Stay on Target
A Look at the New Target Markers from Rise of the Empire
"Squadron up. Target: Eadu."
We've already explored much of what these chapters may reveal in our earlier previews, but as you'd expect from any gripping narrative, there's yet another twist. In fact, you'll find several more twists—including those reflected by the expansion's new target markers.
The Deal Has Been Altered
Star Wars: Rebellion isn't just a game of intergalactic conflict; it's also a game of operatic drama set in the Star Wars universe. And while the game's asymmetrical setup and win conditions play into the tenor and arc of the narratives you discover over the course of play, the details all emerge from the missions your leaders undertake, along with all the action cards, projects, and objectives that further steep your contests in the excitement you've come to expect from Star Wars.
Many of these events and actions are easily played and resolved. Their consequences may be far-reaching. They may allow you to draw extra cards. They may change the board state. But once these events have been resolved—and you've drawn your cards or altered the board—you no longer need to track them through ensuing rounds.
Other events, however, introduce situations that need to be tracked from round to round. If you send Krennic's Finest to capture Chirrut Îmwe, you need some way to indicate that the Rebels can no longer benefit from Chirrut's guidance. And the game allows us to track these sort of developments with the use of attachment rings.
In the core game, we find attachment rings for captured leaders, leaders who have been frozen in carbonite, and leaders who have been turned to the dark side. There are attachment rings that allow you to track whether or not Luke Skywalker has completed his Jedi training and that account for the positive contributions made by the Millennium Falcon, C-3PO, and R2-D2.
But what about the events that change the course of your Galactic Civil War and don't tie directly to a leader?
That's where we get the new target markers from Rise of the Empire. Like attachment rings, target markers indicate an altered game state that doesn't correspond directly to the number or placement of units, the Rebellion's reputation, or the number or type of cards that you hold in your hand. And the game state alterations they indicate don't track with any specific leader.
Instead, these target markers are manipulated by missions, action cards, and objectives that tie them to location-based effects like that on Secure the Plans . Once in play, the Secure the Plans target marker prevents the Rebels from playing the Death Star Plans objective and attempting to destroy the Death Star.
Forced to Choose
Given the massive impact such target markers can have upon the game, it's only natural that your opponent will want to remove the markers you put in place. And it's likely you'll want to defend them.
To remove your target marker, your opponent needs to plant a ground unit in the marker's system and clear out any units you might have on the planet. Accordingly, if you can land a couple of AT-ATs to Secure the Plans on Dathomir, your opponent is going to have a much harder time destroying your Death Star than if you've only guarded your target marker with a single unit of Stormtroopers.
Alternatively, you can remove a target marker by destroying the system in which the marker was placed. This distinction becomes more important when you consider that the majority of the target markers in Rise of the Empire can only be assigned by the Rebels and that they can anchor the effects like those on Raid Outposts and Rebel Cell .
Given the power of the effects these target markers represent, it's only natural that you and your opponents will want to remove each other's target markers as swiftly as possible. And this is where the twists come into your unfolding narratives.
Imagine that you've narrowed your hunt for the Rebel base enough that you suspect it's on either Hoth or Felucia. You've directed fleets and ground forces to move toward both systems. But now the Rebels have revealed a Rebel Cell in the Rodia system. This open show of rebellion stands to win the Rebels at least one point of reputation per round unless you crush that cell, so do you reroute one of your fleets? Or do you proceed toward the systems you believe—and now desperately hope—are secretly housing the Rebel base?
At their core, the target markers from Rise of the Empire serve as physical reminders of the pressures mounting against you—and the difficult choices you must make as time is running out. And these are the situations and choices that lead toward rich and dramatic narratives.
The Target Is Within Sight
Every passing day draws us closer to the release of Rise of the Empire, and we continue to press forward in our hunt for the Rebel base… How might you use the expansion's new target markers to redirect your opponent's efforts? Head to our community forums to share your best ideas.
Then keep your eyes open for our next preview of Rise of the Empire (SW04)!