I Have an Idea
I had mixed feelings the first time I watched Rogue One. For me, a return to the Rebellion Era is always welcome. However, the character development is weak and I felt next to nothing for the characters when they died. That space battle, though!
As is my custom, I went back to the theater for a second viewing and the film began to grow on me. It’s now my 4th favorite Star Wars film, right behind the original trilogy. I came away from that second viewing knowing I’d have to recreate the Battle of Scarif in X-wing Miniatures scale.
I decided my scenario would have 3 missions:
1) Probe the Shield – Rebel attack on the Shield gate
500 pts total, which must include:
- Nebulon-B Frigate (Admiral Raddus)
- Ghost (Hera Syndulla Pilot or Crew)
- U-wing (Blue Squadron Pathfinder)
- Y-wing (Dutch Vander)
- Y-wing (Gold Squadron Pilot)
- X-wing (Garven Dreis)
- X-wing (Rookie Pilot x5)
420 pts total, which must include:
- Delta-class T-3c Shuttle (Cpt Pterro pilot, Director Krennic crew)
- TIE Fighter (Academy Pilot x8)
- TIE Striker (Scarif Defender x4)
- Shield Gate (100pts) – 10 turbolasers @ 4 HP each + additional 10 HP for a total of 50
Act I will use a custom Scarif shield gate mat coupled with an FFG starfield mat. The Rebel objective is to remove 50 HP from the shield gate to advance the scenario to Act II. The Imperial objective is to destroy all the Rebel ships before they remove 50 HP from the shield gate. Obstacles will consist of 2 Zeta-class Shuttles and 2 Proximity mines.
The Shield gate begins with 10 turbolasers that fire at range 3-5 with 4 attack dice. Defenders may double their agility when attacked by a shield gate turbolaser. To simplify things and prevent mat clutter, there’s no physical representation of each individual turbolaser. Instead, since the gate is loaded with turbolasers, it may fire from anywhere inside its main body. The gate may not fire from the antennas that extend from it. Any hit on the shield gate is first applied to each turbolaser in order until all 10 are destroyed. Each turbolaser has 4 HP. After all 10 are destroyed, 10 additional HP must be removed from the gate to send the scenario to Act II.
The shield gate spawns 2 Academy Pilots each round until it’s destroyed. They may be placed anywhere inside the main body of the gate. With the exception of the first round, Director Krennic’s “Are we blind? DEPLOY THE GARRISON!” ability allows him to spawn 1 Academy Pilot at the beginning of each round as long as he’s alive. The Academy Pilot spawns within range 1 of the Imperial edge.
2) I Have an Idea – Raddus orders Lightmaker to ram ISD
100 pts total, which must include:
- Hammerhead Corvette
- Y-wing (Gold Squadron Pilot x2) – must equip ion torpedoes
100 pts total, which must include
- TIE Fighters (Academy Pilot x 8)
Act II will again use a custom Scarif shield gate mat coupled with an FFG starfield mat. The Rebel objective is to score a hit on the forward-most ISD with an ion torpedo to disable it. Then, the Hammerhead Corvette must physically move the first ISD into the second to advance the scenario to Act III. The Imperial objective is to destroy the Rebel ships before that can happen. Obstacles will consist of 2 static ISD models, a wrecked TIE Fighter, a wrecked X-wing and 2 cargo pods.
The Lightmaker title card for the Hammerhead Corvette allows the ship to physically move Huge ships  straight forward each turn. The ISDs are placed so that it will require 3 “shoves” to cause the collision that will advance the scenario to Act III. The ISD must be ionized by a torpedo from one of the Y-wings before it can be physically moved.
3) Hope – Leia escapes with the plans aboard Tantive IV
125 pts total, which must include:
- CR-90 (Leia Organa)
125 pts total, which must include:
- Lambda Shuttle (Darth Vader)
- TIE Bomber (Shuttle title x2)
- TIE Fighter (Black Squadron Pilot x2)
Act III will use a custom Scarif shield gate mat coupled with an FFG Death Star mat. A laminated “token” depicting The Profundity will be used to cover Yavin IV. Laminated “tokens” depicting the two ISDs crashing and burning will be placed over the shield gate for dramatic effect. A final laminated “token” depicting the bow of the ISD Devastator will be placed along the Imperial edge over top of the Death Star. Obstacles will consist of a custom GR-75 wreck, a wrecked TIE Fighter and a wrecked X-wing. The Rebel objective is to survive 6 full rounds to fill the hyperspace card and hyperspace to victory. The Imperial objective is to destroy the Tantive IV.
The Tantive IV must fill a hyperspace card with 6 tokens to hyperspace out and win the scenario. The Tantive IV receives 1 hyperspace token per round. It must survive until the end of round 6 to hyperspace out.
Where did you get all that cool stuff?
Probing for a shield gate mat
The first thing I needed to recreate the battle was a mat with the shield gate printed on it. Since FFG didn’t have the marketing sensibility to make an official one, I turned to Inked Gaming for a custom printed mat using an image from Mel’s Miniatures. Inked Gaming’s process is pretty straight-forward and I recommend them for all your custom mat needs. I’ve purchased several from them and they’re all great quality.
I wanted the scenario to be a dynamic recreation of the battle on a mat so I had to figure out a way to incorporate the Death Star. Initially, I looked into having a custom mat made but I couldn’t find an image of the Death Star that compared to the one on FFG’s official mat. The problem with FFG’s mat, though, is it has Yavin IV printed on it. I played with the idea of blotting it out with a piece of black construction paper. Then, out of nowhere, I had an epiphany and decided to use an image of The Profundity to cover up Yavin IV. Brilliant! Ahem…sorry, I’m pretty proud of that one.
The idea was to start out the battle with the custom shield gate mat coupled with FFG’s starfield mat and switch the starfield mat out for the Death Star mat for the final mission. This would depict the Death Star moving in to destroy the base at Scarif near the end of the battle.
With the mat situation under control, I needed some custom ships. You can’t truly recreate the Battle of Scarif in XWM scale without at least one massive capital ship. For this, I settled on a 3D printed Nebulon-B Frigate from ru-Kirja on eBay. It took about 30 days to get the ship from Russia. Then, I cleaned, sanded and filled imperfections with glazing compound until it was ready to paint. Before sending it off to Luke at Exploding Car Repaints for a commission paint job, I drilled a couple holes and glued in some Corsec Engineering mounts for their Omnistand system. I use their system for the stands on most of my customs. The pegs are aluminum instead of clear plastic but they’re very sturdy and I prefer sturdiness over asthetics when it comes to mounting my custom ships. That said, if I buy a 3D print from Shapeways that already has an FFG-style peg hole, I’ll use FFG stands.
It was hot as hell when I mailed the Nebulon-B to Luke and it arrived with (gulp!) a bent spar section.
Luke was an absolute saint and straightened the spar section at no extra cost. Luke, if you ever read this, THANK YOU SO MUCH!
He did an outstanding job painting the ship, even though it needed a couple revisions due to my less than clear instructions (sorry, Luke).
So, now that I had the mats and the main set piece for Act I, I moved on to some of the smaller customs for this mission. I used a Titanium Series Delta-class T-3c shuttle for Krennic’s ship. I know he was on the ground for the battle but you just can’t have a Battle of Scarif recreation without The Director. I used a Corsec Engineering stand for this ship as well.
I like my large custom scenarios to be dramatic, so presentation is important. For the Zeta-class cargo shuttles, I also used Titanium Series models with Corsec Engineering stands. These are great because the wings are flappy and allow for some cool interaction with the shield gate. I also imagined the Empire would have a layered defense around Scarif so I threw in some custom 3D proximity mines I found on eBay.
I needed some scenery for my second mission, “I Have an Idea”, so I decided to have the Zeta shuttles cut and run at the onset of the battle. Between mission one and two, they dump their cargo and run. The cargo containers are left drifting in space and act as obstacles for the second mission. I also used a destroyed TIE Fighter and a destroyed X-wing to add more depth to the “scene”. These were purchased from TableTopGameShop on Etsy.
Matthew at TableTopGameShop also made me a truly jaw-dropping GR-75 wreck for this scenario. This would be the main set piece for Act III. I requested that it look like the transport that slammed into the Devastator as it tried to jump to hyperspace. Matthew went so far as to watch the wreck from the film frame by frame for reference. It was his idea to remove some of the cargo pods and use them as exploded debris. He also made part of the ship look like it peeled away as it scraped the side of the Devastator. I requested the hot metal look with red, yellow and orange heated metal glow and he pulled it off spectacularly Matthew really went above and beyond on this beauty and I can’t recommend him enough. His attention to detail is unparalleled.
I couldn’t find an exact 3D model for the RO Hammerhead Corvette, the main set piece of Act II, so I bought an Old Republic CR-12 Corvette from ru-Kirja. Again, it took forever to ship to me since he’s in Russia and I’m in the central US. When I got it, I cleaned it up, sanded it and filled in any imperfections. To make the model more closely resemble the Hammerhead from the film, I removed the sensor dish from the bottom and modified the guns with some I purchased from a random Shapeways shop I can no longer remember. Once again, I drilled a couple holes and glued in some Omnimounts for the Corsec gear before shopping for a commission painter since Luke at ECR was too busy at the time. I looked around and found Masterpiece Miniatures. Sue at MM ended up painting the ship. I requested it look like the Lightmaker from Rogue One. Since the model was a different variation from the one in the film, I sent a paint template transfer drawing to show how I wanted the paint job to transfer to the different model. She did an outstanding job and the ship looks amazing! It might not be a true replica but it’s close enough and looks great in it’s own right.
I bought a couple Revell snap-together ISD models for the Hammerhead to ram together. They’re grossly out of scale but it’s not like I could fit 2 in-scale models on the mat. A compromise had to be made. Of course, I forgot the bridge towers for the play test. I’ve found that I nearly always forget one detail or another in my larger scenarios. The setup takes forever and my wife only has so much patience with my domination of our kitchen table.
To really sell the final act, I scoured the web for a decent shot of the bow of an ISD. I needed something for my beautiful GR-75 wreck to bounce off of, after all. I also found various shots of ISDs and added explosion effects to them. I cut them up so they looked like they were breaking up and burning as they slammed into the shield gate. As mentioned earlier, I had The Profundity covering Yavin IV as well. All these “tokens”, if you will, were laminated to preserve them for years to come.
The Cards and Dials
Obviously, none of this would work without custom cards. I made custom cards for Director Krennic, Krennic’s shuttle, Admiral Raddus, the Nebulon-B and the Hammerhead Corvette using Strange Eons.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about this scenario as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Overall, it took around 5 months, from start to finish, to assemble all the components and design all the custom cards and stuff.
I’m nearing completion of my latest scenario involving a Rebel attack on an Imperial asteroid base. Stay tuned to Friday Night X-wing for the write-up on that one. I’m still a couple months out on it, however. I’m also working on a land/air, Rebellion Era Felucia scenario. It’s a Rebel attack on an Imperial ground installation. That’s a long way from completion, though.
I’ll wrap this up with some links to a couple Imgur galleries. I’ll also post links to the various shops mentioned in this post, in case you want to check them out yourself.
This gallery explains the mechanics of my Nebulon-B:
This gallery is various pics from this scenario’s first and only play test:
Links you might want to check out
Now, I’m off to purchase a TIE Reaper to add to this scenario. If FFG ever makes an official Hammerhead Corvette, you can bet that’s getting added in place of my custom stand-in.