Friday, April 24, 2015

X-Wing Death Star Trench Cooperative Game -- Version #2

We took another shot at our Death Star Trench Cooperative Game this weekend.  Wanted to share how that went!
TurboLaser Turrets

First of all, we started working on TurboLaser Turrets.  That turned out to be tricker than we had thought.  Had seen some really nice ones built up by others - and we were inspired to try the same.  Our idea was to make them out of pink foam -- with little rectangles glued on to make them look like actual Death Star construction.

Well, that turned out to be easier said than done.  We had a really hard time making ours come out square!  So, we did make a couple of them, but not very happy with the base foam yet.  So, going to try this again -- with more detailed cutting method to try to hit 90-degree corners a little bit better.

TurboLaser Turret; Battle Gaming One; X-Wing; Death Star Trench
Not too happy with the appearance of our TurboLaser Turret "pieces" -- going to have to use a different method for cutting!

Another thing we didn't like (when all done) is that they certainly seemed too small.  So, going to think about making them out of 3-4 layers of pink foam instead of just 2.

TurboLaser Turrets; Turbo Laser Turrets; Death Star Trench; X-Wing; FFG X-Wing Death Star; Battle Gaming One
 Here are our prototypes in the trench.  Now that they're in there they look WAY too short.  Going to make the next round 3-4 layers of pink foam tall.

Next we worked on our rules....  

Here is the set of rules we used.  We took careful notes as we played - and made a note when we found that a particular rule wasn't working well....  Also - you'll see that we're calling this the "Easy Version."  Our goal was to make this fun - but not super hard.  We want to tune this for a younger group of X-Wing players who want to experience the thrill of blowing up the Death Star first-hand :)

Easy Version of Trench Game
1)      Each player gets a Rebel squadron
a.      Red, Gold, Rogue
b.      Rebel squadrons will be 3 fighters each
c.      Players can choose whether these 3 fighters are X or Y-wings
2)      The players work as a team and decide when they will enter the trench
3)      One squadron of Empire fighters will enter the trench 2 turns after each Rebel squadron
a.      In the easy version, there will only be Darth Vader plus 4 TIE fighters in a single squadron
4)      Empire operating rules
a.      Empire ships target the closest squadron regardless of strategic value
b.      The Force is with the Rebels.  In the easy version, the Empire squadron will always target the pilot with the lowest piloting skill first.
c.      Empire ships fly straight down the trench at top speed, avoiding red maneuvers.  The do not use any turns in the trench.
5)      The Falcon
a.      One turn after the last Empire squadron, the Millennium Falcon joins the battle
b.      The Falcon enters the trench right behind Darth Vader’s squadron
c.      The Falcon will focus on Darth Vader’s squadron and will operate with the actions which are the consensus of the team of players
6)      Darth Vader
a.      If Darth Vader reaches only 1 hull point, he leaves the game, being hurled from the area out of control
7)      Turbo Laser Turrets
a.      There are Two Turbo Laser Turrest placed half-way down the Trench in the Easy Version of the game.
b.      Rebel ships receive double their normal number of defense dice against the Turbo Laser Turrets.
c.      The Turbo Laser Turrets will always target the closest Rebel ship.
d.      Turbo Laser Turrets have 0 shields and 10 hull points
e.      Turbo Laser Turrets have 0 defense dice (because they cannot move)
f.       Turbo Laser Turrets have 5 attack dice
8)      Exhaust Port
a.      The Exhaust Port can only be hit with a Proton Torpedo
b.      Because the Force is with Luke Skywalker, he may have one extra attack die when firing on the Exhaust Port
c.      The Exhaust Port has 1 hull point (because a single hit is all that is required to start the chain reaction)
d.      The Exhaust Port has 6 defense dice (because it is tiny)
9)      Trench Walls
a.      Any fighter which hits a trench wall is destroyed

The Battle of Yavin!

So, we set up with one of us playing Gold Squadron Y-Wings and the other playing Red Squadron X-Wings.

We agreed that our strategy would be to have the Y-Wings go first -- and the X-Wings cover their their backs -- knowing that Darth and the TIE fighters would be closing in shortly after we entered the trench.

Gold Squadron; Gold Squadron attack run; Death Star Trench; Gold Squadron at Battle of Yavin;
Gold Squadron in the trench -- full throttle toward the exhaust port!

With the Y-Wings approaching the TurboLaser Turrets, shooting started in turn #3....  And, we started thinking about our first rule modification.

 Gold Squadron scores a hit on the TurboLaser Turret!
  • TurboLaser Turrets need to have a Pilot Skill -- and we decided that it should be 0 in the Easy Version of our game.
  • One TurboLaser Turret put 5 hits on Y-Wing Pilot #2.  That seemed really extreme -- so we started worrying that we had the number of attack dice too high.
  • And, in the same wave of attacks, the Y-Wings had only scratched the TurboLaser Turrets - so we also worried that the number of Hull Points was too high.
In Turn #4, Darth Vader and his squadron enter the trench and start firing away.  With our Force is With the Rebels rule -- plus with Biggs' card rule -- they're all shooting at Biggs.  Amazing rolling of the dice - he escapes damage....

Battle of Yavin; Darth Vader's squadron; I'm on the leader
"I'm on the leader...."
The Gold Squadron uses its Ion Cannons on the TurboLaser Turrets.  And, we realize that we hadn't anticipated this possibility....  So, time to think about rules again.
  • If a TurboLaser Turret is hit with an Ion Cannon -- it is unable to "move" and this means that it cannot aquire a target and fire.  [Realize that this is different than the rules for fighters in X-Wing - but it seems fair since the only "moving" they actually do is rotation and elevation changes.]
The Red Squadron tried something bold (and non-movie like) -- a K-turn in the trench.  (We had said that it was off-limits for the Empire in the East Version -- but hadn't said so for the Rebels.  Note of caution:  What a mess!  3 X-wings flying straight at 5 TIE fighters with very little room to spare.  There was some bumping -- and not all of the K-turns worked....

Han and Chewie entered in Turn #6 -- zooming in from the right-hand side.  At this point, all the fighters are still alive in the trench.  

Han and Chewie at the Battle of Yavin; Battle Gaming One; X-Wing Yavin
The Millennium Falcon zooms in....

But, the Y-Wings are really close to dead.  Time to think about the rules again.  Especially because without a change, when the Y-Wings go to fly past the TurboLaser Turrets -- they would be at Range 1 and get one additional damage die!!!
  • TurboLaser Turrets have a range of 2-3.  They cannot fire at Range 2.  (This seems fair since they are big and slow in comparison to the fighters -- plus seems in-line with how many of the really large weapons are treated on the fighters themselves.)
 In Turn 8 things are becoming exciting....  The Y-Wings are in-range of the exhaust port -- and all survive the turn long enough to fire....  But, they all miss!!!  The Falcon and Wedge do some damage to the TIE fighters.  Darth is down to 1 hull point and is slung from the trench; one of the other TIEs is wiped out.  But, with three TIEs still in hot pursuit, will the Y-Wings live through Turn 9 to have another shot ???

You're All Clear Kid; Battle of Yavin; Millenium Falcon; Death Star Trench
Our favorite line:  "You're all clear, kid!"

Turn 9!  Yes, they do survive (only just barely, though).  And, they fire....

It's a little bit of a nail biter because Dutch misses.  Then Gold Squadron Pilot #2 misses.  Then, on the last chance, lowly Gold Squadron #1 hits -- and BLOWS UP THE DEATH STAR!

Post Game Analysis:

Was it fun?  Well, about half-way through it started having a tedious feeling.  So, we're thinking about how to speed the game up.  Basically, if it could last 5 turns we think that would be about right (for the easy version)....  We have several ideas in mind....
  • We start the Rebels closer to the end exhaust port.  [This makes some sense because it's kind of like in Movie #4 when the fighters drop in to the trench exactly where they want to.]
  • Move the exhaust port closer to the fighters.  [This might make sense - but it kind of bugs us because we feel that the exhaust port really *should* be at the end of the trench.]
  • Increase everyone's movement.  [Maybe this makes sense because in the trench they are all really going fast ??]
All-in-all, it was fun - and beyond that - great to have one more way to blow up the Death Star.  We're going to try to mess around and make some new versions of these photos with special effect :)

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