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Flengin

Bicsay Campaign. All chapters.

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Hi everyone

I’ve written all the bits that are essential to the campaign rules in blue so that they are easy to find.  All the other (non-blue) bits are my ramblings, either further teasing out the intent of a section or talking about what we ran into in our playthrough.

I’m posting this here because it is Armada related, isn’t a battle report, isn’t about organised play and there isn't a sub-forum for home made campaigns.  Let me know if you still want it moved.

My 6 year old has started playing Armada with me.  He has a good enough grasp of enough of the game concepts to make it enjoyable for both of us in casual games, but not enough (yet) to really play competitively (i.e. playing to try and beat me in a meaningful way). 

Things he doesn’t have a (complete) handle on:

-          List building

-          Upgrades in general

-          Most defence token effects

-          Forward thinking/planning

-          Obstacle effects

-          Half the commands (he has navigate down pat)

-          All of the squadron keywords

-          Pretty much every part of the attack step

-          Objectives

-          etc.

Which sounds like he can’t play the game at all, but this isn’t true.  He actually has a good grasp of most parts of movement and enough knowledge of the rest of the game to play it on reminders.  In short, he needs me to tell him what his options are (and, sometimes, when he needs to do things at all) but he’s quite capable of carrying them out himself.

Of course, this means that trying to play a game where we are genuinely using all of our cunning and ability to beat each other to stardust isn’t going to happen for a little while (though he is learning quite fast). 

So, I figured that in order to keep us both engaged and enjoying the experience in the meantime I was going about the whole thing in the wrong way. 

Rather than try and play standard ‘tournament style’ games, what we should be doing is playing a story based campaign instead. I would set up the campaign and control all the NPC’s (every ship/squadron that isn’t his).  This way it would feel more like we were playing together, rather than against one another. It would allow us to start simple (list wise) and stay simple while keeping everything fresh and exciting.  It would give him an appreciation for the more powerful elements available to him in list building (upgrades, large ships and ace squadrons) by giving him experience of a base line to them measure against.

Plus, stories like this do wonders in getting people attached to their ships. 

What follows is the Background and Chapter 1 of our campaign.  I’ll fill out more chapters as the weeks go on.  The current plan is that the whole campaign will have 6-8 chapters. But, as he will have to succeed (read here: not lose his flagship.  See below) in order to proceed to the next chapter, he’ll no doubt repeat certain chapters many times.  This is fine as it’ll allow him to get a grasp of the game in one of the best ways possible.  By having fun failing.  Many, many times.

Final note: I make no apologies for all the ways that the old X-Wing and TIE fighter computer games have influenced some of the chapters of this campaign.  For any of you who used to enjoy those games, feel free to give a shout out if any of these scenarios have a familiar feel to them.

 

Background

 

Every good story based campaign has a story.

The question is, how much.

 

In this case, the answer is: not much.

Or more precisely, as much as you want.  I largely let my son decide how much he wanted.  I introduced the premise and then let his curiosity take him where it would go, giving it a nudge in the right direction every now and then.  We did this over the course of a few nights before we actually played the first chapter, so as to give him some time to think things through properly and get immersed.

As we went along, there were places where I realised that he didn’t quite have the concept of what was going on, so we’d stop and use the internet to get some visuals to help out.  I’ll talk about those when we get to them.

 

Here’s the premise.

Imagine you were living in the Star Wars universe during the Galactic Civil War on a planet in the rim.

And you discovered a secret underground base.

Nobody else knows about this base.  You’re the only one.

At this point we try to let the player’s imagination dictate the course of things a little.  What does this base have? How do you access it?  How did you find it?

The short of it here is that they (the player) have some license to imagine what the base is like, but not complete license.

Here’s what is set:

-          It’s pristine. It was evidently constructed for use, but never used.  It has been maintained by maintenance droids.

-          It is well stocked for all of its uses (more on those below).

-          It has no exterior shields or exterior weapon emplacements.  It survives on stealth alone.

-          It has a mess hall, stocked kitchen/food stores, communications array, sensor array and sleeping quarters.

-          It has a stocked armoury, but only with personal weapons and explosives.

-          It has nothing to indicate who built it or why.  No insignia.  No records on its computers.  Except…….

-          …..it has an underground hanger.  And 13 ships.  And 12 of them do give a massive clue as to who built the place.  X-Wings.  While once the X-Wing was in general use as a ship, over the years they have become solely affiliated with the Alliance.  The other ship is a CR90.  All of them are brand shiny new.

-          Stocks and ability to rearm, repair, resupply and refuel all of its ships.

-          The base isn’t big.  But (obviously) isn’t tiny either.  Perhaps the best way to describe it is that it’s ‘the minimum needed to operate the 13 ships plus a little bit extra’

So, let them use their imagination, but don’t let them go overboard.  For example, how does the hanger launch the ships while remaining hidden?  Does the hanger entrance raise above ground during launch/landing? Is there a hologram disguising the hanger entrance? (we ended up going for the old ‘hanger entrance behind the waterfall’ setup) Or, what kind of internal defences are there?  Are there rec rooms?  A med bay? Etc.

Given that the player is (in this case) 6, give them the chance to go into what the base might be like in other ways.  Let them draw pictures.  If you have the skills, make a scale model of it.  Feel free to go and play the original X-Com (I haven’t played the more recent version of it) and play a few base defence missions to get a feel for underground bases.  Get one of the Star Wars cut away/cross section books for pictures of Echo base and Base one for inspiration.

In other words, let them get attached. 

Or, you know, skip all of these suggestions if you find they aren’t working for you at all.

 

 

 

Now, at this point it became evident to me that my son didn’t understand the significance of this premise, so we had to do a detour to discuss the Star Wars universe and in what ways it went beyond simple good guys and bad guys.

We pulled up a picture of the Star Wars galaxy, pointing out the core and the rim. 

We talked about the way that the Empire ruled pretty much everything.  They had a navy that had thousands of ISD’s and Millions of TIE fighters versus the Rebel Alliance which had, I don't know, less than a hundred capital ships and maybe a hundred small craft (completely guessing here).  This gave him the context of how powerful the Empire really is. 

We talked about how the Empire is strongest in the core worlds but in the rim it finds it harder to maintain its dominance. 

We talked about some of the brutality of the Empire, giving him the emotional context for why so many people choose to fight against the Empire, even though it is so strong.

 

 

 

Which leads to why this base is so important.  It has the two things *(see appendix A) that are needed to fight the Empire in any real sense:

1)      Ships.  While there is something to be said for ground resistance against the Empire, without ships the ability to fight the Empire is so limited as to be laughable.  In short, ground resistance is only really effective when it’s assisted by, or in assistance of, ship action.

2)      Secrecy.  The Empire is so powerful that if you give it the opportunity to hunt down the player’s fleet, it’ll be only a matter of time till it succeeds.  Unless the player has somewhere safe to retreat to.  As there’s nowhere fortified enough to withstand the Imperial navy, the only other option is secrecy.  While deep space is an option, it’s extremely limited.  Especially for 12 poor X-Wing pilots with only a CR90 to dock to.

 

So, the short of it is that the Empire is enormous, but the ability to strike at it that this secret base provides is too good to pass up.

 

At this point I also told my son the two ‘rules’ that this campaign would be governed by:

1)      He must never let the Empire discover where his base is. Otherwise they will come and destroy it.  Actually, what he doesn’t know is that this campaign provides no way for him to (accidentally.  See the final chapter when it arrives!) let the Empire discover his base.  But this ‘rule’ sets the feel for the campaign, that he’s playing guerrilla warfare against a vastly superior opponent.

2)      He must never lose his flagship.  Because he’s on it.  And if he dies, then he can’t fight any longer.

It should also be noted here that just because the player is becoming a rebel, using Alliance material, doesn’t mean that they are:

- part of the Rebel Alliance

- have any contact with them

- would know where to find them or how to get into contact with them. 

 

The player is on their own.  Nobody will come to help them or rescue them.

 

Now, as said above, I let my player decide which parts of the story he’s interested in and didn’t bother with details that didn’t bother him.

For instance, things he wasn't curious about were:

-          The base and everything in it isn’t locked.  Leading one to wonder if the person who built it knew they weren’t coming back but gambled that someone else would find it and would use the opportunity to fight the Empire in their stead.

-          As well as this, the CR90’s computer is dormant but comes online when the player enters the ship’s bridge.  It immediately designates him as its captain.  It contains all the tutorials required to teach a crew how to operate the ship as well as some basic training simulations.  Which is yet more evidence that there was some intention that the base be found and used against the Empire.

-          Where does the player find the manpower to operate the ship and fighters?  In our play through we simply designated them as his ‘friends’ and don't go any further into it.

-          What happens in the weeks/months between finding the base and the first chapter?

Once again, fill in only as much story as the player wants.

** (see appendix B)

 

Final/ note: the player has to name their CR90.  My son named his Commander Boom

He is 6.

And, well, actually the name is kinda growing on me.

 

Chapter 1 - Hide and Seek

The player is about to take their CR90 out on their first major exploration of their solar system.  At this point they have an option.  Do they want to take their X-Wings along with them?

My son (wisely) decided that he would, though it will actually make no difference to the outcome of this chapter (the player doesn’t know this).

 

As they explore the solar system, they have run into 2 things. 

An asteroid belt, that they had decided to take a closer look at. 

And a Victory class Star destroyer, named ‘Icon’, which has detected them and is closing in.

 

At this point it became apparent to me that my son didn’t have an adequate concept of a CR90 and how big it is (I think he was thinking of it being just a bit bigger than an X-Wing).  So, we googled up a picture of the cutaway of one. I kinda wish we had the actual book, but uncle google it was.  We pointed out the people in the bridge as well as how many levels the ship has.  We talked about its length (150m) and what that means in real terms (about the length of our driveway 😊).  He asked how people got on board, but my phone wasn’t good enough quality that we could make out any of the doors (he had to take my word for it).

We tried to find a cutaway for a VSD.  For some reason there wasn’t one.  Can’t imagine why.

We could still talk about its length in real terms (900m). About the distance to the far side of our valley.

 

Extra story elements (if the player asks any of these things):

-          The player can’t hyperspace out as their ship is too close to the asteroids.

-          They can’t turn around and out-pace the VSD.  It’s too close and will catch them as they come about.

-          They won’t be able to pass themselves off as civilians.  Even if they didn’t bring their X-Wings on this mission, the VSD is requesting to board them for inspection.  As they don’t have the proper papers for running a legal ship of this class they’ll very likely be detained as probable smugglers.  And things would only go downhill from there.

-          Luckily for the player, the VSD has no TIEs, either in escort or on board.

 

There is a plan for survival, but it’s risky.  Escape into the asteroid field.  Use the CR90’s superior speed and manoeuvrability to dodge the VSD (and asteroids!), let the field hide them from the VSD’s sensors and escape out of it, back to their base (and safety)!

It is worth emphasising to the player that if they attempt to destroy the VSD things aren’t likely to go well.

The scenario is as follows. (you will need access to pieces from the Corellian Conflict campaign to play this scenario)

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons (optional)

 

Imperial fleet

-          Victory I-class Star Destroyer

 

There are no upgrades (including commanders) or objectives in either fleet.

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

The Rebel player is the first player.

Play area is 3’x3’.

Place obstacles as normal, removing the station and adding the extra set of asteroids and both dust fields from the Corellian Conflict campaign box (this should total 10 obstacles).  Place obstacles anywhere in the play area, beyond distance 2 of the edges of the play area and beyond distance 2 of each other.

 

Deploy

Rather than players having an edge, choose one corner to be the Rebel corner and one of the adjacent (not opposite) corners to be the Imperial corner.

Deploy as usual.  But, deployment zones are within distance 1-3 of that player’s corner. Players may not deploy ships overlapping an obstacle. 

image.png.fe2d0af63a6f1a695a33ca83ab962cdc.png

 

Player Objective

The game lasts 6 turns.

If the CR90 is still alive at the end of the 6th turn, the player wins. 

Any other outcome is a loss and the scenario will have to be replayed until a win is achieved.

Take note of any X-Wing squadrons that are destroyed in this scenario as they won’t be available for the next chapter.

 

 

 

Notes:

Take this opportunity to further set the tone of the campaign.  In this case they are being hunted, dancing with life or death levels of danger, so play into that a little bit.  

This scenario teaches the player many things.

1)      It establishes how badly the odds are against them.  Even if they brought their 4 squads of fighters, this was still not enough firepower to take down the VSD.  And if they try, the VSD will more than likely blow away large portions of the rebel fleet as well. And this is only a VSD, one of the Empire’s weaker vessels.  Even with all the player’s ships and firepower combined, they still aren’t a match even for one of these.

2)      They can, however, take another path to victory.  Namely, they can dodge and weave.  They can outmanoeuvre.  This scenario teaches both how to navigate obstacles, as well as how to effectively disengage from and avoid an enemy that's chasing you.

3)      I took the opportunity with this one to teach my son about relative firepower.  I introduced to him how to read weapon batteries and what ranges each of the dice work at so he could begin to assess where he wanted to avoid landing his ship. I also taught him how to use a Navigate dial + token to approach a ship slowly (speed 2) then speed up to dodge past the ship (speed 4)

4)      That different ships behave very differently and have different strengths and weaknesses.

5)      The importance of the Nav command.

6)      The fickleness of red dice.

7)      And a whole stack more besides that.

 

Chapter story conclusion

The player’s ship successfully escapes.

First into the asteroid field.

Then, later, when the Icon has well and truly lost them, back home to your base.

Except…

…while you were in the field, your ship’s sensors picked up something. 

Something that isn’t normally in an asteroid field.

Your ship doesn’t know what it is or even where it is, but it picked up enough data to figure it out.

Once it finishes processing that data, that is.

Pentiums.

You should have bought a Mac.

Oh well... 

5 more hours.

Then it’ll have your answer.  

 

 

 

 

Anyway, feedback appreciated, as are any questions.

Chapter 2 to follow soon.

Edited by Flengin
Deployment picture!!!!

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*Appendix A

I am of the opinion that the greatest ‘weapon’ that a capital ship possesses is not it’s turbo-lasers, Ion cannons or ordnance tubes.  It’s not its shields.  It’s not even its sheer mass (destructive though it may be to be rammed by such a thing).

The most important piece of military hardware a capital ship can have is its hyperdrive (and, no, I am NOT making any kind of reference to the Last Jedi here).  Beyond the simple and obvious reason that it allows ships to strike at distant planets in ways they couldn’t without one, the hyperdrive has two main reasons that it stands head and shoulders above every other piece of hardware (ok, ok, life support, the main reactor, the ships controls etc etc aside.  I get it.  You know what I mean.  Non-essential pieces of hardware.) on board a fighting ship:

It provides:

1)      The ability to attack strategically vulnerable enemy positions without giving them much time to react.

2)      A form of semi-invincibility.

For the first one we need only the battle of Scarrif as an example.  The Rebellion struck deep into Imperial territory, bypassing hundreds, if not thousands of Star Destroyers, delivering a blow that would shape the galaxy for hundreds of years.  Imperial reinforcements responded, but ultimately too late.  This attack succeeded mostly because it came unannounced, thanks to hyperdrive tech. 

If the Rebellion also had perfect intelligence it would have been able to continue to conduct many such strikes, hitting the Empire where it would be both easily overwhelmed but also seriously hurt by such attacks (indeed, the Rebellion did continue to conduct just such attacks upon the Empire, hurting it, then jumping out before serious retaliation was possible).

 

But more important is number 2.  The ability for a ship that is in critical danger to survive by jumping out.

Sure, there are all sorts of reasons why this one is not fool proof (they all boil down to the ship getting destroyed/disabled before the jump is initiated). But the fact remains that the mere potential is truly awesome.  I would argue the point, but instead I’d like to point to 2 sources to do the arguing for me (besides the Millennium Falcon and it’s jumping to safety or failing to, ANH and ESB respectively)

The first is the later seasons of Stargate SG1.  Especially the final episode of season 10.  How many times is an outmatched ship saved by a timely jump?

The other is the truly excellent game: Solarmax 2

Seriously.  If you haven’t before, go and play this game, preferably on pc as I haven’t played it on any other platform so don’t know what it’s like.  The link is here http://www.notdoppler.com/solarmax2.php

It’s free, fun, has simple but effective gameplay and a truly beautiful aesthetic.  It even uses resonance to tell a simple but effective story in the last few levels and tells it using ZERO words. 

And if it helps you, imagine the ships are MC80’s.  That’s what I do.

After you’ve played it enough, ask yourself this simple question.  How safe are my ships when they are in hyperspace?

Space stations and weapons platforms aside.  It is the way to keep your fleets alive when they are outmatched.

 

 

**Appendix B

We didn’t do this bit in our campaign (though I have done it with another player I’m teaching), but if the player hasn’t played Armada before then here’s a fun way to introduce them to the core rules of the game.

Role play having the ship’s computer run the ‘training simulation’ for them.

I don’t recommend doing this with 6 year olds as the roleplay element to it that will confuse them rather than be fun. 

Here’s how it goes:

-          The player gets a CR-90 with 4 squads of X-Wings. They’ll face off against a Raider I with 6 squads of TIE fighters.  Alternatively, if you’ve got one (I don’t) use an Arquitens-class Light Cruiser with 5 squads of TIE fighters.

-          Imperials have first player.  No upgrades. No flagship. No objectives. No obstacles.

-          You roleplay the part of the ship’s computer.

-          The computer deploys each players’ ship and squadrons.  (ships at speed 2)

-          The computer will:

1)      Make all decisions for the Imperial player.

2)      Tell the player when they have a mandatory or optional action to take.  But, it will do so only by giving the minimum information necessary.  For example, it will tell them to set their ship’s command dials during the command phase, but will not tell them how unless they ask.

3)      Will answer any question the player asks.  But, it will answer the question precisely as it is literally asked (rather than the intent of the question) and it won’t necessarily give a complete answer.  (let’s face it, if you were to go into detail, you’d be there for an hour describing every possible influence every current upgrade card could have if you were to completely answer the question: how does attacking work?)  That said, further questions can be asked to clarify, even if it’s just the simple one of ‘Is there any other info on this subject?’.

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Chapter 2 – Flying Cover

The ship’s computer has the answer.

There’s a small Rebel (Alliance!) base hidden in the asteroid field!

The bad news is that during the pursuit the Empire also discovered the base and is on its way there to attack it.

The Rebels there have no choice but to perform a hasty evacuation using the only ships available to them.

Even this evacuation is sure to fail, unless you intervene.

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons (minus any that were lost in the previous chapter)

 

Imperial fleet

-          Icon - Victory I-class Star Destroyer

-          6 x TIE fighter squadrons

 

There are no upgrades (including commanders) or objectives in either fleet.

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

The Rebel player is the first player.

Play area is 3’x3’.

Place the largest asteroid obstacle in the center of the play area and place 2 objective tokens on it.  Place other obstacles as normal, removing the station and debris fields and adding the extra set of asteroids and both dust fields from the Corellian Conflict campaign box (this should total 8 obstacles, including the asteroid with the objective tokens).  Place obstacles beyond distance 3 of the edges of the play area and beyond distance 1 of each other.

 

Deploy

Deploy as usual.  Deployment zones are within distance 1-3 of that player’s edge. 

 

Scenario Rules

The Rebel objective is to have both of the VCX-100s move off any edge of the play area (they don’t have to be moved off the same edge).

The game lasts for an indefinite number of turns.

The game ends at the end of a turn in which either or both of the following occur:

1)      There are no VCX-100s and no objective tokens left remaining in the play area.

2)      The CR90 is no longer in the play area.

 

At the end of the Status Phase of the 2nd and 3rd turns, remove one objective token from the asteroid obstacle and place a single VCX-100 upon the asteroid.  Set its activation slider to match the initiative token (meaning it will be able to activate during the next squadron phase).

You (i.e. not the campaign player) have control of the VCX’s, though they are on the player’s ‘side’.

The player may not use Squadron commands on the VCX’s, nor use their Relay ability.

The VCX’s activate at the end of the squadron phase, after all other squadrons have been activated.

They will prioritise attempting to escape. As such they will:

-          Fly towards perceived safety and away from perceived danger.  In other words; towards the CR90 if it is in a position to help with flak fire; towards X-Wings; away from the Icon/TIE squadrons.

-          Use obstacles to avoid engagement.

-          Attack the most damaged TIE squad they are engaged with.

-          Move out of range rather than attack if obstruction gives them the choice.

-          Otherwise move with all haste towards the nearest edge of the play area.

-          They will not use their Strategic ability.

Any VCX that moves out of the play area is considered to have escaped.

 

The VSD cannot increase its speed above 1.

The imperial forces will prioritise using their TIE squadrons to destroy the VCX’s.

TIE fighters may not overlap or be placed upon the centre asteroid while it still has any objective tokens on it.

If the CR90 leaves the play area for any reason and/or if both VCX are destroyed the scenario ends in a loss for the player and must be retried.  Any other result is a victory.

Due to the liaison with the Rebel Alliance that the player will have after this chapter, replacing any lost X-Wing squadrons will happen after each chapter from here on out.

 

Chapter Story Conclusion

The rebels have escaped.

They take with them the assurances that they will recommend to Rebel Alliance command that you be allowed to join the Alliance.

In the meantime, they’ve given you a whole heap of critical information about your local sector.

Including the target for your first real attack against the Empire.

 

Notes:

Once again there are story elements that may or may not be of interest to the player.

1)      The Rebel base is small.  It’s basically a glorified safehouse built on a large asteroid. It has a small hanger (containing the VCXs), a moderate reactor power source, small artificial gravity generator, reasonable communications and sensor abilities and a small number of cramped prefab rooms jammed together to form what is generously called the ‘installation’.  It has no shields, no weapon emplacements and has made no attempt to hide its existence from visual inspection.  It has survived due to the fact that no one comes into the asteroid field.  It does have a reasonable tractor beam array, usually used on asteroids to stop them from damaging the installation.

2)      During the battle, the VSD isn’t able to increase its speed beyond 1 due to the rebels overclocking the base’s reactor and turning the tractor beam on the VSD.  A lone droid stays behind to coordinate the array.  It’s a short-term strategy (the reactor and tractor beam wouldn’t be able to do this for long) but desperate times call for desperate strategies.  And it does give them some much needed breathing space.

3)      The Base is rigged to blow once the VCXs have made a proper escape.

 

If you don’t have VCX-100s available, 2 YT-1300s could probably fill the position (slower, not as tough, can’t be covered by the X-Wings Escort ability, but they do have counter 1, which will help to cut through the TIE squads).

Edited by Flengin

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This seems like a great way to enjoy Armada with your son. It also seems rather complicated for a 6-year-old! So kudos to him for picking up on the core concept.

I would be interested in an Armada scenario pack, similar to the new Epic Play expansion for X-Wing. Think “Take the Station” but designed for two players and with a greater emphasis on asymmetry and story.

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Chapter 3 – First Strike

The Imperial dockyards for the entire area is located in the one of the neighbouring systems to Bicsay.

This is the place where all the Imperial ships in the area are serviced, refuelled, rearmed and repaired.

Rebel spies report that while it is armed and usually has some TIE fighters stationed there, it’s mostly left unguarded.

Time to hit the Empire where it hurts!

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons

Imperial fleet (keep this secret until they arrive during the game)

-          Icon - Victory I-class Star Destroyer

-          6 x TIE fighter squadrons

 

There are no upgrades (including commanders) or objectives in either fleet.

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

The Rebel player is the first player.

Play area is 3’x3’.

Place two station obstacles, roughly in the center of the play area, exactly distance 1 from each other.  One station is an Armed Station.  The other is an Unarmed station. Place the armed station card and an unarmed station card near the second player’s side of the table.  Place a victory token on one of the stations to designate it as the armed station.  Place no other obstacles.

After placing obstacles, place an objective token a range ruler length from one of the stations in the direction of the Imperial player’s board edge.

Deploy

The second player will have no ships or squadrons to deploy at the beginning of the game.  Don’t even get out the cards/models etc.  Make the player believe that all he’s up against is 2 stations, only one of which is even armed.

First player deploys as usual.  His deployment zones are within distance 1-3 of his player edge. 

 

 

image.png.91950b8dfdf7147650ce897537ebb394.png

 

Scenario Rules

The objective is to destroy both stations.

The game lasts for 6 turns.

At the end of the first turn, advise the rebel player that his hyperspace scanners are detecting an incoming ship.

At the end of the second turn deploy the VSD at distance 1 of the objective token.

At the end of the third turn deploy 3 TIE fighter squadrons at distance 1 of the VSD (activation sliders set to red)

At the end of the fourth turn deploy 3 TIE fighter squadrons at distance 1 of the VSD (activation sliders set to blue)

Once per round, right after the CR90 activates, the Armed Station will perform a single attack.  It will prioritise shooting the CR90 over the X-Wings. Remember that the ship and squadron armaments’ on the Corellian Conflict Armed Station card have been misprinted and will need to be switched.

The rebel player’s ship and squadrons cannot resolve either stations' effect to discard damage cards or recover hull points when they overlap it.

If the CR90 is destroyed (as opposed to merely leaving the table) the scenario ends in a loss for the player and must be replayed.  Any other result is a victory.

 

Chapter Story Conclusion

You got away again, jumping to safety.  But it was close.

Best not to try that again in a hurry.  They’re more likely to be ready and waiting for you next time.

You’re going to have to decide on a new target, one they won’t be ready for.

 

Notes:

This scenario is odd in that it is designed to have the player ‘fail’ in their objective.  It’s more here to tell a story rather than give them a challenge to complete.

The idea here is that the player is launching a surprise attack against the station, but the Icon intervenes and chases them off.  This, once again, reinforces the idea that the Icon is a real threat, and that when it shows up, they don’t really have much other choice than to run.

As such, it’s important to play your cards close to your chest.  Tell them the objective (destroy the stations) but don’t tell them that all that they have to do to win is survive.  Give them no indication that you will even have ships in play at some point (except that you may start with some TIE fighters from the station).

If they do manage to destroy both stations (a difficult feat without TRCs) then this is ok.  The Icon should still manage to complete its purpose and drive them off.  It’ll just highlight a VSDs weaknesses further (that they are slow).

Remember that the Icon’s main purpose is to protect the station.  Don’t be afraid to:

-          Have it barrel in at first then slow down to camp the station.

-          Use lots of squadron commands.

-          Use concentrate fire commands.

 

 

Story notes:

-          There are no TIEs aboard the station because the area has a general shortage of them. (which plays into the next chapter)

-          The same is actually true of its ships as well.  There are only a handful of Imperial capitol ships operating out of these dockyards.

-          The dockyards are old and a little decrepit, which is largely the same as most of the Imperial ships in the area.  The area isn’t near any area of space that has seen meaningful Rebel fleet activity.  Sure, there’s the usual spies, smugglers and instigators, but nothing close to warranting a reinforcement of Navy assets.  With the Imperial Navy’s attention focused elsewhere this area is very low on its list of priorities.

-          The Icon jumping in so soon after the player’s fleet arrives is coincidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Flengin
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One of the things I’m teaching my son as we go along is guidelines for beginner players on how to do better at Armada.

So far, we’re up to 4.  They are:

1)      Deploy at speed 2, or 1 below your maximum. 

A lot of new players deploy their ships going too fast.  Speed 2 gives you quite a bit of flexibility (you can go straight down to 1 or up to 3 on the first turn.  With a dial plus token you can choose to do any speed you want [0-4]).  One below your maximum is more aggressive, but still gives you options.

2)      Use lots of navigate commands. 

The game is won and lost on positioning.  Navigate dials are your most prominent tools for granting you options on where you end up each turn.

3)      Keep your ships/squadrons together.  If they get separated, have a plan for how to get them back together. 

This one is especially important for using small ships as single small attacks are easily dealt with, but lots of them together quickly overheat defence tokens.

4)      Focus on one enemy until it’s dead.  Then move onto the next target. 

Don’t spread your shots.  Dead enemies don’t fight back.

 

With these last two, I was particularly thinking about squad on squad combat.  Going into chapter 2 of this campaign and seeing that there would be a lot of mass X-Wing vs. TIE fighter action going on, it was especially important to teach him not just that he should focus his fire with his squads, but why.  To that end I invented this simple exercise/illustration.  Actually, he thinks of it as a game and has asked to ‘play’ it several times since.

 

Squad focus exercise.

The point of this exercise is to demonstrate why focusing the attacks of squads is generally better than having everyone attack different targets.

This exercise can be played using pen and paper, or by using armada squads.

Each player begins with three identical squads.  Each squad has 3 hit points and when it attacks will do exactly 1 damage.

Each squad may attack any enemy squad each round.

The game is played in rounds and continues until one or both sides have no squads left.

At the start of each round both players declare the target for each of their squads’ attacks that round.

Then, all damage from squads is resolved simultaneously.  Squads that have taken 3 or more damage are destroyed.

 

And it’s a simple as that. 

 

Well, almost.  At the start of the exercise, instruct your student to always focus the attacks of his squads on a single target each round.  On the flip side, the squads you will be playing will never focus their shots, attacking a different target each.  By the end of the exercise, despite the fact you started with identical squads and had dealt simultaneous damage each round, he should have 2 squads left (One with 2hp the other with 1hp) while you will be wiped out.

My son likes this exercise because he feels like he ‘wins’ it every time. 

I like it because it works.  His selection criteria for what to attack in a squad scrum is very good now (at least in an X-Wing vs TIE Fighter brawl).  Go for the wounded targets!

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Chapter 4 – Intercept and Destroy

 

Once again, the Rebel Alliance provides you with the info needed for you next target.

Turns out your attack on the dockyards has had some negative consequences.  The Empire hasn’t been sending any new ships to the area due to a lack of rebel fleet activity.  Now that there is some (yours), they’re starting to send new ships through to deal with you.

The good news is that Rebel spies have found out the time and place that these reinforcements will arrive in the sector as well as what they are.  A pair of Gozanti class cruisers, carrying some TIE’s.  There will be a short window between them emerging from hyperspace and when they hook up with the rest of the Imperial fleet.  This will be your chance.  If you execute your attack just right you might be able to take them out before they reach safety.

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons

Imperial fleet:

-          Icon - Victory I-class Star Destroyer

-          Nokton flotilla – Gozanti-class Cruisers

-          2 x TIE fighter squadrons

 

There are no upgrades (including commanders) or objectives in either fleet.

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

The Rebel player is the first player.

Play area is 3’x6’.

Place no obstacles

Deploy

Take turns deploying as normal with the following exceptions.

The Icon deploys within distance 1-3 of one of the short table edges.

The Rebel deployment zone is within distance 1-3 of one of the corners on the opposite short table edge.

Nokton flotilla deploys within distance 1-3 of the other corner of the same short table edge as the Rebel player.

The TIE Fighter squadrons deploy within distance 1-2 of Nokton flotilla.

image.png.614a4150dab257d7fefb0beb44ec960f.png

 

Scenario Rules

The objective is to destroy Nokton flotilla.

The game lasts for an indefinite number of turns.

The game ends when either:

-          Nokton flotilla and/or the CR90 are no longer in play.

Or

-          At the end of any turn that Nokton flotilla has an objective token on it.

 

Whenever Nokton flotilla reveals a command dial, if it is at close range of the Icon, place an objective token on Nokton flotilla.

 

If the CR90 is destroyed (as opposed to merely leaving the table) the scenario ends in a loss for the player and must be replayed.  Any other result is a victory.

 

Nokton flotilla will endeavour not to fly off the edge of the play area.

If Nokton flotilla is destroyed it will not be available for any future chapters.

 

Story Conclusion

Imperial forces are ramping up in the sector.

But that’s not the worst of it.  You can deal with flotillas and TIE’s.

No.  It’s the Icon that’s the real problem.

If Bicsay is ever to be free of Imperial tyranny you’re going to have to find a way to take it out of the picture first.

 

Notes:

The Icon will fly as quickly as possible to rendezvous with Nokton flotilla. The Nokton flotilla will attempt to preserve itself in any way it can (except by flying out of the play area).

Once again, achieving the ‘objective’ isn’t necessary for the player to proceed to the next chapter, though it will have an ongoing effect on the following chapters (Nokton flotilla will or will not be present as appropriate).  This will be an ongoing thing till the end of the campaign as:

1)       There will be elements in most chapters from here on out that could add/take away from the forces of both sides.

2)       If Nokton flotilla is destroyed in any of the following chapters, it will no longer be a part of the campaign.

At this point I would actively start to offer the player the chance to go back and replay any of the chapters they’ve already completed.  Particularly with younger players this will give them the opportunity to replay any of the chapters they really enjoyed.  But it also reinforces the elements of the game that each chapter teaches.  It will also give them the opportunity to see if they can do better on a chapter where they failed their objective (my son failed this one the first time and, at first, elected to go to the next chapter.  But when we actually came to play again he changed his mind and took another shot at this one).  For purposes of whether Nokton flotilla will be present in future chapters, use the best result achieved by the player.     

Edited by Flengin
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First up, a big shout out to @Rmcarrier1, @Darth Lupine, @skirmisher@Staelwulf and the host of you guys who have liked these posts!

Let me say a big thank you!

I know that this kind of content on the forums isn't for everyone and I wasn't sure how it would be received.  Your encouragement is giving me what I need to keep on writing these chapters up!

So, some long overdue replies as well as some ramblings from me.

 

On 12/2/2019 at 12:38 PM, Rmcarrier1 said:

This seems like a great way to enjoy Armada with your son. It also seems rather complicated for a 6-year-old! So kudos to him for picking up on the core concept.

I would be interested in an Armada scenario pack, similar to the new Epic Play expansion for X-Wing. Think “Take the Station” but designed for two players and with a greater emphasis on asymmetry and story.

Yeah, he’s doing really well at it!

An armada scenario pack sounds like a great idea.  I haven’t seen the new X-Wing pack, but I’m a bit of a fan of ‘Take the Station’ (I used that scenario to teach my brother and sister-in-law how to play over Christmas.  Works great for that.  My 6 year old won 😛). Were you thinking something officially released from FFG or would something fan made do the job for you? 

If fan made works, I wouldn’t mind working on something with you and anyone else who was interested to see what we could come up with.  Many hands (minds) can make some great works!

On 12/2/2019 at 11:26 PM, Darth Lupine said:

This is well thought out, although I’m more impressed with you having a 150 meter driveway....that’s around 400 feet!! 

Thanks!  We live on a farm so have a longer than average driveway 😊

On 1/11/2020 at 9:25 PM, skirmisher said:

Hi, great story building there. Just in reference to an earlier part of the thread, you can find a cutaway of the Victory class in West End Game's Starfall adventure here (top row)

http://d6holocron.com/downloads/wegadventures.html

Thanks!  I used to run a role play game back in the day, so reading through that book in general is a bit of a nostalgia hit for me.

On that note, if I were to rewrite up these campaign rules, I’d clear up some of the language I use.  I’d introduce and use the terms ‘player’ and ‘GM’ right the way through rather than flip flopping back and forth between using terms like first player/second player, rebel player/imperial player, the Player/you as I have been doing.  It also helps set up the idea that it is the player vs the campaign, rather than one player vs another player.

19 hours ago, Staelwulf said:

Can't wait to read the next chapter! Love to read the campaign story. Hopefully the Commander Boom can finally get the upper hand on the Icon next time!😁

Thanks!  ‘Chapter 5: Morning Ridgeline’ will follow soon!  We actually played it this weekend (he lost), but I went into it not entirely happy with the setup.  I was especially dubious about how to do deployment zones for this one, not to mention how to describe them in writing without a picture (I can do one of these if any of the deployment zones aren’t clear from the description. Please ask and I’ll do one up).  The end result is that there is that it works, but there is still some fiddling I'm going to try before I post it up.

The final confrontation between the player and the Icon is coming soon.

 

Other ramblings.

A quick note on the story parts of each chapter.  These are somewhat lazy on my behalf.  I don’t read these bits to my son.  They are written with a style and vocabulary that might work with adults but is definitely not aimed at kids.  Instead, I take him aside for 5 minutes or so and we talk things through.  I mostly let him ask questions, but pull him up when he’s missed something important, taking the time to explain why it’s important. We also have 4 maps I’ve drawn up: The base.  The Bicsay system. The system that has the local Imperial dockyards.  And an overall map of the collection of the 5 systems forming the local area.  We use these a lot.

I’m also finding I’m losing steam to continue to write up all the extra story/chapter notes (as opposed to the story parts at the beginning and end of each chapter) for chapters 5 and beyond.  Partially this is because it doesn’t really matter.  Anyone with a bit of imagination can fill in the missing holes left by the general story.  Partially it is because all of the extra bits can be a bit too extensive and the enormity of writing down all the seemingly trivial details overwhelms me and I just don’t try.  Once again, if I ever went back and rewrote this up I’d add to the story/chapter notes of the coming chapters.  That said, if a chapter ever feels a bit thin, feel free to poke holes in it, ask questions and this might be just what I need to get up and fill out a section.  

I’m really enjoying playing just basic armada (No upgrades. No fleet building. Very basic squads available).

It’s a wonderful thing to play armada competitively, trying everything you can to outplay your opponent.  It’s a completely different type of wonderful to play armada where you are using the ships and rules to fight out a story.

Because of the story aspect and the relatively small scale of the games we're playing, some of the games can go for 8 - 15 turns but are still really tense and interesting as the player tries to achieve their objective while staying alive.

It’s also pretty cool to see a CR90 forced into carrier duty in some missions.  While this will probably teach my son some bad habits, for the moment it has a real Star Wars rebels (in general, as opposed to the TV show) feel to it, having to use and be thankful for what you have, rather than always having access to the best tools for the job.

 

Overview of how our campaign is going so far

Chapter 1: 3 attempts (from memory) to complete this one.  Some failures, then a week to think about them worked their wonders.  He came back telling me he had a plan and, lo and behold, he did!  And it even worked!

Chapter 2: 5 Attempts to complete this one.  The first one had both of the transports destroyed, which made me worried that the chapter might be too imbalanced in the Imperial's favour.  The next 3 attempts all saw the transports do much better, but each time his flagship was destroyed.  Each time this was a combination of it landing on an asteroid and getting shot to pieces by the Icon, often at close range of its front arc.  He was learning the hard way that he had to be mindful of his movements, especially in relation to big firepower enemy ships.  Finally I gave it a go myself (playing both sides), with him spectating, just to see if it was actually possible.  It was.  I talked through my thinking at each step of the game (Which commands I was flipping up between using and why.  Where I was hoping to have my CR90 land for the next 2 turns and why).  After seeing how I did it, he took to it with his usual gusto and aced it with ease (he actually did slightly better than me).

 

Chapter 3: 1 attempt. He came in with a plan and his typical enthusiasm.  It wasn’t the plan I would have chosen, but in hindsight it was actually a bit better than what I would have done.  Some lucky rolls and good planning had him take down the unarmed station by the end of turn 3.  Suitably scared when the Icon showed up (he actually jumped a little out of his seat), he broke off the attack and dodged and weaved till the 6 turn limit was up.  As my CR90 model has snapped its peg, it’s attached to the clear plastic peg by a magnet.  The upshot of this is that at the end of turn 6, just as the Icon has the Commander Boom at close range in its front arc, we got to simulate his ship jumping to hyperspace at the last moment 😊.

 

Chapter 4: 2 attempts.  The first time he came in fast and quickly overshot.  The second time I didn’t do so well with Nokton’s speed (I didn’t slow it down early enough) and he got lucky with the number of accuracies he was getting at close range.

 

Chapter 5: First attempt….total failure.  No surviviors.  It’s another squad based chapter and the weeks between this and chapter 2 means that he’s forgotten most of what he’d learnt about how to fight TIE fighter effectively with 4 X-Wings and a CR90.  Oh well.  No lesson is truly learned until it’s learned many, many times. 

 

I’ll post up chapter 5 when we’ve played it again (likely 2 weeks from now).  There’s something I still want to adjust in it and test before I post it up.

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On 1/12/2020 at 4:08 AM, Flengin said:

An armada scenario pack sounds like a great idea.  I haven’t seen the new X-Wing pack, but I’m a bit of a fan of ‘Take the Station’ (I used that scenario to teach my brother and sister-in-law how to play over Christmas.  Works great for that.  My 6 year old won 😛

 

I was thinking that it would make for a great official FFG product but I’m always up for a good home brew as well. I’ve written up some scenarios of my own that attempt to recreate some of the iconic scenes from the films, in fact. (I actually haven’t played any of them yet; my son is still too young and my gaming friends stick to the core rules.)

Edited by Rmcarrier1
Typo

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Chapter 5 – Morning Ridgeline

 

You’re receiving a distress call. 

An alliance fleet was ambushed.  One of their frigates, the Morning Ridgeline, managed to jump away, but not before it received catastrophic damage. 

It fell out of hyperspace in the Bicsay system, but is now dead in the water with Imperial forces closing in.

This might just be the opportunity you’re after.

Time to be a protector!

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons

 

Imperial fleet:

-          Icon - Victory I-class Star Destroyer

-          3 x TIE fighter squadrons

-          2 x TIE bomber squadrons

-          Nokton flotilla – Gozanti-class Cruisers  (only if it has survived all of the preceding chapters)

 

There are no upgrades (including commanders) or objectives in either fleet.

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

 

The GM will control the Morning Ridgeline during this scenario and make all decisions for it.  Place a Nebulon B Support Refit card on the GM’s side of the table, along with all of its components.  This is the Morning Ridgeline.

The Rebel player is the first player. 

Play area is 3’x6’.

Place obstacles as normal, excluding the station, beyond distance 5 of each short play edge and beyond distance 3 of each long play edge and beyond distance 1 of each other obstacle.

 

Deploy

Begin by placing the Morning Ridgeline entirely within the distance 4-5 bands, measuring from a corner of the play area, facing towards the diagonally opposite corner. Set its speed dial and all its shield dials to 0.  Deal it 4 face down damage cards.

Take turns deploying as normal with the following exceptions.

The Imperial deployment zone is within distance 1-3 of the short table edge opposite the Morning Ridgeline.  The Imperial squadrons do not have to deploy within distance 2 of a friendly ship, but rather may deploy anywhere within 2 range ruler lengths of the Imperial short table edge.

The Rebel deployment zone is within distance 1-3 of the long table edge opposite the Morning Ridgeline and at least 2 range ruler lengths from either short table edge.

image.png.0b5eb696b67d58f09bbd33ddef2b7af1.png

Scenario Rules

The objective is to have the Morning Ridgeline exit the play area via the same long table edge as the Rebel deployment zone.

The game lasts for an indefinite number of turns.

The game ends at the end of any turn in which the Morning Ridgeline and/or the CR90 are no longer in play.

At the end of a turn in which any TIE squadrons are destroyed, place a new squadron of the same type at full hp at distance 1 of the Icon.  Throughout the course of the game, there may be no more than 3 TIE fighters and 2 TIE bombers placed in this way. This will mean that the total number of Imperial Squadrons that can be present throughout the course of the battle is 6 TIE fighters and 4 TIE bombers, though a maximum of 5 Imperial squadrons will be in play at any time.

The Morning Ridgeline must set command dials and activate as usual.  It will activate after all other ships.

The Morning Ridgeline may not change its speed, recover shields or attack.  These restrictions are removed the first time it removes its final damage card.  If it gains more damage cards later during the game, it does not regain these restrictions.

The Imperial ship(s) will move as quickly as possible to intercept the Morning Ridgeline.

The TIE bombers will move as quickly as possible towards the Morning Ridgeline, avoiding engagement with rebel squadrons.

The TIE fighters’ top priority is to protect the TIE bombers.  They will engage rebel squadrons to lock them down/destroy them as a first priority but won’t do so mindlessly.  They will still have some basic self-preservation tactics and will also attack ships as the situation calls for it.

If the CR90 is destroyed (as opposed to merely leaving the table) the scenario ends in a loss for the player and must be replayed.  Any other result is a victory.

Only if the Morning Ridgeline exits the table via the same long table edge as the rebel deployment zone it will be present in future chapters.

 

Story conclusion:

The captain of the Morning Ridgeline has agreed to join you in your rebellion, at least until the Alliance recalls them.

But it presents some challenges.

Its hyperdrive is irreparable.  That alone means that it has taken 2 days for it to limp to Bicsay (the planet).  And until it gets a new one, it will not be possible for it to launch attacks anywhere meaningful.

Also, it’s way too big to fit into the base, so has to hide in very high orbit.  Keeping it secret is going to be…nerve wracking.  Once again, until it gets a new hyperdrive.

 

The good news is that many of the crew hail from Bicsay and have ties to the planet’s large mega-corporation, Geonsotec.

Geonsotec has agreed to covertly back your rebellion and, while they don’t have access to any ship class weaponry, the have managed to procure a replacement hyperdrive. 

It’ll take two weeks to fully repair the Morning Ridgeline.

 Two weeks…

And then…

Let’s just say that it feels good to have your firepower doubled!

 

 

 

Notes:

This one is directly inspired by the old X-Wing computer game.  There are a few missions in it where a large Imperial ship would sit off in the distance, throwing out fighter and bomber squadrons that you’d have to intercept before they reached whatever you were trying to defend.  Fun times!  Basic computer AI and the X-Wing’s great jousting ability meant you could beat the odds if you stayed sharp and didn’t let anything slip past you.  In this chapter, the Icon is still a legitimate threat, but will reach the Morning Ridgeline too late to stop it from escaping.  So, it’s forced to send its squadrons out ahead to try and get in some early damage.  The player, in turn, has to play interceptor to the imperial squadrons.

 

Don’t let the player know how many reserves the Icon is carrying. This creates a sense of uncertainty.

If you have enough squads, I found it handy to place the destroyed TIE’s on their squadron card and replace them with new stands.  This way I could see at a glance how many reserves there were still to deploy.  It also gave my son more of a sense of accomplishment.

You also have a subtle way of dictating the difficulty of this scenario.  Deploying the Icon on the left side of its deployment zone will increase how hard it will be for the Morning Ridgeline to escape (This will also increase the tension of this scenario).  Deploy on the right and it’ll be a bit easier for it slip away without having to dodge the Icon in the process.  Regardless, this scenario shouldn’t present a major challenge to the player.

I’ll take it as granted from here on out that this scenario ends in a success for the player.  It’s the first chance the player has to add something tangible to their fleet and is just the thing they are looking for to help even the odds against the Icon.  If they fail this scenario the first time, encourage them to try it again till they succeed.

 

 

Story notes:

-          The Morning Ridgeline and its crew have only recently defected to the Rebel Alliance.  This is a minor detail and may seem unimportant.  The reason why I’m including it here is that the Morning Ridgeline will become a permanent part of the Player’s fleet from here on out.  A captain who had been serving in the Rebel Alliance for some time would be very unlikely to 1) Stick around.  They would attempt with all haste to re-join the Rebel Alliance’s main fleet rather than help the player fight their tiny side rebellion in an out of the way part of the galaxy. 2) Submit themselves under the command of the player if they did stick around.  A ship of recent turncoats, however, is green enough to submit to the player’s ‘experience’ and plans.  At the same time, they’re still idealistic enough to see the value in standing up against the Empire wherever that may be.

Edited by Flengin

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Additional Chapter 5 story note:

 

The Morning Ridheline’s hyperdrive is inoperative. In order to make back to Bicsay without being followed by the Icon, the Player’s CR90 has to play the ‘wounded rabbit’, leading the Icon away in the other direction while staying just out of range until the Morning Ridgeline is out of sensor range

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Chapter 6 – War Crimes

 

The Morning Ridgeline’s new hyperdrive is up and running, but you have a new problem.

The Empire has managed to track you to Bicsay!

Though they don’t know exactly where, they do know that your base is somewhere on or near the planet.

They’ve been putting pressure on Geonsotec to help them track you down, but Geonsotec has refused.

In retaliation the Imperial navy is attacking the company’s stations.

Time to defend your allies! 

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons

-          Morning Ridgeline – Nebulon B Support Refit (only if it has survived all of the preceding chapters)

 

 

 

Imperial fleet:

-          Dart 1 – Raider I-class Corvette

-          Dart 2 – Raider I-class Corvette

-          2 x TIE bomber squadrons

 

There are no upgrades (including commanders) or objectives in either fleet.

 

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

 

The Rebel player is the first player. 

 

Play area is 3’x6’.

 

Take the 2 stations and place 1 at distance 5 of one of the short table edges and at distance 4 of the rebel long table edge. Place the other at distance 5 of the other short table edge and distance 4 of the rebel long table edge. These are unarmed stations.

Place no other obstacles.

 

Before deploying fleets, the GM places 3 objective tokens in the Rebel’s deployment zone.  Place 1 token near each station and the third somewhere in the centre of the deployment zone.

Deploy as normal, beginning with the Imperial player.

Place the two unarmed station cards next to the rebel player’s ship cards.

 image.png.9563a8cddce44cc155a5f91d3a17fcfe.png

This Scenario has two sets of rules. The first set may be read to the player at the start of the scenario. The second set is a secret set and these rules should only be revealed as they are used.  Do not tell the player that there are secret rules.

Scenario Rules – reveal to player

The objective is to prevent the destruction of the 2 stations.

The game lasts for an indefinite number of turns.

The game ends when the CR90 is no longer in play or at the end of a turn if both stations are destroyed.  My son picked up on the oddity here, that destruction of the raiders wouldn’t result in the scenario ending.  He didn’t cotton on to the implications of this and just thought it was an error.  If this ever arises for you, you could probably just add that the scenario ends if there are no Imperial ships in play. Given that if you start the Raiders off slow (a good choice regardless) they shouldn’t both be destroyed/fled before the Icon arrives.

The player may declare a hyperspace retreat at any time.  If they do the game ends at the end of the current turn.

Imperial ships ending a manoeuvre on a station do not discard a damage card.

Imperial squadrons ending a move on a station do not restore a hull point.

If the CR90 is destroyed (as opposed to merely leaving the table) the scenario ends in a loss for the player and must be replayed.  Any other result is a victory.

 

Scenario Rules – hidden from player (these are the rules you don’t tell the player until you use them)

 

Dart 1 and Dart 2 will attempt to go after a different station each. 

If a Raider ever receives one or more damage cards, remove it from the table at the end of that turn (it’s jumped into hyperspace). 

 

At the end of the first turn inform the player that their hyperspace scanners are detecting an incoming ship. 

At the end of the second turn deploy the Icon at distance 1 of one of the objective tokens.  If Nokton flotilla has survived all previous chapters, deploy it at distance 1-2 of the Icon. 

At the end of the third turn deploy 3 TIE fighter squadrons at distance 1 of the Icon. Set their activation sliders to red.

At the end of the fourth turn deploy 3 TIE fighter squadrons at distance 1 of the Icon. Set their activation sliders to blue.

 

It is possible, though unlikely, that the player might get the best of the Icon in this scenario.  If it ever looks like the Icon might be in serious danger, hyperspace it out.  It’ll still work with the storyline of the next chapter.

 

Story conclusion:

It was a trap!

The whole thing was a trap!

You got away again, but this was the last straw. 

Attacking innocent civilians to try to draw you out? The Icon is going to burn!

The question is, even with the Morning Ridgeline, do you have enough firepower to take it down?

It takes some time to sneak back to your base.  But when you get there, the Rebel Alliance has a nice surprise waiting for you.

The Icon’s days are numbered.

 

 

 

Notes:

This was a hard scenario to design. 

The first problem I was having was that it’s another chapter that is designed to have the player fail, which storyline wise is important, but, as we’ve already done one of these before, I don’t want to make the player feel like they’re not actually playing their own campaign.

The solution to this was to have it be a scenario where the real object for the player is mere survival, without neglecting the ‘attack on the helpless stations’ story that is also going on. 

Which led to problems about how long the scenario should go for, what should trigger the Icon’s arrival and where it should be placed when it arrived.  The above is the only solution to these three questions that satisfies me.

 

The hyperspace retreat rule is problematic as well as the player can jump out at just about any time. I included it mostly because I couldn’t think a way of leaving it out that made sense in the context of the story.

So, in order to make the scenario work, you’ll have to play on the Player’s natural desire to preserve the stations.  (Their recent increase in firepower and desire to test it out might also help to keep them fighting as long as they can.)  As such, it’s important that when you place the Icon you do so in a way that ensures it can both launch maximum damage against a station while still actively pursuing the Player’s forces.  Don’t be afraid to have it leave a TIE or 2 behind to finish off a damaged station.

Also, remember that if the player declares a hyperspace retreat the stations are considered destroyed.  Play this to your advantage.  If the player seems bent on jumping out early, talk with them about the consequences for the stations.  If the player seems intent on preserving the stations against all odds, remind them about the hyperspace retreat rule.

 

On another note, this scenario is a considerable step up in the way of strategic complexity for the player.  In this scenario the player will have to deal with their first command 2 ship, as well as multiple friendly activations vs. multiple enemy activations.  I would have preferred to have the Player’s first multiple friendly activation game be against a single enemy ship, but I’m fast running out of chapters and it was more important to keep the pace and focus of the campaign.  The climax and finale will be the inevitable clash between the Player and the Icon and I haven’t yet come up with a way for adding such a scenario without distracting from that. 

 

 

Story notes:

 

-          The repairs to the Morning Ridgeline are slow, partially because it has to stay a long way out to avoid detection.  Getting the hyperdrive to it is an exercise in trust as the CR90 has to rendezvous with the Geonsotec supplier, before the CR90 takes the hyperdrive to the Morning Ridgeline.

-          While the Empire has put together enough clues to figure out that the player must have a base and it’s probably on or near Bicsay, they don’t have the resources to set up the kind of surveillance required to track down the base itself.  Hence, they approach Geonsotec for help.  Geonsotec is the largest corporation on Bicsay, and the only organisation on the planet that might be able to carry out this kind of surveillance.  The Empire isn’t aware of the connection between Geonsotec and the player.

-          Geonsotec refuses outright to help the Empire, which might seem odd.  Why not simply agree to help them, then just continuously tell them that they’ve not found anything?  The reason is that the Empire isn’t asking for a report from them, but rather that Geonsotec allows Imperial officers to be present and monitoring the situations at Geonsotec’s information hubs.  Once again, this raises the question of why not allow this and just make sure that any potential leading information has been filtered out before it reaches those hubs?  Well, the player hasn’t told Geonsotec anything about the location/nature of their base. So Geonsotec isn’t sure what information could potentially lead the Empire to locating it.  Given these problems and that they were itching for a way to show some backbone against the Empire, they instead elected to outright refuse the Navy, citing that they are a civilian organisation and not required to assist in military matters.  Whether or not this is entirely true, it’s what they used. If only to gain time.  As the days passed and Geonsotec continued not to budge on the matter, the Imperial navy grew increasingly frustrated up to the point that they decided to launch the attacks of this chapter against Geonsotec assets.  It is intended to accomplish two things.  First, Geonsotec’s resistance would either crumble or the, in the very least, the Navy could make an example out of them.  Second, it might draw out the player.  In which case the Icon would be held in reserve to ambush them from hyperspace. 

-          The Raiders hit the 2 Geonsotec stations in orbit over Bicsay first.  The player had no time to intervene there. 

-          The two stations in the chapter are a little further out and are strategically positioned at the exit/entrance to a hyperspace lane that most shipping to Bicsay uses.  Hence the Icon is able to drop out of hyperspace in a good ambush position without too much trouble.

-          The stations are manned.  This is a civilian massacre.  If you think that this is a little too dark for your player, don’t mention this and just let it fly over their head.

-          I should take some time here to outline the Imperial perspective on things.  Just a bit over a month ago, Bicsay and its four surrounding systems, all under the jurisdiction of Admiral Glenview, was a quiet command.  Although under resourced, there were no major threats to battle.  It was all just patrol and inspection work. Sure, they had to suppress the occasional uprising, but anyone could count on one hand the number of times that had happened.  And besides, that only took a handful of TIEs and a few stormtroopers. Hardly what you’d call taxing or even all that exciting.  With the appearance of the Player, all that has changed.  In a little over a month the Player has; evaded capture or destruction time and again; helped Rebel Alliance forces to escape twice; launched attacks against both Imperial ships and an Imperial installation.  And now they’ve survived a trap set for them.  From the Imperial perspective frustration is at a high.  The Navy’s hierarchy doesn’t look favourably upon failure, especially failure to eliminate a vastly inferior opponent who is this brazen.  To this end, all focus is now bent on eliminating the Player.  The failure of the trap to accomplish this is the catalyst for what occurs in the next chapter.

-          On the rebel side of things, I don’t need to go into so much detail.  The Icon is the largest ship in the jurisdiction.  If it falls, then it’s only a matter of time before the Player will be able to pick off every other ship in the area.  With no Navy to give them protection, the local Imperial governments would become vulnerable to groundside insurrections, especially with air support from the Player.  Between this, the now longstanding rivalry of the Player and the Icon, and the desire to avenge the Geonsotec massacres, all the Player’s focus is now bent on destroying the Icon.  This is the other catalyst for what happens in the next chapter.

-          Even after this chapter Geonsotec continues to refuse the Imperial Navy any assistance.

Edited by Flengin

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Chapter 7 – Upgrades

Rebel Alliance spies report that the Empire is retrofit upgrading the Icon at the local dockyards. 

While it’ll be too heavily guarded to attack the Icon directly, it does provide you with an opportunity.

Many of the new parts will be scattered around the dockyards, awaiting installation.  If you’re quick you might be able to steal something that you can use to upgrade your own ships.

If you can pull this off, the captain of the Morning Ridgeline knows a place where you’ll be able to have the new tech installed.

 

Time to do some raiding!

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons

-          Morning Ridgeline – Nebulon B Support Refit (only if it has survived all of the preceding chapters)

 

 

 

Imperial fleet:

-          Dart 3 – Raider I-class Corvette

-          2 x TIE fighter squadrons

-          Icon - Victory I-class Star Destroyer

-          Nokton flotilla – Gozanti-class Cruisers (only if it has survived all of the preceding chapters)

 

There are no upgrades (including commanders) or objectives in either fleet.

 

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

 

The Rebel player is the first player. 

 

Play area is 3’x3’.

 

Take the station and place it in the centre of the play area.  This is an Armed Station.

If no stations were destroyed in chapter 3, place a second station at distance 2 from the first station.  This is an Unarmed Station.  Place an imperial victory token on the armed station so as to keep track of which one it is.

Place the appropriate station cards near the Imperial ship cards.

Place no other obstacles.

 

Before deploying fleets, the GM places 3 objective tokens.  Place them at distance 5 (not distance 1-5) of the armed station, beyond distance 5 of each other objective token and beyond distance 5 of the rebel table edge.

Place the Icon at distance 1 of the armed station and set its speed to zero.

 

Deploy as normal. The rebel deployment zone is within distance 1-3 of their table edge.  The imperial deployment zone is within distance 1-5 of their table edge.

 

 

Scenario Rules – reveal to player

The objective is to capture as many upgrade parts (represented by the objective tokens) as possible before escaping.

The game lasts for an indefinite number of turns.

The game ends when there are no rebel ships in play or if the CR90 is destroyed through damage (as opposed to merely leaving the play area).

Any Rebel ship that flies out of the play area is considered to have escaped.

The player may declare a hyperspace retreat at any time after the 5th turn.  If they do, the game ends at the end of the current turn with all surviving ships considered to have escaped.

Rebel ships ending a manoeuvre on a station do not discard a damage card.

Rebel squadrons ending a move on a station do not restore a hull point.

When a rebel ship at distance 1 of an objective toke reveals a command dial, the Player may remove that token from the play area and place it on that ship’s card.  If they do, immediately decrease that ship’s speed by 1. The CR90 may not take more than 1 objective token in this way. The Morning Ridgeline may not take more than 2 objective tokens in this way.

A ship with one or more objective tokens has its maximum speed reduced by 1.

While attacking, the Icon cannot gather or add black dice to its attack pool.

The Icon cannot increase its speed.

Once per round, instead of activating a ship, the second player can perform 1 attack with the armed station.

If the CR90 escapes and at least one escaped rebel ship has 1 or more objective tokens, the scenario ends in a victory for the player.  Any other result is a defeat and the scenario must be replayed.

 

 

Scenario Rules – hidden from player (these are the rules you don’t tell the player until you use them)

At the end of the first turn, place 3 TIE fighter squadrons and 1 TIE bomber squadron within distance 1 of the armed station. Set their activation sliders to red.  While I toyed with the idea of just deploying all the squadrons at the start in the deployment phase, this feels much more dramatic.

If the player is victorious then, after this chapter concludes, the Player gains some permanent rewards based on the number of objective tokens they’ve captured.

After you’ve concluded this chapter’s story present the Player with the following choices.    

 

1 objective token captured:

-          The Morning Ridgeline is now a Nebulon-B Escort Frigate.

 

 

2 objective tokens captured:  

-          The Morning Ridgeline is now a Nebulon-B Escort Frigate.

and

-          The player chooses either a Defensive Retrofit upgrade card or a Turbolaser upgrade card to equip to the CR90.

 

 

3 objective tokens captured:

-          The Morning Ridgeline is now a Nebulon-B Escort Frigate.

and

-          The player chooses either a Defensive Retrofit upgrade card or a Turbolaser upgrade card to equip to the CR90.

and

-          The player chooses a Turbolaser upgrade card to equip to the Morning Ridgeline.

 

 

 

If the Morning Ridgeling has been destroyed, then instead the player just chooses either a Defensive Retrofit upgrade card or a Turbolaser upgrade card to equip to the CR90.

 

For my son, I had an additional restriction.  He had to be able to both read and explain to me any upgrade cards that he chose.

 

 

 

Story conclusion:

You’ve got away with the loot!

Even better, amongst all the other bits and pieces is an Imperial Navy decoder. 

Once it’s online, you will be able to listen in on every Imperial transmission!

Now it’s just a matter of getting everything installed.

The place you have in mind to get the work done isn’t close.  It’s a space docks, about a days’ travel by hyperspace, called the Twilight Expanse. 

You’ll need to make multiple jumps to make it. And you’ll need to leave your X-Wings behind so as not to raise suspicion.

But it’s worth it, because this place isn’t under Imperial control.

Just a few more weeks and you’ll have both the firepower and the ability to plot a trap…

 

Notes:

First thing’s first.  Don’t lose the Icon.  Repair like crazy.  Only once it becomes apparent that the Player won’t try to take it out can you start switching to other commands.  Even then I wouldn’t make more than 1 in 3 commands anything other than repair.

 

This scenario should be fairly easy for the player to pick up two tokens.  The third is where the tension really is.

Keep in mind that the position of the tokens and the Icon can also have a large impact on the difficulty of getting the third token.  A token placed near the Imperial edge with the Icon’s nose pointing towards it and the Raider guarding it will be nearly impossible to grab.

I’ve tried to simulate the Icon’s upgrade process in the restrictions placed upon it.  It’s having its ordnance tubes replaced with lasers/ion cannons (hence no black dice) and, as such, is in pieces (hence no moving or it would take catastrophic damage).  The Empire is wary of an attack by the player, so has done what they can to keep the Icon’s shields and turbolasers operational.

In a similar way, the only upgrades the player can expect to gain from such a raid are hardware ones.  So, no Support Teams or Officer upgrades floating around in cargo containers.

 

 

 

 

Story notes:

 

-          The parts for upgrading the Icon come packaged in cargo containers.  These containers are unmanned and have no propulsion system.  They are designed for ease of handling (see the old X-Wing and TIE fighter computer games for some likely pictures).

 

-          It’ll take 5 days after receiving the news before the actual parts for the Icon will arrive.  Then another few days before the Player can be sure that the upgrade operation is sufficiently underway that the Icon won’t be able to move.  Then there’ll be a window of a few weeks before the Icon is fully operational again.

This is all largely moot point though as it’ll take some time for the Player to properly jury rig capture devices to the CR90 and the Morning Ridgeling.  These devices consist of repositioned tractor beams (to pull the containers in), as well as quick capture strapping and holding claws.  These last two need only to be able to hold the containers for a short time, enough for the raid and then a short hyperspace jump.  After this they can be properly secured for the much longer jump to the Twilight Expanse.  Needless to say, neither ship is designed for this sort of work (hence the speed problems encountered in this scenario), and the CR90 in particular is restricted in the amount of contraband it’ll be able to pillage.

 

 

-          Reaching the Twilight Expanse will require the Player to use 5 different hyperlanes.  There will be two transitions between lanes where the Player will have to leave hyperspace and use sublight engines to fly the short distance to the next hyperlane. These pass without incident.

 

 

-          The Empire isn’t expecting this kind of raid, but rather has taken precautions against a direct attack against either the dockyard or the Icon.

 

-          Now, to clear up a few bits and pieces about the Twilight Expanse. It’s a black-market dockyards in the outer rim, under the control of 3 men who both own and oversee the whole operation.  There are 6 other organisations that also work out of the Twilight Expanse, but this is by necessity.  The Trio needs them to act as ‘independents’ so as to help maintain the Twilight Expanse’s reputation for integrity.  In reality, the Trio keeps a very close eye on everyone who works in the Expanse. It’s a business and they run a tight ship.

 

The Empire is aware of the existence and location of the Twilight Expanse, but tolerates it for a number of reasons:

1)      It’s a good source of information for the Empire.  The Twilight Expanse attracts a constant stream of all sorts who don’t want to deal with authorities but need the goods and services that can be found in such places.  The Empire has 2 agents embedded within the organisation of the Twilight Expanse who feed information that both helps the Empire to track persons of interest and sometimes even brings them to the attention of the Empire in the first place. Given that the Empire’s greatest rival (the Rebel Alliance) also makes copious use of the Twilight Expanse and other places like it, it makes it a prime spot to gain leads on the Rebellion

2)      While in principle the Empire doesn’t like what goes on in the Twilight Expanse, it knows that if it does crack down on the Twilight Expanse, the smugglers and black-market services will simply spring up elsewhere.  While an elimination of the Twilight Expanse is always something that the Empire has on the cards to do at some point (after all, there are only so many dockyards available to the black-market), they will most likely put that off till after the Rebel Alliance is eliminated.  In the meantime, it’s better to have a black-market outlet that you do know where it is rather than you don’t.  It’s useful now and much easier to eliminate later.

From the viewpoint of the Trio in charge of the Twilight Expanse, things are like this.  They know that the Empire is aware of them.  They rightly guess that the real reasons the Empire hasn’t shut them down is because the Empire is using them for information. 

So, they have to make the hard decision on what their official policy is towards the Empire. 

Given that 90% of their business is because the Twilight Expanse has a solid and well-founded reputation of being outside of the Empire’s influence, the Trio have adopted a policy of extreme prejudice against any Imperial sway.  They accept no bribes or blackmail, allow no Imperial ship within a certain distance of their yards and terminate anybody with reasonable suspicion of being an Imperial agent. 

They aren’t naïve.  They know that there are Imperial agents in their ranks (though they don’t know who).  They know that the existence of these agents is the one big reason the Expanse still exists.  But they also know that business is business.  So, in a dockyards with many smaller businesses operating out of it, they run a tight ship.  They both screen and monitor their own people, as well as their tenants. Intensely.

Customers are allowed only the most limited of access to the Twilight Expanse.

And it has worked.

To date, the Empire has made 134 attempts to embed agents within the Twilight Expanse.  Most failed. The only two that have currently made it took over 3 years each to get embedded.  And they aren’t even aware of who each other are.

Meanwhile, the Trio continues to count on two things.

1)      The Empire has such high calibre agents that not all of them will get caught by even the most intense of screening and surveillance.

2)      When the Empire does finally decide that enough is enough, the Trio and their higher executives all have contingency plans in place to ensure their own survival.

 

 

-          Geonsotec has agreed to quietly fund the upgrade services the Player receives at the Twilight Expanse. Fortunately, Geonsotec is recognized as being good credit there.

 

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Thank you for doing this, @Flengin! My son and I have been playing the first couple chapters and he's loving it. Both my kids (his sister is 10) have been really hooked on the story :) My son has his sister as a character flying the lead X-wing and he's very protective of her ❤️ All his other best friends are flying the other X-wings.

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Chapter 8 – Homeward Bound

The upgrades are complete!

The Icon has no doubt finished its own upgrades as well.  Now it’s time to return to base and start planning a trap for it.

The journey will once again require you to travel over a day in 5 hyperlanes with two sub-light crossings.

The first crossing passes uneventfully.

During the second one, as you’ve almost made it to the final hyperlane, two Imperial ships and a number of TIE squadrons emerge from hiding (you wish you had your X-Wings flying cover right now).

 

Your stolen Imperial decoder shows its value, letting you know that the lead ship has just sent a long-range transmission requesting reinforcements.

Well, it’s now or never.  You’ll have to slip past these ships to make it to the hyperlane before those reinforcements show up.

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          Morning Ridgeline – Nebulon B Escort Frigate (only if it has survived all of the preceding chapters)

-          Any upgrades that the player won in Chapter 7

 

-          The Rebel player has no squadrons in this scenario

 

 

 

Imperial fleet:

-          1 x TIE bomber squadrons

-          2 x TIE fighter squadrons

-          Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer

In addition, the Imperial fleet has either an Arquitens (either class) or a Raider I-class Corvette.

 

There are no commanders or objectives in either fleet.

 

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

 

The Rebel player is the first player. 

 

Play area is 3’x6’.

This scenario uses the Short Player Edges Setup from the Corellian Conflict Campaign Guide.

 

Place obstacles, excluding the station, beyond one range ruler length from the rebel player’s edge and beyond two range ruler lengths from the Imperial player’s edge.

 

Deploy as normal. The rebel deployment zone is within one range ruler length of their table edge.  The imperial deployment zone is within three range ruler lengths of their table edge.  Imperial ships may not be deployed overlapping obstacles.

 

 

Scenario Rules – reveal to player

The objective is to escape via the Imperial table edge.

The game lasts for an indefinite number of turns.

The game ends when there are no rebel ships in play or if the CR90 is destroyed.

Any Rebel ship that flies out of the play area through the Imperial player edge is considered to have escaped.  If the CR90 escapes while the Morning Ridgeline is still in play, the game does not end until the Morning Ridgeline leaves play.

Any Rebel ship that leaves the play area through any other play edge is considered destroyed.

When the game ends, if the CR90 has left the play area through the Imperial player edge then this scenario ends in a victory for the Player.  Any other result is a loss and this scenario will have to be replayed.

 

Scenario Rules – hidden from player

The GM must have the TIE bomber launch an attack against the CR90 at least once

The first time the TIE bomber squadron attacks the CR90, cancel all attack dice before rolling the attack pool.  This is the TIE bombers launching the homing device.

 

 

Story conclusion:

You made it, slipping past those ships before making the jump to safety!

A few hours later you’re safe and sound, hidden away in your base. In the morning you’ll be able to start the work of figuring out how to take the Icon down once and for all.  In the meantime, your decoder will be listening to every Imperial message within spitting distance of Bicsay.

7 hours later your decoder picks up the most important message it’ll ever receive.

Which you would think would be good news…

But it isn’t…

 

 

Notes:

While no reinforcements will show up during this scenario, there is no reason to let the player know this.  Play your cards close to your chest and let the tension do its thing. Remember, they don’t even know which hyperlane the reinforcements are supposed to be arriving from, so may ‘turn up’ either in front or behind them.  Of course they can check their hyperspace scanners but these will consistently turn up nothing.

 

Story notes:

-          The question arises as to why the player doesn’t take this opportunity to completely upgrade their ships with whatever black-market goods that they can.  After all, CR90s and Nebulon-Bs are fairly common ships, so it can be expected that a place like the Twilight Expanse would be brimming full of nice shinnies to install onto the player’s ships.

The reason is that Geonsotec has to be careful about how much money it can funnel to the player at a time.  Too much and it might be noticed by the Empire.  At the moment the Empire doesn’t suspect Geonsotec and Geonsotec wants to keep it that way.  They have no experience with doing this sort of thing and so they aren’t sure how much they can get away with.  While they could ask around for advice, doing this too much would be the modern-day equivalent of Googling ‘What’s the best way I can give lots of money to the Rebel Alliance without the Empire noticing’.

In the meantime, Geonsotec is careful and doesn’t push the boundaries.  So, the Player’s budget is limited.  Enough to install the stolen parts.  Even enough to do a little more than that.  But not nearly enough to fully deck out their ships.

 

 

 

-          While the player has an Imperial decoder, the actual codes are changed around every now and then, rendering it useless.  This is especially true in this case as the Empire knows that the player has stolen a decoder, so it has taken pains to have all the codes local to Bicsay and its surrounds changed ahead of schedule. 

 

But many things can be bought at the Twilight Expanse.

 

The player is lucky.  This is a rare case where the latest codes are for sale.  Geonsotec’s budget can stretch to cover the cost and neither of the Imperial agents manage to detect the sale.

 

 

-          The player is wary about Imperial interference during the upgrade process, either sabotage or the planting of homing devices/explosives.  They have their men watch all work done.  After it is complete, they inspect the entirety of both ships as well as conducting thorough scans.  They also end up using three of the independent companies to triple check both ships.  While one of the Imperial agents does indeed work on their ships, there is no tampering detected because there is none.

 

The agent does, however, successfully report to the Empire the presence of the Player, what work has been done and when the player departs the Twilight Expanse.

 

Hence there are two imperial ships waiting for the Player at the second crossing.  The Empire considers this far enough away that the Player will consider it a coincidence.

 

 

 

-          The Imperial agent could attempt to sabotage or plant something aboard the ships.  It could even potentially plant explosives that would destroy the ships while they were still at the Twilight Expanse. The reason why the agent doesn’t is because doing so would almost certainly blow their cover.

 

While this is an option, getting agents embedded into the Twilight Expanse is so difficult that the Empire values them too highly to lose one on a prize this small.  

 

 

 

-          Most of the hyperlane changes can be navigated without exciting hyperspace as they simply intersect each other or are a smaller one splitting off from a larger one.  The two changes where the Player is required to leave hyperspace are where two ongoing lanes come very close together (a few hundred kilometres) without touching.

 

 

 

-          There are actual reinforcements on the way, but for the purposes of this scenario will arrive too late to help.

 

 

 

-          The TIE bombers launch homing devices on their first attack run, aiming to hit the side of the CR90’s engine block.

 

These devices are housed in a torpedo casing that uses reverse thrusters to slow almost to a stop just before hitting their target to allow them to pass through the target’s shields. When they pass through the shields, they then fire their second stage.  This consists of a small amount of ‘goop’, the homing device itself, then a larger amount of heat resistant ‘goop’. 

 

The ‘goop’ covers the device and acts as an adhesive, allowing the device to stick to the target’s hull.  The goop then quickly hardens. This both allows the device to be secure during rough travel (and hyperspace) as well as providing a reasonable amount of heat protection in case of a rapid atmospheric re-entry.  

 

 

The homing beacon is designed to locate the enemy base. It lies dormant until triggered, so as not to be detected before reaching the base.  The primary trigger is a heat trigger.  When the device cools below a certain temperature, it activates its beacon.  The reasoning behind this is that a ship in space will have its engines firing, keeping the device warm.  A ship that has landed or docked will shut down its engines, which will then slowly cool until the triggering level is reached.  When the device triggers, it transmits its location across a very wide spectrum. 

 

Alternatively, the device can be triggered remotely.  This is so that if the primary trigger doesn’t set the device off (most likely because the ship has never shut its engines off), there will still be a way to track the tagged ship.

 

 

 

-          Finally, while the player and their crew has had plenty of opportunity to sleep during this whole upgrade process, it’s been a nervous and stressful time.  Hence the desire to leave any plotting and planning till the morning.

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Posted (edited)

Long overdue response time!

 

On 3/4/2020 at 3:46 AM, ralphbod said:

Thank you for doing this, @Flengin! My son and I have been playing the first couple chapters and he's loving it. Both my kids (his sister is 10) have been really hooked on the story

 

No problems, it’s my pleasure!  And I’m glad someone else has found this works for them and I’m really glad you guys are enjoying it! 

 

Which chapter are you up to?  Have you found that you’ve needed to adapt any of it to suit?  Are there any bits that you’re finding a bit thin and should be fleshed out further?

Also, how old is your son, if you don’t mind me asking?

 

On 3/4/2020 at 3:46 AM, ralphbod said:

 My son has his sister as a character flying the lead X-wing and he's very protective of her ❤️ All his other best friends are flying the other X-wings.

 

I don’t think I can express how much this warms my heart!  This is just so completely awesome!   

It’s also something I relate to as I used to do this sort of thing when I was growing up 😊.

 

On 3/9/2020 at 4:24 AM, Wulfrain said:

Pretty cool, I like it. Nice way of teaching your son how to play as well. I want the Icon to burn! 😁

 

Thanks @Wulfrain! The final chapter isn’t far away now.  While my son is still struggling through chapter 8, I figure he could be some time on it so I might as well post up chapter 9 shortly anyway.  I’ve given it a test and it seems to be working properly 😊

 

Speaking of which, some random trivia for you.  I’ve had to tone down the difficulty of both chapter 7 and 8 (before I posted them).  My son had given each 2 tries before I tried them myself and realised that they were waaaay too hard for even experienced players, least of all a beginner.  (I did have lots of fun trying to beat the much harder version of chapter 8 though 😊)

 

 

 

In order to get his playing speed up and keep his mind from wandering off, I’ve also introduced a timer to our games.  When it’s our turn to activate a ship we have 2 minutes to complete the activation.  If either of us ever fails to do this, the game ends and he has to replay the scenario.  So far it’s working to keep him focused.  It also adds a ton of good tension to chapter 8 as it makes it feel more like a he really is having to make split second decisions on how to dodge past the Imperial ships.

 

 

One of the pleasures I’ve had with this is getting to tell the story to someone who hasn’t heard several dozen that are just like it before.  He was genuinely taken off guard when at the start of chapter 6 (after having completed chapter 5 several weeks earlier) he learned that the Morning Ridgeline would become a part of his fleet.  You should have seen the expression on his face, he really hadn’t seen it coming!  Oh, to be that young again 😊.

 

 

Something I keep forgetting to mention each chapter is that while the Rebel Alliance continues to supply X-Wings and pilots, the player still isn’t officially part of the Alliance.  The simple reason behind this is that the Rebellion hasn’t really had a reason (yet) to want the player to do anything other than what they are doing, and the Player currently doesn’t have anything extra to gain from full blown membership.  Inertia is powerful.

 

Final piece of trivia, I'd named the other 4 systems in the local area, as well as the planets in Bicsay and the one where the dockyards are, but I've just never included them in this write up, which I feel should be rectified some time.  Maybe when I eventually upload some pictures...

 

Anyway, final chapter coming soon.

 

 

Edited by Flengin
grammer

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Posted (edited)

Chapter 9 – Hour of Reckoning

 

There’s an Imperial transmission originating from within your base.

Worse, it’s sending its exact co-ordinates.

You track its signal to find what’s sending it, a homing device attached to your CR90.  While you make short work of the device, it’s too late.  The Empire knows where your base is.

You’re not going to give up your base. Not now.  Not after you’ve come so far and are so close to final victory.  Freedom for Bicsay! 

There’s nothing else for it.  You get your ships into space and hook up with the Morning Ridgeline.

This is it.  Your ragtag fleet against whatever the Empire will throw at you.

But with cold certainty you already know what they will send.

Two hours later the Icon emerges from hyperspace and sets course for your base.

The hour of reckoning has come.

 

Rebel fleet:

-          CR90 Corvette A

-          4 x X-Wing squadrons

-          Morning Ridgeline – Nebulon B Escort Frigate (only if it has survived all of the preceding chapters)

-          Any upgrades that the player won in Chapter 7

 

 

 

Imperial fleet:

-          Icon – Victory II-class Star Destroyer

-          6 x TIE fighter squdrons

-          Nokton flotilla – Gozanti-class Cruisers (only if it has survived all of the preceding chapters)

 

 

There are no commanders or objectives in either fleet.

 

 

Set up and play as usual with the following exceptions.

 

The Imperial player is the first player. 

 

Play area is 3’x6’.

This scenario uses the Short Player Edges Setup from the Corellian Conflict Campaign Guide.

 

Place no obstacles.

Before deploying fleets, the GM places one objective token entirely within the distance 2 band (not distance 1-2) of the Rebel player edge and beyond distance 5 from each long table edge.

Deploy as normal. The rebel deployment zone is within three range ruler lengths of their table edge.  The imperial deployment zone is within distance 1-2 of their table edge. 

 

image.png.fe5b54f074e760d1df6793ca80fcf095.png

 

Scenario Rules – reveal to player

The objective is to destroy the Icon before it reaches the objective token.

The game lasts for an indefinite number of turns.

The game ends when either:

-          The Icon and/or the CR90 are no longer in play

 

or

 

-          At the end of any turn in which the Icon has an objective token.

 

 

Scenario Rules – hidden from player

When the Icon reveals a command dial, if it is at speed 1 or less, and is at distance 1 of the objective token, it must remove the objective token from play and place it on its ship card.  When it does so, inform the player that the Icon is about to commence its orbital bombardment.

While the Icon has an objective token, it may not gather red dice into its attack pool. This represents the Icon preparing to use its turbolasers to bombard the base.

There are 3 ways this scenario can end.

1)      The CR90 is destroyed, in which case the Player must replay the scenario.

2)      A turn ends with the Icon having the objective token.  In this case the Player’s base is destroyed from orbit.  The player has no choice but to abandon the Bicsay system and seek out the Rebel Alliance. The (Bicsay) campaign ends here, though the player may attempt this chapter again.

3)      The Icon is destroyed.  In which case the player has won the campaign.  Give them a few minutes to celebrate, but don’t let them pack anything up.  After you’ve allowed them to bask in the glory of their achievement, inform them that their hyperspace scanners are detecting an incoming ship.  Let them play through one more turn (with no Imperial ships in play), then, at the end of that turn, place the Reckoning (an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer) within distance 1-3 of the Imperial player edge.  Immediately after doing so inform the Player that the Reckoning is launching TIEs, then end the game.  The campaign concludes here.

 

Campaign story conclusion:

 

 

 

 

 

Naiveté and hubris and nemesis

 

Naiveté

Destroy the Icon and it’ll only be a matter of time until you can free Bicsay and all the surrounding systems.

As if it were going to be as simple as that.  Destroy one tired old ship and you’ll win the whole war.

Naiveté

Because today is the day you came to realise how small your vision was and how unimaginably huge the Empire is.  The Icon may have been powerful in the Bicsay system.  It may have represented to you, and billions of others, the ultimate authority of the Empire. But for the Imperial Navy it was little more than a forgotten shadow of yesterday’s greatness, stationed to an out of the way sector where nothing ever happened. Today was the day that you learnt the awful truth, that to the Empire the Icon was nothing more than a tired old horse.

 

Hubris

Because today was the day you thought yourself great, standing up to the Icon as it relived for one last time the glory it had once held, charging into battle.  Today was the day you cut it down forever and you took too much pride in your imagined felling of a tyrant.   

Hubris

Because today was the day you exalted over your fallen enemy. Boasted in your triumph, in your supposed great strength and cunning. Only to learn that nemesis follows hubris.

Nemesis

Because today is the day that you learnt that the merest twitch of the Imperial Navy’s hand is impossibly greater than anything you had before imagined.

Nemesis

Because today is the day of defeat.

 

Your campaign to free Bicsay has failed.

Not because you failed in anything you did.  But because you had set yourself to do that which is impossible…

 

 

 

The fight against the Icon had been the most intense experience of your life.   When finally the fatal shots had hit home and the Icon was at last no more, there was only relief.  Then exhausted jubilation.

Your ship was battered, but not broken.  Strained, but triumphant.

It was in these few precious moments that you really thought you’d won.

When the Reckoning emerged from hyperspace a few minutes later, you first disbelieving thought was that the Icon was somehow back from the dead.  When that cleared, the much more staggering realisation was the sheer size of the Reckoning, dwarfing even the massive Icon.

You had heard from the captain of the Morning Ridgeline about Imperial class Star Destroyers.  But their reality had never sunk in.

Now you stare at it, dumbfounded, before realising that it’s bearing down on you much faster than the Icon ever could. 

Even if you hadn’t just come through your biggest struggle yet, you know that your fleet could never take on a monstrosity like that.

You give the order for all ships to make the jump to hyperspace.

It’s only in the quiet of the cold blue that you finally come to see the full truth. 

Thousands.

The Empire is said to have thousands of Imperial class Star Destroyers.

There’s no way you can win against that.  No way you can even fight against that.

Well. 

Almost no way.

Because you know who can.

It’s finally time to find the Rebel Alliance. 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

This is a boss fight.

Make sure it runs like one.

Spam Repairs, the occasional Squadron command and a single Navigate.  You could use Concentrate Fire, but repair makes for a more dramatic fight.  Besides, the Icon has inevitability on its side and it knows it.

Don’t let the Icon deviate from its course towards the objective token by more than 2 clicks in either direction.  Also, don’t let it overshoot the objective token and fly off the board.

Also, please note the differences in this scenario.  Namely that the Imperial player is the first player and that the Icon is now a Vic 2.

 

The final question is: should you use boss fight music?

I don’t, but mostly because I find it distracting.  If you can find one that resonates with you without distracting you then go for it.

If I were to go for one it’d either be the 2 part backing music at the end of Phantasy Star 4 or

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO4jWC2vTQo

 

Though this last one I’d use before the battle rather than during it.  Just imagine a video of the player discovering the device, launching their ships, hooking up with the Morning Ridgeline and waiting for the inevitable Imperial attack.

 

 

 

 

Story notes:

-          The Imperial response to the player is multipart.  The upgrading of the Icon and the homing device were two of these parts. The Reckoning was one of 4 ISDs sent to the area.  One other was sent to Bicsay’s asteroid field and the other two were sent to another two of the four systems in the area.  These were to limit the Player’s viable options after their base falls.

-          The Icon attacks the base, even though it knows that the Reckoning is en-route, for two reasons. First, because the officers and crew know that their recent failures mean that they are standing on the brink.  While the Icon itself isn’t likely to be decommissioned so soon after being upgraded, they will receive no such grace from Navy Command.  Being discharged is a real danger for them at the moment. They need to demonstrate that they can control their jurisdiction. Second, because they have something to prove. It’s an old ship with an old captain.  Many of the crew are getting on as well. Though the Imperial Navy looks at the Icon and sees a has-been, many of them have flown with the Icon for decades and have pulled through a lot of fierce action in that time. They love their ship and have a melancholy fondness for the days that were. So, when they don’t receive any direct orders not to attack, they decide to take the opportunity. 

-          The above are also the reasons that the Icon doesn’t retreat during this battle, no matter how bad things get for it. They will finish this fight or go down trying.

-          The Icon doesn’t bring any other ships (apart from Nokton flotilla if it’s still alive) because it’s assigned all of the other garrison ships in the area to guard Imperial assets.  Namely the dockyards and each of the Imperial government headquarters in each system. They don’t want any needless losses from this operation.

-          The heart of the reason why the player lost their base was because it was never intended as a tool to be used to free Bicsay.  At least, not in isolation.  It was intended to give the owner the power to raid the Empire with impunity.  To disrupt Imperial shipping.  And allow them a safe staging area to strike at vulnerable targets before fading from view for a few weeks or months.  The Player’s fault was to be too active, to attract too much attention.  In truth, it was probably the rescue of the Morning Ridgeline that was what pushed them up to the edge being too visible (thought there are cases to be made for the ambushing of Nokton flotilla as well as the attack at the shipyards so soon after rescuing the Rebel agents).  Attempting to intervene in the Geonsotec massacre was what catapulted them well over the edge.  After this, it didn’t take much to convince Imperial high command to devote the resources necessary to eradicating the Player.  A few upgrades, a homing device and an ISD later…  

-          The Player still hasn’t officially joined the Rebel Alliance.  If the Morning Ridgeline survived this chapter, then the captain will know how to join up with the Alliance again.  If not…well, that’s another adventure.  Isn’t it?

-          The base is evacuated just after the Player launches their ships.

-          While it would take more than a single turn of shooting to completely destroy the base, any amount of orbital bombardment would cause irreparable and critical damage to the hanger.  Hence the scenario ends if the Icon even starts to bombard the base.

 

Edited by Flengin

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1 hour ago, Flengin said:

place the Reckoning (an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer)

I literally just finished rereading the book featuring the Reckoning. . . :)

A great conclusion to a thoroughly entertaining campaign! Now I wish I had somebody new to teach, in order to play it. . . :D Thanks for posting these!

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1 hour ago, GhostofNobodyInParticular said:

I literally just finished rereading the book featuring the Reckoning. . . :)

A great conclusion to a thoroughly entertaining campaign! Now I wish I had somebody new to teach, in order to play it. . . :D Thanks for posting these!

Oops!  I swear I'd checked to make sure that that name hadn't been taken! 

Oh well, I guess it...fits well enough?  At least I got the type of ISD right 🙂 

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