The Captain of the Imperial Sentinel class dropship flicked the final bank of switches as he completed the pre-flight sequence for his powerful vessel. The low hum of the engines reached a deafening crescendo as they wound up from stand-by to full power. Glancing at his flight crew they all nodded that their boards were also green. All they awaited now was a 'Go' order from the Operations Commander. During their search of the planet for two missing droids, the Company's Recon units had encountered some until now, hidden Rebel cells which had for some reason come out of hiding to openly engage them. Well the Captain was all too happy to oblige them. The comlink in the cockpit crackled into life. The order was given. Engaging full repulsorlifts, the Sentinel floated gracefully into the air above the staging area that the Empire had erected on the outskirts of the region. Once gaining enough height the vessel's mighty wings folded down, looking for everything like a hellish bird of prey. The craft then dove down from the mountains to the desert floor far below. The target? Motesta, the first settlement scheduled to be investigated.
Spying the glint of the twin suns of Tatooine shining off metal as the massive vessel closed on the adobe buildings of the settlement. The Captain unlocked the safety on his control yoke's firing pommel and calmly gave the order.
"Weapons free. Unleash hell."
With that green talons of hot light streamed down from the diving dropship devastating everything in it's path in a fiery maelstrom.
ROUND 1: TATOOINE: BESTINE
With a Rebel Recon unit finding an alternate route up to the Imperial hill top complex overlooking the city of Bestine, the battle begins anew as Imperial troops find Rebel soldiers a little too close to their base of operations. Fighting for their very survival the Rebel freedom fighters put up a fierce and gruelling struggle against the entrenched Imperial troopers, but fail to ever gain a convincing foothold within the Imperial complex. Eventually the Imperial forces manage to move out beyond the fortified walls of the Garrison, and take the battle to the Rebels who fight tooth and claw for every inch of ground on that hill top. Unfortunately for them it just isn't enough, and after a heroic effort they are finally pushed back and vanquished.
ROUND 2: JUNDLAND WASTES
Once the electrical storms and atmospheric conditions which had previously played havoc with their equipment had subsided, the battle for this region of Tatooine commenced once more, with Imperial forces flooding in from the north to wipe out the Rebel cells that had been hiding there. The heavily armed and armoured Sentinel landing craft proved a formidable foe for the Rebels, destroying everything in it's path, but the Rebel forces were resilient and creatively made use of the even more heavily armoured Jawa Sandcrawlers in the area to hold out and put up an effective defence against the invading Imperial military, also making effective use of the light and agile T-16 Skyhoppers and the small and hard to hit but impressively powerful MLC mobile artillery vehicles, which managed to take down even the formidably armoured Sentinel. The Sandcrawler proved to be the linchpin for domination of the region, and the Imperials even got a little creative themselves by bringing in an additional Sandcrawler to aid them in boarding the one occupied by the Rebel insurgents. The Rebels were finally overwhelmed by the might of the Empire, but they made sure the Imperial forces paid a high price for their victory.
ROUND 3: STRIKE AT PARMEL
Unimpressed with the defeat of their brand new advanced starfighters in a previous skirmish in the Parmel system, the Imperial Navy dispatched their remaining squadron of these ships piloted by their best men to destroy the Rebel forces who had dared to be so bold as to attack their research station in the system. The TIE Defenders went in assisted by TIE Fighters and Interceptors to retake the facility. The Rebel space forces with their numbers significantly weakened by the earlier engagement found themselves to be outmatched by the fresh fighters that they were coming up against, and their shielding and better armour could not protect them from the overwhelming number of Imperial ships that they were now engaging. The battle was fierce with many a ship on both sides reduced to an expanding superheated ball of gas, but in the end the Imperial forces were victorious, regaining space superiority in the sector, and redeeming the design of the TIE Defender in the process.
With that the first Nations In Conflict First Strike Campaign draws to a close. It has been an eventful few weeks with some really epic First Strike battle action across all theatres of Star Wars styled warfare, in space, in the air and on the ground.
The battles were hard fought across the entire campaign, and I think everyone who participated will agree that they were a lot of fun, and an ideal way to experience the mod that is First Strike. With this final battle awarding double points to the victors, the final results are as follows:
Galactic Empire - 124
Rebel Alliance - 55
The Galactic Empire managed to finish the campaign in the best way possible, by finally gaining a clean sweep over the Rebels and defeating them in all three rounds of this week's battle including space which the Rebels had been totally dominant in up to this point. So the result is a resounding victory for the Empire, who can now continue to rule the Galaxy with an iron fist.
In closing I'd just like to thank everyone for attending the campaign and making it such a success, has been a lot of fun over the last few weeks, and certainly brought a lot of new players into the fold. Hopefully this will translate into more people just playing the mod in normal public play, and help to get those servers well populated again.
Well done everyone who played, all the battles were hard fought and skilfully played, making every match count, and making every battle a solid challenge for all. It is really good to see the mod being played as intended, with well organised squads battling it out using solid team work and tactics.
Congratulations to the Empire, and commiserations to the Rebellion.
All those who didn't get in on the fun and action this time need not worry, we'll be looking at doing another one of these events some time soon seeing how this one was such a success. So keep your eyes peeled for news of the next NIC First Strike Campaign Event.
Until then, may the Force be with you!