Monday, August 13, 2007

Sand People ... Dozens of 'em!

Captain's log, stardate THX 1138... No, hang on a minute. That ain't it.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Some time after the destruction of the first Death Star, Han, Luke and Chewie were on some kind of routine mission drumming up support for the Rebellion, visiting outlying moisture farms on Tatooine and trying to persuade the occupants to turn against the Empire (I think they were portraying the whole rebellion thing like some kind of galactic version of the Countryside Alliance).

Anyway, while visiting a particular farm, who should sweep by but a patrol of the Imperial Army*, searching for rebel sympathisers. Our heroes decided to hide in order to avoid a conflict that might harm the farmers. Oh, there were some stinky Jawa scrap-merchants there, too. I think they were trying to convince the farmers that their drive needed tarmacking or something.

It was at this dramatic juncture, with the farmers nervously showing the patrol round the farm, the rebels hiding in bins, and the Jawas stealing anything not nailed down, that the tell-tale signs of an approaching sand storm began.

*Imperial Army? Never heard of them. Chronoglide claims they are real, though. He would. What a Star Wars nerd.

(Click on pics for bigger version)
So the game began. Plynkes and Sickly controlled the rebels, Jawas and farmers, Wakey the Imperials, and Chronoglide was God of the Game (or the Midi-Chlorians of the game, I suppose) as the whole thing was his show. He had had the crazy idea of using Supersystem for this Star Wars scenario, which seemed at the time like a mad-brained trick to me.

Supersystem for Star Wars? Frankly I suspect he's been at the old Psilocybin again.

Here Chrono explains to a bemused Wakey what all the various pieces of farm machinery do in the Star Wars universe. He's got a Farmers Weekly: Galactic Empire sourcebook with it all in, I'm sure.

With the storm fast approaching, everyone took cover in the buildings, or behind the great rock walls that enclose the farm buildings. Dust and sand were everywhere.

But what's this? A garbled message from the Imperial shuttle's crew, followed by sounds of violence and screaming. Under cover of the storm, those cheeky rascals the Sand People were attacking!

Jiminy! With everyone distracted by the storm, the cunning devils had sneaked right the way up to the walls, and were scaling them! (Though why they didn't just come in through the open gateway I'm not quite sure)

More of them on the other side! They exchanged shots with the panicky Jawas, who then fled, and spent the rest of the game fleeing and cowering in the corner with soiled drawers. Han, Chewie and Luke, not feeling particularly heroic today, stayed in hiding for a bit to see what the Imperials would do.

Yikes! They're coming! At this point, the Imperial Captain showed his macho prowess by gunning down five Sand People in a single turn. What a hero. I forsee a great future for him in the Imperial Army.

'Ere, what's that funny symbol at the bottom of the picture, eh?

More Sand People popped up to replace the casualties, though. It seemed like there were rather a lot of the fellows in the vicinity.

Luckily, some backup arrived in the form of a squad of Stormtroopers. But they would prove of little use, and after being shot at by some Sand People would spend the rest of the game hiding among the rocks.

Now the Imperial Captain, faced with mounting numbers of Sand People, lost his nerve and decided to try and find a hiding place to sit out the fight. Unfortunately, he opened up the storage bay where Han and Chewie were hiding. After unsuccessfully trying to persuade him that they were DEFRA Health Inspectors here because of the Foot and Mouth outbreak, they shot him in the face. Dead. Oh dear. So much for his promising career.

And so much for any cooperation between the two sides against the common barbarian foe too (I think that was Chrono's plan when he wrote the scenario). From now on it would be every man (or Wookie) for himself.

And then... Hey? What gives? Oh yeah. That's what the little symbol means. The camera was out of battery power. No more pics. Sorry, folks...

Damn, that's a shame, as in the subsequent turns even more Sand People turned up. Dozens of them, turn by turn emerging from hiding places in the sand. And Banthas, too. About eight. Well, lots anway. It was really spectacular, honest. And no CGI was involved, either.

Well this is no bloody good. We'll just have to use some old stock footage for the final scenes and hope nobody notices. Here goes...

The massive horde of Sand People attack...

Han and Luke take charge, and plan their defence of the farmstead.

An artist's impression of the light-sabre fight Luke had with a Bantha late in the game. It was really good, as you can tell from the picture.


Well, by now it was late, and several of the participants had almost as little battery power left as the camera, so we called it a night with the issue still unresolved. A somewhat unsatisfactory drawn match. We made up some twaddle about the Sand People all buggering off for reasons of superstition, or taboo, or an eclipse, or something.

Anyway, it was fun, but we were all a bit too tired to play through to the end with much gusto. Pity really, as surprisingly Supersystem seemed quite versatile enough to cope with this departure from its usual jurisdiction. I think if we had teamed up against the common foe and fought our way to the shuttle and escape it would have been a better game. But it was really funny when Sickly just killed Wakey's main character without a thought.

Oh, how we laughed.


tim said...

" much for any cooperation between the two sides against the common barbarian foe too (I think that was Chrono's plan when he wrote the scenario)."

Rule #1 of scenario design (you can pass this on to Chronoglide...) The best laid plan never survives first contact with the players!

Another great report, Mr. Plynkes!

Anonymous said...

i've learned never to plan too far ahead, as they always pull something else out of their gayon would have been nice if they'd co-operated, but this was by no means necessary for the scenario...the rebs could fly the shuttle and the farmers tra'or got dragged in as APC-by-proxy for the Imp ground pounders...

Guido said...

Thanks, Tim.

You other chap: I do wish you'd stop pulling out your Gayon helmet and flashing it around, especially when the vicar is present.

Yeah, Will.