Star Wars. It’s a cultural phenomenon that brought science fiction into the mainstream (though I would argue that it’s more space fantasy than science fiction). And ever since Fantasy Flight got the Star Wars license, they’ve been milking it for all it’s worth. And that includes today’s game…
Star Wars: Rebellion is a game by Corey Konieczka that is being published by Fantasy Flight. The game is for 2-4 players and takes 3-4 hours. The game is basically the fight between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire of the original trilogy. Players will control one of the two factions, and both have different objectives – start a revolution or destroy the rebel base.
The game comes with a board (split into two halves), 15 objective cards, 25 leader standees, 3 destroyed system markers, 2 faction sheets, 68 mission cards, 31 probe cards, 30 tactic cards, 34 action cards, 27 subjugation/Imperial loyalty markers, 12 Rebel loyalty markers, 32 damage markers, a time marker, a reputation marker, 7 attachment rings, 10 sabotage markers, 10 custom dice, and 153 plastic miniatures.
153. That’s a lot of plastic.
Each player chooses their faction, and takes the corresponding components – minis, leaders, loyalty markers, faction sheet, mission cards, and action cards. Leaders without a recruit icon are placed on your faction sheet (there are four). The time marker is set at zero on the time track, while the reputation marker is set at 14. The Rebel player draws an objective card from the objective deck (with level I cards on top, level III on bottom). Each player shuffles their action deck, and sets their starting missions aside (shuffling the rest into a mission deck). The Rebel player then secretly chooses a location for their base, and each player draws two missions (plus their four starting missions) to form their initial hand.
In each round of the game, players will assign their leaders to missions; take turns resolving the missions or placing leaders on the board for movement or combat; and perform cleanup actions.
ASSIGNMENT: The missions represent important moments in the Star Wars saga. The Rebel player begins this phase by assigning any of their leaders to different missions from their hand. The Imperial player then does likewise. To assign a leader, play the mission facedown near your faction sheet and place 1-2 leaders on it.
COMMAND: You have two things you can do in this phase – activate a system or reveal a mission. You could also pass, but that ends your round.
To activate a system, take a leader from your pool (not assigned to a mission) and place it in any system. Units from adjacent systems can then be moved into that system, but units cannot be moved out of that system. If you move into a system containing opposing units, it’s time for combat. Each player draws tactic cards according to their leader’s tactic value (space and ground). Attacks involve rolling dice, playing tactic cards, and assigning damage. Destroyed units are removed to the supply. Players can choose to retreat to an adjacent system.
After Imperial units move into a system, the Rebel player must declare if that is where their base is located before combat occurs.
To reveal a mission, choose a facedown mission that has an assigned leader and flip it up. The player decides which system is being used to resolve or attempt the mission and places the leader there. The opposing player may send a leader to oppose the mission, which otherwise succeeds automatically. Whether or not is succeeds is determined by rolling dice based on the number of skill icons on the leaders in the system.
REFRESH: Here, players retrieve leaders, draw two missions, launch probe droids (which is where the Imperial player discovers one system where the Rebel base is NOT), draw objective (Rebel only), and advance the time marker. Players also slide units down the build track, deploying them to the board if finished.
The Imperial player wins if he conquers the Rebel base. The Rebel player wins if the reputation and time marker are on the same space. So time is the friend of the Rebellion, while speed and violence is the friend of the Empire.
This is a pretty big and expansive game, and it’s already being hailed as one that’s the most true to the movie canon. Specifically, it feels like the showdown at the end of A New Hope, as the Empire is closing in on the Rebellion and they’re just trying to survive. There’s a lot of cool components here, and it seems like it will be a very interesting tactical game. And long. I hope to see this for myself someday, but who knows when I’ll have the time to devote to a game.
Overall, it feels like this will be another hit for FFG and the Star Wars license. We’ll see how it stands up over time, but for now, I think it will be a good property for them. Thanks for reading!