The Imperial officer braved the bitterly cold gale force winds of the ice world of Rhen Var, stepping out of his command centre stationed amongst the towering ancient Jedi temples. Planetary sensors had picked up something entering orbit, but once within the atmosphere tracking the targets had been sketchy at best. The density of the airborne ice and snow meant all but the strongest sensor sweeps were next to useless, and that same snow and ice made visual scanning next to impossible. All the same he brought his macrobinoculars to his face, this would shield it somewhat from the wind if nothing else, and proceeded to scan the valley ahead beyond the harbour. He swept from right to left, and then pulled back. He thought he'd seen just a hint of movement in the distance. Increasing magnification on that area he saw more shadows of motion amongst the swirling ice and snow. The game was afoot. He calmly lowered his binoculars and keyed his comlink on.
"Mobilise all Firehawke tank divisions. It would appear we have company."
The commander had not been happy with his posting to this backwater world so far from the action, babysitting a bunch of scientists at a remote research station, but this day could prove most interesting.
ROUND 1: RHEN VAR RESEARCH FACILITY
A seasoned Rebel strike force sought to infiltrate and secure an Imperial research station on the remote ice world of Rhen Var. Securing a compound in the south for use as a staging area they pushed north through tight mountain passes to the station's sister compounds, initially meeting with some resistance but successfully securing the next of these installations. However they came unstuck when the defending Imperial snowtroopers mounted an impressive counterattack as the Rebels attempted to push through another mountain pass on the way to the final compound. They successfully outflanked the Rebel troops and re-secured the second installation erecting impressive defensive weapons emplacements that made it all but impossible for the Rebels to successfully invade again. Now that the advantage of surprise was lost, the Rebels had to cut their losses and retreat in the face of insurmountable odds.
ROUND 2: RHEN VAR ICE PLAINS
Dropping vehicles close to an Imperial installation under the cover of the vicious weather conditions of Rhen Var, a Rebel tank division engaged in a bold full frontal assault on the Imperial forces stationed at an ancient Jedi temple in the region. The Imperials were ready and deployed their superior at long range Firehawke heavy tanks around the valley approach to the temple complex. The resulting kill zone was lethal for the advancing Rebel armoured forces who were torn to pieces by the Firehawke's devastating long range weapons. Even support from the longer range Mortar Freerunner's couldn't break up the Imperial's solid defence. However the Imperial forces' overconfidence proved to be a weakness. Pushing too far forward they left their flanks exposed allowing speedy APC Freerunners to break through their lines in an effort to secure the tactically valuable harbour and temple complexes. Taken initially by surprise the Imperial armour divisions were slow to react and the harbour was taken. The Rebel forces made it to the temple, but by this point it was too little too late, the Imperial's defending the area regrouped, and the Rebel forces weakened so much by the earlier onslaught were now no match for the awesome firepower of the Firehawke tanks, and were finally wiped out on the steps of the Jedi temple.
ROUND 3: ESCAPE FROM HOTH
Following a devastating attack on their primary base in the region, Rebel space forces lift off from the icy world of Hoth to evade capture by the Imperial ground forces, but it isn't over yet. The Imperial starfleet lies in wait in orbit. A planetary ion cannon fires to clear a corridor through which to escape, but still one huge Imperial Star Destroyer lies in their path. Main systems have been disabled by the powerful ion cannon blasts, but the mighty cruiser's systems are starting to come back on line. To have any hope of escape the Rebel space forces must knock out the Star Destroyer's remaining weapons to clear a path for the Galofree transports to escape. Y-wing starfighters swoop over the surface of the Imperial warship, their target the lethal heavy turbolasers mounted on the ventral hull, but are faced with stiff opposition from Imperial TIE fighters. The Rebel transports move in in pairs covering each other, equipped with anti-starfighter quad laser cannon batteries and enhanced shielding they speed towards the crippled Star Destroyer, and the freedom of open space beyond. But as the first pair come into range the captain spots a fatal error. One of the heavy turbolasers is still operational, before he can do anything lethal blasts of emerald green laserfire tear through the ship's shields and hull and in moments all aboard are lost. The second transport avoids the fiery destruction of it's sister ship and uses it for cover and speeds past the Imperial cruiser and successfully makes the jump to hyperspace. The second wave have a more difficult time of it, crossing over the hull of the Star Destroyer to get to the specified jump co-ordinates they stray too close and are ironically disabled by the Star Destroyer's own ion cannon fire. The remaining turbolasers and Imperial TIE Bombers make short work of both the remaining transports resulting in a dark day indeed for the Rebellion.
So with two rounds completed the Rebels after a strong first round find themselves totally defeated in the second, meaning that after having an early lead the Imperials have now taken that lead from them with the scores now standing at 34 to the Imperials and 20 to the Rebels. Quite close and early days yet anyway, so anything could still happen. We hope to see more players in the coming weeks, so if you haven't joined up already get involved and sign up here:
Until next time,
May the Force be with you.