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[Portland, OR] Red Castle's RitR Campaign 1: A New Hope

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Red Castle Games is hosting a series of Rebellion in the Rim campaigns, each named after a different Star Wars movie.  Our first campaign started up earlier this month and is appropriately titled A New Hope.  It has 4 players.

Campaign Armada is my favorite way to play the game as it breaks people out of the standard list-building meta, and I really enjoy spinning a narrative from the unfolding action.  Therefore, I'll be detailing each campaign's progress in their own battle report thread.  You can also read about the campaigns and meet the players involved on our Discord server.

REBELLION IN THE RIM CAMPAIGN 1: A NEW HOPE

Unrest in the Outer Rim!

The notorious yet beloved Holonet hacker and provocateur, Rollo Sparkz, was murdered by Stormtroopers during one of his live broadcasts.  Rollo’s execution was simultaneously witnessed by billions of inhabitants across the Mid and Outer rim, and immediately sparked thousands of minor protests against the Empire’s harsh treatment of its citizens.

Prior to his death little was known about Rollo, other than the fact that he was both an advocate for the working poor and wanted for treason by the ISB.  But right before his death Rollo revealed that he was a simple ash miner from Sullust, and this fact instantly made him a martyr for all those who toiled under the Galactic Empire’s increasingly brutal labor policies.

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Recognizing an opportunity to strike back at the Empire, the nascent Rebel Alliance sent two of its most promising young leaders — Lt. Commander Tash Walden of Task Force Trident, and General Pul-Lar of Task Force Majestic — to fan the flames of insurrection.  Would this gambit pay dividends with the inhabitants of the Outer Rim?  Or would the Rebels’ presence only spur the Imperials into employing even more draconic measures to regain control, ultimately causing the situation to spiral out of control?

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Doing his best to maintain order before his superiors on Coruscant took notice, Senior Captain Grego Manx quickly activated his reserve garrisons on Ryloth to blockade Sullust as a tourniquet against the poisonous spread of political dissension.  He then summoned all available warships near his base of operations on Kessel and took his makeshift fleet — christened Victory Division Omega to instill the proper amount of fear and respect in the local sectors — patrolling around the rim.  He even hired some of the scum pilots that worked with the Pyke Syndicate there to bolster his forces.

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Manx hoped this show of strength would quell any more demonstrations and avoid the unnecessary loss of resources that invariably resulted from such anarchistic activities.  Of course, if the rioting continued and a few civilian outposts had to be vaporized to restore faith in the Empire’s manifest destiny to rule the galaxy, then so be it…

Unbeknownst to Captain Manx, at the same time system-wide demonstrations had erupted across the Outer Rim, a Fast Carrier Task Force led by Commander Golrin Korr dropped out of hyperspace near the barren, volcanic planet of Mustafar.

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Sent on a secret exploratory mission by none other than the Emperor’s apprentice and personal enforcer, Darth Vader, Golrin only knew he had orders to establish a presence on the caustic planet and prevent any outside group — Imperial or otherwise — from doing likewise.  It was a simple enough task, and one the ambitious commander gladly accepted as a means to curry favor with the Emperor himself.  To aid him in this endeavor, Vader had sent along one of the Emperor’s Hands — a force-sensitive pilot named Maarek Stele — to keep an eye on things.  Korr wasn’t worried, though.  He had a pair of Gladiator Star Destroyers and a compliment of Decimators at his disposal.  What could go wrong?

Edited by Red Castle Games

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TASK FORCE TRIDENT

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 199/200

Commander Name: Lt. Commander Tash Walden
Commander Ability: Ambush Gunner I

[ flagship ] Nebulon-B Escort Frigate "Trident" (57 points)
-  X-Custom Commander  ( 0  points)
-  Linked Turbolaser Towers  ( 7  points)
= 64 total ship cost

Nebulon-B Support Refit "Remora" (51 points)
-  Linked Turbolaser Towers  ( 7  points)
= 58 total ship cost

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette "Morning Star" (36 points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 39 total ship cost

1 Gold Squadron ( 12 points)
2 X-Wing Squadrons "Cobalt" and "Cardinal" ( 26 points)
= 38 total squadron cost

Edited by Red Castle Games

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TASK FORCE MAJESTIC

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 200/200

Commander Name: General Pul-Lar
Commander Ability: Master Coordinator I

[ flagship ] Modified Pelta-class Command Ship "Pegasus" (60 points)
-  X-Custom Commander  ( 0  points)
-  Auxiliary Shields Team  ( 3  points)
= 63 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A "Griffon" (44 points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 51 total ship cost

1 Jan Ors ( 19 points)
1 VCX-100 Freighter ( 15 points)
4 X-Wing Squadrons "Blackbird" "Martin" "Sparrow" and "Swift" ( 52 points)
= 86 total squadron cost

Edited by Red Castle Games

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VICTORY DIVISION OMEGA

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 200/200

Commander Name: Senior Captain Grego Manx
Commander Ability: Ready Defender

[ flagship ] Victory II-Class Star Destroyer "Viceroy" (85 points)
-  X-Custom Commander  ( 0  points)
-  Linked Turbolaser Towers  ( 7  points)
= 92 total ship cost

Victory I-Class Star Destroyer "Vulture" (73 points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 78 total ship cost

1 IG-88B ( 21 points)
1 Black Squadron ( 9 points)
= 30 total squadron cost

Edited by Red Castle Games

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FAST CARRIER TASK FORCE

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 199/200

Commander Name: Commander Golrin Korr
Commander Ability: Independent Raider

[ flagship ] Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer "Rancor" (56 points)
-  X-Custom Commander  ( 0  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 59 total ship cost

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer "Talon" (56 points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 59 total ship cost

1 Maarek Stele ( 21 points)
1 Colonel Jendon "Control" ( 20 points)
1 VT-49 Decimator "Gunner" ( 22 points)
1 Firespray-31 "Bloodhawk" ( 18 points)
= 81 total squadron cost

Edited by Red Castle Games

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REBEL ALLIANCE STARTING PLANETS

MON CALA (Sector II)

  • Skilled Spacers
  • Repair Yards
  • Defensive Retrofits (10/5)
  • Ship Title (10/5)

MONTROSS (Sector III)

  • Skilled Spacers
  • Squadrons (30/15)
  • Offensive Retrofit (10/5)

GALACTIC EMPIRE STARTING PLANETS

KESSEL (Sector III)

  • Resources
  • Ship Title (12/6)

RYLOTH (Sector IV)

  • Skilled Spacers
  • Diplomats
  • Weapons Team (10/5)
Edited by Red Castle Games

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BATTLE 1:  TASH WALDEN vs GREGO MANX at YAVIN

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Task Force Trident, led by Lt. Commander Tash Walden, made the short jump from Mon Cala to Yavin.  The mission was straightforward — establish a fighter-bomber resupply base hidden in the jungles of Yavin from which to strike deeper into Imperial-held territory.  It was Tash’s opening move in what he hoped would be a long insurgency against the Empire.  While he was being cautious, he wasn’t expecting any company.

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Senior Captain Greg Manx stood on the command deck of his flagship and watched as the Rebel scum’s fleet dropped out of hyperspace in orbit around Yavin.  He had just started his sector patrol from the Imperial base on neighboring Kessel when he received news of possible insurrectionist activity in Sector II.  Right in his own backyard?  Intolerable!  His pair of Victory Star Destroyers powered up their turbolaser batteries and prepared to make short work of the pitiful Rebel frigates.  He ordered his gunners and pilots to target the Rebels’ hyperdrive engines as he didn’t want the cowards escaping into hyperspace.  Manx would crush this rebellion before it had even begun…

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Tash was caught off guard by the appearance of not one but two Star Destroyers heading at full sublight toward his position.  They were an older model warship than the new ISDs, but still formidable.  Tash would have to rely on his superior speed, pin-point gunnery and precision bombing runs to quickly drive off the Imperial ships.  Otherwise, Task Force Trident would be forced to flee as he couldn’t risk the few combat-worthy ships available to the Rebel Alliance by getting into a prolonged engagement with the Empire.

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First Player:  Rebels
Objective:  Precision Strike
Result:  147-83 Rebel Victory!

REBEL LOSSES
Gold Squadron (unscarred with Repair Yards token)
X-Wing Squadron "Cobalt" (unscarred)
X-Wing Squadron "Cardinal" (unscarred)

IMPERIAL LOSSES
VSD-I "Vulture" (unscarred)
Black Squadron (unscarred)

VETERANS
Nebulon-B Escort Frigate "Trident"
IG-88B

Edited by Red Castle Games

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BATTLE 2:  GOLRIN KORR vs PUL-LAR at MUSTAFAR

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Commander Korr’s Fast Carrier Task Force emerged from hyperspace at Mustafar and nearly collided with a ragtag group of Rebel ships!  Korr immediately ordered his Gladiators to battle stations and scrambled his fighters — he knew Lord Vader would not be pleased if his clandestine mission to Mustafar was comprised right from the start.  Scanning the pair of Rebel vessels, he instructed his gunners to focus all their firepower upon the Corellian Corvette.  It was the fastest of the two and Korr could not afford to let it escape with information about his secret plans for the planet.

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General Pul-Lar wasn’t surprised by the sudden appearance of the Imperial Task Force.  In fact, he was expecting them and they had walked straight into his trap.  The general had been sent to Mustafar by a mysterious intel source — Agent Fulcrum.  He had never met Fulcrum, or even spoken with them directly, but he trusted them implicitly and their information was always accurate.  Pul-Lar’s instructions were clear — do not let Korr’s flagship or any fighters land on the planet. 

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He wasn’t sure why Fulcrum was so interested in a backwater nothing like Mustafar, or why they were concerned about some TIE Defender pilot named Maarek Stele, but Fulcrum had a way of knowing when and where important things were going to happen, and always seemed to be thinking 10 steps ahead. With that in mind, he directed his escort corvette to ignore the other Gladiator and pour everything they had into the Imperial’s lead GSD.

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First Player:  Imperials
Objective:  Most Wanted
Result:  43-26 Rebel Victory!

REBEL LOSSES
X-Wing Squadron "Blackbird" (unscarred)
X-Wing Squadron "Martin" (scarred)

IMPERIAL LOSSES
Maarek Stele (unscarred)
VT-49 Decimator "Gunner" (unscarred)

VETERANS

Edited by Red Castle Games

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My players have been really into the narrative of this campaign, which has made it a lot of fun.  I like how they chose to attack a pair of iconic locations – Yavin and Mustafar – to kickoff the first round.  Yavin was an especially nice touch for an opening battle considering we're calling this campaign A New Hope 😄

One of my players even wrote up a story about his commander's assault on Yavin.  It's a great read!

Tash Walden's Assault on Yavin

Edited by Red Castle Games

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2 hours ago, BrobaFett said:

+1 thanks for the good read. Hope you are able to keep it up.

Thanks, much appreciated!  The 4 players in this campaign meet again for round 2 this Sunday and I'm looking forward to seeing how everything shakes out.

I just spent the last 4 hours running another campaign with 6 players, this one titled Return of the Jedi, which already has some fun storylines brewing based on the outcomes of their first 3 battles.

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2 hours ago, Wordofgreen said:

I've only been playing about 8 months and haven't tried a campaign yet but this makes me really want to try one out! I dig the mix of Armada tactics and shared storytelling. Thanks for posting!

Campaign Armada is truly my favorite way to play.  While I enjoy the thrill of competitive events of all kinds, it's the campaign's mix of ongoing storytelling, teamwork, long-term strategizing and restricted list building that really makes it so much fun for me.  And this campaign version does it so much better than the previous one – I highly recommend giving it a try.

Also, my previous Corellian Conflict campaigns were always 6 players so I was afraid a 4 player campaign wouldn't be as enjoyable or strategic.  I was definitely wrong on that count.

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45 minutes ago, Wordofgreen said:

I've been trying to lure my boyfriend into Armada, do you think RiTR would work well with two people if one of them is brand new to the game?

There are pros and cons here, though I think the good far outweighs the bad. 

On the plus side, you're using 200 point fleets with few unique squadrons and only 1 upgrade per ship.  That's nice and vanilla, and keeps things from getting overly complex for new players.  The smaller fleets also play faster, and the 3x3 map size tends to press the action, both of which are a bonus in my book.

Losing doesn't really set you back too much in this campaign, which means it's not punishing for beginners (and you even get extra experience points for your commander when you lose to help you catch up).  Finally, I've found the narrative elements of a campaign are what really hook people to start, perhaps even more so than the game mechanics.  This is especially true if you're a big Star Wars fan as you can picture your commander waging an epic expedition of conquest (or liberation) across the Outer Rim.

The narrative stuff isn't hard to create.  For example, the plot points I've written here were easy enough to make up.  I typically start with some kind of hook that creates conflict on a planet, research a few details online, then ask the players to name their commanders,  ships and think of a brief backstory.  From there, the story tells itself as we weave the results of each battle into the narrative, picking up small details like a heroic last stand of a fighter pilot, or an objective that was (or wasn't) accomplished, that kind of thing.

Playing with just 2 people – each controlling 2 fleets – is a viable way to play.  It will take you a lot longer to complete the campaign, but I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing.  You would definitely get a lot of bang for your buck from the RitR expansion!  I know I'd love to run a campaign with just my wife and I as our "Friday date night" 😅

On the down side, the campaign does add another layer of complexity in that you have extra bookkeeping.  And there's a lot.  It can feel daunting until you've gone through a turn or 2.  However, the bookkeeping is mostly done "offline", meaning it's stuff you can do anytime as you slowly walk through the various steps with your partner and discuss how to proceed.

Because the bookkeeping isn't done in the "heat of battle" I feel it's easier to process.  For example, you could have 1 day be "mission planning" as you choose your initial bases and declare your battles, then you would play your battles the next day and do the follow-up "shopping" where you get to buy new goodies (one of my favorite parts).  The shopping doesn't have to be done right away so new players can take their time to digest all the options.

Personally, I say go for it.  I have quite a bit of experience running Armada campaigns, and the majority of new players I introduced to the game all started out by playing in campaigns (for most that was their very first game of Armada after a quick tutorial).  As long as you're willing to take point on knowing how to run the campaign and do the majority of record-keeping, I think it can be a ton of fun.

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REBELLION IN THE RIM CAMPAIGN 1:  A NEW HOPE TURN 2

Inconceivable!  Imperial Navy suffers back-to-back losses to ragtag Rebel fleets!

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Speed and surprise were on the Rebels’ side, and they notched a pair of victories over the superior might of the Empire in their opening salvo for control of the Outer Rim.  As Senior Captain Grego Manx withdrew to repair his heavily damaged ships and reassess his adversary’s tactical capabilities, Lt. Commander Tash Walden established a small staging ground in the lush jungles of Yavin 4.  He then hid his Nebulon-Bs in orbit around one of the gas giant’s 26 moons and instructed his techs to get to work on reinforcing the shields of his vulnerable frigates – they would need the extra protection if Tash was going to tangle with Victory Star Destroyers on a regular basis.

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General Pul-Lar’s victory over Commander Korr wasn’t so one-sided.  While he had stopped Korr from landing on Mustafar as Agent Fulcrumm requested, Pul-Lar hadn’t inflicted any significant damage on the Imperials.  To further complicate matters, the attack had occurred far from any Rebel bases and Pul-Lar’s fleet was running low on fuel.  The Rebel General would need help if he was going to escape Korr’s Fast Carrier Task Force long enough to resupply.  Using an encrypted channel, he called back to the Rebels' secret base on Montross and requested reinforcements.  Moments later a wing of Lancer-class Pursuit Craft – call signs Cyclops and Medusa – made the jump to hyperspace to rendezvous with Task Force Majestic at Dagobah. Would they get there in time?

CURRENT CAMPAIGN SCORE

Team Rebel Alliance:  2 CPs

Team Galactic Empire:  0 CPs

Edited by Red Castle Games

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REBEL PRESENCE MARKERS END OF TURN 1

YAVIN (Sector II) NEW!

  • No Strategic Effect
  • Support Team (10/5)
  • Ordnance (14/6)

MUSTAFAR (Sector V) NEW!

  • Resources
  • Fleet Support (8/4)
  • Turbolasers (10/5)

REBEL STRATEGIC EFFECT TOKENS END OF TURN 1

x1 Repair Yards (spent)

x1 Resources (banked)

x1 Skilled Spacers (banked) 

IMPERIAL STRATEGIC EFFECT TOKENS END OF TURN 1

x1 Resources (banked)

x1 Skilled Spacers (banked)

Edited by Red Castle Games

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BATTLE 3:  TASH WALDEN vs GREGO MANX at FELUCIA

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That could have gone better.  Senior Captain Grego Manx, a formally-trained Imperial naval officer, had just been beaten by some upstart brigand flying the equivalent of up-gunned garbage scowls.  This.  Would not.  Stand.

Manx needed to find an answer to this problem before word of his failure got back to Coruscant, and he needed to find it fast.  Another loss like this and the Empire’s grip on the entire Outer Rim could be in jeopardy.  While the Vulture underwent repairs at Kessel, Manx locked himself away in his quarters and poured over his ships' technical manuals.

His Victory Star Destroyers had superior firepower, but were slower and far less maneuverable than the enemy’s nimble warships.  And it appeared the Rebels’ turbolaser batteries had been upgraded with Imperial tech – undoubtedly sold on the black market by unscrupulous corporate collaborators – which put them on an even footing with his capital ships when firing at range.  How could he win such an engagement?  It would come down to three factors – aggressive piloting to get in close to the Rebel frigates, heavier ordnance that could punch through a ship’s shields, and knowing where the enemy would strike so he could set a proper ambush.

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To improve his piloting, Manx’s crew on the Viceroy ran nonstop drills in the Akkadese Maelstrom until they were adept at avoiding, or occasionally taking a harmless glancing blow, from the large chunks of debris trapped there.  He then requisitioned more assault proton torpedoes for the newly repaired VSD-I Vulture.  Finally, when his ships were fully armed and operational, he plotted a course for the nearby planet of Felucia.

Manx knew the so-called Rebels were no more than petty thieves, opportunistic scavengers and drunken fools galavanting around the Outer Rim looking for easy marks.  He also knew they could not resist a resource-rich world like Felucia, which sat on the lucrative Perlemian Trade Route, especially as it was so close to where they were already operating.

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Dropping out of hyperspace at Felucia, Manx had his helmsmen put both of his ships behind an old Vulture Droid Deployment Station that had been retrofitted to act as an orbital refueling platform.  He then powered his Star Destroyers down to minimal life support to reduce their scan signature and waited.  It was now time for the Empire… to strike back!

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Imperial Deployment, speed 1

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Rebel Deployment, speed 2-3

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Guardian the orbital refueling platform.

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Task Force Trident charges in!

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Tash Walden's flagship makes a strafing run.

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Thanks to Ambush Gunner I and Linked Turbolaser Towers, the Trident takes out IG-88B in a miraculous single shot!

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The Nebulon-B Remora falls to combined fire from the Vulture's APTs and then finally to the Viceroy's long-range gunnery.  Damage is also piling up on the Morning Star Hammerhead as well.

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The Trident and Morning Star slip past both VSDs to steal 2 fuel cells from the station, but it's not enough.

First Player:  Rebels
Objective:  Steal Supplies
Result:  147-60 Imperial Victory!

REBEL LOSSES
Nebulon-B Escort Frigate "Remora" (unscarred)
X-Wing Squadron "Cobalt" (unscarred)
X-Wing Squadron "Cardinal" (scarred)

IMPERIAL LOSSES
IG-88B (unscarred)
Black Squadron (unscarred)

VETERANS
Gold Squadron
VSD-II "Viceroy"

Edited by Red Castle Games

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My players continue to embrace the narrative elements of this campaign by writing their own battle reports.  Plus they get bonus promo cards every time they do!  Here's a snippet of Tash Walden's raid on the orbital processing station at Felucia:

Commander Cora Sunrider settled into an escort formation next to Trident, the rest of Cobalt Squadron holding position behind her. Her eyes studied the hud in her helmet’s visor with grim focus. Just like last time, that Aggressor was but a single red dot on her display, disguised as a singular opponent against the formidable might of her squadron. That was why she wouldn’t let this time end like last time. “Cobalt Leader,” the voice of the Trident’s flight controller rang out over the comm. “Lt. Commander Walden wants you and Cardinal Leader to form a protective screen in front of Gold Squadron, but not to stray any further than a few meters off the Trident’s starboard. That way, we’ll be able to keep you covered.”

You can read the full battle report here:

Tash Walden's Raid on Felucia

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