Strikeforce: Shadow Squadron

Clone Wars Episode 3

Y-wing hotdogger aces

Y-wing hotdogger aces

After the last adventure, in which the party gathered intel on the Malevolence, the GM now changed the flavour of the campaign from a rescue to a starfighter combat scenario. It was a straightforward mission. A squadron of fighters will take off from the Resolute, take a short cut through a nebula, then attack the Malevolence targeting its command tower at the other end of the nebula before it can destroy the Kaliida Shoals Medical Station, with its load of hospitalised clone troopers and cadre of doctors and medics.

There were supposed to be only four players this session. The PCs snapped up by the players this week were Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, and two of the clone pilots named Broadside and Matchstick. The GM thought it would be awesome to give everyone a fighter from the original movies, like the Koensayr Y-wing. But since this was twenty years prior to the movie Episode IV: A New Hope, the GM tweaked the Y-wing stats a bit and renamed them the old-timey BTL-B variant Y-wings. The group was named “Shadow Squadron”.

However Plo Koon’s player from last week had a cancelled dentist appointment, so he was back this week as Plo Koon. He insisted on tagging along in his Delta-7B starfighter.

The GM made a big deal describing the squadron’s departure from the Resolute with a scripted send off by NPCs Obi-Wan Kenobi and Admiral Wullf Yularen from the bridge. Anakin’s astrogation skill roll, combined with Artoo who was also an NPC this scenario, succeeded. The entire squadron jumped into lightspeed.

In a cutscene, the GM described that General Grievous, commanding the Malevolence, ordered the ship to bypass the Kaliida Nebula.

Denizens of the Kaliida Nebula

Denizens of the Kaliida Nebula

Meanwhile the Y-wings reverted back to normal space and flew into the Kaliida Nebula, led by Anakin who rolled a very high planetary systems skill roll. The GM ruled that he knows about the shortcut, from his hanging around with spacers back on Tatooine as a kid, as the Balmorra Run. The other PCs roll their own planetary systems skill. Plo Koon’s Wild Die was a six. The GM writes something on a piece of paper and hands it over to Plo, who panics and told them they have to turn around.

That was when the school of colossal gossamer-winged space whales appeared out of the gas clouds. Finally… monsters!

Dozens of these neebrays became a deadly navigation hazard. All the PCs rolled their starfighter piloting skill plus the Y-wing’s maneuverability code to avoid being hit by these gargantuan monsters. However, Matchstick failed his roll slightly and his ship, after a damage roll, was lightly damaged. Ahsoka’s player thought they would be eaten by these monsters in a single gulp.

But in the end, everyone got out of the nebula intact.

Then, they were at Kaliida Shoals along with the Malevolence, which was prepared to attack the Medical Station. Before Shadow Squadron could begin their work, the Separatist battle cruiser fired off an ion pulse which zapped and disabled a trio of fleeing Pelta-class frigates filled with evacuees.

Anakin led Shadow Squadron on its bombing run while the GM informed them that a squadron of Vulture droid fighters were en route to intercept them. But before they could engage the droids, the Malevolence fired off a destructive ion pulse at them. Everyone rolled their starfighter piloting skill to quickly head to the end and beyond the pulse ring’s area of effect. Matchstick’s Wild Die rolled a one and the GM ruled that his Y-wing takes damage. Matchstick’s hull roll got ones while the GM’s damage roll got sixes. His Y-wing exploded and killed Matchstick, causing the NPC clone pilot immediately behind him to roll his maneuverability code to avoid the explosion. But he fails, so one more Y-wing is destroyed. Matchstick’s player grumbled, but sat back to enjoy the rest of the game played out by his friend.

The ion pulse ring hit the area and three other NPC Y-wings failed their piloting rolls and were rendered immobilized.

Subjugator-class vs. Pelta-class

Subjugator-class vs. Pelta-class

Now the Malevolence began shooting at the squadron with their flak cannons. Another NPC roll did not succeed and was shot down. Ahsoka’s player tells Anakin’s player that the difficulty number was too high for them to fly through the flak. Anakin rolled a starfighter tactics skill under his Knowledge attribute, spending a Force Point. He succeeds, and the GM passed him a written note.

Anakin ordered everyone to follow him closer to the hull of the enemy battle cruiser, instead of the command tower. The difficulty number lessened from as they flew hugging the hull and bore down on one of the ion pulse generators. It was crackling with energy, about to deliver a coup-de-grace onto the Medical Station. Anakin gave the order and everyone rolled missile weapons skill sending multiple pairs of proton torpedos toward the ion pulse generator. A chain reaction caused both main weapons to explode and knocking them out of commission. Everyone’s evasion roll succeeded, preventing debris from hitting and damaging their Y-wings.

Then, the Republic flotilla led by the Resolute under NPCs Obi-Wan and Admiral Yularen appeared to hammer the Malevolence with heavy turbolaser fire.

Anakin led the survivors of his squadron to the Medical Station where the the NPC Nala Se, a Kaminoan medical doctor thanked them, thus ending the scenario.

This was another straightforward scenario, but this time it was geared for a fighter squadron. There were monsters this time, but I thought it strange that the GM used the creatures which had the background fluff role as birds on the coral moon of Rugosa two weeks ago. But the nebula encounter was GMed well enough for them to work as neutral monsters.

Posted in Star Wars, The Clone Wars Review, TV and tagged , , , .

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

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