“Make ready to land our troops beyond their energy shield and deploy the fleet so that nothing gets off that system.”
–Darth Vader, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
In his introduction to the dark side affiliations of Star Wars™: The Card Game, Senior LCG Designer Nate French commented that each of the game’s six affiliations has its own core philosophies. Now as The Hoth Cycle explores new territory within the game, it reinforces those core truths about each affiliation’s central strengths.
That means that while the cycle’s Force Packs enrich the card pool with new objective sets and provide all the dark side affiliations with new methods to combat and defeat the galaxy’s freedom fighters, the Imperial Navy’s objective sets continue to reinforce the affiliation’s aggressive tendencies.
As Nate wrote, “The Imperial Navy provides the dark side player with a hyper-aggressive approach that takes the fight directly to his opponent. They are all about attacking and destroying light side objectives.”
Soon, players will see more evidence to the truth of Nate’s assessment with the arrival of the Imperial Navy cards in A Dark Time, the third Force Pack in The Hoth Cycle.
In the Shadows of Star Destroyers
It is a dark time for the Rebellion as the Imperial Navy’s fleet of Star Destroyers arrives at Hoth, and while the objective set built around A Dark Time for the Rebellion (A Dark Time, 242) doesn’t feature Star Destroyers, it does offer a comprehensive and intimidating display of the Empire’s ground presence in the shadows of its fleet.
- If the Imperial Navy are aggressive at their core, it’s because they not only wish to take the fight directly to their opponents but have the means to do so. A Dark Time for the Rebellion reinforces this aggressive mindset by offering the chance to force one point of damage upon your light side rival each turn. Of course, with two copies of the objective, the damage accelerates nicely even more quickly, and it costs you nothing. It’s just free damage, each turn, that you can pile on your opponent to keep the pressure hard and fast. The rest of the set, then, offers a number of nice synergies to take full advantage of any damage your opponent assigns to his objective.
- Despite the obvious power of A Dark Time for the Rebellion, it’s the second card in the set that’s most likely its focus. The Imperial Officer, Colonel Starck (A Dark Time, 243), specializes in finishing off wounded foes. When attacking undamaged objectives, his solitary is hardly a deal for his four cost, but against damaged objectives he gains two icons and two icons, none of which are edge-dependent. One icon for four cost may be too few, but five icons? That’s a terrific bargain. Better yet, Colonel Starck’s damage capacity of three gives him enough backbone to survive a hit or two and guide his battalion toward victory!
- Speaking of Starck’s battalion, the objective set features two copies of the MTV-7 (A Dark Time, 244). Adaptable to many environments, the MTV-7 is easier to deploy than AT-STs and offers one to utilize in the Empire’s defense or to assault light side objectives. Of course, those MTV-7s under Colonel Starck’s command are likely to strike with him against damaged objectives to help finish them off, and against them, the MTV-7 gains one icon.
- If you’re unable to get early damage on an opponent’s objective, or if all your bonus icons still won’t shatter the light side’s defenses in a single blow, The Moorsh Moraine (A Dark Time, 245) provides you yet another tool to crush the Rebellion and its allies. It raises the bonus damage you score against your opponents’ objectives with unopposed attacks from one to two. Since most objectives have a damage capacity of five or four, that single point of damage is a truly significant boost, and while it plays well with the other cards in the objective set, the Moorsh Moraine truly shines in a deck filled with cheap Vehicles and Characters, like TIEs and Troopers, that can swarm past light side defenses.
- Completing the objective set is the highly versatile event, Heavy Fire (A Dark Time, 246). As an action, it can add a or icon to a target friendly unit before that unit strikes. This may provide enough of a boost to destroy the light side’s defending unit or allow you to push enough damage past their defenses to destroy their objective. And that’s the point of this objective set: it provides Imperial Navy players with new tools to destroy their opponents’ objectives and, in that way, keep the pressure on the light side.
Each dark side affiliation works to advance the Death Star dial to “12,” but each goes about the process in its own, unique fashion. In A Dark Time, A Dark Time for the Rebellion depicts the Imperial Navy’s newest efforts to crush the Rebellion and its allies, but the other dark side affiliations each also gain new tools to propel them to victory.
A Dark Time is coming soon to expand your Star Wars: The Card Game universe. Keep your eyes open for more information about this exciting Force Pack, including a look at how the Jedi may use the Force to thwart the dark side’s ambitions.