Finn

12 March 2016 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars
 

So here then be Finn a.k.a FN-2187 who appears glad to be running the Strike Force Shantipole module from West End Games. He can't wait to use the Star Destroyer deckplans therein.

That's a Wild Die that is
 

Poe

10 March 2016 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars
 

Here then is Poe Dameron son of Kes Dameron and Shara Bey. I heard he has a very nice X-wing fighter. And he handles it well, too.

Love is a drug

Also, I heard yesterday was actor Oscar Isaac's birthday. Happy birthday, Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada!

 

Paper Minis: Coruscant Underworld Police

09 March 2016 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

All the way from Star Wars: The Clone Wars are the Coruscant Security Force personnel stationed deep in the underworld sectors and here are some paper miniatures if you want to play one, or have a whole squad as backup (or as opposition).

Created by David Simon
 

Rey

08 March 2016 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars
 

Here is Rey from Star Wars the Force Awakens, reading some sort of manual. I have it on good authority that she is the biological daughter of the Millennium Falcon and the space slug called Grendel.

Fragments From The Rim

 

SWD6: Point of Entry

14 February 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Time is the Hunter
 

I figured it was time to return to the source from whence my interest of simulationist/narrativist tabletop games originated: Star Wars The Roleplaying Game once published by West End Games and run using the D6 system. It was the first RPG that I ran for Irfan once upon a time and we have never played it since.

I can't read the writing on the GM screen without my glasses now.

Irfan plays Jax Hunt, a young human bounty hunter who is on his way to get his House Benelex Bounty Hunters' Guild membership card from an agent/broker in the Byblos system.

Jax wears a flak jacket body armour, a Relby-k23 on his hip and a modified helmet to protect his head. After some decades living alone and scrounging in the streets, bottom feeding, Jax had decided to pursue a career as a bounty hunter. Perhaps someday he would even be able to catch the outlaw who had murdered his family when he was a little boy.

Catch? No, kill perhaps. Someday.

Time is the Hunter

Episode 01: Point of Entry

Created by Peter Schweighofer.

A Taylander shuttle landed in one of the many gigantic hangar bays, a dot on the side of the colossal city named Byblos Tower 214. Among the passengers disgorged into the space bustling with people and cargo was Jax Hunt.

He left the hangar bay area and tried asking the locals where he could find Mr. Abbit Mowba who runs the local Benelex Guild office located at an area named Blue-772, but he was not savvy enough with the streets of Byblos to do so. (Streetwise skill roll failure, 8 on a Difficulty Number of 15.) After travelling for some hours through the vast hallways of commercial marketplaces, narrow corridors of residential areas and the local travel tube network, he found himself alone in a dingy, badly-lit street which did not have an external window illuminating it. (Irfan rolled Streetwise one more time, but failed with a 11 on a 15.)

But on the far end of the street is a heavy blast door marked Blue-772. He scanned the empty streets and saw nothing but tightly-shut doors, overturned crates and puddles of liquid created by hidden leaky infrastructural pipes. The smell was almost unbearable. (Perception failure of 6 on a Difficulty Number of 9!)

He had another block to go before he reached the blast door when a voice called from down a dark alleyway. A grimy-looking Devaronian appeared from out of the shadows. He said, "Hey. Do you have some spare change?" There was a beat-up blaster pistol in the Devaronian's hand.

"No," said Jax. "I don't have any money on me."

"I think you do. You people never have any money on you, but when we look, we'll find it."

A door behind Jax on the other side of the street opened and a Gran bounced out. His blaster pistol was pointed at Jax's back. Jax was outflanked. The Gran sneered, "We are going to eat well tonight. Search him!"

The Devaronian lowered his weapon and strode toward Jax, grubby hands going for his pockets.

 

Paper Minis: Rebel Commandos

20 January 2016 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

We are now back in the Classic Trilogy era after a foray into The Force Awakens paper miniatures for an entry or four. Rebel Alliance's SpecForce battalions are many. Among them are the SpecForce Pathfinders and SpecForce Infiltrators. A mixed SpecForce squad comprised the rebel commando strike team that sabotaged the Endor shield generator.

I think I damaged this one
 

X-Wing: The Beginner's Luck Gambit

10 January 2016 | Hisham | | Board and Card Games, Star Wars
 

Last Saturday night's Star Wars X-Wing Miniature game turned out well. It was Ain's first game ever so Irfan and I decided to make this a straight up dogfight. No extra cards, no obstacles, no missions. Just blast each other out of the sky with what you have.

I played Darth Vader in the TIE Advanced.

Irfan was Luke Skywalker in the T-65 X-wing fighter and Ain, to give her an edge over me, flew the YT-1300 freighter Millennium Falcon with the Han Solo card.

It turned out that even with Darth Vader's high initiative number, the Falcon was quite a powerhouse in combat. At first I ignored it and went after the X-wing. We both passed each other at full speed and did a dropkick Koiogran turn, while the Falcon seemed to be swerving out toward the edge of the battlemat. Suddenly she banked right back into the fray. All my shots missed, thank you very much, totally useless Targeting Lock.

Because of the Falcon's 360 degree firing arc, it was easier for the freighter to hit me than me to hit it. My 2 Shields and 3 Hull were depleted pretty fast.

The Rebels won.

I am the worst Darth Vader ever.

 

Paper Minis: Guavian Enforcers

06 January 2016 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Guavians about to storm a YT-1300
 

The Guavian Death Gang could conceivably be your player characters' generic criminal enemies in your RPG campaign. Don't forget to take into account the Guavian Security Soldiers' illegal cybernetics that boost their agility and strength while allowing them to network with each other using high-frequency datastreams as they fight your players.

 

Paper Minis: Resistance Soldiers

05 January 2016 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

God has smiled upon you this day, The fate of a nation in your hands
 

Ground troops and the fighter pilots of the Resistance!

Underfunded, understaffed and far from resupply sources the General Leia Organa's Resistance do what they can to fight the First Order in their own territory.

 

Paper Minis: More First Order Stormtroopers

04 January 2016 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Perhaps I should continue with paperminis from The Force Awakens no?

We need a new battlemap

Here are a bunch of First Order Snowtroopers and Flametroopers for your tabletop use, should you even find yourself about thirty years after the Battle of Endor and shunted into the new canon timeline.

 

Paper Minis: First Order Stormtroopers

23 December 2015 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

I'm sure someone will be wanting to run Star Wars RPG campaign set in The Force Awakens era, so here are the first of many paper miniatures to help you on your tabletop. Four of them carry the Sonn-Blas F-11D blaster rifle, another four the Sonn-Blas SE-44D blaster pistol and the final four are the wielders of the Z6 riot control baton, which is different from the Z-6 rotary blaster.

They are two dimensional characters.
 

Star Wars The Force Awakens Review

19 December 2015 | Hisham | | Movie Review, Star Wars
 

We finally saw Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens the evening of the 18th, a day after general release. I discovered that trying to write a review about it was impossible for me.

I will get to that soon, but what about the movie itself?

It was to me an excellent Star Wars story with new characters interacting with the old, swashbuckling their way through space to save lives. I suppose the story beats did get too close for comfort to the original trilogy, but with characters that were amazingly developed and actors who had great chemistry with each other. It was a fun movie. Although there were some things that I did not like about it (such as how it was possible to see the First Order's beam from a planet too far away), these things are trivial compared to the fun experienced from watching it.

I loved it!

But why do I love it?

 

Troubleshooters Unit Patch

08 December 2015 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Find it! Shoot it! Make it!

Recently I completed a commission for a unit patch for a Rebel Alliance group known as the Troubleshooters for Seamus Conneely's Star Wars RPG campaign.

Unit patches are fun. I need to do more unit patches or nose art, like these:

Lava Jaeger YT-1300 nose art for Edged by the Empire campaign.

Modesty Blaze YT-1300 nose art for Modesty Blazing campaign.

 

EOTE: Dirge of the Nepotist Captain

22 November 2015 | Hisham | | GOKL Actual Play, Modesty Blazing, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Modesty Blazing

Episode 06: Dirge of the Nepotist Captain

Previously (and 14 real time months ago) on Star Wars Modesty Blazing...

Game prep at Aiman and Zara's house

Thanks to the course I was sent on  gave me the opportunity to continue Modesty Blazing, the Edge of the Empire campaign I run for GOKL. I honestly never thought I'd be able to continue the story that had begun more than a year ago when I still lived in Kuala Lumpur. After a quick social media notification, the group agreed to meet at Wira Games and Hobbies.

Where the hell is my grilled cheese sandwich - I mean players?

The obligatory fake photograph of zero player attendees was taken.

The Rancor's Rancor

Ghyel had been annexed by Captain Bullpup Barqueslayer of the Imperator-class Star Destroyer Cockchafer!

The stolen Lambda-class shuttle carrying Zalo Hai the lost Prince of Ghyel and his de facto aides and protectors temporarily attached to the Ghyel Ministry of History and Archaeology, Trianii Qillian Ryn, Zeltron Darter Kel, Trandoshan John Tray'Essek and droid VAX-11/750 reverted from hyperspace and cruised toward their rendezvous site at the edge of the Ghyel system where their new ally the former Imperial captain Razi Sunmote waited.

- What do the fins do? - Absolutely nothing.

Then, a gigantic starship jumped into existence out of the ether.

The spacegoing vessel was basically still Section 12 of Smallberries Station - a trove of salvaged Clone War hardware on Hypori - which had been jettisoned and stolen by Sunmote on his quest for revenge. The only thing that was different about it were the two large fins bolted onto it, which appeared to have no function. Several fighters were launched from the ship - Vulture droid fighters - and screamed into formation.

Darter hailed the spaceborne slice of Smallberries salvage station, but Sunmote spouted in advance. The comlink crackled,"Where is the scum Flintlock Tile? Give him to me now!" Darter calmed him down by telling him that Tile has now taken on the Barqueslayer identity and in order to defeat him - and for Sunmote to exact revenge - the group needs his help to formulate a plan and carefully execute it. Prince Zalo hoped that this would also save his home system of Ghyel.

"The Vulture droids will escort you in!"

The four droid fighters guided their stolen shuttle toward a small growing dot on the hull of the ship, which grew into a moderately sized energy shield-protected hangar bay.

As they landed, they spotted a battalion of armed B1 battle droids marching in their direction. The group walked down the ramp. The battle droids ceased their march and remained motionless. The group with Prince Zalo behind them became apprehensive.

Suddenly the droids parted to reveal Razi Sunmote in the back.

Beside him was a familiar figure: Nora Romanova, who left Ghyel a few days earlier to escort their Duros friend Vendrik offworld. Everyone rushed forward to greet her. "How did you-?"

"I got a call from Sassatania the Hutt," Nora said. Darter cringed at the name of his Hutt fiancée who had promised to marry him at the end of the Ghyel job. "She told me you needed help and I was to meet with Sunmote to return to the group. Where's the Modesty Blaze?"

"How the hell did Sassastania know where-... Never mind. Barqueslayer's people took the Blaze," Darter told her. "She's now in some berth in a landing bay on the Cockchafer."

"Darter," Nora said.

"Yes?"

"Sassatania sends her kisses."

"I'm sure."

"Gentlemen!" interjected the now-well dressed and very eager Captain Sunmote. "Welcome to my flagship the Rancor's Rancor! Come with me to my conference room and we can begin to plan the downfall of the wretched Flintlock Tile!"

Wira Games and Hobby is a great place to run games

The team devices a plan to take down Captain Bullpup Barqueslayer.

 

Captain Ithano

11 November 2015 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars
 

My second Star Wars The Force Awakens fan art is Captain Ithano a.k.a. the Crimson Corsair. He holds in his arm a guidebook for becoming a pirate or a privateer. (A letter of marque is required for the latter choice.)

This person should be found in Maz Kanata's castle.

Here's a close up of the book he's carrying which I painted from scratch using a photo of the actual book cover.

Written by Tim S. O'Brien
 

Constable Zuvio

08 November 2015 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars
 

Constable Zuvio from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, my first ever fan art for the movie which is due in forty days.

I have no idea who this is really

I am slacking.

Not really, it's a long story.

First, it was sketched and painted with Krita, then finished up with GIMP. Zuvio looks like a Kyuzo does he not?

 

Those Stories About What Happened...

26 October 2015 | Hisham | | Humour, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

I might have overdone it with the "Those Stories About What Happened" meme adapted from the latest Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer, pertaining to West End Games' Star Wars The Roleplaying Game material. It probably what Han would tell these kids about the Galactic Civil War shenanigans as played by Star Wars D6 RPG players.

First, here is a general flavour of memories of role-playing games as a general, not just limited to Star Wars.

I don't think our group took a break to eat anything when we played

Then, there was that one time Sila stole Zardra's stun cloak during Tatooine Manhunt when she and Puggles Trodd launched an attack on her party when they were asleep.

Awesome map by Jennell Jacquays, btw

Disclaimer! I've never actually played Starfall:

I'd love to possess the Star Destroyer floor plans

Not to mention the exploits of the Black Curs team.

Adventure Journal characters represent

And finally, from Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments From The Rim, a gag written by a tabloid-esque news outlet in the Galaxywide Newsnet chapter of the book:

Galactic Weekly NewsStack FTW

Addendum (27/10/2015): Don't forget about the Rabid Mynock swoop gang!

Needs Wayne and his crew to save the day
 

Han Solo and the Princess and the Trailer

20 October 2015 | Hisham | | Star Wars
 

Everyone and their pet tauntaun has written something about the new Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer, so here I'll be regurgitating some thoughts about the musical score used for it:

Incom T-70 X-Wing Space Superiority Fighter

BUT FIRST, here's the trailer, released earlier today.

There are two familiar cues in the trailer, the Han Solo and the Princess cue and the Force theme.

BUT SECOND, a disclaimer: The Han Solo and the Princess theme is my favourite theme ever in Star Wars, and why I think Rebel Fleet - End Titles in The Empire Strikes Back is the best of all Star Wars end titles score, surpassing even Caravan of Courage.

Before the music go on to the full-blown new orchestration of the Han Solo and the Princess cue in the trailer, they play a four-note melody thrice. The first iteration was played on piano - the first notes being the one we hear when we see Rey's masked face during her Star Destroyer dungeon crawl. The second iteration is still on piano, but at a lower octave with some chord variations. The third iteration is played by strings.

These four notes are I believe variations of the basic four chords of Han Solo and the Princess itself, which is why it feels not just like a fantastic transition to the scene below, but an emotional one as well.

That - as well as Nien Nunb - was what gave me goosebumps. Well done, John Williams and the scoring team! I hope I will able to play this trailer music on the piano someday.

Where is Nien Nunb in this trailer? WHERE?
 

X-Wing: The Asteroid Gambit

07 October 2015 | Hisham | | Board and Card Games, Star Wars
 

Yesterday, Irfan and I finally started playing the X-Wing Miniature Game that was given to us by Darren when we last visited Kuala Lumpur. What Darren gave us was astoundingly lots, so many thanks to him for letting us have this trove.

We started with the basic game. Irfan controlled an Incom T-65 X-Wing fighter and I controlled two Sienar Fleet Systems TIE/ln fighters. His Pilot Card is Luke Skywalker, and mine were "Mauler" Mithel (apparently the father of Reljii Mithel) and Academy Pilot (a strange name to give your son, Mrs. Pilot). We did not carry Upgrade Cards, like astromech droids and proton torpedos.

Here's a picture of an X-Wing

The sculpts for these minis are amazingly detailed. One might even want to collect them because they look very nice indeed. I have seen the Corellian Corvette mini in a box back in KL some time ago and it looks fantastic. And still too expensive for me to pick up.

Here's another picture of an X-Wing and a TIE Fighter

The game is at its core elegant in its simplicity. Initiative, attack, defense, weapon damage, et al are numbers assigend to you on your pilot card. You manoeuvre your ship, then you attack if you are able to. Deciding your move requires a Manoeuvre Dial that you would turn to your choice of move, but you would reveal them from the lowest initiative so the higher initiative players would know what your move is. Moving your ship requires a Manoeuvre Template which would help you move anywhere between 1 to 5 spaces in Straights, Turns or Banks.

Attacking requires the roll of a number of red eight sided dice where you might hit with normal damage, hit with critical damage or "Focus". Defence requires the roll of a number of green eight-sided dice where you might evade or "Focus". A Focus token is used when you declare that the pilot will be Focused after its manoeuvre, which allows the pilot to able to turn any red or green die with a "focus" result to either a hit or an evade respectively.

Hits and Evades cancel each other out. Remaining Hits is the damage dealt out to the fighter being shot at. The X-Wing has Shield Points that has to be depleted by attacks before you start to affect its Hull Points. Deplete a ship's Hull Points and it gets destroyed.

Here's another picture of two TIE fighters

So we used the old West End Games' Star Warriors battlemat, which looks kind of busy and distracting but it is less busy and distracting (and far less embarassing) than our linoleum. Asteroid tokens were scattered all over board as obstacles. We just chased each other around the board for a bit. I attempted to outflank him with my two TIEs, but it was much more difficult that I thought it would be.

Here's yet another picture!

Irfan scored some hits with his Taim & Bak KX-9 wingtip cannons on Mithel's TIE early on. One more point of damage inflicted, and Mithel would be all like, "LOOK OUT!" and smash into the Death Star trench wall asteroid. Above, both TIEs had finally gotten the upper hand and flanked Luke, but all my attack rolls were embarassingly bad, like the linoleum. For some reason, although he had higher initiave, he was unable to put the TIEs into his field of fire. He was not able to shoot.

In case you need another picture...

This allowed my TIEs to let loose with their green cannon bolts, which eventually hit a lucky break and depleted Luke's Shield Points and some Hull Points. Ultimately, Luke and Mithel had the same damage result - one more damage would destroy either - but in the end it was Academy Pilot's attack that took out the X-Wing.

The gameplay was quite enjoyable. I even used a soundboard for the relevant sound effects whenever we fire and things explode. We hope to play with more Upgrade Cards and maybe use the Millennium Falcon and the Slave One next time.

 

We're Not The Droids You're Looking For

03 September 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Star Wars
 

Irfan got a present from his aunt last weekend when two aunts visited. He got this great t-shirt filled with droids. There's everything from the demolitions droid, some astromech droids, battle droids, a power droid to protocol droids. But there is no Bollux and Blue Max, sadly.

And there's no Great Heep on it...

So I too wore a t-shirt with a droid on it and took a photo of us. So we would have a photo. Of both of us wearing t-shirts. Of droids.