When I was twelve years old, I stumbled across Star Wars miniatures for sale at my local Kmart and, drawn in by the colourful box and awesome looking figures, I convinced my dad to buy me some. I had never seen Star Wars, nor did I have any idea just who the characters were, but the image of Obi-Wan battling General Grievous from the then upcoming Revenge of the Sith movie piqued my interest. Soon after, I was reading about all the characters in the expanded universe, watching all of the movies, and even reading books about it. Even as an adult, Star Wars remains my absolute favourite fictional world, and favourite series of all time. You can imagine, then, how ecstatic I was when a friend of mine agreed to give me a game of Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars: Rebellion last Friday.
This is not a review of the game (if that’s what you’re after, you can find that here). Instead, this is the story of my first game of Star Wars: Rebellion, and the emergent narrative that formed as the turns went by. In this particular game, I took command of the mighty Empire, attempting to find and destroy the Rebellion (led by my good friend). Who was successful in the end? Read on to find out more!
The mighty reserves of the Empire, ready for war.
Turn 1: Fires Over Felucia
The Empire begins this story with the Roadia, Mandalore and Mygeeto systems swearing loyalty to the Emperor, while Imperial trooopers ensure the cooperation of Mustafar and Corellia. The Gungans of Naboo, Wookiees of Kashyyyk and the Twi’leks of Ryloth, however, support the Rebellion, with Mon Calamari serving as the system where rebel soldiers have been spotted. Rieekan leads some troops from Mon Calamari to Felucia; this, however, turns out to be an ill-fated venture, as Grand Moff Tarkin leads the forces from Mandalore into Felucia. In the ensuing battle, the Rebel forces are wiped out, and Felucia falls under Imperial control. Away from the action, Dodonna’s stealth mission allows the Rebels to plan their course of action better, while General Tagge conceptualises the creation of a Super Star Destroyer. Mon Mothma manages to rouse the denizens of Mon Calamari to the cause; they’ve just seen the might and terror of the Empire in the neighbouring system, and they know they need to lend aid in any way they can. On the other side of the galaxy, the Emperor pays a visit to Corellia to ensure their loyalty, while Darth Vader goes off on, of all things, a diplomatic mission to Utapau, securing production of more Star Destroyers for the war effort. Leia, however, being the brave princess she is, sabotages the factories in Corellia, slowing down the Imperial war machine, hoping to buy enough time for the Rebellion to find sympathy in the galaxy. Captain Han Solo of the Millennium Falcon joins the Rebel cause, hoping to be a beacon of light in this dark time, while the politician, Janus Greejatus, arrives to spread Imperial propaganda further.
Rebel Victory in 12 turns
Turn 2: The Plight of Han Solo
Han wastes no time getting into the action, but Vader is able to thwart his attempted hit and run on the ground troops of Felucia. A liberation force arrives from Mon Calamari, hoping to at least free the populace on the ground of Felucia. Whilst they succeed in their attempt, rebel starfighter debris litters the space around the system, and General Tagge, with the assistance of Vader, captures the “criminal” Solo. Naboo falls to the Empire as well. With fewer and fewer planets lending their support to the Rebellion, how can they hope to stop the Imperial juggernaut? Janus continues to spread fear and to secure systems into the Empire. Tarkin, in the meantime, overseas repairs to the factories in Corellia, preparing them for production yet again. Chewbacca, in a fit of rage over the capture of Han, joins the action, with Admiral Ozzel joining the widespread Empire.
Rebel Victory in 11 turns
With Han falling to the Dark Side and returning to his Stormtrooper days, will the Rebellion be able to recover?
Turn 3: More Power Than You Can Imagine
If the previous two turns seemed indicative of a struggling Rebellion, then nothing could further hurt the morale of the freedom fighters than knowing that Han, delivered into the Emperor’s hands by the Sith Lord Vader, has fallen to the Dark Side. Janus and Tarkin, in the meantime, wrest support of Mon Calamari from the Rebellion with a demonstration of power. Leia succeeds in sabotaging Utapau; it’s a shame, however, that Tagge was lying in wait, suspecting a sabotage mission. Fortunately, Leia succeeded in distracting the Empire long enough for Dodonna to destroy the Star Destroyer that was just ready for launch. While the Empire’s reach seems nearly endless, only Kashyyyk, Felucia (which never truly swore loyalty to the Empire, and was vacated while transporting Han) and Ryloth still support the Rebel cause. Some much needed space support arrives for the rebel forces on Felucia, headed by a mighty Mon Calamari Cruiser. Admiral Piett rises on the Imperial side, ready to hunt down the Rebels on the run. Ready to fulfill his destiny, Luke Skywalker leaves Tatooine to join the good fight. Managing to move into enough systems and spread word of their efforts, the Rebellion begins to gather some sympathy, but is it already too late?
Rebel Victory in 9 turns
Turn 4: Seeking Yoda
Luke immediately seeks training on Dagobah from Master Yoda; if he’s going to turn the tides, he’s going to need all the assistance he can get! However, he receives some terrible news from across the galaxy; Admiral Ozzel has, in the time of his training, led a devastating surprise assault on Felucia with the help of some hidden stormtroopers under the leadership of Janus. The Mon Calamari Crusier and starfighter fought back with all their might, but in the end, they fell just short of destroying the Star Destroyer, and only managed to destroy a single TIE fighter. Mon Mothma begins the arduous task of bringing Mon Calamari back into the Rebellion, but she finds herself delayed by Imperial spies. Rieekan, back in the Rebel base, prepares for what seems to be inevitable by building an ion cannon and shield generator. Vader assaults Kashyyyk with a mighty AT-AT and AT-ST, wiping out the Rebel soldiers there. Still, however, the Rebel base is nowhere to be found; is there still hope? The final heroes of our story, Crix Madine and Soontir Fel, sign up with the Rebels and Empire respectively, as both factions prepare for the next phase of the war; the search.
Rebel Victory in 8 turns
Turn 5: The Rebellion Strikes Back
The now Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker leads a one in a million assault on Mygeeto, besting Soontir Fel in combat, and establishing a minor rebel presence their. Crix Madine assassinates the Imperial regiment on Felucia single handedly, freeing the planet once again from the chokehold of the Empire. In the space above planet Naboo, a surprise squadron of rebel starfighters appears to destroy the Star Destroyer in orbit, but yet again find themselves outgunned, and fail to destroy their target. Janus heads over to Mon Calamari to discover some information, and arrives in time to not only gain some information as to where the Rebel Base may be, but also to thwart Mon Mothma and Dodonna’s attempt at winning the support of the planet again. Construction begins on the Super Star Destroyer, and the Empire begins to mobilise all of its forces to search for the Rebels. Elsewhere, Leia manages to cause cracks in the loyalty of Corellia, with Chewbacca saving her from capture by Darth Vader. Some fortunate probes sent by Ozzel, combined with Imperial expansion and the information obtained by Janus, has limited the systems where the Rebel base could be to just four systems: Saleucami, Geonosis, Yavin and Toydaria.
Rebel Victory in 7 turns
Mon Calamari and Felucia, some of the last systems loyal to the Rebellion. Will they hold?
Turn 6: Wookiee Uprising and the Doom Over Yavin
Leia and Rieekan incite the Wookiees of Kashyyyk to rise up in rebellion, but yet again, the meager space forces find themselves outmatched. The Imperial army and navy are far too much for the Rebellion to handle, and time is running out. Leia manages to escape aboard a corvette, but is forced to leave Rieekan to be captured by the Empire. Just as Mon Mothma manages to bring Mon Calamari back into the Rebellion, Janus manages to gather enough information to limit the Rebel base to just two systems. Tarkin decides it is time, and orders the construction of another Death Star of Yavin. The armies of the Empire prepare to march on Ryloth, Toydaria and Yavin next turn. The universe holds its breath…
Rebel Victory in 6 turns
Turn 7: Victory! Victory?
As the Empire moves into position, the Death Star Under Construction is destroyed by the Rebellion, with the galaxy rejoicing and many more beginning to see the Rebellion in a positive light. Yet, in doing so, they have revealed their position; indeed, Tarkin was right. The forest moon of Yavin, sitting quietly beside the hotbed of action on Felucia, was the location of the Rebels all along! They may have succeeded in destroying Death Star II, but in the end, the Rebellion is wiped out; the rebels on Ryloth are no more, Janus brainwashes the denizens of Felucia and Mon Calamari with toxic propaganda, Rieekan gives up the Rebel’s plans after some time with the probe droid, and the Imperial army on Mandalore erases the Rebel Base, and the Rebellion itself, from Yavin and the galaxy. It is a great victory for the Empire, a dark day for the galaxy, and an amazing, thematic, and fun experience for two very happy gamers.
Rebel Victory in 4 turns, but sadly…Imperials have destroyed the Rebel Base!
The finest hour of the Rebellion comes right before their fall. They go out fighting hard, though, for the cause!
Next time, I play the Rebellion. Do you think I’ll be able to hide away and garner enough aid to bring down the evil Empire? Whatever the outcome, I know one thing for sure.
It’s gonna be amazing.
What games do you think tell a story? Or what are your favourite games? Let me know, and happy gaming all!
The victorious leaders; (L to R) Palps, Piett, Ozzel, Solo, Fel, Vader, Janus, Tarkin and Tagge (not shown)