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Silidus

Is the Acklay over stat-ed?

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So I have a relatively new group of 3 PCs who I would like to encounter a difficult Combat Encounter.  The idea here was to have them encounter an Acklay living (and hunting) inside a cave (which turns out to connect to a sunken Jedi Temple) and have to determine a clever solution before being able to proceed.

The PCs have several resources at their disposal, from around 20 or so rebel soldiers, 1 Imperial Walker, and a few Imperial Speeder Bikes, as well as a HWK-290 which could be brought into play.  What I would like to see happen is the PCs encounter the Acklay, find out very quickly that they are out matched (and be allowed to escape), formulate a plan, and carry it out.

The issue I have is that there doesn't seem to be anything short of a Vehicle weapon that can actually get through a Soak of 12, and if vehicles are brought into play, then its going to be a 1 hit kill on the poor Acklay, with no chance of it fighting back against something like an Armor 3 Walker.

Has anyone every included this critter in their game?  Soak 12 seems a little absurd, but I don't want to knock it down to 10 (basically a 2 success hit needed to wound with a blaster carbine) without reason.

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It's a high-end monster, something that a party of novice PCs should be quickly running away from.  EotE has the Captured Rancor, which is also very beefy and very hard for a party lacking Breach weapons to hurt.

Consider it akin to facing adult dragons in D&D.  Most entry-level PC groups (1st thru 3rd level) should be high-tailing it out of Dodge when faced such fearsome beasts.

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1 minute ago, Daeglan said:

Breach weapons. like Lightsabers..

Yeah.. they don't have them yet.  This is part of their path to get them, but I am also balancing this campaign with some AoR content, so trying to keep the Force Users power level down a bit.

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I think it's perfect. They'll likely need to come up with a way to destroy it that isn't shooting it in the face with blasters. I've pitted my players against an Acklay before (and another monster with the same stats but different skin), and they did fine without lightsabers. It's about being smart, using your surroundings. Or if that fails, a starfighter's laser cannons will do nicely ;)

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Soak 12 is not that much. Weapons with pierce get get through that rather quickly, explosives can one-shot the beast, so the encounter becomes just a question of luring it into the right place or keeping it bussy long enough to place the charges. Vehicle weapons and lightsabers deal quickly with such a beast as well and even stun quality weapons which ignore soak can knock the beast out quickly. 

 

For your plan it is actually quick perfect, because standard blasters need ages to get past the soak 12, while plenty of more advanced options can deal easily with it. So the players have plenty of options and approaches to deal with it and all you have to make sure is that the stuff is ready to use for them. 

 

Sneaking past the beast might be an option too. 

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If the came up with a good trap they could Immobilize it or Kill it that way. They could also sneak past it,  or lure it out of position (with the rebels, but they should get conflict if any die or are injured)  and try to run by.  

You could have them try to get by with out fighting,  acquire lightsabers in the temple and the fight it on the way out as the "finale" of the quest. 

Also,  one thing I do is never reveal any stat to the group,  that way,  if a fight is to tough it easy I can adjust them on the fly.    I just drop hints like "it's limping" of "they look tired" "they're barely staying upright" the players  never know health, soak,  strain,  or damage (of the weapons)  so I can manipulate them as needed.   

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The cave could be an abandoned mining facility. And the Characters find some J-7B Beamdrills and are "brave" enough to go melee. It has breach 1 but is more mining equipment than a heavy weapon.

Or the cave is a smuggler hideout and they find some crates with Kelvarek "Dissuader" Pistols. The pistol's acid damage bypasses soak, and you do not need to hand out heavy/vehicle weapons.

 

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That works!

Ok did some test rolls and I am more or less convinced that the players will be able to defeat it if they can draw it out into the open, surround it with the 9 or so rebel troops they have available (heavy blaster rifles, groups of 3), and bring up the AT-ST either by hiding it (Misdirect force power) or bringing it in once the beast is engaged (If it the Acklay sees it moving, its going back in the cave unless the players come up with some way to stop it).

I don't expect them to be able to get through that soak by more than a few points, but based on the test rolls, a boost die or two from carefully aimed shots should let them sneak in a crit and a few damage at a time.

Edited by Silidus

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Enter destiny points, introduce something in the narrative. 

Also, don't be afraid(!) to have their fear fuel their powers i.e some sort of boost stemming from the dark side.  Just be careful so the players don't start demanding more similar boosts in the future. 

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I used the rules for making "young" creatures to make a pack of hunter bugs from the Acklay. In addition to the usual rules given, I cur the Soak in half (to 6) and they were still plenty scary in combat.

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You could tweak the acklay stats to reduce the soak to something your find acceptalbe.  If you worried you can compensate by giving more wounds.  Alternatively you could also put a "weak spot" on it that players have to find and when they called shot that area they bypass it's soak.

 

Though I like to see a couple rounds of at-st versus a acklay.

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