Game of the Week: Star Wars: Rebellion

Bum Bum Bum Ba BA dum Ba BA dum…

Set in the general timeline of Episodes IV – VI, Star Wars: Rebellion pits the power house Galactic Empire against the feisty Rebel Alliance for control of the galaxy. This two (or four) player epic is a quintessential Fantasy Flight production designed by Corey Konieczka. In this four-hour saga one player commands the Empire’s forces while the other controls the Rebels’.

True to the cinematic story, the Empire is trying to track down the hidden rebel base and either destroy it with a Death Star (yes they have more than one!) or take control with ground forces. Ruling with military might, the Imperial player commands the overwhelming naval forces including the Death Star, Star Destroyers, TIE fighters along with ground forces of ATATs and Stormtroopers. Traversing the galaxy, the Empire subjugates, controls and destroys planetary systems in search for the hidden Rebel Alliance base.

The Rebels’ fleet includes foot soldiers, airspeeders, ion cannons, Corellian corvettes, X-Wings, and Y-Wings. The Rebels will never be able to defeat the Empire with military might. They simply cannot match the production levels, so they are trying to complete missions of stealth, intrigue, sabotage, and strategic military strikes to increase their reputation enough to insight a galaxy wide revolt.

Reminiscent of Risk: Star Wars Original Trilogy Edition, Rebellion is, on the surface, an area control dice rolling game. But, Konieczka has blended theme and mechanics beautifully to make this game so much more interesting and fun than a traditional area control game. Each side of the civil war utilizes leaders in essentially a worker placement role. The classic characters, Leia, Luke, Han, Chewie, Palpatine, Vader, and more, act as leaders to their respective sides. To start each round, players assign their leaders to complete missions based on their leader’s strengths. Players must balance their objectives and their ability to oppose their opponent’s actions with the utilization of these leaders. It is these secret leader missions that truly drive the game and make it great.

I had an absolutely wonderful time playing this game. I was engaged all the way to the last minute of the four hours it took to play. Much of the gameplay is simultaneous, or close to it, so you’re not waiting around a long time for the other person to play. Even when it isn’t your turn, you’re probably going to be involved in combat, so you’ll be rolling dice anyway. Although, I’m excited to play this game again, soon, I will not get this game for my personal collection. As good as it is, I just won’t play it very much. I don’t have that many opportunities to play a 2-player game that takes all night. Plus, it has a pretty hefty price tag.

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, this is a must play. If you’re a fan of epic area control games, this is a must play. Heck, if you’re a fan of worker placement, you should probably play this game. Fantasy Flight Games has done it again!