Even with casual pick-up tabletop games, I like to have a little bit of story mixed in so I don't feel that we're just pushing a bunch of game pieces around a tabletop. Maybe it's just the die-hard RPGer in me, but I like a bit of story to get my imagination into the game.
Over at afewmaneuvers.com some of us have come up with backstories to the units we're playing. Anyone else doing this?
Anyhoo, the wookieepedia.com write up about Imperial flight schools (found here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Flight_school ) based on Star Destroyers and sending fresh-out-of-the-academy TIE pilots into combat captured my imagination, so here's the backstory to my unit:
731st TIE Fighter Wing: “The Vornskrs”
The 731st is actually an Imperial pilot combat flight school based on the Super Star Destroyer Prowler. As such, it typically includes a large number of pilots fresh from the central Imperial Naval Academy. Imperial pilots are often enrolled in the 731st in order to get their first taste of real space combat. The SSD Prowler therefore ruthlessly roams the galaxy hunting down pirate and Rebel ships on which to unleash its eager, young pilots.
Darth Vader was present for this flight school’s two inaugural combat missions, in which eleven Rebel starfighters were destroyed (several by Lord Vader himself) for the loss of only six TIE Fighters. Though the Imperial pilots were less experienced than the Rebels and flew in cheaper, less powerful machines, the Imperials outnumbered the Rebels three and two fold respectively and the results seemed to fully validate the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.
VS-11-4, nicknamed “Blazer”, is typical of the young, bloodthirsty pilots of the 731st. He is human and comes from a mainly human planet which has greatly benefited from the forced labour provided by the enslavement of many non-human sentient beings across the galaxy. He has been fully indoctrinated by Imperial propaganda to believe that the Emperor is rightfully enforcing peace, order, and justice on a violent, uncivilized, and untamed galaxy. Like all the pilots in the 731st, he is more than willing to die and to kill in the glorious name of the Empire.
731st Imperial Flight School, "The Vornskrs":
Forces: 1 TIE Advanced, 1 TIE Interceptor, 10 TIE Fighters
6 Victories, 1 Defeat, 0 Draws
Kills: 11 X-Wings, 4 Y-Yings, 3 TIE Advanced, 8 TIE Fighters
Losses: 20 TIE Fighters
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Nice flavor! I was planning on coming up with a similar re-skinning of my Rebel Force basing the pilots on friends from my LFGS. I used to do this for my old Warhammer 40K armies so why not do it for X-Wing.
While the flavor of the game is awesome, pitting Luke and Vader against each other, I want to get people involved in league play at my LFGS and this is a great way to get people invested emotionally in their squads.
I was thinking about doing the same thing, in a quiet sector of the galaxy, with fresh pilots lead by a more experienced squadron leader and his wingman.
They'd gain experience by going on and surviving sorties, destroying enemy spacefighters, etc.
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