Jim Chadwick

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The Erasmus Campaign

by Jim Chadwick


After the destruction of the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin, the Rebel Alliance spent many months looking for a new base as the Imperium hunted them every step of the way.  When a new base was finally secured on the Outer Rim, the Rebel leaders took stock of the situation.  After the abolition of the Senate and the destruction of Alderaan, the Rebellion had gained popular support.  It was deemed that some high profile victories would help secure vital support for the Rebellion.  How would the Rebel Alliance strike at the heart of the Empire while stationed in the Outer Rim and how to do so without giving up their current location?  General Solo suggested some jump point routes used by smugglers to get into the Core systems via a quiet and almost forgotten star system named Erasmus.  The star system had only a single planet that was a gas giant with a few mining colonies on it.  A significant number of asteroid belts were also mined for valuable metals.  A worn-down space station housed the local Imperial garrison and acted as the local repair docs and way station for military convoys throughout that area of the Mid Rim.  With such a small Imperial presence in the system, and the large number of jump points into the Core systems available, it was an excellent spot to move into the heart of the Imperium undetected.

 

Designer Notes:

This is a Star Wars: X-wing campaign that is designed to tell a story and where each mission will add an impact to the side that wins that round in the story arc.  You will notice the lack of named characters in these missions as their presence is meant to add dramatic impact to the situation when they are used.  It is also an attempt to force shrewd game play and list building without using the best toys to accomplish what you need to do.  Consider it a challenge.  I also tried to encourage some of the lesser used ships in some of the scenarios as I feel they have a place in the overall structure of respective military organizations.  If you have a limited supply of ships, you may find some of these scenarios challenging, especially the second one.

EDITED ON 8/2014 FOR RECENT WAVES

 

Mission 1 starts off with only 50 pts and allows the winner to have a named pilot for the rest of the campaign.  Mission 2 has the standard 100 pts and allows the winner to upgrade their ships.  Mission 3 will be a straight up 100 dogfight that could allow or prevent the Rebels from having a unique pilot join the last mission.  Mission 4 is a desperate defense by the Imperials to save their space station.  If a unique character is killed in a scenario, he cannot participate in any further scenarios. 

 

 

MISSION 1: Satellite Malfunctions



The Imperial garrison of the Erasmus System does not have a lot of personnel to patrol heavily, but they do use a system of satellites to monitor traffic in their system as a safeguard against pirates and smugglers.  The Rebel Alliance has sent a task force of a few ships to destroy a number of the satellites to make it easier to move about the system in earnest.  With the destruction of a couple Echo Net satellites, the garrison commander has dispatched a patrol to investigate what is happening and to see if it requires any more attention.  The rebels need to destroy two more satellites to keep the Imperials in the dark.

Mission Setup

Rebel:
Points: 50, but a maximum of 2 ships
Ships: Any non-unique ship
Upgrades: Any non-unique droids, weapons upgrades, missile upgrades, and Pilot upgrades (if able to)
Setup:Anywhere in range 1 of the Rebel table side. Rebels place their ships first.

Imperial:
Points: 50
Ships: Any non-unique standard Tie Fighter
Upgrades: Pilot upgrades (if able to)
Setup:Anywhere on any table edge (right, or left, or center), as long as it is range 3 away from the Rebel player's starting side. Rebels place their ships first.

Iniative: Rebels
Asteroids:Imperials place asteroids, but cannot be within range 2 of a satellite or range 1 of each other.

Two satellite tokens are placed by the Imperial player anywhere in range 2 of his side of the table. This means only range 2 and not in range 1. It also means left, center, and right sides. No sticking it in the corner!

Special Rules

·Echo System Satellite: The satellite has 5 hull points and can be targeted by weapons systems.  It cannot be critically hit and does not have any evade dice when fired at.

·Protect Action: Imperial ships may perform a PROTECT action when within range 1 of the satellite token.  When performing a PROTECT action, the Imperial player places one evade token on the satellite.  When attacked, the satellite may spend this evade token to add one additional success to its defensive total.  Note, this is the only way for the satellite to earn evade results.


Objectives

Rebel Victory: Destroy both Echo Net satellites.

If a Rebel Victory is secured, then they are allowed to add “Dutch” Vander (unique Y-wing pilot) to the Ships options for any future mission. If Dutch is killed in any mission, this option is no longer available.  Dutch is the leader of Gold Squadron of Y-wings and success in the Erasmus system brings Gold Squadron to the fight.

Imperial Victory:   The Rebel ships must be destroyed or driven off to ensure the Echo Net satellite is secure.

If the Echo Net system is secured, then the Rebel activity draws Maarek Stele's attention to the Erasmus system. Maarek Stele becomes an option for the Imperial Ship options for all future missions. If Maarek Stele is killed during a mission, he is no longer an option.
 

MISSION 2: The Heist



Long sent requests for upgrade components to the garrison at Erasmus System have finally been sent.  A shipment of state of the art upgrade kits for star fighters will be delivered soon to the system.  Banthan spies have caught word of it and intend to capture the components for Rebel use.  A unit of Y-Wings has been sent to capture and bring back the vital components for the Rebel fighters.  Knowing the importance of these upgrade kits, Tie Advanced have been sent to guard the shipment against pirates or worse.

Mission Setup

Rebel:
Points: 120
Ships: Any non-unique Rebel ship (except possibly Dutch Vander).
Upgrades: Any non-unique upgrades (except ship modifications).
Setup: Anywhere in range 1 of the Rebel table side. Imperials place first.

Imperial:
Points: one Omnicron Pilot (lambda shuttle) + 69 pts
Ships: Any non-unique Tie Fighters, Tie Advanced, or Lambda Shuttles (except possibly Maarek Steele).
Upgrades: Any non-unique upgrades (except ship modifications).
Setup: Imperials place within range 1 of the sides that touch the Rebel side of table (the left and right side). Imperials place first.

Iniative: Rebels
Asteroids: None as the ambush happens in empty space.

The Lamba Shuttle should be used as the supply ship and placed on the Imperial side of the board within range 1 of the board edge.  Place ships according to Pilot Skills. 

If you do not own a Lamba Shuttle, use the Senatorial Shuttle in it's place and gain 21 pts. Use the stats for the Senatorial Shuttle that is in the rules pack. Place one unused Imperial card upside down outside the play area to represent the supply shuttle. The Senatorial Shuttle does not count for any points and has 2 shield and 3 hull points. It can only move 1-slight turn, 1 straight, or 2 straight. It has an Agility of 2 and Hull Value of 6.

Special Rules

·Destroyed Shuttle: If the shuttle is destroyed by any methods, the game is considered a draw and no one is allowed ship upgrades for the entire campaign. 

Objectives

Rebel Victory: If the Rebels are able to destroy all other Imperial ships and ionize the shuttle, they win the scenario.

Imperial Victory:  The Shuttle needs to escape off the opposite board edge or all enemy attackers need to be destroyed.

Whichever side wins the mission, they are able to add these to the MODIFCATION options for each mission (such as Engine Upgrade, Shield Upgrade, and Stealth Device). If the shuttle is destroyed, then neither side can have upgrades.

 

MISSION 3: Big Game Hunting



The Rebel Alliance has successfully been using the Erasmus system to launch several high profile attacks within the Core of the Imperium.  The Emperor has been furious and dedicated full resources to stop these attacks.  They have finally been tracked to the Erasmus system.  Obsidian Squadron has been called in to ambush Rebel attack ships as they pass through the system.  The elite Squadron has been allowed to use “any means necessary” to destroy Rebel forces.  While preparing the scenario, a Rebel high value asset is seen moving through the scenario.  Obsidian Squadron is ordered to attack immediately and wipe out this asset before a proper ambush can be set up.


Mission Setup

Rebel:
Points: 100
Ships: Any non-unique ship. The Rebels MUST take one unique named pilot from any of the options and can upgrade with any unique upgrades (titles, astromechs, crew, etc).
Upgrades: Any non-unique upgrades (Modifications depend on 2nd Mission)
Setup: Rebels place inside range 2 of the middle of the board. Imperials place first.

Imperial:
Points: 100
Ships: Any none-unique ships, except Howlrunner, Night Beast, or Winged Gundark (unique pilots from Obsidian squadron).
Upgrades: Any non-unique upgrades (Modifications depend on 2nd Mission).
Setup: Imperials place within range 1 of any table edge. Imperials place first.

Iniative: Imperials
Asteroids: Each player takes turns placing one, starting with Imps.

Objectives

Rebel Victory: If the Rebel target survives the scenario, This unique pilot becomes a Ship option in the final battle in the Erasmus campaign.


Imperial Victory:   Destroy the Rebel target.  If destroyed, this character cannot be used in the final scenario.

 

MISSION 4: A Goodbye Kiss



Now that the Imperial forces have discovered their back door into the Core Systems, it is time to leave the Erasmus system.  Before they go, a parting attack against the aging space station that houses the garrison is ordered by the Rebel leaders.  If done quickly, the space station can be destroyed before further reinforcements are allowed to arrive.  Imperial Scouts are able to detect the Rebel attack force, but only barely able to throw together a defense with their limited resources left.  If these brave defenders can cripple the Rebel attack force before it arrives at the space station, then the station defenses should be enough.  All available Imperial ships are used to halt the Rebel advance.

Mission Setup

Rebel:
Points: 125
Ships: Any non-unique ship.
Upgrades: Any non-unique upgrades (Modifications depend on 2nd Mission).
Setup:Anywhere in range 1 of the Rebel table side. Place by PS skill.

Imperial:
Points: 100
Ships: Any non-unique ship, and any of the unique pilots that survived Mission 3.
Upgrades: Any non-unique upgrades (Modifications depend on 2nd Mission).
Setup:Anywhere in range 1 of the Imperial table side. Place by PS skill.

Iniative: Rebels
Asteroids: Each player takes turns placing one, starting with Rebels.

Objectives

Rebel Victory: If the Rebels are able to destroy the defenders without being reduced below 50 pts, they win and are able to overwhelm the Erasmus space station.  Though a quiet corner, mining operations slow down dramatically that reduce the war effort of the Imperium.  Lawless elements also take advantage of the chaos as they move into the area.  Reinforcements are pulled from the war effort to help secure this sector.  Several high profile raids have been publically executed and the further capability of the Empire has been hampered!  Victory goes to the Rebel Alliance!

Imperial Victory:   If the Rebel forces are reduced to less than 50 pts, the attacking force is considered too weak to overwhelm the defenses of Erasmus station.  The Rebel terrorists have been stopped!  A few embarrassing raids have been carried out, but the capability of the Rebels to do so in the future has been shut down and they have been publically defeated in the Erasmus system.  This shows what happens to those that fool with the Imperium!  Victory to the Emperor!
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Scott Arnone
United States
Parkville
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Looking at just the first mission, unless you want the Rebels to win every time, you need to give the Imps either more points, or the ability to bring in reinforcements. Probably a bit of both. If all 3 Rebel ships haul ass for the satellite, there's no way a group of TIEs can take them down in time.
 
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K.Y. Wong
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Gardens by the Bay
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First question - Are you THE Jim Chadwick of DC Comics?
 
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Brandon B
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I think I agree about the first mission. It does sound like it would be pretty easy for the Rebels. I think 2 A wings with missiles could swoop in and destroy the satellite fairly easily. I havent' read the whole post, but I read about half of it, and it sounds great. I am hoping to give it a try soon.
 
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Jim Chadwick

Charlotte
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InkSplat wrote:
Looking at just the first mission, unless you want the Rebels to win every time, you need to give the Imps either more points, or the ability to bring in reinforcements. Probably a bit of both. If all 3 Rebel ships haul ass for the satellite, there's no way a group of TIEs can take them down in time.

Hmmmm...you think 75 pts. & Academy reinforcement?

Awesome feedback.
 
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Jim Chadwick

Charlotte
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chromaticdragon wrote:
First question - Are you THE Jim Chadwick of DC Comics?

Sorry, no. I had to Google to find out about this other JC that has a much cooler life than me...
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Scott Arnone
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heychadwick wrote:
InkSplat wrote:
Looking at just the first mission, unless you want the Rebels to win every time, you need to give the Imps either more points, or the ability to bring in reinforcements. Probably a bit of both. If all 3 Rebel ships haul ass for the satellite, there's no way a group of TIEs can take them down in time.

Hmmmm...you think 75 pts. & Academy reinforcement?

Awesome feedback.

That's probably a better balance.

You might be able to not do the reinforcements, but that would take a few plays to be able to tell for sure. The extra points though are definitely necessary to be a threat and prevent a blitz.
 
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Mike Mitchell
Canada
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This looks like it will be huge fun. Hopefully I get to test it out this weekend.
 
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Davyd A
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Edmonton
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I only ready through the first mission. For that, I'd give the satalite a single defence die. Not so much for play balance, but because it's really frustrating to sit and watch whan your opponent takes a shot. A single die won't make a huge difference, but it'll help the Imperial player feel like their doing something during those moments.
 
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Kristoffer Simonsson
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I find reference to "Erasmus Gambit" in an old WG source book but other than that the name Erasmus would give us Europeans an association which doesn't exactly scream excitement and dog fights in space. Erasmus is a large and well-known trans-European student exchange program.

To reverse tings for you it would probably be to you as if I had named a campaign the "SAT campaign".
 
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Jim Chadwick

Charlotte
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Solosolo wrote:
I find reference to "Erasmus Gambit" in an old WG source book but other than that the name Erasmus would give us Europeans an association which doesn't exactly scream excitement and dog fights in space. Erasmus is a large and well-known trans-European student exchange program.

To reverse tings for you it would probably be to you as if I had named a campaign the "SAT campaign".

Ha! I guess I can have the European addition be called the Tahath System.
 
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William Minsinger
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Lebanon
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Good stuff! Overall I like the ideas and flow of the campaign; sounds like a set of missions from the old PC games, that is all for the good.

On the Second Mission, I might want to make the victory conditions a little clearer; I think the intent is that the Imperial Fighter Escort has to be destroyed and the shuttle has to have at least one Ion Token on it. But that's a minor quibble.

-Will
 
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Jim Chadwick

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Thanks for the compliments! I played the old games, too. I like the idea of a series of missions that make sense. Also, the idea of the military campaign not dominated by the epic characters.

I wish I had gotten to try it by now, but haven't. Anyone else get to?

I have edited the post with the original document. I also added some pictures for flavor. I'd love to have it in a .PDF with the cool background and Star Wars text, but I have no skill in that.
 
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Brandon B
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Haven't gotten the chance to try it yet, hopefully will in the next few days. One question on the first mission. Are homing missiles allowed? Since the satellite can only take an evade token given by the TIEs for its defense, I would disallow homing missiles, since they would negate the protect action taken by the TIEs.
 
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Jim Chadwick

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Good point! I changed it.

I have considered one thing. Should I increase the Hull Points of the satellite? Or give it shields? Or a dodge die? Would that make it more of a fair fight?
 
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DOUGLAS BRUNDIN
United States
Akron
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First of all, I love the idea of this short, connected, narrative campaign. Have you play tested it yet? I agree with other posters above: while x wings and ties can balance on a point by point basis, they are not equal when put to a certain TASK. Therefore, since you have a specific mission objective, the teams need to be able to be balanced so each team has a reasonably equal chance to win (assuming you want balanced missions).

Memoir 44 has a mission book which uses interconnected scenarios where one mission outcome affects the next mission, and so on. It's a great idea! I'd be happy to help you play test this.

Let me think: I wonder how to balance the first mission a little bit. Ideas:

1. adjust the starting locations. Maybe give the Imperials a positional advantage. Or perhaps they can have a unit in reserve that can swoop in from any side on turn two. Something like that to give them that little extra edge.

2. consider giving the Imperials a free upgrade. Maybe it's a specific upgrade item. Maybe it could be a non-standard custom item that is based on this unique scenario, like some special power that the TIEs have on this mission. Maybe they have some special tech development, or special tracking system, or maybe they have tapped the rebel communications. These type of offsets can add a lot of flavor to the game and provide a consistent edge to the recipient team.

3. Allow the Imperials to deploy second.

4. Allow the Imperials to buy ships AFTER the Rebels and with full knowledge of what Rebel ships will be attacking.

5. Other....

I'm just throwing ideas out there. But feel free to use any of them (or none!). My gamer group doesn't mind playing in unbalanced scenarios. We actually just want the story to be really good. So we won't care if it isn't perfectly balanced.

I'm planning on playing with a friend this week on Vassal. Maybe I'll suggest we begin play testing your campaign!
 
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DOUGLAS BRUNDIN
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another idea: what if there were more than one satellite? That might give the more maneuverable TIEs a slight edge.
 
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Jim Chadwick

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Awesome response! I appreciate it.

I do want to give the Imperials some advantages without tipping it too much. I also don't want the Rebels to one shot it, either. I want to make it a real fight. I don't want to give upgrades as that's the reward for whoever wins Mission 2. Also, these would just be routine patrols that respond and wouldn't have it.

I changed it so that the Imperials can place all asteroids, but not within range 2 of the Satellite. It wouldn't be too close to them anyways. This allows the Imps to try to control the approach some. I bumped them back down to 50 pts, but allowed Academy replacements to come in when they lose a ship. That way they don't get blown out of the water by a few lucky shots and have no chance. Some Academy aren't great, but not bad. I don't want to give the Imperials more points than the Rebels. I don't want to make it too hard for the Rebs. As it stands, the Imperials will have more ships. The Rebel approach will be tougher. The Imperials will want to rush out as soon as possible and have Academy replace loses. The Rebels will have a very aggressive defense and a hard approach with the asteroids. It will challenge them, but the Imperials won't be too defensive. If they can blast them quick enough to get in close and hit the satellite before they get worn down it should make a good story.

Also, I have not had a chance to play test this yet as Real Life (tm) interrupted my plans during the week and I did a tournament yesterday. I would appreciate ANY feed back.
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DOUGLAS BRUNDIN
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Well, I really like the changes you've made. I think it certainly balances things out a bit.

I plan on play testing the mission this weekend with the family. We will likely be able to get 3+ plays in on it and likely even some plays on the subsequent mission #2.

Obviously, I'll keep you posted with feedback.
 
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DOUGLAS BRUNDIN
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So I had an idea for mission #2: what if the objective was for the rebels to hijack the Imperial supply ship? The victory condition could involve something like this: the supply ship must be "ionized" by a Y-wing and then a rebel raiding ship must end it's turn within range 1 of the disabled supply ship. The next turn or two, the boarding party can board and take control of the ship. Then the rebels can control the ship. In 2 more turns, they can jump to light speed and escape with the stolen goods.

If this doesn't seem appropriate for mission #2, feel free to use the idea in another mission in the future.
 
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Jim Chadwick

Charlotte
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Thanks for the feedback. I STILL haven't gotten around to playing yet b/c our last club night had too many new people that wanted to learn how. Oh, well...maybe soon...

As for trying to board, there are a few problems. One is that it might just be too hard to make rules for boarding. The second is that the fighter escort would rather blow up the shuttle than see it captured. That also adds more problems to the scenario. I think keeping it that you destroy the escort and then ionize the shuttle is good.
 
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Brandon B
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Kansas
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I was able to play through the entire campaign with a friend today. I will post up a detailed breakdown of everything later. Hopefully I can convince him to chime in as well.

In brief, I played Rebels and my friend played the Imperials. I won missions 1, 3, and 4. He won the 2nd mission. I think the missions could probably use a little tweaking for balance, but most of them were pretty close, and in my opinion at least close enough to be really fun. It was definitely a good change from just playing 100 point dogfights all the time.

I also noticed a few errors in the mission briefs that I will point out. First is that the Rebels use Bothan spies, not banthas.

Anyway, I will try and write out a detailed report tomorrow. Thanks for putting the campaign up; we enjoyed it!
 
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Brandon B
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Okay so here are my thoughts on the first mission. My session report is pending approval, then it will be up in the Sessions section of the forum.

With A wings and the missiles I used, the mission was pretty easy. I chose to pretty much ignore the TIEs and fly straight in at the objective. My other idea was to use 2 Rookies with torpedoes, but I haven’t played with my wave 2 stuff much, so one of my goals for the day was to use my new stuff. The X wings could have gone toe to toe with the TIEs pretty easily, but I figured a fast approach could let me hammer the satellite with missiles and escape the system.

Now while I think it was easy, I can’t say whether it’s balanced or not. I’d have to play it a few more times. The Imperial reinforcements were not a factor in our game since I didn’t kill any TIEs. I think maybe increasing the Imperial point values to include another 1-2 TIEs would make it more of a challenge. Another option would be to have 2-3 satellites. I would still probably take the same approach of going straight for the satellites, but it would be a little tougher since I couldn’t kill them all with a single missile or torpedo. After some thought, I think 2 satellites is the approach I would take to modify the scenario. If it still feels easy with 2, you could try 3.
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Jim Chadwick

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That's some really good feedback. I've been thinking about this for a little bit. I think having 2-3 beacons might work. I've also had another idea. What about having the Tie Fighters come in from the side of the board? Have them pick a side to come in on and maybe come in from the side, as long as they aren't within range 3 or so from the Rebel side? Part of the problem that I see is the Imperials racing out to stop them, but having to turn around to race back. In the meantime, the Rebels can just go blow up the satellites. In this case, the Tie Fighters don't have to waste time turning around. They can come in from the side and will just have to take some turns to keep up.

This can also work in that the Imperials can put the satellites near the side that he is going to come in, so the Tie fighters will have to deal with them.
 
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Brandon B
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Okay finally have a couple of minutes to write feedback about the rest of the missions.

Another thought about mission 1 is that maybe cluster missiles should be disallowed. I used cluster missiles and killed the satellite in a single hit. Either that or maybe they could stay in if you change it to more than one satellite. The main thing is that I think the mission is better if the Rebels can't win with a single attack.

As far as the missions in general, I think you need to be very specific about what is allowed. There were a couple of times we weren't sure what was allowed and what wasn't. So I would just make it very clear so there is no question. You might want to review some of the weapons and upgrades in particular and try to think if they would give one side or another an unfair advantage.

Mission 2 was fun, but very hard for the Rebels. I think the win conditions are pretty tough to meet. The target supply ship moved pretty quickly, and it was only about ~5 turns or so before it was off the map. I think thematically, the win conditions make sense. The Rebels would want to destroy the Imperial escort before taking the supply ship. I'm not gonna say it's impossible, but with my opponent taking 2 TIE Advanced, I just think it's hard to kill all of the Imperial ships in time. That being said, I never did ion the supply ship, which would have helped buy me time.

Another thing about the second mission - when does the supply ship move? We assumed a pilot skill of zero, so we just had the supply ship move at the beginning of each movement phase.

Third mission: As you can see from my session report, I chose Han Solo for my Rebel target. I was trying to decide between an A wing for agility and the YT for durability. I decided to go for Han, mostly because he would prove extremely valuable in the last battle. I originally thought this mission would be a blowout, but it was extremely close. I started the Falcon running 4 straights across the board, just trying to run. My opponent focused fire on him and took his shields out immediately, then kept firing on him. I ended up taking 7 damage, one of which was a discarded crit thanks to Determination.

My point is, this mission seems pretty hard for the Rebels. Clever tactics can definitely tip it in favor of the Rebels. I think any of the Falcon pilots or any of the A wing pilots stand a pretty good chance. If I had won the second mission, I could have used shield upgrade or stealth device to great effect as well.

Fourth mission: This was probably my favorite, just because it was the culmination of the whole series and it felt like a great conclusion. My opponent felt Han Solo was too powerful. I don't know if I agree. I definitely liked having him, though! I'm not sure if having him let the mission get out of balance or not. I won pretty handily, but I think it was mostly due to a maneuvering error the Imperial player made that let me destroy a Firespray on the 3rd round. If other people played this and felt that there was the possibility of getting an overpowered character, you could always set a point limit or add a consolation prize for the loser of the 3rd mission.

Overall, I really enjoyed these missions. They felt well put together and I liked how each mission had a different theme. I definitely think the missions all felt balanced differently. The first one was a gimme for the Rebels, while the second one was very tough. The third and fourth felt pretty balanced. Overall, I don't see a problem with this. I think the whole campaign felt pretty balanced, so I don't see a need for each mission to be prefect. They flowed really well one into the next and the campaign felt pretty cohesive. Anyway, thanks for putting them up.
 
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