Monday, 7 December 2015

I'm making a choice - A Talathen Sector battle report

Some games are good, some games are bad. And rarely, you play an amazing session where everything works and people will talk about it for years to come.

This battle was one of those sessions, a genuine nail biting fight that came down to the wire and had every player nervous about which way it would go. 

The objective was the seize control of the asteroid bases engineering command centre, set the reactor to overload, and get out in time.

The mission rules were as follows. 

  • Imperials on half reinforcement points until alarm sounds. 
  • Reinforcements come from off screen. 
  • When the Alarm sounds, doors are locked and can only be opened by Imperials. But can be blasted open. 
  • There are three consoles in the main control room. Imperial officers can access them, and the players can "hack" them using their characters mental and hacking skills. 
  • Each terminal allows the players to make one choice. Take control of security doors, kill the alarm, set the self destruct timer on the base for a number of turns they choose. 
  • Finally, make it back to the shuttle before the timer reaches zero and the base explodes. It costs an action to board the shuttle. 

Things started off hot for the Rebels, as they dealt with the initial outlying guards easily and the Alarm was not raised until they made it into the control room. 

The first console hacked locked the security doors and allowed the Rebels to control access. They then killed the 3 officers in the control room to ensure they couldn't override the controls. This left 2 officers in the complex, one of which was near the shuttle, the other behind multiple security doors. 

The alarm was shut off, and then the team set the self destruct for 5 turns. 

Gaxx (Brawler) and Gooda (Gunsligner) briefly engaged the advacing stormtroopers, allowing Hallarn (Commander), Keel (Sniper) and Fenn (Commando) to try to secure the ship. 

The officer near the shuttle was cut down, and the other one never did make it past the security doors in time to shut off the self destruct. The Imperials fought a rear guard action, blocking access to the shuttle. 

Here is the board position with 1 turns to go. Storm Troopers have secured the ship access, Finn, Keel and Hallarn have enough movement to get to the shuttle ramp and use an action, but stormtroopers are blocking their access. They do not have enough actions to take a shot this turn, and Gooda had already boarded. 

The only option, that allowed the maximum number of Rebels to escape was for Gaxx to take both his actions as attacks, deal "cleave" damage to as many imperials as he could, and then use his last endurance to occupy a spot by the ramp so the Rebels couldn't be blocked leaving.

This mean't that Gaxx chose to stay behind until the last possible moment to allow the rest of the team to escape, knowing full well he would likely die as a result. 

Hallarn "Gaxx, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
Gaxx "I'm making a choice"

Gaxx turns, force pike in hand and engages the stormtroopers in brutal melee combat, the ramp of the shuttle closing behind him as he is finally pulled down by sheer weight of numbers. 

As shown here, we rolled the "red dice of despair" to determine Gaxx's fate, this result is a "captured" one. Being captured on a space station that is going nuclear is not ideal, so sadly, Gaxx is dead. 

We've lost characters before in the campaign, due to misadventure and the happenings of war. But this was the first really "cinematic" death, where a grumpy anti-social weequey thug, who no one really knew or understood why he was fighting for the rebellion, nobly laid down his life to cover his teams escape.  

That's the wonder of narrative games and playing stories. You not only get a good game out of it, but you get some really defining moments like this.

Overall, the tension of the count down timer, the imperial reinforcements and the constant pressure in this scenario made for a great experience. Good times.

One more mission for this turn and then the end phase. 

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