Saturday, 27 July 2019

Galactic Heroes - A New Hope

Well, not exactly a replay of the entire film, but A New Hope for my old Star Wars figures. I've been mulling over what to do with my old Micro Machines Star Wars figures for some time, their last outing was over ten years ago with 'Square Wars'. Digging around on the internet I came across a free set of SW rules called 'Galactic Heroes' which in no way infringe any IP rights of either LucasArts nor the commercial game of the same name. No siree. Anyway, they looked like fun and I had the toys so off we went to a Galaxy far, far away.

We had five players to defend the rebellion, Tim, John, Jerry, Diego and Graham.

The lush world of Dantooine. Imperial forces are up to no good and our brave band of Galactic Heroes need to stop them. Points of interest and Imperial activity are indicated by the tasteful poker chips scattered around.

Each player selects a band of characters of varying characteristics (Jedi, troopers, droids etc) up to a set points value (six in this case) and then moves onto the table, trying to collect as many tokens as possible. This stage of the game involved a certain degree of hilarity as we went round the table repeatedly selecting one character at a time and there was a degree of tussling for the limited supply of speeders and droids, with Jerry insisting on picking ones of the same colour.

There is a chip under this X-Wing crashed in a swamp. Each chip can be one of four things, an ambush (Imperial patrol), credits (supplies or whatever), a trap (an essential feature of the SW universe), or a Boss (Darth Vader in this case). Bosses are up to some nefarious plot.

The terrain here is all stuff I already had, the X Wing is a cheap toy from Japan.

Vaders TIE Fighter on its base. There is chip under it too. The bunkers in the distance are painted spice pots. The TIE is also a Japanese toy.

A power generator, just the sort of thing for General Veres to blow up. This was made from a plastic light bulb holder.  The building in the middle distance is a proper Star Wars building which John acquired as part of a job lot of SW stuff.

Johns party, Obi Wan, Leia and C3P0. We used Johns character figures in the main as they are based whereas mine aren't.  Poor old C3P0 has discovered some Storm Troopers, but both Leia and Obi Wan are in blaster/force range respectively, so can help out. Protocol droids like this are cheap but can't attack. They make useful scouts and get bonuses on rescuing people from traps.

One of Grahams troopers finds some Stormtroopers in a wood. This trooper has one of the the speeders (allowing a double move). 

Tim had Han Solo, balanced on the back of a speeder. Han got lucky on his first chip, which turned out to be pile of credits. 

Diegos Chewie unfortunately fell into a trap while investigating this Hab. Jerry despatched R2 to try and rescue him (and nab the chip too). 

Leia and C3P0 cautiously approach a ridge.

Chewbacca managed to escape, and just in time as Han had run onto an Imperial patrol.

Leia was right to be cautious, Vader was lurking on the ridge. He had previously escaped and was now worth two chips.

A flurry of blaster shots and the arrival of Obi Wan saw Vader disappear off somewhere. The local fauna came to investigate (£1 dinosaurs). 

Han meanwhile was up in the mountains, after a rather inaccessible chip. These are profile mountains I made years ago, based on designs from the old Major General site.

The chip turned out to be a trap, and Han was stuck in a cave by this huge plastic Dinosaur. Evidently dinosaurs can climb on Dantooine.

Meanwhile Chewie had discovered that Vaders TIE Fighter was actually Vaders fighter.... Oooer.

One of Grahams troopers also fell into a trap, not that this building looks in any way suspicious or sinister. This is a yoghurt pot sprayed satin black and adorned with creepy red vision slits (which don't show at all in the photos). 

Obi Wan and C3P0 went to investigate this power generator, finding a pile of useful supplies.

R2D2 had meanwhile rescued Han and was wondering how to get down off the mountains. Below, Orange Suit guy checked out the other power generator.

Han went after another mountain chip and discovered a group of Imperial Army mountain troops. Torrents of blaster fire went back and forth.

R2 meanwhile rolled up to rescue Grahams character. Droids get bonuses on rescue attempts. As chips were getting a bit short, lots of other characters were closing in to help too.

The area was largely clear of Imperials now. Vader had flown off in his TIE and the rest of the characters converged on the last chip (Han Solos mountain firefight).

Orange Suit Guy helped Han out and the last Imperials were eliminated, so the game was over.

When the final scores were totted up, John had a very creditable five, but Tim had pipped everyone with six so was declared the winner. Jerry, despite sending R2 here there and everywhere on rescue missions, only came away with one.

Well, that was a huge amount of fun. The game is ludicrously simple, yet the combination of player interaction, unexpected events, a certain degree of competitiveness coupled with daft scenery and toys all blended into am exuberantly enjoyable experience with a believable (in context) narrative.

I expect we'll be having another outing in the not too distant future, but I've got a bit more painting to do first. I take my hat off to Sean Patten for a brilliant game design, far better than my old 'Square Wars'. Galactic Heroes can be found here: 

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