Monday, May 20, 2013

Final thoughts about the Corellian Corvette Event before Gamex


The last playtest for our “Assault on the Pontiff” Corellian Corvette event went off without a hitch this Saturday.  I wanted to give a shout out to the great folks at the Monstore in Montclair who hosted our playtest and most especially to Eric Yaple who joined us and provided his expert insight.

At this point I wanted to post a review of all of our special rules for the event in case anyone wanted to replicate the event with the lovely Kenner Electronic Rebel Blockade Runner toy.

The Table
We use a 6 x 4 space background mat from Hotzmats for this event and run the Corvette diagonally across the table. For the final event we will be suspending the Corvette from our lighting rig so that the fighters can maneuver freely around the objective. All playtests have been done with the CR90 on a base so far and that has caused some considerable problems with maneuvering which were considered to be generally obtrusive to game play. We are going to set movement guides on our suspension rig so that the Pontiff will exit the play area on turn 8. The Long edge closest to the Pontiff is considered to be the Imperial deployment zone and the long edge closest to the initial A-Wing setup is considered to be the Rebel deployment zone.



Time Elements
There are two time elements in the game.  Firstly, the Rebels have 8 turns to cripple the Pontiff before it can escape into hyperspace. Re-enforcements are triggered events so if they don’t engage quickly enough they may run out of time.  Secondly, once the Pontiff is disabled there are a finite number of turns where the Imperials must destroy all the Rebel fighters.  If they do not destroy the shuttles escort fighters (destroy all twelve of the rebel fighter ships on the table) before the shuttle gets off the table, the Rebels win. Although it is possible for the Imperials to destroy the shuttle before it reaches the Pontiff, it’s highly unlikely but it could happen.  That would be an Imperial victory as well.



The Waves

Wave 1 (A-Wing interceptors and TIE Advanced escorts)
The A-Wing interceptors come on the table as the Pontiff and its TIE Advanced escorts come out of Hyperspace. The trigger for the next wave is the turn where either the A’s or the TIEs manage to fire at each other.  It does not matter if hits are scored, just as long as someone is in range and arch and pulls the trigger.

Wave 2 (X-Wing and TIEs)
The X-Wings and TIEs are deployed at the center of the long edge of the table in their respective deployment zones. They come in at the END of the turn in which they are triggered and enter the table at their fastest forward movement speed. (Five for the TIEs and Four for the X’s) Wave three is triggered when the TIEs and X’s engage or when either of the two fire on each other as per the trigger on wave 1.

Wave 3 (Y-Wings)
The Rebel Y-Wings start play center line of the Pontiff from the Rebel deployment zone and come in at the END of the turn in which they are triggered. They enter the table at forward speed 4 and start the game “Stressed”.

Wave 4 (TIE Interceptors)
The Imperial interceptors start play on the short edge opposite from the edge where the CR90 entered play, center line with the Pontiff. The interceptors are triggered on the turn when the Pontiff loses its shields. They come in at the END of the turn at speed five PLUS a 1 forward boost movement.

Wave 5 (Assault Shuttle)
The Assault Shuttle enters play from the Rebel deployment zone at the END of the turn when the Pontiff is disabled by Ion fire. It comes in at speed four from the edge of the table center line with the Pontiff.

Corellian Corvette Rules
In this scenario the CR90 is more of an objective than an actual ship in play.  It does not turn or deviate from its course, but it is fully capable of defending itself with Turbo Laser fire and a capital ship strength shield and hull. The Corvette has four batteries of Turbo Lasers to defend itself with 12 Shields and 12 Hull points. The vessel may not be able to evade fire but it the sheer strength of its armor plating and shielding will be able to fend off fire.

Movement – The CR90 moves at initiative zero and needs not place a plotting wheel.

Shields – Capital Ship shields are completely unaffected by regular blaster, laser or ion fire. The only starfighter weapon that is effective against these shields are Proton Torpedoes and even against these weapons the shields will roll 3 evasion dice to “deflect” damage.

Hull – The thick armor plating on the hull is also capable of absorbing damage from starfighter weapons and can only be harmed by Proton Torpedoes. Alternatively though, the ship can be saturated by Ion fire. The hull can also absorb incoming fire from Proton Torpedoes and Ion Cannons with three evasion dice that represent the strength of the armored hull.

Turbo Lasers – The CR90 has four turbo laser batteries. Two are mounted on turrets that have a 315 degree fire arc to the front of the ship. The two others have a 45 degree arc one to each side. The turbo lasers have two attack dice each.  To represent the massive hitting power of the turbo laser, each hit is counted as a critical and each critical is counted as a ship destroyed. Hits take away one shield and crits take two. If any damage overflows past the shields the target ship is destroyed. Since starfighters are so small they are always considered to have a free Focus Token for the purposes of evading turbo laser fire. Turbo lasers always fire on initiative zero.

Starfighter main weapons – Starfighter main weapons and rockets have no effect on the CR90.

Proton Torpedoes – Proton Torpedoes attack as normal against the CR90’s shields and hull. Since the ship is so large, all attacks made against the shields or hull with a Proton Torpedo are automatically considered to expend a free Focus token.

Ion Cannons – Ion Cannons have no effect against the CR90’s shields, but can affect the hull.  In order to disable the massive ship, it must have a number of Ion Tokens equal to its current Hull to be disabled. Ion Tokens bleed off at a rate of one per turn.  Therefore the Corvette can become active at some point if it manages to bleed off enough Ion tokens. Ion Tokens can stack past the maximum of the CR90's hull and the ship remains incapacitated until all the overflow is bled off. Ion Cannons do not do the single point of actual damage to capital ships.  They simply apply Ion Tokens and can never do any real damage to the ship.

Exhaust Wash – Although the CR90 has no rear firing weapons, it’s rear 45 degree arc is flooded by the energy of its massive drive engines. As long as the Pontiff is not disabled, all ships within its rear 45 degree arc can take damage from this “Exhaust Wash”. Roll three attack dice at Range Band 1, two at Range Band 2 and 1 at Range Band 3. This damage cannot be evaded.

Taking Damage - As the CR90 takes damage or builds Ion Tokens it loses effectiveness.

12-11 Hull Points: All is good
10-9 Hull Points: Lose one turbo laser, Imperial Players choice.
8-7 Hull Points: Lose one turbo laser, Imperial Players choice.
6-5 Hull Points: CR90 moves at half speed.
4-3 Hull Points: Lose one turbo laser, Imperial Players choice.
2-1 Hull Points: Lose one turbo laser, Imperial Players choice.
0 Hull Points: Disabled.

Note: An Ion Token is treated as damage, but cannot destroy the CR90.  Keep track of actual damage and Ion damage separately but apply both numbers cumulatively. Remember there can be more Ion Tokens on the Pontiff than it has Hull.

Objective Rules
The rules for this scenario’s objectives are:

Rebels
1) The Assault shuttle must contact the Pontiff’s base template.
2) Once the shuttle touches the base template it is docked and cannot be fired upon or fire its weapons. It must stay docked for an entire turn.
3) After the shuttle has spent one entire turn docked with the Pontiff it is given a Bounty Token. Once detached it is placed facing any direction, touching the CR90’s template before plotting begins. Once the model is placed plot as normal.
4) Once the Shuttle has a Bounty Token, it cannot be fired upon by anyone.
5) If the shuttle reaches the Rebel deployment zone before all 12 Rebel fighter craft are destroyed, the Rebels win.

Imperials
1) Destroy the shuttle before it reaches the Pontiff.
2) Destroy all Rebel starfighters before the shuttle reaches the Rebel deployment edge.

Starfighter List
Wave 1

Rebels
4 x Green Squadron Pilot (A-Wing)
w/ Draw Their fire, Concussion Missiles & Shield Upgrade

Imperial
4 x Storm Squadron Pilot (TIE Advanced)
w/ Assault Missiles

Wave 2

Rebels
Red Squadron Pilot (X-Wing)
w/ Proton Torpedoes & R5 Astromech

Imperial
4 x Academy Pilot (TIE Fighter)
4 x Black Squadron Pilot
w/ Expert Handling

Wave 3

Rebel
4 x Grey Squadron Pilot (Y-Wing)
w/ Proton Torpedoes (2) & Ion Cannon Turret

Wave 4
4 x Saber Squadron Pilot (TIE Interceptor)
w/ Expose

Wave 5
Lambda Class Shuttle

Conclusion

The last playtest ended with only two Rebel starfighters on the table and ten Imperials. It was a very close fight, so we believe the game to be relatively balanced and fun for both sides. We learned a couple of things. It moves far faster and better if we have uniform pilot skills within squads. Formerly, we had squad leaders for each with slightly better piloting skills and some special rules. Having each squadron move at the same time makes things a little less confusing and flow faster so I changed it to be uniform. We also toned down on some of the upgrade cards for simplicities sake.

We hope to have a good turnout for this event and if you are planning on being in the L.A. area on Memorial Day weekend we also hope to see you there!