|New Allies, New Tactics
Preview New Objective Sets from STAR WARS (TM): Balance of the Force
|Star Wars: The Card Game | Published 14 November 2013|
“Decide you must, how to serve them best.”
-Yoda, Star Wars™: A New Hope
Balance of the Force, the second deluxe expansion for Star Wars™: The Card Game is fast approaching, and you must decide how you can best serve your allies, as Star Wars: The Card Game becomes multiplayer!
Our last two previews looked at the two challenge decks from Balance of the Force, Jerjerrod’s Task and The Hunt for Skywalker, which allow you to take on the challenge of battling up to three opponents. In addition to the challenge decks, this deluxe expansion also includes rules for playing two-on-two matches of Star Wars: The Card Game. Now you and an ally have the opportunity to work together to claim victory over your opponents. You and your ally can share cards by using the new mechanic of a common reserve, and by allowing an allied unit to participate in an attack, your team can use your combined strength to defeat your enemies.
With a view to this kind of collaborative play, Balance of the Force introduces a new objective set for every faction (one copy each of six different objective sets). Each of these objective sets is “Limit 1 per objective deck,” because of the powerful impacts they can have in both standard games and multiplayer games. Because of the multiplayer deckbuilding restrictions, only one person on a team will be able to include one of these objectives in his deck, but despite the limitation, these objective sets are sure to have a big impact. In this preview, we’ll look at two parallel objective sets belonging to the Jedi and the Sith.
Watchers in the Wasteland
You have twice as many opponents to watch when you play multiplayer. With that kind of opposition, it can pay to make sure you’re watchful and ready for whatever threat your opponents can throw at you. The new Jedi objective set, Watchers in the Wasteland, will help you keep watch when you’re facing down the collected forces of the dark side.
Watchers in the Wasteland (Balance of the Force, 416), the objective of this set, contributes to the Force struggle by contributing one Force icon towards the Force struggle for each card that your team has in its common reserve. Because three Force cards are shared by each two-player team, a potential bonus of two Force icons can quickly give you the upper hand in the Force struggle, bringing you that much closer to victory and helping you prepare for any dark side tricks.
The objective set also includes a copy of the new fate card from Balance of the Force, Supporting Fire (Balance of the Force, 420). Equally useful in standard or multiplayer games, Supporting Fire allows a friendly player – yourself or an ally – to play a card in an edge battle after the edge stacks are revealed, you can have full knowledge of the dark side’s strength and be ready for anything.
Force Cleansing (Balance of the Force, 419) ensures that a unit is always ready for action, no matter how many players you face. It allows you to enhance any friendly Character unit, giving them the ability to remove one focus token and one damage token every time the Death Star dial advances. You could use a powerful unit enhanced with Force Cleansing to lead a charge against a dark side objective. At the beginning of the dark side team’s turn, the Death Star dial is advanced, and your enhanced unit is ready to defend. Perhaps your most powerful units are damaged while one of your objectives is destroyed. If one of your damaged units was enhanced with Force Cleansing, he can bounce right back, and be ready to defend against the next attack.
The objective set also includes two copies of a Shistavanen Wolfman (Balance of the Force, 418). With a predatory appearance and natural hunter instincts, these units are perfect to help you stay on top of your opponents’ machinations. Their Edge (1) ability will help you get the jump on your opponent’s attacks, and when Watchers in the Wasteland helps you win the Force struggle, the Wolfmen can return to play from the discard pile. With that kind of dogged persistence at your disposal, your opponents will need to be more guarded than ever. You can even get the Wolfmen into play for free by playing them into an edge battle for Force icons. When you win the Force struggle, you’ll put them right into play from your discard pile!
This objective set also offers a new version of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Balance of the Force, 417)! Although he possesses the same combat icons as the first Obi-Wan Kenobi (Core Set, 101), this version has received a new ability that will reward your devotion to the Force even more. Whenever you win a Force struggle and Obi-Wan is in play, you, and your ally in multiplayer games, will be able to return the top card of your discard pile to your hand, giving you more cards to help you win edge battles and stay on top of your opponents. Together with Watchers in the Wasteland and the Shistavanen Wolfmen, you can be sure to reap the benefits of devoting yourself to the Force.
The Emperor’s Hand
The Emperor has many servants, and some of the most deadly are those exalted few known as the Emperor’s Hand. When you go up against two light side players, it might be a good idea to attempt to bring these quick and deadly servants of the Sith to your team’s aid.
The objective set The Emperor’s Hand (Balance of the Force, 429) begins as the dark side equivalent of the Jedi objective set. With the benefit granted by the objective, your team can get on top of the Force struggle from the first turn, and press your advantage to keep the Death Star dial advancing smoothly. The objective set also includes a copy of the new fate card from this expansion, Supporting Fire (Balance of the Force, 433), giving you the opportunity to rebuke any foolish light side attacks.
The Emperor’s Hand diverges from the Jedi objective set from this point on, beginning with the Agent of the Hand (Balance of the Force, 431), which has two copies in this objective set. The Agent of the Hand is equally suited to support a key offensive or remain as a helpful defender, with and ( ) icons. She also has a key ability, however, which allows you to remove one focus token from her whenever you take control of a unit, or play a card from another player’s common reserve. As you and your ally support each other against light side attacks, an Agent of the Hand can be ready to lend her support to any conflict, whether attack or defense.
It’s easy to see how you can play cards from another player’s common reserve, but how can you take control of a unit to refresh an Agent of the Hand? This objective set has an answer to that question in the event card Join Me (Balance of the Force, 432). This event allows you to take control of any non-unique Character unit in play by playing Join Me during your deployment phase. Because you can only take non-unique units, you won’t be able to grab your opponent’s biggest fighters, but you could still seize a Wookiee, or perhaps another pesky unit, granting you a quick advantage whether playing a standard or a multiplayer game. In addition, Join Me is a Sith event, meaning it will trigger the ability on Darth Vader (Core Set, 35), causing even more damage to your opponent!
The centerpiece of this new objective set, however, is the iconic Hand of the Emperor, Mara Jade (Balance of the Force, 430). Mara Jade is a solid unit and the combination of her Targeted Strike and icon mean that she’ll always be working behind enemy lines, damaging key heroes of the light side, while shutting others down with focus tokens. Best of all, her ability allows you to remove a focus token from her at the end of your turn, and, if you’re playing multiplayer, to put her under the control of another friendly player! Mara Jade can play for both you and your ally at once in two-versus-two matches, as your team uses her abilities to the maximum – both attacking on your turns and defending on an opponent’s turn. Of course, when your ally gives you control of Mara Jade, this also triggers Agent of the Hand, meaning you’ll have even more units ready to keep the light side from ever getting the upper hand.
Restore Balance to the Force
Even as the Jedi and Sith battle over the balance of the Force, new things are stirring throughout the galaxy. The Imperial Navy is repairing some of its most deadly Capital Ships, and enlisting mercenary support. Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance mobilizes Blue Squadron, and Dash Rendar will lend his blaster to the galactic civil war. Multiplayer battles are fast approaching! Take on the challenge of an objective deck, or grab some friends for a two-on-two game of Star Wars: The Card Game. Pre-order Balance of the Force through your local retailer 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.