When FFG release a new wave of ships for the X-Wing Miniatures Game, they often get known for what new things they bring to the game as a whole. I’m pretty sure that Wave 9 will be known as “The Era of the Firing Arc”, with two ships being the first small ships to have a rear firing arc, one aiming to actually be in your opponent’s firing arc, and one that features an all-new “mobile firing arc”.

The first ship I’ll be focusing on is the ARC-170 Starfighter, for the Rebel Alliance faction.

The ARC-170 is a movie-canon ship, it can be seen accompanying Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Battle of Coruscant at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith. As such, this marks the first real Clone Wars-Era ship to be released for X-Wing. (Yes, I know you can see the Falcon for a few seconds in Attack of the Clones, and that versions of Z-95 Headhunters and Y-Wings turn up in The Clone Wars series, but the versions of those in X-Wing are of the later, Galactic Civil War Versions. Stop nit-picking, I can’t hear you, this is a written article, I’m technically in the past, so now you’re just talking to your screen for no reason, you weirdo.) Originally used by the Clone Troopers that would transform into the Galactic Empire’s Stormtroopers, these ships have been “adapted” and pressed into service by the Rebellion. Whether or not this opens up the door for future Clone Wars releases like the Jedi Interceptors or even whole new factions like the Trade Federation is up for debate, but for now, it’s nice to look backwards at some older technology, instead of focusing on all he souped-up ships of The Force Awakens.

Physically, the model is beautiful; possibly even my favourite release to date. It’s pretty big, for a small-based ship, just narrower than the K-Wing, and about the same length. True to its age, the paintwork makes it look completely battered, with mismatched panels on the wings, scratch marks on the entire body and the Rebel Firebird hastily slapped on one side. The S-Foils are very reminiscent of the classic X-Wing, modelled fully open so that you can actually see straight through the ship. The general level of detail is wonderful, making it perfect for custom paint jobs and modifications.

So, that’s how it looks, but how does a ship older than the already outdated Y-Wing fly?

Really, really well.

The basic ship has a fair dial, a little more manoeuvrable than a Y-Wing, but not as fast or flashy as an X-Wing. Its basic stat line of 2 Attack and 1 Defence aren’t spectacular, but they get the job done, and are built to be modified, and it’s 6 Hull and 3 Shields should help it soak up the damage that it can’t evade. It also features a rear firing arc, meaning it can shoot anything that decides to chase it, albeit only with it’s primary weapon. 

Interestingly, it has no generic pilots, meaning that whatever size of game you are playing, you can never run more than four of the ship. Whilst some may not like the idea of not having a cheap, generic version to use, I think that it keeps with the theme of the ship. There aren’t many of these relics left flying, and only a few people know how to use them. The Squad Point cost of these pilots are 25, 26, 28 and 29, putting it in at the mid-to-top level of fighter costs. In terms of upgrades, these are the first ship to be able to take both an Astromech Droid and a Crew Member, opening up some wicked combos, and allowing C-3PO and R2-D2 to fly together for only the second time in the game. Which is nice.

The four named pilots vary in quality, but there are two that are making the most noise in the community.

Shara Bey is Poe Dameron’s mother. Poe Dameron flies possibly the most advanced Starfighter in the galaxy, the T-70 X-Wing, but his mum pilots a chugging old mini-van of an ARC-170. If there were a Poe crew card in the game, the teen comedy would write itself. Miss Bey’s pilot ability basically lets friendly ships use her target lock as their own, freeing up the actions of other pilots and making her a tasty support piece. Dameron’s mum has got it going on.

The other well-received pilot is Norra Wexley (Snap Wexley’s mum, from Aftermath – Ed). If she has a target lock on an enemy ship, she can spend it to add one focus result to her roll. Whilst this may not sound too fantastic, it pairs up quite nicely with some of the upgrades available through this pack.

The main upgrade that will probably be given to every ARC-170 is “Alliance Overhaul”, a title card fit for only the ARC-170. Costing zero points, it allows any attacks from the front firing arc to roll an additional dice, and any attacks from the rear may change one focus result to a critical hit. Miss Wexley’s ability to generate focuses is suddenly more useful.

Other upgrades of note are “Tail Gunner”, which reduces the agility of the target when firing from the rear arc, “Vectored Thrusters”, which allows any small ship to take a barrel roll action, and the “R3 Astromech”, which enables you to cancel one focus result whilst attacking to give your ship an evade token. Again, very useful with Norra.

Another fun upgrade is the “Seismic Torpedo” which allows you do destroy and remove obstacles from the game, whilst possibly hurting anyone close to it. Changing the layout of the table is a big step for the game, and is sure to change the way people play.

All in all, the ARC-170 is a very strong release, and a wonderful addition to the sometimes under-appreciated Rebel faction. It adds lots of new aspects to the game, without overpowering anything that had come before, and that can only be a good thing.

Score: I’m Going To Buy Too Many Of These/10

Ömer Ibrahim is a regular contributor to Suppressing Fire and you can check out his modelling work at Can’t Sleep, Must Paint

Right off the bat, I am not ashamed to say it…I have a new obsession, and it is Marvel Legendary.

Given how much of my gaming goes into and onto Heroclix and FFG’s The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get into Marvel Legendary.  I mean, I even considered the Predator version of the game to be one of the best releases of 2015…and yet here it is, the tail end of 2016 before I take the plunge into the game that started it all.

The base set you’ll be needing to embark on this great game.

The central concept of the game is relatively simple.  You choose (or randomly pick) one of the bad guys supplied (Dr Doom, Red Skull, Magneto or Loki), and assign them a “Scheme” (attempting to use the Cosmic Cube, robbing a bank, orchestrating a Civil War, etc.), and some bad guys to help them out (the Sinister Syndicate, Brotherhood of Mutants, Hydra…).  You start the game with the call just coming into SHIELD headquarters, so all you have is a bunch of SHIELD agent jobbers to stave off the impending crimewave/end of the world.
Fortunately for you, this is a deck building game, and what this means is that at all times there are a selection of five cards you can “purchase” and put into your deck.  These are always linked to a Marvel superhero that SHIELD is bringing in to tackle the problem, be it Thor, Hulk, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Rogue…or Deadpool.  Ideally, as the game progresses, you’ll be constantly improving your deck, and working towards being able to chain abilities together, knock out the evil mastermind and save the day.

Marvel Legendary is insanely addictive.  The short playing time (I’m currently averaging around forty minutes a game), means that you can get two or three games into an evening’s play, letting you see a good variety of characters and plays each time.  The turns move incredibly simply and quickly, but with lots of potential for action and levelling up each time.  Every turn counts.

Being a Marvel zombie like I am, it’s great to have so many characters that you know and love gathered together, and ready to be played with straight out of the box.  A real highlight is  how they actually feel like the characters they’re supposed to be representing.  Maria Hill never gets directly involved in combat, but does allow you to more rapidly gather resources and call in the heavier hitters.  Wolverine does vicious attacks and rapidly “heals” your deck of “wounds”.  Iron Man is all about accelerating how you play, burning through more cards to unlock greater combinations.  And Deadpool…well he’s erratic to say the least.

Marvel Legendary plays very well solo, but team games with up to five players scale very nicely indeed…although a little competitive streak has the potential to sneak in with some groups…but that doesn’t really matter all that much.  You can play Marvel Legendary fully co-operatively, or you can try and be the MVP each game.  There’s room for both playing styles.

Seeing your deck grow with more powerful cards as the game progresses is oddly satisfying, especially when you’re able to pull off a staggering chain of abilities in a turn.  When you do, there is a genuine sense of accomplishment.  It doesn’t feel like pulling of a trump or a flush.  It feels like pulling off a Fastball Special!  You can picture the superheroes working in tandem in your mind’s eye, just like a really good RPG.

What has really staggered me so far is the scope.  There are a good number of heroes and villains included in the base set, and I’m already eyeing up all of the expansions (hey, I’ve got a birthday coming up…), because I just need a Punisher and a Ghost Rider already…

As the icing on the cake, Marvel Legendary is super easy to teach, and would make a great gateway game for any superhero loving friends you have. The mechanics of chaining and deck-building are a great example of that “easy to learn, challenging to master” school that so many systems strive for, and yet very few achieve.

Look out over the next few weeks for some more Marvel Legendary related news and articles.

Brad Harmer-Barnes is a gaming and comedy writer who reads too many comics, eats too many Twinkies and has too much blood in his caffeine system.  In his spare time he edits Suppressing Fire.  You can follow him @realbradhb

The boys are joined by Emotionally 14’s Blake Harmer to tear open, inspect and review the brand new Superior Foes of Spider-Man set for Heroclix!

Be sure to check out Blake’s gaming stuff at emotionally14.com 

Joe Crouch, Ian Harmer and Brad Harmer-Barnes get their hands on the latest Fast Forces set for Heroclix, and test out all the figures:

I guess this review comes a bit late for the majority of X-Wing fans. The Imperial Veterans have been out for a while, and most of us have taken them out for a spin, or been shot at by them. “Countess Ryad” has become a known name thanks to her ability, and I’m personally terrified every time my opponent says “I’ve got three TIE Defenders with the TIE/x7 title.”. 

With that said, a standard review would be a tad pointless, as you can read that just about anywhere by now, so I’m going to go for a slightly different approach on this one. I’ll summarise what’s in the box, without describing every component, but I’ll also describe some of my interactions as an almost purely Rebel player, having mostly been on the other side of the table to these beasts.

So, what do you get for your money? Primarily, two ships, a TIE Bomber and a TIE Defender. Both of them come with lovely alternate paint schemes compared to the originals releases, the Bomber has white markings and the Defender is a beautiful crimson red, matching the TIE Interceptor from the previous Imperial Aces box set.
As well as the “plastic crack”, it’s chock-full of new pilots and upgrade cards, and this is where the fun really begins.

The TIE Bomber has long been irrelevant in X-Wing. I don’t remember the last one I saw at a tournament, and even in casual play it rarely hits the table. There’s a good amount of stuff in this box that is clearly an attempt to bring it back to the fore. It hasn’t really worked, but it’s certainly interesting. Mainly, the TIE Shuttle title, which makes you lose the ability to take secondary weapons, but gives you the ability to take up to two crew members, as long as they are under 3 squad points in cost. Whilst this blocks the use of Emperor Palpatine, it certainly opens up some other fun combos (It really makes me happy as a Star Wars nerd too, as the Bomber was originally designed as a shuttle for The Empire Strikes Back, but was dropped.).

The TIE Defender’s selection of upgrades, however, is where this pack’s bang-for-your-buck comes from. TIE Defender’s are lethal “jousting” ships, and this just makes them HORRIBLE to play against, on multiple levels. Firstly, the aforementioned Countess Ryad – her unique ability is that she can treat any straight manoeuvre as a K-turn, meaning that at any second, she is facing the opposite direction, with absolutely no penalty in terms of stress. Couple this with either the TIE/D or TIE/x7 titles and she is LETHAL. TIE/D allows the ship to fire twice, once with an equipped cannon, and once with its primary weapon.

The TIE/x7 may be worse. Like the TIE Shuttle title, you lose your secondary weapons, but after completing most of the manoeuvres that the ship is able to, it receives a free evade token, meaning that even if you do get the flippy little bastards into your firing arc, it’s ignoring one of your shots anyway.

So, my experience with the ships? The scenario I mentioned above, about-facing an opponent with three TIE/x7 Defenders came in a recent tournament. I was flying the combo of heavy hitter Dash Rendar and notorious damage dodger Poe Dameron. Dash attacks with a huge four dice every time. Poe is pretty lethal too. I ended the game having caused a total of four damage to his entire squadron, killing absolutely nobody, whilst he slowly whittled my team out of existence.

On the other hand, when I took the ships out for a test match, I instantly loved both of them, and the new abilities they bring. Not quite enough to tempt me away from my beloved Rebellion though. Viva la resistance!

Simply put, if you are an Imperial player, you owe it to yourself to buy this set. For the other two factions, Rebel and Scum & Villainy, there’s not a whole lot of stuff in here that’ll help you, which is unusual. Normally, when you buy an X-Wing, there’s cards in that will help a TIE Fighter, and so on, but this box seems very well set up for Imperial players, especially those who enjoy tournaments over casual play. Not to say that the living room gamer won’t enjoy these, but they’re definitely aimed at competitive games. Countess Ryad is nobody’s friend.

I’m not big on scores out of ten for X-Wing, as every ship has its place to the right player, but I would definitely give this release a
Please stop shooting me you big meanie/10

Ömer Ibrahim is a regular contributor to Suppressing Fire and you can check out his modelling work at Can’t Sleep, Must Paint

So, here’s the very last part of Armada week (at least until Wave 5), and we’ve saved the big bad for last, the Interdictor-class Star Destroyer. Originally from the Legends universe, the Interdictor is capable of generating an artificial gravity well, which means that any passing Rebel ships travelling through hyperspace can find themselves suddenly and sharply ripped back out again…right into an Imperial trap. And now you can play out that very scenario!

The Interdictor is a good size model, although not technically considered “large”, being roughly the size of a Victory-class Star Destroyer,  the detail and all the shading is very nice, which makes the model come alive on the table.  The engine flare is simple but effective.  It looks sleek and dangerous, like most of the Empire’s secret weapons.

You do, of course, get all the gubbins (above) to merge your new Interdictor in with your base set, making sure you’ve got everything you need, even if this is your very first purchase. You also get these two brand new tokens, exclusive to the Interdictor:

Which can be placed onto the playing area to mark out those lovely gravity wells that the Interdictor can generate to really mess up a Rebel fleet.

You have a choice of two base loadouts for the Interdictor:

The more expensive Combat Refit has the harder hitting weapons, but the cheaper Suppression Refit actually has more slots for enhancements that the heavier hitting ship. With only three points difference between the two, you’ll have plenty of chance to use both from game to game. This is a very welcome way of doing things, as the “cheaper ship is slightly inferior” was starting to get a little repetitive…and was always a little basic, to be honest.

So, on to those lovely enhancements…

It’s a real buffet of abilities this time, with Admiral Konstantine, whose ability allows you further adjust the speed of enemy ships. The gravity wells themselves are in these enhancement cards, and allow you to seriously impede the speed and position of the enemy fleet during set up…just about time for you to send those TIE fighters streaming in to capitalise on the disarray.

The Interdictor is a lovely piece of theme driven game design built around a ship that has been much loved in the Legends/Expanded Universe line for years now, as well as in the Rebels TV series. An essential purchase for the sneaker type of Imperial player.

Well, that’s it for Armada for now. We’re aiming to get some battle reports online for you soon, so there’s that to look forward to. If you have anything else Star Wars, Armada or pulp-gaming related you’d like to see, please let us know in the comments, or at Facebook.com/suppressingfireofficial

Star Wars: Armada Week continues here at Suppressing Fire, as we leap headlong into Wave Four, and the good guys get some big guns courtesy of Mon Calamari with the Liberty.  The Liberty is a large ship, so larger than anything in the base set; more the same league as the Home One and the Imperial-class Star Destroyer. Here she is.

As usual, you get all the chits, dials and gubbins, so that you’re not short of anything if you want to play with EVERYTHING YOU OWN ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

You’d have to be nuts, but you could, and it’s nice to have the opportunity, rather than having to double up on everything.

As usual, you have two base ship types to choose from…

…the lighter armed but still punchy Star Cruiser, and the shovel headed kill machine of the MC80 Battle Cruiser, which has a staggering five shields in its fore, and a seven dice attack out the front, plus a lot of space for enhancements, and some nice anti-squadron weaponry/defences.  

Then, of course, you get all the enhancements…and there are a fair amount of them here:

It’s always nice to have a movie character show up in X-Wing or Armada, and there’s General Crix Madine, from Return of the Jedi. He gives a very tasty bonus to your navigation orders, allowing you an extra click of yaw and/or speed change on top of what the navigation order will already give you. If you want to give your ship the name of Liberty, then you’ll get a very powerful bonus to your squadron control. Quad laser cannons can make your red dice especially bitey, and the Skilled First Officer can really help with your command disc control!

All in all, this is a truly great package. The ship itself is amazing, capable of acting as either a flagship, or a support vessel with ease. The enhancements, too, are very good in this pack; not a duff one there.

Outstanding. Buy it with your hands.

When Armada was first announced, I’ll have to be honest and say I was always a little sceptical and curious as to what ships FFG could release as follow ups/expansions.  However, I’m pleasantly surprised by Wave 3; introducing as it does two smaller vessels, after the arrivals of the mammoth Imperial Class Star Destroyer and the Home One.  First, let’s take a look at the Rebel Transports.  Inside the blister kit, you get two GR-75 Transports which click onto a single base, so that you end up with something that looks like this:

The miniatures are simple, but this is no bad thing. They’re support vessels, and you don’t want them taking all the attention from your Home One or Mark 2 Assault Frigate.  There’s a nice ink-wash been applied to them to bring out some of the detail, which looks great.

Also included, you get the standard markers to make sure that you don’t run out of any that came with your base set…of course, if you buy everything, much like X-Wing, you’re going to end up with an absolute glut of the bloody things.

And, of course, your speed and command dials for navigating your GR-75s across the battlefield.

The GR-75 can be calibrated one of two ways, you can cast it in a more traditional transport role, or if you’re feeling a little more confrontational, you can fly it as a combat retrofit.

The transport option is the cheaper of the two, with no offensive capabilities, although it has a fairly decent anti-squadron attack. The combat retrofit ups the anti-ship capabilities, at the cost of reducing the power of the anti-squadron weapons. Neither are especially powerful on paper, but they could be a good use of spare points,  with the most expensive clocking in at just 24pts.

What you also get in the pack, of course, is a nice little bunch of enhancements,  including the Legends universe’s General Cracken as an Admiral, who provides a pretty meaty defensive bonus.  Echo Base’s Toryn Farr grants a good re-roll bonus, which could be a good use of a GR-75’s reasonable speed and manoeuvrability.  Also included are a couple of title cards, and what appears to be some abilities that are unique to the Rebel Transports (although I’m expecting some dedicated Armada player to correct me in the comments), offering support to bombers, enhanced communications, and a buff to your repair orders.

The contents of this kit aren’t earth-shattering, but they’re not really supposed to be.  If, on the other hand, you’re looking for some flavour and enhancements to round out your Rebel fleet, then these will definitely have a place in your collection.

Ömer Ibrahim – Suppressing Fire’s painter and modeller extraordinaire- has tasked himself with a new project: fitting a full lighting rig to Fantasy Flight Games’ Outrider model for their astonishingly popular wargame, X-Wing. Let’s see how he gets on:

You can follow Ömer on Twitter at @TheIronTurkOmer and follow his painting/modelling blog at: https://www.facebook.com/CantSleepMustPaint/ 

Fifty Great War Films

Posted: July 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

From The Battle of the Somme through to American Sniper, war and conflict has been a staple source of inspiration for the film industry since the turn of the 20th century. Today, this genre and its continued popularity, which has covered some of the most important conflicts in recent history, has become a means of educating the young and remembering the fallen. They are the war memorials of a modern society.
This new study, which includes classics such as Sergeant York and The Great Escape, and modern Hollywood epics such as Black Hawk Down and The Hurt Locker, details fifty of the greatest war films of the last hundred years.

Tim Newark’s Fifty Great War Films, is a nicely paced, and relatively light, read. Newark clearly demonstrates his knowledge of the subject, frequently touching on the cultural significance of war movies, which is very important. Although, while the cultural significance of war films in general is covered, there’s only passing mention paid to the impact of specific films.


While it’s nice that all the films in the book receive an equal amount of coverage, the fact is that some films are more equal than others. After all, books could be (and have been) written on Apocalypse Now…yet here it receives the same about of coverage as Three Kings and The Thin Red Line. Sometimes the amount each movie receives is spot on, but you’re frequently left wanting more. With that said, Oh! What a Lovely War, and MASH receive superb write-ups.

The production quality throughout the book is very good. The layout is solid and pleasing to look at (very important in this sort of book), and the photographs are all of high quality.

Ultimately, these sort of books are designed to promote discussion and debate amongst friends, and if you have this on your coffee table, you can certainly be sure of a few good discussions. There’s plenty of old friends that will make you smile, glad that they’re included…and more than a few omitted that will make you a little angry. No Full Metal Jacket? No Zulu?

New on DVD

Unfortunately, too many “missed” titles and not enough depth on each that is included stop this from being an essential purchase, but as a “conversation starter” coffee table book, it works very well indeed.

Fifty Great War Films by Tim Newark is available now from Osprey Publishing.  Review by Brad Harmer-Barnes.