National gaming event comes to Dundalk
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:35

Walt’s Cards and Games hosts the Kessel Run

by Bill Gates

    Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a card game.
    Next week, local gamers will have the opportunity to win the legendary “piece of junk” by displaying their skills as starfighter pilots.
    Walt’s Cards and Games at 7620 German Hill Road is one of only two game stores in Maryland which will be hosting the national “Kessel Run” event on Dec. 16.
    The “Kessel Run” is a tournament featuring the “X-Wing” miniatures game published by Fantasy Flight Games and released   in September.

In the “X-Wing” game, players manuever model ships representing iconic fighter craft from Star Wars: TIE Fighters, the Y-Wing and, of course, the X-Wing.
    (Picture the big dogfight scene as the Rebel Alliance tries to take down the Death Star at the end of Star Wars Episode 1: A New Hope. The X-Wing game is the same thing, only it’s staged on a table-top or other flat surface, and if your ship explodes into a fireball, you’re back as good as new for the next game.)
    Miniatures games usually have new models released in “waves.” The next wave of figures for the X-Wing game (scheduled for release in early 2013) feature four new ships which will be familiar to Star Wars fans: the A-Wing, the TIE Interceptor, Boba Fett’s ship, the Slave I, and the Millennium Falcon.
    The top four finishers in each “Kessel Run” event will be awarded one of these four ships, with the champion getting first pick (i.e., the Falcon), the runner-up getting second pick, etc.
    Dan Barnett, manager of Walt’s Cards and Games, isn’t sure why his store was one of over 250 stores nationwide selected to host the event.
    “I honestly don’t know what I did to join the select group,” Barnett said. “It’s a fun game and a couple of friends are into playing it, so I figured it might be something they enjoy.
    “And I’d like to remain humble, but I do have some reputation in the gaming world.”
    The tournament will begin at noon on Dec. 16 and run until it’s finished.
    In addition to the tournament, Barnett will host some gameplay demonstrations to teach the game to those who are interested.
    The “X-Wing” base game comes with two TIE fighters and an X-Wing fighter, as well as all the rules and components necessary to play the games.
    Additional ships, including the Y-Wing and the TIE Advanced (the ship flown by Darth Vader at the end of Star Wars) can be purchased separately.
    During the game, players plot their ship’s movement using manuever dials specific to each type of ship.
    After the ships move, they may fire at an opposing ship that is within range and the attacking ship’s arc of fire.
    Participants in the “Kessel Run” will field their own 100-point squadrons with which to do battle.
    (Ships, their pilots and optional equipment all have point values. The number of ships in a 100-point squadron varies depending on ship selection, pilot — Luke Skywalker is more expensive in terms of points than some rookie, for example — armament and equipment.)
    For the final round, however, the top two players will use ships supplied by Fantasy Flight: Slave I and two TIE interceptors versus the Millennium Falcon and two A-Wings.
    The winner will have bragging rights, and the Millennium Falcon (or the Slave I) months before it is available to the general public.
    For more information on the “Kessel Run” event (the Falcon made it in 12 parsecs, you know), go to the Fantasy Flight website ( or drop by Walt’s Cards and Games one block off Merritt Boulevard on German Hill Road.