After some time without a post (sorry about that), with a new job hunt and some vacation time, I’m back with another TableTopTake review. This one for the Star Wars Rebellion game.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away the Empire was in search of the Rebel’s secret base. They were sending out probe droids, building new AT-ATs, taking over planets, and trying to deal with those pesky rebel scum. But that wasn’t the only problem, the Rebels were gaining ground as they completed missions to subvert the Empire’s plans and it was only a matter of time before they’d be able to stop them.
If that sounds a lot like the actual Star Wars movies (or at least the original trilogy), good, because that is what Star Wars Rebellion is built around. It’s only a two player game, which is a little bit odd, though I guess you could split up the duties and play as a team, but that would also be odd for the game, where one side is the Empire trying to destroy the Rebel base, and the other side is the Rebels trying to complete missions and last long enough until they have enough influence in the galaxy. Star Wars Rebellions takes the grand space epic feel and distills it down into a board game.
The game is a lot of fun to play and runs off of a number of interesting different mechanics. There is space and ground combat that allow you to battle it out with the other players troops, there are missions that you go on that the other player can challenge. And there is strategy of hiding your secret base and of searching for it. Most of these actions require that you use a commander, which are the named characters of Star Wars, to complete them, so if you decide to subjugate a planet, you use Darth Vader or the Emperor. Maybe you want to sabotage a supply line with Princess Leia. There are tons of different options, or maybe there will be an epic space battle between Tarkin and Wedge.
Star Wars Rebellion is split into different phases of the game as each player picks secret objectives on their turn to try and complete. These objectives, or missions, give you things and you can play them in any order. But if you play an objective, your opponent has a chance to try and stop you by sending in one of their guys that has the skill you are using. However, once you’ve used a character in a round you can’t use them again. Even moving your troops requires characters to do. This turns the game into kind of a bluffing game, can you stop some of your opponents plans or maybe you need to let something that isn’t ideal for you go through so that you can complete your own plans.
Besides these objectives, there is combat as well, maybe I send some ships into a system that contains a couple of enemy ships. If so, now we engage in combat. Combat is based around the ships that you are using and you roll dice with them. So the more or better ships that you have, the more likely it is that you’ll win. But if you send in a leader, like Tarkin or Wedge, you get some cards that can help you in battle. Maybe you’ll draw a card that can help you, and maybe you won’t, but maybe you won’t need them, because your dice roll could be amazing or terrible. The combat is based around dice that are determined by which troops you have, so there is an element of random luck to it. As are the rolls for challenging someone as they try and complete an objective. So even the better fleet might not win. This can be interesting, especially if you’re rolling well, or it can be poor, however, it doesn’t always lead to the most balanced game because finding the rebel base might be deduction, but destroying it is all about the die rolls.
Overall I really do enjoy the game. The cards help balance out the combat so you feel like you can win if you have the lesser fleet, but more often than not you won’t. There is a fair amount of strategy that goes into if you stop someone’s objective or if you need to move the troops, especially playing the Empire side which is searching out the Rebel base. The game takes a little while to play, but it does feel immersive on the story side of the game as you have characters that you really recognize from the original trilogy. I’d highly recommend playing this game, and I do recommend buying the game as well. I haven’t bought it yet, but it’s on my list of games that I want (which is huge), the downside is with the awesome figures, lots of cards, a huge board, the game has a pretty high price tag. The components are worth it, and especially when you play with the advanced rules as to how to set-up the game and leader powers, the game is immensely replayable.
Overall Grade: A
Gamer Grade: A+
Casual Grade: C
Just a little comment on the casual grade, I do think it will be enjoyed by most people, especially Star Wars fans. However, it isn’t a light game, there are a number of rules that all make sense and are written out well, but for a casual beginning gamer, it might be a bit much.
Have you played Star Wars Rebellion before? What are your thoughts on it? Does it feel like a part of the original Trilogy?
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