• Jesse Abbott


I've enjoyed the Fantasy Flight Game's X-wing a lot with my two oldest sons over the last several years. At ages 12 and 10 they are finally old enough to really get into it and its only making it more enjoyable for me. We've tried some other tabletop games. Blood and Plunder is terrific, but still significantly more involved than X-wing. Heaven help me, I started building Warhammer 40K models with them, but playing that is well, lets just say I don't feel like earning a degree in order to understand the rules, which seem to update faster than I can figure them out. We've really wanted to play something about tactical combat that is as intuitive and fun as X-wing is for star fighter battles. I tested an idea with the boys a while back using grid based maps and the X-wing dice along with some Imperial Assault figures. It was a simple stand alone role playing scenario and they loved it. I thought to myself, "great!" and bought the starter set for Edge of the Empire to play with them. We had fun, but man it was so much data. They just don't want to have to understand 20 skills and special rules to do something. They just want to tell dad what they're doing and have me tell them the result and roll some dice when its necessary. So I went back to what they liked.

This time I came up with a loose campaign around it. They wanted to be bounty hunters, of course, and so I worked out an independent fringe system setting during the transition of Republic to Empire. Little do they know that I plan on confronting them with the practical struggles of citizens caught under a totalitarian government. Right now they have no qualms tracking down pirates and separatists from the clone wars. They're the bad guys right? They're young minds don't yet see that the only change from the last day of the Republic to the first day of the Empire was just a new label. I'll have them get comfortable and then start heating up that water the frog is sitting in. Can I turn my sons, who love the rebels and the Jedi into Imperial agents or will they risk their status and security to stick it to the man?

Either way its going to be fun, and I know they'll learn something about how life isn't as easy as a 20 min episode. Neither is right and wrong so clearly seen by most people in the moment of decision. First I'm going to have to teach them a few in game lessons though. Just because they're bounty hunters doesn't mean they can get away with stealing a freighter from a Hutt, crime lord, especially not the one who put the bounty out they're after. Oh if they only knew! You can probably see me gleefully rubbing my hands together, but I promise not to be too hard on them. The real challenge for me is to work out some more reliable but intuitive stats and a dice system for the tactical ground combat. X - wing rules needed minimal adaptation for space combat, but they're not translating in a useful way to ground fighting. When I work that piece out better I'll share. Below are my notes from their first game session if you're interested.

Setting the Stage...

Characters have been small time bounty hunters in Inzert system where they grew up. They are brothers and have extended family on Genedar who are in local government, military and law enforcement. Within the last few days news has reached the system of the recent Jedi betrayal of the Republic and of the end of the Clone War. The system has already seen an increase in fugitives of trade federation sympathizers and new bounties are becoming available for some of them rapidly. The local government remained out of the clone war and is still neutral, however the government is not protecting fugitives from the Republic and is permitting bounties to be processed. Normally the Inzert government issues bounties itself and does not allow outside bounties to be officially posted but an apparent agreement with the guild has enabled an exception.

Just another dusty spaceport street on another Star Wars desert world.
Hunting down Trandoshans on planet Duox.

Encounter 1...

Brothers and bounty hunters Erik and Sorlon took a gig with the local bounty hunter guild Inzert for the elimination of three Trandoshan's selling spice out of a frieghter on the systems second planet, Duox. The pair past on other higher paying bounty's that required the capture and survival of targets in favor of the simpler task of elimination. The guild's bounty coordinator, Solik, a human female, informed the two that while the bounty was officially sanctioned by the Inzert republic she suspected it was most likely posted by a corrupt official on behalf of criminal competitors. The pair agreed to the bounty less a fee for using the guilds YT-2400 to reach the target. The Inzert bounty hunter guild has a small selection of transport and fighter spacecraft that it leases to hunter's for an increased cut of collected bounties. Since there was no indication that they target was likely to leave Duox the brothers landed at the same spaceport and began trying to locate the three Trandoshans. The docking bay they were directed to was only 2 bays over from the targets docking bay. They left the ship and began walking that way. Taking in a fairly croweded diirt street with plastered windowless and duracrete buildings that were largely connected except for occasional alleys. An alley intersected the broad street that turned left to the target's docking bay. A bar sat at this corner with a flashing sign to indicate the business. Other doors along the cities walls were not clearly marked but pedestrians came and went from them. Approaching the alley three armed wookies exited and turned left away from the brothers, who stopped to watch what they did. The wookies stopped in front of the bar door and spoke briefly before two went inside and the third walked further down the street to a used speeder lot. The brothers entered the last door on their left before reaching the alley. Upon entry they pair of bounty hunters found themselves in a small foyer with a door to the right that had individuals seated apparently waiting. Across the door from the foyer a protocol droid greeted them from behind a half wall. The droid looked up from a data terminal and greeted them. "Welcome to Doctor Dune's, how may I be of service to you?" Sorlon requested to see the doctor hoping they could pass through the waiting room and out a back door into the alley. The droid dutifully asked for an appointment. Sorlon explained that he did not have one but really just wanted to pass through the waiting room and into the back. The droid politely informed him that he would need an appointment in order to be permitted into the treatment facility. Thats when Sorlon pointed his blaster at the droid and demanded he open the door. The startled droid let out a cry before activating the security glass in front of him. A blast resistant barrier slammed down before the droid fumbled for a commlink contacting security forces. Erik grabbed his brother by the arm, and dragged him back out onto the main thoroughfare. There was an subdued but angry exchange between Erik and Sorlon. The older Erik chastised his brother for being impulsive and risking drawing attention, while the younger Sorlon threatened to blow upt the medical office if he wasn't permitted through. They agreed to get out of the street before security personnel showed up and figured they might as well see if the wookies were in the bar meeting with their targets. They split up at the alley and Sorlon walked down it and into a side door to the bar. Erik entered through the main door on the main street. Another protocol droid greeted him from a foyer, more open than the last, and asked if he could get him a table. Erik declined stating that he was meeting someone. The Trandoshans or Wookies were not immediately visible. As they walked around the establishment a astromech that had entered just behind Sorlon approached the bar and squawked at the bartender. The bartender nodded with familiarity and brought out a food container that he held over the bar as the droid dropped a few credits from a small claw arm. The droid took food and the bartender set a drink carrier containing three beverages on top of the box then nodded to the droid again as it headed back to the alley door and he picked up his credit. Erik contacted Sorlon and told him about the astromech droid leaving with three drinks and food. They agreed there was a good chance it was going to their targets and followed it. Before leaving they noted two wookies waiting at a table.

The gunfight got a little complicated when Wookie thugs and a security droid team showed up.

Sure enough the droid headed down the alley to the landing bay. Poking their heads in the bay foot entrance no one was visible but the droid who was moving to the open ramp of a yt1300. The brothers were convinced they had found their three targets together and moved in. Halfway to the ramp of the ship the droid descended again without its cargo and seeing them squawked and alarm and hurried back up the ramp. The brothers gave chase and set foot on the ramp just as it started to close. Inside the beeps and squaks of the droid were drowned out by the hiss and roar of trandoshans. The nearest roar came from the cockpit and the brothers turned toward it. Sure enough a Trandoshan was rushing down the cockpit's neck with his heavy blaster. Before he new what was happening Erik triggered his flamethrower spraying liquid fire into the corridor. The target was close enough to Erik that it dove beneath the spray and managed to only mildly singe its flight suit. Sorlon, desperate to kill something after the droid had angered him, shot the sprawled Trandoshan in the back as it scrambled towards them away from the flames. Recoiling from the shots it tried desperately to get a shot off but only managed a glancing hit off of Erik's leg armor. A second squirt of fire from his flamethrower set the alien into a shriveling screeching mess as the corridor began filling with smoke. Turning out of the cockpit corridor Sorlon identified the droid accessing a comms terminal and blasted it through the dome, sending its sparking carcass across the lounge area. At the same time Erik turned toward the sound of heavy reptilian feet coming from the rear of the vessel and pulled the trigger on his flamethrower as soon as the first was visible around the curved corridor. Both remaining Trandoshans were together and immediately engulfed in flames. The entire ship was filling with smoke quickly and Erik hit the ramp open. Leaving the smoking interior the brothers saw the three wookies blocking the only entrance to the hangar. A standoff briefly ensued until security droids arrived behind the wookies. For reasons unkown the wookies fired on the droids eliminating one immediately. Using stun grenades and a stun blaster the brothers subdued all three wookes and Sorlon finished off the remaining security droid. Erik triggered the yt-1300's fire suppression system from the landing bay's control room and they quickly looted the wookies, gaining some credits, fragmentation grenades and a grenade launcher. Despite being quick they did not have time to leave the landing bay before a large number of security droids were observed marching down the alley toward them.

Local security reinforcements showed up forcing the bounty hunters to make off in their targets' YT-1300 freighter.

Leading them was the formerly threatened protocol droid belonging to Doctor Dune. The brothers fled back to the yt-1300 and closed the ramp behind them. The interior of the ship wreaked of smoke and burnt flesh and was covered in white fire suppressant foam and dust. Despite the mess the ship was still powered. Sorlon wanted to use the ship's turrets to destroy the droids, but Erik didn't give him a chance, lifting the ship off. The spaceport's flight control contacted him demanding the vessel land and request a scheduled departure. Despite the warning of violations and potential collisions Erik continued his plan and left the security droids behind in a cloud of dust. The droids busied themselves arresting the three stunned wookies. Keeping low over the port Erik, opened the ramp again and instructed his brother to jump out onto the top of the guilds yt-2400. Sorlon obliged and miraculously waited for proper authorization to depart. He was informed by flight control that there was a security emergency and he waited patiently for it to be cleared before lifting off. Meanwhile Erik sped away from the spaceport as quickly as possible. A pair of z-95s were scrambled from the navy station in the port but not in time to close with him. The brothers both eventually made microjumps at light speed to meet up above the stellar plane and away from space lane traffic to go through their stolen ship and decide what to do with it.A few credits weapons and data cards were all they found beside rations and several crates of spice. By their rough estimations the spice was worth more than the ship itself. They knew they still had to collect their bounty, and that meant bringing back the yt-2400 soon, but they were tempted to try and cash in on the trandoshan ship and illicit goods. Perhaps they could find a solution on the lawless and asteroid poxed world of Kes nearby.

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