December 17, 2015 by lloyd
A Long, Long Time Ago…
What’s your favourite scene from the original Star Wars? While we all have our favourites here’s one for you to try out of our own creation…
PDF Download – The Endor Aftermath
For nearly everyone I ask the answer is the Death Star trench run. That iconic bombing run by Luke, Wedge and Biggs in a last ditch attempt to blow up the Death Star while Darth Vader and his two wingmen chase them down.
Luke has the last remaining set of Proton Torpedoes to fire down the exhaust port and destroy the Death Star before it obliterates Yavin, of his two wingmen Wedge is forced to withdraw due to damage and Biggs is blown apart by a calculated shot from Vader.
Just as Vader has locked on to Luke, “I have you now”, the Millennium Falcon fires in from above taking out Vader’s wingmen and flinging Vader himself into space. Luke fires the torpedoes, the surviving Rebel ships high tail it and the Death Star explodes, boom instant cinema history.
All the Star Wars films, yes even the prequels have some amazing dogfighting action sequences but noting quite compares to that trench run in A New Hope. Many gamers over the years have replicated that scene on the tabletop in basically every dog fighting system there’s been, when the X-Wing Miniatures game was released in what seems like a long, long time ago one of the first major battle reports I saw was a recreation of the Death Star Trench Run.
When the BOW team were brainstorming for an X-Wing Miniatures Game Scenario things kept coming back to that iconic scene. Could we replicate the energy and tension of that encounter without re-hashing what’s already been done and could we tie it in somehow with the narrative of the expanding Star Wars universe in preparation for The Force Awakens coming out in December?
Setting The Scene
The natural place to begin a new adventure is at the end of the previous one so setting the scenario on Endor after the destruction of the second Death Star and the end of Episode VI seemed like the natural option. Replace the walls of a trench with the massive forest trees of Endor and have tense dogfights in the narrow confines of forest clearings.
Setting the scenario planetside would allow inclusion of ground units like the AT-ST’s from Return of the Jedi and even the hulking AT-AT’s from The Empire Strikes Back handy since BOW already had some existing miniatures that were the perfect scale.
For a scenario narrative we imagined the existence of a Imperial garrison base somewhere on the moon of Endor, after all the Shield Generator for the second Death Star was only a small facility and those Storm Troopers and AT-ST’s had to be based somewhere. After the destruction of the second Death Star, the surviving Imperial units might re-group at this base and prepare for a counter attack forcing the Rebel alliance to go into battle again after the celebrations in the Ewok village.
Funnily enough we had this outline in place before the first issue of the comic series Star Wars: Shattered Empire came out in which this exact same scenario occurs!
The main challenges when designing rules for this scenario were to keep the game fundamentally playable with the core X-Wing miniatures game system but also introducing mechanics to allow for ground based units, fixed fortifications and the much larger play area we were planning to use.
Any X-wing player will tell you that for a game set in the depths of space the game does feature allot of crashing into random asteroids! Since we would be playing this scenario on a planet’s surface, one covered in giant trees to boot the risks of being able to manoeuvre at all were tricky.
In the end we decided to have narrow bands of forest on the board that would be treated like asteroids in that they could be flown through with the possibility of receiving damage. However if a ship didn’t clear the forest by the end of the manoeuvre then much like the Scout Troopers in Return of the Jedi they would come to a sudden and abrupt end!
In practice this meant that only those ships with large manoeuvres and the options to boost like A-Wings and TIE Interceptors would attempt to jump the treeline.
Adding Ground Units
The ground units were initially tricky to design as the Flightpath system that X-Wing is based on assumes that ships are always moving to reflect the fast paced momentum of an aerial dogfight. However there are a very small number of ships in X-Wing that can stall as a manoeuvre so a precedence existed for a unit to remain stationary and an existing symbol for the manoeuvre dial.
Likewise fighter craft are nearly always moving forward but a ground based unit can backpedal, the solution was to allow for backwards movement but make it a difficult red manoeuvre so that walkers couldn’t just moonwalk around battlefield.
AT-ST’s were designed to be the equivalent of a ground based Tie Fighter, squishy but nimble. Giving them a 180 degree arc of fire and the ability to rotate their base 90 degrees as an action means that they can pose a danger to the rebel fighters if they are not eliminated early.
AT-AT’s were designed to be the big lumbering behemoths that were so menacing in the Battle of Hoth. Loads of hull points and a scary number of dice on the attack are balanced with a slow movement speed and narrow arc of fire. They can knock out a Rebel ship in a single round of shooting but a smart Rebel player can out manoeuvre them.
The Turbolaser turrets were designed to be road blocks to the Rebel player, an initial obstacle to eliminate early game. The turbolaser’s long range and high damage potential was suggested by Lloyd and makes them a serious threat in early turns. The idea was so good it was ported to the AT-AT’s as well.
Finally all ground units were given a Pilot Skill of 0 to reflect the relative fast speed that airborne fighters would have in comparison to the ground units. This means that they can be taken out early in the combat phase but there will be hell to pay once they let loose at the end.
The Fiddly Bits
In order to speed up the early turns the ships for both players arrive or launch in waves. This lets the players concentrate on achieving early objective roles for their units before the inevitable furball happens when the table is covered in ships. It also allows for late game reinforcements for both Rebels and Imperials in the form of Grey Squadrons Y-Wings and the optional Elite Tie Interceptors.
Both players have a number of named pilots with upgrades who were chosen based on their ability to work with their wings or as rogue units. For Rebels each wave is lead by a named pilot who should be able to maximize the effectiveness of the waves role while the same is true for the Imperials abet with some powerful “lone wolf” units.
Finally any Rebel ship with torpedoes was given the Munitions Failsafe upgrade as every shot would count in this scenario and rolling misses could scupper the attack early. A new weapon in the form of “Bunker Buster” Advanced Proton torpedoes were added so that with the larger playing area some shots could be gotten off earlier by the bombers at Range 5, this also necessitated increasing the range of Target Lock for Y-Wings to Range 5 as well.
Giving It A Go
All the rules for playing this scenario are contained in the PDF file below which includes templates and manoeuvre dials for the Imperial Ground Units and full squadron lists for the Rebel and Empire players. Printing out the squadron lists for bookkeeping rather than using individual cards is advisable since there will be allot of ships to keep track of.
It’s advisable to play the scenario on a rectangular 6×4 or 6×3 foot table with plenty of trees grouped in such a way to leave multiple corridors for ships to attack through. A simple box terrain feature can stand in for the Shield Generator or you can use a printout of the unit card itself from the PDF.
PDF Download – The Endor Aftermath
If playing the Rebels remember to focus on the roles and objectives of each of the fighter squadrons. It might be tempting to start taking apart the Imperial defences and fighters with all your Y-Wing torpedoes but you’ll have nothing left by the end of the game to take out the main objective of the Shield Generator. Also use you’re named pilots wisely, each of them are with a squadron for a reason.
If playing the Empire your only goal is to prevent the destruction of the Shield Generator. Set up your ground units wisely as they will do the most damage in early turns and don’t be afraid to sacrifice them to slow down the Rebel players advance.
TIE fighters work best in swarms, choose an attack corridor and advance down it like a wave of destruction before looping back to attack the enemy in their rear arc. The named TIE Interceptor can quickly pick off damaged Rebel fighters so choose his targets wisely.
No matter what side you play your sure to have a great experience with this scenario. So remember to stay on target, have fun and may the force be with you.
Download the PDFs and get playing!
"Replace the walls of a trench with the massive forest trees of Endor and have tense dogfights in the narrow confines of forest clearings..."
"No matter what side you play your sure to have a great experience with this scenario. So remember to stay on target, have fun and may the force be with you..."