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Launch Your Assault


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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:31 AM

“Imperial troops have entered the base. Imperial troops have entered…”
    –The Empire Strikes Back

The time has come to launch your assault! Assault on Echo Base, the fourth Force Pack in The Hoth Cycle for Star Wars™: The Card Game, is now available at local retailers and online through our webstore!

Light and dark side forces collide in the corridors of Echo Base as the Battle of Hoth heats up! Inspired by the early scenes of The Empire Strikes Back, Assault on Echo Base introduces complete playsets of six new objective sets that permit all-new strategies based around Walkers, Troopers, Droids, manipulating shield tokens, and removing damage from objectives. The Force Pack allows dark side players to clear the way for their larger forces with the deployment of the renowned Imperial leader, General Veers (Assault on Echo Base, 268). It also allows players to explore other events in an expanded Star Wars galaxy; both the Scum and Villainy and Smugglers and Spies affiliations receive new objective sets.

Meanwhile, two new objectives, Knowledge and Defense (Assault on Echo Base, 252) and The General’s Imperative (Assault on Echo Base, 267), feature powerful effects they can trigger while they remain undamaged, tempting players to center their strikes and defenses around them.

The Imperial Advance

One of the goals of The Hoth Cycle is to invoke a powerful sense of location, and the primary mechanic that allows the cycle’s cards to accomplish this goal is the development of objectives with the Hoth trait. In his introduction to the cycle, Lead Developer Nate French explained:

“A number of objectives in the cycle have the Hoth trait. A number of light side effects, like that on the Hoth Operations card, are dependent upon the light side player controlling more Hoth objectives than his opponent. This encourages the light side player to both establish and defend his base on Hoth. The dark side player is encouraged to contest his opponent’s control of Hoth, both by establishing his own Hoth objectives, but also to aggressively seek out the destruction of his opponent’s.”

Prior to Assault on Echo Base, the light side has managed to retain a relatively secure defense of Hoth. Through the first three Force Packs, the light side gained six different objectives with the Hoth trait while the dark side gained only three.

Now, however, that light side advantage is at risk. As we head into the second half of the cycle, Assault on Echo Base begins to even the ratio and, more importantly, increases the range of Hoth objectives from which dark side players can choose. While the raw number of Hoth objectives available to either side can impact the nature of the siege, it’s ultimately the way that players integrate their objective sets into their decks and strategies that decides how the Battle of Hoth will be fought and won.

To that end, dark side players will want to take a close look at the new neutral objective set built around Sabotage in the Snow (Assault on Echo Base, 275).

Muster Your Assault Force

One of the most interesting aspects of Star Wars: The Card Game is its set-based model for deck-building. By forcing players to look at cards in sets, rather than individually, Star Wars: The Card Game encourages holistic decisions.

Part of that decision-making process is figuring out how to weigh the likelihood that an objective set, or any of its given cards, will make a positive impact in your games. This part of the process can be relatively simple, such as when you look at some of the game’s higher-impact cards, like your Darth Vader (Core Set, 35) or Home One (Core Set, 70). Sometimes, though, it can be a trickier task, one that requires a deeper exploration of a whole objective set, especially when it’s built around an objective that is “Limit 1 per deck” like Sabotage in the Snow.

Unless the cards in these “Limit 1” objective sets also appear in other objective sets, it means that you are limited to the number of the cards that appear in the set. At this point in The Hoth Cycle, this means all but one of the cards in the Sabotage in the Snow set appear only as many times within the game as they do within the set; you can’t add more copies from other objective sets to increase your odds of drawing them:

1x Snowtrooper (Assault on Echo Base, 276)
1x Snowtrooper Vanguard (Assault on Echo Base, 277)
2x Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base, 278)
1x Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base, 202)

The Snowtrooper is an inexpensive defender, and the Snowtrooper Vanguard is a solid, heavy-hitting Character and Trooper. However, since you can only include one of each in your deck, you might consider how they could fit into a Trooper deck, but you wouldn’t want to build your strategy around them. Their abilities are solid, but not high-impact, so the odds are relatively low that any game would turn around drawing one of these units. It’s safe to say, then, that even as they begin to storm past Rebel defenses these units don’t truly give the objective set its shape. Instead, if we think carefully about which card in the objective set is most likely to make an impact on the trajectory of your games, we’d have to turn toward the card that appears in multiples, our two copies of the Forward Command Post.

Resource acceleration is a key part of any game, and the Forward Command Post helps us build larger potential resource pools. However, it costs one more resource to play than a number of Limited enhancements that provide the same resource acceleration. What it offers, in return, is the potential to accelerate your destruction of light side objectives. It gives an additional  icon to each of your shielded units.

Does this additional damage potential mean your Sabotage in the Snow objective set is likely to make a positive and meaningful impact? The answer is an emphatic, “Yes…in the right deck!”

The Snowtrooper Vanguard’s Shielding can help us get shield tokens, as can the objective’s ability to steal them from the light side. However, if we really want to make the decision to use this objective pay off and, in so doing, advance the conquest of Hoth and the cause of Imperial domination, then we need to look for other cards that add shield tokens, like Aft Armor Plating (Core Set, 10), ISB Interrogators (Core Set, 43), and Death Squadron Star Destroyer (The Search for Skywalker, 219). Alternatively, we can use the objective as a means of countering some of the more effective Rebel Alliance strategies that make use of the shields provided by Covering Fire (Core Set, 77) and Fleeing the Empire (Core Set, 56).

As the Empire presses for control of Hoth, it’s important to remember that it’s not just how many Snowtroopers you deploy, but how you deploy them!

Imperial Troops Have Entered the Base

The Snowtroopers in the Sabotage in the Snow have now entered the base, as have all the other great cards from Assault on Echo Base. This fourth Force Pack for Star Wars: The Card Game is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore, so get your copy today!






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