Sunday 14 February 2016

A Close Shave

Wilki Gillette, expert in polarity beam technology and amateur archaeologist, scratched his trowel across the small area of earth he was carefully excavating. The ring of metal on metal drew his eye to the gleam of gold. 

'Bic! Quickly come over here, lad' he called. The shadow of a figure passed over Wilki and he looked up. 'You're not...' Wilki's world went suddenly black.

A Wilki Gillette polarity beam emitter.
Note the red bead at the bottom of the stand - we'll get to that later.
Wilki Gillette's claim to fame is that he invented polarity beam technology for the Rebel Alliance. He is largely responsible for setting up several polarity beam defence nets protecting several outposts and planets. Polarity beams are ion beams that travel between two points, in this case between to two transceivers in the net, and because they do this the range and power of the ion beams is greatly increased. 

Reports of Wilki's disappearance, along with his only son Bic, soon reached Rebel Intelligence. It didn't take long to discover that they were both in the hands of the Empire and Wilki was being coerced to help them devise measures to bring down polarity beam defence nets. 

Discovering the target of the Empire's efforts was much harder. In the nick of time agents have uncovered where and when the Empire will strike - the rebel base on Remington 5 - and an enemy task force is already on its way. The target is well chosen. The composition of the asteroid belt around Remington 5 will prevent the approach of enemy ships being picked up on long range sensors. The Imperial plan is a simple one. From aboard a specially equipped Lambda shuttle, Wilki Gillette will be forced to collapse the defence net and allow Imperial bombers through.

Lambda class shuttle craft
Aboard a Lambda class shuttle, Wilki Gillette was struggling to bring down the defence net. It was partially collapsed but secondary systems, that were designed by Wilki to stop such an attempt, were intermittently bringing the net back on line. 

'Sir.' The Lambda's captain was called over to the shuttle's censor screen by its operative. 'Enemy fighters approaching. They are attacking, sir.'

And so the scene is set. 

The playing area for this scenario is 6 x 4. It has been set up with seven asteroids and three polarity beam transceivers (each colour coded with a bead at the base of the flight stand - red; yellow; blue). Just off table, marked here with a die to make them easier to see in the photograph, are three more transceivers. These are also colour coded, with a small round sticker, in the same three colours. The shuttle has also been pre-deployed.

This photograph shows the spotted PBDN die, the coloured sticker marking the
location of the off table PBDN emitter, and the dice used to highlight the
emitters location in the deployment photograph (see above). 

The PBDN has almost collapsed. However, until it finally does its transceivers will intermittently spring to life. 

Each turn, after manoeuvre dials have been placed the PBDN (colour spotted) die is rolled twice. If the dice shows two different colours the on table transceivers with those colours will become active and the beam will intermittently pass between them. If the colours on the dice are the same the beam will pass between the on table and off table tranceivers of that colour.

Any ships passing through the beam, or caught in it at the start of its move, manoeuvre as normal then roll one attack dice.

On a hit result the ship is struck by a partial, low intensity beam and it receives an ion token. 

On a critical hit result the ship is struck by an intermittent but strong strength beam and it receives an ion token plus a critical damage.

Forces: 145 points, see above.

Mission: Defend the shuttle until the PBDN is fully collapsed.

Collapsing the defence net: The defence net can only be collapsed by Wilki Gillette from the Lambda shuttle. The Lambda shuttle is so completely full of special equipment that it has been stripped of its primary armament to make room for it (the lambda shuttle has an attack level of 0). The PBDN is collapsed during the combat phase by the lambda rolling one attack die versus any transceiver within arc and range: on a hit result the net collapses one level; on a critical hit the net collapses two levels; on a focus result the net gains one level (up to a maximum level of eight). The net completely collapses when it loses eight levels.

Forces: 130 points, see above.

Mission: Destroy the threat to Remington 5 by destroying or capturing the Lambda shuttle. 

Capturing or destroying the shuttle: To capture the shuttle you must destroy all of the Lambda's escorting fighters. If you destroy the shuttle you will have achieved a partial victory. Wilki Gillette is a good man who has always served the rebel alliance well. He is acting under duress, so total victory will only be achieved if the shuttle is captured and Wilki is freed.

I'm not sure how this scenario will work. My knowledge of the X Wing game is very limited so this is very much a case of best guess. Given the appalling Seven Years War scenario I devised for the last game I'm hoping this works much better. I'm not going to bother writing up the last two sessions of The Battle of Neue Strassen because it was a stinker of a game - we couldn't even be bothered to finish it.