If you haven’t played or read the review, then this is a game of epic proportion. Hide and seek, multiple fights, and the inevitable character led decisions – from capture to sabotage. As the rebel, you will use cards to bring the game end sooner and as the empire you will search the map for your hidden opponent.
During the game:
Objectives favour the rebel: The rebel player should always seek to gain more objectives and to push the objective deck on to the later stages – these cards have bigger impact to the game and in some cases or just as feasible as the basic ones. Good planning and plenty of time will help the rebel to achieve these. Until these are available the empire has little to worry about.
First game – start obvious: Yes as the rebel player you might think about second guessing the empire – hide in plane sight (near Coruscant perhaps!). The reality is that it will take the empire a lot of time to expand out to the edges of the galaxy and they will search methodically. Let them then. Sit in one of the three obvious places but be careful not to give it away.
Spread, but not too thin: The empire needs to spread out throughout the game – each round splitting forces in different directions – each force capturing a planet. Never let the forces get too small, but never let a planet escape your reach.
Rebel Base Stronghold: By contrast the rebels will build up the base so that you can stand and fight if / when you get found. If a small force stumbles across the base, they should be crushed. However, don’t build up a fleet – more on that to follow.
Blockades & Deathstar: The rebel fleet is for two things – getting in the way of the empire reaching the rebel base (but not defending it) and then to blow up the deathstar. The X-Wings are key to this (see objective card), so build as many of them as you can.
Loyalty: As the empire, subjugate what you can and as you reach the edge of the galaxy and lower value systems, leave them behind and don’t worry. However, there are some high value planets (Mon Calamari et al) that have powerful production. Both sides will seek these early and the rebel will place troops there using cards only to use other cards to ensure loyalty.
Fighting: In every fight you want to align your hits to kill (for certain) the units that can do you the most damage. Hit the targets that can do the right colour of damage, or the ones that roll the most dice. Make sure that you kill them and that your enemy’s dice cannot save those units. Five units each on one health is much worse for you than a three units on full health!
Create Choices: This is opportunity for you (both sides) – place units with viable options to move left and right. Don’t become predictable and don’t become stuck in a route where you must go back on yourself.
Keep Some Back: Leaders are used to play cards but they are also used to move units and to counter your opponent. Keeping these options is key otherwise your opponent can easily capture a leader, or sabotage a key area. It doesn’t matter if you are the rebel or the empire – but if you are the empire you will be able to leave more back as movement is more valuable to you in the early game.
I have found that building a fleet of decent size can give the rebels local superiority in one quadrant of the galaxy. This helps with two things: First, you can block of access to that quadrant and leave the Empire in the dark if the base is there if they don’t build a lot of units to match your fleet. Second, the strong fleet helps with fulfilling some of the combat objectives to shorten the game.
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