I was in the first row of a crowded room at a crowded convention. The entire weekend was surreal. The Episode VII trailer was insane (Chewie, we’re home). The costumes were crazy. All the vendors. Everything. Star Wars. Nothing. But. Star Wars.
Star Wars fans from around the world gathered this past April in Anaheim, California for Star Wars Celebration and FFG was hosting a panel to talk about Star Wars tabletop games. There I sit.
Far and away, I have spent more time in the Star Wars universe via tabletop games than anything else. Probably more than everything else combined. And while most of the weekend I was not even thinking about tabletop games, here I was, back in the Star Wars tabletop gaming space of my brain.
I watched as FFG revealed how the Tantive was manufactured, showing the insane and precise lengths that went into making that ship. The presentation whirred by and then… it was time for some exclusive previews!
They started with X-Wing and announced the seventh wave of the game. Hound’s Tooth? Come on now! Then, I remember the slide for Imperial Entanglements appearing and I could not wait to hear what affiliations would be featured. Imperial and Smuggler. I was surprised…
Sure, Imperial needed the help as much as the next affiliation, but Smugglers?
Maybe I was still recovering from the Dash of Freeholders or the days of just losing games to Han Solo, but why would they not make it Imperials and Rebels? Smugglers are at least dece, right? Sure, they are no Jedi but let us be real, who is? The Rebels are the real affiliation that needs help.
It is funny, though. One second I am deeply impressed with the details behind how the Tantive was put together and the very next I am questioning whether they chose the right factions for the next card game box… surely the same company that built the Tantive put just as much thought into what cards to release next.
Of course, looking back it is quite obvious that the right decision was made. Rebels have ascended to something beyond usable (and in my opinion, have a deck even stronger than the Jedi) and lo and behold, the Dark Side faction that needs a boost? Imperials.
Needless to say, GenCon is THIS WEEK and Imperial Entanglements is nigh! Today, we dive into an exclusive preview from the box, the Imperial Entanglements objective set itself!
How great does that art look? The Raider (a small Star Destroyer conceived by FFG) is making the rounds in their various games, so color me intrigued!
It took me a few reads before I realized that this objective is for EACH engagement and works while attacking and defending. That is a lot of extra damage! It also works for all of your units, so that is purtty good!
Let us continue our journey into the Outer Rim so we can make an assessment of this objective set.
This is significant. Like, seriously significant.
For starters, we have a three cost unit that can jump into any engagement (as a defender), if you lose the edge battle. Fortunately for the Raider, all of its icons are black. Be mindful of the wording on the reaction, which is ‘declared’ as a defender.
Why does that matter? Because Shielding (a keyword it possesses) triggers when a defender is, you guessed it, declared. How good is that?
REAL good. I could give a thousand specifics, but even jumping into an engagement with a sort of surprise shield on the objective is awesome. Did they play a Target of Opportunity that you weren’t accounting for? Shield the attack. Of course, shielding a unit in the engagement can also be useful. Maybe it shields itself, making a tactics do nothing, or maybe, just maybe, it shields a unit like Emperor Palpatine or Grand Admiral Thrawn. Someone with black tactics icons…
All that fun aside, I am really excited to see a three cost capital ship. A big issue with the ‘capital ship’ theme is that the units just cost so much and the deck cannot consistently play around that cost curve. Having a lower cost option lowers that cost curve for the theme, one that I suspect gets developed in the deluxe and the Endor Cycle.
All in all, this is really just what I would want the Raider to be. Let us also not forget the objective here, granting a non-edge enabled unit damage to your first unit to strike each engagement. This ship does work!
The stat line of this card is not something I would write home about (although there are few things I write anywhere about), but just look at that ability! Paired with the objective itself, you are looking at a unit who can deal two unit damage and guarantee it strikes first while defending? What a pain!
This card will be surprisingly useful and for the affiliation that struggles with controlling an opponent’s board, and should really help prevent some of those frustrating attacks (I am looking at you, Twi’lek Loyalist!) It also does really well against any deck that tries to rush out and destroy objectives quickly (vehicles).
Pardon me while I go clean up the mess I just made from throwing my coffee across the room (sorry about that shirt, Tim!).
If you ever talked to me about the Star Wars LCG any time between the Core Set and the first few months after Between the Shadows was released, you will know that I am a huge, gigantic, massive sucker for event canceling cards. Dark Side has very little of this and now it is coming in the form of a one cost, non-limited enhancement for the Imperials?
YES. WE. CAN.
NO. YOU. CANNOT. (Play that event).
It must (and by must, I mean it is a forced interrupt) be the first event that your opponent plays each turn, but still. This is a cancel that you can reasonably expect to work more than once if you draw it in the first half of the game.
It also means that if you get this into play on your first turn, that pre-draw turn one Yoda, You Seek Yoda is going to be looking for a new network (because it got canceled). And really, how often does the Light Side have a useless event they want to use first to make you trigger this? I see this card creating so many issues, it is disturbing…
If I am not careful though, I will be writing about this card until after GenCon, so let us move along.
This. A million and a half times, this. If the Imperials lack for anything, it is control. While this is not Darth Vader + Emperor Palpatine + Sith events level of control, it does offer a nice offensive and defensive surprise that they really just do not have access to at the moment.
Whether it is the Decimator who always strikes first on defense, the Raider who is a great candidate for it with a surprise block and shield, or older capital ships like the Death Squadron Star Destroyer (read shielding, three non-edge-enabled unit damage, insane on offense with this enhancement), there are some really great options for playing this enhancement.
If I can get more non-edge-enabled tactics on the board, I am more than happy to do just that.
The objective is the most impressive card. The units are great, but Imperial objectives tend to include a lot of units. Maybe too many units. The enhancements are very useful out of Imperial. Overall though, that objective is going to cause issues in a lot of matches and can be used in a number of decks. Any given unit getting an extra unit damage on the first strike of every engagement is a lot more damage over a game and really will make some current attacks infeasible.
How do you feel about the objective set? Do you think it ends up in an Imperial-focused deck or is the ability on the objective going to work well with the other affiliations?
I think this set is good. It is really hard to know just how good though until we see the entire Imperial Entanglements box and likely even the Endor Cycle. I am super stoked for the stream of cards we seem to be getting and cannot wait for this new expansion!
To automatically receive the Imperial Entanglements Expansion and Force Packs (including the Endor Cycle) when it begins to release, check out Covenant Subscriptions. Once you sign up, you never have to worry about receiving a release again. We automatically send you the latest packs and boxes the week they release, all without you having to do anything!
As always, until next time may the Force be with you. And next time may be GenCon. Follow us on social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and our native Watch page for all the action!