Star Wars: Rebellion at The Dragon this Thursday!

“The more you tighten your grasp, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”
     –Leia Organa

Star Wars: Rebellion, the board game of epic conflict between the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance for two to four players will be at The Wandering Dragon on Thursday, March 31st!

Experience the Galactic Civil War like never before. In Rebellion, you control the entire Galactic Empire or the fledgling Rebel Alliance. You must command starships, account for troop movements, and rally systems to your cause. Featuring more than 150 plastic miniatures and two game boards that account for thirty-two of the Star Warsgalaxy’s most notable systems, Rebellion features a scope that is as large and sweeping as the Star Wars universe deserves.

Simultaneously, it is intensely personal, cinematic, and heroic. Your forces are led by iconic heroes or villains. Including such characters as Leia Organa, Mon Mothma, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Emperor Palpatine, these leaders and their individual talents drive everything you do. As civil war spreads throughout the galaxy, these leaders are invaluable to your efforts, and the secret missions they attempt will evoke many of the most inspiring moments from the classic trilogy. You might send Luke Skywalker to receive Jedi training on Dagobah or have Darth Vader spring a trap that freezes Han Solo in carbonite!

Ultimately, your games will span multiple star systems. Many fighters will be lost. Many troopers will fall. Planets will join the Rebellion before they’re overrun by the Empire and subjugated. Imperial officers may capture Rebel spies and interrogate them for valuable information. A hotshot Rebel pilot may land a one-in-a-million shot against the Death Star and destroy it. In Rebellion, you and your friends decide the final fate of the galaxy. Will it remain under tyrannical rule, or will a select few manage to liberate it?

It Is a Period of Civil War

Rebellion packs an astonishing amount of the classic Star Wars trilogy into a relatively compact ruleset. Each game round encompasses just three phases, yet as you play through those phases, you’ll encounter massive fleet battles, desperate attempts at espionage, Jedi training, political maneuverings, and even the possibility to lure important Rebel heroes to the dark side of the Force.

One of the most important ways that Rebellion evokes the original trilogy is through its asymmetry. The Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance are vastly different forces, and they come with different play styles and win conditions.

The Galactic Empire

As the Imperial player, you can command legions of Stormtroopers, swarms of TIEs, Star Destroyers, and even the Death Star. You rule the galaxy by fear, relying on the power of your massive military to enforce your will. To win the game, you need to snuff out the budding Rebel Alliance by finding its base and obliterating it. Along the way, you can subjugate worlds or even destroy them.

 The Rebel Alliance

As the Rebel player, you can command dozens of troopers, T-47 airspeeders, Corellian corvettes, and fighter squadrons. However, these forces are no match for the Imperial military. In terms of raw strength, you’ll find yourself clearly overmatched from the very outset, so you’ll need to rally the planets to join your cause and execute targeted military strikes to sabotage Imperial build yards and steal valuable intelligence. To win the Galactic Civil War, you’ll need to sway the galaxy’s citizens to your cause. If you survive long enough and strengthen your reputation, you inspire the galaxy to a full-scale revolt, and you win.

The game’s asymmetry—and the distinctive feel of each faction’s play style—extends beyond these differences, however, and into the very nature of the missions that either side can attempt, the projects the Imperial player can undertake, and the Rebel Alliance’s military objectives. As the Rebel player, you might send your leaders to Establish Trade Relations or Incite Rebellion , but as the Imperial player you’re more likely to keep the local systems in line with a Display of Power . Of course, you might simply tighten your security in order to capture Rebel leaders and then use them to lay your own traps, such as deploying a Homing Beacon .

 

As the Imperial player, you’ll even have the opportunity to eliminate entire worlds with your Death Star. But if you do, the Alliance may later be able to inspire sympathy among those who fear befalling a similar fate.

The result is that even as your missions, projects, and objectives help you shift the balance of power, they also immerse you more deeply into the mindset of the forces you’re commanding, as well as the larger themes and conflicts of the classic Star Wars trilogy.

Keep the Local Systems in Line

While the focus of Rebellion is often on the iconic characters serving as your leaders, they’re certainly not the only characters involved. In fact, your games are bound to affect the lives of billions of individuals spread throughout the galaxy. After all, it is the fate of the galaxy that is at stake inRebellion, and that galaxy has a very real presence on your table.

Rebellion is played over two game boards that you place next to each other to form one play surface with thirty-two systems divided into eight regions. In your games, you will battle over these systems with capital ships, starfighters, troops, speeders, and walkers. You will attempt to win their people to your cause, and if you do, they will share their resources, allowing you to recruit more troops and build more vehicles and starships.

Here, the two Rebellion game boards are shown side-by-side, forming your galaxy. A closer look at Mon Cala reveals the hexagonal space in which either the Rebel or Imperial player could place a loyalty marker, as well as its two resource icons and the “3” in the green circle to their left, which indicates where any ships that you build using its resources would be placed on the build track.

Accordingly, while Rebellion is in many ways a game about the critical changes a handful of individuals can affect, it’s also a game about conquest, dominion, and logistics. As the Rebel player, you might expect to command a smaller military, but you can’t afford to fall further and further behind in the economic aspects of the war as the Empire secures the loyalty of entire regions and accelerates its production of Star Destroyers and AT-ATs.

The loyalties of the various systems are key to your ability to maintain a viable military force whether you’re commanding the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. Certainly, as the Imperial player, you’ll start with an imposing military advantage – one that the Rebels will be hard-pressed to overcome. Still, most of the galaxy’s thirty-two systems can generate resources, and if the Alliance can win the loyalty of those systems to take advantage of their resources, then they may slowly be able to generate a fleet and a military that can stand toe-to-toe against those of the Imperial Navy.

For this reason, the Imperial player is almost certain to act swiftly to snuff out the sparks of rebellion among all systems within range of its fleet. To this end, the game board does more than indicate the systems for whose loyalty the players can contend, it also serves as a map of the various hyperlanes your fleet might travel. Narrow borders indicate the spaces between adjacent systems, while thicker, orange borders hold together those systems clustered within a region. Meanwhile, there are no serviceable hyperspace lanes between some of the systems that appear to be adjacent, and the red areas between those systems indicate that no space travel is possible.

Here, the Imperial player uses an action to activate the Corellia system with Grand Moff Tarkin in order to counter its growing Rebel presence. When he activates the system, Grand Moff Tarkin allows the Empire to move any of its forces from one adjacent system. In this case, Tarkin can call forces from Sullust, but not from Bespin, because the red zone between Bespin and Corellia indicate there is no serviceable hyperspace route directly between the two systems.

Throughout your games of Rebellion, you will move your forces from system to system. As the Rebel player, you might risk a ship and a few squadrons every now and again to orchestrate key military strikes. As the Imperial player, though, your expansion through the galaxy is critical to your success. The more systems you probe and subjugate, the closer you come to identifying the location of the hidden Rebel base. At some point, your movement may even bait the Rebel fleet into action…

Your Moment of Triumph

Battles are inevitable. The Rebel Alliance can’t hide forever. At some point, it will need to win a military action in order to rally the galaxy’s citizens, or the Imperial forces will simply locate its base and close in from all sides before beginning their bombardment. Whenever Rebel and Imperial forces both occupy the same system, they must fight, and while these battles seldom decide the war outright, they always have a tremendous impact.

Your military forces in Rebellion are represented by more than 150 detailed plastic miniatures, including Stormtroopers, Rebel troopers, X-wings, Y-wings, TIEs, AT-ATs, Star Destroyers, and more. There’s even a Death Star and a partially constructed Death Star for you to place on the map should you begin construction on a second technological terror. All these forces have their combat statistics – attack dice and hit points – listed clearly on your faction sheet.

During engagements, these forces clash over multiple steps, using custom dice to resolve their attacks. If both players have starships in a system, they engage in a space battle before opposing troops engage in a subsequent ground battle. In both cases, any leader you have in the system may allow you to draw tactics cards, which you can use to deal more damage, block damage, or surprise your opponent in other ways.

After you’ve fought both the space and ground battles, you then have the opportunity to retreat, provided you have a leader in the system who can coordinate the effort. However, if neither side retreats, your engagement continues through additional space battles and ground battles until one side has eliminated the other’s forces.

Immediately after Grand Moff Tarkin commands forces from Sullust to Corellia, they engage the Rebel forces within that star system. Tarkin allows the Imperial player to draw two space tactics cards, as indicated by his blue space tactics value of “2.” Then, the Imperial player builds the pool of attack dice for his ships. The Star Destroyer grants two red dice and one black, and the TIEs grant one black die each for a total of two red dice and three black dice. After the Imperial player resolves his attack, the Rebel player will roll his attack dice, all ships destroyed during the battle will be removed, and then the players will move to the ground battle.

These combats can have far-reaching consequences. For starters, whenever the Galactic Empire is able to wrest a planet away from the Alliance, it can subjugate that system, and its residents cannot afford to show their loyalty to the Rebels. Even if that system is loyal to the Rebels, it cannot give them its resources, but instead must provide its resources to the Galactic Empire.

Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance also stands to gain much from initiating strategically chosen battles. Beside the obvious benefits they derive from reducing the forces available to the Empire, the Rebels can fight battles to achieve a number of different objectives, each of which can win them more loyalty in the galaxy. You don’t even need to win all your battles to achieve your Rebel objectives. Some merely require you to destroy a specific Imperial unit or a certain number of Imperial units, and many others reward you for winning either the space or ground battle and keeping your Rebel unit in the system, even if it remains loyal to the Empire.

 

In the end, combat in Rebellion ultimately serves to reinforce the game’s asymmetry, its themes, and the characters of its two factions. As the Rebel player, you simply cannot conquer the galaxy by brute force; you need to choose your military actions carefully and execute them for maximum impact. As the Imperial player, though, your superior military might is a powerful asset and one that you’ll need to use to your advantage as often as possible.

The Ultimate Power in the Universe

From the tallest buildings on Coruscant to the farthest reaches of the Outer Rim, Star Wars: Rebellion presents you a chance to reenact the conflicts of the Galactic Civil War that is unmatched in its scope and cinematic grandeur. Rich with personality, replete with strategy, Rebellion is a massive, epic game and one that fully captures the spirit of the classic Star Wars trilogy.

Decide the fate of the galaxy when Star Wars: Rebellion arrives Thursday, March 31st at The Wandering Dragon!

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