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Jordan Peacock

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About Jordan Peacock

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  • Birthday 12/10/1970

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    http://greywolf.critter.net

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  1. Yeah, I found it kind of amusing that right at the beginning, we're introduced to a female Star Destroyer captain, and nobody seems to even call special attention to her being female except arguably flirty flyboy Kanan (our hero, that is). Just last night, I finished reading up "Fate of the Jedi: Omen" and observing how far the franchise has come with "The New Dawn" in its depiction of the Empire from even "Omen" -- where there are some Moffs sipping space-wine and making derogatory remarks at her expense, even while she's head of the Galactic Alliance. I'm really struck by how different the feel is between "New Dawn" and the Rebels series. It doesn't feel quite like the same tone, and I dare say they don't even really feel like the same characters. To a certain extent, I guess that's inevitable. The dispositions of the major Star Wars movie characters tend to change a bit depending upon who's doing the writing in various of the Star Wars Legends books ... but I guess that since this is being billed as a tie-in, and coming out at about the same time, without years of separation, I was expecting a little more consistency. (This isn't to say that a little more consistency would have necessarily made it a BETTER BOOK. I was just a bit surprised by what I perceived as a difference.)
  2. I'm confident that Fantasy Flight Games did the best they did with the material they had, but scale has always been wonky whenever I've tried to model most anything based on "canon" measurements. The A-Wing looks to have a suspiciously roomy cockpit, while the Y-Wing seems to have no room for a 2nd seat. They look like they've been Micro-Machine-ized (i.e., ships pushed toward being about the same size as each other, scale be darned). In my humble non-canon opinion, the slow and sluggish Y-Wing bomber "should" be larger, and the super-fast and zippy A-Wing "should" be smaller (the latter being comparable in size to the cockpit of the Y), but I have no authoritative source to base it on. I'm just eyeballing it based on the assumption that the pilots should be about the same size, no matter which ship they're flying. But if I were going about trying to make a game that was going to be doggedly in scale, I'd go to LucasFilm for reference, and if they said they were all the same size ... then, hey, that's what I'd have to go with.
  3. I'd like to think that they could update it at least a LITTLE bit what with what's been added to (or removed from) canon since then. * Clones: How do they figure in? Are there clone stormtroopers, or were all the clones retired (or "retired")? * Imperial Viewpoint: Let's say you're a loyal Imperial sort. What's your take on the events of the Star Wars movies? Do you know about the Jedi, or were they just a "myth"? (This is a little harder to pull off when the Jedi slaughter happened only 20 years ago or so, versus whatever "once-upon-a-time" vagueness was implied with the original trilogy.) Would "Death Star" be in your vocabulary, or would it be some euphemism like "Defense Star," or perhaps even a secret? Was Alderaan a hotbed of Rebel activity that "deserved" to get blown up by the Empire ... or was it a loyal Imperial world that was destroyed by Rebel terrorists? Or maybe there IS NO uniform Imperial take on these things, and it's all up for grabs, but it'd be nice to have some guidance on this just in case you ever end up speaking with an Imperial rather than just shooting on sight. Are "aliens" inferior to "humans," or is it just that it's a lot easier to make stormtrooper uniforms if the people stuffed into them are "uniform" as well? (Also, what counts as "human"?) * Imperial Commando(s): Is there such a thing? (I.e., like Republic Commandos, only Imperial.) Or has that been retconned out of existence? * Tours of Duty: How long does one stay in the Imperial Army, etc.? Is it a lifetime appointment? Do you actually go to some sort of academy (e.g., Carida)? Do you get paid? Is there such a thing as shore leave? * Force-User Attitudes: What is the Imperial attitude toward users of the Force who aren't explicitly "Jedi" and aren't waving lightsabers around? (E.g., the Nightsisters -- and Nightbrothers -- of Dathomir.) Apparently there are Sith (or Sith wannabes) who made their way into the Emperor's league, after all, rather than just being cut down as soon as they exhibited Force abilities. Is there such a thing as a Force-sensitive Imperial who isn't an Inquisitor with a red lightsaber? * Equal Opportunities or Lack Thereof: Apparently there are female Stormtroopers and Star Destroyer captains now (as per "New Dawn"). What are your limitations in what you can choose to be if you were to be an Imperial character? (The same considerations, as always, are in play if you want to be an "ex"-Imperial.) Once upon a time, EU canon had it that being a "cyborg" earned you special disdain (unless your first name is "Darth," apparently). * Aliens in the Empire: "Propaganda posters" for the Rebels TV show have a profile of the Inquisitor alongside various helmeted troops; he's a Pau'an (Utapau), but apparently he's good enough for Imperial service. Is he an "alien" and worthy of second-class status in the Empire? Or is it good enough to be a "near-human," while being a Kubaz or Shistavanen or Trandoshan might only get you contact work at best? There's a lot I'd love to know regarding how to portray "life in the Empire," since, after all, the Empire is a pretty big deal in the Star Wars universe. New troop types, careers, weapons, vehicles, etc., might be handy, even though the basics (stormtrooper armor, TIE fighters, etc.) are pretty well covered. What I could really use, though, would be a little more context -- maybe some sample back-stories for some Imperial characters that I could mine for ideas, maybe a representative "Imperial outpost," a small Imperial ship and its crew, an idea of what training exercises might be for new recruits, etc. And then ... how does one go from being Imperial to Rebel? E.g., I keep thinking back to Biggs Darklighter and the Rand Ecliptic. How does one go about finding like minds in the Empire to make a break for the Rebellion? How much freedom does an Imperial have to talk with others, versus being monitored by droids and security cameras and whatnot? As a GM, to a certain extent I'm just going to have to wing it, I know, and a lot of my "research" consists of reading lots of Star Wars books. But I could use some inspiration and ideas in these areas, and maybe even a little convergence of relevant information in one place (so I don't have to delve through 50 bazillion Star Wars books) and so I think a bit more detail on the Empire would be a useful resource -- and not just for a catalog of Imperial droids, guns, ships and such.
  4. An Imperial sourcebook that gives a perspective on "what you might be doing as an Imperial" would be useful even from the point of view of an Age of Rebellion campaign, in the sense that it might help a GM who wants to cover a "Rand Ecliptic" sort of campaign (that is, a group of fed-up Imperial recruits has witnessed too many atrocities, and is plotting to bail out and join the Rebellion), or else for a campaign that involves infiltrating Imperial territory in order to pull off an action (stealing secret battle station plans, hijacking a shipment of supplies, interfering with an Imperial attempt to locate a Rebel base, etc.). It could also be fun from the POV of playing the "Imps" for a change, but if one is worried about encouraging a bunch of players to play a bunch of kitten-kicking nasties, it could always be done in the style of the LucasArts TIE Fighter video game series: That is, yes, you're on the side of the Empire, but you're somewhere on the fringe, fighting space pirates, warlord-wannabes, and general scum and villainy. After all, just because you're on the "bad guy side" doesn't mean that every OTHER "bad guy side" is now your ally. I think it could be actually pretty entertaining. It could be done from a satirical angle, a la Paranoia, where you're working for the WORST BOSS EVER -- there's lots of room for promotion, but it's only because your local Darth-Vader-wannabe boss keeps throttling your superiors any time they make a mistake, so it might be in your interests to be successful ... but not TOO successful, because you really don't want to be next in line for your Dark Lord's ire when something inevitably goes wrong. Or, of course, it could be played more seriously, though with the inherent tongue-in-cheek that goes along with hearing the Imperial propaganda spin on various things going on elsewhere in the Star Wars galaxy.
  5. Arr!* I love this version of the TIE Avenger! (*Token reference to International Intergalactic Talk Like a (Space) Pirate Day.) I was never too excited about the TIE Avenger I remembered from the old TIE Fighter game, because it looked mostly like they took Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, and just added TIE-Interceptor-style slots both to the front and back. I can't imagine any real-world-physics reason for the acute angle of the TIE Interceptor "dagger" wings, but I still liked the aesthetic of them; the TIE Avenger seemed to lose that and just kept the gap. Then, the gap in the rear just seemed silly, since it was billed as being added to widen the pilot's range of vision ... and presumably there wouldn't be much use for that in the BACK where the pilot couldn't see anyway. This version keeps the forward-and-back gaps, but returns more of the "dagger" angle to the forward wings that gave the TIE Interceptor such a nice profile. I also like how the "fins" on each side of the cockpit are harboring some sort of hatches (missile tubes? tractor beam emitters?), and that makes them look a bit more functional. This is one handsome TIE variant, and even though it looks so similar to Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, I suppose it's not much more similar than the Headhunter is to the X-Wing. I think it'd make a worthwhile addition to the line-up. I'm also partial to the renders of the XG-1 "Starwing" Assault Gunboat also found on that site. I thought the design was a bit goofy before, but this one does a nice job of making it show a few bits of similarity to the Imperial Shuttle AND to various Incom designs, with the added touch of having enough detail that I can imagine how the wings/fins are supposed to all fold up for landing. It makes me want a toy model of it!
  6. All the references to it so far that I've seen call it a "TIE Advanced" or "The Inquisitor's TIE Advanced." It's most certainly NOT the same as Darth Vader's TIE fighter, though the thicker wing struts suggest some similar design elements (other than the obvious core TIE elements). I suppose the use here of "TIE Advanced" would be in the most generic sense (might as well be called "TIE Prototype" or "TIE Custom" or "TIE Variant"), just as there were several iterations of "TIE Advanced" in the Legends/EU. I'm guessing they're trying to combine visual elements of Darth Vader's TIE fighter with the folding wings of the Star Cruiser / Scimitar / Sith Infiltrator -- and that the wings are folding for landing purposes only, not for any sort of "super combat mode" or such.
  7. I happened to have a photo I took recently of several of the custom ships at once, in case this helps to give a rough idea of size: For context, the little square bases are 40mm x 40mm. The converted Crimson Skies craft are on 80mm x 40mm bases. The Micro Machines Headhunter is AWFULLY close to the size of the standard FFG starfighters, but I didn't have any FFG originals in this particular shot. (I was just goofing off and took a photo of several of the ships I used in my last game session.) I'll see if I can line up a more useful size comparison for the Crimson Skies modified models this weekend or thereabouts.
  8. Back to the actual book: Without getting into any of the spoileriffic stuff (I haven't actually gotten all the way to the end, despite it seeming like I was almost there yesterday), there were a couple of things that struck me as interesting about the Empire: * There are female stormtroopers. ... No, really! Right there in the narrative, and it's not presented as if it's anything special or unusual. I hadn't run into that sort of thing before outside of fan films or the New Republic era. * Also, apparently there are female star destroyer captains other than just Natasi Daala. Or, at least, there is one that we're introduced to right at the start, and nothing is said to suggest that she's a rarity, and there are other female officers as well. Nothing is said to suggest that this is a novelty or rarity among the Imperials. If anything, the only character who seems to have anything to say about it would be our flirty hero. * Apparently a dead stormtrooper here or there doesn't count as "casualties" to some people. "Well, at least there weren't any casualties!" That'd be understandable if coming from a Rebel source, and I could understand (but not agree) with it, if stormtroopers were still clones (i.e., "Oh, it's just a CLONE" rationale), but the earlier narrative indication of female stormtroopers would indicate that these are no longer all clones of Jango Fett. Not to fear, though: This is no kinder, gentler Empire. If anything, the Empire is portrayed as being insanely evil. It's not like there isn't precedent for that before with the Empire oppressing alien populations, enslaving "primitives," mercilessly stealing resources, using collective punishment upon entire populations for harboring "Rebel sympathizers," blowing up Alderaan, etc. -- but here there seems to be a crazy disregard for life of even the Empire's ALLIES. Also, at least one of the "hero sidekicks" I would be strongly tempted to shove out of an airlock. But as for our main protagonists, they're reasonably likable, and I think the book did a far better job of giving me a favorable impression of them than the 7-minute animated Rebels preview. Just to be clear, it's a good read, though my final judgement will have to wait until I see how it ends. So far, it's very much in keeping with the feel of Star Wars books as I've come to expect. If there's another book continuing this, I'm going to check it out. Disney taking over the franchise didn't suddenly turn the Star Wars universe into Mickey Mouse with a lightsaber.
  9. Well, I had to do some traveling today, so I read most of the book today in the airport. I'd make a few observations about apparent changes to the way the Empire is portrayed ... but I'm not sure: How does one go about posting with "spoiler tags" here? (E.g., "click to expand" spoiler tags, or set the font to some color to match the background, so you have to highlight to show any spoilers?) I'm not really sure that I have anything THAT spoileriffic, but I'm sometimes a poor judge of that.
  10. Inspired in part by the "Uglies" thread (I already had something like this in mind to do anyway just to see if I could), I've tried making a Z-Ceptor "Ugly." Putty Rough: The bulk of this just consists of some epoxy putty put in temporary push-molds made from Instant Mold, using existing starfighter models to get portions of the appropriate ships (in this case, X-Wing and TIE Interceptor parts), plus a bit of extra putty and wire to make some reinforcing braces (particularly underneath). Ugly WIP: I applied a bit of grey dry-brushing to bring out some of the details more (as it's pretty hard for my poor eyes to pick out detail on that black epoxy putty), and tried making something to represent the truncated X-Wing cannons strapped to the nose. (That seems to be a theme with this Z-Ceptor design: MORE GUNS! Two TIE Interceptor guns on the wings, two X-Wing guns strapped to the nose, and then some sort of unwieldy turret on top for good measure.) Stat-wise, I see this as having decent firepower, mid-to-low evasion, low hull, no shields, and a maneuver dial that isn't all that maneuverable (no K-turns, lots of red on the turns). No wonder they stuck a turret on it! I wouldn't know how to price this thing in terms of X-Wing Minis rules for fairness, but I'm planning on using this for campaign scenarios anyway. For the other "Uglies," I think I'm going to work more with what parts I have on hand, and not worry about trying to get it so close to an "established" ugly type. Really, the idea of any force having squadrons of Z-ceptors, Y-TIEs, X-TIEs, et al., strikes me as kind of silly. I figured the point of uglies is that you're cobbling together a ship from whatever you have; uniformity shouldn't be likely. Even symmetry might be a luxury too far. Now, due to the necessities of game abstractions, I may give several of these the SAME STATS, but they'll sure look a lot different from each other.
  11. Here's work-in-progress on my own "ugly" starfighter (and, yes, it's ugly!): I cobbled this together with Instant Mold and some epoxy putty, some wire, and a couple of toothpicks. I'm still trying to sort out how to make those X-wing style guns. (That's way too fine of a detail for me to hope to replicate with Instant Mold and some putty, so I'll probably have to go with some very fine paperwork for the "prongs" on the guns.) I imagine that with as many guns as this thing has, it'll have a decent attack value, no shields, low hull, low defense (no "evade" option), and its maneuver wheel should be pretty limited (e.g., red maneuvers for ALL turns).
  12. if I'm going to join the "DO NOT WANT" bandwagon, what I really DO NOT want to see from the EU would be ... ... the Suncrusher. (AKA Indestructible Munchkin Ice Cream Cone of DOOOOOM!) Worried about a Star Destroyer? Just fly this thing THROUGH the bridge with even scratching your paint. Or, you know, just blow up the sun and the entire solar system and wipe out everything on the table but yourself. This puppy is tough enough to park inside a gas giant (Yavin) with no harm done. Put this guy on the table, and if it's a last-man-standing scenario, it's GAME OVER, MAN! And somehow the Empire was just SITTING on this thing (super top secret!) when the Battle of Endor rolled around. That, and I think it's actually less eye-pleasing than a good many Ugly designs. They ought to announce it as an April Fool's joke with a bogus CGI rendering.
  13. The Action IV looks spectacular! (And such a handy carry-handle! ) Have you ever considered making some decal sheets for these ships? (Or, that is, some PDFs of designs, scaled to fit within the available flat surfaces of a particular model, that could be printed off via inkjet onto water-slide decal sheets?) I could imagine that the Action IV would be a great contender for some custom decals for a made-up shipping-company logo and a bit of gratuitous Aurabesh to fit within the various "frames" on the sides.
  14. I could see an ugly model as being worthwhile if it's not merely chopping up some existing models and rearranging the parts, but having some "exposed innards" as part of the arrangement -- which requires a whole new level of detail that's beyond simple model-hacking. For instance, here's a typical "ugly": Notice how you can't just chop up a TIE interceptor and an X-Wing, reattach the parts and call it a day. There are some extra struts and reinforcements and "greebles" that really drive home that this is something cobbled together to make the inner mechanical parts work together -- not just some empty-shell toys sawed apart and glued back together. Done properly, this would be something beyond a casual kitbash. Ideally, I'd love to see a two-pack of uglies -- each one a bit different visually (but probably the same stats), with lots of "rust" and "battle damage." Make them fairly cheap points-wise, but not merely a Headhunter equivalent (because we've already GOT that for Scum & Villainy). I'd like a mechanic that gets across the notion that these things might pack a punch, but they're flying deathtraps. E.g., give it a high attack value (it's got a turbolaser turret installed!) but maybe every time it attacks, it rolls a single die to see whether it damages itself in the process (damage to self resolved AFTER the attack). There would be no shields, and it has a low hull value. There'd be a strong incentive to get into close range before even attempting to shoot, but its poor maneuverability would make it a tall order, say. Giving it a turret might mean that it could take that shot at a target that's out of its forward arc, but most of its guns are facing forward (so maybe it gets an extra attack die when it attacks a target in its forward arc only). I think there's some potential for making an Ugly not only a visually-interesting model, but ALSO something that brings something different to the way the game is played. Plus, by introducing an in-game "Ugly," it would possibly *encourage* kitbashers to customize the Uglies further with bits and pieces. That way, you've got some official rules for an Ugly (rather than "house rules" both sides have to agree on) but an invitation to put your own touch on it. I could envision someone having a "pirate force" that features several uglies, each one modified just a bit to make it a little different.
  15. Hey, all Disney needs to do to win us over is to have an appearance by Jar-Jar in the background ... in which he is subsequently vaporized within 5 seconds of appearing. Have it be one of those "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" moments so there's enough deniability so as not to harm the feelings of the kiddies, but a wink-and-a-nod to those folks who'll go back and replay that segment over and over just to be sure.
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