War For The Outer Rim

Track the progress of new and ongoing campaigns via diaries and event updates.
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BroAdso
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War For The Outer Rim

Postby BroAdso » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:29 pm

This is a slow-paced game I already played through once, and now have edited the force lists and other elements for a more balanced run through to play the Galaxies rules more or less as intended.

This is a campaign in which the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire fight over the far northwestern galactic rim. Here's the campaign map at the start of turn 1.2 - this is a lower quality image than the PDF which is attached to the post.

Also attatched are some initial forcelists (though I've made a couple minor edits reflected in gameplay since I generated the PDF, like the Rebel Transport having 2CV and 0 AS, for example) and economic output. The RNG gave the Rebels a very slight edge in early economic output which I hope won't snowball - 3-5 EP isn't much, especially since the same RNG gave the Imperial homeworld a higher CAP.

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Both sides started with 210 points of purchases, and both made their earliest Turn 1 explorations. Let's see how things begin to unfold in the next few turns! If I get time I'll write some "fluff fiction" to establish characters, but I do intend to post complete turns once or twice a week.
Attachments
Star Wars VBAM 2018 Draft 2, Rebel TL1 Units.pdf
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Star Wars VBAM 2018 Draft 2, Imperial TL1 Units.pdf
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Star Wars VBAM 2018 Draft 2, Turn 1-2 Economies Export.pdf
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Star WarsCampaign Map Draft 2 Turn 1-2 Opening.pdf
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BroAdso
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Re: War For The Outer Rim

Postby BroAdso » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:09 pm

The first few turns always move quickly, but something interesting happened on 1.6! The Rebellion explored Jaemus, and rolled it up as a low-morale world. When they colonized it, its Morale was immediately decreased by 1 - to 0 - and they faced an uprising.

They didn't have sufficient soldiers to declare Martial Law on 1.5, when the uprising broke out, so they had to transfer two additional Rebel Irregulars on Turn 1.6 Movement. However, it was too late - one Census had joined the uprising already, and the +40% base raiding took its toll and generated a raid worth 15 EP of ships in the Supply Phase of 1.6.

The Rebel Alliance player might have been better off spending the 5 EP to conduct a Propaganda: Morale mission from Dantooine, but the timing of the uprising made it impractical. Colonizing occurred in 1.5 Movement Phase, after Intel Phase, uprising was declared in 1.5 Morale Checks phase at the turn's end, opportunity to raise morale was not until the 1.6 Intel phase.

Fortunately, the battle in space went well for the Rebel Alliance and poorly for the uprising of Imperial Loyalists.
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As you can see, the forces were somewhat mismatched initially, but it wasn't totally one sided. The Rebel Alliance chose to spend down some of their AS and AF advantages to take the formation bonus of the enemy flagship down and increase the formation bonus of their lone GR-75 transport. What really broke to the disadvantage of the Uprising troops was the Fire Roll, where the Rebels got a 100% effective set of rolls and their -1 Readiness brought them to 50% for ships and 75% for fighters. The results were predictable after that, and the X-Wings proved their worth by totally wiping out all four flights of Z-95 Headhunters with 16 AF in the Flights v Flights phase, while the Headhunters could only muster 12 x .75 = 9 AF, enough to destroy one and cripple one X-Wing flight.

With a huge amount of Orbital Bombardment from the surviving Rebel Alliance ships and flights, and three Rebel Irregulars on the planet against one Planetary Militia, the uprising on the ground was a total wipeout.

The whole thing goes to show that colonization is a series of carefully calculated risks, though, and this one didn't go as well as the Imperial's calculated risk of colonizing Fornax and letting it be Out Of Supply for one turn, risking a Morale Check, back on Turn 1.2 The Imperials have been steadily expanding Fornax, and now it's a well positioned forward base with its own independent Supply Depot.
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I've attached PDFs of the orders for 1.6 (I put some of the uprising declared stuff from 1.5 in the Rebel side to clarify it). One problem everyone is running into is the relative difficulty of exploration - most exploration fleets only have a +3 bonus or so, meaning the need to roll an 8+ on a D10 to explore successfully. As a result, right now the Rebel Alliance is investing in more CR-90 Corvettes and the Empire in an additional set of Arquitens light cruisers. You'll also notice the Rebel Alliance's maintenance costs mounting quickly - their heavy, hyper-capable fighters are expensive to build and maintain in large numbers.

I've also attached a map of the current state of play. There might be a couple of numbers wrong in there, but it gives a good sense of where things are right now. It is worth noting that the western map is getting explored much faster than the east, and if the lopsided exploration rolls continue active conflict could open up in Dubrillion, Ord Trasi, or Muunilist.
Attachments
Star Wars VBAM 2019, Turn 1-6 Orders Export.pdf
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Star WarsCampaign Map Draft 2 Turn 1-6 End of Turn Pre Encounters.pdf
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Re: War For The Outer Rim

Postby BroAdso » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:20 pm

As the game ends Year 2.6, everyone's rate of expansion has slowed, and there's still no first contact between the two forces. A series of unlucky exploration rolls - and caution from both forces lest they explore too fast and lose precious ships - means there's been little movement. The high cost of colonization - at twenty points for a convoy, then twenty points for another convoy to move a CEN, then investment in at least one point of PROD - makes movement slow as well.

Both sides aggressively used convoys to move their initial homeworld population out, so that both Ord Mantell and Dantooine are down to five population even after successful CEN growth rolls in Turn 1.12. This has boosted income (though the Alliance miscalculated and Ord Biniir has 3 CEN and only 1 MOR, resulting in Unrest) and both sides are moving at a healthy clip as far as money goes. The Alliance maintains an income edge, but only because the Empire has a larger standing fleet (they have about 50 EP more in total unit value).

In technology, the Alliance has unlocked the MC-40a Light Cruiser after spending 24 EP back on turn 2.1,and hasn't begun another project yet. The Empire has unlocked the Stargalleon transport-and-supply CT as well as the Carrack all-purpose DD, for a total spending of 28 EP. The Empire is only a couple of EP away from unlocking the Lancer escort DD for a total of 16 EP as well, so I've included it below. Here are their current newest starships:
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In the medium term, the Alliance needs to begin constructing more serious warships - their main battle fleet at the moment is two Quasar Fire CVL, four Nebulon-B FF, and 6 Sphyrna/Hammerhead DD. This compares to the Empire's two Venator BCs, 6 Aquitens CL, and 6 Carrack DD poorly. The Empire needs to keep up economically with faster exploration, exploitation (especially at Yout with its 3 RAW) and colonization, but that will put a strain on their ability to limit Raider chance in their existing systems. They could also begin building Civilian Trade stations to increase their income, but those are quite expensive.

A couple of pictures besides the attatched PDFs to give you a sense of things:
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Attachments
Star Wars VBAM 2019 Planetary Income Record End 2.6.pdf
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Star Wars VBAM 2019 Galactic Empire Orders 2.6.pdf
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Star Wars VBAM 2019 Rebel Alliance Orders 2.6.pdf
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StarWars VBAM 2019 Map EndTurn 2.6.pdf
(938.62 KiB) Downloaded 13 times

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Re: War For The Outer Rim

Postby BroAdso » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:09 pm

As year 2 came to a close, both the Empire and Alliance were colonizing efficiently, and the first front of contact had developed: the lane between Dubrillion and Ord Trasi. The Alliance claimed Dubrillion on 2.8, while the Empire claimed Ord Trasi on 2.9, and turns 2.10 and 2.11 were frantic scrambles of GR-75 Transports and Stargalleons, and careful calculation of raider chances, all aimed at stripping forces from outlying systems and exploration duty in order to guard the new point of contact.

Both sides successfully conducted Intel: Fleet missions on 2.11 and 2.12 respectively, so they know the approximate strength of the enemy forces (though the Empire is unaware of the three Hideout-type orbital bases constructed in 2.12, since their mission was completed in the Intel phase of that turn).

In the Imperial Fleet HQ at Ord Mantell, the command staff has relayed the results of their first simulated battle, conducted by droid brains, to Admiral Urin in orbit of Ord Trasi. Knowing his Venator BC's, though old, are still tougher and hit harder than any of the Alliance ships, even their new MC-40a, he prefers an aggressive strike against Dubrillion. However, the results of Fleet HQ simulations suggest that Alliance X-Wing squadrons will create slaughterhouse numbers of casualties among his TIE flights, which could take months to rebuild and retrain. Here is one such frustrating simulation:

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Although only a few simulations result in the destruction of the Red Horizon or Swiftsure, the sector's two Venator Battlecruisers, in all simulations the battlefield coordination of the Alliance MC-40a and Quasar-Fire Carriers mean their fighter squads have predictable and consistent results, while the Imperial TIE squads, though numerous, vary considerably in their simulated performance battle to battle. The Alliance intelligence and monitoring network in Dubrillion also adds to their battle-readiness in every scenario where the Empire acts aggressively.

Thus, as Year 3 dawns, both sides are concentrating along a battlefront, waiting for either to make the first move and gamble on a decisive battle. In the meantime, both are straining their economies to produce ships and convoys to resume exploration and colonization efforts, and to save income in order to keep improving the PROD and MOR (through expensive propaganda missions) of their worlds.

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BroAdso
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Re: War For The Outer Rim

Postby BroAdso » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:01 pm

"This is Echelon-2, come in Kaya, copy?"
"This is Kaya command. What is it, Echelon-2?"
"We've picked up anomolous signals out past the rings of Renara, and need permission to investigate."
"Go ahead, take Echelon-3. Latest reports indicate no movement from the Imperial fleet at Ord Trasi, so you can be confident you won't be running into Star Destroyers out there."
"Thanks, Kaya. It's probably just some unregistered freighter.


In turn 3.2, as an attempt to break the deadlock, the Empire player decided to spend 7 EP on a pair of Raider missions to Dubrillion, hoping they might take the edge off the Alliance presence there and distract their commander.

The mercenaries he hired (4d6 per raiding group, so 8 + 12 = 20EP worth of ships) snuck into Dubrillion and set up an ambush around the distant gas giant of Renara. The mercenary group successfully stalked and destroyed CR-90 Blockade Runner Echelon-2, which did the initial investigation, but when the bulk of the Alliance fleet's starfighter squadrons and Nebulon-B frigates were committed to the fight, they melted under the fire. However, they did succeed at knocking out about a half-dozen X-Wing fighters with their outdated Cloakshape and Z-95 squadrons.

The Alliance player was overconfident - had the Empire moved their fleet in at the same time, their forces would have been irrevocably split between the two encounters, and committing everything but the GR-75 transports to the encounter against the mercenary raiders would have proved foolish.

Here's how the battle went:
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In the meantime, the first few turns of Year 3 haven't resulted in much shifting in the balance of power. The Alliance is working on its first Profundity-class battleship, which will be done at the end of turn 3.4 for deplyoment in 3.5, while the Empire is working on its third Venator Star Destroyer (and the first one it didn't start with) for deployment at the start of turn 3.8, and will have deployed a Golan-II defense station in Ord Trasi by the end of 3.4 - the Golan II is much more substantial than the Alliance 'hideout' bases deployed opposite Ord Trasi in Dubrillion.

Both sides have had to keep their exploration operations on temporary hold as they have concentrated forces in Ord Trasi and Dubrillion, though the Alliance spent 25EP on four CR-90 Corvettes and an additional GR-75 transport in 3.2, meaning they'll be complete and ready to act as an exploration task force in turn 3.4.

Here's the strategic lay of the land in the sector at the start of Turn 3.3:
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On a playtest note, it's interesting to work out where Raiders fit in to the new, simplified Encounter rules. So far it seems to work well that first, all Encounters in a system roll for readiness. Readiness tells the players information about the different Encounters they are facing, and they distribute ships and flights between those encounters. Ships in one encounter are always considered reinforcements in other Encounters the same turn in the same system, and can be rotated in the second battle round. Thus, a Raider attack has the potential to draw ships away from the first round of a larger fleet battle if Raiders attack a system and an enemy fleet jumps in the same turn. I'm working on the assumption right now that the player who began the turn with ships present in the system must resolve the Raider attack, not the other player moving into the system and triggering the other encounter.


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