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This is my second article in a new sub-series providing Imperial targets for daring Age of Rebellion PCs to strike against. This article is meant to provide a seed for development into a more full adventure, or even simply provide the bare bones on a target for GMs to drop into their game and improvise around.
The Player Section contains information suitable for release to your PCs, possibly even cut and paste with an image or two creating a handout intelligence report. I’ve left a few things ambiguous to allow GMs to tailor the details as their game requires so be sure to update the Player Section before use. The GM Section has all the details on the very important person (VIP) convoy including composition, tactics, and options to increase the challenge. At its most basic, this convoy ambush scenario is a challenge for the PCs. By scaling up the convoy’s size and capabilities, and adding in the options I outline in the GM Section, this scenario should be able to challenge even very high XP groups equipped with excellent equipment and assisted by NPC allies.
Target: Imperial VIP Convoy
Type: Imperial Personnel
Description: Landspeeder convoy conducting VIP transportation mission
Desired Effect: Capture or Kill the VIP
Rationale: This Imperial VIP has had a significantly adverse effect on Alliance operations in this sector. His capture would provide the Alliance with a source of high level intelligence. Owing to the Empire’s strict hierarchy, the capture or kill of this VIP would strike a significant blow to Imperial coordination in the sector.
Security: Exact measures unknown. Close protection detail will be assigned. Armored and armed speeder convoy conducting a deliberate road move in accordance with Imperial doctrine.
Personnel: Exact figure unknown. At least two bodyguards will provide close protection on the VIP, plus vehicle crews. At least one squad of 8 Stormtroopers will be assigned as a quick reaction force (QRF). The VIPs importance to the Empire suggests actual numbers will be much higher than this minimum.
Commentary: Convoy route is unknown at this time. Suspect observation points will be established along the route prior to convoy movement. Recommend search for observation points to confirm the route. Recommend sabotage of QRF vehicles at local Imperial outpost.
NPC and Vehicle Checklist:
The remainder of this article will refer to NPCs as follows. These are just suggestions made quickly and easily in the interest of saving space and time, so as the GM feel free to develop your own stats or otherwise adapt and tweak as you see fit.
- GM’s choice of VIP – The VIP should gain the Imperial Valor ability (may perform a maneuver to cause all ranged attacks targeting the VIP to instead hit one ally or helpless enemy he is engaged with, until the beginning of his next turn)
- GM’s choice of bodyguards – the VIP’s close protection is provided by bodyguards. Depending on the challenge desired use appropriate statistics. I recommend Stormtrooper Sergeants as a baseline, but at higher XP levels adding a Royal Guard (FaD pg. 407) may be appropriate.
- Imperial Vehicle Corps (Rival) – AoR pg. 419
- Imperial Officer (Rival) – AoR pg. 419
- Stormtrooper Sergeant (Rival) – AoR pg. 420
- Stormtroopers (Minion) – AoR pg. 420
- Scout troopers (Minion) – AoR pg. 422
The following vehicles are referred to in this article:
- LAVR QH-7 Chariot Command Speeder, remove the electronic warfare droids and consider reducing Armor to 1 – (Lead by Example pg. 51) – If you do not have access to Lead by Example, use an airspeeder with Speed 3 or 4, Armor 1 or 2, and five seats
- Imperial Patrol Transport airspeeder- my statistics for this vehicle are found here
- 74-Z Speeder Bike – AoR pg. 263
Imperial Convoy Plan:
Agile reconnaissance vehicles are deployed ahead of the main packet of vehicles to provide early warning of threats. At a basic level this is two scout troopers on speederbikes, but could be scaled up with speeder escort vehicles. These vehicles are 5-10 minutes ahead of the main packet to give enough time for their early warning function to be effective.
At least one escort vehicle and the VIP vehicle comprise the main packet. If there are multiple escort vehicles, then the escorts position themselves before and after the VIP vehicle. I recommend using Chariot Command Speeders as outlined above for both the escort and VIP vehicle. Depending on your group’s capabilities, you may want to reduce the Armor to 1.
The VIPs vehicle is the second in the main packet. With a standard layout speedercar, or “speeder-jeep” if you prefer, the seats are filled as follows: driver and front passenger – Imperial vehicle corps soldiers; back seat – VIP and one or two bodyguards, with the VIP seated in the middle if there are two bodyguards. Depending on the nature of the VIP (bureaucrat versus military) remove the weapons from the VIP vehicle.
The rear guard provides rear security as well as a reserve held just far enough back from the main packet to avoid being decisively engaged. The rear guard can then be deployed to assist the main packet as required. As such, the rear guard stays a few minutes behind the main packet. The basic rear guard contains one escort vehicle and may include a troop transport carrying a squad.
Quick Reaction Force:
At the closest Imperial outpost to the route, or at a temporary encampment if required, at least one squad of Stormtroopers and sufficient transport is on ready status prepared to reinforce the convoy. Transport may be as humble as speedertrucks, or could make good use of Imperial Patrol Transports as suggested in the options below.
The Imperial military usually seeks to engage the enemy in decisive battle, bringing superior firepower and greater numbers in order to crush the opposition. Imperial VIP convoys break from this doctrine and place the survival of the VIP above all else. If attacked, the main packet attempts to leave the combat zone by the quickest route possible. Escort vehicles will provide covering fire while the VIP vehicle flees at best possible speed.
If the main packet is unable to break contact the escorts will attempt to suppress the attacks and coordinate a counter-attack by the rear guard and the QRF. At every stage on the fight the VIP protection detail will look for opportunities to exit the combat zone.
It will be up to the PCs to determine the best plan of attack, however immobilizing the VIP vehicle is key. Ambush in narrow terrain such as a valley or tight city streets can enable this. Anti-vehicle weapons are of course a must, so GMs must provide the PCs an opportunity to acquire these weapons. PCs should take their time in gathering information about the convoy, developing their attack and withdraw plans, and preparing their ambush positions. GMs should be generous with Boost dice to reward sound planning and preparation as this mission can be very challenging.
Option: Tunnel Method
Imperial convoys can increase their security by deploying forces en route creating a “tunnel” between checkpoints. These checkpoints can be pre-existing, or can be placed specifically to provide additional security to the convoy. These points provide early warning of threats as well as pre-positioned forces ready to assist should the convoy come under attack.
The presence of new checkpoints within the tunnel method can tip off Rebels as to the convoy’s route. This could provide an opportunity for Scout characters to gather information for your Analyst to use in deducing valuable facts about the convoy. Alternatively, a cunning Imperial planner could use Imperial Patrol Transports to rapidly deploy checkpoints with little to no warning, should the GM wish to increase the challenge of this adventure.
Each checkpoint could either be a strongpoint or an observation post. Strongpoints are combat detachments complete with defensive cover and manned by at a bare minimum four Stormtroopers with a sergeant and a heavy weapon. If you want to scale up these strongpoints do so by adding more Stormtroopers or even an AT-ST. Observation posts on the other hand rely on stealth for security. They are concealed to provide eyes on the convoy route, and generally consist of two to four scout troopers with one blaster sniper rifle.
Option: Air Support
The Imperial Patrol Transport, an agile airspeeder capable of rapid reaction with heavy weapons and room for a squad of Stormtroopers, would ably serve the Empire as a convoy escort craft. This craft can serve a number of roles to an Imperial convoy whether it be close support, route reconnaissance, or as a quick reaction force transport. Be cautious with including these in the convoy itself as it may make the adventure too challenging. Instead, I recommend using one or two as QRF transports.