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Battle Plans?

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So my group has been doing the Arda I campaign and, as we started up Act III, two of them revealed that they had been doing some brainstorming between sessions. They had come up with a plan to trick the Imperials into sending troops to the Rebel base and then ambushing them. When they learned of the Interdictor cruiser that patrols the area around Ord Radama, their eyes lit up and they decided they wanted to draw the Interdictor into the trap as well, perhaps even ultimately kicking off an open rebellion on Ord Radama.

They were super excited about their idea and at the end of our last session, I asked if they want to pursue their plan. They were all on board with the idea, but now I'm kind of stuck on a question:

Do I, as GM, draw up the battle plan and allow them to tweak the plan and help execute it? Or do I leave it open to them to figure out and then try to throw together the encounter on the fly?

Has anyone done this sort of thing before? I was almost thinking of doing a three act sort of thing:

Act I - The Planning Phase. The players would be presented with Rebel command's idea for the battle and they'd be allowed to tweak it and make it their own. The players would be tasked with securing items needed for the battle as well as laying the groundwork for the battle ahead.

Act II - The Battle for Resolute Base. The players would set the trap and see if they can reel in the Imperials so they can ambush them and wipe them out. There'd be a big mass combat sort of thing going on, with plenty of fighting for the players (something that my group seems to love).

Act III - Liberating Ord Radama - With the Rebels (hopefully) successful in destroying a significant chunk of the Imperial forces in the region, they take the fight to the Imperial stronghold of Ord Radama and work with the native Devlikk population and Rebel cells present on planet to free the planet from the Imperial's grip.

So does that sound workable? Or is there something I'm missing? Any help or insight would be appreciated.

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What I have done in the past for my group is to present them with options and then let them decide what they want to do. I pick three ways of getting the job done and try to keep them in mind as I build the encounter. For example, my team had to infiltrate an Imperial Base (small, but well guarded) in a town so they could access prison records. My three primary methods were:

1. Blast their way in and hold out long enough to get the information they need and get out

2. Sneak in and try to access it stealthily as to not raise the alarm

3. Bluff their way into the base (they ended up all dressing as missionaries and Jehovah's Witnessing their way straight to the information)

This way, they feel as though the plan is "theirs" and you aren't left out in the cold because they decided to go off the script. Think through how the Imperials would react to the Rebels' trap.

-Would they rush straight in to get the job done quick?

-Would they move slow and cautious as though they suspect a trap?

-Would they send their best units into the field or withhold them to keep the base safe?

Then think of your players and how they would react to a given situation.

-Will they be conservative and try to be as efficient as possible in combat?

-Will they go in guns blazing and war cries hollered? (What my group would probably do)

-Will they shrink back and decide on a new approach once a sizeable force shows up?

The plan you have laid out in your post sounds pretty good. Just make sure you know both sides of the conflict, then you can gauge what each side will do if/when things hit the fan. You can never go wrong with "and then they attacked" if you're really struggling!


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One thing you may want to keep in mind, and maybe even drop a hint to your players, is that when the Empire hears the words 'Rebel uprising', they tend to respond with weapons fire, explosives, and lots of enthusiasm.  Everybody remember the Imperial assault on Hoth?  Yup.   Sure, the players may liberate Ord Radama, but at some point, Imperial high command is going to stop screwing around and if nothing else, send in a few squadrons of Star Destroyers and 'make it rain'.  If your guys want to really stick it to the Empire and try to liberate Ord Radama, go for it.  Its their game and story as much as it is yours.  Just make sure they know they could be getting themselves in pretty deep.

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