Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Especially for You

"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."

I just picked up this cool supplement at the FFG Event Center: Special Modifications. Now all I need is the Jedi Guardian book and a bounty hunter book and I will be done with my modest FFG SWRPG library. Probably.

Techs are a big deal in Star Wars RPGs, but they can be a bit difficult to integrate into the larger group sometimes. I can't say whether this book helps with that as of yet, but here is a preview of the book.

Pages: Contents
1: Crawl
2: Credits
3: Contents
4: Fiction
5-9: Overview and Introduction
10-41 (Chapter 1: Expert Artificers): Backgrounds for Techs, including Antiquarian, Born Engineer, Tech Designer, and Underworld Tech Expert. A new chart of Technician focused Obligations. Three (or four?) new species: the Dug, the Besalisk, and two subspecies of Mustafarian. New Specializations like Cyber Tech, Droid Tech, and Modder. A bunch of new talents, a new Technician Motivation Chart and two new Signature Ability trees: Inventive Creation and Unmatched Calibration.
42-67 (Chapter 2: Tools of the Trade): Equipment! For techs! Rules for using tools as ranged weapons and for hot-rodding existing weapons (or tools) into something more useful. And dangerous. Some new armor, new cybernetics, slicing tools, construction and salvage tools, weapon and armor attachments, and things called "remotes". Simple droids. Drones? A few new vehicles, with emphasis on heavy haulers and at least two airspeeder equivalents of a mobile tow truck/repair yard. Cool. A few starfighters, then the starship equivalent of a mobile tow truck/repair shop. Artwork seems a bit like Han's new Episode VII ship, Eravana: open mouth, suck in broken down vessel. The chapter is rounded out with vehicle attachments. These techs will find a way to attach anything to anything, won't they?
68-96 (Chapter III: Ingenious Creations):If you can't merge the two things into one thing, you may have to build a new, separate thing. This chapter includes rules to do just that. There is a discussion related to my point above, why/how the Tech leaves the workshop for the danger and thrill of adventure. Integrating the Tech into the hijinks that are bound to ensue when an RPG adventure happens. A related discussion assists with making "Technical Encounters" exciting in their own right, so as to more fully include the nerd, I mean, Tech, in the fun. Rules for crafting weapons (melee and ranged) and droids, as well as gadgets and cybernetics. Rules for Slicing encounters! Every non-Tech party member's nightmare, potentially. Sit still and listen as the computer hacker goes on a solo adventure...within the computer! Seriously, it looks like the rules here are again focused on making sure the Tech stuff can be integrated into the rest of it all. The chapter, and the book, ends with some ideas about selling your wares, as a Tech, and some ideas on Tech rewards.

I am not done reading the whole book, but I like what I see.Wonderful art and whatnot, as per usual with the FFG SW stuff. I like having the four-armed Besalisk race stats. Dugs are kinda neat, too. I will probably ignore the Mustafarians. Both of them.

I will be paying very close attention to the "Integrating Techs into Non-boring Adventures" portions of this book as I get to them. From what portions I have read of those sections, it looks promising. I am reminded (with some of the vehicles and artwork) of Shug's Space Barn on Nar Shadaa or the aforementioned Eravana...without the rathtars and questionable hyperspace lever usage, of course.

Meet the Fleet, part 5


A/SF-01 B-wing, heavy assault starfighter. Product of Slayn & Korpil, developed in secret for the Rebel Alliance by the Shantipole Project in the Roche Asteroid Field. The project was led by then-Commander Ackbar; a joint effort between the insectoid Verpine and Rebel engineers. 

Conceived as a reaction to the anti-starfighter prowess of the Imperial Navy Nebulon-B frigate, the B-wing has a deserved reputation for fearsome firepower and heavy shielding. A capital ship hunter.

I got two of these in the B-wing expansion packs, and the other two from a pair of Rebel Aces boxes (along with a pair of A-wings). Not interested in getting more than this flight of B-wings.

Meet the Fleet note: I have an actual fleet massing near Sullust as we speak. Well, two fleets. Or maybe four, depending on how you count them. (I may have gotten into Star Wars: Armada recently. Accidentally.) More on that later...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lead by Example (P)Review

I've fallen behind in my rulebook reading; until I'm caught up, here's a quick (p)review of Lead by Example.


Lead by Example (P)Review
Presented here is an overview of what one can expect from the new Strongholds of Resistance supplement.

Page 1: Opening crawl

Page 2: Inside title page

Page 3: Table of contents

Page 4: Fiction

Pages 5-9: Overview and summary

Chapter 1 (pages 10-41): Voice of Authority
This chapter presents ideas for commander backgrounds and duties; three new species (Chagrians, Ishi Tib and Lannik); three new commander specializations (the Figurehead, Instructor and Strategist); commander motivations; and two signature abilities (Rousing Oratory and Unmatched Authority).

Chapter 2 (pages 42-95): Trappings of Command
In this chapter one can find some new clothing and decoration options; one droid, the T-series tactical unit; some new “field equipment” for outfitting and protecting bases; one each of landspeeder, airspeeder and walker; five new starships, all cruisers or bigger; and four commander-oriented ship modifications.

Chapter 3 (pages 60-96): The Tides of Battle
This chapter presents guidelines for using commander characters in a campaign, along with eight pages of mass combat rules and examples, and five pages presenting medals of honor and other awards used by the Rebellion.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Meet the Fleet, part 4


TIE/in. Squint. TIE Interceptor. Flown by Imperial Aces, the dreaded 181st, and Emperor Palpatine's Royal Guard. A quick and elusive opponent. Deadly in the right hands.

Two of these miniatures (the pair painted in flat Imperial Navy gray) come from a pair of TIE Interceptor expansion packs, the other four come from a pair of Imperial Aces boxes (the 181st red stripe and the all-red Royal Guard re-paints).

Friday, March 4, 2016

Meet the Fleet, part 3


The RZ-1 A-wing. Rebel Interceptor. Built for speed. Designed by Jan Dodanna and Walex Blissex, formerly of Kuat Systems Engineering. Custom manufactured, by hand, at secret Alliance bases. Some of these craft have actual wood furnishings in the cockpit. In the time period of this blog, just months after the Battle of Yavin, prototypes of this quick little craft are already in the field. Some have even been involved in combat.

As for the miniatures, I got a pair of the Rebel Aces boxes, plus two A-wing expansions. I have no desire to increase the number of A-wings in my arsenal, in part because only 4 named pilots exist in the X-Wing Miniatures Game right now.

The blue and white models are a great re-paint nod to the early Ralph McQuarrie concept art. Very nicely done, FFG.