I play more games than just Star Wars games, honest! Just so happens that I got to play almost two of these themed games in a row. This wasn’t planned but who doesn’t like Star Wars, am I right?
Hit the jump to find out about Star Wars: Rebellion.
This is a simulated, Star Wars Original Trilogy game in a box. You can make your own Star Wars fan fiction. It takes place at the beginning of Episode IV and you can go in any direction. One side is the Empire and the other is the Rebel Alliance. The Imperials must blow up the Rebel Base or have at least one ground troop in the base while the Rebels have none. The Rebels win by holding out and increasing their reputation by doing special missions to knock the others down a peg.
There are a lot of choices in the game but it is mechanically simple to play. Each side has leaders and you choose to place them on missions or leave them in reserve to either move units on the board or counter the other player’s missions. Then, one-by-one, you do leader actions (missions or movement) and finally retrieve your leaders. Combat happens between space ships or ground troops if they move onto the same planet but that only happened once in our game so it isn’t necessarily a significant part of the game.
Rebellion is mainly a two player game. That is the way I played it the first two times but this third time was a chance to play four players. It doesn’t add any major rules outside of taking on a General and Admiral roles that affect which leaders you control and whether you draw certain cards or the other cards. Dividing up actions like this definitely helps cut out some of the analysis paralysis by only have one person make the decision.
This is probably hands down, one of the best Star Wars experiences out there. The more unique missions played, the more it brings this sense out. The direct combat has been taken out but the universal expansion and see what is at stake is there. The Empire is a large threat and the Rebels can feel and see that by all the units out on the board. The Rebel Alliance have powerful cards that can throw a wrench in the Imperial plans; and when they work, it is like a punch in the gut as you feel the air leave you. Highs and lows for both sides and it works.
As I described the gameplay above, you can see the simplicity of it. There are of course more details like probe cards to help the Empire find where the Rebel Base is not and Objective cards to help the Rebel Alliance get cool missions, but it is all easily carried out. The real problem for the players is deciding to hold a leader to block or trying to carry out the mission.
I could see this coming across as biased but I don’t have many complaints about this game. It is one of my highest rated games I own. Even throwing in a 3rd and 4th player didn’t make the game worse since it is just dividing up the duties. It comes across as a drop-in and drop-out sort of game with little to no impact on the game board.
The only real “complaint” would be the potential for the Empire side to win early with the Death Star. But to combat that, Rebels can get a card to blow it up and Imperials have to get a card to use the laser. The instruction manual warns the Rebel Alliance to not build their base next to the the other team for this reason. Makes sense to me.
In the end, I love this game. It is fun and feels like Star Wars. When Han Solo blocked Vader’s attempt to capture Mon Mothma on Mon Calamari and Obi Wan helped take over the Imperial Factory on Utapau, the Empire felt hurt and devastated. To take our their frustration, they decided to move the Death Star to Yavin’s orbit and just start blowing planets up! Little did we know, the Rebel Base was located there.
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Genre: War Game
Player Count: 2-4
Duration: 120+ minutes