I am new over here, but giving the level of excitement I have about this game I couldn't just sit and watch. I was a hardcore STARWARS Decipher player and I've been expecting a good SW card game game since then, and this one seems to be finally fulfilling the expectations. Or at least, most of them.
Sticking to the thread, I think it is a good idea to have different winning conditions given the differences between Alliance and Empire, but what I think is not so good (given I do not have all the information I would want about the game) is that both conditions do not share a same principle of action. Thus, one is active (destroying 3 objectives) and the other is passive (wait for the dial to hit 12).
With this in mind, if you want to be competitive I only see one option of deck for each faction: Alliance/Light must be rush and Empire/Dark must be stall (what I think, by the way, is much easier given that you not only start the game but have cards like Stasis, Choke and Lightning). This is, in my opinion, a very poor way of designing a strategy for each side, way worse than the "pod" thing for deck building. Why Dark would attack and risk the game only to speed the dial when the dial will hit 12 sooner or later? The Dark side player has only to play characters, commit them to the Force and wait with a full defense and a ton of "direct damage" (I insist, that if I am not skipping something - what I would love to-) to win. And even worse, given that if you launch a full attack with the Light side, the retaliation with a couple of weenies from the Dark side can just finish the game destroying one of your objectives (while you can do nothing to backtrack the dial).
In my opinion, thematic differences in the gameplay should come from the "nature" of the cards in each side, and not from the winning conditions. I remember the evil characters in Decipher's LotR, each faction with a different kind of attack and strategy (Nazgul were fierce, Uruk damage +1, Sauron had direct damage and Moria swarming). This I think should be the way, specially having three different factions on each side of the Force (and no, I do not see Jabba building a Death Star - maybe 12 tentacles for the Sarlacc?-).
Thanks for your time.