Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Star Wars - Episode 50 "The Battle of Kashyyyk" (part 2)

I'm a bit behind - this session took place on August 27.

Lowarra had been about to climb into the captured tank, but when the AT-AT arrived she fired a rocket at it instead. ADX commanded his squad of battle droids to focus their attacks on the AT-AT instead of the two walkers that were approaching from the opposite direction. Overhead, Dash was engaged in a dogfight with four TIE fighters that had arrived at the same time.

Neri shouted to Taanar to get the released Wookiee prisoners to their transport. She then ran toward one of the two walkers, while Luke Skywalker and ARD-101 moved to head off the second walker. Princess Leia also ran toward the walkers. Dash managed to get off a shot at the AT-AT while avoiding the TIE fighters, but the AT-AT proved harder to hit than expected.

A squadron of stormtroopers arrived, coming in behind the walkers and from the side where Taanar was trying to get the Wookiees to take cover among the trees. Unfortunately for Taanar, the former prisoners began to move in the opposite direction from where their transport waited beyond the walkers. None of the Wookiees were armed, so Taanar moved toward the stormtroopers and sent one of them flying with a Force shove, slamming him against a tree.

Meanwhile, Neri took out a grappling line and tossed it onto the first walker, then climbed up on top of the vehicle and began slicing her way inside with her lightsaber. The second walker began firing on Lowarra, who had just sent another rocket at the AT-AT. The tank Lowarra had taken exploded when hit by one of the walkers, causing all of the weakened Wookiees to fall, though Taanar kept her feet. Lowarra meanwhile took out her own grappling line and shot it at the AT-AT, using it to ascend to the head-like command module. Han Solo and Chewbacca were helping to cover the escaping Wookiees while Chewie carried his injured son, and the AT-AT began to fire on them. When the tank exploded Han was hit by shrapnel and now Chewie was carrying both his son and his friend.

Dash swooped over the AT-AT a second time and fired a missile toward it, but once again her attack failed to find its target. At the same time ADX hurled a thermal detonator at the troopers who were coming in behind the walkers, which demonstrated that these troopers were better trained and armored than many of the troops the Rangers had encountered previously.

Princess Leia had climbed onto a slightly elevated structure and was shouting orders to the Rebel troops assisting in the Wookiee rescue. She shouted at Lowarra to get down from the AT-AT, but Lowarra paid her no mind. Instead the mighty Wookiee warrior opened the hatch, burst into her battle rage, and leaped inside the vehicle. In the meantime a group of troopers dropped out of the belly of the vehicle on speeder bikes.

The Imperial forces fired anti-aircraft missiles at the Venture, but Dash dodged the projectiles. Neri had gained access to the walker and now used her Force power to grab the pilot and send him hurtling out of the vehicle. Luke and ARD-101 had jointly sliced off both legs of the second walker and it collapsed. Inside the AT-AT, Lowarra incapacitated the commanding officer and the pilot. Near Luke’s position several more speeders arrived, but these carried not troopers but Inquisitors!

At the same time that the Inquisitors arrived, Neri’s heart sank when she heard the familiar voice of her long-time nemesis, the Emperor’s Hand. ADX began firing on the Hand. The Hand used the Force to knock Neri off the walker, and Neri landed badly, falling prone. In response, she used her ability to cut the Hand off from some of her Force abilities, which had worked successfully in the past and succeeded again this time much to the Hand’s frustration.

Han had recovered slightly, and he and Chewbacca now managed to acquire speeders of their own after placing Chewbacca’s son and the other freed Wookiees in a vehicle. Taanar used the Force to stun another trooper, then headed the vehicle off in the right direction to reach the transport ship. Han’s speeder crashed when the AT-AT moved into its path. The dead or unconscious pilot had fallen forward onto the controls after Lowarra attacked him, and the AT-AT was still ponderously moving forward toward the two walkers.

The Emperor’s Hand used the Force to lift the walker Luke had dropped and throw it at Neri and ADX. Neri grabbed the walker with her own Force power and pulled it out of the Hand’s grip. The remaining walker was still on its feet and manned, and Dash fired on it as the Venture made another pass overhead. Luke and ARD-101 were engaged with the Inquisitors and had begun to push them back, but suddenly the Inquisitors turned the tide and began to advance toward Luke. The Hand attempted to snatch away Neri’s lightsaber, which had been her favorite tactic in the past but this time she failed. Dash fired on the second walker again and it exploded. The AT-AT continued to advance without a conscious pilot at the controls.

Neri attempted to stun the Emperor’s Hand, then moved to help Luke against the Inquisitors. One of the Inquisitors used a Dark Side power against Luke, and he suddenly lost his nerve and fled. Neri used her ability to inspire confidence in others to stop his headlong flight and bring him back. Then one of the Inquisitors grabbed Neri and began to Force choke her. From her vantage above, Dash saw this and fired on the Inquisitor. Then she destroyed the last remaining TIE fighter.

A cluster of stormtroopers on cables descended from the AT-AT. Still aboard the AT-AT, Lowarra took out all the troopers still on board, then dropped down to tackle those who had left the vehicle. Taanar, who had remained to help after sending the Wookiees toward their transport, put on a burst of speed and rushed to Neri, who had fallen unconscious. The Inquisitor attempted an attack or Force power directed at her but it failed to affect her.

Suddenly the AT-AT exploded! It had been set to self-destruct after Lowarra boarded. It toppled over on its side, falling toward where Princess Leia and Lowarra currently stood. Lowarra dodged out of the way of the plummeting vehicle. When the Emperor’s Hand directed an attack at ADX, Lowarra charged her and ADX fired on her, knocking her unconscious. Dash brought the Venture down in boarding range over where Neri lay and fired on the Inquisitor to keep him at bay. Taanar scrambled aboard the Venture, followed by ARD carrying Neri, Lowarra, Luke and ARD-101, and finally Han and Chewbacca.

As the Venture zoomed away to get medical aid for Neri, Han Solo asked, “Where’s Princess Leia?” The rest of the group realized to their horror that the last time they had seen her, the princess has been standing where the fallen AT-AT had landed. They had been too preoccupied by their concern for Neri to check on her.

As the Inquisitor surveyed the scene of the battle, one of the remaining stormtroopers called out, “One of the rebels is still alive!” and pointed to a figure lying beneath a portion of the collapsed AT-AT. The Inquisitor smiled. “Bring her to me.”

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