While there are several board games that let the player take on the Empire or Rebellion, the newest game from Fantasy Flight attempts to paint you a more accurate picture of just what all that actually entails. Games like Armada, X-Wing, and Imperial Assault focus more on the minute to minute reactions of the player throughout a battle or scenario. Rebellion takes a slightly bigger picture approach to things, and your decisions in each round can have major and long reaching effects throughout the game.
The game changes wildly depending on what side you pick. More than just different classes of ships or units, in Rebellion if you pick the Empire, you are going to have a substantial military advantage starting out, which makes complete sense. Your goal is to take over as many systems and areas as you can, whilst also attempting to flush out the location of the Rebellion headquarters. Likewise, if you are the Rebellion, then small tactical barrages and uniting the other planets are going to be your only means of defeating the Empire. This might seem a bit lopsided, but there appear to be some ways to get things done and even the scales in your favor. Plus, I really like the accuracy here. The Empire has so many advantages, that any sort of rebellion is going to have an uphill climb to achieve victory, even a small one.
The leaders and heroes you employ will dictate your abilities and allow you to send characters on missions taken directly from the films. Fantasy Flight cites one example as Luke being sent to Dagobah to train with Yoda, and successfully completing that mission will lead to benefits and additional options throughout the game. Likewise, objectives that you fulfill throughout your turns allow you to build reputation with the other planets and natives, hopefully turning them to your side. When a planet is aligned with either faction, their resources are shared with you, unless of course they are subjugated by the empire. Even if that happens, you will have lots of opportunity to make a comeback, as there are 32 systems to fight over, and you don’t necessarily have to win a battle in order to gain an advantage. The previously mentioned objectives can be pretty specific, so if you lost the skirmish but took out two Tie Fighters during the battle, that might be enough to complete your objective and earn some rewards. This sort of advantage/disadvantage system is something that Edge of the Empire greatly excels at, and I’m hoping that sort of feel is present here as well.
The game does come with miniatures, over 150 of them actually, including that sweet looking death star. If it all comes to fruition, these could be the best parts of other Star Wars board games and titles like Risk, and that is far from a bad thing.
Star Wars Rebellion will be releasing early next year.