This year the Rhode Island X-wing & Armada Club hosted a 3 day long Narrative Campaign event at Templecon in Warwick, RI. The event went well, especially given it was our first time running anything like this, and we had a pretty decent turnout of players each day. Here's a quick recap of its truly EPIC final battle.
Most of the 17 players who participated in the final battle actually had never played X-wing prior to the convention, so I beg borrowed and stole models from several Southern New England players (Special thanks to MajorJuggler, Dave Carter, and Joe Harrington for lending me their collections.). We set up the rival fleets in a faceoff for much of Saturday, the actual game wouldn't kick off until the evening.
The Rebel fleet was led by a Nebulon-B Frigate and had no fewer than 4 CR-90 Corvettes, 5 GR-75 Medium Transports, and over 3 dozen rebel fighters.
The Imperial Fleet included a scale Interdictor Cruiser I've spent the last 13 months building (I ran out of time and couldn't finish the Gravity Well Generators...), 2 Raider Corvettes, and over 4 dozen fighters. While I'm not certain if this meets the absolute record of "largest epic game ever" we're probably in the running.
In the battle destroying the GR-75s were the Empire's Objective.
The Nebulon-B was a Space Rocks model lent to me by Dave Carter, I repaired it and rebuilt the engines. While it was sold for a great price this is actually a HORRIBLE model. Super low quality 3d printing, a bad mold, and an uneven hollow cast made this a frustrating piece to work with. I had to rebuild the engines with plumbing and electrical parts to make them look decent.
Special thanks also to Sean Bedingfield and John Marcetti for helping put all those X-wings on bases. It took nearly a full hour for 3 people to assemble all the small ships!
Look at that Interdictor, isn't it beautiful?
I SAID LOOK AT IT!!!
The Falcon did not actually participate in the battle sadly.
Part 2: The Initial Setup
The actual battle was a combined X-wing Epic and Star Wars Armada event. With a plot quite similar to the Battle of Hoth from the Empire Strikes Back the Rebel fleet needing to break through an Imperial blockade. The Rebels would need to disable the Interdictor Cruiser to allow their transports to escape. If the Rebels lost all 5 transports before the Interdictor was disabled then the rebels would lose.
Here's what the Armada table looked like at the start.
The Rebel fleet was broken up into 5 groups, each of which would have its own X-wing table to represent the space immediately around it. The Interdictor had its own 6' x 6' table as well. Each time a ship was activated on the Armada table it would activate on its X-wing table and would fire using the Epic Ship rules. Each time a player wanted to attack an Epic ship they would do so using the Squadron rules for Armada. This minimized the challenge of integrating both systems and worked rather well despite us not having playtested it prior.
Each of the Rebel tables essentially looked like this to begin with. Most tables had 3 or 4 players to begin with.
A cool feature of the campaign was that players got to build custom ace pilots using a modified version of the Heroes of the Aturi Cluster rules set. Everyone got to make one ace pilot and then would pick a pre-made squadron of ships to lead. When an Ace or Squadron was eliminated it would respawn with a delay.
Players could move pretty freely between tables at the end of any round. This allowed the Rebels to attack the Interdictor itself, but doing so would expose the transports to attack.
Part 3: The Battle
The Rebel commander played very aggressively and rushed the Interdictor and it's escorts with the Nebulon-B's battlegroup.
As the Rebel's were outnumbered on the X-wing tables though the Nebulon-B advanced without its fighter escort to try and buy the escorts more time. Even so the repeated waves of Tie Fighters quickly started to overwhelm the Rebels.
While the rival Capital ships traded blows the Empire went of the offensive and sent its Raider class corvettes to hunt down the transports. On one table this tipped the scales decisively in the Empire's favor with both of its transports being destroyed quickly while on another the combined firepower of some B-wings and a CR-90 brought the other Raider down.
The capital ship battle began to turn in the Interdictor's favor and the rebel's began dispatching squadrons to assist the Nebulon. With the battle on the other tables going their way though the Imperial players sent squadrons of their own to counter.
Meanwhile the battles on the X-wing tables intensified as both sides were reinforced by new players who said "Oh look, spaceships!" and hopped straight into action.
Unfortunately the Empire started to decisively gain the upper hand knocking out a CR-90 with a Raider and a squadron of Tie Bombers.
On the main table reinforcements began pouring in from both sides just as the Nebulon-B and its corvette were finally brought down by the Interdictor.
The rebels still had 2 transports at this point in the battle, however things went downhill very quickly once they're CR-90s started to go down. Soon they were down to just one remaining transport.
The "dead pile" continue to rise with the destruction of both the Nebulon-B and another CR-90. While they were down to their final transport the Rebels still had a chance as the Interdictor was quite damaged by this point in the battle.
On the Armada table things started to get a bit crazy around the Interdictor as the rebels started throwing everything they had at it.
Meanwhile the lone transport kept running for safety.
At this point the Interdictor's table became a truly epic battle with a full dozen players fighting around it.
The Inderdictor wasn't just for show, it also doubled as a playing surface! The 30 square feet of plasticard that went into its construction made it quite durable.
The Rebels sent both of their remaining Corvettes to protect their last transport as it was swarmed by enemy fighters.
But then the rest of the Imperial blockade fleet began to arrive.
The Interdictor was nearly dead with its shields down and 3 of its Gravity Well Generators destroyed. Knowing they were out of time the Rebels took a gamble and threw everything they had at it in a final assault.
But this left their final transport vulnerable.
On the main table the Rebel player's managed to clear a path through the Imperial fighter screen for a squadron of Y-wings to attack the last Gravity Well.
And with that the Interdictor was finally disabled allowing the GR-75 to escape at the end of the round.
Unfortunately the Transport would have to survive until the end of the round...
On the transport's table the battle had turned decisively for the Empire as the Rebels took heavy losses leaving a lone Hwk-290 and its squad of x-wings to hold off 3 Tie Bombers, 8 Tie Fighters, and 6 Tie Interceptors.
It came down to the final roll, but the last Transport was destroyed that round earning the Empire a Pyrrhic victory.
All told the battle lasted for about 3 hours and everyone had a blast. A lot of lessons were learned and the next time we run this sort of an event it will run a bit more smoothly. We plan to run the same event at EllisCon on November 19, 2016 and possibly at Captain Con in the winter.
Thanks to everyone who played in my event and to everyone who helped make it a success. I've forgotten a few people's names (email me and I'll edit you in) but I'd like to thank the guys who helped me run the Armada side of things and the staff of the War Store for reopening their booth when I realized I had forgotten nearly all my dice at home...
All the ships packed up. I'm still sorting who's ships are whose.