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Star Wars: Rebellion, a Game of Cat and Mouse and Death Stars

If nothing else, Star Wars: Rebellion does an amazing job of feeling like you're there. The game is asymmetric, with one player being the Empire, trying to find and destroy the Rebel base. The other player is the plucky Rebels, vastly outgunned, but relying on skirmishes, stealth and missions to help them survive until they can build up enough support to overthrow the Empire.

I've played it once so far, then decided to trade it away, and then thought it over and its now pending another play. On the one hand, I was very concerned that the game would be too "samey", that each game would go through inevitable similarities of obvious moves and build ups. While there were incredible moments of strategy (more on that later), I'm not sure the game is worth the 4 hours it takes if half of it is the same each time. 

On the other hand..the things I liked I really liked...and a game that's number 6 on BGG and the 2nd highest rated 2 player game, isn't something I should write off after 1 play if there were things I liked about it. It reminded me a lot of Twilight Struggle (the number 1 rated 2 player game on BGG), in that both games involve a lot of mission based card play, a lot of dice rolling for positioning in what is otherwise an intensely strategic game, and a very long game that is simultaneously enjoyable but perhaps too long for my tastes. The downside of that comparison is that I eventually did get rid of Twilight Struggle after around 8-9 plays.

In the end, the reason I'm giving it another shot, and where it differs strongly from Twilight Struggle, is the feeling it gives you. Are the Rebels in the far flung corners of the galaxy? Or are they two planets away from Coruscant? Do I burn valuable time checking each planet, while spreading my fleet too thin? Or do I head for the outreaches while running the risk of them being right behind me? Should I focus on sabotaging the Empires production? Or on building up my forces? Do I stock up the Rebel base with a strong defense, or will it not matter as the Death Star pulls near? Will it even matter if the Rebels relocate their base at the last minute? Should I be leaving forces behind on every planet I visit or will that spread me too thin? 

There are soooo many decisions. all brilliantly mirroring the stories, and while the Rebel player will often feel beaten down at the beginning, as the game progresses it becomes far less clear who will win. If nothing else, Star Wars: Rebellion does an amazing job of feeling like you're there. And that's why I'm keeping it....for now.


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