Leaning heavily on his gnarled glistening obsidian cane, Palpatine made his way over to one of the massive transparasteel viewports, gazing out into the shadowy darkness of deep space beyond. Losing himself in the abyss always made him feel more in tune with things, with his insignificance when compared to the void, and yet the knowledge that his great power extended over all he could see and far beyond. His unlimited power over all things, through the dark side of the Force, and through his iron will and the might of the war machine that was his Galactic Empire. He turned from the void, his thoughts focused through dark meditation to a razor sharp point, looking over one shoulder to face his apprentice.
"Lord Vader, I believe we have given this pitiful outlaw Rebellion enough rope to hang themselves with. We have allowed them to win some significant victories, their spirits will be high, they will be confident, which will be their downfall. Have the fleet commence final operations as planned. I will see this Rebellion crushed once and for all."
ROUND 1: TATOOINE: MOS ESPA
Once again facing their enemy over this much contested area of Tatooine, Rebel commandos moved south through the sleepy town of Mos Espa to engage Imperial forces advancing north from the town's old slave quarters district in the south. Making contact in the main street just north of the palace ruins at the centre of the settlement the fighting was once again fierce. The battle moved backwards and forwards between these ruins and Jabba's abandoned town house as each faction gained the advantage over the other. Until finally overstretched the Rebels made a fatal error allowing the Imperial Sandtroopers the chance to gain a foothold in the town house and then consolidate their position. Once this happened the Rebels had few places left to fall back to, and despite fighting tooth and claw for each scrap of dirt remaining, were soon overrun by the superior forces of the Empire.
ROUND 2: JUNDLAND WASTES
Imperial forces were determined to finally once and for all eradicate the Rebel presence on Tatooine. After previously engaging the Rebel Alliance cells in the deserts of the Jundland Wastes region, Imperial commanders decided to take out these forces before they had the time to go to ground again and deployed a full assault force to the area. Sentinel landing craft and AT-ST Walkers made short work of the Alliance troops stationed at Motesta and swiftly moved on to the abandoned Jawa Sandcrawler that the Rebels had fashioned into a fortress.
The Imperial troops even made use of local transports to hamper the Rebel's air superiority by fighting their T-16s with ones stolen from Motesta, this move made the Imperial Sentinel craft all the more deadly. Moving into the south the Imperial forces had to contend with masses of MLC-3s blasting at the advancing Imperials in a bid to defend their secret base at Anchorhead. Imperial troops managed to infiltrate the facility, but were intercepted by Alliance commandos. In the end another electrical storm disrupted the conflict, forcing the Rebels to evacuate their base before the storm left them stranded with Imperial troops on their doorstep. The Empire has finally managed to drive the Rebellion from Tatooine.
ROUND 3: STRIKE AT PARMEL
The Imperial research station in the Parmel system once again became the stage for an epic struggle between the two factions in the Galactic Civil War. Which force's strategy for space superiority would win out? The lightly armed, but speedy and manoeuvrable Imperial TIE Fighters? Or the Alliance's hardier and well shielded starfighters? This final battle would surely highlight which method was the better, but as with all things nothing is ever cut and dried.
The Rebel space forces started off strong, tearing a swathe of destruction through the less well armoured TIE Fighters as they swarmed over and around the space station. The Alliance pilots managed to maintain a convincing level of space superiority for the majority of the battle, but in the closing moments the Imperial pilots made a concerted push back. Resulting in some dogfights and engagements with multiple targets which ended badly for many a seasoned Rebel starfighter pilot, which quickly saw the Rebellion's lead fade away. With a final burst of emerald green laser fire the last of the Rebel ships was destroyed, drawing to a close one of the most epic space battles so far of the war.
With that final epic struggle this campaign must also draw to a close. And what a campaign it has been, with battles hard fought, and results so close and hard to call, you never knew who was going to end up victorious from week to week. In the latter half of the campaign the Rebellion managed to command a convincing lead over the Empire, making it look like the forces of light might finally bring peace to the Galaxy, but in the final weeks the Empire have come back strongly, and with the final week's battles being worth double the points, victory could not be taken for granted no matter how big your lead.
With a clean sweep the Empire have managed to make the most of those extra points and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, with the final scores standing as:
Galactic Empire: 103
Rebel Alliance: 95
Final campaign results don't come much closer than that. Thanks to everyone who participated, we hope you had a lot of fun, and we look forward to the next event, as we hope you do too. Until then, don't forget that the First Strike Community Games will be running on both Saturdays and Sundays from 8pm GMT, so head on then to get in some games with fellow First Strike players.
So with that there is little more to say, other than congratulations to the Imperials, well played. It is safe to say that...
Order has been restored.
Until next time,
May the Force be with you.