Showing posts with label star wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label star wars. Show all posts

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Launch the Fighters!

This is a preview of my spring modeling series. I am short a few TIE fighters, but I shall press on. 

All fighters launch!

What are we looking at? 16 Bandai Star Wars model sets, in 1:144 scale. I really like this scale for gaming. In reality, this is 26 different models, not counting the 2 I already completed. 

I figure I'll kick out 2 a week for 13 weeks, then revisit when I paint them. Behind the scenes, I'll be building one of each first, then painting them as examples. As I said, I am rather light on TIE fighters and heavy on TIE Advanced models. 

I really wish they made B-Wings in this scale. 



Like I mentioned the last time, unless these models are on sale on Amazon, you are better off elsewhere. My personal preference is Hobby Lobby due to the 40% off coupon. But they only have X-Wings and TIE's. For a bigger selection, try The Big Bad Toy Store. They are super consistent with pricing and shipping, but I go with Amazon for the random price drops. 

I do get remuneration from Amazon and DO NOT get anything from the Big Bad Toy Store or Hobby Lobby. It's just straight shooting on good prices. 99% of the time when placing an order with Prime  with free shipping is the reason why I go with Amazon. Click that link for a 30 day trial of Prime. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Review: Dark Forces

Title: Dark Forces
Publisher: LucasArts
Year: 1995
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, memories. In Dark Forces, you control Kyle Katarn on his mission to recover the Death Star Plans and save the rebellion from the Evil Empire. 

Oh, but there's more... Kyle discovers a secret base on the Arc Hammer, ready to pump out a new weapon system, the Dark Troopers. This is one of the first times Star Wars fans access the universe via a character who does not have the Force and does not pilot a cool ship. Han Solo and Wedge, Kyle is not.

The game plays out like a cross between The Mandalorian and Doom. Considering how the 1990's were, that should be no surprise. It was refreshing not to see Sith and Jedi gumming up a straight shooter game along with the idea that the Cool Ship was merely a vehicle within the story, not the main character like TIE and X-Wing.

Kyle does a cool ship, but it's not an item you use on your missions. It carries you from and to each mission via screen cuts. The Moldy Crow is epic looking and seems to be the look Bungie was going for in Destiny with the Guardian's ships. 

This game is very similar to Doom in it's execution, but has some notable differences. Like Doom, Kyle Katarn  is armed with an array of weapons, each one except fists needing ammunition. These weapons can strafe and have two modes of file. 

They are: 

1 Fist
2 Bryar Blaster Pistol
3 E-11 blaster rifle
4 Thermal Detonator
5 Imperial Repeater Gun
6 Jeron Fusion Cutter
7 I.M. Mine
8 Packered Mortar Gun
9 Stouker Concussion Rifle
10 Assault Cannon

In addition to these weapons, Katarn has a collection of items which are helpful. Headlamps and Infrared googles, a breathing mask, ice cleats, and medi packs are all necessary to complete the game. Kyle will also need batteries, power ups and extra lives to make it to the end. 

Unlike Doom, the player is able to look up and down, move vertically and maps simulate different elevations. There are jumping puzzles, mazes, environmental hazards to stymie the player. It has three levels of difficulty to assist the new player get into the game. 

Mission 1: The Death Star Plans: Operation Skyhook – Secret Base
Mission 2: After the Massacre – Talay (Tak Base)
Mission 3: The Subterranean Hideout – Anoat City
Mission 4: Imperial Weapons Research Facility – Research Facility
Mission 5: The Blood Moon – Gromas Mines
Mission 6: Crix Madin’s Fate – Detention Center
Mission 7: Deadly Cargo – Ramsees Hed
Mission 8: Ice Station Beta – Robotics Facility
Mission 9: The Death Mark – Nar Shaddaa
Mission 10: Jabba’s Revenge – Jabba’s Ship
Mission 11: The Imperial Mask – Imperial City
Mission 12: Smuggler’s Hijack – Fuel Station
Mission 13: The Stowaway – The Executor
Mission 14: The Dark Awakening – The Arc Hammer

Gamer Walkthroughs is an excellent resource I wish I had back in 1995. Each mission has specific win parameters, so you need to hunt for solutions and solve puzzles. If all the Storm Troopers are not enough for you, you'll fight Boba Fett, a Kell Dragon with no weapons and finally, face off against the terrifying Dark Trooper. 


While no longer canonical Star Wars, it's nice to see some of these scenarios come to life via The Mandalorian.  

The audio track was excellent, the music virtually lifted from the movies. The use of stereo sound was terrifying, you hear things coming from the proper direction with headphones. The first time a Dark Trooper attacks, you know it's badassed just by the sound of it's footsteps. 

The AI is sort of lack luster and the missions are designed Doom style meaning you don't sneak or bypass enemies. It's straight up blast and kill session even though you have a story and mission parameters. 

Performance was iffy if I remember correctly. 4 MB was not enough for you to get the full effect. It's even choppy on my Sawtooth, which has more than enough horse power for 1990 games. 

All and all, I give this game 4 stars. Go check out the videos at Gamer Walkrhrough for a feel of the game. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Additional Force Feats for my Star Wars Campaign

Based off the new Star Wars movies, the Rebels series and The Mandalorian I have a couple of Force Feats I want to add to my campaign. Strangely, not all of the original force feats displayed by Luke, Leia and Vader are a part of the original WotC Star Wars book. This book was for The Phantom Menace, but oddly didn't include anything from the original 3 movies.

These Feats are more dangerous and useful than the last set I posted. While I spell them out as all being telekinesis in some form or another, they are under the Alter feat. 

Almost all of these are based off the Force Lighting feat, with the DC adjusted for lower levels. 

Telekinesis: 
Telekinesis allows the force user to grab, throw and manipulate items at a distance. Within this group there are 4 feats. 

Grab: 
The force user can grab a loose object and pull it to themselves. This requires one level of force use. At low levels, this is a full round action. At higher levels, it is a move action. The object will end up in their hand or in a desired landing place near them. If two force users are contesting the control of an object, the one with higher die roll wins, no matter the DC requirement or level difference.

This will usually result in a tug of war, where the lower level character has the exact same chance of winning as the higher level character. The primary problem for the lower level character is the higher level character may be able to make more than one attempt per round, the second of which is uncontested. This seriously antagonizes Dark Side characters and they may needless continue the tug of war with the lesser Force user until some other event prevents them from continuing the war. 

Dark Side users gain a Dark Side point each time they repeat this action against another user. 

Use the script, Hayden.
Force User's Level     DC
1-3                              15  (Full Round Action)
4-6                              14  (Full Round Action) 
7-12                            13  (Move Action)
13-20                          12  (Move Action)
+21+                           10  (Move Action)

There is only one modifier to this DC roll, ownership. If the object in question belongs to the character, the DC drops by 2. 

This feat has a cost of 1 vitality per object per round. Characters are limited to one object per 3 levels. 

Examples: Ankin levitating fruit, Luke recovering his saber. 


Lift: 
Sometimes this feat is used as Jedi drinking game.
A force user can lift an item into the air or pin it to the ground. It requires one level of force use and the Grab feat. 

Dark Side users can inflict damage at the same rate as falling a given distance, while Light Side users will tend not damage the item. Like the Grab ability, it has a DC score to succeed against inanimate objects and there is a limit to the number of times they can do this per round. This power only works against inanimate objects. 

Force User's Level     DC
4-6                              15  (Full Round Action) 
7-12                            14  (Move Action)
13-20                          12  (Move Action)
+21+                           10  (Move Action)

The vitality cost is identical to Grab, one per round per object. There is no upper limit to how many things they may lift except the cost. The cost is based on when the objects are moving, not the fact that they have moved. As a consequence, a force user may lift dozens of objects and hold them stationary for a long time. Gracefully returning the object to a resting place will cost more vitality and have its own required DC roll.  

Examples: Rey vs. the rocks, Luke entertaining Yoda. 

Forceful Impact: 

This power is more aggressive than the last two. The force user violently pushes an object or person either out of their way or into a fixed object for damage. Being lifted into the air or slammed to the ground is one of the Force effects that cannot be contested or counter acted by another Force feat. It requires both the alter Feat and the Lift feat. 

This power does have a number of different uses. First, it can be used to hurl an item at a target or hurl a target into another object. There is a DC roll: 

Force User's Level     DC
4-6                              15  (Full Round Action) 
7-12                            14  (Full Round Action)
13-20                          12  (Move Action)
+21+                           10  (Move Action) 

Dark Side users can inflict falling damage on a victim. A Light Side user will can knock someone down, but generally won't hurt living beings. A victim can resist this damage if they can make a reflect save. If pinned to a surface, the victim must make a Fortitude save in the next round to begin moving again. 

One unusual use of this power is to safely propel a target to a destination, as if they lept the distance. When used against a friendly target, the DC is reduced by one. 

When used against a friendly force user, that person can use Forceful Impact to guide themselves to a perfect landing along their flight path. This is a separate roll and will not modify the other character's DC roll. Failure indicates they land where the other person intended, not their choice of landing spots. 

The cost of this power is two vitality points per round per object or target. If pinning a target, the cost must be paid, successful or not. If the force user is adept enough, they can push back and absorb energy. The cost of this is 4 vitality point per unit of damage absorbed, plus a second DC check for Dissipate energy. If both rolls are successful AND the force user dies, there will be a one round delay in the blast to allow people to escape. 

Examples: Obi Wan in every fight in the Prequels, Kanan saving his friends, Kanan and Ezra escaping various fights. 

HR is not involved with the Imperial
Field Promotion Program.
Clutch: 

Clutch is completely surrounds a target, prevents movement and can cause damage. It may incidentally lift a target from the ground. It requires the Grab feat and 7 levels of force experience. 

Force User's Level     DC
7-12                            15  (Full Round Action)
13-20                          14  (Move Action)
+21+                           13  (Move Action) 

The force user may inflict 1d6 points of damage per round at a cost of 2 vitality per damage die rolled. The user may choose how many damage dice to roll up to their current level. They may be required to do this for multiple rounds for the desired effect if they guess wrong. When used against a living being, the user receives Dark Side Points equal to the damage done. Light Side users will be inclined to use this power against droids or other non-living targets, while Dark Side users will attack anyone with this ability. 

If the force user has both the sense and alter feats, they may subdue a target for as long as desired, with or without inflicting damage so long as they succeed their DC roll. The sense feat also allows the force practitioner the ability to attack targets at vast distances so long as they can sense the target in some way. For example, they could use a camera to view the target or may hear foot steps at the target approaches from behind. 

Examples: Vader's force choke, Luke crushing the Dark Trooper. 

It wasn't a person, so it wasn't that Dark.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Review - X-Wing Miniature Game

Title: X-Wing Miniature Game
Credits: A Game by Jay Little
Rule Set: Unique to set
Year: 2014? 
Pages: 24, 16 and 4 page booklets
Number of players: 2*
Rating: ★★★★★

I picked this game up for my son a few years back and we played it a lot. My son has his X-Wing and TIE models on a shelf in his room. I started this post at 4:45 am, which is why you won't see images of those parts in this review. I'll see what I can do when my son and our sun gets up. 

As I understand it, this system is full of power creep which really doesn't effect the gameplay of this set. This is also the first edition rules, which is different than what is currently on the market. So on to the game review. 

This version of X-Wing was produced for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had to guess at the date because there isn't one on the box. The box is solid, it will hold up well on the shelf. Inside are 3 booklets, totalling 44 pages of information for game play. The graphics are incredible and a valued addition to the game as they present gameplay information, not random photos from a at the time unreleased movie. It's a good thing the box is as sturdy as it is, it's loaded with parts. 3 painted models, cards, dice, tokens, templates, etc. It's a lot of parts, but nothing extraneous. 

The first play guide has you in the seat of your beloved X-Wing or TIE fighter and blowing the snot out of your enemy in minutes. The instructional method is a familiar one: learn the basics as you play, add more rules, play again, then master the all rules and go crazy with new adventures. 

The first session can be played in 10-30 minutes as you learn the rules. Its really nice. My first impression of the game was that it was a copy of Top Gun**. There are some similarities, both where made for a movie, both had some cool tokens and a move, react, shoot, repeat method of play. But that is where it ends. 

There is one thing missing from the box that sets this game apart from the others: A Game Board. There isn't one. Players are told to find a good sized table, lay down some felt or a black table cloth and have at it. Sure, you can buy one but the rules clearly state it isn't necessary. Movement templates guide the ships, unlocking them from the play space. The lack of a board is actually a strength. Not having a grid or hexes to lock your pieces down gives the game the same fluid dynamic of Star Wars space combat. You feel like you're in the cockpit. 

This game brings back a lot of memories in one tiny box. I have already mentioned that it felt a bit like a better planned out version of a Top Gun** Movie game from the late 80s, which was an apparent skin of the Aerotech game (which is available via the Battletech Compendium at DriveThru. It has the movement guides like the turn keys of Car Wars. Combat is handled with dice where each player rolls dice at the same time like Risk, with the twist that the defender's dice eliminates the attacker's damage. There is a I-go-you-go approach to terrain, which is a hell of an old school call out to games like WRG. And it's Star Wars themed. 

First edition games may seem rough, but this one isn't. Gameplay and rules are tight, with carefully considered options. Gameplay pops and snaps into place naturally, it's like something from the Spice Mines of Kessel. And since it's a vehicle for selling models as add-ons, it very successful at that. 

*While intended as a two player game, there are 3 models which could be divided among 3 players. For complex missions, one could add a game host. My initial playthrough was with 3 young children each having a model and myself acting as a gamehost, so 4 people can be involved. Whatever you do, it just works out. 



** I wish I could point you to the Top Gun game I had back in the 80s/90s, but I have never seen one except the one I bought from the shelf of my local Hobby Shop back when the movie was hot. Since I lost my copy, I don't even have a picture. It was pretty cool at the time, coming with about a dozen tiny plastic airplane tokens. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Additional Force Feats for my Star Wars Campaign

Based off the new Star Wars movies, the Rebels series and The Mandalorian I have a couple of Force Feats I want to add to my campaign. Strangely, not all of the original force feats displayed by Luke, Leia and Vader are a part of the original WotC Star Wars book. This book was for The Phantom Menace, but oddly didn't include anything from the original 3 movies. These are not all that incredibly overpowered feats, I merely want more options for my players. 

From the movies, the Rebel TV series, and the Mandalorian, I created 4 more Sense Feats: Whisper, Audience, Intrusion and Affinity, with examples. None of these powers have a cost. 

Whisper
You can make your thoughts known over a distance, mind to mind. Communication is one way unless two force users have this feat or are somehow related (family or close friends). 
Prerequisites: Sense, Force level 2. 

Benefit: This is silent, mind to mind communication between two characters. It is initiated the force user and the target does not need to respond in anyway. In cases where there is a language barrier, simple thoughts are translated. If a target of this feat is a force user, the communication is two-way. It can be used to form a special link between two force users, like the secret language created by twins, useable over a distance. If the connection is strong, then the location or director of a character can be transmitted. 

Examples: Luke and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back and Grogu and Ahsoka in the Mandalorian. 

Luke calls to Leia

Audience
This force feat allows a force user to present themselves to another person. An image of the one requesting an audience appears in the mind of the other. This can be alarming to the target. If two force users engage in this feat, the effect is two-way. Note, the target and user cannot see where the other is. 

Benefits: The target and the projector can see each other in real time and communicate without threat of contact. The illusion is very complete, perhaps causing the practitioners the fight and quarrel as if they were really there. No damage can be inflicted in this way, however people may damage their own environment. Attempting to discern a hostile target's location is a DC 20 and must be derived from clues.  
Prerequisites: Sense and force level 5.
Examples: Kylo Ren and Rey in The Last Jedi. 

Swinging a lightsaber at an illusion is bad.

Intrusion
A force Intrusion has one of two effects, depending on the number of targets. Against multiple targets, the force user can project an image of themselves great distances. Against a single foe, it can be used to compel them reveal information and tell the truth. 

Benefits: An Intrusion can trick opponents into believing the force user is present or even in their head. With extreme concentration, the person can manipulate small items as if they were really present. When used against a single target, a DC check equal to the targets Wisdom will prevent the target from lying for a single round. The target will know they cannot lie for the round and can try to deflect the conversation. This second type of Intrusion is a dark side power. Most people know this is ineffective as a means of interrogation. 

Examples: Luke appearing on Crait, Kylo's interrogation Rey and Poe. A notable except is Vader, who could use this power but does not. It's easier to choke people. People who are flexible in their morality find deflection of questions easy, while more trusting people have harder time. Compare Han and Poe to Rey. 

Better than being there.

Affinity
Force Affinity can make a victim or group of victims more disposed to leave the user alone or be more friendly. It only works on living creatures, not droids. While not generally a dark side feat, over reliance can have a side effect where the user believes they can charm anyone resulting in instant failure. For example, Kylo and everyone he orders around, Anakin trying to command droids, and the young Obi Wan. 

Benefits: on a DC roll equal to the target's Wisdom, the creature will ignore the force user. On a DC equal to the target's combined Wisdom and Intelligence, the creature will treat the practitioner as a friendly. This will work better on single animals better than intelligent creatures. Pack dynamics can be a hassle for the force user as it could trigger attacks by other members of the pack. Predators are an additional DC 5 because this doesn't change the basic nature of the creature. 

Offering an attractive, different option, choice or making a successful animal handling skill check will provide a longer lasting affinity lasting more than a round. A GM may allow multiple rolls to allow an earnest character to actually befriend the target.  

Attacks on the victim instantly end the affinity. An attack of any kind will cause animals to flee, even if the attack is not on them or even to their benefit. 

Prerequisites: Sense and force level 1. 

Examples: Leia communicating with the Ewoks, Luke trying to calm the Ranor (and failing) and Ezra's ability to commune with every animal. 

This could also be the "Jedi Mind Trick", which seems to make people predisposed to an idea go along with it rather than have a whole new idea. The Stormtroopers were not surprised that those weren't the droids they were looking for, it already happened 80 times that day. Watto on the other hand, had no plan to give stuff away ever, so it couldn't work on him. Luke flat out appeals Bib's greed and desire for praise to turn him to his will. 

Ezra uses this ability on nearly every animal he encounters.

I hope you enjoy these and add them to you game. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

That's Not Star Wars, Ya Know

One of my favorite Star Trek episodes is Balance of Terror. It is a trope defining story about a Romulan warship using it's cloak to bomb the heck out of the Federation's outposts. It's actually a rewrite of the film "Enemy Below", but it was used effectively to establish a lot of lore within the series. Before this point, we didn't have cloaking devices, photon torpedoes, etc. It really wasn't Trek, but became Star Trek. 

So, yeah. That's not Star Wars. 

Neither is my Star Wars campaign, or so I have been told. The players are force adepts with no lightsabers. That isn't cool. I have been issued an order to get them lightsabers. 

Ok, fine. I see my mistake. For a couple of sessions, I proved that Star Wars can exist without Jedi and lightsabers, but the players are annoyed with this. I saw this coming and had a plotline where the characters build lightsabers from some junk they receive from a bounty hunter, La'ow Houd

I was told "no deal", that is also not Star Wars. Jedi spend zero screen time building lightsabers. 

Hmm.

In our discussion, I outlined the concept of La'ow and his desire to destroy a prison or at least free the prisoners. The players like this but asked "why us?". I explained they were the only rebels around. They asked "So, are we going to find help in the Prison?" 

Well, no. They would be destroying a prison that is too close to the capital, making the whole area a battlefield in a galactic war. At this point, we picked through a couple of episodes of Rebels, The Mandalorian and a scene from The Last Jedi, the casino bit. These choices were all parts where "Star Wars" stopped being "Star Wars". 

The players asked what makes the prison a bad target in a war? Wouldn't someone else simply bomb the snot out of it, satisfying the goals I laid out? And why does this bounty hunter have a sailboat for us to hang out on? Ooh. Wouldn't someone, the Rebellion or the Empire attacking the city serve the player's goals? Won't the sailboat be a good way for the party to escape that end? That was awkward, because they are right. 

By group consensus, we decided that the prison is on the edge of bay. On one side of the bay, the Droid Army is modifying a castle ruins to be a prison. That's what I had and I am all onboard with this.  

However, on the other side of the bay are a series of small communities. It's sort of a vacation spot, like the casino in The Last Jedi. These communities have this ugly wart of the prison in plain view and being an obvious target, that is not so hot for the locals. While the level of decadence is not ramped up like The Last Jedi, think the Poconos or Lake George rather than Vegas, there are some powerful people running around here. People who have access to lightsabers and other powerful weapons. People who might want to see this prison destroyed. People who might want a fight. Like the players.

The players are exactly right. I did want to investigate the lives of common people in Star Wars, but without some small details, it doesn't work. But with the player's feedback it can continue. So, "this is the way". 

Monday, February 1, 2021

1001st Post (or not) - The Countdown Is On

Edit - It turns out I goofed. This is not the 1001st post, its actually 950 something. I have 43 draft posts for upcoming reviews I planned for this year. Sorry about that. Carry on...

I have couple of projects coming up. As promised before, this spring I will be doing a series on the Bandai Star Wars Models. These are 1/144 scale models, except for the Falcon which seems to 1/350. I almost have everything I need, I want to get a few more TIE Fighters and X-Wings. 

The list so far is: 

Y-Wing, 
4 A-Wings, 
2 First Order TIEs, 
2 Classic TIEs, 
2 New Style X-Wings, 
2 Falcons, 

2 AT-STs, and
2 Snowspeeders. 



I'm going to be real honest, Amazon's prices are not the best at first look. They fluctuate so some days they are a steal and others they are a rip off. If Amazon isn't working for you, try out Hobby Lobby or The Big Bad Toy Store. They are super consistent with pricing and shipping, but I go with Amazon for the random price drops. I do get remuneration from Amazon and DO NOT get anything from the Big Bad Toy Store or Hobby Lobby. It's just straight shooting on good prices. 99% of the time, my Amazon Prime account with free shipping is the reason why I go with Amazon. Sad but true. 



Spring is 47 days away and summer is 91 days long. That puts me on a schedule of one or more models a week. I figure in fall I can do a series on painting models. 

In the meantime, what am I doing with those 47 days until spring? I am getting seeds ready to plant. I'm doing a garden this year. I hope to do some gaming garden side as I really enjoyed my outside posts last year. I figure the garden will be a suitable place to play some D&D. All I need is some chairs and a small table and we'll be set. 

Now I have one more mystery picture to share. 

What are they? 1440 3 mm rhinestones. What on earth could I do with those? You'll see. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Last Package Arrived Today

My last package from Amazon arrived today. Now I am almost ready to start a second series of post on modeling. I'll be working on these Bandai 1/144 scale models over the summer. You can find them at many hobby shops, but I've had the best luck on prices at Amazon.com. Ironic, because the grid of ads from Amazon is showing the most expensive things. Sigh. Ah. Checked it now, and most of the prices are reasonable. 

(Note: My Amazon Affiliate account has really taken off, I just need to figure out how to make it work better with my posts.) 

One of the snags with series posts is they start strong and either come to an early conclusion or they just peter out due to a lack of inspiration. 

I hope to change that this year by having a spring/summer series ready to go. I also have a couple of things in my back pocket. My Star Wars campaign looks good to restart and even more exciting (for me anyway) it looks like my gang is ready to go back to the Peninsula of Plenty campaign, perhaps as a hexcrawl. That's two more series to update for the Blog. 

The only problem now is time. I've had my basement flood and defy all attempts to remedy and I recently started a new job which takes up my evenings. My weekend is now Tuesday-Wednesday and I work every holiday for the foreseeable future. I'd know how things will work out, but they will. 

At this point, I am thinking of retiring the Podcast. I really can't see how I'll have the time for all of this. Time will tell. 


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Green-5 Stats for WotC Star Wars

Green-5 is a unique droid to the Tarkeren Campaign. He has been on his own for far too long, Green-5 is suffering from corruption. He has taken on some traits that are not helpful. 

He has this obsession with turning speeders into fighters, which is less useful than it sounds. He has also taken on the idea he should know medicine. For a tactical droid, this is even more questionable than the thing with the speeders. 

T-Series Tactical Droid Statistics
Medium 4th-Degree Droid Soldier 3

Force Points: 2
Initiative: +6; Senses: Perception +7
Languages: Basic, Binary, Zabrak, Rodian

Defense:
Reflex Defense: 18 (Flat-Footed: 17), Fortitude Defense: 13, Will Defense: 13; Vehicular Combat
Hit Points: 30, Damage Threshold: 13
Immune: Droid Traits

Offense

Speed: 9 Squares (Walking)
Melee: Unarmed +1 (1d3)
Ranged: Heavy Blaster +2 (3d8)
Base Attack Bonus: +1; Grapple: +2
Attack Options: Quickshot (Heavy Blaster)

Base Stats:

Abilities: Strength 10, Dexterity 12, Constitution -, Intelligence 14 (Corruption. 10), Wisdom 14, Charisma 12
Talents: Battle Analysis

Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Vehicular Combat, Weapon Proficiency (Pistols), Weapon Proficiency (Rifles), Weapon Proficiency (Simple Weapons), Point Blank Shot. 

Skills: Initiative +6, Knowledge (Tactics) +7, Perception +7, History +6, Use Computer +7, Treat Injury +2, Pilot +1, Astrogation +1.

Droid Systems: Walking Locomotion, Heuristic Processor, 2 Hand Appendages, Internal Comlink, Vocabulator, Backup Battery. 

Possessions: Heavy Blaster, Electrobinoculars, Durasteel Plating (Droid Armor; +6 Reflex), Cape, Notebook, Pen.

Availability: Unique

Tankeren's Defenses

The Tankerenian armed forces are not really what they should be. They have aircraft like the ship below. I call it an H-Wing. In real world terms, it's like an A-10 or a SU-25. However, no conflict has reached the level of needing those machines. Unlike their real world counterparts, they owe their robustness to devolved fighter designs of the Republic. They are incidentally tough, but not as tough as a Y-Wing or B-Wing. 

The whole planet probably has 200 of them. Of those, 20 or so of them are outfitted for training, aerobatic groups and the odd civilian hobbyist. Of the remaining fighters, 30-40% are down for servicing at any given time. Tarkeren doesn't have much a fighting air force. 


They have evolved this ship into a space fighter. The lines are more angular, the engines are bigger and the wings much smaller. Since the planet has a tiny space presence, these little ships are hot rods. They go from ground to orbit when needed. They are on par with an A-Wing in terms of speed, but lack missiles and maneuverability. They do have one advantage over most fighters, the pipe like structures are sensors so each ship acts as control ship. Maybe they have 100 of them.  


I showed this air speeder in my last post. It is unarmed, but a purpose build speed machine. It uses advance technology to perform more like a spacecraft than a speeder. It can reach orbit, but this is more of a stunt than a capability. Citizens of the Republic or Empire would be terrified at the power of this commercial speeder. But like I said, it's unarmed. These speeders are ubiquitous on this planet. 


Green-5 has transformed this air speeder into a power space fighter. It has heavy ion cannons for battle against capital ships, space for an astromech droid and powerful lasers. It can match TIE fighters in speed, Y and B-Wings for armor and has better weapons than both. It does lack missiles and photon torpedoes as the planet doesn't have the ability to produce either. 

The downside of this ship is, it is modification from air speeder to spaceship. That's expensive. Every fighter is a custom job involving droids and humanoids, which means that each one is unique. Also, it requires a humanoid droid or live pilot which means that Green-5, defender of the planet, does not have direct control of them once in service. Not enough droids are available to fly them, they type of droid required is not anything the Trade Federation has, so he needs Tankerenian pilots. 

So far, Green-5 has convinced the Lord and Lady to make 30 conversions. Half of them are still being assembled. He knows he needs 100 times that number to defend the planet against the Empire. 

Over the next couple of posts, I will stat up these ships. I hope you enjoy them. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Tankerenian Speeders and Aircraft

I penned up some aircraft which are unique to my Tankerenian Star Wars Setting. 

For a warmup, I did a couple of open top speeders which are pretty Star Wars standard. Tankerenians are weird, they like fast vehicles, so these would only be found in cities and towns. They are small enough to fit inside a cargo transport so they are everywhere as a secondary mode of transport. 

What they really like are their skyspeeders, something like a cross between a cloud car and a snow speeder. They are insanely fast for 7 or more person vehicle. 


The Tankerenians only developed a vague sense of warfare and they do have some horribly antiquated fighters. They are limited to in atmosphere flight and are totally outclassed by even the oldest Republic designs. 




Friday, December 25, 2020

Mom, Dad... I'm in prison, and I don't like it.

This morning, I busted out some pens and graph paper to come up with the next scenario for my Star Wars campaign. This post is somewhat applicable for other campaign types, as you can grab the maps for just about anything. The links below go to the worldbuilding and character information about this campaign, in case this is the first you are hearing of it. 

In my worldbuilding post, I mentioned many names. Bergel was the Neimoidian viceroy in charge of the planet but he is playing a very sideways game of "not it". He knows the Empire or the Rebels will be paying him a visit very soon and he doesn't want to be the guy in charge when it happens. 

He set up the Tactical Droid, Green-5 as the pasty when whoever arrives has an obvious target to kill. He ordered the droid to protect the planet and Bergel charged him to work with the leadership of the planet. Additionally, Bergel has a Neimoidian bounty hunter, La'ow Houd keeping tabs on Green-5 and the leadership. His intention is to make sure that Green-5 puts up a bit of a fight, but not enough to get the planet glassed. Bergel is going to play the deposed leader card and say that Green-5 took over. 

Green-5 is pretty smart when it comes to tactics. He drew up a plan to kill everyone on the planet but since he's been ordered to work with the Lord and Lady of the planet this idea has been ditched. The Tankerenians are treating him like a living being which is causing him to wildy exceed his programing. He should have gone into safe mode a couple of times already but keeps lumbering on.  

In light of the riots and a party of unknown adventurers, he is in high threat mode. He has negotiated a plan to keep everyone safe. The Lord and Lady of Tankeren have granted him plot of land that contains a ruins. Green-5 started construction of a prison to incarcerate the rioters as he catches them. Currently, they are mostly held in place, which is very dangerous for his droids. They are not jailers or wardens. 

Bergel hates this idea. For one, the prison is far too close to the Capital making both a military target. Second, if anyone attacks the prison, it will be a bloodbath. This will cause the Tankerenians to fight with anyone that slaughters the prisoners. Bergel is an opportunist and has been exploiting the citizens, he doesn't mean to get them all kill or enslaved. This is exactly what will happen if the prison is completed. Someone will come to knock it out. 

Bergel is playing both sides. He set Green-5 on his course but also has La'ow Houd keeping eyes on him. La'ow has set his ship down near the prison site and has been evaluating the situation. He has a mandate to sabotage it any way he can. He doesn't have the means to destroy it himself, but he does know of a party of adventurers (click here for their character sheets) who might get the job done. In a perfect world, these adventures will do double duty: free the prisoners and destroy the facility. 

Last week, I posted some towers. I really liked these designs and incorporated them into the maps. When I drew them, I was thinking medieval towers but the slender design lends itself to sci-fi. 

The prison has 16 towers to jail prisoners. Green-5 is pretty sharp and he tried to eliminate as many problems with jailing people. Each tower is 6 levels or 22 meters high and 9 meters wide. They were carved right out of the local bedrock, so it should be impossible for prisoners to dig their way out. 

The bottom floor is the bathroom and showers. There are no windows on this floor. The next 4 floors are accommodations for the incarcerated. Each level does have a narrow slot window, but is far too small for an adult to crawl out of. The roof is for recreation. Prisoners are dropped off on the roof by a floating platform. There are no droid guards inside the towers.

The Tactical Droid has invented a variation of an oubliette, and the prisoners know it. Several smaller prisoners, mostly women and children have managed to get out of the towers and explore. They have not found a way to breach the walls, so they have not escaped. When they do figure out a way, they are going to destroy this place. This keeps the prisoners from fighting with each other. Wrecking this place is their game plan. 

I must apologize now for the orientation of the prison. The prison towers are on the south side of the map, which means that if I wish to continue this tour of the facilities, the maps will be upside down. 

South Ward (Prison Area)
In the map above, you can see the tower arrangements. The guns that point inwards are heavy stunners. The outward pointing guns are light and heavy weapons for taking down infantry and armor. The dotted lines are the gates. Imbedded in the ground are metal posts meant to stop vehicles while the gate doors slide sideways. They don't stop people, that's what the gates are for. At the bottom of the image are two ramps that lead to the fortress. 

As you can see from the arrangement, the towers block lines of fire. Green-5 believes that a force could come down the ramps and sweep up anyone trying to escape. He's never seen a prison riot before. 

The walls are hollow. There is a 1 meter wide and high tunnel through them, so Destroyer Droids can deploy from cover via secret openings. On the top towers of the prison side are two domes so that the Destroyer Droids can rally before rolling out into the yard. These tunnels are also how droids reach the weapon emplacements in the tower. 

The Command Section

The command area is much more reasonably designed. On the right bottom corner is the barracks area. Since only droids are station here, not much room is needed to store them. The towers along the perimeter have heavy weapons. The box like structures are missile launchers, however, they lob missiles upward. They cannot target anything inside the perimeter, not even the prison area. 

In the courtyard on the left are several faint pencil lines to mark where ships should land. This is also where the hovering platform is stored. These are not permanent marks and are moved, added and removed as needed. The faint pencil work at the top of the image is a duplication of the prison area so I can match the two halves of the map together. 

For the next session, La'ow will alert the players to the problem the prison represents to the people of this planet. He will be helpful, but not really helpful. The players will arrive before the entire structure is complete, they will see how the towers are constructed and gain useful recon information before making their assault. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Adding complexity to a Star Wars Campaign - World Building

I'm running a Star Wars campaign on the very distant planet of Tankeren. I need to know some stuff about Tankeren to create this setting.

The map was created using The Planet Map Generator by Torben Mogensen. Tankeren is largely Earth-like, just a bit more arrid on land owing to the equaralterial nature of the land masses. The map really isn't that big, its only for show. 

What about the people? Here is what I know so far: 

  1. Tankeren was a member of the Republic. 
  2. The inhabitants are tribal in nature divided by waves of colonization, there were no native inhabitants.  
  3. Tribes revolve around each wave of colonization.  
  4. The population is heavily mixed up with all species having at least some presence on the planet.
  5. There is no majority species. 
  6. The Separatists had no problems seizing the planet. 
  7. The planet is agrarian, but has a lot of technology. 
Ok, so these people have loose alliances and don't do the representative government thing. What did they have prior to the arrival of the Separatists? A mess. What can I flesh out from these details?

Quite a few things actually. 

The planet is divided into 36 10° zones that
absolutely no one uses. 
Each tribe has an area called a Glide and two leaders called The Bearer and The Breaker. These are short hand terms for "The Cup Bearer" and "The Bread Breaker". Traditionally, the Breaker is a woman and the Bearer is a man, but that's all ancient history. It really doesn't matter who leads in the colonists opinion.   

Ok, what is a Glide? Initially, tribes controlled the land they lived on. But since these people were always technologically advanced, it made little sense to limit the tribes area based on where the houses were. They were also highly mobile using their TNK-101 transports to get around and as supplemental housing. 

A TNK-101 transport, civilian model.
The standard of a Glide was defined as how far a TNK-101 transport could safely glide in a disaster as per the specification booklet. It's about 603 KM (375 miles). This solves the problem of islands having one tribe per isolated landmass. Anything outside of the circle is deemed wilderness and the wave like nature of colonization caused many ribbons of wilderness between most settlements. When Glides are physically adjacent, a large landing strip and tower is built at that contact point. These facilities are used as data control points and as a site for celebrations. They are not militarized. A real world comparison would be an industrial park next to an airport. 

A map of the planet with the Capital Glide marked in red. It is to scale.

The Bread Breaker handles all issues of societal logistics; the distribution or trade of goods, the establishment of Glides, or anything else having to do with logistics. The Cup Bearer is responsible for all areas of social norms; agreements, contracts, honor, law, etc. Notice there is no chief executive or commander in chief. These roles would be taken on by either the Bearer or the Breaker as they saw fit. 

A Glide is the smallest area of control, while a Shield is the next level up. The Shield (or Continental Shield) is ruled by a Shield Breaker and Shield Bearer, who represents everyone on that Continent. The highest and least used part of government are the two Lord(s) and Lady(ies), two people who represent the planet to outsiders. These positions are alloted by tradition, economic power and in the past, might of arms. In almost all cases, anything higher than the Cup Bearer or Bread Breaker is a useless institution, having little to no local control of the Glides they represent. These high level institutions are run by the first waves of colonization and have little in common with the average person. They tend to get into fights among themselves which thankfully rarely trickles down to the citizens of the Glides. 

There are 4 Shields: East, West, Southern and Islandic. They were colonized in reverse order. 

As the Separatists took control of Tankeren, they realized the political situation was more complex than anything they encountered before. Green 5, the lead tactical droid came up with a battle plan to take the planet Glide by Glide called Green Glass Glider or G3xG5. He's a little haughty about his role on the planet. The idea was the droid army would be able to focus on one Glide at a time and this would probably result in a total depopulation of the planet, like a Glassing event. 

Green 5 is currently in charge of the droid army and directed by the Lord and Lady of the planet. They are trying to make the droids more like a police force, which doesn't work very well. It doesn't help that the Lord and Lady have different points of view. Green 5 is flummoxed by the wild, independent nature of the citizens. He spends a lot of time preventing his droids from entering combat situations. The current rioting is baffling to him because the rioters only attack droids if no other target presents itself. 

Green 5 has some conflicting programing due to the fact that Viceroy Bargel has ordered Five to take instruction from the leaders of the planet and to stop taking orders from the Viceroy. Green 5 doesn't see Bargel's organization as a separate power and the hapless droid often reports to Bargel as a matter of course. When he doesn't, he often shares information with Bargel's bounty hunter.  He has no idea that Bargel expects the droid to get himself and his robotic brethren killed when the Rebels or Empire arrives. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Session 001 - Character Rewind

I forgot to post character sheets. It's Sunday and I am working on my Neimoidian bounty hunter, but I would like to share the player's initial sheets.  

These are photocopies of a character sheet I had on hand and I rewrote what the players did on their sheets. There are mistakes, either one of the players didn't write in languages or I missed it. 

In either case, these are available by hitting the Pregenerated Characters tabs above or from the links below. When the players share their updated sheets, I'll load those, too. 

Just to recap, there are 5 player characters. Nonin is a Devaronian force adept with a blaster. Talhana is a Zabrak force adept, also with a blaster. Malta is Rodian scoundrel and dreamer, with a tiny holdout pistol. Dex is a human handiman and fringer with a sporting blaster. And lastly is Lidda. She is a twi'lik solder with more weapons than anyone else. Click those links for the individual PDF files. 

The characters have made it to level two, but I wanted to show their initial stats from Session 000.  Click the link for a recap. The short of it is, all of the characters have far more equipment and funds now. 

These characters the players created are forcing me to change up the scenarios in Invasion of Theed. In dumping the players on a different home planet, the scenarios can't play out as described. That one I knew. The second change followed by an adjustment was the players wanted to be in a place like the worlds in The Mandolorian. Since they made that choice they changed their minds. They want lightsabres now. Not too hard. The final change I have to make is the final villains can't exist on the players homeworld for a variety of reason, but the primary is, as played the characters would see these villains as heroes. That just won't do. 





Monday, November 30, 2020

AT-ST and Snowspeeder in 144 scale Part 2

 Today, I started my Snowspeeder. 


I'm down to just 3 sprues of parts and one is just the base. 


Again, the parts come off very cleanly. On these three parts, I needed to use an arced motion along the wings to remove the extra plastic from the clipping. 

The third part is the engine on the top of the image. It is slight recessed into the body and sticks out. I found it was easier to place it in the top half and use a dot of glue to stick it in place. 


And I made my first mistake. I miss a tiny bit of plastic when cleaning up the clip points. You can see that it is now keeping the wings from meshing together completely. I couldn't see that without some really bright light. 


I was able to fix it by running a razor along the seam and cut it off. In the next picture you can see that seam is better but not perfect. 


And this is what it looks like from top down. 


Next comes the canopy and the root of the the gun pods plus a good way to confuse yourself. In the picture below, I have the roots of the gun pods swapped. 


By flipping the pieces, everything becomes obvious. 


In the last image, you'll note some recesses in the model. That will catch spillover from the gluing. It's a nice touch on these models. 


The next part is the gun and barrel. The thin barrel made me nervous, so I cut a chunk of sprue off with it and trimmed it off with a razor. 


The barrel has a C shaped part on the end to connect with the gun. If you don't align this part correctly, the barrel will look zig-zagged. 


Now, the gun rests against the previously attached root section. If you're brave, you can put a dot of glue there. It isn't necessary as the gun itself has a two point, box shaped connector. It won't flex or go out of skew. 


I think this image shows the connection between the gun and barrel better than the last one. 


Of course, no Snowspeeder would be complete without the tow cable gun. This part is even smaller than the main gun barrels, so I took a piece of the sprue with it and trimmed it up with a razor. 


And for scale, here we have both models. 


No flyer would be complete without a base. This is another item I didn't glue together. The connections are very sturdy and the base has 3 different slots for positioning. There is a ball pivot on the top. Glue would remove the adjustable nature of the base. 


I wanted to show the the different slots on the base. 3 different positions. 


And one final image of these guys together. This one captures all of the fine detail on these two tiny models. 




Tomorrow, I'll start painting. I can't wait to work on the A-Wings I have.