Subudai (Pete) Khan
It was no surprise that as the heel of the imperial jackboot pressed down on the citizens of the galaxy, eventually, rebellion was stirred. Bothawui and Naboo were core founders of the rebel alliance, so too was far distant Mon Calamari. With ambitions to secure Utupau as quickly as possible, we positioned much of our space and ground forces in that system. The emperor, however, had not been idle; his control of Mygeeto, Rodia and Sullust was such that all declared unswerving loyalty to Coruscant. Other imperial garrisons were sufficient to ensure the subjugation of Mustafar and Corellia.
I had high hopes as I joined the rebel planning staff at our secret base at Kessel that our cause, being just, would ensure we prevailed. Militarily too I was confident; after all, we were in possession of a major capital ship building yard, but the empire was not. Little wonder, therefore, that the emperor focused his efforts that first year on ensuring he secured the absolute loyalty and obedience of the citizens of Corellia for the imperial cause (Rule by Fear). The subjugation by Moff Tarkin of rebel Naboo almost seemed a secondary event, the Grand Moff leading an imperial task force centred on the star destroyer ‘Imperial Judgement’ from Rodia to the rebel planet. From our own sources inside the empire we learnt that Vader himself had planned to try and capture our operatives, had any of our people attempted a sabotage operation. Luckily, we lacked the resources then to attempt such a mission. Meanwhile, General Tagge undertook imperial research at Corellia (Research & Development).
But you should not assume, dear reader, that we were idle ourselves during this period. Admiral Dadonna led our main rebel fleet from where we had initially concentrated it at Utupau to adjacent Geonosis. Mon Mothma can be quite persuasive and at Utupau she secured enough covert resources to facilitate the laying down of both a Mon Calamari Class cruiser as well as a Corellian Class corvette, whilst simultaneously winning over the loyalty of the system (Establish Trade Relations). This outcome allowed Leia Organa to undertake a separate diplomatic mission at Nal Hutta, ensuring they too were won over to the rebel cause (Build Alliance).
At the start of Year 2, thanks to the resources we had secured in Year 1, we managed to lay down a further two Mon Calamari Class cruisers as well as a second Corellian Class corvette, along with recruiting more ground forces and additional fighters. Three rebel Mon Cal’s and two Corellian Class corvettes building; it was a phenomena I thought I would never live to see. The empire could respond by building just one star destroyer. Yes, if I am honest, at the start of Year 2, as I surveyed our construction efforts, I genuinely thought that with our existing ships, fighters and ground forces we would soon be positioned to launch a counter-attack that would annihilate the evil forces of the empire.
Perhaps that explains my sense of shock as Year 2 unfolded. Despite the fact that Admiral Dadonna set a cautious course, early in the year wisely moving what was our main rebel fleet at that time (a Corellian Class corvette, a transport and four fighters) from Geonosis to Tatooine, in response the empire stunned us by launching a coup de main against Mon Calamari (Planetary Conquest), orchestrated by Soontir Fel. Lacking any garrison, it was a move that subjugated a key outer rim system and, more chillingly, highlighted a fault in our start of Year 2 deployments. The rebel high command suddenly realised that it had no forces in the outer rim sector of space stretching from Dantooine, through Yavin, to Saleucami. I excuse our misstep by arguing that we paid little attention to what the empire was doing because we were focussing instead on achieving our secret ambition; to win the loyalty of one of the eight sectors of space that constituted the imperial senate (rebel objective card Defend the People). Hence, through the combined efforts of Mon Mothma and Leia Organa we set out and won the diplomatic loyalty of Toydaria (Build Alliance) in Year 2. Tragically, late in the year, Bobba Fett swooped on Toydaria and captured our wonderful president (Collect Bounty), spiriting her away to Alderaan. Alderaan had been subjugated earlier in Year 2 by an imperial task force led by the emperor himself, built around the presence of the Death Star, imperial forces having deployed from Coruscant.
We deluded ourselves that year into thinking all was still well because the empire seemed to be intimidated; at least, we thought they were. Rather than driving on Utupau or similar systems, imperial forces had seemed to sit idle at Naboo. Tarkin was content to focus his efforts on maximising imperial military production (Research & Development). General Tagge complimented Tarkin’s efforts when he organised the laying down of another star destroyer at Corellia (Construct Factory). Only Lord Vader, who deployed imperial forces from Mygeeto to subjugate neutral Ord Mantell, made anything approaching an effort seemingly directed at subjugating the galaxy.
Perhaps we were lax. Year 3, lacking Mothma’s wise counsel, we prepared ourselves for a major fight at Utupau. After all, as our ship-building opportunities Year 1 had shocked even ourselves, we knew that Utupau’s shipyards were simply too large a drawcard for imperial logisticians to ignore. Hence, it was hardly a shock when the forces of the empire came, their task force under the leadership of Lord Vader himself. Against the foremost ground commander in the empire our rebel garrison was decisively crushed, the system brutally subjugated. Mon Mothma lost to us, Leia Organa took it upon herself to convince the rebel council we needed to openly declare the diplomatic support of the Kessel system (Build Alliance), gaining for us a fourth system in the northern outer rim and our first success with galactic public opinion (Defend the People; rebel reputation 14 to 13).
As I look back at our efforts in those days I have to confess that Mon Mothma’s capture induced an unhealthy focus by our planners on her rescue. Han Solo, for example, had joined our team Year 3 with his ship 'Millenium Falcon'. Although we appreciated that either Bobba Fett or Darth Vader would always oppose any rebel sabotage mission, the prospect of Solo succeeding at such a mission in any system one of our people was held captive, thereby rescuing Mothma for example, blinded us to broader considerations (like stopping imperial ship construction). The problem is, emotionally we became downhearted when an attempt to sabotage the troop facilities at Alderaan by Solo was thwarted by Bobba Fett. We also could not believe reports that the General Tagge had managed to organise construction of yet another star destroyer at Corellia (a second Construct Factory card).
Still, Year 4 we enjoyed a surge of renewed confidence when our new rebel capital ships finally joined our fleet. We christened the Mon Calamari Class cruisers ‘Grand Republic’ and ‘Senator’ at our secret rebel base at Kessel. At rebel loyal Toydaria we sought to intimidate the empire’s hold on Naboo and Alderaan by deploying the Mon Calamari Class cruiser ‘Constitution’ and the Corellian Class corvette ‘Protector’. At our other systems we deployed various fighters and ground troops, albeit we were unable to deploy everything thanks to some congestion and a lack of systems at which to finalise training [we had too many assets and not enough planets under rebel control]. It was no surprise the empire responded by deploying two recently commissioned star destroyers at Naboo, although it was a little unsettling when later in Year 4 the empire added to their Naboo assets the star destroyer that had been the core of the Utupau subjugation mission. The empire now had a powerful three-ship task force in place to our west, another task force centred on the Death Star closer to the mid rim, these two forces negating our recent major ship acquisitions. Our sense of foreboding significantly escalated when, later in Year 4, General Tagge ensured a fourth star destroyer would join the imperial juggernaught now forming at Naboo (Oversee Project).
In fairness to the decisions made by the rebel council, good citizens, you must remember that even at this point of the war we had yet to research a means to destroy the Death Star. That fact affected how we approached our deployment as well as the use of our forces. We desperately sought to obtain plans for the Death Star, but the whereabouts of such plans eluded us. Hence, the imperial decision to protect the Death Star with four squadrons of Tie fighters as well as an assault transport at Alderaan frustrated the task forces we ourselves could assemble in the mid and outer rim to attack the death station.
We needed to win public opinion to counter the forces the empire was assembling, but the means to so dramatically sway the public eluded us. Effectively, if we entered a system containing the Death Star, we could not blow up the battle station itself (and as it transpired, we would not acquire that means until Year 6). Hence, we could do nothing as the emperor in Year 4 led an attack on Kashyyyk, subjugating this great Wookie world.
By no means were we idle ourselves. The rebel leadership team hotly debated our alternative objectives. Whilst we had remained focused on defending the people early on, we were prompted in Year 4 - albeit at what proved significant cost - to again sway galactic public opinion. For this reason we struck at imperial Rodia with a task force from Bothawui, destroying sufficient imperial forces at Rodia to convince people we might be worth backing (objective 'Crippling Blow’; rebel reputation 13 to 12), before then withdrawing back to Bothawui. But the success we felt we obtained by this operation was later countered by the failure of Han Solo and General Reeikan to destroy an imperial star destroyer under construction at Corellia (Demolition) and by the fact that the empire continued to expand its hold on systems; Bespin as well as Geonosis being subjugated by the empire. At least at years end our newest recruit, Luke Skywalker, undertook advanced Jedi training under the revered Master Yoda at Dagobah.
Sadly, despite now having the services of Master Luke at our disposal, by Year 5 our rebellion was very much on the back foot. Firstly, a naval operation led by Admiral Ackbar against the imperial fleet at Kashyyyk – intended to shear away the escorts of the Death Star – backfired awkwardly, with heavy rebel and relatively light imperial losses. At this battle Moff Jerjerrod employed a previously unknown weapon system from what was thought an un-navigable asteroid field. Consequently, the Corellian Class corvette ‘Liberty’ was blown up before either task force was within conventional engagement range (Jerjerrod character card fully operational).
In turn, Mothma only narrowly survived an attempt by the emperor and his lackeys to incarcerate her forever (Carbon Freezing) at Alderaan because of the timely intervention of Leia Organa. Worse, a third attempt by Han Solo and Luke Skywalker to jointly rescue Mon Mothma at Alderaan by once again staging a sabotage mission was yet again frustrated by that arch nemesis Bobba Fett. Meanwhile, the empire ruthlessly pursued further research efforts (these would culminate in the laying down of a super star destroyer) whilst advancing their massive Naboo task force (now four star destroyers) from Naboo to Rodia. Our key rebel systems in the central outer rim were under direct threat.
At the start of Year 6 we were seriously concerned by our situation. With four imperial star destroyers concentrated at Rodia, the Death Star and two further star destroyers were at Kashyyyk and the empire maintaining control of Mon Calamari with a garrison built around both an AT-AT as well as an AT-ST unit, we felt decidedly insecure. Whilst we held two Mon Calamari Class cruisers and a handful of fighters in reserve at our secret base (at Kessel) along with a third cruiser and a corvette openly deployed in the system, the rest of our fleet assets (fighters and two corvettes) were no match for the empire’s capital ships, especially as our forces were spread between Bothawui, Toydaria and Nal Hutta. For this reason, hoping to distract the empire and induce panic behind their lines, the rebel council agreed to Admiral Dadonna’s proposal to strike from our base at the imperial system of Mustafar (Plan the Assault).
The operation was a resounding tactical success. We perceived that it was further improved when Princess Leia, with Dadonna’s support, succeeded in her mission of causing an uprising on Mustafar that wiped out the imperial garrison (Incite Rebellion). The system, now neutral, was later easily induced by Admiral Ackbar to declare its loyalty to the rebel cause (Build Alliance). Unfortunately, throughout all three phases of this operation no imperial commander deployed to Mustafar and that should have been a warning to us in rebel high command that our planned deception operation was a bust. In place of fighting us directly, imperial forces instead concentrated at Sullust; Janus Greeatus cleverly assembled three extra regiments of imperial storm troopers at Bespin (public support), increasing this garrison to five troop units (these efforts by Greeatus, we learned, were in fact a clever imperial ruse; a diversion to convince us the empire was in fact concerned about our operations in the Bespin region, we learnt after the war).
Meanwhile, other imperial commanders led task forces to Tatooine, Dantooine and Toydaria; the real focus of imperial concern.
This all meant that Year 7 did not begin well for our forces. Whilst by now we were firmly in possession of plans for the Death Star, a raid led by Soontir Fel on Bothawui (character card Scouting Mission) wiped out the last four rebel fighter squadrons even remotely in proximity to the Death Star deployed at Kashyyyk. As we moved forces from Mustafar to unsuccessfully challenge imperial control of Sullust (we won the space battle, but could not defeat the AT-AT backed ground garrison), the empire inexplicably – in terms of rebel thinking - moved two recently deployed star destroyers at Kashyyyk, as well as a large imperial ground force under command of Moff Tarkin, to Saleucami.
As events unfolded, the move was carefully considered by the empire, the risks entailed accepted before the move was ordered. Luke Skywalker, concerned by this imperial move, convinced the rebel council to allow him the chance to counter-attack with the Mon Cal cruiser ‘Constitution’, the Corellian Class corvette ‘Protector’ and five fighter squadrons, all by then operating from an anchorage at rebel loyal Kessel.
The outcome of the battle at Saleucami was frustrating; whilst Skywalker managed to blow up the star destroyer ‘Reign of Fire’ (rebel reputation 12 to 11), rebel losses were more than those of the empire. All five rebel fighters were destroyed, the cruiser 'Constitution' was hit three times, but only a single imperial vessel – one of the two star destroyers – was blown up. As a consequence, Skywalker felt it prudent to withdraw on Kessel.
The rebel plan had been to force the empire to retreat to either Kashyyyk or Mon Calamari, allowing the rebel task force to push on towards Yavin. Instead, our operational firepower in the region was crippled. Worse was to come.
Another sabotage mission attempt by Han Solo at Alderaan, whose secondary aim was again the rescue of Mon Mothma, failed; the mission frustrated once more by the bounty hunter Bobba Fett. Moff Tarkin complicated the security of our base in the outer rim when he led the four strong star destroyer imperial fleet at Bothawui forward and subjugated Nal Hutta. The decision to assign General Reeikan and Leia Organa to planning for relocation of the rebel base therefore proved a prudent decision (Rapid Mobilisation) at the end of Year 7. Shockingly, our options for a new base, when they were examined, were extremely limited; Ilum, Malastare and Cato Neimoidia were all adjacent to imperial task forces with no supporting rebel forces. Four other sites proposed were all under imperial occupation. Only Yavin was two systems distant at that time from imperial forces. Hence, Yavin was selected as our new base. However, Luke’s recent defeat at Saleucami now took on added resonance and so too did our understanding of why the empire had ignored our attack at Mustafar. With a sinking feeling, we suddenly appreciated that the empire, probably through probe reports, had in all likelihood dismissed Hoth, Endor, Ryloth, Cato Neimoidia, Felucia and Dagobah as sites of our secret base (they were not options we could use). Our attack at Mustafar was therefore being ignored by the empire.
As Year 8 opened, the rebel high command now greatly regretted the previous failure of rebel ground forces to capture Sullust, because there could be no strike at Coruscant (Heart of the Empire). Only the destruction of the Death Star or the complete conquest of Coruscant could sway galactic opinion to the degree needed to force a revolt against imperial control, and the rebel council needed that to happen before our base was found and destroyed. Tragically for our cause, as events unfolded in Year 9 our base on Yavin was identified and destroyed, all whilst public opinion remained cowered by fear of retribution. Our rebellion stalled, our leadership now had to go into hiding. For myself, I fled into obscurity, only sustained by the hope we may one day rekindle the flames of revolt. Until then I must take every precaution to avoid capture by Colonel Yularen and his dreaded investigators.
- Last edited Fri Jan 6, 2017 10:21 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:48 pm
What is this???#$%$#!?
I like when these thematic descriptions include references to the cards. Well done!
Hoss Cartwright wrote:
What is this???#$%$#!?
Its a Thematic Session Report. A little bit wall-ish but good none the less!