Star Wars Imperial Assault Campaign aka If you go down to the woods today…….. (@ NAGA 08-06-2015)

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Last night at NAGA saw the monthly Imperial Assault campaign return.  After last months absolute battering at the hands of the Empire we decided on a more sedate leisurely session…..no more doors, no more Transdosian traps.  Our party’s soldier character Fenn Signis had suggested a little walk in the woods and this seemed like a great idea….until we saw the setup.

The setup for our Imperial Assault campaign.  We are top left.

The setup for our Imperial Assault campaign. We are top left.

The mission was as follows……we, the Rebels, must disarm six explosives placed in the woods to halt the Rebel advance before the main forces can move in.  We have five turns to do so.  Each Explosive takes an Engineering action to disarm and if Mitch’s character, Fenn Signis is within 3 squares of the disarming character then we get to keep that explosive as a weapon to use.  We can use it by using an action to place it on an enemy.  It would be the ebst way to topple that ATST as it was hella tough!

Diala Passil - Rebel Jedi.

Diala Passil – Rebel Jedi.

Fenn Signis - Rebel Soldier.

Fenn Signis – Rebel Soldier.

Mak Eshka'rey - Rebel Sniper.

Mak Eshka’rey – Rebel Sniper.

Jyn Odan - Rebel Smuggler.

Jyn Odan – Rebel Smuggler.

Alan, the DM and Imperial Commander, had to stop us from disarming them all or force each character to be wounded or take enough damage to “flip” them.  To aid him in this task he had a Self Destructing Probe Droid (top right), an E-Web Heavy Weapon (bottom right), an Imperial Officer (bottom left), two Red Royal Guards (left) and an ATST (centre).

ATST

ATST

Imperial officers

Imperial officers

Royal Guards

Royal Guards

Probe Droid

Probe Droid

E-Web

E-Web

So with a simple plan in place to rush forward and disarm as many explosives as quickly as we could whilst avoiding the firing lines of the E-Web and ATST we set forth.  If we could use the explosive charges on the ATST then even better but it was of secondary importance.

The end of Turn 1.

The end of Turn 1.

Turn 1 – Worryingly the ATST was not only able to escape from the small area it was placed in but it was surprisingly fast too.  The Jedi pushed forward to meet any oncoming attackers as the smuggler grabbed the first explosive, the sniper positioned himself to lay down covering fire and the Soldier advanced to try and shoot at the ATST.

The Imperial troops rushed forward to block us from getting past and grabbing boxes, the same tactics we had seen last month.  If the ATST hadn’t blocked firing lines and movement we could have taken a lot of damage, although the fact it could now fire at any of us was a huge problem.  The E-Web advanced as ordered by the Imperial Officer without a shot.

The end of Turn 2.

The end of Turn 2.

Turn 2 – The Sniper rushed forward to disarm a second Explosive, he wasn’t close enough to the Soldier, Fenn Signis, to retain it as a charge for use later though.  This left himself in a good position as the ATST couldn’t target him.  The Sniper opened up on the ATST to try and damage it.  It had 15 health points and we could use our explosives to blast five points of damage onto it.  Facing the fire power of an ATST someone in our team was going to get hurt rather badly this round.   It moved aside to allow the Royal Guards to intercept and block the Jedi and Sniper stopping the faster more engineering minded smuggler from getting past.  As the Imperial Officer assessed his targets he felt the explosive carrying smuggler was a priority target and blasted at her.  She took seven damage and was in a bad way.  If the ATST continued to unload on us like that we’d get beaten very quickly.  My smuggler used her dodging abilities to retreat and moved back to regroup and attack the oncoming Royal Guards.  After being blasted the Smuggler dodged away.  The E-Web advanced again with no shot at the Rebels.

The end of Turn 3.

The end of Turn 3.

Turn 3 – It was beginning to look like another loss for the Rebels as we had yet again become boxed in by superior numbers and tough to shift Imperial opponents.  We would struggle to grab the remaining explosives if we continued to get bogged down in Imperial troops.  The Empire deployed some reinforcements in the form of three Jetpack wearing Stormtroopers.  They would become an issue as they had deployed protecting one of the explosives we needed.  We decided to go for broke and push forward.  With firepower concentrated on one Royal guard we opened up a gap and rushed through.  The Soldier engaged the Stormtroopers as the Smuggler ran forward and planted her explosives onto the ATST.

Both the E-Web and ATST maneuvered for better firing positions as the Royal Guards continued to plague the Jedi.  The sniper remained in his position of advantage and took pot shots at the Royal Guards and ATST.  Two Stormtroopers advanced on the Soldier and the cowardly Imperial Officer shot him in the back of the head.

At the end of the turn the thundering sound of twisted metal was heard through the woods as the Smugglers explosive charge ripped at the legs of the wobbly ATST.  Another 5 points of damage.  Only 5 more to kill it.

The end of Turn 4.

The end of Turn 4.

Turn 4 – The Jedi had been badly hurt, as had the Smuggler, if we were to win this we would need to disarm some more explosives as quickly as possible.

The Jedi used his force powers to throw the Stormtroopers backwards and damage them.  The Soldier rushed past and grabbed the explosives they had been protecting before they could reblock the corridor.    This plan of ignoring loot crates and focussing on mission objectives seemed to be working.  Like a well oiled Rebel machine we slipped past the Imperial guards and disarmed everything we could hopefully leaving us in a strong position for turn 5.  We had to grab or disarm all the explosives by the end of turn 5 or the Empire would win.  It had been a slow start but once we got our game faces on we did well.

The ATST turned and fired at the Soldier to damage him as much as possible hoping to “flip” him and stop him using his explosives on it.

Both the Sniper and the Smuggler rushed under the ATST and the Sniper grabbed a strong position away from the threat of being fired upon whilst my Smuggler disarmed and grabbed a second Explosive charge.  Now the Soldier and the Smuggler were carrying a charge each and the the ATST had used its attack so couldn’t target the Smuggler who was well placed to plant more explosives and bring down the lumbering damaged walker.

The E-Web fired at the Smuggler and caused her to be sufficiently damaged that she would “flip”.  She was the first player to suffer in this manner and if Alan, the Imperial DM could do the same to everyone else he’d win.  The smuggler jinked her way closer to the E-Web and remaining explosive using her skills to help the team disarm one of the last explosive charges.

Another Probe Droid was deployed as reinforcements and as  last ditch desperate play our DM, ALan, detonated one of the explosives being carried by the Soldier causing him enough damage to force a “flip”.  Now two of the team were in very bad ways.  Maybe the Empire could grab a win next turn if they could concentrate fire on the remaining fit and healthy team members.

The end of Turn 5.

The end of Turn 5.

Turn 5 – This turn was make or break for the Rebels, we had to grab two explosives and the Empire had to stop us from doing so or “flip” the Soldier and Sniper to win.

Forming a plan based on necessity it was agreed that if the E-Web and ATST fired on the Smuggler she’d probably end up dead so I should activate her first and grab an explosive if I could.  Having taken the opportunity to advance on the Explosive whilst under fire I was close enough to move into the difficult terrain water and make an attempt.  I rolled my engineering check and made it!  Stage 1 of our plan was complete.  Only 1 explosive left to disarm.  The Imperial Officer and remaining Stormtroopers tried to cause as much damage as possible to halt our advance but with our second activation the game would be over.  The decision was whether to allow the Soldier to attempt to blow up the ATST with hjis explosive charges and risk the Empire somehow stopping us or to simply take the win and disarm the remaining explosive charge.  After a small team debate it was decided.  We couldn’t lose again!  The previously uninjured and healthy Sniper leapt out from cover behind the ATST and charged across the woods to grab the last box which had been guarded by the Imperial Officer.

Win for the Rebels!  The Mai Tai drinking moonwalking heroes of the Rebellion were at it again!  Grabbing victory from the Imperial jaw(a)s* of defeat.  A strong team outing saw us do what was necessary.  Now onto bigger and better things.  We have XP to spend and credits to use to buy better gear.  Lets see what next month brings.

* A little Star Wars joke there…….see what I did?

Great work guys…Alan Mathieson, Ed King, Mitchell “Mitch” Dunton and Dave Baxter

Star Wars X-Wing “The Trench Run” Demo @ NAGA (13-05-2015)

Tonight at NAGA I was taking an old LARping buddy of mine who had recently moved into the area along to meet the guys and see what NAGA was like.  He’d expressed an interest in playing Star Wars X-Wing so with that in mind I booked a table and came up with an idea to show him the ropes.  Initially I consulted with fellow Hairy Gamer, Tris, who being a huge Star Wars nerd and all round X-Wing guy gave me some advice.  The plan was simple, two fleets using “big recognisable” names from Star Wars that  Wayne could choose from.  As the ships for both fleets were put on the table Wayne decided he’d take control of the Rebels which were as follows:- 

130 points ——

Han Solo (50) YT-1300 (46), Chewbacca (4)

Luke Skywalker (32) X-Wing (28), R2-D2 (4)

Biggs Darklighter X-Wing (25)

“Dutch” Vander Y-Wing (23)

That obviously left me with the Imperials to fly and my fleet to face those Rebel scum would be as follows:-

130 points ——

Darth Vader TIE Advanced (29)

“Howlrunner” TIE Fighter (18)

Backstabber TIE Fighter (16)

Black Squadron Pilot TIE Figfhter (14) x 2

Boba Fett Firespray-31 (39)

The idea was that most of the pilots in this battle participated in the Trench Run from Star Wars:A New Hope, so they would be something a fan of the franchise would understand and have “seen in motion”.  The only exception being Boba Fett, who wasn’t there but everyone loves Boba and I included him rather than spend those 39 points on more TIE Fighters.  At least this way Wayne would see the difference between high skill pilots and low skill pilots, big hull and shield ships versus no shield ships, hard hitting 360 degree arcs and 90 degree fwd arcs.

With our fleets decided we setup.  The first turn was quite slow as Wayne was new to the game.  There were some mistakes made and Actions forgotten but as we went along I reminded Wayne.  I was getting him into the habit of taking Actions even if he couldn’t do anything in the Combat Phase……so that later taking those Actions would feel like second nature to him.  The two fleets tentatively Advanced and I encouraged him to take at least one of each Action available in his fleet if possible so I could “learninate” him and explain what each action did.  With no Combat after turn 1 we had an opportunity to build up the learning turn by turn.  We took our time and I explained how the Maneuver Dial and templates worked.  It made sense to him.  I also covered some basics like crashing into other ships and obstacles such as asteroids.

We also had a number of named pilots with unique abilities so as we deployed and moved I explained how Wayne may way to use those abilities.  He was flying “Dutch” Vander with a wingman of Biggs Darklighter.  Biggs can take an attack if he could be targetted on behalf of “Dutch” and when “Dutch” takes a Target Lock action another friendly ship within range 2 can also acquire a Target Lock.

As we made our way through turn 2 the two fleets closed on each other.  Boba’s Firespray and Backstabber and Black Squadron Pilot TIE’s advanced on Dutch and Biggs on Wayne’s left flank.  My second Black Squadron TIE and “Howrunner” advanced into the asteroid field ready to take on his YT-1300 captained by Han Solo with Chewbacca.  Down Wayne’s right flank father and son advanced on one another as Luke Skywalker left the safety of accomanying Han and went for Vader in his TIE Advanced.

Now we were in a position to fire and we slowly made our way through this.  The process was explained that unlike maneuvering we now give the higher skill pilots an opportunity to go first.  Starting with our 9’s.  As we both had a pilot skill 9 captain the first shot was determined by Initiative.  The Empire always get Initiative in ties so Vader shot first.  At long range Hans’s YT-1300 gains an additional defense die.  We roll, we modify results and we compare final results.  This process continues until we finish the round.  I explain how Target Locks and Focuses work along with Evade tokens.

All in all a good game was had and Wayne picked it up very quickly.  In hindsight both Luke Skywalker with R2D2 and Han with Chewbacca were a little tough to break down and despite an impressive showing from a resilient Black Squadron Pilot I couldnt break down that YT-1300.  In the end after more than 2 hours of playing it ended up with a fully hulled and unshielded YT-1300 versus my 1 Hull point Black Squadron TIE.  If I could get close enough to fire Wayne would get the first shot and probably destroy me.  It was getting late and we were on opposite sides of the board so to finish the game off I displayed what happens when a ship lands “off the mat”.  My plucky TIE took one for the team and flew off the board so we could both get home.

I’d like to think Wayne enjoyed the game.  He was a little suprised at the cost of some of the components especially in the aftermarket such as EBay.  He seemed to like the fact that playing the game did not mean he had to invest as heavily as he would have to in other games such as Warhammer 40k or Warhammer FB and he could only buy 2-3 ships and play.  I’m thinking of doing a Star Wars Armada demo next week for Wayne if hes interested?

Its been a very Star Wars month in the Mancave as I did a review/deboxing of my Star Wars Armada, did a demo for Wayne of Star Wars X-Wing and yesterday my Star Wars Imperial Assault game arrived.  Im seriously considering running a campaign for a few mates at Chez Marden once a month.  I currently play in one at NAGA and really enjoy it.

Star Wars Imperial Assault Campaign aka How I hate Transdosians so very very much (@ NAGA 11-05-2015)

So tonight at NAGA we ran our monthly Star Wars Imperial Assault campaign.  Alan was GMing and playing Imperial Forces, Mitchell, Dave, Ed & I play Rebel heros.

Having had a small measure of limited success recently following my hiatus from gaming I returned to play Imperial Assault.  The scenarion didnt look or sound too bad and even Alan was complaining that it sounded like a cakewalk for the Rebels.  We had two objectives;-

1) Rescue a Rebel Captive and escort them from the facility (not timed)

2) Prevent a transmission of some sensitive Rebel data being made and disclosing the location of Rebel spies throughout the Empire. (4 Turns)

There were a number of locked doors between us and the location of the terminal for the Transmission but we could walk relatively unobstructed through the corridors to the location of the Captive.  Only 1 door stood between us and him.  Given my relative handiness with engineering based tasks I accepted the mission of stopping the transmission.  As luck would have it I have just bought some new gear that would allow me to re-roll a dice when performing an engineering check, my “Slicing Tools”.  So being the fastest Rebel and the best at Engineering checks I would race ahead and attempt to get through the sealed doors and stop the transmission whilst the heavies took out the Imperial forces and made their way to the Captives cell.  Sounds like a plan until the Empire got involved.  The two Royal guards advanced into the doorway between us and the rest of the facility and blocked it off.  They’re tough hombres to begin with but two together buffing each other makes for a really difficult to overcome obstacle.  This trapped me behind our lines for a turn making it difficult for me to get to the door i needed to get past.  Once Ed’s jedi had thrown one of them aside I could sneak past and make a run for it.  The coast was clear.

Ed’s Jedi, Dave’s Sniper and Mitchell’s Soldier fought off the two Royal Guards and got caught by an exploding Probe Droid before the Imperial reserves arrived.  An E-Web was stationed at the far end of the corridor and bitter experience has shown us to get rid of these horrible things as quickly as possible.  Luckily it was badly positioned and couldn’t do us much damage for now.  By the end of turn two I had made it to the doorway and performed my first engineering check, needing two “boons” to successfully override the doors locking mechanism.  I failed and used up my “Slicing Tools” to re-roll just about managing to open the door.  I could now take a shot at stopping the transmission but it would have to wait until next turn, giving me two full turns to stop the message.  The rest of the team were getting bogged down in the corridor facing the seemingly indestructible Royal Guards.  As the door opened within the  room stood two Transdosian Mercenaries with their devastating shotguns and an Imperial Officer, who now activated got turns before any of us could respond.

Sensing the threat from my Smuggler our GM Alan’s nefarious plan sprung into motion and I was targeted by both Transdosians.  I took a lot of damage from point blank shotgun blasts and was forced backwards into a corner where my “moonwalking” dancing skills would be wasted as they had penned me in.

Thankfully I had only flipped but was bleeding quite badly and this was stopping me achieving too much.  I was stressed and desperately needed a med-pack and rest.  We activated my Smuggler first and I had an attempt at stopping the transmission…..taking damage from a harmful effect for doing so.  Another smuggler fail as I failed to stop the message.  Again both Transdosians targeted the Smuggler and blasted her to pieces in the corner as the Imperial Officer joined in for fun.  I hastily applied a med-pack to remove the harmful effect and hopefully grant me a fourth turn to have another attempt at stopping the transmission.  Ed’s Jedi was badly beaten and stressed, Mitch’s Soldier had already flipped and was badly wounded and Dave’s Sniper was injured but doing ok.  It was looking bad for the Rebels.

Turn four began and I was fairly confident that I would not last the round unless some small miracle occurred.  I attempted to stop that transmission again and this time exhausted every re-roll I had trying to scrape a partial win but still to no avail as I failed again.  Unable to run away or dodge I had to simply stay put and let the Imperial Officer and Transdosians kill me.  Two shotgun blasts later a seriously wounded and unplayable Smuggler fell and crawled away into an air vent.  I was out of the game.  Mitch’s Solider followed suit rather quickly being taken out by some Imperial Reserves in the form of an E-Web….yes another bloody E-Web!!!

Dave and Ed forced onwards attempting to rescue some measure of success from an already failed mission.  The trasnmission had been sent and we couldn’t possibly win.  Now all that was left was to save face and escape with the Rebel Captive.

The Jedi and the Sniper managed to evade and get past the Imperial forces and sneak around to the corridor where the  Captive was located.  Having eventually forced their way into the cell they realised that escaping would not be easy as the captive could not help them attack in any way nor did he move very fast.  His move of 2 was almost half of my Smugglers normal movement of 5 and it wouldn’t take long for the Empire to close in around them and block the corridors making escape almost impossible.  Slow progress would have been better than no progress at all except that the Imperials blocked our Rebel heros into the cell and proceeded to beat and shoot them to death slowly.  Eventually both succumbed to the weight of imperial troops and died heroically, crawling off to fight another day.

Well its appears our celebrations in March were short lived as the Empire came back with a vengeance this month.  They certainly gave us a good kicking and taught us not to be so cocky.  We shall be back though!  Watch out Alan!!!!!

Star Wars X-Wing League @ NAGA 25-03-2015

Sorry Brent......I couldn't resist!

Having beaten Mitchell Dunton a fortnight ago I advanced a step on the X-Wing League Ladder to 6th position which opened up Brent Jay as a potential opponent and would allow me, if I wont to leapfrog Alan Mathieson into 4th.  With that in mind I challenged Brent Jay to a game of X-Wing.  I had watched Brent play previously and despite his losses against the leading players he was a solid and knowledgeable opponent.  I was not optimistic about facing him but I had nothing to lose and everything to win.

I decided to take my Twin Falcon build that was my second choice versus Mitchell Dunton a fortnight ago.  The build was as follows:-

====================== “Fat Han & Skinny Lando” or “The Smuggle Struggle” ======================

99 points Pilots

Han Solo (49) YT-1300 (46), Veteran Instincts (1), Dash Rendar (2)

Lando Calrissian (50) YT-1300 (44), Veteran Instincts (1), Nien Nunb (1), Engine Upgrade (4)

It was the first time I had used a Falcon or in fact even flew Rebels so I didn’t know what to expect.  Brent un-beknowst to me had also gone with Rebels although having watched some of his previous battles I was aware he was a fairly tidy Rebel player.  Brent was primarily using B-Wings (I had seen him use Keyan before) this was his build:-

===================== Brent’s Rebel Squadron =====================

100 points Pilots

Ten Numb (31)

Keyan Farlander (40) B-Wing (29), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Opportunist (4)

Wes Janson (29)

With the forces determined it was time to setup.  I had both initiative being on 99pts and superior pilot skills as mine were 11 and 9 versus Brents 8, 8 and 7.  So setup last, moving last and firing first.  This firing first would probably be the main reason for my win.

Brent setup to follow the table edge facing the right.  I opted to setup with my YT-1300’s in formation flying at range 1 so they passed either side of an asteroid as they advanced.  Han was less worried about this than Lando as he could still fire if he bumped an asteroid.

Turn one was posturing, no turning towards my YT-1300’s from Brent and I advanced my Falcons towards Brents forces.

Turn two saw the YT-1300’s get into range 3 as they shot forward.  Lando Boosted to narrowly avoid an asteroid and Han entered the asteroid field.  None of Brent’s ships had arc on me so I was free to target whoever I liked.  I had already resolved to take down those pesky B-Wings first as Keyan and Ten Numb worried me.  Two shots later Ten Numb had no shields left.

Turn three saw proper engagement between the fleets, the two B-Wings Koorigan turned to bring thier arcs on Lando’s YT-1300.  Lando turned to face them as Han jinked his way through the asteroids clipping one and taking damage.  Han fired on Wes Janson ignoring the asteroid between them and stripping all his shields away.  Lando put more hurt onto the now unshielded Ten Numb and reduced him to two Hull points.  Wes fired at han and Han managed to hide his YT-1300 behind an asteroid and evade the entire attack.

Turn four saw the B-Wings split as Keyan continued to be elusive.  Ten Numb was in trouble as Lando koorigan turned behind him and Han smashed his YT-1300 into him.  The B-Wings took target locks on Lando.  Han couldnt fire at ten Numb so took his opportunity to attack the X-Wing of Wes Janson leaving him with a solitary single Hull point.  Lando finished off Ten Numb with a hit and a crit as I believed Keyan wasnt a target as he couldnt fire on me.  This wasn’t the case.  Keyan was a close call and at range 1 too.  it was potentially a game defining moment.  I argued that Brents should take the shot and he argued that Keyan was slightly out.  Taking a third opinion they agreed with me and Brent fired.  Four hits and a crit!!!!  Lando was rocked and was now in trouble, with low evade dice he could fall in a single turn of combat.

Turn five was all about close flying.  Keyan kooriganed again to bring his fwd arc to bear on the rear of Lando’s YT-1300, Wes Janson tried to run.  Han arced past Lando performing a hard 3 to chase Keyan as Lando pursued Wes.

Han shot first!  (sorry couldn’t resist!) A natural roll of 4 hits against Keyan stripped him of his three remaining shields and leaving him unshielded.  Keyan returned fire taking a couple of Hans shields away but leaving him with 1 remaining.  Wes was out of range to fire at Han.

Turn six saw an opportunity for my Rebel squadron to do significant damage to Brents by taking down Keyan Farlander.  Keyan slowly crept forward with a 1 forward hoping Han would shoot past.  Wes crept forward clearing his stress and moved into a position to get a shot off at Han’s YT-1300.  Han again would be firing first.  He had a Target Lock, a Focus and his ability to re-roll so I was quietly confident I could see off the remaining two hull points on Keyan.  I rolled and to my amazement got absolutely nothing, a complete squiff of a roll.  Using Hans ability I re-rolled all the dice.  Much better this time around, three natural hits.  Keyan only had one evade dice so no matter what roll he made he was toast.  Brent rolled and gained the one evade but the remaining two hits got through and finished Keyan off.  Wes in his X-Wing fired on Han and stripped the last shield and put one damage to Hans hull.

Turn seven saw the end of the encounter.  Wes Janson went balls out and roared up behind the YT-1300 to close to range 1.  He took a Focus to try and evade some of the damage that was inevitably coming his way.  Han pulled a hard 2 left to avoid an asteroid.  Taking a Focus Han prepared to fire at the X-Wing.  Han fired first with PS 11, rolling another great natural roll of 3 hits Wes needed to achieve 3 evades to avoid being destroyed.  Brent rolled and pulled two Focuses.  Spending Wes’ token to flip them both to evade the final shot managed to get through and destroy the badly damaged X-Wing of Wes.

Victory to Team Smuggler and their YT-1300.  I had lost Lando to some pretty devastating firing from Keyan but had scraped a hard fought out victory!  This propelled me up two spots in the NAGA X-Wing League from 6th to 4th pushing Brent down to 5th and Alan Mathieson down to 6th.  My overall Star Wars X-Wing record being 4-2 with both losses to NAGA members (Sean & Alan).