We both had a couple of new ships (oops!) we were keen to field, but we wanted to do more than just face off in two lines and blast away, so we thought we'd try a more narrative approach as I mentioned before:
To that end, we thought we'd try a mission with a trio of lowly TIEs escorting a Lambda shuttle through a Rebel ambush. The Rebels were striking from both flanks with (in joyously alphabetically order),
- 2 A-Wings,
- 1 B-Wing,
- 2 X-Wings and
- 2 Z-95 Headhunters.
The mission we blagged involved - very simply - the Empire having to move the shuttle across the table from top-right and off their bottom-left corner (all deployment zones were Range 3 from corners) and the Rebels trying to destroy the shuttle. The idea was adapted from the published shuttle mission, but rather than give the Empire 20 more points (essentially the shuttle for free), we just did away with the Rebel reserves. It worked out at 150 points each.
The trap was well sprung, but the inexperienced Rebel pilots bumbled their navigation at first and the Headhunters and A-Wings failed to get their target locks for an early launch of their ordnance. Across the board the X-Wings were closer to the TIE Interceptors than they realised, and they were the first to take a pasting.
This pasting continued with the Rebels losing both an X-Wing and the ordnance-carrying Z-95 before they were able to pick off a lowly TIE fighter. Soon the rebels were being squarely whittled-down, and once I lost my B-Wing we both thought that the Empire would soon carry the day.
But in their arrogance, the Imperial Navy had overlooked the brace of zizzy little A-Wings streaking after the shuttle and picking off the last of its shields from long range.
And then, Just as the shuttle was about to exit the board, both A-Wings - almost unmolested - were able to finally close the gap to Range 1, focus their attention, and let fly with their proton rockets. With five attacks each at range one, AND with focus to help, the shuttle was doomed, and its vital high-ranking Empire passengers were lost in the ensuing fireball.
Stunned and dispirited, the Empire pilots were immediately recalled to base, leaving the Gemmer Sojan to lead the equally stunned Rebel pilots limping away.
A successful ambush, yes, but at what cost?
- The scenario worked really super-well and told a properly cinematic story - neither of us was expecting the Rebels to win after about turn 3;
- It was REALLY fun to try out some new toys and rules (especially secondary weapons);
- The A-Wings did exactly what they were supposed to do (albeit slightly later than I'd hoped) - proof if proof were needed that detailing units to specific missions really can be a good idea (who'da thunk it?!);
- The minis looked AMAZING on he mat;
- We're both getting a wee bit better at manoeuvring and DS played a good, sound, tactical game - certainly better than me, since he was able to outmanoeuvre me and anticipate most of my moves! Most.
- The Standard A-Wing and the Rebel Aces A-Wing together look like bowling shoes.
Thanks for reading,
PS: Sorry the pics are just of the endgame!