Escaping the Death Star using Dice

Death Star Game 01

They’re just posing for a photo

Once upon a time, Sila brought back with her a Star Wars: Escape the Death Star Action Figure Game, which is actually a board game with two sets of rules (an easy and an advanced rule) as well as two Hasbro action figures, a Luke Skywalker in stormtrooper disguise with removable helmet and lightsaber, and a Darth Vader figure with removable helmet (complete with exposed back of head) and lightsaber.

It must have been ten years since, and I’ve never actually played it until recently. Because Irfan wanted to try it out. However, I realised that the easy rules were too easy and straightforward, and the advanced rules were too complicated for Irfan.

So the gamemaster in my blood took over, and I not only modified the rules so that the difficulty level of the rules are something in between and it’s something Irfan can play and enjoy. Also, I can integrate what Star Wars action figures I had with me into the modded rules that I came up with. It took several runs with Irfan to refine the rules, but I think I’ve almost got it. Hopefully this game will also teach Irfan the basics of role-playing.

Here are the new rules:

Basic Rules

  • Player controls Luke Skywalker. Gamemaster controls all other characters.
  • Luke has to escape from the Death Star, by getting to his X-wing fighter in the hangar bay across the board. However the hangar bay doors are closed and Luke needs to head to the Command Centre to open the doors. Luke moves around the board as per the Movement Rules below.
  • There are lots of obstacles in the way, in the form of various Imperial stormtroopers and bounty hunters like Boba Fett, IG-88 and Bossk. In addition to the obstacles, Luke has to pick up his blaster and lightsaber which are strewn about the board to use them. If Luke finishes his move at 3 spaces or less from these obstacles, combat is initiated. (See Combat Rules below)
  • Finally, there is a Too-Onebee surgeon droid in the Detention Block where Luke can go to treat his wounds, if he’s injured.
  • Non-player pieces are controlled by the gamemaster. They act as obstacles and are unable to move at all. If the player’s piece land three spaces or less from any non-player pieces, it’s combat time.

Movement Rules

  • To move Luke, player rolls one 6-sided dice (1d6). For example: if player rolls a 4, then Luke moves 4 spaces. This movement can also be called a walk.
  • Luke can also run, in which case the player rolls one 6-sided dice, then add 2 to the result (1d6+2). For example, if the player rolls a 3, add two to it. 3+2=5. Thus, Luke moves 5 spaces.
  • The differences between a walk and a run is that you automatically lose your initiative roll if you have to initiate combat. In other words, if you’re running you’re less likely to notice if there’s an enemy close by, and he can hear you coming from afar. (See the Combat Rules below.)

Combat Rules

Combat begins when Luke walks or run into a position 3 spaces or less from an enemy in direct view. Here is the combat procedure:

Combat is turn-based.

Roll for initiative.

  • To see who moves first (to shoot or to run), each piece rolls 2d6.
  • Get the sum of two 6-sided dice, and the highest goes first.
  • Player rolls for Luke and Gamemaster rolls for the enemy. If there is a draw, the player wins automatically.
  • If combat begins after Luke just finished a run instead of a walk, then the enemy gets to roll his attack first automatically.

For any piece to succeed in hitting an enemy with a blaster or a lightsaber, a player makes an attack roll:

  • An attack roll is made with a 2d6, unless the character is wounded in which case the attack roll is only 1d6.
  • To shoot a blaster at an enemy 1 space away, the roll has to beat a target number of 4.
  • To shoot a blaster at an enemy 2 spaces away, the roll has to beat a target number of 6.
  • To shoot a blaster at an enemy 3 spaces away, the roll has to beat a target number of 8 (thus a wounded character can never hit anything from 3 spaces away).
  • To strike an enemy with a lightsaber (which can only be done at 1 space away), the roll has to beat a target number of 5.

Alternatively, Luke can attempt to escape by rolling his move during combat. The player has to wait his turn to disengage from the battle. However, the running bonus does NOT apply, so only 1d6 is rolled; never 1d6+2. The downside of this is if Luke is 1 space away from the enemy, he could conceivably roll a 1 and end up only 2 spaces away. The enemy rolls next and he has a free shot at Luke!

Death Star Game 2

The theatre of operations

Wounds and Recovery

  • A character that is struck by a lightsaber is immediately removed from the board.
  • A character that is shot by a blaster loses a wound status.
  • For Luke and Darth Vader (who represents the boss villian guarding Luke’s X-wing), the progression for losing wound status is as such: Healthy –> Wounded –> Wounded Twice –> Defeated. This means these characters has to be shot three times to be defeated.
  • For the rest of the enemies like the Imperial troops and bounty hunters,  the wound status progression is Healthy –> Wounded –> Defeated. If you want Boba Fett to be a boss villian, go nuts.
  • A defeated enemy is removed from the board. If Luke is defeated, then player loses and game ends.
  • Luke can return to Healthy status by disengaging from combat, fleeing to and move within a space from the Too-Onebee droid positioned elsewhere on the board.

Okay, that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Obviously I also need to tweak the rules for more than one player… and maybe sneak in the rules to hotwire a blast door lock, or repair a droid, or access an encrypted computer, or throw a thermal detonator, or use a medpac to treat your own wounds. The possibilities are endless.

Posted in Board and Card Games, Star Wars and tagged , , , , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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