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I've been involved in tabletop gaming for about seven years now. I've played in countless games, in a variety of systems, and with a ton of different gaming groups. One of the things I've noticed in this time is simply this: Nothing ever goes according to plan. Doesn't matter if you spent five hours planning things out, or just five minutes. Whether you're the GM, plotting things out weeks in advance for a large game, or a player trying to strategize their way through an encounter. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth. 

I say all this to preface what took place in tonight's Clone Wars session. For the first time that I recall in my gaming career, absolutely everything went according to plan. Both for myself as the GM, and for the players. With a month of prep, and an hour dedicated to players forming a strategy at the start of the session, the entire game went off without a hitch.

The setup was simple enough. The Separatists had captured a Republic outpost on the icy world of Rhen Var. Situated in the middle of a mountain range, the only real way to approach the outpost was from a valley. The Separatists had placed several proton cannons throughout the valley to repel any of the Republic's attempted landing efforts, forcing any ground assault to first cover a vast distance on foot rather than simply flying in (Think the Ryloth episode of the Clone Wars where the 212th has to take out the cannons to land their forces.) The party had formulated a plan of attack, and it went perfectly. With a small enough strike force, the party was able to slip by the Separatist blockade undetected. Once they landed, they made their way through the valley toward the Separatist emplacements. A surprise attack from a Wompa nearly killed the party's sniper along the way, but the Wompa was quickly repelled by the rest of the party. The group then proceeded to take out the droids guarding the cannons and seize control of the weapons. The party would then call in the Illuminator, their Venator-class cruiser, to engage the Separatist capital ship over the world. With the Seppies expecting aid from the cannons on the surface, their capital ship put all of its shielding to defend against a frontal attack, only for the cannons to blast it from behind, crippling its engines and leaving it easy prey for the Illuminator. From there, the party called in reinforcements, and laid siege to the Separatist-held outpost. The combat was difficult, with a B2 Super Battle Droid nearly killing the group's Clone Captain ("watch those wrist rockets!"), but ultimately the party came out on top.

Once the outpost had been recaptured, the party made their way inside to check for any clone survivors. They were greeted by what appeared to be a somewhat injured clone. His movements were stiff, clunky, a bit unnatural. The party all failed their check to recognize that something was off, and so they totally fell for the BX Commando Droid's bluff. He told them that the remaining Clone survivors were holed up in the weapons bay, with the blast doors closed. The party went to the weapons bay and informed the survivors that they were free, the threat had been neutralized, and the Jedi were here to help. So naturally, as soon as that door opened, the BX Commando Droid just tossed a grenade in, killing the last survivors and revealing to the party that they'd been fooled. A fun combat ensued, where the party had to take on several BX droids that had been hiding out and waiting for the opportunity to ambush them. It was a tough enough fight, and in the end, both Jedi had used up most of their strain. 

All in all, the party felt their plan was a resounding success (death of the clone survivors not-withstanding). They were ecstatic that they had a plan go so smoothly, and spent the next hour or so after the session just recalling all the fun, cool character moments, and how excited they'd all been about their plan working. 

I guess if there's a lesson to be learned here, it's a pretty simple one. I love it when a plan comes together. While it's really fun, and almost expected, to always throw a wrench in the players' plans, and while players often do a marvelous job of ruining any plans a GM had prepped for a session, sometime's it's just really nice when everything goes according to plan. It lets the players feel like all the effort they put into coming up with these plans really pays off, and it can grant them a very well-earned win if their plan is solid enough.

Edited by Underachiever599

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1 hour ago, kmanweiss said:

I commend you for you and your players having a plan.  My players tend to walk into every situation, then pause and say "Oh, we probably should have thought this through."

I've got the worst of both worlds.  My players will spend half an hour coming up with a meticulous plan; then in less than a minute, someone will do something completely contradictory to what they'd settled on.  

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