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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Story Continues


Star Wars Imperial Assault


Mission 1


"Truth"

I have often found myself searching.... searching... searching for the definitive perfect solo game.

I think, since the advent of the computer, in truth, a lot of on line blogger gamers are, in fact, soloists by default definition. Traditional  hobbyists who play lots, either with friends or at a local club (or clubs.. plural.. for the more adventurous gamer who don`t mind driving) don`t tend to hang about on line that much. They are too busy playing, or painting their miniatures up for the next game session or club match: or are busy preparing for their next comfortable and leisurely home game with family or/and friends. On line `loitering` simply doesn`t factor into the equation of what they consider being part of the hobby proper. By logical extrapolation, it thus falls to reason that the majority of bloggers spend the bulk of their time on line talking about their hobby (in some form  or another), because on line blogging attracts a lot of people who.. for various reasons.. don't have a ready-made pool of `live` friends to game with; thus rendering them unable to share the hobby in a face to face social interaction.

So soloists seek the perfect game (an imperfect game leads to a slight feeling of dissatisfaction and even disappointment in their own pursuits and endeavours). It`s a bit like a gaming Holy Grail. Sadly (sadly to me) the hobby has changed a lot over the last couple of decades. I don`t see it as having improved, merely` dummied down` a bit for a more throwaway society... only go onto some other blogs out there and you will find I am not alone in this thinking. Solo gaming has existed a very long time. I can remember it existing in a publically aware condition even as far back as 1973, when Don Featherstone wrote "Solo Wargaming" to a clamouring and appreciative hardcore knot of battle loners. And for Don to have written this book there must have been a demand stretching even further back .  Certainly I was enjoying solo wargaming as far back as around 1968, because I wrote it in my first ever diary, as a kid.

Back in the day, solo gaming meant you had to put in a lot of work to bring a game alive. Sites like "Campaigns of General William Augustus Pettygree" is a perfect example of putting in a lot of effort to reap amazing rewards of personal satisfaction - and the admiring respect of fellow gamers.

http://generalpettygree.blogspot.ie/

Sooo, nowadays most people pick a game and all that game`s expansions (not for long because they invariably pick up another, and another, and another, but still.. let`s stick with this analogy for the time being): but really, you are getting a funnelled linear progression game, designed to make you `buy into it` and spend progressively lots more money with the company selling the product. And for what? a simplified game which never-quite-fulfils the Grail yearning in your innermost heart. No game of this type ever will.. otherwise you`d see people picking up Zombicide or Tallisman, or Command and Colours, and sticking with it rather than always looking for the next best thing. If you want a game you can immerse into (and stick with) for years, you should perhaps be taking up Bolt Action, or Black Powder, or Judge Dredd or.... anything which is more a genre system rather than a fluffy shiny thing in a box. Anything with guts to it will endure: anything which doesn't - simply won't.

So this leads me on nicely to Star Wars, and namely Fantasy Flight Games Imperial Assault and their rather enormous and large role playing game based on the same ethos.. i.e. the Star Wars franchise of films, animation, Expanded Universe books, graphic novels, and audio narrations. Star Wars is an epic telling of a vast story: far too big to be told in a single lifetime in fact. And if any one game company out there has got it right, without a doubt, that company is Fantasy Flight Games.... twice in a row in fact: First with their huge rpg, and later with their thematic miniatures (skirmish and campaign) table top board game. But I don't play either straight out of the book. I combine the two games to become a framework for retelling my own stories, my own adventures and epic sagas. Some of them aren`t even epic.. merely tales about smugglers and low level Jo Blogs type characters, trying to survive and scrape out a living in a chaotic world of futuristic high or low fantasy endeavour.

The following is a little tale I customised into a simple little game, and tells the story of four ordinary low-ish level heroes... people who decided to stand up and try and make a difference. What is the mysterious plague which has swept across this back water dust bowl planet, decimating life and causing the entire system to be quarantined and off limits to all interstellar space travel?

Believing the answers may lie within the computer data banks of a top secret Imperial instillation, located on outer fringe of the Spireward Desert (close to where the Imperial ship crashed, nearly one year ago), these four heroes decide to infiltrate the base, by force, and steal the (no doubt) encrypted files, escape.. and reveal (to the public) the insidious truth they suspect lies hidden within the Imperial computer archives.

A daring Smuggler named Jyn Odan: a hard faced, but strikingly handsome woman with an axe to grind against the Empire and the so called `Grand New Order.` Gaarkhan the Wookie.. and ever faithful companion of Jyn Odan, loyal and steadfast in his devotion to his friend. Gideon Argus, a civil rights romanticist and suspected dissident, waging his own private war in the name of the (growing) rebellion. And finally Diala Passil.. a Togrutu (similar to Twi` Lek but with four head tails): a quixotic would be Jedi of questionable pure motives and an unspoken, mysterious past. These four companions discover the location to the secret Imperial base and determine to break in and steal the vital information they seek to discover and release to the public.

So that`s the easy bit.

Next, they have to make their plan work!



The Game

The Imperial Garrison stand ready and waiting in the confined enclosure of the lush hydroponic garden area: the obvious means of entry from any would be encroacher.


Now then, here is the predicament. The rebel heroes (let`s start calling them that, because whether they realise it or not, that is what they are doing, helping the rebellion to unmask the insidious dealings of The New Order) are hoping they have the element of surprise and can burst in upon the Imperial garrison using the extreme element of surprise. That`s the theory, but I wanted to factor in a few random elements of my own just to make sure (on the day) that it all went down that way.


That`s the beauty of using FFG`s role playing game dice... especially when combined and used alongside the Imperial Assault game and dice as well. This allows an amazingly diverse range of possibilities for the gamer, the games master.. or the solo player, to dip into and resolve even the most compelling set of conundrums.

In this case I figured in setting up my `ambush` initiative check dice pool, I would set the difficulty as easy (just 1 purple Difficulty die). 
The heroes themselves would be throwing 2 green Ability dice, and only needing to roll one success to succeed in achieving total element of surprise, as anticipated. All pretty clear and straight forward so far, I thought. However just to be sure it is a well planned ambush after all, lets upgrade one of the green Ability die to a Yellow Proficiency die (giving an even greater chance of scoring a success symbol or multiple successes even. Next, let`s give the Rebel heroes an additional blue Boost dice, so represent all the intelligence information gathered by their spy network (let`s hope their network is on the ball): and finally I need to throw a small spanner in the works, and include a single black Setback die into the dice pool.. to represent the fact the Imperials are meant to be elite soldiers. This will give them a slight margin of hope that their superb training might help them to react and defend themselves before being completely overrun. And so the first dice pool of the game is created. It really is as simple as that to set up. Let`s see what I rolled.


Wow, never let it be said that dice are immutable and without a sense of the ironic. Okay straight away we can see that, incredibly, the heroes only managed to roll 2 success (burst) symbols. The big Yellow Proficiency die and the blue Boost die both somehow managed to land with a blank face showing - so no help (or hindrance) there. This just leaves the Imperials to try and defend themselves, and look.. wow, we see 2 triangle Failure symbols displayed. 2 successes and 2 Failures, of course cancel each other out, so end result is no gain and no set back: hmmm the ambush isn't exactly going by the book so far. But look again closely, we`re still not quite done yet. So far all the dice in pool have either cancelled each other out or landed on a blank (no effect) face up. This leaves just one last symbol showing, and *gulp* it`s in the Imperial`s favour. On the Purple Difficulty die, we can see a round shield shape: this is a Threat symbol, and represents a negative side effect or/and consequence on either a success or a failure. Since this is the only remaining symbol out of the whole dice pool, after all other considerations have been factored into play, it means the Imperials have not been surprised and in fact, it looks like they were ready and waiting for the rebel scum.

Looking through the core Edge of the Empire rules book, I scoured for some examples on how best to resolve this situation. Fortunately, the 450 page core rule book is a massive font of information and helpful assistance. Yeah, end of the day it was pretty clear. The rebels had NOT achieved the element of surprise and in fact, the Imperial Stormtroopers had the initiative... and not the attackers at all.

The rebels burst into the hydroponic garden. And face off against a stoic row of ready and prepared Imperial Garrison Elite. "um guys, I think... they know we are coming." said the tall Jedi woman in her soft exotic eastern accent: not without a comic touch of ironic humour.

Both sides stand off a few paces from one another and time seems to stand still.

"Can we talk about this boys?" The Jedi quips.
                               
Suddenly, someone reacts... a young Imperial officer - eager for promotion: "Shoot them!" Blaster fire starts spewing towards the rebels, and all at once, the Imperial garrison are shooting at the rebel intruders. Bursts of murderous energy crash into Jyn Odan, the smuggler woman, and in a single round of combat, is reduced dangerously low in health. Her Soak (defence/armour) did little to stop the expert shooting of the veteran white armour clad soldiers. In return fire using her skill "Hair Trigger" Jyn manages to draw her pistol and shoot a rapid succession of counter fire, dropping a trooper on the spot.. where he stood; (as a final action) the woman darts into cover provided by a nearby wall, and hurriedly applies a stim-pack to her wounds (6 health - 6 damage +2 stim-pack recovery = 2 wounds left).

My Imperial Assault core box set comes with 34 finely sculpted miniatures. I painted them all in two sittings (few hours each day). I`m a fast painter, and have never been fussy about painting my lovely `toys` and like to see them set up and being played with, rather than fussing over how they look. I think mine look fine anyway, and isn`t it better to play than not to play?



A series of good rolls from the Imperials sees one of the rebels dangerously close to being knocked out of the fight. A single trooper goes down in a return crossfire.

An Imperial probe droid is activated, and floats menacingly towards the intruders. Gaarkhan (the Wookie companion of Jyn), seeing his friend injured, sees red and flies into a Wookie berserk rage, charging the probe droid with a wild rush of fur and muscle. The creature swings his vibro axe with all his might and... CLANG! roars in dismay as his blow all but bounces off the metal armour of the floating machine (a single wound is caused, the rest is lost in Soak from the droids thick armour plating). But thankfully, Diala uses her honed Jedi like skills to leap into the fray.. bounding in right beside the Wookie, and deals destruction with her electronic vibro pole as she lashes first left the right with deadly accuracy and precision. The Probe Droid is chopped down, and collapses on the ground next to the fallen trooper.


Gideon (the last rebel hero still to activate) spots the Imperial officer making towards a computer terminal. He realises that man must be stopped: or all hell could break loose here: the security doors locked down, or reinforcements bought in. Using Tactical Manoeuvre, Gideon rushes forward... weaving his way through the fight, until he has a clear line of sight to the young officer.. just as the officer`s fingers are poised over the terminal and are about to access it. Gideon shoots his blaster pistol, and the grey clad Imperial man flails to the ground.

With precision aim, Gideon gets his man!


I make a dice pool, a simple pool of two green Ability dice, and a single purple Difficult die. The results are clear. A success... a negative (to cancel each other out), two Advantage symbols and one Threat (one of the Threat and one Advantage cancel one another out... still leaving one Advantage to the rebels).


Gideon shouts over the noise of blaster fire. For a moment in surprise, both sides stop firing. " It doesnt need to go down like this.. give it up fellas!" The two remaining Stormtroopers look about them and see all the rest of their number is lying on the ground and either groaning or not moving. Looking to each other, in mutual silence, they lower their blasters, deciding surrender and to live to fight another day, is the better part of valour. Jyn limps to the Imperials.. pushes them to a corner, and proceeds hurriedly to bind and lash their hand together. "Don`t move from this spot!" she warns them menacingly.


Gideon glides to the computer terminal and proceeds to slice into the machine, desperately trying to break the security protocols and access the terminal. Gaarkhan and Diala rush down the corridor to the door at the far end, hoping to secure it in case any fresh Imperials enter the scene.

The roll is simple. Two dice. A big 12 sider Proficiency die to represent Gideon`s skill as a slicer. But a horrible big Challenge dice (also a 12 sider) to represent the security encryption of the Imperial computer terminal itself.

So basically, a straight forward opposed roll check is made.




Wow, a glorious Triumph.. what a success: and a blank face on the Challenge die: so no help for the computer terminal there. Gideon slices the terminal with total ease, and finds the information he is hoping for. His face clouds over and a slight open mouthed expression betrays the shock at what he discovers. "It was the Imperials wot done it!"

"What, Gid?" Jyn looks aver at him, confused. 

"Did what?"

"they engineered and released the bloody zombie virus on this planet, that`s wot!"


"Rwwaaaarr!!  Awwrrrw!!"


The quixotic Jedi looked over at Gaarkhan a moment.


"I agree with the Wookie.... time to go."


________




Broadsword and the Beast

Part 3

Sasha was close now. She could feel it in her bones: from the creeping dread that climbed from the nauseous knot in her stomach towards her tightening throat, to the inner voice that screamed at her senses to run.

But Hanko had said this was the way. Coming to her late as she entertained and caroused herself towards drunken stupor. The old woman was a shadow of her former self… especially now that her brother was gone, killed by the hand of Blades.

So Blades hadn’t destroyed the zombie after all! The raw fact was slow to sneak into Sasha`s befuddled mind. Why would she lie? Surely she had destroyed the creature? But Hanko`s presence at Hairy Mary’s suggested otherwise. If it was anyone else, Sasha would have been tempted to disbelieve it. She would have given them a clout round the ear for bothering her when she was deep in her cups and warned them to `wise up`. But this was Hanko: community elder of Jo`s Gap, and not one to make up stories or take fright over every moving shadow that couldn’t easily be explained by the cool light of day.

“Near the Toxic Sump.” The old woman had insisted. “My Jo saw it when he was out bagging in the Old Mines past Raggy Gap, he said it had the rot!”

“Why did you come to me with this Hanko?” Sasha asked. Her heavy gothic accent accentuated by the copious bowls of `second best` swilling in her belly.

Hanko had looked down at the ground and would not meet her eyes. “Well, with Blades still missing I thought…….” She trailed off.

But Sasha understood full well what Hanko was implying. Blades had taken a party of girls on a routine mission a week ago and had not been seen since. None of them had. Speculation was rife within the gang and spreading fast, but Sasha was doing what she could to quell the gossip. Sasha also knew that if Blades truly was gone, ambushed and lost in some terrible fight, Sasha was next in line to lead the Amazons.

Scouting parties had gone looking for Blades, but the Boss was always so secretive about everything… no one had a clear idea where they had been heading when Blades led the small team out. Talk had been spreading, despite Sasha`s efforts to avert it, and some were saying that Blades had sold out and was gone for good. The most common rumour being circulated was that the Boss had found a hidden stash and had taken a few trusted warriors with her… had done away with the others when the treasure was secure and was now top side enjoying fine foods, sipping cocktails and being waited on hand and foot by docile oil scented male slaves, all hung like donkeys and ready to fulfil her every whim at a single command from their new silken robed mistress.

No! Not Blades style and Sasha knew it. Whatever had delayed her friend and leader was not a sobering thought and one that upset the tall ganger immensely. “Blades had never been gone this long before, not without word.”

So Sasha had gone up to Hairy Mary’s to get drunk, away from prying eyes. She had been surprised to see Hanko turn up when she did. But even more surprised by what she had to say.

***

Now Sasha paced the trails alone as evening fell and the glow globes spluttered and dimmed to dots of pale white light, to reflect the passage of the Moon as the passion planet moved across the night sky, high above Top-side… way out of reach of the deeps below.

Whatever this thing with the Zombie was all about; Sasha would sort it without bothering the rest of the girls. In fact, they need never know.

Shadows caused eerie shapes to loom like hidden monsters. `This is close to where Catz fell, ` Sasha reflected, chastising herself for not having stopped off at Gloryhole to fetch a few weapons from the stash. The Testing Ground was a sore bone of contention with the Amazons. Uncharted and contested by many of the local gangs that roamed here,the region: A no-man’s land, and notorious haunt of many predators that hunted in the deeps.

Sasha gripped the pommel of her great sword a little more tightly.


 The Game:

Sasha found signs of the undead thing all right. Blood and foul smelling gunk from the rot infested creature made it fairly easy to pick up its trail. Through the Bad Lands and across the Phoenix Ring (an ancient pillared motorway, now deserted and overgrown… hanging dangerously above the ground, twisted and decayed) through derelict deeps and oozing pits of toxic lava and heat sinks. Eventually, she found herself at a part of the Barrens she did not know, and crawled through some ancient derelict town and made her way along a remains of a moss and weed ridden highway.

A circular iron access port that steamed slightly lay half open on the path ahead of her. There was more slime on the rusted metal and Sasha knew she was close to her prey.
Dropping down into an ancient sewage tunnel, Sasha crouched where she had dropped and allowed her eyes to adjust to the gloom.

Light! A dim green glow was illuminating the whole tunnel system, due to the phosphorous moss that clung to the walls all around. From somewhere ahead Sasha could hear the echoing sound of gurgling water trickling through pipes, but there was no other noise to disturb the eerie sub-light.

She was in a wide passage leading left and right. Ahead of her, situated pretty evenly along the wall were three features: two doors and a third narrow tunnel leading away into darkness. Sasha observed that the air smelled foul from the direction of the tunnel, and the dirt had recently been disturbed along the floor towards where the right hand door lay.

Sasha crept towards the middle way and listened carefully at the door.


Move 1

From the other side of the door, Sasha suddenly felt an over powering sense of evil. Her death lay that way… every instinct in her body screamed at her not to open the door and see what was beyond. But suddenly the skull shaped metal handle on the portal started to turn, creaking loudly with rusty vocal emphasis.

Making the Amazon throw some dice for her dread filled heart, she failed her morale roll by 1: and I decided to make Sasha run away fast for a whole move, back towards the man-hole cover she had recently dropped down from.

Above her, the iron grate rasped and groaned as it was pulled and slid noisily over the opening: cutting off all effective way of escape in that direction. With a loud clang! The metal slipped into place: and a leering face looked down at her through a small grille.

“Hanko?” Sasha`s called up in astonishment. 

“Hanko! For God`s sake open this Grate and let me up…. something’s coming.” Sasha`s voice cracked, betraying her terror.

“Yes I know.” The old woman called down, quite calm and collected.

“Hanko?”

“The Master will enjoy you…. bitch.” Hanko called down matter-of-factly. Enthusiastically: almost cheerfully.

“Hanko…no

From behind her, Sasha could hear the groans of the restless dead as they moved and crawled towards her. Empty ones were appearing from the gloomy passage on the right, and all round her from low holes in the walls that she had not spotted earlier.

A face appeared beside Hanko`s, through the grille: weathered, slant eyed…. A native Iroquois scout?

“Death to all Amazon.” He smirked coldly, boldly, confidently….cruelly. The voice of a man passing sentence. The voice of a man who holds no doubt his words of prophecy will see fruition. The face had a striking resemblance to ratty.


Move 2

Something small flapped towards Sasha out of the darkness of the roof and slashed at her face with sharp claws, drawing blood from her cheek with steel like talons and digging flesh from her neck with its needle sharp teeth. Poison coursed through her body and she crashed to her knees with sudden paralysis. 

The pet Quasit flew back to the ceiling with a shriek of triumph.

Dimly, Sasha was aware that there was squealing coming from behind the left hand door…. sounding like pigs. But the scent that was being beaten into the wind that direction indicated a herd of blood incensed Maws, all clamouring to get in on the kill.

The Empty ones shambled forward all around Sasha. Soon they would be on her. 

Overwhelming her in weight of numbers and tearing into her flesh with their decayed teeth and clawed fingers.

Sasha succeeded in her resist toxin (poison) roll and dragged herself to her feet, flailing her sword over her head to feel its balance. But as she turned, her eyes lock with ….. it!

“Oh my God no!” She whispered aloud.

Sheer shock and utter horror filled her eyes, and her mouth fell open in silent parody of a scream.

The thing before her merely raised a hand and pointed a bony finger towards her. Suddenly her throat constricted. Her limbs felt heavy and an unnatural tiredness washed over her mind, forcing her to stand still and watch as the dreadful scene unfolded around her. 

The Master...... the Lich!

Move 3 & 4

The zombies clamber all over Sasha, biting, scratching, clawing deep chunks from her flesh. Literally eaten alive, Sasha`s last shocked and traumatized thoughts were spent trying to wonder why Hanko had led her into this horror filled blood soaked trap?

    

The empty stare, emotionlessly cruel as they dip their hands into soft yielding flesh.



Article by Steve

20 comments:

  1. Yay! Very cool, Steve. A nice bit of Imperial Assault-ing, followed by a particularly grisly (and short) solo outing for one of the last Amazons. AND a Jethro Tull reference as well! Who could ask for more? Me, actually. More please.

    Very enjoyable and a good example of how to use the FFG dice to enhance your solo play. Hmmm, what 'alternative' dice do I have in my collection that could be used in this fashion...there's the HeroScape dice with their funky symbols or...oooh, oooh, I think I've still got a set of the Ravenloft Dikesha somewhere. I wonder what I could do with those? 😉

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    1. I love that Tull album, one of the best I think (I met Ian once you know, on the Isle of Skye). I`m really glad you enjoyed the post Jez mate, and delighted to see your mind ticking away and going "hmmmm, those dice, I could do that" like Yosser Hughes in "Boys from the Black Stuff". And yes indeed, the idea may be revolutionary (originally created by FFG in their Warhammer rpg game) but its application could certainly be aused in different ways (I`ve done similar with playing cards and tarot packs for years). Though I would advise a firm understanding of the proper system before trying to come up with something as good or better, based on a spark of a notion. The SW dice pool idea is simply AMAZING to be frank, and has changed the way I look at rules - for ever.

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    2. And probably one of the best album covers too (although I do have a soft spot for "Powerslave" by Iron Maiden" - the Egyptian imagery just appeals....)

      Now, regarding your 'best thing since sliced bread' dice system...I'm going to disagree with you slightly here. For you, who already has the dice and the accompanying rules, this system may have reached the heights of near perfection, but for me, who doesn't have all this kit, it currently falls into the 'nice idea' camp.

      I'm not saying I can do better, all I'm suggesting is that with the resources I have to hand, I MAY be able to do something similar. It may (and possibly) won't be as good as the FFG system, but if it works for me and costs me no additional expense, that's a win in my books. And surely taking inspiration from others posts and doing it your own way is better than blindly following the herd? I'm pretty certain that someone called Steve Gilbert has said something similar to this on several occasions... 😉

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    3. LOLOL, point taken... okay I concede this one. HOWEVER (he says making one last push), the SW rpg starter sets (there are four to chose from) are crammed full of goodies AND come with a complete set of these dice: not bad as a 14 dice set of the these beauties normally costs about a tenner for the dice alone (GOOD value btw, for what the dice set is). Starter set is about 20 quid.

      What I`m saying is, yes yes YES go and make your own custom dice, BUT it would be a great idea to see what FFG has done with their dice first... if only because it will give you ideas and mind directions you`d never have occur to you otherwise.

      Back to Tull, I love almost all of their covers, with perhaps the exception of "A" which is very dull.

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  2. This is really nice i like it very much. its so full of action and incredible story. it just makes me want to get mine out now and play IA over and over. the background stories helps so much in setting up a story in your head just like a film does. this makes it a lot better than just opening a game and playing a flat adventure with no heart behind it.

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    1. your words humble me. I`m just glad what I write (for my own pleasure) brings some insight for your own games mate. But yes, a good backdrop and backstory is the fundamental frame, and the key necessary to a believable and successful hobby campaign.

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    2. your words always make me want to play. they never make me feel stupid, but always seem to make me feel like a king. thank you.

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  3. See, this is what I`m talking about. A game which sparks something fundamental inside the mind and makes you go "I might not have the right dice but hey, I got other funky dice I could use to make my own symbology for using in my games to add some thematic flavour. Just as Mousier Jez states, this whole dice thing could be used to jump as a whole series of cool ideas. May I be cheeky and ask for a full break down list of the symbols (and their meaning) included in this intriguing EotE SW dice set?

    Love the intro. Like how the game plays out, well - how it plays when you do it anyway. Not sure it plays that way straight out the box, not without your usual jiggery-pokery; but then again you always did tend to customise everything you touch, don`t you, you old devil.

    Gruesome end to the poor Amazon. Damn it, and just when I was starting to fancy her too (I was well in there I thought LOL). Come back Blades, your girls need you.

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    1. The Custom Dice

      The custom dice enable the dice to yield a series of random eventualities; how successful the skill check was, and how lucky the attempt was with other factors–normally only one success on the pass / fail axis is needed to succeed. There are both positive and negative types of dice, which can be added to a roll represent advantages or disadvantages in a skill check.

      White Die (The Force Die) (12-sided white die with one or two black or white dots per facet) are used to calculate the number of Force Tokens granted at the beginning of the scenario. The Player Characters' party gets some of one colour and the game master gets the tokens of the opposing colour. White Tokens (The Light Side) are for the Good Guys and Black Tokens (The Dark Side) are for the Bad Guys; the party's affiliation determines which colour they get. Every time a token is used by the party or the game master, it is flipped over to change its colour and awards either a bonus die (Green or Yellow) for a character's action, or a penalty die (Purple or Red) for the opposition. The tokens can also be used to change the situation ("I'm drawing my pistol..." "Did you remember to retrieve your pistol when you fell down that hillside last scene?") or cancel out or re-roll an unfavourable result like a fatal hit or pivotal skill-check failure.

      Green Dice (Ability Die) (an 8-sided green die with black markings) are based on the character's Attribute level. They only have success, advantage, and blank faces.

      Purple Dice (Difficulty Die) (an 8-sided purple die with white markings) are based on the difficulty of the skill roll. They only have failure, threat, and blank faces.

      Yellow Dice (Proficiency Die) (an 12-sided yellow die with black markings) indicate the character's level in a skill. Each level in a skill substitutes a yellow die for a green die in a skill roll. The yellow dice are like the green ability dice, except they have a "Triumph" (critical success) result on one face.

      Red Dice (Challenge Die) (a 12-sided red die with white markings) are used with an opposing skill level or extreme difficulty. Red dice are like the purple difficulty dice, except they have a "Despair" (critical failure) result on one face.

      Blue Dice (Boost Die) (a 6-sided light-blue die with black markings) are used to aid a skill roll due to advantageous factors. They only have success, advantage, and blank faces. Player Characters with equal or greater skill can take an action to aid another Player Character who is using a skill to perform a task by granting them a blue die.

      Black Dice (Setback Die) (a 6-sided black die with white markings) are used to penalize a skill roll due to disadvantageous factors. They only have failure, threat, and blank faces.

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    2. The results on the dice are Success (explosion symbol)/Failure (caltrop symbol), Advantage (a pip in a wreath)/Threat (a pip on the central facet of a faceted sphere), or Critical Success ("Triumph", a starburst in a circle)/Critical Failure ("Despair", a triangle in a circle). Blank faces confer no benefit or penalty. The result depends on subtracting the lower result from the higher result on an axis. A result of 5 Successes and 3 Failures is a Success of 2. A result of 2 Advantages and 5 Threats is a Threat of 3. However, Triumph and Despair do not cancel each other out and double as a Success or Failure result; a result of no Triumphs and 1 Despair is 1 Critical Failure / +1 normal Failure. These results mean that the character made the Skill roll with a bonus of 1 Success, but suffered 3 Threats and 1 Despair as well. The Game Master would interpret the result to indicate what problems and difficulties would happen next.

      For example, a Rebel commando bumps into a squad of Stormtroopers turning around a corner and he shoots his blaster at them. The player rolls the 1 Success, 3 Threats, and 1 Despair from the above example. His blaster shot hits (1 Success) and does the blaster rifle's base damage +1 (from the number of Successes). The Game Master interprets the negative results to mean that the commando suffers 1 point of Strain (1 Threat), suffers 1 Black Die on the next skill roll (2 Threats), and the power cell in his blaster ran out and needs to be reloaded (1 Despair).

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    3. Jeeez, that`s a lot of dice options. Thanks very much for taking time to give me such a detailed run down, much appreciated Steve. I begin to see why everyone is raving about this dice pool idea so much.

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    4. Oh that`s nothing, the dice do a lot much more than that as well. I just described the basics. They can be used to resolve all sorts of role play situations, and cuts down on reading rules dramatically. The 450 rule core book(s) are not crammed full of rules... they`re crammed full of cool extra stuff to help bring a game alive. The actual rules themselves are fairly simple, and once learned can be carried in your head, making it possible to play from memory, and relying on the dice pool to do the rest for you (once you fully understand how the dice work - and that parts complex).

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    5. i agree, i bought the EotE starter and have been delighted with it ever since. the dice alone was a nice bonus touch and made the rest of the starter itself easily worth the price tag, especially as it even comes with a complete easy to run adventure as well. The dice system in ingenious and simple to use, but took me a while to get my head round at first.

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  4. Money well spent. Its always a joy to me to see an expensive purchase picked up, assimilated, played with, and the played with over and again and again. I see it happen from time to time, but sadly, not too often {last time was one of the young lads at the local store and club. He invested heavily into Age of Sigmar, knowing he could only afford to finance and properly buy into on thing, so he devoted himself to this single game project. A year and a half later, which makes him 18 years old now, he has painted everything, added wisely to his collection.. a bit at a time, including some really nice scenery, and STILL loves his game as much now as the day he bought it, back when he was a fresh young sixteen year old boy}.

    Seeing you enjoying your Star Wars {and your Test of Honour} makes me happy and glad to see. Excellent post. really fun mini AAR.. gosh, and all played on a 12 inch square board too. The Story of the Amazons is turning into a bit of an epic, and all in all this whole thing fills me with happy hobby thoughts.

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    1. Yes Hils, this game is here to stay for me. Same with WG`s Test of Honour and the Perry Brothers 8mm Napoleonics. Until we have moved house, and I have the time to add another project (i.e. perhaps something in ECW, AWI, FIW, Zulus, or even WWII). So for now I will stick to just a few topics exclusively, as my personal gaming focus.

      I find I simply can`t write about my Test of Honour, or my Napoleonic gaming (or anything else I might deeply immerse into) as I prefer to play lots and lots, and I can`t do both: write on the blog AND play too, not at the rate of games I play anyway. Soooo realising this, I decided to concentrate on just one thing on the blog ... Star Wars, until I have told that tale to a point where I am content and can let it go and move on to the next project (which, incidentally is already worked out and waiting in the wings to introduce to TGC.... soon).

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  5. Wow that was like getting three different posts all at the same time.
    So first the intro into solo gaming and your history of it was very enlightening having not done a lot of solo gaming myself but intending to this was very useful.
    Next a small game of Imperial Assault with a very useful idea with the different dice.
    Then we have another instalment of Blades and her gang of Amazons to round it off.
    Fantastic post mate very much enjoyed

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    1. hehe thanks Dave. Yes I feel the campaign is finally coming together on TGC. Its odd for me, as all this back-layering (for me) is all just going over stuff I already know and have been doing for years with my live (face to face) gaming group. This solo aspect of it is really an experiment in application... to test how do-able FFG`s Edge of the Empire combined with Imperial Assault are for solitaire style play.

      It may not generate much interest, and certainly provokes few comments, but its not really meant to be a crowd pleaser, and is just a bit of personal fun and something I am doing more for myself than anything else. When I am done telling this tale.... it will be time to move onto the next big magnum opus (as you know Dave lol).

      But really glad you enjoyed the latest post mate :-)

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  6. Poor old Sasha! And that traitorous Hanko! Yeah nice insight to the solo gamer, something I'm doing more and more of so will be looking to articles like these for inspiration

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  7. Yeah, she was one of my favourites, and damn.... that`s another good mini I cant use any more :( ...... daughter of Sasha, maybe? That`s something I always struggle with: painting up a really tasty model, and that model dies in your campaign, what do you then with the lovely mini you`ve spent all that time over making looks super cool lol.

    Hanko hahaha, Always figured her for a bit of dark horse, and she has no love for Blades` girls that`s for sure hahahaa. Glad you enjoyed the article mate: I`ve noticed your highly narrative style change lately, I love it. We all learn from each other I always think, just like I do from your ATZ campaign.. which I consider THE text book example of how to do a proper zombie story.

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  8. How those strange and wacky dice work in the Star Wars rpg (video below):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDFxcgCqulk

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