The leader of the Imperial scout patrol consults his sensors and then looks up at the forest tree line before him. Tricky to get a good reading in a forest so teeming with life. A Lambda class shuttle had flown low over the canopy moments before, and there were no scheduled flights over this area of the forest moon that he was aware of. He looks back to see his men tending to their speederbike scout transports. Better to be safe than sorry. He gives them a brisk hand signal and instantly they're alert and bring their weapons to bear and fan out into the underbrush surrounding their scout camp. Eerily the forest suddenly becomes deathly silent. The scout trooper leader crouches near a fallen log peering into the dense foliage.
Then the brittle snap of a twig breaking under foot. The scout spins and the thunderous clap of blaster fire echoes through the woods.
ROUND 1: ENDOR CLEARING
The race was on. An Alliance Gallofree transport downed in the space battle raging above was the prize. Both faction's forces charged at breakneck speed towards the crash site at the centre of the region, both commanders being well aware that the first to reach the wreckage would have the advantage of an easily defendable position. With this in mind the opening moments of this battle would be crucial. The Imperial forces arrived there just before the Rebels, perhaps spurred on by the fact that the transport's transponder could be the Imperial troops' ticket off this rock. Fending off the initial assault wave of Rebel troops the Imperial forces consolidated their position, erecting E-Web blasters aimed at the distant tree line and cutting down any enemy foolish enough to fall into their crosshairs. The Rebels did manage a few flanking manoeuvres that cost the Imperials some quite heavy casualties, but the line held and a second unit was able to move forward towards the Alliance's command post forcing the Rebels into a defensive posture in the closing moments of the battle. Despite valiant efforts the Rebel troops were forced into a full retreat from the region.
ROUND 2: ENDOR STRIKE TEAM
Covertly landing a stolen Lambda Shuttle behind enemy lines on the forest moon of Endor, a Rebel strike team made a daring incursion into Imperial held territory dangerously close to an Imperial deflector shield generating complex. The Empire was however ready for such a bold move with an entire legion of their best troops lying in wait. A scout camp was the first line of defence which was held successfully for a time, but was eventually overcome by a seasoned unit of Rebel troops well trained in guerrilla and jungle warfare. With the assistance of the indigenous population they easily secured a strategic tree village in the area which then gave them a staging ground for their assault on the Empire's primary installation in the region. The Imperial commander wisely pulled his troops out of the forest and initiated a near impenetrable defence of the Outpost with a high number of troops supported by light AT-ST Walkers and turbolasers. Once the Imperials were dug in the Rebels found it all but impossible to break through these defences, even after procuring stolen walkers and despite their best efforts the Imperial defences held and the Rebel forces had to withdraw having failed in their mission.
ROUND 3: STRIKE AT PARMEL
Having received intelligence reports regarding new experimental Imperial starfighters being developed in the Parmel system, the Rebel General Angelus has dispatched a strike force of Rebel starfighters to either capture or destroy the Imperial facility. To the Rebel pilots' dismay on entry to the system they found that some of these experimental ships (the TIE Defender) were already on line and were instantly pressed into service in the defence of the station when the Rebel threat presented itself. The battle was fierce with Rebel and Imperial starfighters swarming over the research station in a deadly dance among the stars. Heavy losses were incurred by both sides, but the Alliance was finally victorious after a long and hard fought battle, and gained control of the Parmel facility.
Once again we had some epic games this week climaxing in a 1 ticket to 0 victory for the Rebels in Parmel, real nail biting right down to the wire action. It doesn't come much closer than that. At the moment the Rebel Alliance is taking a bit of a kicking, but will it play out true to the movies? Will the Rebels rise from their darkest hour like a Phoenix to claim victory from the jaws of defeat and crush the all powerful Empire?
With many rounds yet to go it is still all to play for, the tide could turn at any time. So what are you waiting for? Sign up here, and join the fun. Registration for the campaign remains open, so it is not too late to take part. Whether it's helping the Alliance to Restore the Republic, or maintaining the order of the First Galactic Empire, choose your side and stand shoulder to shoulder with First Strike veterans and newcomers alike.
For a taste of what you're missing, check out Campaign Member Joshino's excellent video footage from last week's games. Enjoy.
The next round starts this Sunday and will be played over Encounter at Mos Entha and the Battle of Ryloth, before taking to the stars in the epic Battle of Taloraan. You really don't want to miss that one.
Until then, may the Force be with you!