Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Preparing for First X-wing Mission

One of the goals for this Tierfon site is to make a series of missions for a continuing campaign using the X-Wing Miniatures Game from FFG.

Along these lines, I am interested in "realistic" missions for Tierfon's Black Squadron, not so much the standard fare of 100 points per side, dogfight until one side is dead kind of thing. The missions I have in mind would likely fall into the game's Cinematic realm.

My thought is to have a slate of pilots and equipment and allow the player to use almost whatever they want to accomplish the jobs set before them. The notion is that this will be more of a marathon than a sprint; an effort to try to manage the resources given by Alliance High Command in order to keep up with a demanding slate of mission assignments as time rolls on. Surviving pilots could get better, and, of course, some pilots will not make it. Replacements (both in personnel and equipment) will be a bit difficult to come by.

One idea I am toying with is to reduce the reliance on cards and whatnot for the X-Wing missions. I am going to work on an idea of a small character sheet for the X-wing pilots instead of using the pilot cards included in the Miniatures Game. Points for squad building, etc, will not be very important to me, at least at first. The character sheet idea will allow for growth (or regression?) of the individual pilots in the squadron as time goes on. More on this later, as it develops.

So what makes for a "realistic" mission profile? In my mind, the Rebels will almost always be acting in a 'death by a thousand cuts' mode. They never wish to engage the Imperial fleet in a fair fight. They do, however, want to stretch the Imperial military to the limit, everywhere throughout the galaxy. The Rebel Alliance High Command is on the run, in hiding. The Rebel Fleet is dispersed, with explicit orders to avoid the Imperial Navy at all costs. The idea is to keep all local Imperials 'at home', reducing their ability to fan out and effectively hunt for the Rebels. Darth Vader has been tasked with finding the Alliance High Command, and has a fleet specifically built for that purpose, but Mon Mothma and the other Rebel leaders want to make it as expensive as possible for the Imperials to pull resources away from defending any given place in the galaxy. Right now the Rebels are essentially stalling for time, as with each passing day more worlds and systems join the fight against the Empire.

For most sector commands, like Tierfon's Sumitra Sector, the primary goal of starfighter operations is to harry and harass Imperial shipping, making it too costly for the Empire to send unescorted transports and supply vessels along the hyperlanes. In addition, precision strikes on communications, supplies, and command and control targets can aid joint operations, making the jobs of spies or Spec Force commandoes easier.

Another goal of this site is to make adventures for the upcoming Age of Rebellion RPG. In most cases, these adventures can tie into the X-Wing missions in some way. The adventurers, whether a Spec Force team or a group of "freelance troubleshooters" might need starfighters to knock out a holonet array before mission begins, or they may need patrolling TIEs eliminated in order to make a clean break from a planet after a mission ends. Failing the X-Wing Miniatures Game mission could spell disaster for the RPG side of things, and possibly vice versa.

In most cases, Alliance Intelligence will be working hard to identify likely targets for Black Squadron raids, using the vast networks of Rebel spies throughout the galaxy. Many times observers stationed at or near starports can glean information about transit routes and times for Imperial supply shipments. Intell would also work to coordinate the squadron's interactions with other assets in the field.

In the end, realistic X-Wing missions will likely be unbalanced, asymmetrical type engagements (a few X-wings versus an entire squadron of TIEs, for instance) where Rebel victory is not defined by eliminating the enemy forces, but by accomplishing some type of task quickly and surviving long enough to make the jump to hyperspace.

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