If you've never looked at the 2 systems, you may be surprised to learn that they are to all intents and purposes the same rules. The system is exactly the same with a few additions for the near-future setting of TW. These additional rules include drones and sensors, roots etc as well as more sophisticated artillery and airstrike rules. The game also features the 'Grid'... an internet type network that enhances communication and intelligence but which can be countered by ECM.
Knowing Andrew was a bit of a Star Wars fan this seemed a good opportunity to dig out my son's Star Wars miniatures. When he was several years younger he was a huge Star Wars fan [shamefully of the more recent films... he was just the right age to get into them when they appeared] and was really keen on the series of collectible minis that Wizards of the Coast produced. These were produced in random collections in sealed boxes so you were never sure what you were getting... the equivalent of wargamer-crack!
We collected lots of these as well as the boxed starter set, which was actually quite a good game. The problem with these type of collectible game is that you end up with lots of obscure figures... for every Obi-Wan you also get 10 obscure aliens that are based on a character that appeared briefly or in a novelisation. As the box sets progressed these became even more obscure and the figure quality also declined. It did mean, however, that in amongst all the obscure aliens, we have lots of Stormtroopers and a good random collection of Rebels.
The opening scenario in the Tomorrow's War book is very similar to the 'Contracting trouble' scenario from FoF... I think there's a post about that one elsewhere on the blog from last year. A downed pilot [in this case belonging to the Imperials] is hiding out in a small complex of buildings. While an Imperial patrol is en route to rescue him a nefarious band of Rebel Scum are lying in wait figuring this is a good opportunity to wipe out the Stormtroopers.
Andrew took charge of the Imperial patrol, led bizarrely by a Bounty Hunter, presumably guiding them in to scene. Martin meanwhile had organised the Rebels who were concealed in jungle around the buildings.
Both sides were fairly evenly matched... the Stormtroopers were generally of a higher Quality rating [meaning they rolled 8 sided dice vs the Rebels 6 sided] and had a couple of heavy weapons. The Rebels outnumbered them and were led by a certain Mr Skywalker.
There don't seem to be any specific rules for Force type psionics in TW but I gave Luke an extra couple of attack dice reflecting his uncanny accuracy ["...use the Force..."] and allowed him to roll on the Advanced First Aid table instead of the ordinary one. Both sides also had an off table mortar with a FO attached to one of the units.
|The Rebel Scum lie in wait|
Andrew briefly contemplated launching an un-Stormtrooper like charge across the table before deciding to be a bit more cautious and use cover to edge into optimum range. An early mortar attack from the Rebels caused little damage but drew the attention of the Stormtroopers and the poor little Spotting droid went down in hail of bleeps and sparks! The return mortar from the Imperials was more effective but the jungle cover managed to deflect most of the damage. The Rebels continued to lie low, meaning they couldn't be targeted until spotted... one unit did break cover and after a couple of rounds of fire were all hit. As there was no one left standing to do a 1st Aid check they remained out of action and were overrun and horribly massacred by Andrew [who was now definitely getting into the whole Evil Empire thing].
A second Imperial unit moved up to the buildings while another flanked the central Rebel squad. There then ensued a classic Star Wars style gun fight in which all 3 units blazed away with blasters at close range and failed to hit anything! Eventually the weight of fire told and casualties began to mount... mainly among the Rebels.
Andrew now decided to launch his cunning Masterstroke... the 3rd Imperial unit which had been doing sterling work providing Overwatch now charged across the table and into the building containing the Pilot. The final Rebel squad who had been lurking round the back launched themselves through the other door taking on the Stormtroopers in hand to hand combat. The Imperials failed to stand and, conveniently for them, fled heading straight back towards their own table edge with the Pilot in hand. This placed them too close to home for the Rebels to stop them and after a few unsuccessful potshots the Rebels conceded the day. There were a few Imperial Officers breathing slightly easier at the end of the game... their units' cowardice being off set by actually enabling them to achieve their objective and avoid Lord Vader's displeasure.
The Tomorrow's War mechanics worked well for the Star Wars setting. I'd kept it fairly simple, so no Grid, Combat Stress or vehicles . Despite this I still managed to forget several rules... most significantly the Morale rules! Actually it probably wouldn't have made a huge difference... the most likely outcome for some units would have been Pinned result but as they were hiding in jungle for a large part of the game they would probably have just stayed put. Still a bit annoying though... I think next time I need to prepare myself of 'things to remember'... I did this for a previous game and it was very handy: I blame old age!