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heychadwick

Dagobah Dave's Trench Run: Strategy

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Hi All,

 

I've played Dagobah Dave's Trench Run mission a few times in the past and really loved it.  It draws in new players and is a nice change of pace from the regular game.  I even printed out enough death star paper to make a big table, use table toppers to make an actual trench, paper turrets, and just generally had fun with it.  I haven't played it in a while.  There have been a number of changes in the game and I want to revisit the idea.

 

For those that have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the 4 page rules:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiE97e_kcPMAhXIez4KHQosCCIQFggrMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.outworld-studio.com%2Fxwing%2Fpdf%2FDagobahs-DSTR-v01.pdf&usg=AFQjCNELBeAN-h1YEMn6fQwegZn073U4NQ

 

Now, I will say that I've played this a few times and the Imperials have always won.  Twice it has come down to an X-wing (I think Luke both times) getting one shot with his Proton Torpedo on the exhaust port.  Both times he has failed to do enough damage to blast through the shields.  So, with that, I really want to think about ways to strategize for the Rebel side.  

 

EDIT:  Anyone interested in listening to discussion on this mission, we did a podcast episode dedicated to this mission.  I'm not sure why, but it's one of our least downloaded episodes.  If you want to listen to it, you can find it here:

http://shuttletydirium.podbean.com/e/episode-4-trench-run/

 

Just for the skinny for anyone that doesn't want to actually read the rules, the Rebels get 150 pts, but must buy Luke Skywalker pilot w/ R2-D2.  Also, the Rebels can only buy T-65's or Y-wings.  All ships come with FREE Proton Torpedoes.  The rest is open.  Imperials must buy Darth Vader in X1, but get a total of 125 points and can only buy Tie Fighters.   If an Imperial ship is destroyed, they get a non-unique replacement Tie Fighter. starting at next turn.

 

CHANGES:

 

  • Integrated Astromech: This one thing is pretty big for the T-65.  It allows the humble X-wing to be a bit tankier in the game.  It can really help as they can be sitting ducks when going into the trench.  Getting to the end to get that shot is really important.  I've not seen a lot of ships get that far.
  • Guidance Chip: Allows you to change the dice on your Proton Torpedoes.  If this was in the game those two times the X-wing fired, it might have won them the game.  
  • New Astromechs: Really just BB-8 and Targeting Astromech since I played last, but maybe it's been a while for some of you guys and there could be more options.
  • New Tie Fighter Pilots: Those guys from the Gozanti can add some spice to the Imperials.
  • Various Y-wing Upgrades: There are a lot of these.  All sorts of Turrets and two titles.  Not just that, but one of them gives you Bombs!  Then, there are all the bombs to think about.  
  • X1 Title and Adv. Targeting Computer: These will make Vader even meaner!

Just to start off with, I think the debate between Integrated Astromech and Guidance Chip is a tough one for an X-wing.  You can win games if you are able to modify dice on that Torpedo.  You spend the TL and then fire, but you have only the one eyeball to modify dice.  If you crap out, you might just lose the game.  Then again, IA might just save your ships long enough to actually make it to the exhaust port.  Maybe one guy fires and clears the shields and the next guy can fire and blast it....just like in the movie.  I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts are for this.

 

Next thought is Y-wings vs. X-wings.  Y-wings are harder to kill, but easier to hit.  They can also take 2 Torpedoes.  So, maybe fire one at a Node or enemy ship and then save one for the exhaust port.  Y-wings are also slower than X-wings and you really can't do 4 speed straight all the time with it red.  Their turrets can really help them in the trench run, too.  There can be the danger of loading up a Y-wing with too much, as well.  Overall, though, you can get a cheap generic Y-wing w/ 2 Torpedoes for only 18 pts w/ out turret.  That's pretty cheap.  Y-wings will always go for Guidance Chip, as well. 

 

There are different strategies to building your list for this mission, as well.  Do you want to go with a ton of cheap generics?  Keep the upgrades small, but with lots of ships?  Or go with Elites and try to power your way through the enemy?  Wedge can blast through while Biggs does his duty.  Maybe a mix of the two?  After you load out Luke as required, you have 118 pts left.  Tha'ts enough for 6 low budget Y-wings w/ no upgrade and a few points left over.  Or do you mix it?  Different ideas on how to build out your list.  I'll probably stick with a mixed list.  

 

Wow....so many things to think about.  I am first drawn to the Bomb option for a Y-wing.  When you got those Tie Fighters behind you in the trench, it might be awesome to go ahead and unload a Bomb behind  you.  You can go ahead and make it an Ion Bomb and those suckers will be left in the rear for a turn.  That just might be crucial enough to zip ahead.  Do you guys think playing with Bombs on Y-wings is not a good option as they didn't' have them in the movie?  I worry about that.  I do want to make it interesting.  

 

Turrets are another facet that I need to think about.  There are a lot of good options.  With the classic Ion Turret, I can zap a Tie to kick it out of the game for a crucial turn.  In the trench, that's substantial.  This turret, though, does cost 5 pts.  There are a lot more cheaper options these days.  Blaster Turret is 4 pts and requires the Focus.  I'm....not thinking that's a good idea.  I'd rather go with Dorsal Turret for 1 pt less.  Both are only R1-2, but you get the bonus die at R1.  Autoblaster Turret is another option that really is pretty good.  Against Tie Fighters, it can be really hard to punch through 3 dice and a Focus or Evade.  The Autoblaster Turret would be great in the trench to blast away at those Ties that get too close.  It might keep them from getting that extra damage die at R1.  You might even pull some sneaky moves and only do a 1 forward to try to get them to shoot past you or end up next to you (after the Drift move).  All sorts of trickery options.  Last....I should mention the TLT.  Maybe you don't think it's a good option?  Well....you can only have 3 ships in the Trench at one time.  What are your other guys doing at that point?  The clock is ticking and only a few things can bump it back up.  TLT might be enough to punch through and kill that Imperial ship or even destroy a Power Node.  They get no Evade dice, so just firing at it pretty much destroys it.  I've found it a good strategy to have some of your ships make a run on the Power Nodes while some go for the trench.  It can be expensive, but maybe it's worth it?

 

What upgrades for Luke?  Leave him as is?  Well, you can always just slap Adaptability on him, but that might not have much difference in this game.  Lone Wolf might work.  It helps keep him alive and help him when have his shots more effective. Really only works when he's alone.  So, does he go off alone and have danger of being swarmed?  Or maybe pair him with Biggs iin the trench?  Have the two of them run around and only once Biggs is dead will Luke need the Lone Wolf?  Predator has some use, but won't get more than 1 die.  Empire can go for any generics, so why go with Academy Pilots?  You could also go with some crazy combo like Wingman on Luke and Elusive on Biggs (via R2-D6). So, Biggs does a Drift to get 3 green dice.  He does a Focus.  When shot, he can use Elusive.  Next turn, he doesn't have to slow down, but Luke can remove the stress.  Yeah, maybe not the best, but maybe not a terrible idea?  Maybe even Draw Their Fire to help Biggs?  Not a horrible option.  Luke can always regen it with a green.  Vader will have Adv. Targeting Computer for sure.  Pulling off those Crits might not be a bad idea.  

 

What other Unique Pilots are out there for the Rebels?  

 

Wedge is the ace of the group, but would he be worth it in this mission? He's expensive and he could be focus fired down pretty fast.  You can clear up the enemy pretty fast, but they just come back.  I almost think going endurance and synergy for the Rebels is better than going deadly.  

 

Biggs is almost a must, I think.  You need to get your guys to the end safely.  Maybe try to keep him alive until you get to the trench.  That way  you get the most use out of him.  

 

Wes could keep your guys alive, but he's a lot of points.  Is it worth it to remove one token?  

 

Jek Porkins is very thematic, but worth it?  He is cheaper and has an EPT.  What if he went with Elusive?  He takes a stress to make someone re-roll a die.  Then, he removes the stress and rolls.  3/8 chances of just taking that damage anyways, but a 5/8 of maybe removing that hit with no damage.  Not really sure what else to take with him, though.  Well, besides his trusty R5-D8.  Oh, I just thought of something.  What about PTL and R2-F2?  In the trench, he does a Drift for +1 green. He takes an action to get another +1 green. Then he PTL to Focus.  So, he's at 4 dice with a Focus for defense.  Use his ability if you dare.

 

Garven Dreis is awesome!  Not only was he there in the movies, but he gets to give a Focus to someone else after he uses it.  Syngergy is what will keep the Rebels alive.  I think Garven is a great choice in this mission.  You want him to have an EPT?  Give him R2-D6 and then something else.  

 

Hobbie?  I don't really see his ability doing too much for this mission.  Oh, I'm sure someone clever can think of one and I'd love to hear it, but I just don't see him being worth the points.  

 

Tarn w/ R7 is a dream for this mission!  Need an X-wing that is harder to hit?  Use Tarn!  He might be survivable enough to go with Guidance Chip instead of IA.  

 

Horton Salm would be great for hitting that exhaust port, but he's got to live there long enough first.  He's a whopping 7 pts more expensive than the cheapest Generic.  Is it worth it?  I....wouldn't, but hey, you might like it.  Maybe good with TLT as a distraction?  He is thematic.  

 

Dutch could be good.  Synergy is what will probably keep the Rebels alive, but he's one that's purely offensive in nature.  Grab a TL and someone else gets one, too.  It could help, but might also cost too much.  Maybe he goes with another Y-wing in the trench.  That guy drifts and grabs a Focus for 2 green dice.  Dutch can then give him a TL to actually fire at the enemy, as well.  I'd love to say that he can get to the end with someone else and give them a TL with their Focus, but I've not seen two ships make it to the end together.  

 

OK....more to talk about, but I better post this before I fat finger my keyboard and wipe it all out!

Edited by heychadwick

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What Astromechs will be good in the game?  I can see you putting them on X-wings for the IA slot.  A good number of cheap outs out there, too.

 

R2 is usually the default droid, but....is he really worth it here?  Most people trying to get to the trench.  Once there, all your straights are green anyways.  I don't know if he's really the best option here.

 

R2-D6 is good for anyone you want to give an EPT.  Lots of uses for this guy.

 

R4-D6 will reduce your damage down to 2 from a hit.  The only things that are getting that many dice are Vader, Ties in R1, and those turrets.  Is it worth it?  Maybe on a Y-wing? Or Biggs?  Possibly.  Very situational.

 

R5 lets you remove one Ship critical.  This really isn't a bad option for a Y-wing or X-wing.  If Vader is back there, he's going to have ATC and will be dishing out criticals.  You might also just get some from Ties.  Probably better on a Y-wing, but not so bad on an X-wing.  

BB-8 might be worth it...maybe.  You get a BR for a green.  OK...you don't really want to do greens as you want to be speeding ahead towards or in the trench.  Maybe it's for the distraction guy up front and keeps him from bumping.  Maybe you do a green 2 forward drift that's really a 1 forward and you get to reposition a bit in the trench?  

 

R3-A2 is normally a staple of Rebel lists, but is there a place for him in this game?  You need to have your opponent in arc to make it work.  That will happen on the approach, in the dogfight outside of the trench, and maybe if you pop in behind the enemy in the trench.  On the approach, it might stop them from K-turning in that round and buy you another round.  Is it 2 pts worth it, though?

 

R5-K6?  Umm....well....maybe worth it for a Y-wing?  Dutch might like him.  Not super reliant, but could be effective.  

 

R7 is really not a bad choice, especially if you are in the trenches and Vader is behind you!  It's a generic and it could save your life.  Always take on Tarn, but even regular ships might really find a use for this guy.  It is 2 pts, though, but it might just save your life.

 

R2-F2 deserves a mention.  I think most people have learned that it's better to go with a Focus instead of increasing another green die, but what if you had a way to pass a Focus, like with Garven?  Or PTL with someone like Porkins?  It's possible to find a use for him here, but I wouldn't think he's super amazing.  

 

R5-D8 is actually a pretty good droid in this mission, especially for a Y-wing.  You start getting damaged?  You start repairing yourself.  Yeah, it's not always going to happen, but 5/8 chances of it working aren't bad at all.  Also, if you are using Porkins for his ability, there is only a 3/8 chance he takes damage and then you can use your action to use this droid and make it only an 11% chance that you still have damage afterwards.  That's really not so bad.  Expensive, but not bad.

 

R5-P9 can save your life, as he can regenerate shields.  That's great for a mission like this.  You just need to save your Focus.  You can even go faster than a green move and regen a shield.  Y-wing might love this more as you can stay alive longer to use this.  Keeping that Focus is the hard part.  Maybe use this guy on someone near Dutch as you can use that TL from Dutch to modify your dice and hold onto that Focus?  Still, he's pretty pricey.  Worth it?

 

R7-T1 lets you Boost and get a TL.  If you are in the trenchs and that Tie Fighter is behind you at R1, you can Boost to get into R2, and then fire at him with your Turret and TL!  Or maybe Boost to get out of firing arc of one of the turrets in the trench?  Not a bad option, but he is a few points.  

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So, for first build, here's what I would probably go with:

 

Luke Skywalker (28)
Lone Wolf (2)
R2-D2 (4)
Integrated Astromech (0)
 
Biggs Darklighter (25)
R4-D6 (1)
Integrated Astromech (0)
 
Tarn Mison (23)
R7 Astromech (2)
Integrated Astromech (0)
 
Gold Squadron Pilot (18)
Autoblaster Turret (2)
R5 Astromech (1)
Guidance Chips (0)
 
Gold Squadron Pilot (18)
Autoblaster Turret (2)
R5 Astromech (1)
Guidance Chips (0)
 
Rookie Pilot (21)
R7 Astromech (2)
Integrated Astromech (0)
 
Total: 150
 
 
 
6 ships.  Two Y-wings for the extra ordnance.  Survivable X-wings.  One cheap generic X-wing thrown in there at the end.
 
Your thoughts?  
Edited by heychadwick

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Doesn't actually specify T-65s or TIE/lns.

 

TFA TRENCH RUN INITIATE

 

Page 1 under SETUP:

 

 

2. .....The squad must include Darth Vader and all other ships must be TIE Fighters.  The Rebel player may spend up to 150 points...Luke...all other ships must be X-wings and/or Y-wings.

 

Last updated 2014.

 

I guess if you really want to make break the rules, you could say that any TIE Fighter is anything with TIE in it and X-wing can mean T-70's.  It would be totally against recreating the original Star Wars: A New Hope movie, but if you really wanted to try to twist the rules, you can take that way.  I'd hate to play it that way, but if you want, why not just change the rules to whatever you want it to be?

 

I have wondered, though, how the mission would work if you traded it out for all Tie FO's and X-70's instead.  

Edited by heychadwick

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Imps always winning is how it should be.

 

Speaking of Imperials, there are some new pilots out there and we can always think about the Imperial side of things.  You are limited in only being able to take a Tie Fighter, but there are a lot of pilots.  Also, there are a few Vader options to go for.  

 

Vader with ATC is a good build.  What else?   Predator is good.  Intimidation is another thought.  He goes last and in a lot of places you just might get bumped.  It's Vader's one weakness, so people will be trying it.  If he bumps the enemy, it still punishes them!  Squad Leader is another good one.  It allows you to give another ship some important action to help take down the enemy.  Vader doesn't always need 2 actions, especially if he's already got TL for ATC.  Outmaneuver can be really effective in this mission.  If you get in the trenches, you are going to be reducing their Agility alright.  It's a really good option.  Expose is not really a bad option if you think about it.  There are probably a lot of times when Vader isn't really going to be shot at, especially behind some X-wings in the trenches.  He can spend one action to get a Focus and then does an Expose.  Keeps TL on for ATC.  This means he's getting 3 red dice with Focus and a crit thrown on at the end.  That's pretty powerful!  It's just maybe a little bit expensive.  

 

What other System options are there for Vader?  Maybe Accuracy Corrector?  Let's just say you really want movement options on Vader.  You can go with Engine Upgrade and then Accuracy Corrector to make sure you do more damage.  Or...maybe you want to take Cluster Missiles and will nail one ship.  Outmaneuver with AC is not a bad option.  Is it the best?  I'd still go with ATC all day long.  Maybe Sensor Jammer if you find your Vader getting focus fired down.  Really, though, I'd rather just hold him back and then send him in the trenches.  

 

When I think of the various Tie Fighter pilots, I tend to want to go with the named guys.  Why?  Well, if they die, they just come back as a generic.  So, why not throw out the better than generic guys?  Also, I've found that the mid PS guys are really deadly in this mission.  There are sure to be some generics or mid-PS pilots.  These named guys get to all fire first!  It really does help.  

 

Tie Fighter Pilots:

 

  • Howlrunner is traditionally a great pick.  Is it worth it here, though?  You aren't really going to be bunching up your ships in such a close formation, though.  It would work for a turn or two, but will have diminishing returns once everyone breaks off.  The most expensive Tie Fighter.  
  • Scourge is a new guy and he would do well in this mission.  If they are damaged, he can throw an extra red die.  Damaged ships all over the place in this game!  The extra damage can be crucial to hitting the enemy.  He also gets an EPT!
  • Mauler Mithel is fantastic for getting up on some enemy and blasting away with 4 red dice.  If you can get him behind some ships in the Trenches, he's great.  Also not bad for maneuvering on top and getting in someone's grill.  Expensive, but not bad.
  • Dark Curse is always a favorite.  He'll evade those shots all over the place and get in there with a good PS and fire away at those curses Rebels.  What's not to love?
  • Backstabber was made for the trenches.  Put him behind anyone and he's going to be a happy Imperial pilot.  Who won't include him?  He's even a Black Squad thematic!  
  • Youngster can have a lot of Tie Fighters nearby use his ability since his range is long.  Still, what ability will people want to put on him?  Rage gives too much stress and Marksman means you can't Focus for defense.  I'd probably leave him behind, but I'm sure someone would have fun with him.  
  • Winged Gundark traditionally gets left in the case, but why not bring him out?  He's got a good PS and he just might be up at R1 to fire at someone.  This is the type of mission where he can probably get used.  There are a lot of Tie Fighters and he might just get ignored.  That Crit might just be the one that lets you win the game.  He dies and you just turn him into a Black Squadie.  
  • Night Beast gets that free Focus.  Not so bad.  Probably keep him up top as his ability isn't really useful down below.  That means he might be able to BR and then get that free Focus to have that flank shot.
  • Wampa loses his meta status without Palpatine around, but so what?  He's 14 pts and has a chance of rolling that Crit every now and again.
  • Chaser is a cheap Tie Fighter that has an interesting ability.  It's not game breaking, but it's cool!  He takes an Evade and grabs a Focus from someone.  What's not to love?  Same points as a Black Squadie.  Interesting ability that will see some use.  Why not use him?

There is also the generic Black Squad Pilot w/ EPT.  What are some good options for EPT to use?  I'd love to hear some.  There are almost too many to really go into here.  

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HOW do the imps keep winning in your games?

I haven't actually had a chance to play DD's scenario yet (life is busy), so maybe I am just radically missing something, but I keep looking at those deployment zones and seeing that the rebels can get to the trench entry zone way sooner than the empire can. 3 x-wings with engine upgrade can outpace TIE fighters, so they won'tbe getting shot much once the ties DO get in the trench after them, and 3 shots should guarantee the port takes 3 damage, especially if one of them is wedge.

I'm just not seeing how the rebels can loose this scenario.

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First of all... THANKS A LOT, DAVE. Superb work. We have played this 4 or 5 times and a very well balanced scenario. Only once the Rebels won, but traditional bad luck with torpedoes here. Aim, shoot...and miss.

As said before Backstabber is a must. Allways equip him.with a shield or Stealth device, primary target !!

I would say no to T 70 here. Too fast and this is about ep 4. No EU cards in this scenario, also.

If you have not played it... Simply play it

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HOW do the imps keep winning in your games?

3 x-wings with engine upgrade can outpace TIE fighters, so they won'tbe getting shot much once the ties DO get in the trench after them, and 3 shots should guarantee the port takes 3 damage, especially if one of them is wedge.

I'm just not seeing how the rebels can loose this scenario.

 

 

I can go over the game last night as I took pictures.   I will say, though, that I didn't take Engine Upgrade on any ship.  I dunno....it just seems against the flavor of the mission.  No one had it in the movies.  

 

Wedge can be good at shooting the exhaust port, but he has to get there first.  I think in all the games I've run, there has only been one Rebel ship that has managed to get a shot off.  

 

Alright, so here is beginning of game:

 

20160505_180406_zpszoco3c7s.jpg

 

20160505_180752_zpsaqbj4vpb.jpg

 

20160505_180803_zpsbubpc6zo.jpg

 

Everyone moves up.  Tie Fighters are going 5 and Barrel Rolling to get further ahead.  Rebels are blasting turrets.

 

20160505_181946_zpsongodkcu.jpg

 

20160505_181956_zpszb2covsx.jpg

 

When the Rebels go up to the Trench, they slow rolled for a turn to get some shots in on the Tie Fighters.  It worked as they were able to blast turrets and kill the one Tie Fighter that was in range.  I think they were expecting more to be in range.  I believe it was either Chaser who died.

 

20160505_183837_zpsmthv9utv.jpg

 

Next, the Rebels did another slow roll over the trench.  We used some blown up turrets to hold up some of the ships to indicate over the trench, so that might look a bit weird.  This slow roll really screwed the Imperials as they ended up bumping into quite a bit of stuff.  The Rebels shot two torpedoes at nodes and blew two of them up.  Tarn was one who shot a torpedo and I think that was a waste.  Two Tie Fighters died this round.

 

Overall, the Rebels had hot dice and the Imperial dice were cold.  Turrets were blown up with ease.  Lots of damage on Ties.  Ties couldn't get any Evade on dice.  It was going the Rebels way.

 

20160505_190326_zpshilywcvs.jpg

 

With all the bumpage going on, it was hard for the Imperials to get in the trench.  Luke and Biggs dropped down, but everyone else stayed up.  Vader tried to K-turn and was bumped.  Only Mauler Mithel dropped down, but he was right next to the X-wings.  

 

20160505_192320_zpsdwewi9kd.jpg

 

The long train of replacement Tie Fighters coming in at full speed:

 

20160505_192328_zps3wbw8xpx.jpg

 

Now, at this point, there were a few errors the Rebels made.  One can question why they didn't drop a Y-wing into the trench.  Instead, it stayed up and distracted the enemy, but just died.  If it had dropped down, there would only be 3 Tie Fighters that can also go in and it would've been harder for the Tie Fighters to blow them all up.  So, I think that was an error.  

 

Next, they were worried about Mauler Mithel on their tail.  If he got right on them, it would be 4 shots.  They spent a turn trying to slow roll and get behind him.  MM ended up doing a 1 hard turn to get behind them!  It turned out to be a bump fest and wasted a turn or two as they tried to then straighten out.   This allowed Dark Curse to drop.  Also, Vader did drop, but he was way back there.  If Biggs and Luke had just gone full speed 4 forward, they would've gotten much further ahead and I doubt MM could've killed them both in time.  

Also, Tarn had gone after and killed a node, but then was facing the incoming Tie Fighters.  He ended up slow rolling towards them and just firing at them.  He was blowing up a lot and killing a Tie Fighter a turn, but.....so what?  He should've gone for the trench and dropped in.  Tarn would've been behind Vader and the Ties and could've given support.  I don't think he should've fired his torpedo early at the node and he should've saved it.  

 

So, eventually Dark Curse caught up to the X-wings with MM right behind them.

 

20160505_195443_zpsqap0r55n.jpg

 

Everyone fires at Biggs.  R4-D6 saves him one round, but he gets stressed.  Vader also gets just close enough.  Another round and Biggs is dead.  This leaves Luke as the man to get things done.  He's finally straightened out and he manages to go full throttle down the trench with a trio of Tie Fighters on his tale.  

 

20160505_201320_zpsagtt8m6n.jpg

 

Once again....how is it that the game always comes down to one X-wing trying to make a desperate torpedo shot? 

 

20160505_202305_zps49vblbn4.jpg

 

Vader just barely gets within range and does a TL + Focus on Luke.  He gets 1 hit and 2 crits!   Luke....rolls 1 Evade and 2 eyeballs.  One turns to another evade, because the force is strong with this one.  Lone Wolf re-rolls the other.....Evade!   Luke totally dodges Vader's attack.  MM and Dark Curse fire and manage to strip Luke's shields.   No one can stop him.  Luke fires his torpedo.....

 

Hit....eyeball...eyeball....blank.  LW re-rolls....blank.   so, a hit and a crit.  Exhaust port rolls an Evade.  One shied is down and the Rebels have no more torpedoes.   

 

IMPERIALS WIN............again

Edited by heychadwick

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I'm thinking that Conner Net/Cluster Mines would be better choices in the trench then bombs? Also, fly a Y in with Biggs, and then plop Wedge or some offensive character in after the TIEs behind the Y and Biggs?

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Heychadwick, do you know if the turrets have an agility value?  I don't see one in the ruleset.  I assume they have a value of 0(?)

 

 

Approaching from a hard-edged perspective, trying my best to win, as Rebels I'd go with:

 

"Full Throttle"

 

Gold Squadron w/ ICT, BTLA4, guidance chip, 2 Proton torps

Gold Squadron w/ ICT, BTLA4, guidance chip, 2 Proton torps

Luke w/ R2D2, Predator, engine upgrade, proton torp

Wedge w/ Predator, engine upgrade, proton torp

Biggs w/ engine upgrade, proton torp

 

This list is pretty straightforward.  Y-wings go after the power nodes to buy time, while the X-wings buzz the trench at top speed.  Wedge and Luke have predator for a little more punch at the exhaust port, and for blasting trench turrets on the way in.  I'd aim to enter the trench along one edge, to keep out of the line of fire of half the turrets on my way down, in a tight formation with Biggs in the lead.  I'd also be looking to bag a TIE fighter or two with the Y-wings's torpedoes to extend time.  

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I'm thinking that Conner Net/Cluster Mines would be better choices in the trench then bombs? Also, fly a Y in with Biggs, and then plop Wedge or some offensive character in after the TIEs behind the Y and Biggs?

 

I chose not to do Bombs or Mines as they weren't in the movie.  One could say that you were required to take all Torpedoes.  I'd like to try it without Bombs.

 

Getting Wedge behind to cover is easier said than done.  Still, it's a good plan

 

Heychadwick, do you know if the turrets have an agility value?  I don't see one in the ruleset.  I assume they have a value of 0(?)

 

 

 

"Full Throttle"

 

Gold Squadron w/ ICT, BTLA4, guidance chip, 2 Proton torps

Gold Squadron w/ ICT, BTLA4, guidance chip, 2 Proton torps

Luke w/ R2D2, Predator, engine upgrade, proton torp

Wedge w/ Predator, engine upgrade, proton torp

Biggs w/ engine upgrade, proton torp

 

This list is pretty straightforward.  Y-wings go after the power nodes to buy time, while the X-wings buzz the trench at top speed.  Wedge and Luke have predator for a little more punch at the exhaust port, and for blasting trench turrets on the way in.  I'd aim to enter the trench along one edge, to keep out of the line of fire of half the turrets on my way down, in a tight formation with Biggs in the lead.  I'd also be looking to bag a TIE fighter or two with the Y-wings's torpedoes to extend time.  

 

Turrets have no agility.  

 

I think Biggs would do better with an astromech and Integrated Astromech, but I guess you want to use Engine Upgrade to keep up with Luke?

 

Getting Wedge in behind to cover for you is easier said than done.  Watch out for Vader as most people hold him in reserve for the first pass.  He's usually late enough to get behind anyone.  Watch out....they came from behind.  :)

 

I'd love to see the Rebels win.  I think Vader can go with Engine Upgrade, too, so be careful.  Mauler Mithel and Backstabber in the trenches are mean.  

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One of the advantages Luke had in the movie was that on Vader's approach, the turrets in the trench stop firing.  Do you simulate this or just blast away at the Rebels?

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One of the advantages Luke had in the movie was that on Vader's approach, the turrets in the trench stop firing.  Do you simulate this or just blast away at the Rebels?

 

In the rules, there are two kinds of turrets.  They both have 4 hull and no agility.  They fire 4 red dice and one eyeball can turn into a hit.  They get no actions, can be target locked, and blow up to any Ion tokens.  The turrets on the surface just turn 360 as the Imperial player wants them to.    

 

The turrets in the trench are another matter.  You have to print off the trench guide that shows where the turrets are and what their firing arcs are.  The Imperial player can decide if they want to fire the trench turrets.  If they do, all of them fire.  Anyone in a firing arc gets shot at, even if Biggs is next to them or they are Imperial.  The Imperial player decides if it's worth it or not to fire all the trench guns.

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I ran a test of this scenario today with my 'Full Throttle' list of X-wings (luke, wedge, biggs) with predator and engine upgrade, escorted by 2 Y-wings with ICTs and facing off against Vader and 6 TIEs, and had a very convincing Rebel victory.  All three X-wings made it to the exhaust port and were able to launch torpedoes, handily winning.  

 

The X-wings had a very easy turn 2 entry into the trench with these maneuvers: [4-straight + boost], [3-Turn, enter]

 

On the other hand the Imperials made it into the trench on turn 4, far too late to intervene.  

 

I played around on vassal after the mission was done and the earliest imperial trench entry i could manage was turn 3, using engine upgrades.  But the Imperials had a much harder time lining up their entry because of their deployment zone.  It took a lot of time to set up the turn-3 entry approach; I'd say my chances of correctly pulling this off on the tabletop without more practice are about 1 in 5.  

 

If the Imperials make it into the trench on turn three, they can get decent shots on the Rebels.  

 

If the Y-wings were trying to interfere with imperial trench entry, the game could be very difficult for the imperials even if they planned and executed their maneuvers perfectly.  

 

The Trench and surface turrets managed to do some damage, but mostly succumbed to X-wing fire before they could shoot.  

 

So in terms of balance, I'd either prohibit the Engine Upgrade modification in some way (possibly by mandating integrated astromechs on all X-wings and guidance chips on all Y-wings), or adjust the deployment zones, or alter the entry zone or entry rules.  

 

I'd also add a layer or two, so that the Rebels can't immediately start their attack run.  With a 6x3 table you can put more ships on the board and also more objectives.   

 

The scenario mechanics and layout seem pretty solid, although I would probably tighten up the 'drift' maneuver.  I'm not exactly sure what happens if you program a  1-speed maneuver and drift.  I'd go in there and tighten the language a bit.  

 

 

 

As of now, I'd say the scenario has a mild case of Suicide Run Syndrome, and has a balance issue with engine upgrade.  Could use a tweak, but the bones of the scenario are good.  

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As of now, I'd say the scenario has a mild case of Suicide Run Syndrome, and has a balance issue with engine upgrade.  Could use a tweak, but the bones of the scenario are good.  

 

Yeah, I'm not surprised by the Engine Upgrade outcome.  It just didn't seem fair.

 

As for the 1 forward Drift, I just said you can't.  Otherwise it's stupid.

 

I'd like to see what other stuff you would change to it.

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Wow! What a thread. Hats off to heychadwick for the huge amount of analysis and thoughtful strategy. I'm sorry I missed it when originally posted.

My gaming group went through a similar line of analysis and strategic thinking when playing through Dagobah Dave’s (DD) original 2012 version of the trench run. We made several changes (which I will summarize below) over the course of about two years due to the lopsided play we experienced when building forces around a point limit. Our final product can be found here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/120061/death-star-trench-run-v082

By the way, in no way should the info below be interpreted as a slam against DD’s truly inspirational work in developing his scenario. I give him a huge amount of credit for developing a scenario so soon after this game system launched that provided so much balance and cinematic feel. I became completely addicted and enjoyed the concept so much I just was compelled to do my best to make it, in my opinion, continue to work despite advances in the game.

For those not familiar with DD’s original 2012 version, it is played on a smaller board (48”x50” vs 36”x72”). In both the original 2012 and the updated 2014 version, the trench runs the length of the map. Although the updated 2014 version has a trench that is longer (72”) the entry area extends approximately half the length of the trench. In the 2012 version, the entry area is only a little over 12” of the total trench length (50”). So, the minimum run a Rebel ship must fly to attack the port is about the same: about 38” for the 2012 version, and about 36” for the 2014 version. The trench is not centered between the two opposing sides in the 2012 version, it is offset closer to the Rebel edge. Additionally, the starting zones in the 2012 version run the full length of the player's side of the map area.

Other differences between the two scenarios (that I can recall): in 2012 there are fewer trench and surface turbos, power nodes take 3 damage when hit by an ion weapon, surface turbos are PS 1, Imperials get only 100 pts to create a defending force, turbos and nodes have a Hull of 3 and agility of 1,turbo attacks are with 2 die (no focus flip, no doubling of defender agility) and the Imperial ships do not enter play until the 2nd round.

As mentioned above, our gaming group struggled with the 2012 version primarily with imbalances due to upgrades - in our opinion. One side (typically the Rebels) would gain an advantage in speed using engine upgrades or offensively through various weapons/mods/mechs/skills. Over several play tests (~10) with different lists, tactics and point limits, we came to the conclusion that the play lists needed to be constrained in some way - be that by ship type, upgrades or some combination of both. We all shared the opinion that the game mechanics were pretty solid but that the point based system was now outdated, having had 3 to 5 additional waves of ships and upgrades released since the original rule set was established.

We elected to go hard over and create a specific order of battle for the scenario. Sure, this removes a huge chunk of the attractiveness of the X-Wing game, but to our surprise it allowed the strategic and tactical decisions made during play to be more effective and opponents were offered an opportunity to adjust game play as certain moves or tactics played out. Additionally, the list chosen allowed for as many pilots and astromechs that were in the movie, and now included in the game, to be a part of the scenario - very much a nod to the theme of the scenario.

The Imperial players were also lamenting the ineffectiveness of the turbolasers. With such low PS the turbos were usually destroyed before they could get in a shot. Rebels developed the practice of having two fighters target the turbo, usually at close range and with target locks, if possible. With two attacks on a turbo (anywhere between 4 to 8 attack dice in total with focus and/or target locks), it was pretty easy to take them out before they could get off an effective shot. The trench guns usually took a huge beating as most of the fighters in the trench could only attack them (vs Imp fighters) and since it was typically available, would use a target lock. If a turbo did get a chance to make an attack, the 2 attack die were pretty weak. To help with this, we added 6 additional turbo lasers that the Imperial player was able to setup anywhere within the play area except over the trench and within range one of the trench itself, other turbos or map edge / starting zones. We also increased the PS of the turbos to 9, with the special rule that the trench guns always fire first (just like Han). Eventually, we added the focus flip (idea may have come from the 2014 version, honestly) to turbo laser attacks to make them just a little more than an annoyance, and increased their hull and agility values to make them a bit more durable. Given time, the turbos have the ability to wear down the rebel fighters.

After these adjustments were made, the Imperials were getting hammered in the trench by the Y-wings with Ion turrets (and target locks). Usually, one or two Y-wings, would trail behind the attacking lead rebel fighter and effectively hammer away at the pursuing Imperial ships. The Imps would have a hard time catching up to the lead fighter when constantly suffering the effects of ion tokens slowing their progress down the tunnel. Combining this effect with the inability for Imperial ships to enter the trench closer to the Rebel fighters, the Rebels were pretty much hard to beat. So we allowed the Imperial ships to enter anywhere along the trench, provided their base was completely over the trench area. Rebels still needed to enter the trench from the entry zone. This let Ionized Imps leave the trench if they fell behind, making room for a “hovering” Imp to enter the trench allot closer to the action.

We also forced rebel ships that entered the trench to commit to attacking the port, if desired. We really wanted to limit the use of the target locks against the trench turbos and Imp ships, so we leveraged the movie action to support this rule change. In the movie, the rebels were using their targeting computers to scan for and track the exhaust port, pretty much right from the start of their runs. So, we simply latched onto this concept. When a Rebel ship entered the trench, they would have to commit their target lock marker to the exhaust port or not. If they did commit to the attack, the target marker would be kept to the side. If not, they could use it as they wanted to during the run. The rebel player could change their mind during the run and target something else (turbo or Imp ship), but could then not go back to attacking the port later on. The Rebel ships still needed to use an action when the port was in range to establish the lock on the port to make the attack. This helped to keep the trench guns in the game longer and played nicely to the cinematic feel of the scenario.

At this point, despite the ion cannons, the balanced had tipped to the Imperials. The surface turbos were truly effective at close range and the Imps got wise to the possibilities that entering the trench at any point offered. They began to make head-on passes down the trench. Although the head on passes did prove effective in damaging the rebel ships, it really proved its worth in jamming up the traffic - the resulting collisions delaying rebel progress and eliminated the ability to perform actions – like target lock just before the big attack on the port. So we made yet another set of adjustments. The trench became a one way street. All movement in the trench needed to progress towards the port. We also reduced the attack range of the surface turbos to be 2-3. Although these were kind of a band-aid fixes, we took some satisfaction in at least being consistent with the action in the movie and the famous quote of the fighters being too fast for the Imp turbolasers.

The Rebels started suffering heavily from the ever present 10 Imperial fighters. As one Imp ship was destroyed, it was immediately replaced with a new threat. Late in the game, this became truly effective when the volume of available TIEs would allow for an orchestrated series of movements into and out of the trench with a level of precision giving the Imps near perfect attacks on the few remaining Rebel ships. So we elected to limit the number of Imperial reinforcements based on the number of remaining Rebel ships. If the Imperials had fewer ships than the Rebels during the End phase, they would receive a number of Imp ships equal to the difference. We did put a lower limit on the number of Imperial ships – they would never have fewer than 3 ships in play, to provide some level of defense. This allows the Imps to keep the pressure on the Rebels as they slowly are destroyed, while keeping the rebels somewhat protected from a 10 v 2 final fight. Since reinforcements became somewhat rarer, we elected to allow the Imperial to place reinforcements in either deployment zone, letting them get a little closer to the trench, if needed.

Although this round of adjustments appeared to bring a balance to the surface game, the trench was still a little imbalanced in favor of the Imperials. The Imperials were able to selectively attack Rebel ships that were committed to the port attack, while neglecting those that were not committed. The support ships were not that useful in defending the rebel attack ships – even with rearward firing Ys… So, we came up with another defensive ability for ships in the trench – screening. Now, any ships between the attacker and defender (friend or foe) would provide additional cover for the defender (+1 defense die per screening ship). Screening changed the way operations were flown in the trench and provided for some coordinated “dancing” in the trench as attackers attempted to find an opening and defenders tried to guess which way to block or to stay with their leader. The use of the drift maneuver took on a whole new utility because of screening.

So we had finally gotten to the point where Rebels were consistently getting to the exhaust port but having to fight hard to get there (instead of it being a push over). But, if the Ys were sent down the trench, they still tipped the balance too much in favor of the Rebels, especially if they used target locks with the ion cannon attacks. We were running out of ideas (or were simply not that creative), when FFG solved this problem for us. The introduction of the BTL-4A title eliminated the ability of the Ys to attack rearward in exchange for increasing their ability to take out hard targets and Imp ships - they kind of became power node killers. Now Ys could be used on the surface to help delay the clock or to destroy nodes and weaken the port’s shields or disrupt the Imperial defenses.

We were also not happy with the lack of firepower the Falcon brought into the game. We had introduced the Falcon at some point in the development of this scenario to be an immediate source of short term relief to the Rebels late in the game (much like the impact he had in the movie). We wanted the Falcon to be able to destroy one or two Imps with a single attack, to either get attackers off the Rebel fighters in the trench or to buy some additional time on the clock. If any of a set of criteria were met, the Falcon would appear during the End phase in the Rebel start zone. After several plays when the Falcon came out, we were kind of disappointed with its lack of punch. Deploying in the start zone required a few turns to get into position to be effective, during which the Imps had time to adjust or counter the Falcon’s effectiveness. Further, the Falcon’s native attack value just isn’t that strong. Eventually we elected to add Assault Missiles to the loadout of the Falcon – providing a good punch but one that must be used wisely to avoid collateral damage. We also modified its deployment rules to let it drop into the game anywhere on the map and to immediately perform an action. This limited the Imp’s response to only a single turn before the Falcon’s attack was unleashed. Dropping in anywhere on the map certainly added a cinematic feel to the Falcon’s sudden appearance.

We also felt that Luke needed to have some kind of an advantage when attacking the exhaust port. Let’s be honest here, he was a Force user (even if a beginner) so he should get some “bonus” for this attack. After kicking around a few ideas, we settled on leveraging a few concepts from the movie. Luke used his targeting computer for most of the run down the trench, so just like all the other pilots, he too must commit his target lock upon entry to the trench. But, as we all know, Obi-Wan convinced Luke to shut down his targeting computer just before he took his shot. To fold that concept into this scenario we allowed Luke to target lock the exhaust port as a free action. This allows Luke to use a focus action just prior to his attack on the port. Then, because his target computer was in fact off and he used the Force to aim or guide the rockets, he does not need to expend the target lock to attack with his torpedoes. Combining these abilities allows Luke an opportunity to reroll dice and use a focus on his port attack, greatly increasing his chances of securing 4 hits against the port. Sure, the port still has a defense roll of 2 dice, but a single shot victory is still possible with any pilot, more likely with Luke – as it should be.

So that kind of wraps it up. I have run events at Gen Con for two years now, and although it is a long event, the players do walk away very happy with their cinematic experience and their ability to make both tactical and strategic decisions during the course of the event. So far, I’ve held 5 Gen Con events. 1 Imperial win, 3 Rebel wins and 1 that did not finish in the allotted time. For the game that did not finish, we thought the Rebels might have been able to get a shot at the port, given enough time. So we rolled the attack just to see… “Negative. It didn’t go in. It just impacted on the surface.”

I’ve not tried using our variant rule set and order of battle on the 2014 map. That might be neat to see if it played out any differently… I guess I should give that a try!

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Edited by Biff

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This is a nice update to the trench run! I found very similar problems to what you describe when I was doing my research for our Trench Run episode.

 

I think the screening rule and order of battle are both solid additions, and the changes to the turbolasers also make a lot of sense.  

 

Being a scenario perfectionist, some things still stick in my craw, though.  

 

1. The limit on how many ships can fit into the trench at a time is a very artificial rule.  It exists for one or two possible reasons- if every ship went into the trench it could become very crowded and the scenario might break.  In the movie, only 6 ships are in the trench at a time.  The scenario might also break if the rebels are able to maximize their potential attacks on the exhaust port early in the game.

 

Possible solutions?  

 

-Rebels can only have one ship that has 'eligibility' to attack the exhaust port in the trench at a time.  I think you could conjure up thematic justification for this; perhaps the targeting computers are specially tuned for the trench run and if more than one is operating at a time, the extra signals will cause interference that will prevent a good lock. That would explain why we only ever see one ship making a lock at a time, even when there are no enemy fighters in sight.  

 

Eligibility could also be modified to operate more organically with the trench run scenario.  Going back to the movies, it took a long time for the targeting computers to lock on to the exhaust port, and they had them running the whole way down the trench.  Maybe they needed that time to get a good lock on the exhaust port; otherwise why not just swoop in one at a time at the very end of the trench and each take a shot?  

 

It's more difficult to solve the ship capacity/crowding problem in the trench; I can't think of a good reason why the Imperials would not swarm it immediately and permanently, except that thematically they might not realize the danger of the attack at first.  It might be possible to keep the trench more clear if you make the penalty for collisions in the trench more severe for ships that don't have shields, but that could be tough to work out.

 

Ideally, there should be an organic reason to keep the Trench mostly clear of ships. For example, the Rebels might need to clear out turbolaser turrets covering the exhaust port of the trench, or destroy some features on the surface of the Death star that limit the amount of reinforcements arriving each turn.

 

2. Delaying the countdown / the arrival of the falcon: Another conceit of the scenario is how the ending is handled.  The Death Star's countdown can be affected by destroying TIE fighters and power nodes on the surface of the death star - I can't think of any justification for the destruction of a single TIE fighter bothering anyone in the Death Star's control room.  A tortured case for the effect of small power nodes' destruction on the surface of the Death Star could be made, but I wouldn't find it convincing.  Tying the arrival of the falcon to this type of countdown is problematic because you can actually manipulate the Falcon’s arrival as the Rebel player.

 

I think that the delay of the countdown as it currently exists was intended (from a design standpoint) to incentivize the REbel player to do something other than make suicidal trench runs until they ran out of ships.  Destroying enemy ships and structures is in their interest under the current rules, because it delays the countdown.  

 

I think the best representation of the in-universe trench has to be a simple countdown clock that does not adjust itself to reflect stuff happening on the game table.  But implementing that in the scenario removes Rebel incentive to attack power nodes and imperial fighters, except for self-preservation.  

 

3.  Attacking the exhaust port:  

 

Why does the exhaust port have shields that you can destroy to make subsequent shots easier, when the whole point of this attack was that the port was not shielded against a proton torpedo attack (no particle shields)? And why are we even using the proton torpedo’s attack dice during a shot at the exhaust port?

 

In the movie, the torpedoes that destroyed the death star didn’t explode near the surface; they traveled down the exhaust shaft and hit the main power generator at the core of the death star.  So really, the explosive power of the torpedoes (and what I assume is being primarily being represented by their attack dice), didn’t come into play when the shot was being made.  

So why not divorce the exhaust port attack from the proton torpedo’s attack value completely, and tie it to something else.  For example, you could change the attack to a single attack die, where anything but a critical hit counts as a miss (maybe you could re-roll with a target lock).  You could allow Luke a special bonus when making this attack; maybe he can change a focus result to a critical hit, for example.  One would obviously want to play around with exactly what counts as a hit, for balance, but I think that something like this system would more accurately re-create the movie conditions.

 

 

4. Reinforcements: I can't imagine a good thematic reason why reinforcements should only arrive as Imperial ships are being destroyed. Fixing this might be a lot of work in terms of rebalance, though. Ideally you would want to have a trickle of Imperial ships arriving every turn, steadily increasing pressure on the Rebels, and the Rebels could have some mechanism of slowing this trickle (destroying a control tower for example).

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Wow!  What a thread.  Hats off to heychadwick for the huge amount of analysis and thoughtful strategy.  I'm sorry I missed it when originally posted.

 

 

Thanks for the compliments!  I really like what you did with the mission and am excited to try it sometime.  I'm not sure when, though, as we are gearing up for epic games.  Still, I want to try it.  I like what you did with the rules.

 

1. The limit on how many ships can fit into the trench at a time is a very artificial rule. 

 

2. Delaying the countdown / the arrival of the falcon

 

3.  Attacking the exhaust port:  

 

4. Reinforcements:

 

1) I always thought it was that the Rebels were trying to distract the enemy ships from their true purpose by only having a few make the trench.  Or that all the Rebel ships in the trench would make them sitting ducks, so that the Rebels flying fighter screens above the 3 that go in make sense.  I don't have an issue with the 3 ships in at a time.  It's what they did in the movies and I think it makes sense.  I don't think it would be so good if you had anyone and everyone in there.

 

2) Yeah, I don't like the Tie Fighters being destroyed knock it down. I do like the nodes being destroyed, though.  Maybe if they increased the count down a couple of turns and stopped giving knock backs for Tie Fighters being killed, it might work?

 

3) Hmmm....interesting idea.  Still, if it were only critical hits from non-Luke guys, that's really hard to kill the port.  All you would need to do is blast Luke as fast as possible and then the chances of the Rebels getting it are really hard.  I do get it about the Shields.  Maybe they make it all Green dice?  Maybe just give it 4 Green dice and roll.  If it's not Luke, then the port gets a Focus result added in.  If it is Luke, then no Focus.  If one hit goes through, then it blows the Death Star?  Or is 5 green dice better?  I'm not sure.  

 

4) I want to try it with limiting the Imperial reinforcements.  If you have too many Imperials, then the Rebels just can't win.  They will get shot down.  Maybe it's just bad dice results or something, but if you aren't killing Tie Fighters, then you can get swamped.  I think it's at least more balanced and means the game can still go either way if you limit the Tie Fighter reinforcements based on how many Rebel ships are left.  

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1. The limit on how many ships can fit into the trench at a time is a very artificial rule. 

 

2. Delaying the countdown / the arrival of the falcon

 

3.  Attacking the exhaust port:  

 

4. Reinforcements:

 

1) I always thought it was that the Rebels were trying to distract the enemy ships from their true purpose by only having a few make the trench.  Or that all the Rebel ships in the trench would make them sitting ducks, so that the Rebels flying fighter screens above the 3 that go in make sense.  I don't have an issue with the 3 ships in at a time.  It's what they did in the movies and I think it makes sense.  I don't think it would be so good if you had anyone and everyone in there.

 

It may well be that the rest of the Rebels were trying to 'distract' the imperials in the movie...  So what would be stopping the imperials from chasing down the last three rebel ships in the trench with all of their remaining forces, if that situation happened in a game?  Only this arbitrary rule, I'm afraid.  It still doesn't make sense.

 

We the players don't labor under any illusions as to what is the objective of the mission.  The rule remains very artificial.  I'm not saying I have a good solution at the moment, but I don't think a case can be made that it isn't arbitrary.  

 

If we really want to get squirrely about this scenario, maybe it would be interesting to re-inject uncertainty into the Imperial forces.  Keep the exhaust port and the trench, but add a few other features to the map that could be potential weak points, theoretically, and have the rebel player secretly pick one to be the actual weak point before the game starts.  Then, the Imperial player has to legitimately hedge their bets as to which Rebel force they prioritize, if any.  If you want, halfway through you could reveal the true weak point, or you could just leave it to the Imperials to figure out.  It should become obvious where the Rebels are making their real attack after a few turns.  

 

So for example, we could add in a power converter station, and a laser relay station to the map, and make them vulnerable at the same level that the exhaust port is in the trench.  It's taking big liberties with the canonicity of the scenario, but it would replicate a similar battle atmosphere as the movie.

 

 

 

 

I mean, thematically I can't imagine why the destruction of a trivially small piece of equipment on the Death Star's massive surface would delay the firing sequence in any real way.  Perhaps if we were targeting the superlaser itself (this was a mission in a video game if I am not mistaken); but I can't really imagine that the design of the Death Star, built to defend against capitol ship attack, would be vulnerable to minor surface damage.  

 

 

 

The specifics don't really matter.  I just think that there's no need to tie the dice you throw at the end of the trench run to the attack value of a proton torpedo, and that it makes zero thematic sense that there would be any shielding for you to knock down to make the exhaust port vulnerable to attack.  The amount of dice you throw and the requirements for a successful shot at the end should be defined with mission balance in mind, and nothing else.  Personally, I would probably tie it to Pilot skill.  

 

 

 

3) Hmmm....interesting idea.  Still, if it were only critical hits from non-Luke guys, that's really hard to kill the port.  All you would need to do is blast Luke as fast as possible and then the chances of the Rebels getting it are really hard.  I do get it about the Shields.  Maybe they make it all Green dice?  Maybe just give it 4 Green dice and roll.  If it's not Luke, then the port gets a Focus result added in.  If it is Luke, then no Focus.  If one hit goes through, then it blows the Death Star?  Or is 5 green dice better?  I'm not sure.  

 

 

Edited by Babaganoosh

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We the players don't labor under any illusions as to what is the objective of the mission.  The rule remains very artificial.  I'm not saying I have a good solution at the moment, but I don't think a case can be made that it isn't arbitrary.  

 

Meh...I'm fine with it.  I think otherwise you just have everyone crowded into the trenches and that isn't what happened in the movie.  I just take it as retelling the move.  

 

 

 

I mean, thematically I can't imagine why the destruction of a trivially small piece of equipment on the Death Star's massive surface would delay the firing sequence in any real way.  Perhaps if we were targeting the superlaser itself (this was a mission in a video game if I am not mistaken); but I can't really imagine that the design of the Death Star, built to defend against capitol ship attack, would be vulnerable to minor surface damage.  

 

I think it's an interesting mechanic and I think it's a nice way to throw it out there to give the Rebels a chance to improve their odds if it's going against them.  Yeah, maybe it's not very realistic, but I think it's cool.  

 

 

 

The specifics don't really matter.  I just think that there's no need to tie the dice you throw at the end of the trench run to the attack value of a proton torpedo, and that it makes zero thematic sense that there would be any shielding for you to knock down to make the exhaust port vulnerable to attack.  The amount of dice you throw and the requirements for a successful shot at the end should be defined with mission balance in mind, and nothing else.  Personally, I would probably tie it to Pilot skill.  

 

I don't know how else you can make it.  It has to be do-able without Luke, but I like the idea of giving him a bonus.  I'm open for ideas.  I kind of like the more green dice and no shields idea.

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Heychadwick & Babaganoosh – you both bring up very good discussion points – some of which our little squad kicked around as well.

 

Our group recognized that there would always have to be some level of compromise in trying to bring the movie’s action and themes into an X-Wing scenario.  Additionally, we recognized that to replicate every detail and action that took place in the movie (if it were possible) may leave you with a lifeless scenario that left you with no choices or with an outcome everyone knows.  We also recognized among the various viewpoints that our group had was the notion that there may very well be more than one way to address a particular issue or to incorporate a particular effect/theme into the experience.

 

When things got really difficult or highly opinionated within our group, I would try to pull back from the sticking point and look at the high level, structural aspects of the game to see if that would help tip the scales between the various opinions or suggestions out on the table.  Those high level structural aspects of the game surfaced in our group’s discussion on some of your topics and linked them together – trench capacity, “plus up” of the countdown timer, reinforcements and the existence of the power nodes. 

 

At first, we believed the trench capacity limit was resident in the rules simply as a nod to the movie.  After we changed our trench entry rule to allow Imperials to enter the trench anywhere, we experienced the resulting log jam that occurred with the head-on runs (easier to achieve than the catch up variety).  It became apparent to us that allowing any number of fighters into the trench could be disastrous for a game with a time/turn limit.  The Imperials did a pretty good job of jamming up three rebel fighters using only three Imperial fighters – their strategy was to run the clock down.  They won at least one game straight out with this method, and in other Imp wins it was a solid assist. Limiting the trench capacity keeps the uber log jam from occurring, but still allows for an effective delay strategy by the Imperials if employed well.  This, in my mind, justifies some aspect for allowing time to be added to the clock.  As an aside, after seeing how effective the log jam was used by the Imperials in the trench, the Rebels started jamming up the Imp surface traffic near the trench entry zone early in the game.  Since there is a delayed deployment and start for the Imp players in the 2012 version and my variant, it almost guarantees that the Imps will be dropping into the trench immediately behind an initial wave of Rebel fighters.  This jamming proved effective in delaying the Imperial entry for a turn or two.  Turns that the trench Rebel fighters were not being shot at by Imp fighters…     

Keep in mind too that in the 2012 version, Ys (without modification, like in my order of battle) must fly a near optimal path to be able to fire at the port before the clock turns below 1 (starting at 6 at the end of round 2).  Xs (without modification) can make it with at least 1 turn to spare.  Right from the start, the Rebels pretty much need to add time to the clock.  The counter to this would be to set the clock to a higher initial value, which is completely feasible, but it would still leave a large defensive strategy on the table for the Imperials – especially if more than three Imps were allowed into the trench. 

 

I completely agree that the addition of time to the clock is nonsensical and counter to the movie.  Our only other suggestion was to eliminate the use of the clock altogether, but we felt that the removal was more offensive to the theme/movie than having a unrealistic clock that adds time.  I do believe, however, that the game could still play out well enough without it.

 

So without a trench limit and ability to add time to the clock, we thought the Imps had too much of an advantage.  Removing the clock favors the Rebels, in my opinion, but would still leave a log jam that would let the Imps slowly pick off non-replaceable Rebel fighters.

 

That kind of brings me around to power nodes and reinforcements.  I think when DD was developing his scenario he realized that the Rebels needed some reason/motivation to engage the Imperials, or at least fly to their side of the trench.  If there was no capacity limit to the trench, everyone goes there and the game turns into a nightmare of collisions.  With the capacity limit in place, what do the surface Rebels do while they wait their turn to make a run at the port?  Enter the power nodes.  Outside of the few strafing runs we see the Rebel pilots make in the movie, there is no solid Episode IV movie canon to justify their inclusion in the scenario.   So, the power nodes are, in our opinion, a scenario compromise to achieve balance.  Just putting out the power nodes is not enough however to entice the Rebels into attacking them – at least the turbos are causing them damage…  So DD elected to provide some random benefits to the Rebels for the destruction of the nodes.  Make it easier to destroy the Death Star (port shield or time on the clock) or disruption of the Imperial defenses (stress tokens or turbo offline).  Perhaps other or additional benefits could be offered, but there needs to be some motivation for the Rebels to engage the Imperials or else they will simply loiter on their side of the trench until the first wave is done.  Yep – completely on board with the wackiness of the whole node and/or Imp ship destruction impacting the time continuum of the countdown timer.  I’m also appreciative of the whole idea that a power node would impact the resiliency of the exhaust port.  I don’t believe the node’s contribution to the countdown time or exhaust port resiliency is critical to the balance of the scenario – but I do believe the node and the motivation its destruction provides for the Rebels is critical.  In other words, different effects could be considered and the game should still work.  I don’t think it would be possible to eliminate the addition of time for TIE destruction, though.  Without that, I think the Rebels would be hard pressed to win, or at least make it harder to make more than one pass/attack on the port.

 

Reinforcements were another compromise.  Completely understand that realistically, reinforcements are not directly tied to losses.  As described in my other post, it simply came down to avoiding the overwhelming presence of Imperial fighters.  We did offer a little justification to ourselves that in the movie, about the time when Red Leader makes his run, the only Imp fighter interaction that occurs is in the trench.  Luke, Biggs and Wedge are not shown dogfighting Imp fighters.  Yeah, it is a stretch but we got a little satisfaction from it.  What has proven to be very interesting though, in most games we have played, the Imps receive somewhere between 0 to 2 reinforcements during the course of the game.  The losses of the Rebels tend to outpace the Imperials.  Although this data point might suggest removal of the reinforcements all together, I find that the Imps are a little more aggressive (as they need to be) knowing that another fighter may come back to replace a destroyed one.  Reinforcements are generally not a major factor in my variant, but there have been some games where they kept the Imps in the hunt.

 

That brings me around to the exhaust port.  I’m totally on board with some of the concepts raised.  Whatever would be proposed, in my opinion, would still need to allow a common pilot the ability to destroy the DS in one shot, but still provide Luke a higher probability of success.  Luke should not be a guaranteed kill, however.  Remember, he was just a beginner and had allot of people (physical and spiritual) watching him.  Talk about stage fright… 

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Babaganoosh: "It may well be that the rest of the Rebels were trying to 'distract' the imperials in the movie...  So what would be stopping the imperials from chasing down the last three rebel ships in the trench with all of their remaining forces, if that situation happened in a game?  Only this arbitrary rule, I'm afraid.  It still doesn't make sense."

 

You are right, nothing would stop the remaining ships from chasing down the remaining Rebel ships.  Assuming such overwhelming force would have been effective - it wouldn't have made for such a great movie.  :D

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