“This R2 unit has a bad motivator. Look!”
–Luke Skywalker, Star Wars: A New Hope
Edge of Darkness is coming soon. We’ve charted our course and made the jump to lightspeed. Now it’s just a matter of time before you’ll be able to pick up this deluxe expansion and dive into all-new games of Star Wars™: The Card Game with its two new, playable affiliations – the light side’s Smugglers and Spies and the dark side’s Scum and Villainy.
Our last preview focused on the expansion’s Smugglers and Spies affiliation, taking a close look at Chewbacca (Edge of Darkness, 319) and the other Wookiees soon headed your way. Today, then, we’re going to focus on the expansion’s Scum and Villainy affiliation. Filled with Bounty Hunters, Assassins, capture effects, and one particularly notorious Hutt crimelord, the Scum and Villainy affiliation is a perfect fit for players who like outfitting their decks with a full arsenal of deadly and devious tricks.
However, while everyone’s aware of the mighty influence of Jabba the Hutt (Edge of Darkness, 375) and the lethal weaponry of Boba Fett’s ship, Slave I (Edge of Darkness, 390), the affiliation offers some subtler tricks, as well. It may be easy to identify a Hutt as a threat, but what about a lowly scavenger? If a Bounty Hunter starts tracking you, you know you’ve got trouble, but what do you do when a Jawa sandcrawler rolls into your part of the desert? Perhaps you should check your Droids…
Today, we’re reminded that when Luke Skywalker first met C-3PO and R2-D2, they had been captured and restrained by these dirty, brown-robed, rat-like desert dwellers.
Picking Up the Pieces
Players of Star Wars: The Card Game are already familiar with the idea that each affiliation approaches the game’s struggles according to its own methods and personality.
The Imperial Navy presses hard against light side objectives, seeking to destroy them with its massive Star Destroyers and Superlaser. The Sith seek to bend the Force to their will, sitting back as they hatch their schemes, and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. And, by now, most players have figured out that the Scum and Villainy affiliation is the one that captures things, disrupting the light side’s plans by stealing the light side player’s cards right from under his nose.
Accordingly, nearly all of the Scum and Villainy objective sets in Edge of Darkness feature some means of capturing cards and some means of profiting from those captured cards. Also, most of them make the thematic tie between the game’s “capture” mechanic and collecting bounties, but Jawas also capture things. They’re Tatooine’s scavengers, and the objective that introduces them to Star Wars: The Card Game gives us reason to suspect that these strange creatures may inadvertently deprive the Rebel Alliance and its allies of more potential reinforcements than all the assorted Bounty Hunters combined.
- While most of the game’s capture effects are single instances, The Tatooine Crash (Edge of Darkness, 380) captures a card every turn it’s in play: “Reaction: After you refresh, capture the top card of an opponent’s deck at this objective, if able.” That constant capture effect can put a great deal of pressure on the light side player, who doesn’t know which elements of his combinations are being ripped from his grasp. In fact, the great disruption caused by The Tatooine Crash is likely to make it an early target for your opponent’s attacks, but that’s another small victory for you; The Tatooine Crash has six damage capacity, making it more resilient than most objectives and meaning that each of your opponent’s strikes against it are just that smidgeon less effective than they could have been elsewhere.
- Meanwhile, even as The Tatooine Crash is likely to frustrate your opponent with its constant capture effect, the Jawa Scavenger (Edge of Darkness, 381) is likely to cause havoc of its own by bending one of the game’s fundamental design principles. In Star Wars: The Card Game, players must choose whether to play all the cards they can afford or to save some of them in order to win the game’s key edge battles. Each card has two potential uses, depending on whether it’s in play or in your hand, but each card can only be used in one of those ways. The Jawa Scavenger creates an exception to this rule. A Character that plays for free, the Jawa Scavenger has an edge-dependent () icon that your opponent cannot ignore. If your Jawa Scavenger attacks an opponent’s objective and is unopposed (or wins the edge), it can place a focus token on a light side unit of your choice. However, if it enters an engagement and loses the edge battle, its Forced Reaction returns it to your hand. Then, when you strike against another objective with a different unit, you have the Jawa Scavenger’s Force icon back in your hand for the next edge battle.
- Along with two copies of the Jawa Scavenger, the objective set introduces a single Sandcrawler (Edge of Darkness, 382). This Vehicle is by no means impenetrable, but its Shielding, three damage capacity, and two icons make it a strong defensive unit. Additionally, should your opponent manage to destroy it, its Forced Interrupt will trigger, and bury each of your opponent’s Character and Droid units under a single focus token. Of course, your Character and Droid units will be focused, too, but you’ll be able to remove a focus token from each of your cards in your refresh phase.
- At one higher cost than the Imperial Navy’s Tear This Ship Apart (Core Set, 134), the set’s fifth card, Utinni! (Edge of Darkness, 383), allows you to target and capture an enemy enhancement. The two cards play similarly. Both can strip a Force User like Luke Skywalker (Core Set, 92) of Trust Your Feelings (Core Set, 153) and the ability to strike multiple times in a single turn, but Utinni! is more versatile and can eat away at your opponent’s economy, capturing his Limited, resource-providing enhancements. If you can strip your opponent of the fifth resource he needs to play Obi-Wan Kenobi (Core Set, 101) or Home One (Core Set, 70), it’s easy to justify the two resources it costs to play your Utinni!
- In an objective set full of tricks, it’s only fitting that the sixth and final slot would go to the fate card, Twist of Fate (Edge of Darkness, 171). This card lends more tension and drama to the game’s edge battles and all the bluffing they entail than any other single card. It’s tricky, it keeps players guessing, and it’s a perfect conclusion to the objective set.
Keep Them Guessing
So, you thought we’d preview the objective set with Jabba the Hutt, or the one with Slave I? Maybe you thought we’d show you more of Bossk (Edge of Darkness, 394) and the expansion’s other Bounty Hunters?
Well, the Scum and Villainy affiliation is full of those who advocate the element of surprise, and much as Boba Fett catches his prey off-guard with his customized, hidden weaponry, the hidden power in the objective set built around The Tatooine Crash is likely to astonish your opponents when you first use it against them.
Head to your local retailer today to pre-order your copy of Edge of Darkness so that you can add this objective set to your games when this game-changing expansion arrives. Until then, visit our community forum to discuss the tricks made possible by these cards and others!