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Episode 1661: Guerillas in their Midst


The unrolling of the battle mat - a huge mat printed with grid squares or hexagons (depending on the needs of your game rules) for keeping track of tactical combat with miniature figures - is a moment of great significance in any game. This signals that the impending fight is about to get real, in a very real-getting way.

If you don't have a battle mat for your game, consider getting one. Chessex make the original BattlematTM, which can be found for sale in various online stores and local gaming shops, and there are several other companies making similar products.

Keep your new battle mat hidden. Don't bring it out for paltry encounters with a patrol of half a dozen orcs, or a fight with a minotaur or two. Wait until later in the game session, when the heroes breach a particularly significant room and encounter the climactic battle for the evening. Then tell your players to clear all the dice and character sheets and chips and soft drink bottles off the table. Clear 'em all, I mean it!

Then pull your battle mat from its hiding spot and unfurl it with a dramatic mid-air snap and let it settle over the table. Look your players in the eye one by one. And say, "Right. Let's do this."

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

A Pete with a bunch of goons to order around is a happy Pete.

He does have a good point about the pre-emptiveness there. If he starts establishing the perimeter by the time they're in the bunker, the perimeter might not actually be ready by the time they need to use it. Because if you think Jim can't blow a stealth mission 2 seconds after entering the enemy compound, you are very, very mistaken.

— aurilee

Yep, Baze is out of action, just acting as ship defense. Of course, things will go to plan A.

Meanwhile, we position all the extra troops on the battle mat. Reminds me of my hex grid wargame days.

— Keybounce


K-2SO: Can't you just come without Baze?
Chirrut: Are you kidding? I'll be blind!!
Chirrut: Never mind. I'll defend the ship when your stealth inevitably fails and we revert to Plan A.
Chirrut: We'll pre-emptively set up a defence perimeter.
Cassian: Wait until we're inside the bunker.
Chirrut: Not pre-emptive enough!
Cassian: Just... be careful. Bria, K, let's go. While we still can.
Chirrut: I'll position these guys here...
Chirrut: and these ones there...
GM: I think we need the battle mat.
Chirrut: YES!!

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Published: Tuesday, 05 June, 2018; 03:11:02 PDT.
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