The juke box at Argy’s space tavern levitated about six feet above the floor as the patrons watched with wary amusement as Elmer, the joint’s owner, reached up with a screw driver and plyers in an attempt to fix the aging machine. Like most things at Argy’s the music box had seen better days. The barkeep grumbled and shouted as he worked, which made it seem like the juke box was playing a particularly angry spoken word album.
“Fang fighters. Lew the Hutt has gone and bought several Fang fighters,” Elmer sputtered.
Sarzo Lord, the Grey Jedi who was keeping the juke box aloft via the Force, sipped his beer and allowed his employer a few more rants and raves before he spoke.
“Fang fighters are tricky to fly,” said Lord, who Elmer employed to lead the Argy’s forces against his rival’s mercenary pilots in the ongoing Tavern Wars. “Besides Bake Travnor I’m not sure anybody else at the Steamline could handle one of those things.”
After a few more adjustments music again filled Argy’s and Lord gently set the machine back on the floor, where it crunched softly as it settled into the decades-old grime. Lord, who stood a full head taller than his boss and had cascading black hair that contrasted sharply with Elmer’s baldness, waited quietly for the instructions he knew were coming. Elmer placed his tools back into his rusting little box, then looked up at the young man whose features were partially obscured by a cloak that was darker than Bantha fur.
“Wrangle up our best pilots and find our most nimble ships that are still spaceworthy. Put those Jedi flying skills to use.”
Bring out your aces! In this two-player scenario each pilot has 150 points to spend on a list.
Continue reading “X-Wing mission: Aces vs Aces”
Smoke from the still smoldering T-65 X-Wing filled the docking bay adjacent to the Steamline Space Tavern, a large barge that cruised through Hook Nebula in the galaxy’s Outer Rim. The Steamline’s owner, Lew the Hutt, had come down to the docking area to marvel at the fact that the X-Wing’s pilot, Bake Travnor, had survived his latest Tavern Wars mission.
Travnor had exited the singed Snub-fighter and was clutching the Corellian Whiskey on the rocks he’d been handed by one of the docking bay’s mechanics, who kept several bottles on hand to accommodate Travnor and other pilots who usually insisted on the booze after returning from battling over alcohol shipments to The Steamline.
“I heard you were engaged with four Scyks. I thought for sure you’d be dead – and I wouldn’t have to pay you this time,” Lew said in a loud and threateningly jocular voice that scared everyone in the area except for Travnor, the leader of the Whiskey Squadron mercenaries who flew for the large brown and green Hut.
“It was a close call, but I’m back, more or less in one piece,” said Travnor, who pulled off his helmet to reveal hair as grey as his close-cropped beard. “I’ve told you Lew, the key to winning dogfights is to make them miss more than they hit.”
After some tinkering I came up with a new talent for my local group for casual X-Wing games – the eponymous Whiskey Squadron rules. A player may spend 1 point for this: Before each defense roll, a pilot may roll one defense die. If it comes up as an evade the players shall add one extra defense die to the subsequent defense roll. This talent can be used by both named and unnamed pilots in a list.
(We still have a few stickers laying around. If you want one email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it in the mail).
Smoke from cigarras hung low around one of the tables of the Steamline Space Tavern as another round of whiskey and beer was delivered to a group of pilots back from a successful mission.
Bake Travnor, Whiskey Squadron’s leader, took a sip from his glass. Travnor worked for the owner of the Steamline, Lew the Hutt. Lew was fighting over shipments of goods with the owner of a rival Outer Rim joint, a conflict known as the Tavern Wars. Travnor scratched his grey beard as he looked over the other pilots, mostly young smugglers he had recruited. They were loudly debating the relative merits of different ships.
“I’m telling you, I’d take an Interceptor over five Ties,” said a young human named Wiley, a pilot who had made a name for himself running contraband for the remnants of what had once been the Black Sun syndicate. “Ties are no match for Interceptors.”
Travnor finished his whiskey and motioned for another.
“Interceptors are fine, yes, but unless you know what you’re doing a Tie swarm will ruin your day faster than an angry Zilo Beast.”
The pilots leaned forward, as they knew from experience that Travnor was about to walk down space battle memory lane. He told the group about the old Shadow Wing, an elite squad of Interceptor pilots operating around the time of the Battle of Endor. He described how they were ambushed by a host of Tie Fighters loyal to a rogue Imperial commander and how Shadow Wing’s superior ships were no match for the onslaught of the standard Imperial battle craft.
Travnor smiled, mostly because his drink was being refilled.
“Best not to trust in much, boys,” he said.
Continue reading “X-Wing Mission: Interceptors vs Tie Swarm”
A half-dozen pints of Andoan ale levitated inches above the long bar in a dimly lit space tavern, alternately amusing or frightening the regulars depending on their level of intoxication.
“Sarzo, stop that,” said Elmer, who operated Argy’s from a space barge stationed just outside the Aturi Cluster. “If the young Jedi Master could come here please. I pay you for your piloting and fighting skills, not to amuse the regulars.”
The glasses slowly lowered, then touched down gently on the wooden surface. Sarzo Lord, dressed in a dark brown, hooded robe, rose from his bar stool and walked over to the elderly proprietor.
“You’re crankier then Luke Skywalker was in his last years at the Jedi Praxeum,” Sarzo said.
The two humans faced each other, a study in contrasts. Sarzo Lord was 30, tall with long, black hair that touched his shoulders; Elmer was north of 70 and short. The remaining strands of grey hair on his head were sadder than most of his patrons.
“As one of the last graduates of that Jedi school you must’ve been a great disappointment to Skywalker. So many skills, yet your devotion to the bottle is as strong as your mastery of the Force.”
Sarzo laughed. “All the better for you, Elmer. What’s the next assignment?”
Elmer had hired Sarzo to be his ringer in the Tavern Wars, the ongoing conflict with a rival Outer Rim space tavern owner.
“Several enemy ships are making a delivery through the Hawkwind debris field, thinking we’d never go after them there. Take some pilots and stop them.”
Sarzo reflexively grasped the light saber at his side as he considered the mission.
“Out there you’re just as likely to be killed by a piece of space junk or an asteroid as you are by laser fire.”
Elmer cracked a toothy smile, something he rarely did.
“Just use the Force, young Jedi.”
Continue reading “X-Wing mission: Mayhem in the Hawkwind debris field”
Bake Travnor, the grey-bearded leader of Whiskey Squadron, couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“A Jedi? Elmer has a Jedi working for him?”
Travnor’s boss, Lew the Hutt, nodded his huge brown and green head as he motioned for his employee’s drink to be refilled. Lew owned the Steamline Space Tavern, and the gastropod was fighting Elmer, the owner of Argy’s Tavern, over the delivery of booze and beer to their establishments. The Outer Rim Conflict was known as the Tavern Wars.
“More of a Dark Jedi,” Lew explained with an intimidating chuckle. “Sort of grey, really. He has a bit of a drinking problem, from what I hear. You’d probably like him.”
The Hutt had an assistant bring a local star sector map over to a table in his office at the Steamline, which operated out of a large space barge. “He’s human. His name is Sarzo Lord and I’ve got a tip that he’ll be leading several ships on a delivery of Kowakian Rum to Argy’s tomorrow.”
Travnor sipped his Corellian Whiskey, then placed the glass gently on the table. The veteran pilot had spent years flying missions for the Rebellion and New Republic. He knew what Lew was going to say before the words were spoken.
“Your job, Travnor, is to stop him.”
Continue reading “X-Wing mission: A Jedi gets ambushed”
Lew the Hutt watched as Bake Travnor, drink in hand, slowly climbed the steps to the Steamline Tavern’s office, from which the enormous green gastropod could oversee operations in his joint.
Bake entered Lew’s domain and stood in his boss’s presence, sipping his Corellian Whiskey on the rocks.
“It’s all set Travnor. The dogfight will be two days from now.”
The pilot nodded. Bake was the leader of Whiskey Squadron, hired by Lew to fight the Tavern Wars against pirates and mercenaries employed by Elmer, owner of Argy’s Space Tavern. Both the Steamline and Argy’s are housed in space barges located just outside the Aturi Cluster.
Lew had placed an enormous bet with Elmer – that one of his pilots could beat Elmer’s best in a space dogfight. Bake would represent the Steamline and he had chosen, much to Lew’s annoyance, to fly a T-65 X-Wing.
“You know Elmer’s guy will be flying something fancier and faster, right?”
“I’m most comfortable in the old snubfighter. Best to stick with what you know, Lew,” Bake answered as he finished the last of his drink.
Lew laughed as he assessed his employee – well into late middle age with grey hair and a close-cropped white beard. But something about Bake’s cocky blue-eyed stare always gave the Hutt confidence.
“Win this Travnor and I’ll give you more than enough credits to pay off your gambling debts,” the Hutt said.
Continue reading “An X-Wing dogfight”
Bake Travnor scanned the empty patch of space in front of him and looked at the sensors of his T-65 snubfighter. The screens showed no threats, but the leader of Whiskey Squadron didn’t trust them. He and his wingman, Glenn Sundowner, were flying old X-Wings and the electronics were as temperamental as a drunk Wampa.
“Whiskey Two, what do your sensors show?”
“Nothing, all clear,” Sundowner reported back.
The duo were returning to the Steamline Space Tavern after escorting a shuttle carrying the previous week’s band out of the dangerous space near the Aturi Cluster, the disputed area where the Tavern Wars raged. Whiskey Squadron flew for Lew the Hutt, the Steamline’s owner, and had to be wary of ships hired by Elmer, the Argy’s Tavern boss and Lew’s rival.
Bake slowly rolled his head side to side, still hungover after finishing off the Steamline’s last bottle of Whyren’s Reserve Whiskey the night before with the band – a shoegaze rock trio from Scarif who easily matched the grizzled old pilot drink for drink.
“Aaah, incoming!” Sundowner shouted over the comm system. “I’m hit.”
Bake’s X-Wing shook violently as well as his rear shields took direct fire. He spun his head around and saw several Tie Fighters closing fast.
“I knew these sensors were off,” he said to Sundowner. “Bank right and I’ll bank left. These are Argy’s ships and there are probably more. We’ll have to out fly and out run them. Good luck. Last one back to the Steamline buys the first round.”
Continue reading “‘Bank right!’ Whiskey Squadron makes a run for it”
The smugglers and rogues who frequent Argy’s space tavern just outsisde the Aturi Cluster are not an easily rattled bunch. Seeing as how disputes over who should pay for the next round often end in blaster fights the patrons, as a general rule, let slide many things that would frighten a herd of Bantha.
It was therefore notable that an uneasy pall remained over the joint as the dozens of regulars assessed what had just happened.
“Was that really him?” asked a nervous Gamorrean, clutching his pint so tightly his green fingers turned white.
“Yeah, that was Nym,” said his drinking partner, an older Wookie. “Elmer hired him on for the next few weeks to deliver his profits to the bank. The Tavern Wars are driving old Elmer crazy – and cutting into the geezer’s profits.”
Elmer watched Captain Nym, the legendary smuggler, exit his establishment and head to his spacraft, carrying credits from the last several nights of business at Argy’s.
“Drink up,” Elmer said, his bloodshot eyes bulging more maniacally than the regulars thought possible. “I need the money more than ever if you sorry lot want to still have this place open.”
Continue reading “Captain Nym fights the Tavern Wars”
Elmer, the elderly human who owns and operates Argy’s Space Tavern just outside the Aturi Cluster, squinted his bloodshot eyes as he examined the bottle of Corellian Whiskey. The strands of white hair on the top of his head swayed like skinny, sad flags as he repeatedly checked the number of credits in the register against what was left in the bottle.
“You’ve been over pouring again,” Elmer said to the Bimm bartender who worked the dayshift. The Bimm’s floppy ears drooped toward the ground. “This stash of whiskey has to last us at least another week.”
A group of smugglers nearby laughed.
“Elmer, you could have enough whiskey to fill two Death Stars, you’d still make sure we paid for every extra shot,” said Alffik, a Zabrak smuggler who had placed his blaster next to his pint of beer.
Elmer eyed the Zabrak with annoyance. The space tavern owner knew the rogue was right but didn’t care. In a week’s time another massive shipment of whiskey and beer was due to arrive aboard a Lambda-class Shuttle. That would keep his patrons happy – and his bottom line fat – for a while. Just so long as the spirits and suds made it to Agry’s – with the Tavern Wars raging there was always a risk they could be intercepted or destroyed by ships sent by Elmer’s rival Lew the Hutt, owner of the Steamline.
Continue reading “A Lambda-class Shuttle mission”
Bake Travnor, the grey-bearded leader of Whiskey Squadron, reluctantly reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled out his glasses. As soon as he put them on several smugglers at the Steamline Space Tavern chuckled.
“Laugh all you want,” Bake said as he motioned for a fresh drink – whiskey on the rocks. “If I’m going to get Lew the Hutt’s Whyren’s Reserve delivered here I’ve got to learn to fly a K-Wing.”
When Travnor’s refill arrived he resumed studying the flight manual for the assault starfighter. In his many years as a Rebel and New Republic pilot the fifty-something Travnor had flown X-Wings, A-Wings and Y-Wings but had always avoided the bulky K-Wing.
Now Lew, the Steamline owner, had secured 10 cases of Whyren’s, the rare Correllian Whiskey. He’d also rented a K-Wing that he’d charged Travnor with flying to deliver his expensive stash. Unfortunately for Travnor Lew had spent so much on the whiskey and starfighter rental he had no money to pay for any other vessels. Travnor would have to pick up the booze and make it back on his own, knowing full well that Lew’s rival in the Tavern Wars, Elmer the Argy’s space tavern owner, would be sending ships to shoot him down.
“Oh well,” Bake said as he finished his drink. “For Whyren’s, it’s worth the risk.”
Continue reading “Mission: A K-Wing whiskey run”