Hooooly wow is it good. Probably the best Star Wars game I’ve played, and I do love Armada and Imperial Assault.
At the core the game is really simple: each side (it’s just two sides, although you can play each side as a two player team) has a small but growing collection of Leaders. You either assign leaders to missions, or hold them in reserve to later counter enemy missions or move the troops around. Then you start carrying out missions and moving and blowing stuff up pewpewpew.
It’s super asymmetrical! I played the Rebels, so my job was to get my Reputation (victory points) high enough that the galaxy throws off its shackles. My wife played the Empire, and her job was to sprawl across the map, subjugate systems, and find my base. Empire wins if they can destroy the base; Rebels win if they run the clock.
I really thought the Rebels had the harder job at first, but man it’s a big map for the Empire to cover. The cat and mouse is delicious: when you send a personality out on a mission, you send them into the middle of enemy territory. So do you oppose them? If you do, the presence of your leader will keep you from taking forces out of that space. Lots of tense decisions.
The game leverages lots of EU material, so I’m not sure how that looks going forward with the new Disney management. Lots of room for interesting non-movie expansions in the future, I think.
I suspect the game is really strong for about three or four plays per side, but I might be wrong about that. I hope so! I get that from eyeballing the arc the game spools out: the Rebels start earning vps through winning hearts and minds, then winning fights, then blowing up the Death Star(s). Maybe there’s more variety than it appears?
Dunno, but for now it’s fun as hell.