Wednesday, 18 May 2016

9 Games that inspired me when making a game.

As part of the Radlandz introduction, I want to talk about the game systems that inspired aspects of the rules. I've played a lot of games, and no game system comes from isolation. Its all part of the game development process and every new game stands on the shoulders of the giants that preceded it. 

So in this post I will talk about the games that either inspired me on a gameplay level, or games that I used mechanical ideas from. Some will be obvious, some a little more obscure. 

First up, the most obvious ones. 


In all honesty, their would likely be no Radlandz without these two games. They were the original "warband" level games that I played and their influence can be seen throughout.

Core concepts like group size, rosters, character types, loot, experience, skill upgrade and territory all find their origins here 

The core gameplay mechanics are very different, but the overall feel is similiar. But I really wanted to make a few changes in the overall feel to "fix" what i perceived to be problems with the games.

The two core issues are randomness and loss. Random skill increases always led to big skews in power between gangs, so instead I allow people to select them from a short list.

Loss was a huge deal in these games. If you played your first game with a gang and your heavy died, taking almost a 3rd of your gang value with him, you were actually better off rolling up a new gang. In Radlandz, your group will never drop below a minimum level of functionality. New troops are free and they come with their basic kit, they just have no XP or special upgrades. So even if your entire group is killed in the first game, you don't need to reroll.    


"A dog made me build Radlandz"

Frostgrave is the game that kicked off the whole process. I really really wanted to like it, but I found the randomness and lack of distinction in the forces frustrating. 

In the game we play, a war dog ate most of my army. Single handily killing 4 characters, a man at arms, an infantry man and two thugs. I rolled no less than a 13 on all 4 combats, but the war dogs player always rolled higher. The difference between a -1 rating war dog at 10 points and a +1 rating Man at arms at 80 points is negligible in a d20 system. I felt the game was pretty damned arbitrary at that point and that units really didn't matter much.

But I saw potential in the game, but figured it needs many house rules to make work. The randomness was too swingy for me, the spell lists full of chaff, the XP system skewed heavily in favour of combat mages, and the cost of losing your wizard was brutal.

What I really liked were the turn order sequence and the idea that Wizards had spells outside their primary disciplines. I've adapted the turn order sequence and am using something similar, and the wizard selection thing has become the "identity system", where a group has a primary identity it can buy characters from, but can also pick up secondary identities and populate their list with skills and troops from there.

A Mutant identity group fields mutants as their primary forces, but if they get some points in the Arcane identity, they may pick up an apprentice spell caster and some magic skills. Hopefully, with 12 identities, this means that there are a plethora of combinations and no group looks completely like another. 

Spartacus - A game of blood and sand

Spartacus was one of the most surprising games I've played. It a really good design, true to the source material, and a great backstabbing fun fest.

The gladiatorial combat system is fun and simple, and represents wounded characters losing fighting capacity really well.

I borrowed a lot of elements from the combat system for the melee system of Radlandz.

Each player rolls their melee pool of dice, then modifies them with parry re-rolls, shields and other tricks. Then they match numbers on their dice from highest to lowest. The more dice you win on the matchup, the more damage you inflict. Tie and you both inflict damage. Strong melee characters are normally either more dice or bigger dice, so will win more often. Wounds reduce the size of your dice in the dice pool.

What this has mean't in testing is that well trained unwounded soldiers tend to butcher wounded ones easily, but not always. Poor quality troops have taken down melee masters as well, one expert melee character was taken down by a group of 4 guys with knives, as each one got a small hit in, reducing the big guys combat skills and making him easier to wound. Gang ups really work well.

It's also led to two already wounded characters killing each other in combat as they both score enough hits to do a killing blow to each other. 

The overall result is a rather cinematic combat system that has already produced numerous classic and memorable moments. 

Melee is the key to the game, shooting is designed to pin people and wound them, making them easier to mop up in close combat. 

Fortress America

Fortress america is an inspiration for the dice shifting mechanic in Radlandz. In fortress america, better units roll a higher sided dice which has a better chance of hitting and doing damage. Defending can shift a units dice up by one improving their chances of hitting and damaging.

In Radlandz I use a similar system. Each model has it's default dice pools for making ranged, melee, and morale checks. But these pools can be modified up and down depending on the models state. For example, Aiming and Charging allow you increase a dice by one size, each wound level reduces a dice by one size. 

The core difficulties to pass most checks are designed around the difficulty required for a d8 to succeed. So having upgraded dice to d10's improves that considerably, without altering the difficulty of the roll. In a way, it allows for more marginal alterations of difficulty than changing a target number, especially in a multiple dice system.

All dice are discrete, so if the target number for a roll is 6, and you roll 8, 6, 4. You score two hits, dice are never added together in Radlandz.  

Dice can go all the way up to a D12, but never below a D6. 


A really simple one here, D8's

Looking at X-wing over the last few years I have really gotten to appreciate the D8 in regards to probability. 12.5% per pip is really easy to work with, as a shift in difficulty by one is significant, but not huge. 

Also, the core concept of rolling a number of d8's and marking the number of hits scored is directly linked to X-wing in its original form.

With dice shifting and the like it's now quite different, but the ranged combat system started off with x-wing as the inspiration.  

Flames of war

I've never actually played Flames of War, which seems odd as I know a lot of one of the oldest playtest groups for the game (who I am hoping to co-opt into testing this), i'm a military history nerd, and I own the rule book.

I just never got around to it.

The one thing I did love reading the rules was the idea that the difficulty to hit a solider with a ranged attack is based on their training level. Conscripts use cover poorly, Veterans hug the dirt like its a long lost teddy bear.

In Radlandz, the difficulty to hit a model is based on their Brainz stat. Smart and savvy characters take cover quickly, poorly trained troops do not. As characters get more experienced, they become harder to hit. Also, big dumb killer robots are easy to hit, even if they are hard to damage.

It's a simple concept, but one I had not seen before Flames of War. 

Cthulhu wars

This is an example of how a mechanic in a game can inspire you to make a game design decision, that if you didn't spell it out clearly, no one would probably notice.

In Cthulhu wars, each faction has six spell books that are unlocked as complete objectives. You don't get all your powers and abilities at the game start and must do stuff to get them.

This system inspired the base system in Radlandz. Bases determine what models you can field and how many skills are on your available skill list.

At the start of the campaign, you may only have access to 3 or 4 skills, and 3-4 unit types. But as you progress, you can expand the base and gain more skills to choose from, more unit types to field, and more equipment options from resources.

Civilization 5 
Inspiration doesn't just come from board games. Computer games can also have excellent concepts that you can draw on, and I did that with Civilization 5 and strategic resources.

In Civ 5, you can only field as many tanks as you can supply with oil, or as many cavalry as you can supply with horses. I incorporated this idea into the base and roster mechanics. 

Each base building produces a certain amount of resources that you can use. A lot of basic gear, like swords, rifles, pistols and basic armours don't need any resources to field. But heavy machine guns, power weapons and magic armour do. 

The consumables resource also serves as your "unit cap" and restricts the number of models you can field.

Different bases provide different resources, so a Techno idenity base will get a lot of Energy resource that it can use to field multiple laser weapons, while a Mech identity base will have a lot of industrial resource to supply power armour.

It allows a group to field special weapons, while ensuring that not every model has power armour, a laser cannon and a magic sword when groups get very experienced. 

It also allows for progression, as your base expands you get more options. Base expansion is capped, but can be reconfigured in a long campaign. Decide you want more machine guns, demolish a building providing mystic resource and build one that provides industrial. 

Designing a game is about your own experiences and what you enjoyed playing in the past, and how, in your own way, you want to replicate that experience.
I think it's good to acknowledge those inspirations and sources. No doubt there are things I've forgotten to mention, and other indirect sources. But these are the ones that stood out.

This should give some insight into what the final Radlandz product will look like

Monday, 9 May 2016

Radlandz - A new miniatures game by me

Less than a month ago I decided to make my own skirmish game, using a post apocalyptic setting. 

I set out to keep model count low, action high, cover important, and have huge variety in units and equipment.

Well, its been a success and Radlandz now has a full rulebook weighing in at 64 pages.

Game features include

  • Estimated 60-90 minute playtime per game (once up to speed)
  • Unique Dice shifting and Dice building game mechanics. 
  • 12 group identities
  • 60 unit types
  • 100+ skills
  • 40 odd weapons
  • Full combat rules
  • 6 Scenarios (more to come)
  • Campaign rules 
  • Roster and group record sheets.

Alpha testing experiences so far

Testing is still at its early stages, but the first 5 games have been quite an enjoyable experience for all involved. The game seems to have a relatively "epic" feeling to it for a skirmish game, and each game has produced at least one memorable moment.

I attribute much of this to the unique wound system that allows characters to sustain multiple hits, without requiring a "damage boxes" or "hit point" system. When a character is damaged, they suffer a wound penalty, and that adds to later damage rolls. But if the character receives the same type of wound again, it does nothing additional. So a model may be wounded countless times before that final good hit takes them out.  

Glancing shots rarely kill in this system, but they make follow up attacks deadlier. But even the toughest model will eventually succumb to small stabbing blades as well.

And sometimes, you roll enough hits to kill someone outright. Normally an experienced melee fighter vs a mook, or someone standing in open ground in front of a machine gun. While you can survive a number of glancing hits, direct hits are still lethal.

Shooting will rarely win you a game out right. Shooting allows you to injure models and pin them, allow your assault to be more deadly.

This is working exactly to plan, as I wanted a game with tactical shooting, but not one where "planet bowling balls machine gun legion" would be dominant.

Guns aren't just for show, but knives are certainly for pros. 

What is next

A lot more internal alpha testing to come. And I still need to write systems for weather and hazards, neutral creatures, and a few more scenarios. 

I also need to seriously proof read and edit the damn thing. 

I'm aiming to get a couple of beta test groups in my local community to try a blind test of the rules as well. 

Oh, and i'll be doing a series of these posts on the game mechanics and the rationale behind each one.

Thanks to

The initial alpha test team of DJ Ekim, Megapope, Arvald von Kuggenstein and the Millernator, for actually wanting to play this contraption while it is still a horrific mess. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Warmachine MK3 - Even more changes and more thoughts on it

Cheers to Sean for compiling these notes for our local wargaming scene. 

Here are some more updates on MK3 and what to look forward to. The more I see of it, the better it looks. 

No skill checks at all - I don't know anything other than models requiring skill checks are completely retooled

This is great, they had previously said repair rolls, but getting rid of all skill rolls is a nice game smoothing mechanic. I'm really interested to see how Stormcallers are balanced now. 

Frenzy Checks are much simpler. 1) Shake any effects, 2) Charge nearest models 3) Make a boosted attack with your highest P+S attack value

I never played a hordes faction, but I know the frenzy rules were a bit awkward. SOunds good. 

No wreck markers

I'm so-so with this one, simply because I got metal wreck markers and painted them. Oh, and one of my finest Warmachine moments was double handed throwing an enemy jack back towards my caster so my army could wreck it and he would have somewhere to sit in cover all game. 

No psychology 'tests' whatsoever

This makes a lot of sense. Troops would be scared of undead, but not of 12 foot tall killing machines armed with fire weapons or even a mountain king? If the game had psychology for troops, it should have triggered a lot more. As it was, i'd forget command checks a lot as they seemed like an after thought. 

All cavalry get a after-activation re-position. Heavy cav gets a 3" move. The assumption is that light cav gets more.
As some with loads of cavalry, who likes cavalry armies. I'm cool with this. Cav should cost a bit, be a glass cannon, but have far more mobility than other units. Nice change. 

All Heavy Infantry except MOW drop to five boxes. MOW stay at 8 and their new solo gives them basically anti KD, & immovable rules. Armour wise they are apparently super tough.

5 boxes still isn't a lot really, but i'm ok witht hat. I'm very pleased with MOW being closer to mini-jacks though, nice change. 

Other medium based infantry are realigned with where they should be – Warders become more defensive, as do Skin Walkers, Ravagers gain a ton of new abilities via their solo to increase their aggressiveness – Overtake & Vengeance plus others. They didn’t specifically say it, but they worded Vengeance weird, mentioning that it triggers off damage (so not necessarily kill?)

Will need to check the specifics on this at some point to fully judge.  

There are no longer Minion Pacts or Merc Contract. They all all unified contracts without restrictions (outside of animosities). You cant take a gator beast with a pig warlock, but you can take farrow with a gator warlock for example.

This is interesting, and probably got a massive cheer from Minions and Mercs players. Should open up the factions to some awesome new tactics and combos. I wonder about Lialese gun mages which many highborn covenant players used though. 

Theme Forces – A faction wide and far fewer. They are not restricted to warcasters
Theme forces are the dumbest thing in warmachine. They are invariably either complete rubbish, or the best way to play a caster, there are few that are good without being great. I hope the new theme lists are less restrictive, but give less bonuses. 

Tough Changes – Tough does not work if you are knocked down.
It never should of. This is a great change. One of the silliest things in WM was hitting a knocked down tough model 4 or 5 times and having them shrug it off. Sure,t hat rarely happened, but a constant invulnerable save is just a luck magnet.


I wont comment on these, just check them out. 

• Ironclad quake hammer *Attack hits a model and centres a 4” AOE on that model hitting everything down except the Ironclad itself. The model hit still suffers the melee damage from the hit
• Point costs are reduced where required
Cryx – Increased emphasis on Jacks
Menoth – Choir loses +2 to hit buff entirely. All jacks that were lower are brought up to MAT6
• Colossal - Creeping Barrage is a flat POW 10 – not halved like a normal AOE – seems legit
• MOW are designed to be an unkillable tanky unit – moreso than any other in the game
Ret – Just a rebalance, no real information
Mercs – All contracts merged
Trollbloods – Kriel Warriors are super cheap. Warders and Champs redone
Skorne –
• Ancestral guardians/Immortals have souls now – so they can trigger abilities on themselves, so they don’t need another unit to die in order to function.
• Removing some of the Skornegy
Circle – No real information outside of working on the medium based infantry
Legion – 
• A removal of some fury management. Still the best in the game, but not quite so good
• A real emphasis on infantry to try and drive a real choice between infantry and beasts
Minions – No pacts.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Radlandz - Post apocalyptic miniatures gaming

So, I ended up playing Frostgrave for the first time this weekend and I really enjoyed playing a skirmish wargame again.

I loved necromunda and really feel that scale, and style of campaign is excellent fun. 

But Frostgrave left me feeling like their were almost as many problems with the game as their were great parts. I couldn't help but trying to "fix" the game as parts of it seemed really wonky and awkward to me.

So, my solution? Write my own damned skirmish game.

Yep, this project is under the working title of "Radlandz" and is a post-apocalypse miniatures game. Frostgrave allows you to use all your fantasy miniatures, so i thought why not do something like that in a sci-fi setting. This way people can dust off their Necromunda gangs, use star wars miniatures, WWII figures or virtually anything else. heck, a lot of fantasy figures will work in this setting like Chaos cultists and skaven.

So here are my design guidelines for how i want the game to shape up

  • Allow a lot of freedom in how a group is put together so people can customize and explore 
  • Make factions that are flavorful and fun
  • Allow any model to be used somewhere, so the game is accessible to anyone with figures.   
  • Make melee important and brutal
  • Make cover essential
  • Have all combat decided in two rolls or less. 
  • Create solid campaign rules that allow groups to expand, but stop runaway leaders
  • Include high tech, low tech, magic, mysticism and power armour in one setting
Last night I wrote a draft of the core rules in one sitting. bare in mind this is literally a first pass at the concepts and still needs a lot of fleshing out and testing. But if anyone is interested, here are my first thoughts on the game rules. 
So, is there a market out there for a game like this. What would you like to see in a skirmish game. I'm at the very early stages of development so get your ideas in now!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Warmachine Mk3 - What's changing and some thoughts

So, a lot to take in on the future of Warmachine. 

A lot of this stuff is from some early release videos and what not. So here are the first changes mentioned.

Ill add comments in italics text.  

What has changed? - [3:50]
- We have rebalanced every model in the game.

Good. PP does this well, nothing like having some armies/models operating under old rules to mess up a game  

- Each warcaster has a unique, flavorful spell/ability. Some casters already had, some had to be added.

Excellent. Some casters did feel a bit dry, especially some of the Battlebox ones. I also think that each caster needs that signature effect to stand out. Keen to see how some casters who are a little dull get unique effects. 

- Doubled the point scale.

This is a small one, but at low points some models were annoying to point out. The difference between 2 and 3 point solos was a great example. 

- Addresses difference between Focus and Fury.

Not sure what this means, I do like that the systems are currently different. I hope these changes keep the flavour. 

- New Mechanics: 
- Power Up = Warjack are allocated a focus for starting in the caster's battlegroup.
- Upped warjack/warbeast points. 28-30 points now.

Anything that makes jacks more integral to the game and useful is great for me. This is a game about giant robots and beasts, not infantry swarms after all. 

- Spirit Bonds: As warbeasts die, Warlocks can gain fury "from the grave"

I don't know how this will work, but this could be a real game changer. As kill the beasts, then kill the warlock was a key strategy against hordes. Curious how this works. 

- Games are still similar sized.

Good, game bloat, like what has happened to 40k and other games is awful. Keep it skirmish level where possible. 

Why MK III vs MK 2.5?
- "Felt like the right time."
- "MKII got to a point where it was a time to readdress [interactions and power level]."
- "Look at the whole picture."

6 years of MK2 is a long time really. And personally, I was starting to have issues with the game, ever since collosals came out. 

What were some lessons from MKII?
- "Punctuated by "setting huge base models free in the wild."
- "Played huge base models conservatively in places. Push them more in places"

Colossals are a nightmare for balance in a skirmish scale game. Too easy to throw the game into skew one way or the other. I hope they address this well.  

- Global reset of the rules. Smooth things outs.
- Rework presentation. Organization to (hopefully) make information more accessible.
- Differences in Fury and Focus are addressed (in a meaningful way)

ok, comments above address most of this

- "It already exists, felt like a loophole."
- No more 'Gotchas'

Premeasuring exists if you are good enough with trig and can measure things using your control area.

All making it permissible openly does is help level the playing field. An excellent inclusion, my experience with Armada shows that pre-measuring can actually add to a game, not distract from it. 

No more Fear/Terror

Ok? does this mean they are rolling them into one, or getting rid of the effect all together? 

Change with Huge-Base Models [15:00]
- They feel like the monsters of the battlefield like they should.

I'm not sure about this. I know they said they will push them more in big battles and less in smaller ones, but the issue with skew is still a big one for me. 

Presentation of Story 
- Time-skip! Two-year jump.
- Flash-Point. First installment in a trilogy.
- Story line stuff. Resolutions and new things

Two year jump means that the prediction that the journeymen casters will be full-blown heroes in the story. That's ok for me.  

- No favorite character is safe. Plot armor is off! 

I simply cannot stand the plot armour of the fiction to date. It kills all tension and suspense when a character is in danger. And I could get a few characters having plot armour, but every single damn one of them? For a world at war, no one seems to have actually been fighting and dying. This is a necessary change, and for me, as important as any rule balance.  

New Hordes Faction [Preview - LnL 2017] [29:00]
- Unlike anything they have ever done. "Weird stuff"
- "Things you have never been able to do before."
- Built from the ground-up under MKIII rules.
- "Feels like a complete little ecosystem as a faction, interesting reason for being in existence."

Personally, I want to see the "dragon alliance" as a faction. With each of the different dragons contributing units of their own fashioning and style. I'm unlikely to buy a new faction anyway, but I am intersted to see where they go with this. All I hope is that they don't "jump the shark" and introduce something idiotic like aliens. 


As said above, looks good, but lets wait and see. 

Even more changes are noted here

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Nimbala free? A Talathen Sector report


At the end of the last round, the Rebel leadership met with The Red Queen of Nimbala. She is a freed slave who married a Czerka executive, poisoned him to keep him weak, and set about using his money and influence to drive Czerka off Nimbala for good.

Her plan from the start was as follows;

  • Sell a large number of her shares while prices are still high
  • Equip locals with weapons and training to increase disruptions
  • Give the rebels information and intelligence covertly to help them cause maximum disruption to Czerka operations
  • Arrange "accidents" for Czerka leadership
  • Drive the Czerka Nimbala holding companies share price into the dirt through open rebellion 
  • Buy up a controlling interest as the investors bail out of a dying investment
  • Set herself us as benevolent ruler of the Twi'leks of Nimbala 
These three operations took place during the final phases of the plan

X-Wing - Nimbala Turkey shoot

So, we have a system that allows the rebel commanders to buy bonuses to their setup if they roll well on the planning roll. This mission they rolled phenomenally and purchased nearly every advantage they could buy.

As a result, it wasn't even remotely fair, but the mission was closer than I expected. The objective was simple. Eliminate the Czerka dignitary on his shuttle, destroy the reinforcement troop transport, and clear the skies of Czerka ships. It matched 6 rebel fighters against * scum fighters and the shuttle, plus they had to destroy the transport. But if you look at the setup below, you can see they had a good start on that by deploying on their flanks, at firing range.  

The transport (8 hull) lasted all off one round, being scuppered by 2 Proton Torpedoes each doing maximum damage.

On the left flank, the Lambda shuttle did a little better as it's fighter screen went into overdrive. And while the shuttle was ionized for a few rounds from a pre-setup ion bomb. It did try and escape


But the end result was a bit of a turkey shoot, with Czerka fighters being blown out of the sky before the Lambda shuttle was finally destroyed one turn before it could reach the atmosphere and escape.

The Y-wings proved their utility in this mission, killing both the Lambda and Transport with torpedoes, and ionizing fighters so the X-wings could get 4 dice blasts on them at point blank range

As you can see, maneuvering was very tight at stages.

With a major Czerka executive dead, the board was seriously rattled

Imperial Assault - Seize the control room

Phase two was a surface operation, rebel special forces under the command of Del Kern and supported by Nimbalan insurgents were smuggled into the Czerka compound. Their objective, capture the Czerka head of security and take control of the security computers. With this facility in their control, they could black out communications, lock down security doors, and generally cripple the armed Czerka response around the planet. 

After breaching the doors, the full squad marched down the main corridor and into the executives audience chamber

Fighting got very intense, with a lot of melee combat. Also, Czerka reinforcements began to arrive from the entrance area. 

The pivotal part of the battle was when the executives Mandalorean bodyguard (bottom right) joined the fray and began dishing out horrific damage. He engaged and wounded the Wookie brawler, before finally succumbing to a total of 6 melee attacks from an angry wookie over two round. 

With the Mandalorean down, resistance crumbled and the Rebels forced their way into the control room in the bottom right of the map, capturing the Czerka executive and locking down the planets security network. Open rebellion was on.  

Final act- The nano-second buyout

As the dust settled, the Red Queen put into place her plan and readied to buy the shares as the price dropped. Our elite Aurek squad (The RPG party) turned up to help oversee the transition of power and ensure that the Rebellion wasn't going to put some petty tyrant in charge.

Each of our players had a secret mission as well.

Inomo Cel'fasa, Twi'lek force aware agitator (Megapope-Republicans) was appointed as an official diplomat. It was his job to ensure the rebellions interests were preserved, but that Nimbala did not openly revolt. Nimbala is more valuable to the rebellion as an ally supplier of gas for weapons and open rebellion invites swift and terrible response.

Zorrin Vox, Human Luxon soldier and doctor (Rahana- Luxon Militia) was primarily concerned with getting Nimbala ready to contribute to the rebellion as soon as possible. Luxon needs more people fighting as they are currently being invaded, Nimbala cannot have time to lick her wounds and needs to contribute soldiers and machinery now. 

Ana Tola, Twi'lek Nimbalan Commando (The Millarnator - People movement) was from this planet, so wanted to make sure the Red Queen wasn't going to put the people back in chains.

JK (Jay), Human ex-imperial pilot (Arnvald von Kuggenstein - Guest player) was a former imperial pilot who was secretly working for the Bothan Spynet..... mostly due to blackmail. His job was to ensure that the Red Queen didn't have total control. 

And finally, Oli Shim, Mon Calimari archaeologist with cranial computer (Ekim - Basra consortium) also had a secret mission, which i'll mention later

The Mission

As the team arrived, the Czerka compound was still in a state of open war, with laser blasts flying everywhere. Czerka forces had retreated to one part of the city and had set up formidable defensive lines, and with little disciple and training the Nimbalan rebels were stalemated. 

When they arrived at the central control tower, they were met by a very nervous junior Czerka employee who worked directly for the Red Queen. He nervously wondered if anyone who worked for Czerka would end up being hanged or worse in the aftermath. Inomo assured him that if he was helpful, that he had nothing to worry about. from that point, he was very helpful.

The Red Queen had built a secret control bunker behind the front of a beauty saloon, her cover as a shallow and venal socialite made it a logical location. Inside, she met the team and outlined the last stages of the plan. Buy up the shares as the prices bottoms out. There was one major problem, the Czerka forces were using jammers which made communication to the outside world difficult.

The control room had loads of financial readouts, as well as information from the battlefield. Seeing the issue with the Czerka defences, and wanting to fix communications Ana, JK and Zorrin set about creating a plan to reconfigure their anti-bombardment shield so that it would act as a prison. They located a means to do this and hit the streets.

Meanwhile, Oli offered his technical expertise to help improve the system, and using his expertise in computers proceeded to do so, while conducting another series of operations in secret.

Zorrin, Ana and JK got in position near the Czerka lines, but someone had to go through the lines and disable a security console so they could remote access the shield system. Ana, being a master of stealth and violence, slipped through the lines, butchering a Czerka patrol on the way with consummate ease.

Zorrin on the other hand, found himself face to face with an angry mob of Twi'leks. Fortunately, one of the older Twi'leks recognized the Luxon uniform and saw his presence as a sign the Luxon militia was helping the Nimbalans. After a quick swap of war stories from the clone wars, Zorrin got the twi'leks to run messages up and down the line, telling them to retreat from the shield and get behind cover.

Once the shield was down, the buyout began in earnest. But immediately, there were complications. A 10% share was held by a trust connected to the Moff of the sector, and he wasn't selling.

As the other share blocks came online, two other parties were buying them as well. Within 30 minutes, the vast bulk of the shares changed hands and the Red Queen was stuck with only a 38% shareholding. A second block owned 27% and a third block 25%. This mean't that the Red Queen could be blocked in her takeover.

At this point, communications came in from Korvas that an Imperial Star Destroyer had been dispatched to the region. No doubt to check on the stability of the planet and see if Imperial intervention would be needed.

At this point, the owner of 27% of the shares spoke up.

It was Oli Shim, The Basra consortium had been using the Red Queens own computer systems to buy a share in the business. The Red Queen was furious, but also grudgingly respectful at being outplayed. 

Then, a hutt cruiser and escorts appeared out of Hyperspace. Professor Hodda of the Hodda Cartel claimed to own the 25% share. Hodda reassured everyone that he wasn't a normal Hutt, and had no interest in running a slave planet. But he could offer the takeover legitimacy. The Empire would not want to interfere in a legal hutt commercial takeover of a business, especially if the supply of gas and other raw materials keeps coming.

All Hodda wants for his shares are a seat on the board, a small island on the southern hemisphere for his personal research and a 100km no-fly exclusion zone around his island for privacy.

If his terms are met, he would be willing to talk to the Imperials on behalf of the new owners, and would support the Red Queen as CEO of Nimbala. 

All partied agreed, and when Admiral Trassk arrived, Hodda assured her the takeover was legitimate business, and that no imperial help is needed.

And when the dust settled, Nimbala was free, in a way. Owned by the Red Queen, the Basra Consortiuim and the Hodda Cartel, but certainly more free than before. Nimbalan's would still have to work the mines, but they would be paid for it, and have safety gear. In order to buy Nimbalan freedom, they had to continue the pretense of being an industrial slave planet.

It will be interesting to see how this balance holds. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The first battle of Luxon - Talathen Sector battle report

Luxon is under attack, and the rebels responded with a series of two missions.

Luxon ground operations 

First up, The luxon Militia need help taking control of a series of underground junctions, and to destroy the entry and exit points for imperial reinforcements.

They had 6 satchel charges, and need to spend an action to place them and an action to detonate them. If the Imperials were close, they could deactivate the charges. 

The team moved into position, two characters and some soliders for support attacking on each flank.

By the way, isn't Space Hulk 3rd edition just damned good to look at. Such nice components and perfect for the tunnel fights in Luxon

With satchel charges blowing the main corridors, the team moved in to defeat the E-Webs and officers defending the control station. The other objective was for the team to rewire the consoles, so that Luxon forces could control tunnel and gate access in the region. 

One e-web down, and the rebels close the noose. One big gun, even one that can fire three times, isn't enough to slow the rebel advance. 

With the guns down, the Rebels quickly hunt down and eliminate the imperials in the communications centre. Meanwhile, imperial reinforcements flock around to cut off the rebel escape. 

 With their escape route cut-off the rebels were forced to fight their way back down a stormtrooper infested corridor. And while they made it, two of them were badly injured and all their support troopers died.

A high price, but now the Luxon militia controls this sector, and the imperials will have to burn their way through. Which has slowed their invasion considerably. 

The Battle in Space

The Luxon groups forces need supplies desperately, so the Rebel fleet decided to smash through the Luxon blockade to deliver the desperately needed materials.

They did so easily, but as they turned away from the planet they were boxed in by a squadron of four star destroyers. They needed to blast past them, protect their transports, and make it out of the planets gravity well and into hyperspace. 

Three corvettes, an assault frigate and a Nebulon B were matched up against three victory destroyers and a gladiator. 

The rebels plan was simple, push the freighters to the side of the board and screen them with other ships. Then put the hammer down and get off the board as soon as possible. The freighters (represented by X-wing transport tokens) had 6 hull and could move speed 3. They activated after fighters. 

In what I considered a bold move, I threw the Gladiator ahead hard and fast on the first turn. I had the good fortune of acting first next turn and being in pefect range against Jaina's light, a Corellian Corvette. I got to roll many many black dice, and the corvette was blown to pieces. First blood to the Empire.

Unfortunately, the assault frigate did exceptionally well on return fire, and two turns later, the Gladiator was lost with all hands. 

The Imperial fleet split up, one Victory trying to close down the freighter on the near side of the board, while the other two close on the pair on the far side. 

Dramatically working to screen the freighter, the Nebulon-B frigate "The Pride of Luxon" under command of the infamous "Beast of Luxon" took heavy damage at point black range. But the ship kept moving and redirecting shields, and every hit it took was one the freighters did not. 

That freighter got away (with 1 hull remaining), but one of the freighters on the far side of the board was blown to pieces by the combined fire of two victory destroyers. When the dust settled, and the Rebels hit hyperspace, they had saved their fleet, with the cost of 1 corvette and 1 freighter. While taking down a Victory destroyer and a Gladiator. 

A nice, well played victory.

Next time, we will look at the Nimbala campaign. 

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