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Underachiever599

Starfighter Suggestion

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I have an NPC in the Clone Wars who acts as a a Red Baron for my players. This upcoming game will be the first time the players go head-to-head against him. What's the most terrifyingly efficient starfighter you could recommend that still fits in the time frame of the Clone Wars?

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First, like any NPC, he's going to need wingman/minions, or he won't last long no matter how good he is.  Other than that, anything but TIEs and XWings should be fair game.  A tricked out HWK-290 is better than a YWing, can have multiple shots (having room for a gunner and other crew) and surely you can tweak things using the ship modification rules.  Really anything with quad laser turrets (Linked 3!) is going to be "efficient"...

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14 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

what is their schtick? fast and manueverable? tough and enduring? well rounded? Because it really depends.

Maneuverable, but durable enough to survive a few hits (my players are pretty dang good shots). I've given him the Barrel Roll talent, just to keep him in the fight a little longer. 

 

4 minutes ago, whafrog said:

First, like any NPC, he's going to need wingman/minions, or he won't last long no matter how good he is.  Other than that, anything but TIEs and XWings should be fair game.  A tricked out HWK-290 is better than a YWing, can have multiple shots (having room for a gunner and other crew) and surely you can tweak things using the ship modification rules.  Really anything with quad laser turrets (Linked 3!) is going to be "efficient"...

Oh, he's got plenty of wingmen. Somewhere in the ballpark of 324 of them. Gonna be a big mass combat thing, so there's really no shortage of minions to form up on him when he needs them. I just need a cool, distinct ship to make him stand out and be memorable in this giant battle. Also, to reiterate, my game is set during the Clone Wars, so no TIEs, X-Wings, or the like. I'm also avoiding using a HWK-290, as that's the main fighter of the party's pilot. Going for something with a quad laser turret is definitely a good suggestion, though! I'll do some browsing. 

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If you can’t find anything you like, reskin something you think fits the part.

There’s perfect reasoning for this during the Clone Wars as well, since the Separatists aren’t restricted to how their ships can look like the Empire was. I’d actually argue that it’s more fitting of the era to go this route and describe how the ship looks, using elaborate colors and/or paint schemes to depict it, since this character is probably a noble of a planet or someone with resources who has commissioned their own design.

It takes a bit more effort since you’ll have to be the one to describe this ship, but it’s that kind of original thing that players remember most. If you have trouble, just stick to age old writing lesson of “3 characteristics” when you initially describe it: delta wing design that culminates in a pointed nose and is covered in the sky blue and creamy white checkerboard pattern of the (character’s last name)’s family insignia. (Shape, color, pattern)

Boom. Done. The players won’t care if you’re using the stats for the Inquisitor’s TIE fighter, an A-wing, or whatever for this furball if the above is the description doing split-s maneuvers in their imaginations.

Edited by Flavorabledeez

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12 hours ago, Jareth Valar said:

Belbullab 22, Collapse of the Republic pg. 70.

One of the better put together fighters in the game, and appropriate to the timeline.

I was actually just thinking about that one! A nice hotrod red paint job, some minor improvements to make it a cut above the generic version... Yeah, this'll do nicely!

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I don't know. The idea about a Red Baron type of character is that he's a scary guy when he's flying, not that he owns a scary plane. The real Red Baron had a run of the mill Fokker, 'upgraded' with a few buckets of red paint.

I would give him the same type of fighter that the regular pilots of his faction use, with a fancy colour scheme and maybe with a few upgrades. 

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2 hours ago, micheldebruyn said:

I don't know. The idea about a Red Baron type of character is that he's a scary guy when he's flying, not that he owns a scary plane. The real Red Baron had a run of the mill Fokker, 'upgraded' with a few buckets of red paint.

I would give him the same type of fighter that the regular pilots of his faction use, with a fancy colour scheme and maybe with a few upgrades. 

The problem with that idea is that most of the ships his faction flies are unmanned. Can't really have a human pilot piloting a Vulture Droid. But as someone suggested earlier, the Belbullab-22 works well enough. It's within his faction, and looks sturdy enough to survive a few shots from my players. 

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20 hours ago, Underachiever599 said:

The problem with that idea is that most of the ships his faction flies are unmanned. Can't really have a human pilot piloting a Vulture Droid. But as someone suggested earlier, the Belbullab-22 works well enough. It's within his faction, and looks sturdy enough to survive a few shots from my players. 

Why bother with a human pilot when you can have an evolved Vulture? A machine that's learned and adapted, and has a very sentient trait: self preservation.

 

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One guy?  Or does he have a crew?

If it could be a crew, you could go with an AIAT/I.  Big, imposing, multiple turrets, lots of weapons, versatile.  Not sporty or fast, but effective.

Could have the turrets outfitted with upgraded droid gunners so that it seems like the guy has a crew, but really it's just a single guy.

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23 hours ago, Eoen said:

I like the star fighter Asajj Ventress uses. But there’s no stats for it.

SAGA Edition stats put it on-par with an A-Wing. Too fragile for this guy's concept, unfortunately. 

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7 hours ago, Flavorabledeez said:

I want to know how this fight goes. @Underachiever599, when you run this game you need to do an after action report 

Ask, and you shall receive:

A whole session passed on Monday where the players were stationed on the peaceful, paradise-like planet of Telos for over a month, with nothing untoward occurring. After keeping the party paranoid and on edge about how idyllic their station had been for weeks on end (in game), I ended the session with the arrival of a large Separatist invasion fleet. A Dreadnought-class heavy cruiser named the Confounder (crewed by the Red Baron's forces), a Munificent-class heavy frigate, the Instigator, and four C-9979 landing craft, two loaded with Vulture Droids and Hyena Bombers to engage in space combat, and two packed with a large invasion force. The players had a Venator-class Star Destroyer, the Illuminator, and a Golan I Defense Platform in orbit of the world. However, they also had to protect Citadel Station, a large civilian space platform that is largely unarmed. This was hands-down the largest combat I've ever run at the table, and we had a blast with the Mass Combat rules. 

Of my five players, the two mercenary heroes of the Republic immediately hopped in their tricked-out HWK-290, the Avellon, helping the Republic's V-19s protect the Illuminator and Citadel Station. One of the two Jedi Generals had been trying his hand at piloting practice shortly before the invasion began, and decided to fly as the Avellon's wingman in combat, intercepting the oncoming swarm of Vulture Droids. The Confounder got into a broadside exchange with the Illuminator, with the two swapping critical hits back and forth. The Instigator inflicted some vicious crits on the Golan I, which hadn't quite come fully online for combat yet. 

With some stellar rolls, the Jedi General, in his Delta-7 Aethersprite, kept the Vulture Droids pretty well distracted, preventing them from focusing on the Avellon as the battle progressed. Meanwhile, the Red Baron, with his squadron of Belbullab-22 heavy fighters, had intercepted the Republic's Y-Wing bombers, stopping them from going after either Separatist capital ship. Seeing this, the Avellon broke off its defense of the Golan I to hunt down the Red Baron and his squadron. 

Mass Combat was rolled around this time. The Republic managed to mostly protect the Citadel Station, Golan I, and the Illuminator. However, the Separatists did manage to land their invasion force on the planet below. The two other players, another Jedi General and a Clone Commander, readied their forces for the incoming invasion. The Jedi General took her forces to engage in urban warfare with the split Separatist forces within the capital city of the planet, while the Commander arranged an ambush in a volcanic mountain pass that lead to the Republic base on the world.

Despite facing a considerably larger force, clever tactics and a good roll allowed the General to stall the Separatist army in the city, holding them at bay in the Chodo Habat Park. The General herself lead her forces from the front, engaging with a Phalanx of B1 Battle Droids, a couple squads of B2 Super Battle Droids, a handful of LM-432 Crab Droids, and three Octuptarra Combat Tri-Droids. The battle wasn't easy, but with some AT-RT and BARC support, the Separatist forces were halted in their tracks, and they lost some of their more heavy support.

As the battle in the city progressed, the ambush in the mountains went swimmingly in the Clone Commander's favor. Holding his AT-TEs in reserve until after the Separatist invasion force had moved past their location, the Commander caught the many tanks of the CIS between the heavy defensive cannons of the Republic base, and the heavy fire power of his AT-TEs. Better still, the Commander was able to spot the droid commander, and direct one of his better sniper NPCs to take them down.

While the two large battles played out on the planet's surface below, the pilot of the Avellon was doing everything he could to stay on the tail of the Red Baron, forcing the Separatist leader to break off from his attack runs on the Republic bombers. The Jedi pilot did his best to keep the enemy fighters off of the Avellon's back, though he was nearly shot down himself as a result. With their forces now freed from the Red Baron's assault, the combined might of the Illuminator and the Y-Wing bombers helped drive the Instigator away from the battle, nearly crippling the frigate. The Confounder proved much more sturdy, however, and continued to pepper the Illuminator with one critical hit after another, successfully taking out comms and shields. Worse still, the CIS bombers had successfully disabled the Golan I through a combination of crits and a really unfortunate Mass Combat check. The Red Baron, realizing he could no longer stop the bombing runs of the Y-Wings, instead tried to lead the dogfight to a new location, taking a pass at the Illuminator's wide hangar. Through a great degree of skill, and no small amount of luck, the Avellon instead managed to herd him into a position where his squadron would be wide open to the Illuminator's turret-mounted laser cannons, exposing the squadron to heavy fire. With most of his wingmen now gone, the Avellon's gunner lined up a shot that nearly destroyed the Red Baron's vessel, overloading its shields with a lucky critical hit and forcing him into a retreat. 

Back on the planet below, the Separatist forces pressed forward, undeterred by the superior tactics of their opposition. In the face of overwhelming odds, the Clone Commander spent most of his checks to either bolster his forces, or find clever uses for the environment. Ultimately, this culminated in a major climax, where he focused all of his firepower upon a nearby volcano as the Separatists moved into the valley between his base and the mountain pass, burying most of the Separatist invasion in molten hot lava. 

With the Republic base now safely defended from the incoming Separatist force, the Commander was freed up to send reinforcements to the city, which was still under heavy siege. The Jedi General had been struggling to hold the Separatist forces at bay, and her Padawan learner had been removed from the equation by a particularly ambitious Crab Droid. However, with the timely arrival of the Commander's AT-TEs, the Separatist army found itself caught between a hammer and an anvil, crushed from behind by superior firepower, while unable to move forward past the General's fortified position. 

With the ground battle now won, the General and Commander began redirecting some of their forces to join the battle in orbit. The Confounder was still inflicting some heavy damage upon the Illuminator, while the Instigator had fallen far back from the combat, instead directing its forces from a distance. The two C-9979s, now having expended their fighters and bombers, had moved forward to take the Instigator's place, harrying the Republic's fighters and keeping the Y-Wings from getting too close to the Dreadnought. The Red Baron chose to jump to hyperspace, but not before the pilot of the Avellon was able to make a rough estimate of which hyperspace lane the Red Baron had used for his escape. The Jedi Pilot, his ship crumbling around him, chose to dock with the Venator, and use his personal communicator to relay orders while the Illuminator's crew worked on getting their comms back online. 

Having put out a call for aid at the beginning of the battle, the players had been hoping desperately for backup from nearby Republic forces. With the Illuminator nearly done for, and the Golan I still struggling to come back online, it was only a few squadrons of fighters against a Dreadnought, two fairly fresh C-9979 landing craft, and a near-equal force of Separatist fighters. Even with the additional support from the ground forces below, things were looking dire. It was at this point that two more Venator-class Star Destroyers dropped out of hyperspace, the Negotiator and the Integrity, the flagships of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (by this point in time, the Resolute had already been lost over Sullust). With the arrival of Republic reinforcements, the tides of battle turned, and the Separatist fleet was crushed without much further trouble. 

This was a major season finale for my campaign, and it will be several months before this Clone Wars story continues. For the rest of October, I'll be running a Castlevania Genesys story for my players, and in November, December, and likely January, I'm going to be running a game set roughly 500 years before the events of the Star Wars movies. This session was intended to give the players a big moment to go out on, with the largest battle I've ever run, and the first proper head-to-head encounter against a villain I've been setting up for nearly a year. The tension was high all session, and I'd say things went about as perfect as I could ask for by the end of things. I'm really excited to get back to this story when the time comes, but I'd say this was a pretty great moment to end it, for now.

Edited by Underachiever599

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16 hours ago, Flavorabledeez said:

@Underachiever599

All of that sounds incredible! It’s always nice when the hard work in planning by a GM shows through in a session. Congrats on doing it, and on having what sounds like excellent players as well to help facilitate it.

Good luck with those future campaigns. They all sound amazing 

Thanks! This is only the second tabletop campaign I've ever run, and I'm pretty proud of how things played out. I like to have long story lines planned out months in advance, and it's so satisfying to have payoff on something I've been building up for so long. The look on my players' faces when they realized they were up against the Red Baron in Tuesday's game was priceless, after a whole campaign of hyping up just how deadly a foe he was. 

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The Z-95 existed in the Battle of Naboo era and enough upgrades exist it continues to be relevant in the New Republic era. Sabaoth Squadron is one of established sapient confederate fighters. You could always go the Red Comet approach and stick him in something that's cannon fodder (Cloakshape?) but have him walk away from fights through his sheer skill.

Edited by NanashiAnon

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16 hours ago, NanashiAnon said:

The Z-95 existed in the Battle of Naboo era and enough upgrades exist it continues to be relevant in the New Republic era. Sabaoth Squadron is one of established sapient confederate fighters. You could always go the Red Comet approach and stick him in something that's cannon fodder (Cloakshape?) but have him walk away from fights through his sheer skill.

Appreciate the suggestions, but the game already happened last Tuesday. He had a tricked out Belbullab-22, and it was pretty fierce at the table.

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On 9/28/2019 at 11:36 PM, whafrog said:

First, like any NPC, he's going to need wingman/minions, or he won't last long no matter how good he is.  Other than that, anything but TIEs and XWings should be fair game.  A tricked out HWK-290 is better than a YWing, can have multiple shots (having room for a gunner and other crew) and surely you can tweak things using the ship modification rules.  Really anything with quad laser turrets (Linked 3!) is going to be "efficient"...

Why not kick it up a notch and go for a tricked out kst-100 (dawn of rebellion), gunnery droid brain, pilot droid brain, and astrogation droid brain to free up actions, replace the twin light lasers with twin medium laser cannons and add a quad medium laser canon turret.

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1 hour ago, EliasWindrider said:

Why not kick it up a notch and go for a tricked out kst-100 (dawn of rebellion), gunnery droid brain, pilot droid brain, and astrogation droid brain to free up actions, replace the twin light lasers with twin medium laser cannons and add a quad medium laser canon turret.

*sigh* If I hadn't seen pictures of your kids, I'd think that you'd married this thing.

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