Thursday, December 07, 2006

BESPIN BRAG - Instructions

The Rules for

2 to 5 players.

You will need 60 playing cards (3 X printed card sheet).

The pack will consist of:

24 X ‘Refinery’ Cards - Tractor Beam Generator, Gas Refinery, Worker Housing and Baron’s Penthouse
24 X ‘Gas!’ Cards of varying denominations
6 X Solar Flare Cards
6X Imperial Takeover Cards

Object of the game.

Build your own mining facility and collect more Tibanna gas than the other players.
Game concludes when at least one player has a complete facility and five gas quantities. Then all players’ gas quantities, irrespective of number held, are totaled up. The player with the largest combined liquid tonnage of Tibanna gas is the winner and may be crowned Baron Administrator.
It is possible to win the game with just three gas amounts – highly unlikely, but still possible.

How to start.

Choose one dealer – this should be the shiftiest person sitting at the table.
The dealer shuffles the entire stack of cards and deals four cards face down to each player, including him/herself. The remaining cards are placed in a face down stack in the center of the table.

Players should then look at their own cards. The initial object is to obtain the four cards needed to build your facility; Tractor Beam Generator, Gas Refinery, Worker Housing and Baron’s Penthouse. If a player has any of these cards, they must lay them face down in a ‘Refinery’ pile. Any doubles should be held onto for bargaining purposes later in the game.
If a player has been dealt any ‘Gas!’ cards or ‘Solar Flare’ cards, they must be discarded during this period. Begin a face down discard pile next to the central stack.
If a player has been dealt an ‘Imperial Takeover’ card, they must play this card immediately, seizing one face down ‘Refinery’ card from the player of their choosing and returning both to the discard pile.

Following this round, all players should have at least one 'Refinery' card in their hand, (plus any extras they are hanging to).

The stage 1 objective is to build your refinery.

Starting with the player to the dealer’s left, each player has two options.

1. They may offer one of their unwanted, face down ‘Refinery’ cards for sale. All other players have the option to offer one of their own, face down, cards, for this card. The player chooses one other player to trade with. Once the transaction has taken place it is the next player’s turn.
Note - For two players, any offered transaction must be taken.

2. The player may take a face down card from the central stack. If this is a ‘Gas!’ or ‘Solar Flare’ card, it must be discarded immediately. If it is a ‘Refinery’ card, it may be kept – please note, no more than five ‘Refinery’ cards can be held at any one time, all extra cards must be discarded. If it is an ‘Imperial Takeover’ card then the card must be played immediately, the player chooses any face down ‘Refinery’ card from another player’s stack and discards both cards.

Game play continues in this fashion, with players trying to complete their refinery sets.

Once a player has all four ‘Refinery’ cards, they may now progress to stage 2.

The player turns over their four ‘Refinery’ cards to declare that they are now mining for Tibanna. These ‘Refinery’ cards are now safe. They may not be removed by any other player, nor traded. If another player wishes to now use an ‘Imperial Takeover’ card against them, instead of removing a ‘Refinery’ card, the targeted player must miss two turns.
This is useful to go and put the kettle on.

The stage 2 objective is to collect five ‘Gas!’ cards, preferably of high values.

Players who have completed their refinery will now be making a face down ‘Gas!’ pile. I know this sounds rude, but stay with me.

Upon their turn, a ‘gas mining’ player must take a face down card from the central stack. If it is a ‘Gas!’ card, they may add it to their collection. If it is a ‘Solar Flare’ card, they either play it immediately, targeting one other player and sending one of their ‘Gas!’ cards to the discard stack, or hold onto the card to use in the same fashion during a later round. The card should be kept face down.
‘Imperial Takeover’ cards may also be played immediately, or held for future use, but only against players still building their refineries. This doesn’t sound very fair, but the galaxy’s a tough place. Note, only five face down cards may be held in the ‘Gas!’ pile at any time.
Any picked up ‘Refinery’ cards must be returned immediately to the discard pile.

Once two or more players have started to collect ‘Gas!’ cards, upon their turn, a player may opt to trade one of their cards with any other ‘gas miner’. In this event, both players spread their ‘Gas!’ cards face down before them, then simultaneously take one from their opponent’s pile. After this exchange, the turn is over. This is a risky maneuver, but sometimes it can pay off handsomely. Such is the life of a gambling gas miner!

Finishing the game

Play continues in the same fashion until one player has a completed refinery and can turn over five ‘Gas!’ cards.

Note – once the central stack is used up, please replace with discard pile.

Once a player has declared himself or herself a successful gas miner, all other players cease operations and total up the tonnage of liquid gas in their possession. The winner is the player with the largest total of gas and can be crowned Baron Administrator, forcing the other players to fetch them drinks and massage their feet.

Don’t despair if you only have three cards at the end. 1 X 300,000 + 2 X 400,000 still beats five cards in any combination of up to 200,000 – there is hope. A new hope you might say.

Have fun!

For queries and details for these rules, please leave a comment on the Star Wars blog site, not here – thanks!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Bald Move

05.001 - Lobot

The Baron certainly knows how to pick his acquaintances.

As soon as the Empire descended upon our mining colony I knew Lando’s rebel friends were the catalyst.
The Imperial garrison secreted themselves into the fabric of the city in no time, and to the casual observer there was nothing amiss. Still, we continued to carry out our duties with more trepidation than before.

Lando was on the cusp of discovering the largest Tibanna plume in the rig’s history, and his first priority was to the workers and families of his facility. When Lord Vader revealed his intentions he had no time to brood, although I saw his demeanor change over night. He had no wish to betray his friend.

This was my first meeting with Lord Vader, and for some reason he seemed to tolerate me more readily than any of the organics in the city, miners or Imperials.
Vader instructed me to divulge any information I had regarding the Baron, the city and, in particular, the carbon-freezing chamber. Curiously, he was most interested in any schematics I could pull up regarding the surrounding ventilation shafts and conduits to the chamber, and demanded the overwrite codes for all doors and seals to these tunnels.

With his mining operation at stake, Lando tried his best to appease the Dark Lord in every way possible, but for the first time I saw conflict and hesitation in his face. The final straw that broke the eopie’s back was the arrival of Boba Fett. It was then that Lando implanted the back up codes in my system, telling me that I was to arrange a counter attack against the Imperials upon his signal. A futile effort I suggested, but it heartened me to see the old spark back in my friend.

When Vader mentioned the change in Lando’s behavior, I dismissed it, blaming his attitude on the imminent Tibanna strike. I got the impression that Vader was attempting to probe my mind, but my augmentation encrypted my thoughts so rapidly that he could only have detected gibberish. Actually, I believe Vader held a fascination for my cybernetic enhancements that might have been problematic, had Lando’s associates not arrived and diverted his attention.

Once the Imperial plan was in motion I had to ensure that everything remained calm. When I saw the protocol droid emerge from the Falcon’s underbelly I realized this could spell trouble. It is easy to pull the wool over a wookiee’s eyes, just pump meat smells into the air vents and his brain would not be able to focus on anything else, but the droid could spot something out of the ordinary and alert the others. I had set a small sabacc table up in the Nor-West storage room and invited the off duty troopers to relax there. One never knows when an indebted trooper can come in useful. I rushed there and spun a fabrication regarding a rogue protocol droid who was wandering the corridors of Cloud City attacking anything that moves. I then used a small hand modulator to emulate the squeal of an agitated astromech droid, knowing full well that any protocol droid would have to investigate the noise. The troopers did the rest.

After hauling the droid’s parts down to the Ugnaughts I settled in to my port station, recharging, ready to face the ensuing events.

Things were about to change; I just hoped that Calrissian was worth the credits it took to bring him here.