An X-Wing mission inspired by Wraith Squadron

(Updated squad point totals for Second Edition)

A half dozen pilots clustered at the far end of the bar at the Steamline Space Tavern waiting to hear more from Bake Travnor, the leader of Whiskey Squadron. Bake caught the eyes of Dans, the two-headed Troig bartender, and motioned for another round for the crew. A glass of Correllian Whiskey, on the rocks, was placed on the wood bar before Bake. He scratched his beard, which was as grey as a T-65 Snubfighter, then took a sip.

“What’s the best shot you ever saw Bake?” asked Morto Lesky, a young smuggler recently recruited by Bake to work for Lew the Hutt during the Tavern Wars. Bake, who flew missions for 25 years for the Rebellion and New Republic, appreciated that his reputation preceded him with the youngsters but knew that part of the reverence was simply because he was old. He downed the rest of his drink.

“I didn’t see this, it happened before I joined Wraith Squadron,” Bake said as the pilots leaned closer.

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Mission: Whisky Squadron flies into an ambush

The smugglers and other assorted riffraff at Argy’s space tavern gripped their drinks nervously. Elmer, the elderly human owner of the joint on the edge of the Aturi Cluster, was smiling. The Argy’s regulars were used to many things – surly service, bands that didn’t play in tune, clouds of cigarette smoke so thick that sometimes the bar itself was veiled behind choking fog – but a happy Elmer was not something they were prepared for.

Finally a particularly bold Abyssin, who was the first mate on a transport that ferried bar food to Argy’s, spoke.

“Good news Elmer?” the green, one-eyed creature asked.

Elmer, who was rail thin and hunched over, opened his bloodshot eyes nearly as wide as an Ion Cannon.

“I’ve laid a trap for Whiskey Squadron,” Elmer explained, chuckling in a way that reminded the Abyssin of the sounds a malfunctioning hyperdrive makes. “I’ll get the best of Lew the Hutt in the Tavern Wars yet.”

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Whiskey Squadron versus the YV-666

The lumbering space freighter grew ever larger as the two T-65 X-Wings sped toward it.

“It seems a shame to destroy that thing since it’s filled with beer,” said Arlo Durkan as he assessed the YV-666, which looked to him like an angry whale.

“Stay focused Whiskey Two,” said Bake Travnor. “If we blow that bucket out of space we’ll be drinking for free at the Steamline Tavern and Lew the Hutt will pay us handsomely.”

Bake was the leader of Whiskey Squadron, employed by Lew the Hutt to help wage the Tavern Wars. Lew owned the Steamline and his rival Elmer, owner of Argy’s space tavern, had a huge shipment of kegs aboard the YV-666. Whiskey Squadron was tasked with making sure it never made it to the thirsty Argy’s patrons.

“Roger that Whiskey One. But you know, most squadrons have 12 ships. We scrambled so fast it’s just you and me against this big ugly.”

Bake checked his sensors then cast a wary eye around their target.

“Stay on my wing Whiskey Two. We need to concentrate our fire. And be alert. I bet a bottle of Correllian whiskey this guy has a small fighter nearby flying escort.”

Mission Setup:

(Updated Squad Points for Second Edition)

Steamline (Whiskey Squadron rules*): 75 squad points. Must have two small ships.

Argy’s: 70 squad points. Must have 1 YV-666 and one small ship (Suggested list below**).

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X-Wing solo mission: Blast the jammer

(Updated squad point totals for Second Edition)

Elmer, owner of Argy’s space tavern, has deployed a communications jammer that has disrupted all signals to the Steamline Tavern. The Steamline is owned by Elmer’s rival in the Tavern Wars, Lew the Hutt. Now the Steamline’s juke box won’t work and, most annoyingly for Lew, he can’t access information about the bar tabs owed by the many smugglers who frequent his joint. Lew has dispatched ships to destroy the jammer in the container near the space taverns. Pilots hired by Elmer will try to stop them.

Mission Setup:

Steamline (Solo player): 95 squad points. (Must have two ships).

Argy’s (AI): 135 squad points.  (Must have three ships.).

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The joys of simple X-Wing lists

Fresh off a shuttle that had stopped at the Steamline Space Tavern to refuel the Bith walked to the bar and sat down. Dans, the two-headed Troig bartender, asked the traveler what he was drinking.

“I’d like a Ramble Blaster, with a cucumber wedge instead of an olive,” the Bith said, wearing a black turtleneck and looking slightly out of place at the remote saloon outside the Aturi Cluster.

“A Ramble Blaster,” said Dans from his left head, annoyed and amused at the same time. “Where do you think you are? At some royal function. A Ramble Blaster is one shot of sloe gin from Coruscant aged in oaken barrels and a jigger of sweet vermouth from Mon Cala, shaken with six ounces of tonic.”

Several patrons at the long,  horseshoe-shaped wooden bar, mostly smugglers at varying levels of sobriety, laughed.

“What would you suggest?” the Bith asked meekly.

“Whiskey on the rocks,” Dans’ right head said as he reached for a bottle of cheap booze. “Since the Tavern Wars began everybody has had to make do with less.”

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Making do with less is one of the fun parts of running X-Wing missions with 50 or 75 points. A standard 100-point squad list is cool, too, obviously. But at times playing with myriad upgrades, astromechs and elite pilot skills gets cumbersome and confusing. When you’ve only got a few points to spend you have to pick your additions wisely. It also makes each round faster and more focused on the flying.

Below are three of our favorite 50-point lists, one for each faction:

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Band on the run – clear debris

Elmer has hired plutonium rock band Disaster Area to play at Argy’s but the route to the space tavern is blocked with debris. The Argy’s owner needs pilots to blast the debris into oblivion so the band’s spaceship can make it to the venue. The Disaster Area vessel is, of course, large, packed with amps, instruments and the band’s personal stash of spirits. Pilots hired by Lew the Hutt from the Steamline will be trying to destroy the Argy’s ships, just one of the hazards of bar ownership during the Tavern Wars.

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The Basics (Tavern rules)

The X-Wing missions in Tavern Wars are designed to be played quickly:

Round time is 50 minutes, to be played on a 3′ by 3′ battle mat.

For a two-player skirmish each person picks either Argy’s or The Steamline to represent. Squads are 150 (Second Edition) points a side, depending on mission specifics.

Argy’s players may use Force abilities, and pilots but Steamline players cannot.  Steamline players may use Whiskey Squadron special rules.

For solo play, pick a 125-point squadron. The AI gets a 150-point squadron. (This usually means the live person gets 2 ships while the AI plays with 3).

There’s no prohibition against having squad lists made up of ships from different factions, though generally players stick to one.

Minimum of 2 obstacles, maximum of 4, depending on player preference or mission specifics.

The winner: A) Destroys all enemy ships.  B) Completes the mission objective. C) Destroys the most points by the end of the round if neither A nor B is accomplished.

 

Tavern Wars: The Beginning

Just outside the Aturi Cluster, on the rim of the Hook Nebula, there are two space taverns. The Steamline and Argy’s operate within large space barges. The two hulking vessels can accommodate about 500 drinkers each. The patrons are mostly smugglers, though Rebel and Imperial pilots or shuttle crews looking for a stiff belt and a meal from the joints’ surprisingly good kitchens frequent the operations as well.

Given the remote location keeping the establishments’ beer, ale and booze inventories stocked is a constant problem. For many years The Steamline and Argy’s cooperated and tried to coordinate deliveries from the best smugglers in the galaxy, who were also some of their most enthusiastic regulars. But in 31 ABY – 3308 in the Lothal Calendar – Steamline owner Lew the Hutt and Elmer, the human who runs Argy’s, got into a nasty feud over the annual inter-tavern darts championship. Lew said Elmer used Sullustan ringers to win the coveted Hook Cup, violating an unwritten rule that contestants had to be picked from the six drunkest customers at each respective bar on the day of the competition.

Thus began the Tavern Wars.

The Steamline and Argy’s bosses now compete violently over the delivery of spirits, with each employing pilots to get shipments to their respective watering holes. There has been much death and destruction and, most tragically, a sharp rise in drink prices.