Act of God

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:36 am
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Somehow, I'm still tired from yesterday. Kaiser woke me up around 5:30, needing something. He was happy enough to be let outside; I couldn't go back to sleep. I checked out my Armada fleet, tried to get a little more sleep, tossed and turned until 7:30. Got up, showered, rechecked the fleet. Left Kaiser plenty of water and food, and hit the road for Shepherdsville.

Seven players for the Armada tournament, so one bye for each round. I drew against the eventual store champion, Collin H, in the first round; he won comfortably, but I did well enough - knocked out the support ships and about half of the fighter complement. I drew the second-round bye and spent the time trying to learn what I could for the third (and final) round. I drew Jacob, one of the other Rebel players from our aborted Corellian Campaign. His fleet was similar ways to Collin's, so I figured I'd put up a decent fight this time. We set up our fleets, and by the end of the second turn, I was in trouble. My frigates were set up to deliver broadsides, and Jacob had maneuvered to keep his ships in front of my frigates, where their firepower was much weaker. I lost, and badly. After the match, Jacob pointed out the biggest mistake he saw me make. I'm fielding very fast ships, but engaging my opponent very quickly, almost in a headlong rush. Instead, I need to make use of the speed and maneuverability I have to get into better positions - and stop being so darned conservative with my defensive options. Spend the tokens - they'll refresh!

After six hours and change of play, it was done. I placed dead last by one point. Came home with a stack of alt-art ship and modification cards, some destined for the trade/giveaway bag, and some snazzy acrylic defense and command tokens. Talked with Ken S about getting together for some Project Phoenix games this week. Drove home, was greeted by the dog, had a late dinner, went to bed.

Mom&Dad are coming home tomorrow. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to stick around until they get back here or light out before. Will, like so many other things, depend on how much sleep I get. I predict the lovable, friendly, affectionate, needy red Doberman currently dozing on the front porch will wake me up much earlier than I want.
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My Dodgers are on a real tear as the first half of the season comes to a close. They've won 25 of their last 29 games, and are 60-29 going into this afternoon's game against Kansas City. Tuesday night's the MLB All-Star Game, and six Dodgers are on the NL roster. It's a good time to be a fan.

Played an Epic-scale X-Wing game Friday evening. I got out my CR90 and a half-dozen fighter escorts against an Assault Carrier and a heap of TIEs. I got in some good shots early in the game, knocking out the Bombers before they could get their ordnance off, but the TIEs were the death of a thousand paper cuts, and I lost in a slugfest. The game got a lot of attention while league matches were going on, so I've scheduled a Team Epic night in a couple of weeks. Assuming the ratio of interested to will-actually-play holds up, we should have two Epic matches going.

Yesterday was Mom's birthday. Dad and I took her for a cruise on the Belle of Louisville, something she's wanted to do for a while. Really great experience. Weather was about perfect - low 80s and scattered clouds. We had a reserved table in the ballroom/dining deck for lunch, and the boat never felt crowded, even with a sold-out cruise. After lunch, we headed up to the open-air sightseeing deck for the remainder of the cruise. The Belle took us upstream almost to the new East End bridge, so plenty to see along the way. The old steamboat can get some speed when she's underway - jet skis and powerboats were zipping by (and their passengers gave the Belle her due), but we overtook a couple of barges and their towboats during the cruise. I went below to get a look at her engines, and it was like stepping back to another era of engineering. The Belle is a no-fooling steamer, 103 years old, so it's all boilers and pistons and vents and such down there. Pretty darn cool, and would definitely do this again. Possibly on one of the distillery tasting cruises.

I'm into October in my Pandemic Legacy campaign. Things aren't going well - we took steps to try to contain COdA as much as possible, but a streak of Scarlet Fever epidemics did us in. New Zealand's provided some emergency assistance, but it feels like it's just delaying the inevitable.

Finally got to see both Kubo and the Two Strings and Moana. Very different, but both very good. I was glad that Moana didn't become Maui's story -  Dwayne Johnson exudes charisma, even through a Pixar animation - and we got to see the mythology play out and a fun story unfold. Gave up on seeing Alien Covenant in a theater. I felt like I was constantly talking myself into going, and that was a warning sign - plus the not-very-goodness of Prometheus a few years ago.
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The remains of a tropical storm blew through here Thursday and yesterday. A couple of rounds of heavy rain, and fortunately no flooding here. Lexington got hit a little harder, with some brief road closures. All now seems well.

I learned last night, after getting home from gaming, that Stewart Wieck died on Thursday. 49 years old. Wieck was one of the founders of White Wolf, and had later founded Nocturnal. He was one of the most influential figures in this hobby/industry; universe knows his products brought me a lot of good times over the years.

Oh, hey, I won a second Sabine's TIE Fighter in the league raffle last week. Was able to pick it up last night, so at some point, I'm going to field a Rebel squad built around four TIE Fighters. It will terrible, but I expect I will have a good time with it.

I've got this little list of things to do before Monday. Since graduation, I've been about two-fifths successful in my 300 words/day writing. I'm going to get better at that. Yesterday, I picked up some little pieces for the portable layout I want to build so the (quite ridiculous) collection of locomotives and cars can get out of their boxes and get some actual running in. Need to do some cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen. And, with the expectation of it not being good at all, go see Alien: Covenant at the second-run theater down the way.

So, best get to going on this. Saturday, go!
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Still waiting on two grades to post. I expect Dr. Wilson is going to get message-bombed today.

The first of us has left Louisville. Marc moved back to Columbus Friday evening. Stephen and I helped him load up his truck. Marc's a good dude. One of the best in our cohort.

Also on Friday, we got the Star Wars game back underway. Things went pretty well, but problem player appeared and behaved in the manner that led to him getting the boot in the first place. Whatever. The PCs captured a Sith-influenced petty dictator and recovered parts of a holocron. We laughed, we had a good time, all was well. Next up, going to give one of the players his chance to visit Hoth before Echo Base is established.

Went to Liberty Saturday morning, planning to stay until Sunday night. Got super restless Saturday evening and went back to Louisville. Detoured through Lexington and picked up some new ships for my Armada collection. Got home, read, called it a night around 2. Not much accomplished on Sunday - reading, some game planning, job-hunting, long overdue cleaning.

This is Derby Week. Got to see one of the balloon races Friday morning - yay for living across the road from the takeoff site. A few events this week, building up to the Great Steamboat Race on Wednesday, Thurby on Thursday, Oaks on Friday, and the race itself on Saturday. And most important, getting out and screwing around until an unholy hour on Saturday night.

Got the Origins orientation e-mail from Joe P this morning. It all feels very familiar. I'm getting excited about this trip.
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Dr. Wilson was happy with my practicum presentation, and since he's the one who assigns the grade, his take on it is about all that matters to me. Our final paper for Social Determinants is done, the presentation PPT mostly so.

We, most of the HPBS cohort, had a celebration dinner last night. Marc was in Columbus, Jessica and Dammit Alice unreachable. But their loss. It was good. Some last venting about the program, but mostly celebrating ourselves and the couple years of work we've completed. Just one more class session.

My Star Wars game is back on this week. Looks like all the active players are in. Ready to do this.
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Yesterday's presentation went well enough, and now we are done with that mess of a class. Have to go over to K-Wing (not the New Republic bomber) to pick up a hardcopy of the report for our MPH instructor. Got a couple of pages to lift from a previous term paper and edit into a report on the ACA and Kynect and Benefind this morning before diving back into my policy brief and practicum report.

Tomorrow is Thunder Over Louisville, the kickoff to the Kentucky Derby Festival. Big airshow and fireworks display, drawing about 650,000 people to downtown and the riverfront. Weather forecast is not good - heavy rain throughout the entire day and air temperatures in the upper 50s. I can't go - will still have work to do, and though I do love that kind of weather, I prefer to watch it through the window or from a nice sheltered front porch. I've seen a few of the aircraft participating already - a F-18 flying up and down the riverfront, and a P-51 and what I think was a Tucano flying over the neighborhood.

I've been coming into SPHIS early this week, getting here around 6AM, to make use of the quiet to get work done - heck, I'm awake before 5AM, so why not make good use of the time. It's actually very nice. I can lock up a conference room and just press on. Traffic is, unsurprisingly, very light and I get here before the full morning shifts at UofL hospital come in, so parking is easy to find. I've seen the ending minutes of some underground utility work on the corner, more ambulance runs than I expected, and other little moments. I'm going to miss this place, I think.

I'm looking at getting back into painting miniatures when I have free time again (which is in less than a week holy shit this is really happening). At the very least, I want my Armada squadrons to be more easily identified in the case of mirror matches, and, well, the red Imperial Guard paint job on TIE Interceptors looks very good. As I finally gave in and started playing Imperial Assault, I've got those figures to work on.

Nerdery.
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Last semester, and maybe more so this one, I have had some straight-up panic attacks over the amount of work (particularly large papers and projects) required in this program. These have been mostly self-created, if I'm being honest with myself. I can handle the work; I just have to remember to handle it in chunks instead of looking at the entirety of the project. What I also have had to remember is, when I'm piddling around and procrastinating, is ... I like doing this stuff. I like diving into existing literature on the subject. I like figuring out how to pull relevant data out of different reports and studies and synthesizing something out of it. I like putting the words down. 

I have to do a lot of it in the next few days. This is what's still outstanding: Integration final exam tonight. Policy presentation Wednesday. Evaluation presentation Thursday morning. Policy report Friday afternoon. Practicum presentation on the 24th. Social Determinants group paper and presentation on the 25th. And that is it. One way or another, my grad school run is over in eight days. Long nights ahead.

I'm trying to stop griping about this final semester. There is nothing to be done, as Kim Stanley Robinson wrote. Just have to deal with the problems, hit the markers, and get out into the field. Put PhD and other considerations aside and focus on the local, the immediate, the things I can affect. Talk, seriously, with the faculty members who have contacts and experience, and can point me down paths I don't know exist.

In the wider world, there's a lot going on. Under Lord Dampnut's direction, the US is pushing for North Korea to be "handled." There's some reason for concern here - remember, of course, that Dampnut is unstable and aggressive and not very smart, and he's already attacked a Syrian airbase with a shitload of cruise missiles. (He also misnamed the nation the missiles' target was located in, while apparently focusing on the quality and size of the cake he was eating at the time. These fucking people.) North Korea tested a ballistic missile yesterday, but the launch failed; there was talk of a nuclear test (April 15 being a national holiday there), but it seems that nothing came of it.

After seeing the Spycraft 1 game at Conglomeration, and a talk with Erin about it, I've had a hankering for an espionage game start to rear it's head. Despite my love of Spycraft, I don't know that I'd use it. I feel like that's ground I've covered comfortably. There's the 007 clone, Classified, and something else I picked up along the way. Merle Rasmussen and some other folks bought the Top Secret name and product rights from WotC, and are launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund Top Secret: New World Order sometime soon. Always good to have options.

I need to go somewhere. Just go. Driving up to a truckstop 15 miles inside Indiana a couple of weeks ago was, I think, the first time I've left Kentucky since GenCon. Christ, I can't recall traveling anywhere besides my routes to Liberty since Thanksgiving. There's a day or weekend trip coming soon, either to celebrate or deal with the end of the semester.
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SPHIS reactivated the student ambassador position, so I've gone back to worth this week. No changes in the job, and other staff and faculty are glad we're back. The break was nice, as it let me put a stake in my practicum.

The X-Wing season wrapped up on the 31st. I backed into a playoff slot, and put together a fast-moving very agile squadron, but my opponent's big guns tore me apart in the first round. My buddy Ben S was our eventual champion, playing Rebel Alliance squadrons throughout the playoffs. Now, a few weeks of even more casual play, and probably some Armada and Imperial Assault games, too.

Classes are coming to a close. I'm not as panicked about things as I was a couple of weeks ago. Things look more realistic now. There is a whole lot of work still to be done, but I can manage it.

Weather's looking interesting today. Right now, it's a pretty day, clear skies and warm, but there are watches and warnings to the south, and they're heading this way. Just heard that Auburn University is shutting down for the rest of the day, and Atlanta is getting hit pretty hard. Our currently pleasant weather is expected to feed this mess when it gets close. Have talked with some of the cohort about skipping class tonight, because the front is supposed to hit about the time we go in and stick around through the evening.

This should be my last posting here. The new terms of service don't sit real well with me. I don't have any fear of posting up something that'll break the host country's laws, but for personal and political reasons, I'm not keen on involvement. I'm migrating over to Dreamwidth, with the same journal name, in case anyone wants to follow. Dreamwidth is importing everything from here to there, and I understand that to be a pretty complete and painless progress. Lots of people doing that, looks like, as my entries and replies are deep in a queue. No hurry. Do your thing, machines.

Eleven years and change here. Huh.
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I am done done done with my practicum. Put in my last day at the Cave yesterday, then Tim and I went out to lunch and just shot the breeze for a while. Not going to lie. It feels pretty good to be done with this.

The afternoon brought more good stuff. Paul Ryan cancelled the vote to approve the ACA replacement. That cheered me enough that I went out for X-Wing after all, and managed a pretty good win in league play.

The problem player in my Star Wars game seems to have self-resolved - or would have, if I hadn't suspended the game for school. He posted to the club page that he had run into a financial crunch and had to sell his X-Wing collection. Sucks - I don't like seeing misfortune unless it's hitting someone really deserving. Anyway, a buyer did appear - someone on temporary assignment to Knox - and I guess that got handled. So, the problem player, if his post is accurate, won't be able to make game nights for a while. This would be awfully convenient for me if the game was still on; we'd continue the game, of course, and find that the group dynamic was just working better without him, plus a new player and and and. So, if I stay in Louisville and restart the game next month, we'll see how things shake out. (Footnote: guy wanted someone from the club to buy the collection and keep it at our host store so he could still play. That didn't work out, obviously.)
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Thursday (3/9), was at LMPHW, doing some inventory checking (did you know that N95 masks have expiration dates?), when Matt R comes tear-assing into the cube farm, booming out that we need to evacuate the building right now. So, we do, and Gray Street fills up with fire trucks. Electrical fire in the basement, and while LFR is able to contain it pretty quickly, it was in the building's main junction box, so the building had to be, I am not fooling here, shut down and restarted. Which would take most of the afternoon. So we went home.

New player in my Star Wars game, and may take the place of one that has just about worn out his welcome. Some X-Wing and Armada time this weekend. Late night out last night, which was not a good idea.

Mulholland

Feb. 26th, 2017 09:10 am
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Started trying to catch up on movies last week - unrelated to the Oscars tonight. Got out of class Thursday night and treated myself to John Wick Chapter 2. It's a superlative action pic, an excellent sequel to one of the best in the genre. Goes deeper into the underworld these characters inhabit, their rules and resources. After watching Hell on Wheels, I shouldn't have been surprised by Common's performance, but I was, and pleasantly so.

Yesterday was The LEGO Batman Movie, and it was an utter delight. Nonstop running gags, pop culture nods, Batman rapping and/or singing about how great it is to be Batman. Very good voice casting, and an appropriately sweet ending.

And on this bright Sunday morning, I'm watching Mulhulland Drive, because it seems I want to get the weird underway as quickly as possible today.

I saw both movies at Baxter Avenue Theater, and should probably make a habit of seeing more movies there. It's on my way home from school, so makes for a good way to wind down after the classweek ends. It's not part of the ginormous Cinemark or Regal or other chains, and, well, it's got its own cool little vibe. Also, extremely comfortable recliners. Like the Kentucky back in Lexington, Baxter regularly runs midnight shows, and in March, the theme is the Fash Bash - three movies involving lots of punching Nazis: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, and Inglorious Basterds. Don't know that I could handle SPR at midnight, but Raiders ... just try keeping me away.

Also in media, I'm rewatching Heroes Season 1, and remembering that this was a pretty darn good show, with some occasional missteps. And then the later seasons happened and oh no what is this.

Got in the second round of the Corellian Conflict Friday night. Lost a close match, acquitting myself better this time than in the first round. My fleet's reduced to about 90 percent of it's starting capability right now, having lost one of my capital ships. Bumped up the fighter complement to try to compensate.

Nightcall

Feb. 12th, 2017 02:37 pm
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Graduation is now 90 days away. This past week saw a lot of progress, and one small hitch. Got to see a couple of unpleasant egomanics butt heads in class. Had my second meeting at the Nia Center, and this week I'll be out at Shawnee Academy. MRC training went well Thursday night. Going to start winding the practicum down in a few weeks.

Good Star Wars game Friday night. One player's Obligation is nearly discharged, so we can start replacing that with Duty soon. The Jedi is learning to work with the other Force-sensitive on the team (but mostly wants to find the Inquisitor who stole his lightsaber). It's a good game, and I'm so glad that the players are enjoying it. In a couple of weeks, I'm on the hook for Shadowrun Anarchy at SYR, and I think I've got a sufficient handle on that one.

The PeppermintOS laptop is doing what I wanted it to, and that's work. The hardware is old, and limited - about the same HD space that I have in these USB jump drives floating around - but Peppermint's pretty light and fast, and OpenOffice's descendant runs very well there. Now, I want a cheap Chromebook, just for comparison.
tracker7: (Writing)
Hitting the Empire in regions it considers safe or under complete control was a pretty brave - maybe even foolhardy - choice, but after Scarif and Yavin, Command has been feeling aggressive. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Here in Japrael, we're taking advantage of the power vacuum and confusion that Moff Dardano's death brought on. Seven Bells and Archer are still our biggest sticks, and they got a workout a couple of weeks ago. After one of my teams met with resistance fighters on Akeforst, Sector Command sent the frigates and a couple of corvettes and every starfighter we could get out hands on over there. Successful raid. Destroyed an Imperial frigate and a couple squadrons of TIEs, plus one of the planetary navy's corvettes. We lost six fighters, and in the calculus of warfare, that's an acceptable trade. Big prize out of the raid, too. One of our corvettes was retasked with boarding a gas freighter before it could jump out of the system, and we got our hands on a few thousand tons of blaster and coolant gases.

The same team, a few days ago, got mixed up in some real trouble at Onderon. Our listening post (which has to be relocated and soon) got word of a real high-level visitor, extend all courtesy and all that. We figured probably a possible new Moff or something along those lines. Nope. Nothing less than the Devastator - Vader's Star Destroyer - dropped into the system and was in orbit over one of Onderon's moons for several days. It left a good-sized garrison there, and Sector Command decided that whatever was there was pretty important, so we sent my ops to investigate Sector parked Archer at the edge of the system. Well, things happened, and there was a fight, and based on the ops team's report, there was an Inquisitor there. I've given that team some off-the-leash time. They're good, and whatever Sector has coming up next, they'd be useful, but we'll manage without them. They've got ... something to pursue, and right now, no one else needs to be involved. They'll be back when they're back.

The offensive over in the Corellian sector isn't off to the best start. Two of the task forces there got beaten up pretty badly; the third handed the Imperial Navy a resounding loss. I don't know much more beyond that. High Command committed a big, big pile of resources to this and if it doesn't pay off, we're going to be hurting.

On Hold

Jan. 26th, 2017 11:25 am
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I only went to a few SYRs after the summer dramasplosion, not as a result of that nonsense, but because the venue was incredibly uncomfortable (very hot) and Sunday afternoons became reserved for homework and football. Got asked to run something at an upcoming SYR by the group organizer, and since the only football game left is the Super Bowl and it's no longer hot weather, I think I'm going to give it a shot. First on the list - Shadowrun Anarchy.

A couple of my Commonwealth's legislators filed a bill to create state regulations for public high schools that want to offer courses on Hebrew religious texts and some version of the Bible. I wish I was surprised. I can barely even be disappointed. The positive, for now at least, is that these courses would be electives. Still, it's hiding theocratic methods behind a flimsy shield of cultural education, and no good will come of it.
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Got clobbered in my first Armada tournament on Saturday. Got in a few good licks, didn't totally embarass myself, but lost both games. Learned some things and got a nice pack of prizes (one advantage to small turnouts, I guess), and got to clown around with some friends.

While I was moving little plastic spaceships around a table, something like 1% of the nation's population took part in rallies and marches for civil rights and good government and against Cheeto Benito. Hopeful that this anger and commitment holds on until the midterm elections and we can get better defenses against the administration.

Registered for Cincycon this morning. No GenCon this year, so getting in some smaller events instead.
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My players got me out of the jam I'd written us into, and we had a good action-packed session Friday night. Got in some space combat for the Ace and enough spotlight time for everyone else. Next up, more Jedi action, introducing an Inquisitor.

The first pairings for the Corellian Conflict are assigned. Task Force 29 is defending Corfai against an Imperial attack. Just have to coordinate schedules with my opponent.

After last weekend's mostly-terrible wild card games, I had hope for better games in the divisionals. I mostly got my wish. Better games, although only one went the way I wanted - Atlanta over Seattle. Green Bay beat Dallas by a field goal, and the Steelers got past the Chiefs. Also New England beat the Texans, so I'm pulling for the eventual NFC champion in the Super Bowl. Best part of the weekend was watching the Dallas game with some of the cohort.

Swapped out some old and half-functional tech for an equally old but fully functional piece, and finally set up the Echo Dot I was given for Christmas. The Dot ... I don't know quite what to do with it.
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I'm a pretty lucky gamer. A big part of that is the number of game stores that can qualify for both the "friendly" and "local" descriptors.

There's The Louisville Game Shop, probably first among equals, even if it's the one I spend the least time at. The owner is an old buddy and the store has the best RPG selection around. The gaming space in the back is pretty tight, and the store closes up pretty early, but those aren't big quibbles. Colin's my guy.

Just up the street from the FLGS is my Friday night second home, Heroes Comics & Games. Heroes is the host location for our Star Wars gaming club, Outer Rim Heroes, and league night sees the cavernous store full of X-Wing and other Star Wars games, Nerd Louisville's Friday Night RPGs, and a bunch of folks playing Smash Brothers. Steve has an amazing collection of old games on his shelves; not so much on new or recent releases, though. Heroes is a great host store.

A stone's throw across the Bullitt line is Pet Shop Comics, the least local of the three, but it's hard to beat this one for friendliness. The owner, Rick, is retired Army, and a diehard New York Yankees fan, giving us material for lots of gentle ribbing during baseball season. PSC focuses heavily on minis games, and there are usually a number of folks painting and building at one of the tables there. Rick's got an excellent habit of running significant sales with very little notice and for a day, or just part of a day.

Related to all this, the new X-Wing league started Friday, and the first meeting for the Armada Corellian Conflict campaign was yesterday. I'm playing a Rebel fleet, starting with five small ships (corvettes and frigates) and a half-dozen squadrons. I first built a fleet around an MC80 variant, with the expectation (hope) of generating enough resource points over the course of the campaign to buy some smaller ships. I think I'll learn more by using the small ships and improving them as the campaign progresses.

As the Corellian Conflict is a no-fooling campaign, I expect a narrative of some kind to develop, and I'm thinking about using it as background material for my AoR game. Mention the Alliance offensive and its progress over in the Corellia Sector, and maybe have it influence missions and resources that the PCs see in Japrael Sector.

Next Phase

Jan. 1st, 2017 08:01 pm
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Scrubbed Friday night's RPG session in favor of more X-Wing games. Wasn't really in the right headspace and two players were out. Need to figure out how to salvage the mission the PCs are on.

Saturday morning, drove back to the farm to watch the Louisville and Kentucky bowl games with Mom&Dad. Games were not good, company was very good. Clemson wallopped Ohio, so there's the good showing from the ACC. Had a couple of NYE party invitations; blew them off in favor of just going home and reading. Did stop off at PSC to pick up more Star Wars gaming stuff.

So, it's 2017. I'm just done with NYE parties and whatnot; I only stayed up last night to watch 2016 die. Got to see Mariah Carey fall apart on live TV, and that was both sad and funny. I've spend the first day of the year reading and watching football and hockey. Things are, well, things.
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Christmas Eve was a pretty good day. Light traffic all the way to Liberty, and lunch with Mom&Dad when I got there. So much catfish. I was a glutton. We exchanged our gifts and prepped for Christmas Day.

Which went about as expected.

Monday, I helped Dad load one of the junkers he's lied to himself over onto the trailer - praise Ford, someone bought this pile of scrap metal. Two tons down, lots more to go.

Tuesday morning, Rick posted details of the expected sale at PSC, and it was a good offer. I picked up a new sourcebook for EotE and a bag of ships for Armada. We're starting the Corellian Campaign in a couple of weeks, and I feel like my fleet is going to be competitive. My commnd skills, however, may be another story.

Yesterday and today have been quiet, Netflix-watching, RPG session-planning days. A couple of school-related e-mails, not much else.

Shine

Dec. 17th, 2016 12:05 am
tracker7: (Gaming)
Flight Officer's Report, action of [date], Onderon system

Per Commodore Sougal's request, I am submitting my account of the engagement identified above.

Transmissions intercepted by Whisper Base indicated a small Imperial convoy entering Onderon system would be carrying several hundred tons of parts and supplies for the Imperial ordnance station near Iziz, and that the convoy's assigned escort cruiser had suffered a severe drive failure and would be unable to travel with the convoy during its final leg. Sector Command hastily organized a strike force of two Nebulon-B frigates, Archer and Seven Bells, the CR90 corvette Tarafa, and the starfighter and armed transport complement from Canval Base.

The Imperial vessels exited hyperspace near the edge of the system's gravity well, following procedure for entry into a safe system with high levels of civilian traffic. Our frigates immediately deployed their starfighters and moved at best speed to intercept the Imperial freighters. As expected, there was a small escort force still present - a pair of Raider-class corvettes and a small starfighter complement.

Within a matter of minutes, the Alliance frigates had the freighters under their guns and were preparing to launch boarding parties. A number of Imperial ships broke away from the main body, and Commodore Sougal directed the closest Alliance ships to intercept and prevent them from escape.

Tarafa led this hastily-dispatched force, consisting of my element of A-Wings, an element of X-Wings from Canval, and two armed transports, the Leap of Faith and Tilted Heart. The breakaway Imperial force consisted of one of the Raider corvettes, six TIEs of mixed type, and a Lambda-class shuttle. Captain Gerb, commanding Tarafa, ordered the starfighters to engage the TIEs escorting the shuttle, under his corvette's support and directed the transports to harass the Raider. Gerb stated his belief that the shuttle was carrying high-value personnel and that it should be the primary target for our part of the engagement.

Just before the transports entered weapons range of the Raider, the Imperial vessel suffered a series of explosions in the drive section and broke apart. The transports did not fire on the Raider; I believe that the ship had been struck by turbolaser shots from one or both of the Alliance frigates and incurred greater damage than initially identified.

Five of the TIEs - four G/T models and an Advanced - moved quickly to screen the shuttle and engage Tarafa. Captain Gerb maneuvered to keep his ship between the TIEs and the smaller Alliance ships. A single Interceptor flanked our starfighter formation, making no effort to join the other Imperial fighters. Tarafa fought well, damaging or destroying the TIEs and firing on the shuttle. The shuttle proved to have been outfitted for combat with a heavy cannon, however, and coordinated with the TIEs to deliver heavy fire to Tarafa. The Imperials overcame our corvette's defenses and Tarafa's drive section began to fail. With the ship's maneuverability and speed greatly reduced, it was an easy target for the remaining Imperial ships and was destroyed.

When Tarafa was destroyed, the shuttle and TIE Advanced moved to disengage and escape. We destroyed the remaining TIE and landed enough shots on the shuttle to collapse its shields, but the vessel ultimately made a jump into hyperspace. Our detachment assembled into formation and rejoined the main Alliance force.

I can find no fault with the conduct of the detachment, and credit Captain Gerb with preventing the destruction of a number of starfighters and armed transports. We enjoyed the great fortune of the early destruction of the Raider; I feel certain that that vessel would have inflicted severe losses on our detachment. Of particular note, one of Canval Base's X-Wing pilots, Jaina Pelar, performed extraordinarily well. Officer Pelar flew aggressively, keeping her fighter closer to my A-Wings than I would have expected. Pelar displayed an uncanny ability to coordinate her own weapons fire with that of her fellow pilots. Her piloting skill is notable, but she is a superlative gunner. While the loss of Tarafa and most of her crew will be keenly felt, I expect that Sector Command will soon replace the ship, likely through the method of stealing an equivalent Imperial vessel.

I am available for further discussion and evaluation of the events of this action, at your convenience.

J. Battin, Flight Leader, Nightside Squadron, Seven Bells

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