Today was the day. Everyone was ready and had been looking forward to it. A couple of semi-regulars had also managed to make it along for today's game.
So the scenario... you can see it here. On review, I decided on the day to push the Imperial deployment back a little further to give the Rebels a chance. The Imperials deployed no closer than range band 3 to the centre line.
On the Rebel side we would have Rob, Mark D and Lee. The Imperial side was commanded by Mark H, Phil and Paul.
I ended up building all the lists for the game and "conveniently" forgot the 4 ship max rule per 100pts. That would never have worked for the Imperial side anyway :) Tie spam anyone?
We meshed together a few of the GF9 space mats along with a larger cloth one that Rob had obtained. The sides chose their starting squadrons and we deployed..... the Imperials started with 14 Tie's and for some reason a Shuttle (who was escorted by 3 Interceptors).... not sure why they chose that one?
And then it began. I won't go into much detail on what was happening and will just stick to a general overview. Hopefully the pictures can speak for what was happening?
Apologies for the preponderance of crotch shots.... I tried my best to keep them out of shot or crop them out...just too many people in the way! :)
The first couple of moves from the main forces are uneventful as the ships start to position themselves.
|The lads deep in thought|
Both sides calls for support are quickly answered. Tie Bombers appear in corner near one of the Transports. Rebel B-Wings seem to have gotten a little lost as they appear in the opposite corner! Apparently they are keen on hunting down the Shuttle.
E-Wings & Tie Defenders also arrive. More X-Wing's come up from behind the Rebel huge ships, but they misjudge their flight paths. 2 of the X-Wing end up crashing into one of the transports! Luckily no damage is sustained.
And then the fun starts.... the Tie Bombers draw first blood with missile attacks on the closest Rebel Transport, but Rebel forces swarm around them and the damage piles up. Knowing they haven't got long to live, the Tie Bombers drop bombs damaging a number of ships around them before being destroyed!
The swirling dogfight continues. The line of Tie Fighters continues its relentless advance. Ships open fire at each other, but very little is actually dying. On both sides. The Tie Bomber squadron is the only full squadron destroyed so far. All the rest (Imperial & Rebel) are hardly touched!
A few ships are dying, but still not enough! Both sides are getting a little worried now. The turns are ticking over and both sides have left some of their harder hitters in reserve. Somehow the Imperial Shuttle is still just coasting through the battle. The B-Wings soon realised they'd never catch up with the Imperials. Luckily some Tie Interceptors arrived to try and take them out! (The Imperials were aiming for the killed squadron VP's).
But then it happens. Weight of fire destroys one of the Rebel Transports....
The Rebel players looking worried in the background...
And with only a couple of turns left they have every right to be worried. Imperial numbers are finally making their presence felt. The CR-90 fore section is crippled and the aft section is not far off being destroyed. Still, the remaining Transport is hardly touched.
And here is how turn 10 ends...
Imperial fire pours into both the CR-90 aft section and the Transport, but there is a flicker of hope as the hyperdrive engines flick green for ready. Just in the nick of time! Both ships, severelydamaged, engage their drives and make their escape to the stunned surprise of the Imperial forces.
So, as the aft section of the CR-90 had survived and one of the Transports, the Tie Bomber squadron destruction had made the difference. Final VP's = 13 for the Rebels vs. 10 for the Imperials.
Technically a victory for the Rebels. But... so close yet so far for the Imperials. The final round of shooting left the aft section of the CR-90 with 1 hull point! One more hit and it would have been destroyed giving the Imperials the game.
All in all, the game was good fun and ran relatively smoothly. Printing out PDF army lists from the X-Wing Squad builder definitely made it easier for the guys to manage the squadrons. Well worth a look if you don't already use it.
What would I do differently next time?
I'm not sure the list builds to 100pts worked. I ended up giving a lot of ships upgrades to shields etc to get them to 100pts. I think all this did was just make them tougher to kill.
Next time I'd limit upgrades I think and perhaps even reduce the points available. It would definitely have been better to have more squadrons being destroyed.
Still, the lists were all even (points wise). The Rebels effectively had 150pts extra with the huge ships, but the Transports can't really shoot and their abilities were really not effective in this game. So I think I'd definitely cut down on the points for the huge ships and allow the Rebels to bring on a 5th squadron.
Game wise, I think the Rebels really needed one of their better pilots on early (Wedge or similar) to really hand out some pain. Unfortunately the B-Wings were too slow to do much with where they were deployed. With Ten Numb leading them, they needed to be up in the thick of it around the Transports. Still, they distracted some Interceptors who would have done a lot of damage had they been targeting the Rebel capital ships!
The Imperials just needed to concentrate, but with so many it was hard for them to get into good positions. I was secretly hoping more would have crashed into asteroids, but alas, only 2 did with no damage :(
I'm sure this game will be repeated in the coming months when someone (Rob) gets the Imperial Corvette :)
Thanks for reading.