19 June 2014

X-Wing Miniatures - Wave 6 - Meet the Azzameens!

Previewing an entirely hypothetical and made
up expansion pack for X-Wing Miniatures*

"As long as we stick together, we can handle anything!"
     ―Tomaas Azzameen

Otana and Sabra leaving Azzameen station. Picture from Wookiepedia.
Assuming you were born somewhere around between 85 and 95, played computed games at all and are anything of a Star Wars fan, you played and loved X-Wing Alliance! If for some reason you didn't: here is a primer...

X-Wing Alliance
Picture from Wookiepedia.
The fourth game of a series of Star Wars starfighters simulators made by LucasArts, X-Wing Alliance came after X-Wing (where you got to fly Alliance starfighters as Keyan Farlander) and TIE Fighter (where you play Maarke Steele - X-Wing Miniatures "other" TIE Advanced pilot - flying various Imperial starfighters and rising through both the Imperial Navy and in Secret Order of the Emperor ranks). X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, the third game of the series is widely decried for its lack of story driven campaign.

X-Wing Alliance introduced the Azzameen Family: the protagonist, Ace is the younger sibling of the familly and starts the campaign flying freighters for the family business Twin Suns Transport Services. The early chapters of the game focuses on the commercial rivality between the Azzameens and the Viraxo, but the spreading Civil war gradualy forces the familly to takes sides and Ace becomes an Alliance starfighter pilot. He does, however, retain close ties with his family and, in between regular combat missions for the Alliance, flies his father's old YT-2000 on family business.

I loved the campaign and the Azzameen Family quite naturally made it into my role playing game campaigns (both Star Wars and - with a Vilanized spelling, Azzamiin - Traveller) a couple of years back... Now, with my gaming group powering up for a X-Wing Miniatures campaign, I went digging for my old notes... And although, I'm definitely not the first to think about using X-Wing Alliance vessels and characters for X-Wing Miniatures, here is my take at a while Azzameen Family Expansion Pack!

Anatomy of a "large" expansion pack
Inventory of an actual upcoming expansion pack: the YT-2400 Freighter.
Picture from the manufacturer website.
So far the large extensions came with:
  • 1 large ship miniature
  • 1 unnamed and 3 named pilots
  • 11 (Lambda Shuttle) to 14 (Millennium Falcon) Upgrades
  • A stand and the various cardboard bits associated with the miniatures
  • A 4 pages booklet with 1/2 parts inventory, 1 1/2 page rules, a 1 page mission and 1 page manoeuvre table and credit
The Azzameen Family Expansion Pack
Using the above inventory as a guide to what can be put in such an expansion without modifying production (and thus retail) value, let's take a look at this hypothetical pack must-haves:
Fan made 1/270 scaled YT-2000 miniature. Designed by Jan "Laserschwert"
and 3D printed on Shapeways. Picture from Shapeways website.
  • Pilots: so far all expansions came with a given ship and pilot cards for that ship; with this pack however, I'd like to depart from the "ship centred" model and try a "organisation centred" approach... So here is the idea for the four Azzameen pilots:
    • Twin Suns Employee: an unnamed pilot flying the YT-2000
    • Ace Azzameen: a named pilot flying the YT-2000
    • Aeron Azzameen: a named pilot flying the YT-1300
    • Emon Azzameen: a named pilot flying the Firespray-31
  •  Crew Member
  • Title:
  • Other upgrades: I haven't any great ideas for family specific upgrades, but I'm sure there are plenty of generic ones (either existing or new) that could rightfully fit among this pack
  • Booklet: regular fill of inventory, rules, manoeuvre table and credit and one family centred mission
That's sticking to the 4 pilots, 12ish upgrades and 4-page booklet model. I haven't the foggiest idea on how increasing the number of pilots or the booklet page count while decreasing the number of upgrades might influence the production value... But if possible at all, my first priority (after the above must-haves) for this pack would be:
  • A fatter booklet: with a full campaign, 4 to 6 (or more!) linked scenarios à la Rebel Transport or Tantive IV expansion packs...
  • More pilots: for both the YT-2000 and other already existing ships...
    • Tomaas Azzameen flying the YT-2000
    • Olin Garn both as a YT-1300 and/or YT-2000 pilot (in his former job as a Twin Sun employee) and a X-Wing (in his new job as an Alliance fighter pilot)
    • Ace could also be made as YT-1300 pilot, just like any of the (Azzameen kids Galin, Emon, Aeron) could fly both the YT-1300 and YT-2000. I stick with Emon as the only possible Firespray pilot as it seems to be his personal ride, and with Tomaas only available as YT-2000 pilot (as the patriarch, he'd always take the Otana, the kids only getting to drive dad's ship if he's not along)
  • More upgrades:
    • Galin Azzameen as Crew Member; the way I see it, his main role in the game was Tomaas co-pilot (although he more than likely fly solo too like his siblings) so I wouldn't include him without Tomaas being available as a pilot...
    • Just like they flew both types of transport, any of the Azzameen kids could play co-pilot and be available as Crew Member
    • Sabra and Selu (YT-1300s), Andrasta (Firespray-31) and Vasudra (GR-75) title cards; although this would probably be going overboard with title cards: the various Firespray pilots all fly different named crafts but only the Slave 1 made it as a title card
    • Not sure either about what to do with the Viraxo: non of the ship they were operating is available so far (nor are they likely too without introducing a third "fringe" faction, something FFG stated they weren't planning, witch in my opinion is a good thing)
    • Same thing with Dunari: you could probably have him as a passenger, but I think it would be a stretch and the best way to use him (and the Viraxos) would be as background for a scenario or campaign...
I'll look into stats and rules for the various cards I have in mind in follow-up posts: follow this blog (or our facebook page) for more!
* So no, this post isn't official, endorsed or otherwise authorised by Fantasy Flight Game, Lucasfilm, LucasArts, The Walt Disney Company or any other evil empire nor any of their subsidiaries! It's made up, wishful thinking and all around bullshit. The "wave 6" thing started as a joke and stayed as a cheap referencing trick ;-)

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