|Construct the Death Star
Preview the Dark Side Challenge Deck from STAR WARS (TM): Balance of the Force
|Star Wars: The Card Game | Published 18 September 2013|
“You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I’m here to put you back on schedule.”
–Darth Vader, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Balance of the Force, the second deluxe expansion for Star Wars™: The Card Game, will soon lend the game an all-new dimension with rules for multiplayer games! The expansion offers two separate options for multiplayer games, each of which brings its own unique challenges to gameplay.
The first multiplayer option pits two teams of two players each against each other, allowing you to join a friend and battle against a two-player team representing the opposing side of the Force. New team play rules allow you to share resources, support your teammate’s assaults, bolster his defense, and make use of the existing card pool in surprising new ways.
The second multiplayer option offered by Balance of the Force is its two challenge decks, one for each side of the Force. These unique, story-driven decks create scenarios in which one player must face a team of two or three other players. This format introduces opportunities and challenges for both new players and those who are more experienced. No matter your experience level, playing with the challenge decks allows you to experience Star Wars: The Card Game in new ways as these challenge decks open a host of gameplay options and give you the opportunity to tell a new and exciting story. How can a single player pose a real threat to multiple opponents? Today we address that question by taking a look at the dark side challenge deck, Jerjerrod’s Task. In our next preview, we'll examine the light side challenge deck, The Hunt for Skywalker.
In his introduction to Balance of the Force, Nate French explained that each challenge deck presents a unique, story-based scenario with its own victory conditions. For example, in Jerjerrod’s Task “The dark side player is attempting to complete the construction of the second Death Star, and the light side players are attempting to disrupt the project.” Accordingly, this challenge deck tosses aside the game’s standard victory conditions. To win as the dark side player, you must capture each opponent’s affiliation card, while the the light side must work to destroy all your objectives.
How do you capture affiliation cards? By completing the construction of the second Death Star and using its awesome power to destroy light side objectives! Whenever the Death Star II (Balance of the Force, 455) focuses to strike, each opponent must destroy either a unit or an objective, and once a player’s objective leaves play, his affiliation card is captured under the Death Star II. As soon as every light side affiliation card has been captured, you win the game.
The key to victory is to work on the Death Star as quickly as possible, using each turn to build up your resources and advance the Death Star dial. As the Death Star dial advances, the cost to bring the Death Star II into play is reduced by the number currently shown on the dial, meaning the Death Star II gets cheaper the further you advance the Death Star dial. By staying on top of the Force struggle, you can complete the second Death Star even sooner.
Harnessing The Power of the Dark Side
While it’s no easy matter to fend off multiple light side players during your construction efforts, you’ll be able to rely upon the strengths of your three starting objectives: Lemelisk’s Ambition (Balance of the Force, 442), Along the Sanctuary Pipeline (Balance of the Force, 443), and Heightened Security (Balance of the Force, 444).
While playing the Jerjerrod’s Task challenge deck, your starting objectives provide you with some powerful abilities and defenses as you work to complete the Death Star II. They form the core of your initial advantage, and if you want to crush the Rebellion once and for all, you’ll need to understand how to best make use of your objectives’ strengths.
Along the Sanctuary Pipeline gives you the resources you need as you work to complete the construction of the Death Star. With this objective's refresh ability, you can be certain of having enough resources, allowing you to put multiple cards into play each round. Because you’re competing against a team of two or three players, each of whom can accelerate his resources, developing your own resources is critical. While Along the Sanctuary Pipeline guarantees you a strong start, you can increase your efficiency and readiness even more by bringing in a Character like Admiral Piett (Balance of the Force, 453). Piett’s ability to remove a focus token at the beginning of every phase means that he’s able to contribute a resource in every phase, and as a bonus, he can lend his combat icons to an engagement, whether you're attacking or defending.
Your second starting objective is Lemelisk’s Ambition, which increases your reserve based on the number of opponents you have. An increased reserve brings you that much closer to winning the first edge battle on your turn and striking before your light side opponents can. In addition to your increased reserve, you have other new tricks designed to help you win edge battles, such as the new challenge deck fate card, Change of Plan (Balance of the Force, 464). Similar to the popular fate card Twist of Fate, Change of Plan also cancels the edge battle and forces a new one to begin, but with the vital difference that you draw a card when Change of Plan resolves. By successfully bluffing, you can make sure that your opponents end up wasting cards, while you draw a new card into your hand, allowing you to go on and win more edge battles!
The third objective you have in every game is Heightened Security. This defense-oriented objective possesses a massive twelve damage capacity, along with the ability to both repair and shield your other objectives. The light side players are forced to hack their way through Heightened Security in order to get at your other objectives. On its own, though, Heightened Security won’t buy you enough time to finish the construction of the Death Star, so you’ll need to continue bolstering your defenses. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of powerful defensive units at your disposal, such as the Destroyer Defense Fleet (Balance of the Force, 449). With as many as five icons, and the ability to increase the damage capacity of your objectives, every Destroyer Defense Fleet makes things more difficult for the light side.
Achieving Ultimate Power
As powerful as they are, to successfully complete the Death Star II, you will need to boost your resource production past your three starting objectives. Fortunately, seven copies of the objective card Jerjerrod’s Task (Balance of the Force, 445) are shuffled into the your command deck at the beginning of the game. Unlike normal objectives, you can put these new objective cards into play as an Action by spending one resource. Not only do they serve to produce more resources, bringing you closer to completing the Death Star II, but they also increase your objective count, making it more difficult for the light side players to win!
When controlling the Jerjerrod’s Task challenge deck, you gain access to a wide array of powerful units and tricks to combat the players working against you as you strive to complete the second Death Star. Leading the charge is a new version of Darth Vader (Balance of the Force, 451). Up to four makes him an attacker to be reckoned with, but Vader also gains one for each objective you control. Darth Vader's increasing unit damage icons, coupled with Targeted Strike, will let you to destroy any unit the light side might hope to throw at you, whether that unit is involved in the conflict or not. The light side might hope to bury Vader with focus tokens, but his Elite ability means that not even focus tokens will keep him down for long!
In addition to the raw power of Darth Vader, you will also receive a new version of the sinister Emperor Palpatine (Balance of the Force, 454). The Emperor potentially possesses five icons, which can be sure to shut down any light side assault, but you can also allow the light side to play into his hands. When Emperor Palpatine enters play he allows you to reclaim an objective from a light side victory pile. After your opponents have expended themselves breaking through Heightened Security, you can tell them they’ve stepped right into your trap. By playing Emperor Palpatine and reinstating Heightened Security, you force your opponents to go up against it again—but this time they’re facing the Emperor as well!
By making strategic use of the cards at your disposal, you can advance the Death Star dial, build up your resources and bring the completed Death Star’s superlaser online! Once operational, you can strike with this massive Space Station to blast through your opponents’ units and objectives and move swiftly toward ultimate victory.
Pre-Order Your Copy Today
The Jerjerrod’s Task challenge deck is a unique high-stakes race between one superpowered dark side player, and a team of allied light side forces. If the Death Star II can be completed, the dark side will forever crush the Rebellion. But if the light side players can maintain a constant assault and wear down the Imperial defenses, they can deal the Empire a costly defeat, setting back its efforts and assuring victory for the Rebel Alliance.
The dynamic, story driven action of the Jerjerrod’s Task challenge deck is coming soon, so head to your local retailer today to preorder your copy of Balance of the Force and take your stand in the galactic Civil War!
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.