GAME REVIEW: STAR WARS: EMPIRE VS. REBELLION / DESIGNER: SÉBASTIEN GIGAUDAUT, DAVID RAKOTO, NIKKI VALENS / PUBLISHER: FANTASY FLIGHT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
With the new Star Wars movie on its way, resurgence in all things Star Wars is inevitable. Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion is a cheap and cheerful two player card game that pits the two factions of the Star Wars universe against them.
The aim of the game is to take control of a particular event, each conflict an iconic scene from the original trilogy. Players take turns revealing cards and activating them. The cards interact with each other to form a growing plan (the Rebels are brave, the Empire is sneaky). Certain cards burn resources and you only have a set amount to spend, so often it’s prudent to pass instead. Once both players pass at the same time, further cards (character and strategy) come to play and the winner of that conflict is declared. For example, the Empire may deploy an all-out attack and seemingly beat the Rebels, only to discover that the good guys have a clever back-up plan.
Each event has a victory point value, and it’s the first to seven points. From the outset, this means you need to decide if you’re going to try and win the little battles or save up and blow up the Death Star. The game is fast and furious, and plays very easily indeed. It’s a relatively light and frothy game that is easy to pick up and tricky to master. Fans of bluffing and eyebrow raising will find an additional level to exploit here; this is very much a game of cunning and quick thinking. The underlying mechanics may be familiar to some; it’s basically a reskin of 2007’s game Cold War: CIA vs KGB with slightly more refined mechanics and a more interesting theme.
Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion is nothing new, but it’s easy to pick up and play, and who doesn’t want to be Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker for five minutes. Great fun.
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