Saturday, April 30, 2016

A session of FFG's Rebellion: Don't worry, I dealt with your Rebel friends soon enough!

I managed to squeeze one game of Star Wars: Rebellion from Fantasy Flight Games with my friend Jim today. I bought it when it first came out, but only now did I have the chance to try it out.

And it was worth it..

It took me a while to set up the game, and like most games today, Rebellion has a large footprint, taking space on my 6 foot table and more.

Nice production values all around.. Good thick 2 piece board, and nice sculpts on the minis. And there are lots of minis!

The minis looked great ..

Nice art on the board and on the cards as well..

The minis were in harder plastic than say, FFG's Runewars game, which I complained about in an earlier blog post. Both games had troops on triangle bases, but in Runewars, I found their minis fragile..Not so with Rebellion, which is good news.

A Triangle Base from RuneWars

Much sturdier Triangle Bases in Rebellion

Jim and I grew up with the original trilogy and traded quotes from the movies while we were playing, breaking into a lot of laughter. I greeted him at the door with "Governor Jim.. I should have recognized your foul stench when I set up the game..." for instance..

When I complained about Mon Mothma and Leia turning systems against me, and I complained the Rebels are like cockroaches, he gave me the Leia quote, but we both laughed.. "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.."

"You want a diet coke, Jim, then name the system!" (where the Rebel base is hidden, for those who don't get the Grand Moff Tarkin quote).

And on and on with the jovial quotes and barbs.

Yes, I played the Empire and Jim the Rebels. .

Where this game shines I think is it's strategy.. Leaders are very important in this game. You use them for missions such as diplomatic missions to sway systems to your side, but also for sabotage, intelligence, etc, and you can use your leaders to try and counter their missions.. It becomes a system of resource control as you have to constantly decide whether to use a leader for a mission, counter-mission or to move your fleets. You can't move your fleets without leaders, so if you allocate all your leaders to missions, you're basically telegraphing to your opponent that you can't move your fleet this turn.. You thus play your leaders like chess pieces..

Here for instance, I used General Tagge to move this Star Destroyer and troops to liberate Naboo from the Rebel yoke..

and here I used Grand Moff Tarkin to start construction of a Death Star in a nice safe isolated part of the galaxy..

You can see what leaders the other side is allocating to missions as you must place leaders on allocated mission cards, and you can try and guess your opponent's missions based on their skill sets on the card and so, plan ahead..

Leia and Mon Mothma were used a lot to spout lies about the Emperor and turn systems toward the Rebellion and away from the goodness and justice of His Majesty, the Emperor....

Accordingly, I had to on some occassions allocate a capture mission to try and capture them to keep them from spouting lies by planning ahead.. Of course you have to use up that leader to do so, taking him away from other important tasks..

The Rebel player can plan to counter my counter move by planning for rescue missions should that happen.. and so on..

I captured Mon Mothma once using Boba Fett and put a captured ring around her..

but Jim used Solo to rescue and free her..

So next time, I waited to see if Han Solo was assigned a mission to bag him from unbagging people I previously bagged.. and I did it.. I captured Han Solo..

and later put him in carbon-freeze to lower the reputation of the Rebels.. Jim sent a rescue mission, but luckily I stopped it with a great Dice Hall of Fame moment..

All the while though of this move-counter play between you and your opponent, both the Imperials and the Rebels have the clock ticking..The Reputation of the Rebels grow once the Rebels meet objectives, thus shortening the game for the Imperials to find the hidden Rebel base. However, the Rebels have to worry as every turn, the Imperials get probe cards that indicate where the Rebel base is not.. It's only a matter of time then for the Imperial player to figure out where the base is..

Two probe droid cards that tell me the Rebel base is not in Kashyyyk nor Rodia
Ship and troop construction is a snap in this game as it goes by symbols that you quickly can figure out and put on the build queue quickly..

My build queue in number of turns before going on the board..

Costs and colour-coded attack and health stats are neatly summed up in your alloted card..

Combat is colour coded so you need to bring the right forces to the right battles. You need to for instance, get hits on red dice to most capital ships in space battles and for AT-STs and AT-ATs in ground battles.

The Rebel's ion gun was thus a huge pain as it subtracted red die from me on several occassions..

Jim and I did a large battle for example, at Ord Mandell and his ion gun vexed me... 

but I finally had my ground forces knock out that Ion gun to finish off his cruiser.. I liberated the planet accordingly..

I never did get to blow up a planet with my Death Star as I had to waste my administrator leaders like Tarkin and Tagge in removing Jim's nagging sabotage missions that robbed me of some of my industrial capacity, rather than R&Ding my Death Star planet-buster laser..

However the Death Star on it's own is great as only 1 rebel mission card can destroy it and has 4 red attack dice in conventional attacks.. and it carries a huge load of troops.. Bear in mind that a half-constructed Death Star is vulnerable to conventional attacks, so you need to place it somewhere isolated and safe...

I finally stumbled upon Jim's Rebel base unprepared, at Kessel.. The funny thing is, I was looking at my probe droid cards and wondered outloud if Jim's base was on Kessel just before I went there by fluke.. When I said it, Jim had a poker face and I didn't think it was there, but it was..

We fought it out on Kessel..

 and finally overran it, winning the game..

Jim said he was planning this turn to move the base away from Kessel by using a Rapid Mobilization card he had allocated. I just happened to use a leader to move to Kessel first on my way to somewhere else..  If I allocated another leader by accident somewhere else, Jim would have had time to abandon Kessel this very turn just before I got there, with me none the wiser..

Anways, the war is over.... peace and justice prevails.. Long Live the Emperor!

Jim and I loved the game and promised to do another round next time! Another hit from FFG!

Two thumbs up!


  1. You just wait... the Rebels will Strike Back!

  2. Looks like a good time too bad the Empire won ;-)