Dave Rathbun
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Dallas
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Tread Softly
Mission Background: Imperial forces are starting to blockade some of our smuggler routes and lay mines on others. Our supply routes are at risk.
Primary Objective: Clear as many minefields as possible from our supply routes.

Boomerang Squad Mission Participants:
Chulo (X-Wing), Foh-kus (X-Wing), Broheim (X-Wing), The Janitor (X-Wing), Window Licker (Y-Wing), and Gutz (Y-Wing)

Boomerang Squad has finally notched a victory in the Aturi Cluster campaign! Previous attempts at subverting the Imperial forces in the area had not been fruitful. We were unable to rescue our rebel operatives, the Imperial Shuttle got away from us, and last week Boomerang Squad was not up to the task of securing the holonet channel used by our rebel operative.

But things may be turning around. Tonight our goal was to fly out to a previously identified mine field and clear it, preserving the safe flight path for our supply ships. We sortied with a full complement: four X-Wings and two Y-Wings.

Mines can be detonated in a number of ways; during the encounter we did all three. We shot some, we ionized some, and some we just flew right through. Usually not on purpose, but the end result was successful.

A TIE Bomber squad was deployed on our three o'clock, and a TIE squadron was at our 12. We spread our squad in three pairs. The first set were heading to the TIE fighters. The second was immediately set to the task of shooting the mines. And the last pair started towards the TIE Bomber squad. The bombers seemed cautious; their approach vector was straight towards our ships, but at half speed. Eventually they were wiped from the board with all of their ordinance still on board; we all felt really good about that! (Bonus +1 XP to all pilots because no replacement mines were laid.)

By now we're very experienced at dealing with the pesky TIE Fighter squads. With the numbers in our favor, we were able to focus on clearing the mines and fending off TIEs.

An elite TIE Bomber appeared soon after his comrades were shot down; he seemed more interested in shooting at us than laying new mines. Gutz took one round of homing missiles towards the end of the encounter, but he was off the board and headed for home the next round. His double shield upgrade on his Y kept him safe. Foh-kus flew through one minefield, detonating the entire thing without damage, and shot another!

At the end we decided to retreat with a few mines still in place, but the sector was deemed safe for travel. The final salvo from three TIE fighters chasing us left Foh-kus shaken but still able to fly home.

It would have been nice to clear the entire minefield, but a win is a win. We'll take it.

Commander Debrief:

Gentlemen, kudos for your excellent work. We have a critical shipment coming through that quadrant soon. Your work this evening will help ensure the safe arrival of our transport and her valuable cargo. We're all getting tired of meatloaf, don't you think? Plus it's nice to get a win under our belts.

Foh-kus: nice job on that minefield maneuver. It probably wasn't the most advisable maneuver, but it was effective.

I'm told someone else flew through a minefield with less stellar results; let's not try that again, okay?

More good news. It looks like our Rebel Operative has been able to re-establish communications, although she's still not completely secured. Based on her preliminary briefing it sounds like we're going to have another opportunity to capture an Imperial officer during an inspection tour.

We don't have the exact arrival vector or date but should soon. Since none of you need major repairs this time, get your ships ready to ship out on a moments notice. The intelligence we can obtain from a captured Moff should prove invaluable in making progress towards retaking control of this sector.

Gentlemen, again, kudos for focusing on the mission objective and seeing it through to completion. You'll get to go through the cafeteria line first when the supply ship docks.

Pilots, dismissed.

Speaking of the cafeteria, be advised that we have found and dismantled the illicit still behind the food recycling unit. I know we're in bad shape, but that stuff will rot your insides out unless you have the constitution of a Wookie. Trust me, we've done you a favor.
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Jim Parkin
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Fantastic. I'm mostly unfamiliar with Heroes of the Arturi Cluster since I've only played the base box a few times. That said, I'm very interested in this variant campaign and your write-up is brilliant!
 
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Dave Rathbun
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The campaign is simply brilliant. thumbsup The basic premise is that instead of one-on-one dogfights, or even epic battles, there are story arcs in an encompassing theme that you're playing through. Put another way, it's a campaign rather than a single encounter, with a plot that ties it all together. Things that happened in the last mission may have an impact on the next mission that you're assigned.

There are several story arcs, and specific objectives (missions) within those arcs. You draw your next mission from a deck. As you complete (or fail) a mission, the card is either replaced or reshuffled back into the deck. For example, we failed to "Capture the Officer" in our first attempt, so that card got shuffled back into the deck. We get another attempt to get through that mission. On the other hand, we also failed the "Rescue Rebel Operatives" mission. That card is removed from the deck on both success or failure and replaced by part II of that particular story arc.

I'm asking as the "game master" for our group, but you could even do this solo if you wanted, or play with a group of friends. Another factor that makes this work so well is that you don't have to have the same exact crew every week. If someone has to take a break for a week, no worries. Well, except for me. If I have to take a break, the crew goes back to the regular dog fighting...

I'm glad you're enjoying the write-ups. Thanks for your comment.
 
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Jim Parkin
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Any recommendation on what ships to get if I were starting from scratch with the intention of only playing HotAC with 1-2 players?
 
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Dave Rathbun
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On the Rebel side you start with either an X-Wing or a Y-Wing, with "points" to buy upgrades. Once you have reached pilot skill 4 (or higher) you can trade in the X or Y for an A-Wing, HWK, or B-Wing. The campaign was built before a lot of the newer ships were available, so they don't include the K-Wing. According to the author, the E-Wing proved to be a bit over-powered during their play-testing so they left it out. Large base ships (like the Falcon) are also not included for various reasons. However, there are plenty of fan-made extensions that provide ideas for adding any or all of the above to your campaign if you're interested.

For the Imperial side, there is a listing in the book as to roughly how many ships you would need.
Quote:
Each player will need an X-wing or Y-wing. For Imperial forces, you will need approximately 2 TIE Fighters per player, 1 of each other TIE for every 2 players, and typically only 1 of each large or huge ship as they are used as allies, mission objectives, or elite enemies.

If you do not have the ships or components listed for a mission, feel free to either play another mission, proxy the missing ships/pieces, or substitute another ship with the same base size and similar stats. However, be aware that substitution may affect the mission’s intended difficulty.

It says "per player" but it really means per ship. If you're playing with 2 people, each of you might want to consider flying 2 ships each, so that would effectively be 4 players.
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Dave Parsons
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Awesome job, David. Sorry I missed out. I'll be there next week!
 
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Dave Rathbun
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Savant wrote:
Awesome job, David. Sorry I missed out. I'll be there next week!

Don't forget, the Shuttle has a full-stop maneuver...
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