Jump to Subspace: Rebel Aces in action

On Saturday myself and DK got together for a game of X-Wing; the first since I picked up the Rebel Aces  expansion pack.  It includes repaints of the A-Wing and B-Wing models, as well as a load of upgrades and a new mission.  We don’t often play missions so we decided to give the one in the expansion a try.  Here follows the battle report.

This mission is “Jump to Subspace”.  The goal; Rebels have to get an escape pod off the Rebel table edge, Imperials just have to shoot down the Rebels.  The problem for the Rebels is they have to “jump start” the escape pod, by getting it between two Rebel ships  – giving it two tracking tokens.  You spend one token to move the escape pod each turn, if it’s got none, it doesn’t move!  Rebels start with 100 points while Imperials start with only 75 points – but they get reinforcements (destroyed ships come back as the basic pilot skill versions of those ships) and have initiative.

This was how the lists looked:

Rebels (Me) – 100pts

Keyan Farlander – B-Wing w/Push the Limit and Autoblaster (Rebel Aces expansion)
Tycho Celchu – A-Wing w/Chardaan Refit and Push the Limit (combo of A-Wing  and Rebel Aces expansions)
3x Bandit Squadron Pilots –  Z-95 Headhunters

Imperials (DK) – 75 pts

Turr Phennir – TIE/Interceptor
Gamma Squadron Pilot – TIE/Bomber
2x Black Squadron Pilots – TIE/Fighter (from the base set)

Deployment

Asteroids were placed one-per-player in the central area of the board and the escape pod was placed towards the Imperial edge and centrally (so the straightest line was through the asteroid field).  Finally we took turn at deployment, with Rebels starting; we had to deploy in diagonally-opposite corners with at least 25 points in each corner.  I put the A-Wing in the far corner as it’s speed would get it to the escape pod rapidly anyway.  The B-Wing and Z-95s were put in the other corner.   DK meanwhile took a similar approach – putting the Intercepter in the farthest Imperial corner, and two TIEs and the Bomber in the corner nearest the Escape Pod.

The Mission Begins!

Unusually combat actually occurred in the first turn.  The A-Wing headed straight forward and had the Bomber in it’s sights from the start.  But that was it, with the Z-95s proceeding cautiously from the corner while the TIEs started their journey toward the pod.  The B-Wing and Interceptor moving towards each other but didn’t get into one another’s firing arcs.

A-Wing and Bomber, point-blank

At point-blank Tyco rolled 3 dice vs 2, and all three scored hits on the Bomber, halving it’s remaining hit points.  The return fire missed Tyco altogether.

Turn two and Phennir manoeuvred himself into a precarious position – right in the sights of Farlander; though at range 3 – well beyond the dreaded range 1 of the Autoblaster and with 4 defence dice.

Phennir shows off some manoeuvres

Farlander was stressed, so was able to spend the stress with his special ability to convert focus rolls to hits.  Phennir meanwhile only managed to roll one evade – but it was enough to keep him in the game – vowing the miss would cost the Rebels dearly.

The A-Wing continued to rush forward, which turned out to be a mistake as it entered Phennir’s sites.  He took out Tycho’s shields, but he survived the turn, despite taking further fire from the TIEs.  Tycho meanwhile had no targets and the Z-95s were still too far out to get involved.

The next turn that started to change, with Farlander and the Z-95s bearing down on the Escape Pod.  However Tycho still had no targets but was presenting himself as easy prey for the Imperials.

Rebels approach the pod
Rebels approach the pod

Farlander shot first, finishing of the Bomber and drawing first blood!  But the fuel of the bomber had barely ceased it’s blaze before Tycho followed the Bomber pilot into oblivion.

Tycho in the afterlife
Tycho in the afterlife

The first of the Z-95s also joined the fight, doing some damage to a TIE, but at range it struggled to deal any significant damage.

Finally Farlander and the Z-95s were in position to jump-start the Escape Pod for the first time. and their combined fire also finished off another TIE.

Jump start!
Jump start!

But the relief was short lived, as Imperial reinforcements soon entered the field of battle and rushed forward, meanwhile Farlander got locked into a dogfight with Phennir, unable to get shots off as he struggled to avoid the more nimble Interceptr, while also taking fire from a TIE.  His special was nullified as he just couldn’t pull off any stressful manoeuvres.  The Z-95s also started to fall to the now-superior firepower of the Imperials, struggled to get into firing position while also trying to accomplish their mission to recover the Escape Pod.

B-Wing Bumper Cars!
B-Wing Bumper Cars!

The Imperials destroyed two Z-95s, with the Rebels only managing to jump-start the Escape Pod once more.  Farlander finally managed to finish off the stubborn Phennir, but at the cost of his own life, with the newly-arrived Bomber finishing him off in return.  With only a solitary Z-95 left all hopes of recovering the Rebel operative and his Moff captive on the Escape Pod were lost.  The Z-95 jumped to Hyperspace to report on the costly defeat.

Death of an Ace
Death of an Ace

Verdict

It was a fun game, though clearly my strategy left a lot to be desired.  I might have been better splitting forces some more, to keep the Imperials busy, rather than rushing headlong toward the Escape Pod, making the position of my forces rather predicable.  On the surface it seemed like a simple mission, but the tide very quickly turned in favour of the Imps!  Reinforcements.  Bah!

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