“Bounty hunters. We don’t need that scum.”
–Admiral Piett, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Admiral Piett may have been wrong. Without the bounty hunter Boba Fett, the Imperial Navy might have never successfully tracked the Millennium Falcon and Han Solo to Cloud City. Even so, Admiral Piett had plenty of good reasons for his confidence in the Imperial Navy’s abilities. It dominated space with its armada of Star Destroyers, it could terrify rival ground forces with its fearsome AT-AT walkers, and the Empire’s Death Star was the galaxy’s greatest and most frightening weapon. In the context of such an overwhelming abundance of military might, the services of several talented mercenaries may have appeared superfluous.
Of course, as Boba Fett amply demonstrated, there are times when talent trumps raw power, and at such times, officers in the Imperial Navy should be happy for all the talent they can get.
Accordingly, even as we prepare for the release of Edge of Darkness to turn the dark side’s Scum and Villainy and the light side’s Smugglers and Spies into fully playable factions, fans of the other affiliations in Star Wars™: The Card Game should also be happy for some of the fantastic options the expansion offers them!
Drawn to the Dark Side
“Apology accepted, Captain Needa.”
–Darth Vader, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Edge of Darkness introduces eleven new dark side objective sets, seven for the Scum and Villainy affiliation, two neutral sets, one for the Sith, and one for the Imperial Navy. While players who favor the Sith will naturally begin by looking at the Sith objective set, they would be foolish to skim over some the strategic advantages the other objective sets offer.
- The objective set built around Jabba’s Reach (Edge of Darkness, 374) offers Sith players exceptional potential card advantage, a tremendous boon for an affiliation that needs to win a majority of the game’s edge battles to function at peak levels. They may also find cunning ways to use Jabba the Hutt (Edge of Darkness, 375) to accelerate their strategies. After all, his ability works for units and enhancements of any affiliation.
- Similarly, some other objective sets provide fantastic resource generation. Feeding the Pit (Edge of Darkness, 396) comes with two resources, and its set includes both Bib Fortuna (Edge of Darkness, 397) and The Almighty Sarlacc (Edge of Darkness, 399). Or if it’s more to your taste, the neutral set built around Asteroid Pursuit (Edge of Darkness, 412) offers three starting resources and a host of Shield-token-based tricks that can help your units survive even the heftiest of Jedi assaults.
Some players, though, may prefer fielding a fleet of Star Destroyers to collecting bounties or scheming in the shadows. They, too, are in luck as Edge of Darkness can help them power up their fleets. The objective, Imperial Blockade (Edge of Darkness, 404), is “Limit 1 per deck” for good reason. It features three units and two events, and they’re all heavy hitters!
- Even without combat icons, Captain Needa (Edge of Darkness, 405) is going to inspire a lot of love among Imperial Navy players. The Imperial Navy’s Capital Ships are among the most devastating units in the game, and he reduces the cost of the first Capital Ship that you play each turn by two. Combine him with two damage to Deploy the Fleet (The Search for Skywalker, 218) and one copy of Admiral’s Orders (The Search for Skywalker, 222), and you can get the Devastator (Core Set, 44) onto the table for free. More than that, you can play the Executor (Escape from Hoth, 308) for just two resources, making it a first turn play!
- The set also comes with two copies of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer (Edge of Darkness, 406) that can both help you secure your objectives with their icons and obliterate your opponent’s objectives with their icons.
- Then, the set’s two events ensure that those Capital Ships you’re deploying will be able to strike. All your Imperial Navy Capital Ships are also Vehicles, meaning that Apology Accepted (Edge of Darkness, 407) can remove any focus tokens your opponent may place on the Devastator, or it can permit the Devastator to strike twice in a single conflict phase. Add in the set’s Tractor Beam (Edge of Darkness, 392), and you might be able to destroy three objectives with the Devastator in a single turn!
Embers of Hope
In the face of such an Imperial barrage, it may be hard to imagine how the light side can possibly continue its fight for freedom, but there’s always hope.
First of all, the expansion’s Smugglers and Spies affiliation brings its own tricks to the table, and few scoundrels have more tricks than Lando Calrissian (Edge of Darkness, 328), who can spend one resource to remove a target participating unit from an engagement once per turn. Meanwhile, any faction will be able to benefit from the tricks enabled by Lando’s chief administrative aide, Lobot (Edge of Darkness, 336). When he’s participating in an engagement, this crafty Cyborg transforms every combat icon into an edge-dependent combat icon.
Altogether, light side players gain seven Smugglers and Spies objective sets, two neutral objective sets, one for the Rebel Alliance, and one for the Jedi.
Whereas the Rebel Alliance’s new objective set offers some obvious power, such as that from the Tantive IV (Edge of Darkness, 356), the expansion’s new Jedi set is full of the sort of tricks that will most likely appeal to those Jedi Masters who have learned how to sense and alter the flow of the Force.
- First of all, the objective, Embers of Hope (Edge of Darkness, 349), allows you to control and limit the dark side’s ability to draw cards through card effects so long as it remains undamaged.
- To protect the objective from damage, the set offers two copies of Moisture Farmer (Edge of Darkness, 350). While the Farmer can only soak one damage, he does it for free, and in a pinch he can bring his edge-dependent icon to your defense during a key engagement.
- However, the set doesn’t really take its identity from its units. Combined with the objective, the set’s two enhancements represent the ability of a Force User to grow with the Force, learning how to control the flow of the Force, learning how to develop fluid and precise movements while wielding a Lightsaber, and learning how to sense an opponent’s actions.
- Makashi Training (Edge of Darkness, 351) grants any Force User the same Targeted Strike ability that helps make Luke Skywalker (Core Set, 92) one of the game’s strongest units, and if you’re looking for a card to replicate the ability of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Core Set, 101), the set introduces Force Precognition (Edge of Darkness, 352), which gives you an early advantage in your edge battles. These are both useful abilities, but on Yoda (Core Set, 166), they’re absolutely inspiring. Not only do they help him win edge battles and direct his unit damage wherever it’s needed most, they fuel his ability, boosting his edge-dependent and icons.
- Finally, the objective set’s event ensures that your deck and your hand will always be full of surprises. Secret Guardian (Edge of Darkness, 353) is a nice way to sneak a defender into play against a dark side engagement. It’s particularly effective if you can take advantage of the dark side’s aggression to bury its units under focus tokens by defending with a Character like Obi-Wan Kenobi who has multiple icons. Then, after that Character returns to your hand, you can play it on your next turn, completely refreshed.
You Can Either Profit by This…Or Be Destroyed
Edge of Darkness is coming soon, and it’s not just introducing two new playable affiliations; it’s introducing a host of new tricks and strategies for players of all affiliations. Will you profit from them? Or will you be destroyed?
Head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy today!
The characters, starships, and situations of the original Star Wars trilogy come to life in Star Wars: The Card Game, a head-to-head Living Card Game® of tactical combat and strategic planning that allows two players to wage cinematic combats between the light and dark sides of the Force.
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