too expensive and the points could be better used elsewhere. That may change in the future since the Lambda is one of the 2 standard scale (so none epic) ships that the forthcoming Emperor Palpatine can be added too and, at 8 points, chances are that he will push the Lambda over that 30 point mark more often than not. Since the Emperor is included in the forthcoming Imperial Raider expansion the jury is still out on that one but I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a few Lambda builds start to incorporate him.

Until next time, fly casual folks.