Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Another FUBAR scenario: SW Mos Eisley

Stormtrooper patrol in Mos Eisley
So far Steve and I have had a couple of try outs of the FUBAR rules, but for our third game we thought we'd return to the Star Wars Universe and test them in a different way. This time we went for a multi-player skirmish game. The test was to see if FUBAR rules could handle a multi-player action and with just a couple of units per player and whether they would survive long enough to have an enjoyable game. We opened it up as a participation game and three other guys joined in.

I did a long scenario write-up for this game, which I will post elsewhere. Basically it was based around the Mos Eisley scenes in the first Star Wars film (ie. Episode IV). Obi Wan, Luke and the droids had to slip into Mos Eisley evade the Imperial Patrols, meet Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Cantina in the centre of the table, then make it to Dock 93 in the opposite corner of the table and take off in the Millenium Falcon. As a sub-plot a band of Jawas had a cargo of droids to bring into town to exchange with a band of Smugglers for a cargo of weapons. To really mix things up every one also had at least one gang of Fringers, and Jabba the Hutt had some extra tough 'bounty hunters' as well. Each Fringer gang had a hide-out or two with a 'cache' of money there. The Imperial player not only found it difficult to activate his units initially, but also anyone else could try and activate them, particularly if a fire-fight broke out, when the Stormtroopers could be expected to intervene to restore 'order'. Fringer's could attempt to rob the Jawa, Smugglers or each other. The Cantina was a 'safe' area, but individual Fringers could start 'challenges' ie. fights there.
Whole game board at start of play
The game opened with Obi Wan attempting to slip in but getting stopped by a patrol of Stormtroopers. Fortunately a Jedi Mind trick was available to get them past. One party of Jabba the Hutt's Fringers started sidling up to the smugglers unloading their cargo and another moved towards the Jawas.. The Jawas in the whole 'Keystone cops' spirit of the game ran into the centre of town, only to find their Sandcrawlers failed to activate and they had to run back towards them. A gang of Fringers allied with the Smugglers conceived the idea of 'car-jacking' Luke's speeder, but thought better of it when a second Stormtrooper patrol stopped the Speeder and Obi Wan drew out his light sabre and 'sliced and diced' virtually the whole patrol. Instead the Fringers decided to charge across to one of Jabba the Hutt's hide-outs and killing all but one of the Fringers there came close to stealing their 'cache'. Meanwhile Steve (who was also controlling the good guys) used his gang of Fringers in a non-too subtle diversion by firing on a patrol of Imperial Stormtroopers. When they were close enough one gang of Jabba's Fringer's charged half the Smuggler gang killed them all in close assault and started trying to steal their cargo. Another of Jabba's gang emerged from the leaky chemical factory and attacked the Jawas. Alerted by the drawing of a light sabre, an Imperial Speeder was successfully activated zipped across the board with its impressive 36" move and totalled the good guys' speeder with some cannon fire. The good guys all bailed out stunned (ie. suppressed). Obi and Luke just about made it into the Cantina to bluff Han Solo that they really would get paid, honest, despite not having a speeder to sell, and Han and Chewie set off to get the Millenium Falcon read for take-off. The Jawas having initially had the worst of the fire-fight with a virtually whole band killed or suppressed made a come back when a second band of Jawas wiped out a group of Jabba's Fringers. Various patrols of Imperial Stormtroopers ran back and forth responding variously to other players activations getting them involved in firefights between Fringers, and the Imperial player (me) trying to get them in position to stop Obi Wan, Luke and Han Solo etc..
"These are not the droids you are looking for", Steve plays a Jedi Mind Trick and swaps places with his speeder with a 'civilian' character to avoid being stopped by a Stormtrooper patrol

At this point we ran out of time, but all agreed it had been a great laugh and a suitable 'simulation' of the 'hive of scum and villany' that was Mos Eisley. The Scenario Rules had been fairly complex and for three of the players this was their first game of FUBAR, but most had got the hang of it by the end. It was a bit tricky operating the FUBAR rules for multiple players - for simplicity we only made one initiative roll at the start of the turn and then let players try and activate in turn following a clockwork direction around the table, but as players frequently failed to activate it very much randomised the order of play, and with a bit of familiarity we  started getting each turn completed in a reasonable amount of time, albeit didn't get through that many turns. We really pushed the rule envelopes in some respects - units could have mixed morale ratings - activating on the highest morale rating in the group but rating for suppression etc. on the most common, so Veterans could lead a bunch of Seasoned troopers/Fringers. Units were also allowed to split up or join together in the course of the game. This worked very well and meant high level heroes and villains might have to split from their parties or sneak off deserting them.

I was particularly pleased with the Mos Eisley town that I knocked up in just three days for the game, out of computer packing, old biscuit trays, egg boxes, and some cork tile buildings which were extremely quick to make and will serve me in plenty more middle eastern  (with the simple domes made from tennis balls) or 'Mexican'-style adobe buildingsWild West games. The cork tile buildings have already seen service in another club member's Sudan game! All in all it showed how effective simply painting and dry brushing stuff in the same colours can be in bringing something together.

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