The cards from the Sabacc dealer landed in front of Bake Travnor with a clicking sound that reminded the grizzled pilot of whiskey knocking ice cubes together in a glass. Travnor finished the drink in front of him and caught the bartender’s eye for another. Not for nothing was the mercenary crew he led called Whiskey Squadron.
Travnor would wait for his next round to arrive before he looked at his cards. On the table before him were all the credits he’d earned on the latest successful mission flying for the Steamline Tavern. The weekly Sabacc game at the tavern in a space barge cruising through the Outer Rim was organized by Lew the Hutt, Steamline owner and Travnor’s boss.
If the turn of these new cards was friendly, the grey-bearded pilot would have enough credits to buy just about anything he pleased. But if he lost this hand he’d be in hock to Lew yet again, meaning his time as a pilot for hire in the Tavern Wars would continue to stretch on.
Do you fancy injecting even more chance into a game of X-Wing? Here’s a fun option for casual games.
Grab one standard, 52-card Poker deck and be sure to include the two Jokers. Before your X-Wing game shuffle the deck at the same time the players shuffle their damage decks. Play the game as usual, but each time a player’s ship reaches half points, draw the top card off the Poker deck. If the card drawn is an Ace of Clubs, an 8 of Clubs or an 8 of Spades, that ship receives another face down damage card. If the card drawn is the Ace of Spaces or one of the two Jokers, the ship is destroyed. If any other card is drawn nothing happens. Put drawn cards to the side of the main Poker deck during the game.
Now, why are the black Aces and 8s the unlucky cards along with the Jokers here? ‘Black Aces and 8s’ is the traditional ‘Dead Man’s hand.’ That is reportedly the hand ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok was holding when he was shot and killed during a card game in 1876 in Deadwood, South Dakota.
So grab a glass of your favorite tipple, put the plastic space ships on the table and try your luck at X-Wing Dead Man’s Hand!
The pilots of Whiskey Squadron could tell by the look on Bake Travnor’s grey stubbled face that their leader was not bringing good news along with the pitcher of Jawa beer he was carrying. The older pilot placed the grog in the middle of the table at the Steamline Tavern, a drinking establishment housed in a space barge cruising through the lawless Outer Rim of the galaxy.
“What is this swill?” asked Howe Hackett, one of the young pilots Travnor had recruited to help the Steamline side in the Tavern Wars, an ongoing dispute over supply shipments with a nearby rival space boozer. “Jawa beer may be fine on Tatooine, but isn’t their anything better behind the bar?”
Travnor’s dour expression didn’t change as he filled the squad’s glasses.
“Get used to it for now boys,” he said. “Lew says he’s short on funds. No fancy beer, and, more worryingly, no new astromechs, missiles or other toys until we successfully guard a few more supply runs from enemy attacks.”
Lew the Hutt was the joint’s owner, and all the pilots knew better than to bring their complaints to the angry green giant. Whiskey Squadron sipped their beers slowly, knowing the perils of mercenary life were now even more dangerous.
Continue reading “Skint: X-Wing with no upgrades”
The young pilot placed the empty beer mug down on the bar at the Steamline Space tavern, his hand as shaky as if he held a malfunctioning light saber. Bake Travnor waved for another round for the kid, who had just finished his fourth glass of Thuris Stout.
“I’m telling you Bake, they came out of nowhere. Tie Fighters behind us and a big Tie Defender dead ahead. There was nothing we could do.”
Travnor had been debriefing the pilot, the only survivor of the ambush. The attack was the latest clash in the Tavern Wars, an ongoing fight between two rival owners of bars that operated from separate barges in the lawless Outer Rim. Travnor led Whiskey Squadron, the mercenaries who guarded shipments and waged battles on behalf of the owner of the Steamline. Travnor’s boss, Lew the Hutt, would not be pleased about this setback.
“I can’t believe Agry’s got ahold of a Defender. Those things are pricey,” Travnor said as he sipped his whiskey. “But what has me most worried is someone obviously tipped them off to our flight route.”
The older pilot scanned the dark bar, barely able to see to the end through the smoke from cigarettes and cigars that rose slowly to the ceiling. Someone had sold them out. And in a joint with more scoundrels than saints, finding the culprit wouldn’t be easy.
Continue reading “X-Wing solo mission: Surrounded”