Star Wars Battle Reports

Our local gaming group, which used to be fixated on Pirates, has embraced WizKids' other constructable games as well. This is the archive for our Star Wars battles.

Sep 15, 2009
Dec 08, 2009
Feb 20, 2010
Mar 16, 2010
Jun 22, 2010
Aug 10, 2010
Aug 14, 2012

Episode I: The Phantom Meanies
Star Wars Battle Report for 09/15/2009

Some time ago, our Pirate admirals mysteriously found themselves transported ahead in time, into the world of Rocketmen. Tonight, time went the other way, and we found ourselves a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Past, future, it's all the same; we still know how to blow each other up. We just assumed some new identities so we could blend into our new surroundings, acquired some spaceships and ground units, and began picking targets.

In this universe, there was no gold to steal, no mineral resources to fight over. There were no islands, no asteroids, not even a vending machine. But drifting in the middle of deep space was a mysterious alien artifact, glittering silver in the pale starlight. Scientists were calling it a Cloaked Double-Reflecting Orbital Mechanism (or, for short, a CD-ROM), and the reward for bringing it back to civilization would be huge.

We played with the latest version of Darth Sillious' rules for using Star Wars Pocketmodels as a minis-only game. Each point of damage scored one point for whoever caused it; if something blew up, whoever destroyed it got as many points as the destroyed unit had stars; and at the end of the battle, each player got two points for each star's worth of units in contact with the alien artifact.

As the curtain went up on this unusual battle, it devolved into three separate actions. Zackuss was trying to shoehorn as many units as possible onto the artifact, and taking potshots at anyone who came close. Antonio and Aimeedala were trying to dislodge Zackuss so they could get their own units onto the the artifact, and were blazing away at each other as well as at him. And Admiral Jakebar and Darth Sillious ignored the artifact completely and just shot the merry blazes out of each other. We played for only three turns, but we still saw some pretty savage action.

On the first turn, nothing happened. Well, everybody moved, and almost everybody got all their reserves into play, but nothing interesting happened.

That changed in the second turn. Zackuss got his Rogue Shadow and his ARC-170 fighter into contact with the alien device, which made him burp. Antonio's speederbikes also reached the artifact. He didn't burp. Aimeedala's high-speed fighter tank didn't quite get there, but they were close enough to take a shot at the speederbikes and score a glancing hit. The bikes fired their lasers at Squad Seven and missed.

Nearby, where the Admiral's fleet met the ships of the Dork Lord of the Sniff, almost nobody missed. The Millenium Falcon traded shots with Darth Vader, leaving both ships heavily damaged. The freighter turned to flee the battle, hoping to buy enough time for its Droid to repair some damage. Vader gave chase, and they traded shots again. Storm Squadron tried to help the Falcon, but their aim was off. The two 3-star ships didn't miss, though. The Millenium Falcon, pride of Admiral Jakebar's fleet, came apart spectacularly, while Vader's fighter spun out of control and then blew in half. His final words were, "I find my lack of life disturbing."

At the same time, the rest of the two hostile admirals' fleets met head-on. Darth Sillious put great faith in his black WizKids dice, which usually rolled high for him when used in Pirates games. But he was forced to tell them, in his Vader voice, "You have failed me for the last time." He landed some hits on the Tyridium and on Blue Squadron, but nothing else of Jakebar's exploded. The only fireworks were from Sillious' Imperial shuttle, which took hits from Y-wings, TIE fighters, and Jakebar's own shuttle that tore it apart.

Both the Falcon and Vader's ship then reappeared in their admirals' reserve fleets and rejoined the battle. Someone in that galaxy is awfully good at putting pieces back together, I guess.

At the start of the third turn, the region around the artifact became hopelessly crowded as three commanders fought over the alien device, and as the slow-moving land units finally got into attack range of each other. Sillious and Jakebar continued their merciless attacks, and Aimeedala sent her Razor (isn't she kind of young to be shaving?) out of the crowd to find targets in Zackuss' backfield.

The shooting near the artifact was intense, but inaccurate; perhaps the alien device has a strange effect on dice. The only unit to be destroyed was Antonio's speederbike unit. Everyone except Jakebar had something near the artifact that got shot up, though; even Darth Sillious' Obsidian Squadron caught some fire from Conan Antonio's Eta-2's as it guarded his flank. The Razor found a target, Zackuss' big AT-TE, and did what Aimeedala had spent most of the night doing: it missed. But she got enough hits elsewhere to cause Zackuss' Elite Squadron to vanish in a fireball and his Rancor to fall down dead. Antonio's horde of Rancors tore into Aimeedala's land units and inflicted some cruel damage, but nothing fatal.

In the center of the battle zone, everything went wrong for the Master of the Dork Side. The Harasser fired a total of four shots, and they all missed. Admiral Jakebar's 181st Imperial TIE Interceptors hit the big frigate once; then Blue Squadron's Y-wings caught her with a torpedo that penetrated her engines and blew Darth Sillious' flagship into very, very small pieces. This caused the Admiral to rejoice a little, but in a good-sportsmanly way. After that excitement, the destruction of Sillious' 181st Imperial and Black Eight Squadrons (the latter taken out by the newly-arrived Millenium Falcon) was almost an anticlimax. The Dork Lord's ships hit back the best they could, which wasn't very good, but at least they caused some damage.

Time ran out on the battle at this point. The Bounty Hunter had four of his spaceships parked on the Orbital Mechanism, and he thought he'd won for sure. Admiral Jakebar was counting the hits he'd inflicted on Darth Sillious and kept his hopes high. Here was the final tally:

CommanderHitsKill PtsArtifactTotal

Jakebar won without even going near the artifact; he just kept his units shooting, and they shot well. Zackuss, like Aimeedala and Antonio, was held back by his slow land units, but his spaceships got near the artifact and stayed there, giving him a solid second place. Darth Sillious did what Jakebar did, but he didn't do it nearly as well. He's too good a sport to blame the dice, so he'll say he was betrayed by the Dork Side. Aimeedala didn't seem to have a cohesive plan; she tried a little of this and a little of that, and wound up with a little bit of points. Antonio went with a ton of cheap units, which would have made it hard to finish him off in a long game, but the land units were all too slow to make a difference in the short time we had.

Notable units were:

When the fighting was all done, we had an energetic trading session for some of Darth Sillious' doubles and extras, in which everyone came away happy. Everyone said they had a good time, which was good news for the author of the game rules. Next time, to make things go faster and get more action in, the rules will be a little simpler in places.

Data recorded on September Fifteenth,
Year Two Zero Zero Nine,
by Darth Sillious

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Episode II: Where's Admiral Waldo?
Star Wars Battle Report for 12/08/2009

A highly-placed Republic officer, Admiral Waldo W. Warrick, has decided to defect to the Separatists! He wanted a web site named after his initials, and the Republic wouldn't allow it; they said a site named would confuse people. Like many admirals, Waldo was accustomed to getting his own way, and if the Republic wouldn't give it to him, then maybe the Confederacy would. So he is hiding on a small asteroid in the Feenamint Cluster, waiting for a spy to deliver him to General Mayhem of the Banking Clan. The Confederates are anxious to learn his military secrets, while the Republic wants to get him back before he talks. Who will find him first?

Our fleets were made up of 12 stars in the active fleet and six stars in reserve. The asteroid field was made of 32 Rocketmen resource tokens; the sole Titanium resource in the field would be Admiral Waldo. Ships could shoot an asteroid to look at it; if the Admiral wasn't on it, it was removed from the game. The Admiral would load himself onto the first ship that touched him.

We played tonight's battle with the latest version of Darth Sillious' rules for using Star Wars Pocketmodels as a minis-only game. Each point of damage scored one point for whoever caused it; if something blew up, whoever destroyed it got as many points as the destroyed unit had stars; and having Admiral Waldo on your ship or base at the end of the battle was worth five points.

(In a totally unexpected development, no one except Chewzacca had brought measurement cards to the game, and he had to loan out his cards to everyone else, including Darth Sillious. This is the first time in living memory that Sillious did not come fully prepared.)

The first turn consisted of everyone's fleet leaving their bases and heading for the asteroid field in the center of the battle zone. No one got close enough to take any shots, although Chewzacca's AT-TE found one of Antonio's X-wings just barely out of range. For reserves, Darth Sillious brought in his 39th Recon units and Black 8 Squadron; Jakebar got Scythe Squadron and all four of his cloud cars (#3 on an Airborne roll); Aimeedala could only bring in her vulture droid and her Rancor; Antonio got his entire reserve into the battle, thanks to an Airborne roll for the 38th Armored; and Chewzacca got all of his AT-RT's and Saber Squadron moving.

This peaceful state of affairs lasted only until someone got close enough to shoot someone else. Sillious' first aggressive act was against a harmless asteroid, courtesy of Darth Vader; he found nothing, as did Aimeedala, Chewzacca, and Antonio, who took multiple shots into the asteroid field and found nothing but shattered rock. Jakebar had promised to aid Aimeedala if she needed help, but first, he had an important mission: he had to take out Darth Sillious' flagship, the Devastator. The sight of all that firepower made his blood run cold, and he resolved to do something about it, even if it took his entire fleet. When the Devastator fired at long range and vaporized his Dark Squadron, that was all the provocation he needed.

Jakebar's ships all turned to starboard and closed on the big star destroyer. The Millenium Falcon, Oddball, and Squad Seven poured in fire and landed three damaging hits; the Tyderium could have finished her off, but failed to connect. Jake must have known that vengeance would not be long in coming, and it wasn't. The first unit to fire was the Dork Lord's speederbike unit. "You'll never hit me," Jakebar boasted, counting on the penalty that all ground units suffer when attacking spaceships. He fell silent when the speeders' weapons landed a hit on the Millenium Falcon, knocking out its lateral stabilizers, tangential null-torsion adjusters, and doubletalk generator.

Next to arrive were the TIE fighters of Black 8 Squadron. Again, Jakebar sneered, "Just try to hit me, baby," and again he went very quiet as Sillious' fighters got another hit on the Falcon and wrecked something else that sounded really important. This set up the scene for Lord Vader's attack run. When Sillious explained how a named unit like Vader's fighter could take a second shot if its first shot destroyed its target, Jake left off with his boasting and quietly said, "I really don't like you." Vader's initial burst was far off target, but he corrected his aim and unleashed a stream of laser fire that not only sliced the Falcon in two, but also inflicted hideous damage on Squad Seven. The Millenium Falcon's last shot missed the TIE-Advanced fighter, and Vader had another kill.

Chewzacca had observed that "we should call this battle the Attack of the Clones, because we're using the same ship" (he meant ARC-170 heavy fighters, which were prominent in three of the five fleets). Then he shouted, "No clones!" and set about making his ARC-170 the only one on the battlefield. His big AT-TE walking tank took careful aim at Antonio's Red Squadron and blasted it out of the sky with one shot. His own ARC-170 fired on Antonio's Rogue Squadron with another crushing hit. This looked worse than it really was, because Antonio tacked all three smoke markers onto the X-wing's nose, making the fighter look like it really needed a Kleenex. Rogue Squadron got off one shot before it exploded, and that shot took out Chewzacca's 10th Group of Geonosian fighters.

Back at the asteroid field, against all odds, Princess Aimeedala had located Admiral Waldo on her second attempt. (She also dragged her stealthy freighter into the battle faster than it ever moved before, by getting it caught on her sleeve.) Antonio's 128th Flight pounced and loaded the reluctant Admiral a moment later. Both the Admiral and the 128th Flight ceased to exist a moment after that, when Aimee's Shadow Squadron caught the vulture droid with a well-aimed shot. No one would benefit from getting Waldo home, and the Admiral learned a permanent lesson about not betraying people. Robbed of his prize, Antonio opened fire on Shadow Squadron to get revenge. His 38th Armored gunship fired at her twice and landed one hit, which didn't quite destroy her. There was a minor distraction at about this time which caused a brief lull in the fighting (Aimee fell out of her chair).

The big Devastator's time ran out at this time; Oddball connected a second time and watched a chain reaction spread across the star destroyer until nothing was left to blow up, leaving a huge hollow smoldering metal shell. Before the final blasts, two of Sillious' weapons fired one more time at the Tyderium, which missed, and at Scythe Squadron, which tore out the middle of the fighter and left nothing but the outer wings drifting in space.

At the same time, Sillious came under fire from his other flank, as Chewzacca thought he'd pick off some easy targets while the Dork Lord was busy fighting Jakebar. It didn't quite work out that way, though. The big Warspite closed and fired on Darth Vader, and completely missed. His Squad Seven lined up on General Veers' AT-AT, and this time he scored a good hit. But the four-legged war machine shot back and inflicted as much damage as it had received. One more exchange of fire like that, and both units would destroy each other.

A few more combats took place at this time. Oddball's fighter (Antonio's version) got Aimeedala's 72nd Flight in his sights and blew them to space dust. Chewie's big frigate and Saber Squadron tried to support his attack on Sillious' AT-AT, and both missed their shots, as did his 501st Legion when it tried to swat Antonio's Red Squadron X-wings out of the sky. Aimeedala's huge cruiser finally got into the fray, fired on two of Antonio's units in one turn, and missed them both.

Time ran out on the battle at this point. The hits and kills had piled up so thick and fast that, even though historians had a full written record of the action, they could not tell at a glance who had won. As an afterthought, each player got one point for each asteroid he/she blew up, and two points for finding Admiral Waldo. Here was the final tally:

CommanderHitsKill PtsBonus PtsTotal

The main reason Darth Sillious won was that Admiral Jakebar presented his entire fleet at close range; all Sillious had to do was pick his targets and shoot. Jakebar's only goal was to take out the Devastator, and while he succeeded in this, that was all he did. Antonio had made trouble with both Chewzacca and Aimeedala, and tried to find the Admiral at the same time, which put him in a good position to find multiple targets. Chewzacca also picked on two enemies at once (Antonio and Sillious), but found Sillious' units a tougher nut to crack than he'd expected. Aimeedala's problems were that one of her best units, the Razor, sat in reserve the whole game, and too many of her other units were on the slow side.

Notable units were:

When the fighting was done, Darth Sillious gave away some doubles of his ships, which made the others happy (especially Chewzacca, who added a Trade Federation battleship to his fleet). Admiral Jakebar wanted to do some trading, but half of what he offered, Sillious already had. They made deals for the other half that left both of them saying, "It's nothing, it's nothing," but secretly bragging about what they got (Proverbs 20:14). Not one of the younger players had realized they were playing a space version of "Where's Waldo."

Data recorded on Eight December,
Year Two Zero Zero Nine,
by Darth Sillious

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Episode III: Testing, 1, 2, 3
Star Wars Battle Report for 2/20/2010

As part of his attempts to select a new Padawan, Darth Sillious engaged two promising young candidates in a mock space battle. His goal was to introduce them to the mechanics of fighting in space, and to evaluate their worthiness for further training. It will be seen that the two trainees had a sizeable advantage if they joined forces. Sillious had set it up that way deliberately. There was little likelihood of him winning, as long as RD-D2 and Paulaeon cooperated; if they turned on each other, as he half-expected they would, the Dork Lord would eat them alive.

The battle itself was a simple meeting engagement. All forces moved out at full speed, but Paulaeon's base was farther away from Sillious than his partner's base, so it was RD-D2's fighter group that took the brunt of the action.

The first few shots accomplished little, due to poor marksmanship. Sillious' TIE fighters each took on an enemy fighter group, while the Devastator tried to find the range on RD-D2's ships. It eventually connected and blasted Gray Squadron out of existence, but by that time, the big star destroyer had taken three damaging hits and was in bad shape.

Paulaeon's fighters lined up to take shots at Obsidian Squadron, but their aim was poor and it took all four of them to eventually score the killing hit. Spear Squadron had already suffered a similar fate, but had returned through a reinforcement roll. RD-D2's remaining ships concentrated their firepower on the star destroyer and, after a few more missed shots, had the satisfaction of watching its damaged engines overload and explode, leaving very little debris behind.

Paulaeon's ships arrived at the central battle zone too late to take part in the destruction of the Devastator. They were also too late to help RD-D2 finish off the two TIE fighters. There were no targets left except for his ally, and for a few moments, Paulaeon was seriously thinking about opening fire on RD-D2. But something, or someone, talked him out of it, and the battle was over.

It was no surprise that Darth Sillious' fleet was defeated. The surprise was his crushing inability to hit his targets — in a five-turn battle, he rolled snake-eyes no less than five times! RD-D2 achieved this dismal roll only once, while Paulaeon never rolled quite that low.

Both trainees agreed that Star Wars-style fighting is a fine way to spend an evening. RD-D2 thinks he'd like to control the forces of the Republic next time we face off, and he likes ships with high Offense ratings. Paulaeon sees value in serving the Rebellion, and prefers ships with useful icon abilities. What with our other new admiral, Moff Matdao, preferring the Empire, it seems that Sillious will have to take control of the Separatist armies if he's going to find his own place in the sun. That's okay, though. He's got lots of droids.

Data recorded on Twenty-Three February,
Year Two Zero One Zero,
by Darth Sillious

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Episode IV: Two New Hopes
Star Wars Battle Report for 3/16/2010

Thanks to the generosity of one "Slightlyiffy," a Star Wars trader on the internet who gave Darth Sillious a ton of doubles and triples to pass on to young padawans, we had not one, but two new commanders eager to win their spurs tonight. What we didn't have was Admiral Conan Antonio, who chose to spend the evening doing something that he thought was more important than battle and mayhem. What's wrong with that guy?

We fought with twelve stars in our active fleets and six in reserve. Sillious continues to tweak the rules; the major change this time was a new ruling that could allow a player to recover a five-star ship from reserves, something that used to be impossible to do. The battle was a simple free-for-all, which meant that the commanders were free to form alliances, which they did — Jakebar with Mattstick, Chewzacca with Dr'xureretue, and Aimeedala with Sillious.

The six admirals' bases were arranged in a regular hexagon around the table, so each admiral had two enemies nearby. Except for Sillious and Aimeedala, that is; they were allied with each other. Thus, those two had only one enemy each to deal with, while the others had to contend with two. You would have thought this gave those first two admirals a big advantage, but that's not the way it worked out.

Dr'xureretue, Mattstick, Chewzacca and Jakebar each divided his attention about 50/50 between his two neighbors. Sillious headed his entire force toward Dr'xureretue, while Aimeedala headed her entire force... toward Dr'xureretue, in support of her ally. But her fleet was on the slow side and would take a while to get there. Jakebar realized she was no threat to him and let her go; the half of his force that was headed toward Aimee turned back toward Chewzacca, but the delay would keep some of his ships, including the Millenium Falcon, out of action until near the end.

The first shots were fired between Dr'xureretue's Rebel space fleet and Sillious' snail-tank army. The Rebels were much better shots; Rogue Squadron landed a solid hit on X34 division using its Lasers. Red Squadron finished off X34 division for Dr'xureretue's first kill, but the tank droid came right back as part of the first reserve roll. Z90 Division tried to avenge its snail-mate, and its attack roll came up snake-eyes. The rest of Darth Sillious' droids used a Battledroid move to all go at once at the end of his turn, which kept most of them out of Dr'xureretue's gunsights.

Working clockwise around the battle zone, the next clash was between Dr'xureretue's heavy units and a light blocking force set up by Mattstick. The Masanya went to work, and Mattstick's blocking force was soon sent packing. He had to turn his biggest ship, the Integrity, away from the greater threat of Chewzacca to keep Dr'xureretue from rolling up his entire flank.

Chewzacca, too, was being attacked from two directions. He sent most of his units to his right to attack Mattstick, and soon was in control of that part of the battlefield. On his left, he sent light units to hold off Jakebar's swarm of fighters. The swarm was unstoppable, however; some of them stopped to take out Chewzacca's rancors, while others swept right past them to begin striking Chewie's base. The rancors picked up hits quickly; one wore his damage marker as if he was blowing his nose, while the other wore his marker on his head like a Mohawk. Both were dead a moment later.

Everyone got some forces into play from the first reserve roll, with many Trooper units swelling the numbers, and Sillious also brought in his droid gunship on an Airborne roll. Mattstick tried to do the same with his Republic gunship, but just missed the roll. Now all the forces (except Aimeedala's) were fully engaged, the casualties would begin mounting up everywhere.

Well, almost everywhere. Darth Sillious' snail tanks couldn't hit the broad side of a Bantha. Tank after tank blazed away at Dr'xureretue's nimble fighters, and shot after shot went wide. The fighters weren't shooting that well, either. Red Squadron finally gave up trying to kill snails and maneuvered to strike Sillious' base. His shot missed, though.

Dr'xureretue's Gold Squadron gave up on frontal attacks and shot around to the back of Sillious' formation. Before he could get into firing position, he met the oncoming wave of Aimeedala's force, which opened fire as one. Three shots and two hits later, Gold Squadron was no more, and Aimee had her first kill of the night.

At about the same time, the fight had gotten so close to Sillious' base that his droid transport, which hadn't moved since the first turn, could warm up its weapons. One blaster bolt hit Red Squadron and swatted it out of space. This was the first hit Sillious had scored all night after three turns of trying, and he immediately went into his so-called victory dance, which looks like a dizzy man who just stepped on a tack. (Seriously, this guy can't dance.) Jakebar and Chewzacca took a moment out of their bloody battles to cheer for him.

Their battle with each other was reaching a climax. Jakebar's horde of small fighters had descended on Chewie's base, blazing away at it and at the AT-AP that had just arrived out of reserves. He hit the Republic ground unit once, but its armor saved it from any damage. Chewzacca's AT-RT unit managed to hit one of Jakebar's TIE Interceptors, the Elite Squadron, with a well-aimed shot as the fighters descended on it; both units were destroyed. Jakebar also landed hits on two sections of Chewzacca's base, and his Millenium Falcon would be in position to fire its first shots on the next turn. Chewie was down to two Geonosian fighters and his big Lucrehulk battleship, and all were too far from his base to stop Jakebar. Things looked bad for Chewzacca.

Those Geonosian fighters and Lucrehulk battleship were far from idle, however. They were leading the charge against the bulk of Mattstick's forces, and they were cleaning him up. One small unit after another went down in flames, followed at last by the big AT-AT, which fell victim to an orbital bombardment from the Acquisitor. Chewzacca was also moving into position to strike his enemy's base. Mattstick was down to just one ship, the big Integrity. Things looked bad for him.

But the Integrity, too, was quite busy. It had gotten in range of Dr'xureretue's ships and was firing as fast as its turbolasers could recharge. Dr'xureretue's forces were divided and he didn't have enough firepower to help the Masanya, which took a lethal hit in its engine rooms. Just before the corvette blew up, it got one last hit on Mattstick's Talon Squadron, its third kill of the night. But Dr'xureretue was quickly running out of ships, and with Aimeedala joining the battle against him, things looked bad for him.

And then, just when things were looking very bleak for three of the six admirals, something amazing happened: Darth Sillious looked at his watch. He announced that we were out of time, and the battle ended.

If the fight had gone on for two or three more turns, the outcome would have been very different. Chewzacca would almost certainly have lost his base, and Mattstick and Dr'xureretue would have run out of ships. All three were facing elimination, and who could guess what would happen after that? But because we had to quit before the battle had run its course, those three admirals reaped the benefits of being aggressive without having to pay the eventual price. The scores were as follows:

CommanderHitsKill PtsTotal

Dr'xureretue did well to pull out a win with his first-ever battle. The first count of points had put Mattstick in second place, but third is nothing to complain about, especially when he was only one point away from second and two points from first. All of the top three admirals had to fight two opponents at once, so they benefited from being surrounded by targets. The other three fought only one opponent at a time, which is usually a good strategy, but they all did more poorly than we expected. Aimeedala suffered from bad location, Jakebar from bad maneuvering, and Sillious from both bad fleet planning and plain old bad luck.

Jakebar's swarm tactics worked well, but got tedious after a while, both for him and for the others who were waiting for his turn to finish. Sillious' all-snail army was a cute concept, but doomed to fail against an all-space fleet, and no one likes the snail tanks anyway (they fall off their bases too easily and are too hard to put back). Large units are definitely worth their cost; the five-stars and four-stars scored more than half the kills in the battle.

The battle was unusual for us in one regard: nobody broke any alliances. But we, as a group of admirals, are collectively suffering from Three-Turn Disease; we can't get a game past turn three before we run out of time. Darth Sillious the rules-master has some ideas to make things even more interesting next time.

Data recorded on Sixteen March,
Year Two Zero One Zero,
by Darth Sillious

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Episode V: The Jawas Strike Out
Star Wars Battle Report for 06/22/2010

Darth Sillious has discovered a startling fact, through experimentation and careful observation: the other generals in his part of the galaxy really, really like to shoot him. In fact, they like nothing better than to kick his Dork-Side keester into orbit every chance they get. So, when last night's battle on the desert planet of Tattooed Knee loomed, rather than fight the inevitable, he decided to put some spin on the ball and make things interesting.

Each of the other players (Paulaeon, RD-D2, Admiral Conan Antonio, Chewzacca, Admiral Jakebar, and Dr'xureretue) built armies with 12 stars starting and 6 in reserve; only land units were allowed. To compensate for the slower speed of the typical land unit, we set up on a single table, started with our bases quite close together, and were not allowed to blow up other players' bases.

Sillious took a different role. His "army" consisted of a Jawa sandcrawler escorted by two dewback patrols. The Jawas had been scavenging some interesting shipwrecks in the deep desert, and their sandcrawler was filled to bursting with technical secrets of all kinds. If another player hit the Jawas and announced that he was shooting at half strength, the shot would do no harm, but would so frighten the desert dwellers that they would give up one of their secrets in the hope that they wouldn't get shot again. Each secret was worth as many points as the damage the hit would have done if it was full strength.

Antonio, Dr'xureretue, and RD-D2 based their armies around a four-star heavy hitter (21st Nova Corps' UT-AT for RD-D2, AT-TE's for the other two). Paulaeon, Chewzacca, and Jakebar had nothing bigger than three stars; Chewzacca's force was more of a small-unit swarm than anything else. RD-D2, who was using borrowed units (from Sillious, no less), had very high hopes for the UT-AT, which was Sillious' favorite ground unit. Paulaeon had requested a fast force for his borrowed army, and he was heavy on Republic fighter tanks and BARC speeders, which made him go, "Woof woof!" every time he mentioned them. Every time. Every... stinking... time. Anyway, the other generals had chosen forces that were fairly well balanced. The bases were in a rough oval with less than a foot between them. Sillious' desert squad started right in the middle, a prime target for everyone. The oddsmakers on New Vegas were giving very poor odds on him surviving the battle; somebody was bound to get belligerent and hit him full force before the firing finished.

Sillious started the action by bellowing, in his best Fezzik the Giant voice, "Everybody move!" The six armies converged on each other, and the shooting started from the first turn. On the left, RD-D2, Dr'xureretue and Chewzacca formed up, advanced, and opened fire, maneuvering as necessary to keep their weapons locked on target. On the right, Antonio, Paulaeon, and Jakebar's forces mingled like fish in a barrel, even stomping on each other's base plates in their zeal to get into point-blank range, at which point they pretty much stopped moving and just pounded each other senseless. Chewzacca initially made a push for Dr'xureretue's base, until he remembered we weren't shooting bases in this battle. He clearly has a thing for blowing up people's bases; we'll have to watch that.

In the middle of all this chaos, the Jawas first headed left, which seemed to be a marginally safer place to be. Tthey had barely made their move when their steel hull rang with the first of many half-strength hits, this one from RD-D2's big UT-AT. "Here! Take this flux capacitor and leave us alone!" they begged. Another hit shook them, this one from Dr'xureretue. "Take this illudium Pu-36 explosive space modulator and leave us alone!" Their attempts at bribery didn't work. They were surrounded, and their only real hope was that the other warriors would get distracted by each other. That, and their heavy armor plating; Chewzacca's AT-AP's scored on the sandcrawler twice, but the thick armor totally negated their low-powered hits.

That's not to say that they didn't get distracted by each other to some extent. By the end of the first turn, all six generals had lost at least one unit. Most of them came back almost immediately, thanks to a generous reinforcement roll and some lucky rolling for the Airborne ability. RD-D2's AAT force slew one of Sillous' dewbacks ("my poor little lizard!" he protested); the other dewback took on half of Chewzacca's army, and they all missed each other. Admiral Jakebar was taking advantage of his clone artillery's long range to make distant strikes, but not hitting much. Several rancors in the fleets of Antonio and Chewzacca were injured, and in our approved style, they wore their damage markers on their faces, to make it look like they were blowing their noses.

Another distraction was Paulaeon's unfortunate habit of referring to everyone and everything as a "dude." He and Jakebar nearly came to blows after Paulaeon said he was shooting "Jake's tank dude" once too often. Darth Sillious finally tried a mind trick on Paulaeon — "This isn't the word you're looking for." It worked the second time, and an unseemly brawl was averted.

Chewzacca now divided his force, half behind Dr'xureretue and half behind Antonio. This wasn't a bad place to be, since very few units could shoot at him, but it also made it hard for him to concentrate his fire on the more dangerous targets. The Jawas reversed their course and went right, reasoning that anything had to be better than facing a UT-AT, an AT-TE, and a dozen smaller units. This didn't get them away from those forces, but it did bring them into range of Antonio's AT-TE, which happily joined the growing array of units that were stealing the sandcrawler's secrets. The remaining dewback fell to Antonio's small units, but not before it bit Jakebar's damaged fighter tank and destroyed it. That was the extent of Sillious' shooting for the entire battle. Dr'xureretue's Republic gunship fell to RD-D2's fire; his AT-TE absorbed multiple hits, but just wouldn't go down. Jakebar and Paulaeon were both using a Republic gunship with a nearly-unhittable defense of 11, and both watched in satisfaction as multiple shots went wide.

On the third turn of battle, the Jawas found a narrow gap between Jakebar's army and RD-D2's, and scooted through it. Well, maybe "scooted" is too strong a word for a vehicle that has trouble outrunning a sleepy snail, but it looked like a good tactical move. At sandcrawler speed, though, all it did was get away from some of the smaller units. The big ones, especially RD-D2's UT-AT, continued to hit it and extract one technological marvel after another from it. To Sillious's amazement, not once did anyone try to do real damage, even to deny all those secrets to the other players. Maybe they had just finished reading the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs, and they thought the sandcrawler looked like a Tattooed Knee desert goose, if there is such a thing.

Paulaeon was completely immersed in his knife fight with Antonio and Jakebar; he took almost no shots at the Jawas. Antonio was battling with Paulaeon, Jakebar, and Chewzacca, but he still found ways to hit the sandcrawler at least once each turn, mostly with his AT-TE, and his score was mounting up impressively. Jakebar was taking hits on the flank from RD-D2, but he was focused on Paulaeon and Antonio. RD-D2 was shooting anything that moved, but his random number generation (that means dice rolling) was about as bad as you can imagine. He switched to using Sillious' black dice, now that the Dork Lord didn't need them, and things got a lot better for him. Dr'xureretue's big AT-TE finally succumbed to multiple hits, and his whole force was so battered that, by the end of the third turn, he thought he had been eliminated. He eventually found one fighter tank that he'd forgotten about, but that unit couldn't score a hit for him. Chewzacca wasn't taking many casualties as he shot people from behind, but he wasn't hitting much, either. And that's how things stood when the twin suns of Tattooed Knee went down and the battle ended.

RD-D2's steady shooting, and the raw power of the UT-AT, propelled him into first place, in spite of very poor dice luck at the beginning. Never give up! Antonio came in second, using very similar tactics; the difference was that Antonio had spread his shots around, while RD-D2 had concentrated on scoring kills for the extra points this gave him. Actually, this is the first time in three battles that Antonio even survived, never mind scored well, so he was probably happy with his results. Paulaeon and Jakebar were back in the pack, with Dr'xureretue behind them, a victim of RD-D2's ceaseless aggression. Chewzacca was bringing up the rear, handicapped by the low Damage rating of many of his units; he had a hard time scoring against anything with Armor, and that's what many of his targets had. Sillious, of course, wasn't even in the running, but since that's what he expected, it didn't dent his fragile ego. His one hit and one kill scored him three points, compared to 48 for RD-D2.

Aftterward, Jakebar approached Sillious and wondered why his army hadn't done as well as he'd hoped. Sillious replied with a quote from an ancient text on warfare — "No plan of battle survives contact with the enemy." Jakebar pondered this and decided that it must be true. Always have a Plan B and, if that doesn't work, be ready to make it up as you go along.

This is the first time we've fought a battle as long as four turns. It helped that we're now doing simultaneous movement instead of I-go-you-go, and it also helped that our bases were close enough that we didn't have to waste a turn closing the range before the shooting started. Near the end, we tried having two players work their attacks at once; this sped things up somewhat, but became confusing at times. Another innovation, which we'll probably repeat, was that Sillious asked each general to do his own scorekeeping. In the past, he did it all himself, which left him frazzled and sometimes slowed down the action while he made battle-report notes and tallied who shot who. This way, he was free to keep track of all the action and help people without disrupting the flow of battle.

Data recorded on 20 June
Year Two Zero One Zero
by Darth Sillious

Attack of the — oooh! Shiny Object!
Star Wars Battle Report for 08/10/2010

I think there is a limit to how much peace a galaxy can hold. If enough time goes by, a war is bound to break out someplace, and that's what happened last night in the Zantac Sector. We had enjoyed peace for nearly a month, but then a Separatist droid probe discovered a huge rectangular Shiny Object in orbit around the planet Wantoothree IV. This Shiny Object contained artifacts and relics of unspeakable antiquity (that means it was real old), and it went without saying that the Confederates wanted to keep whatever was inside. But the admirals of the local factions — Paulaeon, RD-D2, Chewzacca, Admiral Jakebar, and Dr'xureretue — all said, "The heck with that! We want those secrets for ourselves!" Darth Sillious, who was investigating the Object, replied, "Over my dead body!" To which the other five answered, "Well, okay, if you insist..."

We played with fleets of ten stars starting and five in reserve. The Shiny Object in the middle of the table was a pack of Pirates of the Mysterious Islands which Darth Sillious, in his alter-ego of Cadet-Captain Mike, found lying around the house. It had four stars and a Defense of 9. Anyone who shot it did damage as though it was a normal unit; whoever scored the most total damage on it would keep it.

Sillious' role was to try to protect the Shiny Object; he brought the big Colicoid Swarm (the only 5-star in the battle) and two each of vulture droids, tri-fighters, and Geonosian fighters, or "beakies" as we call them. RD-D2 again went with a four-shuttle fleet, with a pair of TIE fighter variants as escorts. Paulaeon was impressed with the hurt dished out by the UT-AT in our last battle, so he requested that unit, with help from a mix of land and space units, including three with a Defense of 11. Jakebar took an all-space fleet centered around his favorite, the Aluminum Falcon. Sorry, that's Millenium Falcon. Chewzacca went with a mix of space and ground, using the Nebulon-B frigate Warspite. Dr'xureretue also took a mix, with the Corellian corvette Masanya as his flagship.

When the various ships began converging on the center, Sillious had only one enemy close enough to shoot at, Dr'xureretue, so he shot him. The Masanya and the Colicoid Swarm exchanged crushing blows, but the five-star ship could take it and the four-star couldn't. Dr'xureretue lost his flagship and a fighter in that first exchange, and even though he got them both back quickly on reserve rolls, he wasted no time in begging RD-D2 for help. The other admirals held their fire, even when they were close enough to land some hits on each other; they were totally hypnotized by the Shiny Object.

Chewzacca was the first to probe the Object with laser fire, and he was soon hitting it consistently. This drew the attention of Darth Sillious, whose fighters shot past Dr'xureretue and took up firing positions on Zach's fleet. Here they stayed for the next four turns, blazing away for all they were worth and hitting very little. Dr'xureretue and RD-D2 caught the damaged Colicoid Swarm in a fatal crossfire and smirked in satisfaction as the big ship fell apart. It was never able to return to the battle. Oddly, as soon as it was gone, everyone lost interest in Sillious' other ships; he lost only one other fighter for the rest of the game.

Everyone else was focused on the Shiny Object, which quickly became surrounded by a mass of spaceships blazing away for all they were worth. The slower-moving ground units took up firing positions outside this mass of firepower as soon as they could get there. The admirals took a look at the situation from ground level and were amazed; it looked like a confused, impenetrable metallic jungle, with the fins of the Imperial shuttles sticking up above it all like shark fins.

In between turns, the younger players were examining our game room's new wall posters depicting scenes from Revelation, and these posters sparked some intense discussions about the future. In particular, they were talking about loved ones they expected to see again in Heaven some day, and about friends and relatives whose spiritual state they weren't so sure about. The reality of Heaven and Hell, and people's need for salvation, was really hitting home to them. Darth Sillious was impressed by their attitudes.

Paulaeon's big, slow-moving UT-AT took forever to get in place, but when it finally began shooting, its accuracy was pretty good. RD-D2's shuttles shot well, but he was under a double handicap — it took him an extra turn to start shooting the Object because he'd headed for Sillious first, and Sillious' tri-fighters made him a #1 target and took out half his fleet before the battle ended. Dr'xureretue was also held back by Sillious' attentions, although he was bouncing back as quickly as he could. The Dork Lord couldn't hit Chewzacca worth beans until near the end, so Chewie ran up an impressive score against the Shiny Object. But even that was dwarfed by Jakebar's fleet, which single-mindedly got into position and hammered the Object with hit after hit.

Near the end of the battle, the unspoken alliances between admirals began to break down. This was mostly a matter of the big ships not wanting to waste their second shots, so they picked targets almost at random. Chewzacca's Imperial frigate was badly damaged by a long-range shot from Paulaeon's UT-AT; it probably would have exploded if the game had run one more turn. RD-D2 landed a very lucky hit on Paulaeon's Squad Seven, but the nimble V-wing fighter's Droid was able to fix it. Sillious managed to run up one more kill, Dr'xureretue's Star of Tion, just before the battle ended. Except for his five-star ship, just about every unit was still in the game, due to generous reserve rolls. We played seven turns, which is a record for us. The smaller-than-average fleets may have had something to do with this, as did the lower-than-average number of players. But time ran out on us, as it always does.

There was no question who won the Shiny Object; Admiral Jakebar's hit total was 60, Chewzacca had 46, Paulaeon landed 24, Dr'xureretue scored 18, and RD-D2 hit for 13. The ancient secrets might have been worth fighting for, after all; they included a primitive submarine (Coleoptera) and an antiquated sailing ship (Panama Sun).

In terms of who did the most damage to their opponents, Sillious might have won that title; he took out a four-star ship, three three-stars, and two smaller units, with damage to two or three others. But the real answer to the question, "Who won the battle?" is, "Who cares?" In the end, it didn't matter. Everyone got the action they were looking for, the balance of power didn't shift at all, Sillious actually survived with most of his fleet still in play, and one admiral's Pirate collection just got a little bit bigger.

Data recorded on 11 August
Year Two Zero One Zero
by Darth Sillious

A Resource of Another Color
Star Wars Battle Report for 08/14/2012

For the first time in over two years, our gaming group found itself in a galaxy far, far away. We also found ourselves low on numbers — with Chewzacca away on a mission in the Emanem Sector, and Tintinna-thy not quite ready to take command of a Star Wars fleet, only three of us gathered to see what kind of mayhem we could find.

The center of the battle area was littered with drifting rocks, laden with valuable mineral resources (and looking a lot like microids from Rocketmen). Each ship could carry as many rocks as it had stars, and could load them either by touching them or by shooting them (with tractor beams). Each set of three rocks, either one of each or three of a kind, could be traded for three stars' worth of reinforcements, which each admiral could choose at will — we didn't pick reserve fleets tonight, just ten stars' worth of starting ships and land units. Due to a data error (namely, Mike forgot to bring his rules), we didn't use the ships' icon abilities; this would be a straight-up battle of tactics, fighting power, and dice luck, with little or no finesse.

Darth Sillious went for an all-Republic, all-space fleet centered around the huge Venator-class ship Resolute. Paulaeon preferred an all-Republic, all-ground army, heavy on gunships and AT-TE's with high Defense ratings, and the slow but powerful (and cool) UT-AT. RD-D2 selected an all-Empire fleet; except for one big AT-AT, it was all space units.

To no one's surprize, we all started with a frantic grab for the resources. The speedy but low-capacity fighters made several trips back and forth to their bases, while the bigger units took a turn or two to fill up and return home. Sillious was dismayed to find that the Resolute, with bulging cargo holds, missed docking with his base by barely a quarter of an inch; no one else had any close calls of that kind.

As soon as we had resources to trade in, we began doing so, and continued to do so until nearly the end of the battle. Sillious chose an assortment of high-quality Republic fighters; Paulaeon replaced his destroyed units as fast as the rest of us could blow them up; and RD-D2 augmented his fleet with the star destroyer Devastator, an Imperial shuttle, and a swarm of assorted TIE fighters.

Also to no one's surprize, the shooting started as soon as the resources were gone, which happened a lot faster than Sillious had estimated. The first victim was his own Resolute, which got caught just before it could finish its docking maneuvers. Three of Paul's gunships jumped it from behind and inflicted heavy damage. The Resolute shot back, accompanied by Ahsoka's Jedi starfighter and Squad Seven in ARC-170's, and made short work of the gunships; two blew up and the third ran for home with major damage.

That was the signal for open season on Paulaeon, apparently. Sillious pursued his new enemy zealously, but his gunnery luck didn't measure up to his righteous wrath; shot after shot flew past its target without connecting. RD-D2 also joined in the battle, with his AT-AT holding down his right flank single-handed while his TIE fighters plowed into Paulaeon's middle, steadily inflicting damage through sheer numbers. Paulaeon was soon complaining that his fleet was getting hammered, to the point where he wasn't much of a threat any more.

"He's right, you know," nodded Sillious sagely as he sized up RD-D2's fleet. RD-D2's smile vanished like a snowflake in the Tattoo-Bean desert. "But why," continued the Dork Lord, "haven't you traded in that last batch of rocks?"

"I'm waiting until I blow up Paul's UT-AT, then I'll build it for my own fleet!" was the reply. "Very clever," said Sillious thoughtfully. He decided that RD-D2 might be a worthy adversary after all. So he attacked him.

The first shots in this exchange were fired by the Resolute, which took on the larger Devastator and the Errant Venture at the same time. In a stunning display of marksmanship, Sillious' big ship took out both star destroyers with four shots. The red Errant Venture was able to reply and finish off the Resolute, but the Devastator accomplished little or nothing. If the Venator-class warship hadn't already been damaged by Paulaeon's initial attack, she would have survived this unequal battle.

On the other side, Paulaeon continued to hammer at RD-D2's AT-AT. His own UT-AT was its first victim, but Richard didn't follow through on his threat to rebuild it in his own army. Over and over, Paul's AT-TE's and gunships poured fire into Richard's lone ground unit, but most of their shots missed. It took three turns of concentrated fire to bring down the big walker, in which time Richard had used it to take out at least three of Paul's units. Richard repeatedly predicted, "You're going to miss," as Paul dropped his dice into the dice tower, and he was right more often than not.

In the middle, Darth Sillious' Republic fighters engaged RD-D2's TIE fighters. It looked like Sillious' pilots were graduates of the Stevie Wonder Flying School; nobody could hit the broad side of a space-barn. The TIE fighters began to gain an edge, again through sheer numbers, until the tide of battle suddenly turned. Paulaeon's forces, no longer tied down by the AT-AT, blew up three TIE's in one round, a feat that Sillious matched (to his astonishment) on his side of the battle zone. He also chipped away at Richard's shuttle until he'd destroyed it. Richard's units used their final shots to punish Paul's army some more.

At this point, Paul had one AT-TE left, Richard had two TIE's, and Mike had four assorted fighters. It was obvious who the biggest threat was, and Paulaeon and RD-D2 both concentrated on Sillious' squadron. But the numbers were against them, and Sillious' gunners had finally figured out how to use their gunsights properly. The AT-TE exploded first, followed by a TIE fighter. Sillious offered RD-D2's last unit the chance to surrender; Richard thought about it for two seconds, then refused. "Have it your way," shrugged the Dork Lord, and finished him off with one shot. It would have been more appropriate if he'd missed a few shots first; after all, that's what he'd been doing for most of the night.

For the first time in three years, Mike won a Star Wars battle. For the first time ever, we didn't have to quit halfway through the battle. This was because we had only three players, so each turn played quickly. It was a close game that wasn't decided until the very last turn, which is even more remarkable when you recall it was a three-player game, where two-against-one gang-ups were inevitable. The number of reinforcements was just about right for a battle of this size, but it should have taken longer to gather all the rocks. If we do this again, the tractor beams won't "hit" automatically, but will have to roll for it.

Overheard several times during the battle:

Mike: (some kind of pun or other cornball humor)
Paul: That's not funny!
Mike: Then why are you laughing?

Data recorded on 15 August
Year Two Zero One Two
by Darth Sillious

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