heychadwick

Mission: Punish them! A Tie Punisher mission

83 posts in this topic

I've got a local guy that loves Tie Punishers.  I've always been a Tie Bomber guy and never really liked the idea of the Punisher.  Well, the way I looked at them were that they were just too expensive for what they brought.  I know they are designed as a heavy hitter type of ordnance carrier.  I figured they would probably shine in a mission that was made for just them.  So, I let the idea peculate for a couple months and listened to Babaganoosh' thought on mission design.  I came up with a mission that I think is going to be fun, no matter who wins.  Yes, it might be tilted towards the Tie Punishers, but I'm OK with that.  I do want to test it out to see how balanced it is.  I don't want it to be TOO easy for one side.  

 

NOTE:  I am going under the idea that the Tie Punisher has hyper drives.  Yes, I know that there is little canon about it and it generally points towards the Tie Punisher not having hyper drives, but I'm going to ignore it as I think it makes more sense that it does.  

 

I will also recommend using terrain from the HotAC (Heroes of the Aturi Cluster campaign) for various terrain bits.  It's what I'll be using.  

 

Background:

 

Pirates have been plaguing the local system for months and Imperial forces have not been able to discover their base.  A droid on one ship that was captured managed to hide on-board and was able to send a signal to authorities to discover the location of the pirate base.  Asteroids and mines make it impossible for an Imperial Star Destoryer to jump in to take care of it.  A heavy strike force being deployed to smash base.  This consists of Black Eight Squadron being sent in with a large load of ordnance and a Gozanti bringing in small fighter support consisting of Tie Fighters from Black Squadron.  Gran Moff Tarkin has taken an interest in the engagement and is taking command from the Gozanti since fighting pirates is how he achieved prominence in the first place (or perhaps it's before he became Gran Moff).  

 

Since Imperial scouts know that there are mines and turbo lasers protecting the base, the Gozanti will need to jump in and release Tie Fighter support, but wait for the Tie Punishers to clear out the turbo lasers and mines before advancing.  

 

Setup:

 

Use a 3x6 game table used long ways.  Put the pirate base in the middle of the table at R2 from the board edge.  Use HotAC components for the base and two attachments.  The two attachments to the main base should have 2 Shield   Use HotAC smaller star base attachments for 4 Single Turbo Lasers within R2 from the center mark of the table.  They should be spread out evenly.  Spread out 6 mine templates from the HotAC components outside of R1 of the center line, but outside the Imperial Deployment.  

 

Special Rules:

 

  • Pirate turrets are 5 hull turrets with no evade dice.  They each have a Single Turbo Laser in each, but no extra energy for modifying shots each turn.  They have no action or evade dice.  They can fire 360.  Single Turbo Lasers are 4 red dice and the defender doubles their green defensive dice.  R 3-5, but no range modifiers for secondary weapons.
  • Mines are 3 hull points and no evade.  If any ship runs over them or lands on them, they detonate with as many red dice as hull points remain.  Ship suffers all hit or crit results.
  • Main pirate base is 10 hull points and no evade dice.  It cannot be damaged until the two Shield Generators are destroyed.  If this is destroyed, the Imperials win the game.
  • Shield Generators have 2 shield and 2 hull, but no evade dice.  If they are destroyed, the Imperials may target the main pirate base.  
  • Starting each round the pirates get 3 tokens (use energy, critical, or stress tokens) per turn.  Each token counts as 5 pts.  These tokens can be spent at the end of the round to buy new ships.  These ships start off on top of the pirate base and move like normal.  Any facing you want.  There is no change given for the tokens and they are spent in chunks of 5 pts.  No unique pilots, except Graz the Hunter.  No ordnance is allowed.  Mines and Bombs are allowed.

Objective:

 

Imperials win if they can destroy the Pirate main base

 

Deployment:

  • Imperials - deploy all ships within R3 of the far end of the game area, on the opposite side from the pirate base.  Gozanti is fully powered up.
  • Pirates - Wave 1 of Pirates starts anywhere behind R3 of the pirate side of the table.  Reinforcements deploy on the space station 

Imperial Strike Force:

 

Black Eights Squadron:

  • "Redline": Extra Munitions, Proton Torpedo, Cluster Missiles, Homing Missiles, Ion Bombs, Proton Bombs, Sensor Jammer, and Guidance Chip.
  • "Deathrain"Extra Munitions, Proton Torpedo, Cluster Missiles, Homing Missiles, Ion Bombs, Proton Bombs, Sensor Jammer, and Guidance Chip.
  • 2 x Black Eight Squadron Pilots: Extra Munitions, Proton Torpedo, Cluster Missiles, Homing Missiles, Ion Bombs, Proton Bombs, Sensor Jammer, and Guidance Chip.

SaberSquadron:

  • 1 x Saber Squadron Tie Interceptors
  • 3 x Avenger Squadron Tie Interceptors

The Suppressor (Gozanti Class Cruiser):

  • Suppressor title, Grand Moff Tarkin, Optimized Generators, Construction Droid, Sensor Team, Docking Clamps, Broadcast Array, Single Turbo Laser

 

Pirate Force:

 

Wave 1:

  • 3 x Tansari Point Veteran Scyks: Heavy Scyk title and Ion Cannon
  • Kaa'to Leeachos (Z-95): Predator, Shield Upgrade, and Glitterstim
  • 4 x Binayre Pirates Z-95

Reinforcments:

Starting each round the pirates get 3 tokens (use energy, critical, or stress tokens) per turn.  Each token counts as 5 pts.  These tokens can be spent at the end of the round to buy new ships.  These ships start off on top of the pirate base and move like normal.  Any facing you want.  There is no change given for the tokens and they are spent in chunks of 5 pts.  No unique pilots, except Graz the Hunter.  No ordnance is allowed.  Mines and Bombs are allowed.

Here are some examples (but you are not limited to only these):

  • Graz the Hunter: Glitterstim, and Vectored Thrusters (6 tokens)
  • Binayre Pirates: Dead Man's Switch (3 tokens)
  • Cartel Space: Hvy Scyk title and Ion Cannon (4 tokens)
  • Syndicate Thug: Ion Cannon Turret, BTL-A4 title, and Unhinged Astromech (5 tokens)
  • Ruthless Freelancer: Fire Control Systems (5 tokens)
  • Mandolorian Mercenary: (7 tokens)
  • Spice Runner: Ion Cannon Turret, Outlaw Tech, and Dead Man's Switch (5 tokens)
  • Contracted Scout: (5 tokens)
  • Cartel Marauder: (4 tokens)
  • Black Sun Enforcer: (5 tokens)

 

 

 

OK...I have some more thoughts to go over, but I need to take care of something in the real world first.  So, I post this before it's lost.

Edited by heychadwick

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OK....some thoughts on this as I have a few minutes to type it out.   The points limits for the different ships are actually pretty close, but the Pirates get the turrets and mines.  They also have to split some of their forces up, too, though.  So, I like to think that there is some give and take here.   

 

The Gozanti should be pretty tough to help beat up on some things from a distance.  It can definitely debuff some enemy and buff some friends who need a Focus that round for optimal ordnance.  Still, the Gozanti should not get too close to the action and sit back more as support and long range fire.  I can see the Punishers running out of ordnance before they blow up the main base, so they might have to go in and hit the shield generators and have the Gozanti blast the base up with the Single Turbo Laser.    

 

Tie Punishers are loaded to the gills!  That's the main reason I wanted to do this mission, just to see all the nastiness they can bring.  Not sure how useful the bombs will be, but the Ion Bombs can disable a turret if given the chance.  They will need to watch out how fast they spend their ordnance.  They might run out too quickly.  There will be a lot of enemy fighters coming at them and those 4 Tie Fighters might not be much use.  I really am just offering the ordnance loadout as an example for this list, but I am going to let my friend pick out whatever he wants.  He might want FCS instead of Sensor Jammers.   His call. 

 

The Dead Man's Switch is really just meant to be fun on the Pirates.  It will probably hurt themselves more than the Imperials!  Still, I want to see them used and think it could just be a lot of fun to have it on them.  Might be able to hurt the Punishers.  

 

Ion Scyks might cause issues, but more slowing things down.  Then again, if they roll bad, they just might pop.  I thought about going with Attanni Mindlink, but I think I'll keep it cheap pirates with Ion Cannons meant to take out prey ships.  It's in theme.

 

Graz the Hunter might not get to use his ability with so much secondary weapons out there, but at least it's a pilot with a higher PS.  

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...Not sure how useful the bombs will be, but the Ion Bombs can disable a turret if given the chance.

 

Wasn't there an article a while back about "lobbing" bombs - is it one of the new bomber pilots 'skills', or some part of their mission ? - maybe  you could use that, or something similar, for bombing the turrets ?  :unsure:

heychadwick and nitrobenz like this

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Yes, actually.  It was for the Imperial Vets mission, that I have played a bunch.  I just did a review of it last night for my podcast.  It should be out Tuesday.  

 

Hmmm...I could do something like that, but maybe have it take an action.  

ianmiddy likes this

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I'd say that your trigger for the second wave of pirates should be something that the imperials can't workaround or manipulate.  A basic count-down clock works well because the imps can't do anything to slow down the reinforcements (unless you let them slow them down by giving them a comm satellite or other target they can destroy to delay the reinforcements).  I don't usually like countdown clocks because they're easy to forget to keep track uof.

 

If the reinforcements are coming at a certain time no matter what, the imps have pressure to work fast, which makes sense.  If they arrive on a trigger, you have to make sure it is something the imperials could never ignore or manipulate to their advantage.  If you trigger reinforcements on the turrets going down, the Imps might tank a few rounds of turret fire instead of killing a turret and triggering reinforcements.  

 

 

 

Smart advice!   I'll have to change that.

Edited by heychadwick

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From the background Tarkin could be Admiral or Commodore, high enough to command a small fleet, low enough to enter engagements on a relatively weakly secured vessel.

 

Tie Punishers should without doubt have Hyperdrives, since they are not allowed to dock with the Gozanti, which is the now the established main carriership for ambushes or escorts.

heychadwick likes this

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From the background Tarkin could be Admiral or Commodore, high enough to command a small fleet, low enough to enter engagements on a relatively weakly secured vessel.

 

Tie Punishers should without doubt have Hyperdrives, since they are not allowed to dock with the Gozanti, which is the now the established main carriership for ambushes or escorts.

 

I was thinking about that when I wrote it.  Not sure on timing as to when the Punisher was made, but figured I could leave it up to whomever was playing to say when it was.

 

You, sir, are a smart man to believe it has to have hyperdrives.   I am along the same thought patterns.  

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Nice thematic scenario. On the S&V side I would be short only 3 Scyks, the rest I have :). But I'd be seriously short on the Imperials (never got a Punisher, do neither like the ship or the expansion's contents).

But i really like the scenario with a full bomber run, loaded to tge teeth.

The punisher has so many pods and so few munition in comparison, so could easily imagine that one if the upper pods contains supplies for longer missions and the hyperdrive equipment (engine and astrocalc). The pod is swapped for a sole-ammo-pod, if there is a Punisher compatible base near.

If the Imps can lob-fire their bombs like in the Imp Vet scenario, then they need to be downgraded, or one more shield generator or more power to the generator.

Edited by Managarmr
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Alright!   I got to try the mission last night.  It does need some tweaking.  One thing I did was have the Turrets have 4 hull points instead of 5.   I liked the idea of being able to blow one up with a good roll from ordnance.  Also, I let Imp player pick the ordnance he wanted.  He did take a lot of Assault Missiles.  

 

Mistakes that were made:

  • Pirates (me) bunched up the Z-95's too much.  I forgot I can just fly over the turrets and wanted to fly around them.  
  • Imperial player was very shaky on Epic rules and wasn't moving the Gozanti like he should have.  So, the Gozanti did hang back a bit too much.  
  • Imperial player forgot all about Sensor Jammers as he doesn't have the card.  

There was a new guy to the store that walked to the back and was interested in the game.  So, I did get pretty distracted by talking to him and explaining the game to him.  

 

20160804_174606_zps3hwngzx1.jpg

 

20160804_174643_zpswbkdhrof.jpg

 

Bunched too much!

 

20160804_174614_zpsd807ayxh.jpg

 

20160804_174623_zpszioghqjr.jpg

 

20160804_174635_zpssopgcvdb.jpg

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A few more pictures:

 

20160804_185144_zpscmfzocaj.jpg

 

20160804_185148_zpshwxutzvt.jpg

 

At one point, the Assault Missiles combined with the Dead Man's Switch caused a really terrible back blast!

 

 

20160804_191216_zpsssldqcfn.jpg

 

Wave 2 ready to launch:

 

20160804_191225_zpsnzlleav4.jpg

 

Called it for time at this point:

 

20160804_202821_zps0egk3dyj.jpg

 

 

OK....want to talk more about thoughts and things to change, so will just post the pictures as it gets awkward trying to put too many in one post.

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First off....it was rough and annoying to get all the ships required for this mission.  I'm tempted to just change things so that I don't have to borrow anything.  Either that or just proxy some ships.  

 

Next, even though there were mistakes on the Imperial side with no Sensor Jammers and the Gozanti staying too far back....I think the pirate force was too much for them.  They were able to handle the first defenders and turrets fine, but once the Kihraxz Fighters joined in, it was really ugly.  I know people don't think much of them, but five of them will rip apart some enemy!  Especially if that enemy is tore up a little bit.  Something will have to change as they were too brutal.  

 

Our first reaction was that the Imperials need more help.  While the points are about the same for both sides, the Pirates get the turrets and mines that are free, and the requirement to hit the enemy base.  If we go this route, then we would need something that has jump drives.  The first thing that Jason (Imp player) threw out was another Gozanti with 4 more Tie Fighters.  That might be too much.  I'm not sure.  Also, it will be harder for anyone else that might want to try to play this to find another Gozanti.  He's got one and I have one, so we can do it, but I'm leaning to want to try something different.  I'm thinking maybe a Decimator is a good option.  It's got a jump drive and it needs to watch out for the Single Laser Turrets.  It can blast at enemy ships decently enough.  Make it a generic and loaded with something like Gunner.  Load it with a Torpedo and a Bomb, as well.  Not sure on the other two crew, but something good.  Maybe something like Fleet Officer.

 

The second idea is....reducing the number of enemy ships.  Or changing them.  Since I have to borrow or proxy a lot of them, then maybe it's just too much.  The ship that I have the least of is the Kihraxz Fighter (I have 2).  That's also the ship that caused the worse issues.  So....maybe reducing the number of ships in Wave 2?  How many ships do I reduce it to?  It's 5 right now and that just seems to rip apart too many.  Should I go with 3?  Maybe I should split up some of the other ships?  Maybe have 2-3 Kihraxz Fighters and some other ships thrown in...like Z-95's?  I could maybe throw in a HWK with a named pilot, which might not cause damage, but irritate the Imperials.  That could be good.  I also don't have all the Scyks.  I have 3.  I do have at least 2 Y-wings and I could throw them in, as well.  I think TLT's would be too brutal.  Ion Turrets would fit in theme wise with pirates trying to capture things.  It also limits the damage, but makes them vulnerable.  One of the things that I think was brutal was the Scyks ionizing the Punishers and then the Kihraxz Fighters then ripping them apart.  The Y-wings will be harder to destroy, as well.  Or require more focused fire.  

 

I'd really like people's opinions on how to change it at this point.  

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Pirate Force:


 


Wave 1:


  • 2 x Cartel Spacer Scyks: Heavy Scyk title and Ion Cannon
  • Laetin A'shera: Heavy Scyk title and Ion Cannon
  • 2 x Syndicate Thugs: Ion Cannon Turrets
  • Kaa'to Leeachos (Z-95): PredatorShield Upgrade, and Glitterstim
  • 3 x Binayre Pirates Z-95Dead Man's Switch

Wave 2:


  • Graz the Hunter: Concussion Missile, Guidance Chip, and Glitterstim
  • 2 x Cartel Marauder Kihraxz Fighters 
  • Torkil Mux: Blaster Turret and Recon Specialist
  • Black Sun Soldier (Z-95)

 


 


I wonder if those changes would still require more Imperials?   If so....then maybe:


 


  • Patrol Leader (VT-49): Gunner, Fleet Officer, Proton Torpedo, Guidance Chip, and Ion Bomb

 


It's not a crazy addition, so I might as well try it.  It's still vulnerable to the turrets.


 


 


Some other funny moments....there was ​one early Z-95 that had a had time dying!  I kept rolling really well for it's 2 green dice and I think it lived through two Cluster Missiles!   


 


Another thing was when Deathrain dropped a Conner Net out the front....but then couldn't Barrel Roll out of the way due to being crowded.  A Scyk managed to ionize her and she went through her own Conner Net!!!!  


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You could also split up the wave 1 pirate forces.  If they attack the imperials piecemeal then they wont hit as hard.  

 

In general I'd err more on the side of reducing the forces on either side so you don't have your points balloon out of control on either side.  Consider dropping a few scum ships from each wave.

heychadwick likes this

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I'd be up for taking only two punishers and adding Advanced with their hyperdrive capability.

 

Well.....that could work with the Tie Advanced.  Could do either the V1 or the X1, to be honest.  It's a thought.  Jason and I have 3 Tie Punishers together and have to borrow the 4th.  It might work if we replaced the 4th with two Tie Adv of either kind.  It might work.    It would destroy the symmetry that way.  Well....two Punishers and then some Tie Adv.  I might see how that goes.   Or write up an alternate for those that don't have a lot of Punishers.  

 

P.S. do you have the template for the turrets and base?

 

Can you share it or let us know where you got it from?

 

I can't double check the exact link from work.  I know they were from Kitsune Studios and I found them by searching for Paper Turret or Star Wars Paper Turret.  I think I have a link from BGG, but I can't check it.  Try this:

 

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/109768/cardboard-turbolaser-turret-and-reference-card-eng

 

You can add coffee stirrers that are cut down to make short barrels, but then I can't stack them for storage reasons.  

 

Oh, as for the base...it's from Heroes of the Aturi Cluster.  Great terrain there.....as well as great campaign.  

Edited by heychadwick
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Maneuver wise Z95 and Khiraxzes do no fit together well.

Could the Imps lop their bombs forward? If they can do it they can attack the turrets earlier.

What if the pirate equipment is a bit crappy and the turrets can fail? Not everyone is happy with RNG, but you could roll one attack die for ONE randomly determined turret per round, on a crit it jams (and has to be unjammed) or outright explodes?

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I think the turrets are fine as they are.  They fire at PS 0.  They don't get an action.  They don't have energy to change one eyeball to a hit.  Defenders get to double their Agility dice.  There were times when even the Tie Punishers were evading the turret's shots.  

 

I'm fine with the Z-95 flying with the Kihraxz Fighters as I don't really want them to necessarily fly well together.  I want them to more represent the big bosses that get to their ships and launch out.   

 

I don't really want to do the bomb flinging idea.  At least not yet.  It could be cool offensively and have a use for those Bombs that the Imperials bring, but....let me see how it goes without it.  (I will say that it does sound really cool, though.   Dang!  Maybe?)

 

I do like the idea of just reducing the ships.  I might go with this and see how it is:

 

Pirate Force:

 

Wave 1:

  • 2 x Cartel Spacer Scyks: Heavy Scyk title and Ion Cannon
  • Laetin A'sheraHeavy Scyk title and Ion Cannon
  • Kaa'to Leeachos (Z-95): PredatorShield Upgrade, and Glitterstim
  • 3 x Binayre Pirates Z-95Dead Man's Switch

Wave 2:

  • Graz the Hunter: Glitterstim
  • Cartel Marauder Kihraxz Fighters 
  • Torkil Mux: Blaster Turret and Recon Specialist
  • Black Sun Soldier (Z-95)
Edited by heychadwick

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Not sure I've seen this above, but how about a greater mix of ships in each wave...my thinking is that pirates would maybe tend to fly more of a mishmash of stuff [as opposed to perhaps something like a Hutt Cartel or Black Sun]...so the Y-Wing you mentioned would be good...

 

...thinking that this would make it harder for the pirates to form a cohesive defense - should they really be well-organised and cooperative? - and if this was the case, maybe the Imperial would have an easier time coping with them ?  :unsure:

 

...but I will admit I like the idea of the Decimator...the Gozanti is just a pure 'trooper' with some support capability, but the Deci acts as the flagship  :huh:

 

Also, can't quite make out, but are there any turrets close in [or on] the base...as I wonder if it might be an idea, so that you have a layered defense, with the ones close in being point-defense rather than big-caliber [harder to hit, but with less attack die, maybe 2 attacks per round] ???

 

Looks like good fun!!  ;)

 

 

EDIT: Hmmm...some of this is maybe overtaken by recent posts  :unsure:

Edited by ianmiddy
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Yes, I like the hodge podge of ship types.  I do think the list above is how I want to mix it, though.  I'm not really wanting to add in the Y-wings at this point as I want to use the Z-95's and Scyks more.  If I feel like I need to beef up the Pirates some more, they will be the first choice.

 

I like the 2nd wave as being the Boses.  So, they are a mix.  

 

I didn't put any turrets on the main base as I want the final approach to be more about blasting what needs to be blasted.  They will have to hit the Shield Generators and then lay into the main base.  I think it will be too rough if they also have to worry about the turrets.  They fire pretty far and I think they would reach into the furball and cause too much damage.

 

 

You know....I also had another idea.   I didn't want to send out the first wave too far against the enemy because of all the mines.  The Imperials ended up just slow rolling up (well, regular rolling for a Punisher) and blasting the mines with little opposition.  I didn't want to send my fighters through all the mine fields.  I'm thinking that maybe reducing the number of mines might help.  Maybe just 4 mines.  That way the pirate fighters might be more willing to zip out there.  Spread they out a bit.  

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How about if the first attack wave is not inside the minefield inner perimeter by x moves, the pirates manage to launch n more ships each wave...if you followed Babaganoosh's suggestion above, reducing the number of ships, then being too slow puts the numbers back as they are.

 

...so the Imperial cannot afford to slow-roll in destroying them, but must blast a channel quickly.

 

...and maybe house-rule seismic torps effective against the mines, so the pirates can chose to try & detonate them as the Imps come through [with the same rules as for asteroids] ?

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