- Subudai (Pete) Khan(subudai)Australia
It began as all rebellions do, with the systems of Mon Calamari, Naboo and Ryloth foolishly seceding. The droid C3PO and the smaller droid R2D2 were amongst the devices that the rebels hastily procured to support their misguided aims. Fortunately, worlds as widely dispersed as Coruscant, Mandalore, Saleucami and Corellia remained loyal to the imperial creed. At Sullust and Mustafar imperial garrisons ensured the maintenance of order and compliance. The emperor was determined that when his moment came, he would manage things ‘according to my design’.
As events unfolded, the emperor was most pleased with his staff that first year. Tarkin, as usual, impressed all with his ‘brilliant administration’, his efforts and those of Tagge in ‘addressing delays’ at Corellia ensuring that, with the manufacturing efforts of the planetary governors also harnessed to the imperial cause, proper adherence to order ensured that no less than three imperial star destroyers with accompanying Tie fighter squadrons were under construction that first year. These efforts dwarfed the honeyed words Mon Mothma used to convince the fools at Mon Calamari to support construction of a rebel Mon Calamari Class cruiser.
Of course, there was some sabotage by Leia and Reeikan and their commando teams of the yards at Mandalore. However, these puny efforts amounted to nothing when compared to Lord Vader’s avenging imperial task force subjugating the rebel system of Naboo, or the emperor himself leading another task force from Saleucami to subjugate rebel Mon Calamari. Jan Dadonna, rattled by the empire’s efforts, desperately set to undertaking ‘infiltration’ at Mon Calamari, all to further rebel objectives. In the opinion of the emperor, none of it amounted to anything of substance. As the year drew to a close, the emperor was most pleased; a disastrous first year for the rebel alliance. It promised to get worse as time went on, for the resources available to the rebels were truly pitiful in comparison to the imperial military juggernaut now being assembled.
Imperial probes further enhanced the emperor’s good mood when they disclosed that the systems of Dagobah and Mygeeto were absent a secret rebel base. With this information, imperial high command looked to plan the next year’s efforts. Lord Vader’s staff was augmented with the supremely effective bounty hunter Bobba Fett. The rebels pinned their hopes on the shifty actions of that notorious scoundrel Lando Calrissian.
The emperor’s good mood changed somewhat to one of extreme displeasure when, at the start of the second year’s campaigning, Lando, undertaking an ‘independent operation’, spread rumour of plague at Naboo. The idiot local imperial ground commander, without seeking clarification of this obviously bogus report, promptly evacuated all imperial ground troops to adjacent, subjugated Sullust. Worse, the rebel scum at Naboo, now their imperial garrison had departed, promptly re-declared their loyalty to the rebel cause now they were no longer subjugated. Only the presence of the Death Star and its accompanying ships ensured the rebels could not manufacture or deploy forces at the Naboo system. Needless to say, the mindless imperial fool who was the ground commander was promptly ordered shot on sight upon arriving at Sullust.
The emperor himself, suspicious of this obvious attempt to draw imperial attention to the mid region of Naboo, or perhaps the outer rim at Ryloth, instead looked to the distant, to this point quiet, SW corner of the galaxy. Year 2, he personally led an imperial task force, this one drawn from Coruscant, to subjugate the Ord Mantell system. No sooner had he achieved this magnificent outcome when, one step taken forward, another seemed to be taken back; yet another report was delivered of further sabotage efforts by the Leia Organa / General Reeikan sabotage team, this time at subjugated Sullust. The emperor was not impressed with this pitiful attempt at rebel distraction; however, it did reinforce within him the suspicion that the rebel alliance was perhaps pursuing an objective associated with sabotage or incursion.
The emperor’s mood was mollified somewhat when the ever-reliable Grand Moff Tarkin undertook research & development efforts at loyal Mandalore. The supreme logistician saw to it that local authorities hastened to repair the rebel sabotage of Year 1 and, in the following year, that imperial industry moguls would ‘build a factory’ at some future system.
Of course, the galaxy is a vast expanse and the efforts of the few can be dwarfed by the whole. That second year, despite Lord Vader complimenting the conquest efforts of the emperor by subjugating the system of Mygeeto; despite General Tagge moving fresh troops and ships from Mustafar to Dagobah, the intent being to re-enter later either the rebel Naboo or neutral Utupau systems; neither Dagobah nor Mygeeto proved to be the secret rebel base. But additional good news was at hand. Mon Mothma visited the wily Hutt at Nal Hutta, accepting their promises of fealty to the rebel cause. Despite the system declaring its loyalty to the rebel alliance, Mothma herself was then promptly betrayed to the bounty hunter Boba Fett, his ‘collecting bounty’ efforts ensuring the capture and transfer of Mothma in chains to Saleucami.
A glorious conclusion to a campaign year, this news was only mildly tarnished by imperial reconnaissance efforts that saw probe reports generated for Mon Calamari and Ord Mantell that second year; both systems had already been subjugated by imperial forces. However, the emperor was most pleased to learn that the rebels were once again bereft of any hope of accomplishing an objective.
With a view to sound tactics and a long-term strategy, Year 3 the empire expanded its anaconda-like strangling of potential rebel systems. To assist with the political matters such a policy would impose, the administrator and imperial confidant Janus Greejatus was recruited to the imperial cause. The rebel alliance responded with their typical subversive behaviours, General Madine joining the rebel alliance. His first assignment proved to be typical of rebel skulduggery; an ‘ambush’ at Dagobah that annihilated all the freshly deployed imperial ATST and storm trooper ground forces recently shipped there. Once again the subjugation of Naboo or Utupau was delayed, though I hasten to add that enormous imperial ground forces awaited transport at adjacent, still sabotaged, Sullust.
Into this melee slinked the weasel Dadonna. Yet again he sought to ‘infiltrate’ imperial archives, this time at Mon Calamari, once again looking to bolster planning for the attainment of rebel objectives. Dadonna's efforts ignored by imperial authorities, Lord Vader instead responded with a space blockade of the Utupau system, drawing ships and Tie fighters from Naboo and Dagobah. As this was occurring, the foolish Wookies at Kashyyyk, believing the empty promises of Leia Organa, agreed they should ‘build alliance’, declaring Wookie loyalty to the rebel cause. It mattered little.
With the star destroyer ‘Imperial Justice’ still deployed at Mygeeto, Grand Moff Tarkin took measures to cement imperial control, promptly announcing that ‘Fear will keep them in line’ as the most effective imperial strategy for dealing with the indolent, the misguided and those who might be tempted to the rebel path. His announcement had immediate effect; Mygeeto and Ord Mantell both declared their open loyalty to the imperial cause. Perhaps Tarkin’s policy had more far-reaching yet subliminal impact too, for Lando’s attempt to initiate a ‘contingency plan’ at Mustafar that would have caused yet more damage and losses of imperial ground forces, but this was promptly foiled when opposed by Bobba Fett. General Tagge himself was not idle; he built that factory organised the year before by Moff Tarkin, building it at Corellia, thereby ensuring that the empire by the end of Year 3 would lay down another two imperial star destroyers for the fleet. Imperial construction efforts had now drawn so many resources to large ship construction, there were no more facilities or supplies left in the galaxy to build these magnificent vessels. The emperor saw it as a credit to his own leadership that, thanks to imperial order and organisation, no less than eight of these massive war machines were either deployed or under construction.
Needless to say, all this news made the emperor extremely happy, prompting him Year 3 to push on to Geonosis with the Death Star battle station, an assault transport and three Tie fighter squadrons. He hoped by doing so to intimidate the rebel alliance into keeping an ever-growing force of rebel ships and fighters contained at their open deployment at Ryloth.
The intelligence picture now unfolding for the empire was suggesting that the rebel base was in one of three broad locations: either in proximity to Yavin, near Endor, or between Kessel and Ryloth. Probe reports Year 3 confirmed that neither Malastare nor Nal Hutta were the rebel base. Yes, Dantooine and Ilum were still possible localities, as were Alderaan and Cato Neimoidia, but all these systems were adjacent loyal imperial worlds where any sabotage preventing deployments could be repaired. Consequently, these unknown systems could be quickly reconnoitred by space and ground detachments if needed.
The failure of the rebels to again achieve any objective again in Year 3 convinced the emperor that the anaconda’s squeeze was working. With this in mind, he was prompted to approve the appointment of Admiral Ozzel to the fleet, especially after his appointment was augmented with the deployment of three newly constructed star destroyers. The recruitment by the rebels of Admiral Ackbar further convinced the emperor that the rebels must be nervous about their longevity. When the rebels then deployed the recently constructed Mon Calamari Class cruiser ‘Liberty’ to Ryloth, such an obvious, open deployment convinced the emperor he was right to look elsewhere than the outer rim for the rebel base.
Year 4, operations opened with a renewed tempo. The rebel alliance moved a hidden fleet from their base to Toydaria, using later diplomatic efforts bolstered by the presence of their forces to win over loyalty of the local inhabitants. Liea and Ackbar incited rebellion at Mustafar, the local imperial ground forces at this system being overwhelmed, but the presence of a Tie fighter unit ensured that the rebels would win groud control, but remain blockaded, so their uprising was largely ignored. Instead, imperial forces set about consolidating their position.
Janus Greeatus so cowed the Sullustan’s that their local government was prompted to declare loyalty to the imperial cause. General Tagge then sorted out the previous rebel sabotage issues whilst also undertaking limited R&D. His efforts would see a super star destroyer laid down for the fleet in Year 5. Lord Vader, meanwhile, subjugated Alderaan, positioning incoming imperial reinforcements in the form of an ATAT and an ATST regiment for an upcoming invasion of either Kashyyyk or Cato Neimoidia. Yes, the rebels were finally able to win some sympathy for their reputation in the galaxy by arguing that, with four systems under the control of their military forces, they were ‘defending the people’. Yes, the reputation of the rebel alliance had finally moved from an initial starting point of 14 to 13, but the emperor was quietly confident given that probe reports had now confirmed that neither Ryloth nor Utupau were the secret rebel base. It was, the emperor felt, a good end to the year.
Year 5 for the emperor began on an even higher note. Mon Mothma, still a prisoner at Saleucami, underwent carbon freezing at the hands of Lord Vader and Boba Fett. The reputation enhancement brought by ‘defending the people’ had, at a stroke, been undone, rebel reputation once again falling back to 14 points. The last of the characters in our story - young Luke Skywalker and the imperial General, Veers – had in Year 5 joined their respective sides. Operationally, the emperor now perceived that clearly, the rebels were rattled at their overall situation
The emperor came to this conclusion when, in Year 5, General Reeikan ordered the building of ‘base defences’, Crix Madine led another successful sabotage mission to Sullust, whilst Liea attempted but failed – thanks to the emperor’s intervention - to undertake infiltration at Saleucami. However, all this should have been a warning of what came next. Dadonna, with the assistance of Leia (who was already in system with the R2D2 droid) helped see through the escape of the traitor Mon Mothma, despite the efforts of the emperor (who had opposed Leia) and Janus Greeatus to prevent this very thing from happening. Furious, the emperor temporarily lost sight of his strategy, authorising Moff Tarkin to enter and subjugate the Kashyyyk system, slaughtering all and sundry amongst the rebels whom they encountered. General Tagge ensured the super star destroyer’s construction was begun, whilst Admiral Ozzel subjugated the Bespin system. All this whilst General Veers attempted but failed to capture Lando Calrissian, the recent rebel commander at Kashyyyk.
At least probe reports confirmed that both the as-yet unexplored Kessel and Dathomir systems were not the secret rebel base. The emperor was on the point of claiming it was some consolation in what had proved a frustrating year when the rebels used the escape of Mon Mothma to announce to the galaxy they had ‘left no one behind’, this now enhancing the reputation of the rebel cause and leading to a monitored shift in public sympathy from 14 to 13. The emperor vowed revenge.
Year 6 the emperor initiated a review of the broader strategic situation. Politically, the systems of Ryloth, Toydaria and Nal Hutta were the only systems now openly loyal and still under rebel control. Yes, there was some further capacity to produce military units at the still secret rebel base, but rebel loyalty at Mustafar, Mon Calamari and Kashyyyk was all useless, thanks to either imperial subjugation or blockade. From an imperial perspective, Coruscant, Saleucami, Mandalore, Mygeeto, Ord Mantell, Corellia and Sullust were all loyal systems. Mon Calamari, Alderaaan, Kashyyyk and Bespin were under subjugation. Probe reports had ruled out Dagobah, Kessel, Ryloth, Dathomir, Utupau, Malastare and Nal Hutta as potential secret rebel bases. With rebel reputation floundering at 13, now, with a dozen of the 32 systems in the galaxy already under imperial occupation, now was the time to concentrate on imperial intelligence efforts.
For this reason, the emperor ignored successive rebel missions by Leia, Lando and Dadonna, all designed to further expand future rebel objectives. Instead, imperial circumstances improved further with the removal of rebel sabotage from the Sullust system. After Luke went to Dagobah for training by Yoda, General Veers led another imperial task force to the Dagobah system, rather than explore yet another unknown system. Then, to the horror of the rebel alliance, later in the campaign season Bobba Fett used a ‘blindside’ tactic to allow him, working in conjunction with General Veers, to capture the recently Jedi trained Skywalker (this was the second capture of a rebel principle character in the war so far). This ‘success’ blinded the imperial staff to one significant danger; for several years now the Death Star, an assault transport, two Tie fighter squadrons and a single star destroyer had laid at anchor in the Geonosis system, adjacent to what was an ever growing rebel fleet at Ryloth. Worse, despite ‘blockading’ rebel Naboo as well as neutral Utupau and Geonosis, not one imperial troop unit was anywhere near this imperial fleet (the closest imperial ground forces were now at Dagobah and Sullust).
To this day, few can fathom the mindset of the imperial general staff, or the decisions or tactics they now pursued in the next two years.
In what proved the near to last tactical action of the Year 6 campaign year, Admiral Ackbar led the rebel fleet from Ryloth to Geonosis, initiating a mighty space battle that, whilst it cost the rebels their only Mon Calamari Class cruiser and a squadron of Y wing fighters, saw the destruction of an imperial star destroyer and an assault frigate. This outcome prompted rebel reputation to be enhanced from 13 to 12. Having achieved their objective, the rebels retreated to Ryloth. This attack should have prompted some fresh thinking regarding the exposed positioning of what imperial authorities now understood, thanks to the series of rebel objective missions they had allowed to succeed, was a vulnerable Death Star.
Instead, the rebel victory prompted Admiral Ozzel to lead an imperial task force from Saleucami to subjugate adjacent Toydaria, whilst Lord Vader moved another task force from Sullust to subjugate Cato Neimoidia. The battle at Geonosis that led to the destruction of the star destroyer also prompted the emperor, with the support of Janus Greeatus – although opposed by Crix Madine – to enter the Nal Hutta system and there undertake an ‘intercept transmission’ mission. This was a success, but tragically, the data received from eight systems did nothing to clarify the problems with imperial data analysis. There was nothing the empire learnt that narrowed where the secret rebel base might be.
Not one known location was ruled out as a potential location for the secret rebel base. This may not have been as significant psychologically, had formal probe reports not then confirmed that the neutral system of Rodia, adjacent to Geonosis, as well as the remote system of Ilum, were also not the secret rebel base. In the mindset of the emperor and his advisory council, every core and mid rim system had now been excluded as the site of a potential secret rebel base. In the outer rim territories, by the start of Year 7, imperial authorities had narrowed the choice of secret rebel base to one of either; Hoth, Endor, Tattooine, Feleucia, Yavin, or Dantooine. Thanks to the ebb and flow of successive imperial subjugation missions, there were no other options.
As Year 7 opened, with rebel reputation still hovering at 12, imperial authorities settled down to undertake significant tactical analysis, confident that they had plenty of time in which to find and destroy the secret rebel base. That base could not be Ryloth, where what now passed for the remains of the main rebel fleet was located, as probe reports had excluded that system as a site. To handle all other rebel base contingencies a fleet of imperial assault transports, Tie fighters and ATST heavy ground forces were ready to deploy to Endor, then Hoth, starting from Bespin. At Mygeeto were two star destroyers with an ATAT heavy task force, ready to enter the Dantooine system. At Mon Calamari, a star destroyer and assault transport with ATAT support and other space and ground assets was ready to deploy to Felucia and then Yavin. At Toydaria lay two further star destroyers and other heavy ground assets, ready to push on to Bothawui and, if necessary, Tattoine; or reinforce the Yavin thrust.
Meanwhile, at Geonosis was the Death Star (albeit, its planet destroying super laser was – and never would be - operational) whilst at Sullust were a further two star destroyers, to which would be added the arriving super star destroyer. Unkown to the rebel alliance, the emperor had also ordered that in Year 7, Moff Tarkin would ‘oversee project’, ensuring that a recently commenced star destroyer now on BQ2 could deploy that year to any system with imperial units, thereby providing additional fire power for any planned moves required in Year 8.
What few knew in Year 7 was that Admiral Ozzel was the only imperial officer practiced in the tactic of ‘catch them by surprise’. What this meant was that, prior to any rebel operations, any fleet led by Ozzel could move and attack, in theory catching any rebel task force off balance. Conversely, where there was an imperial task force at threat, Ozzel could redeploy such a task force before it faced danger. At the start of Year 7 there was no greater threat to imperial ambitions than the woefully positioned and protected Death Star at Geonosis. It’s loss would cause significant enhancement for the rebel reputation. Why Ozzel did not move it and its two squadrons of accompanying Tie fighters to neutral and adjacent Rodia, two systems from the rebel fleet at Ryloth, is a mystery.
Needless to say, in Year 7, the rebel alliance did not need any prompting; the wily Admiral Ackbar immediately attacked from Ryloth and, with the destruction of the Death Star, the reputational consequences were immense. Rebel reputation immediately climbed throughout the galaxy to a dizzying 10.
Even this change in public perception might not have been significant, if only imperial authorities had recalculated their priorities and not become distracted. Instead, operations in Year 7 now unfolded in an unplanned manner. Whilst Endor was occupied, then ruled out as a potential base, the super star destroyer and the two star destroyers at Sullust, with ground support, once again did nothing. Concerned about events in Cato Neimoidia being a premonition for a rebel thrust at Coruscant, imperial commanders lost focus.
Meanwhile, an imperial task force subjugated Felucia, whilst General Tagge saw off an attempted uprising initiated by Princess Leia at Cato Neimoidia itself. Excited at having captured Skywalker, the Emperor and Janus Greejatus managed to ‘lure him to the dark side’ at Dagobah. As this was the famous Luke Skywalker, rebel reputation throughout the galaxy immediately retracted to 11. Additionally, General Madine was captured at Kashyyyk – the third rebel leader to be captured in the war - after attempting sabotage in the system. This further convinced the imperial high command the rebels were on the ropes. Outwardly, despite the loss of the Death Star, all seemed well. There apparently remained several years yet before public sympathy for the rebel alliance would be an issue for imperial authorities. Or at least, this was the mindset at Coruscant.
What the imperial council failed to note were subtle deployments by the rebels. A second uprising in Cato Neimoidia, this one engineered by Mon Mothma, saw not troops deployed to the system, but instead a Corellian Class corvette and two Y wing fighter squadrons. These ships gave to the rebels a mobile task force with which to threaten core imperial systems. Simultaneously, there were rebel forces deployed at Ryloth, at Geonosis, Nal Hutta, Mustafar and then suddenly, Tattooine. Crucially, in light of these developments, the imperial task force at Toydaria sat idle rather than push on to adjacent Bothawui. Furthermore, imperial commanders, now that the rebels had deployed a single Y wing squadron to Tattooine, became convinced that Yavin or Hoth might be the rebel base.
Year 8, seemingly unperturbed, the emperor and Janus Greejatus again visited Nal Hutta, successfully intercepting yet more transmissions, but again learning from this that only Naboo could not be the rebel base. Probe reports that year were also useless, imperial intelligence informing the high command that neither Sullust nor Dagobah, both of which had spent much of the war under imperial control, were the rebel base. At this point in time the emperor simply did not grasp that time was running out. Convinced he still had at least three years to find and destroy the rebel base, he directed his forces to clear Hoth, Dantooine and Yavin, none of which were the rebel base. Lord Vader too became distracted, deciding that after the rebel corvette and fighters that had been at Cato Neimoidia moved to Alderaan, he needed to ‘hunt them down’. Focus for the empire having shifted from the core systems to those in the outer rim, just how risky imperial strategy was at this point in the war was demonstrated by the fact that there were just three Tie fighter squadrons defending Coruscant. Fortunately for the empire, Vader, thanks to his Sith skills, destroyed the rebel corvette.
What became obvious after the war, however, was that everything done by the rebels at this point in the rebellion was a sleight of hand. At the end of Year 8 rebel authorities broadcast on the holonet their control of five systems (they in fact had forces at seven systems at this stage of the war) and this drove rebel reputation up from 11 to 10.
Only now, as Year 9 began, did the imperial high command come to the belated conclusion that Tattooine was in fact the rebel base. Imperial task forces hurriedly moved from Naboo to Geonosis and from Toydaria to Bothawui, subjugating both systems. It was to no avail. As Year 10 opened the citizens of the galactic empire, long tired of war, rose up and threw off their chains of military enslavement. No one knows what became of the emperor and his high command. For now, an uneasy and unfamiliar peace endures across the galaxy.
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- William Minsinger(wminsing)United States
Interesting report! It will give the military historians of the galaxy much to chew on.
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- stuart cudahyAustralia
- I just got a loan from my nephew. This game for a month or two. I like it, its pure card play and the doublebluff of luck and subterfuge. Using your cards with the luck o f the dice to create movie magic and put han in carbonite. There is a deep gameplay cardwise that comes about with the random evolution of each and every game.How will you fashion the salvation or subjugation of this galaxy. Card combos may provide the easy trick for a win but its fun regardless. This is clever gaming. I dare a gaming mathematician to dissect it regardless. Alas there is no card for the garbage chute. A gamer who likes Starwars and scifi is a mug if he doesn't buy it. Stu. Its fun.
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