Don't you just love escort missions.
Yeah, me neither. They always remind me of the computer game missions that you have to re-do over and over and over again; the quintessence of rage-quit. This in mind, Wade, Sgt Waz and I decided to have a craic at the X-wing escort scenario but shake things up a bit with some surprise fleet composition.
On the Imperial side Wade and I settled on a Decimator (Rear Admiral Chiraneau, Ruthlessness, Hull Upgrade, Weapons Engineer and Darth Vader) and a TIE Defender (Colonel Vessery, Expose and Stealth Device). That meant we were going to be outnumbered but capable of doing a lot of damage.
Sgt Waz chose Luke Skywalker (R2-D2), Arvel Crynyd, Keyan Farlander and a Rookie X-wing pilot. He had a pretty tight plan; keep the X-wings close to the shuttle while the A-wing and B-wing run interference. With numbers on his side, and the ability of his ships to give the shuttle an extra evade token, we figured the scenario would be close fought. We were right...
Early in the game the fleets closed with each other and exchanged some long range shots, which were particularly effective against the Decimator. The Defender also scored some lucky hits against Luke's X-wing.
Sgt Waz flew Arvel right into the teeth of the Decimator and gave it hell, knowing that taking it out would be a serious blow to our ability to destroying the shuttle. Arvel's ability played right to Sgt Waz's "strengths" (he is not very good at judging distances and often crashes into ships he is trying to shoot down!).
|Delicious chocolate asteroids...|
As the leading edges of the two fleets met the Defender destroyed Luke. The Decimator began taking shots at the shuttle and using Ruthlessness to damage the escorts. The B-wing poured fire into the large ship in response. The Rookie X-wing stuck to the plan and stayed with the shuttle as closely as possible whilst taking pot shots at the Defender. None of them hit though, dat Defender be evasive.
The TIE Defender turned on the shuttle whilst the Decimator began the lobourious task of turning around, engaging with its turret and using Darth Vader to maximise damage. In the effort to keep the Decimator in his B-wing's sights, Sgt Waz tried to pull one too many red maneuvers; we kept moving him in the wrong direction as fast as possible :-) The Rookie pilot made up for it, pulling a K-turn and blasting the Decimator to pieces at long range.
|The Defender uses Expose to put more damage on the shuttle. With its 6 shields and 6 hull, the Imps needed to keep up the pressure.|
|The Rookie bags the Decimator, taking Darth Vader out in the process.|
With half the Imperial fleet a cloud of expanding gas and the shuttle three turns away from safety, the equation was clear. The TIE Defender had to stay on the shuttle's back and the shuttle had to keep heading for the board edge. The other Rebel ships had free reign to harass the Defender. Arvel opened fire first, but did I say the Defender is evasive?
|My roll against Arvel's attack. This was the last turn I would be rolling 4 dice...|
The shuttle weaved its way towards safety whilst my Defender poured fire into it. A rookie TIE reinforcement made a pass on the shuttle as well, then took some shots at the B-wing for good measure (we had agreed at the start that this would happen if an Imperial Ship was lost early).
At the start of the last turn the TIE Defender had lost its Stealth Device and was reduced to two hull points. Knowing that he would not get a shot off from Arvel before it was too late, he used the A-wing pilot's action to give the shuttle an extra evade token. Keyan Farlander had a chance to destroy the Defender first but was unable to score enough hits. In return the TIE blasted away at the shuttle with 5 dice due to the close range and Expose. It managed three hits, making victory achievable, but the shuttle rolled a single, crucial evade. With the addition of the evade token from Arvel, the shuttle was left with just a single hull point, allowing it to leave the map edge to the safety beyond!
|The thrilling final turn. Missed him by that much.|
What a terrific game! Short-handing the Imperials really made for tight contest, with the Rebels flying circles around their enemies for once. Enjoy it while it lasts, rebel scum ;-)
See you across the table,