“We’re not going to regroup with the others. We’re going to the Dagobah system.”
–Luke Skywalker, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
With the upcoming release of Assault on Echo Base, the ice planet of Hoth will soon become a white-hot battleground! Led by General Veers (Assault on Echo Base, 268), Imperial Walkers batter through the Rebel Alliance’s outer defenses, clearing the way for Snowtroopers to enter the Rebel base. As the Imperial Navy’s overwhelming numbers sweep across the ice, the Rebellion’s best hope for survival may rely upon the assistance it gains from several Droids and the elite members of the Smugglers and Spies affiliation led by Commander Col Serra (Assault on Echo Base, 258).
Still, there’s more than one battlefront hidden among the new objective sets in Assault on Echo Base. Even as the Imperial Navy and Rebel Alliance find themselves more and more deeply invested in the Battle of Hoth and its outcome, other affiliations turn their attentions elsewhere, looking to prepare themselves for the next conflict in the ongoing galactic civil war…
Knowledge and Defense
“Only a fully trained Jedi Knight with the Force as his ally will conquer Vader and his Emperor.”
–Yoda, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Anger, fear, and aggression lead to the dark side, so a Jedi must not use the Force to attack; a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense. This is one of the most important lessons that Yoda gave Luke Skywalker, and its principle is reinforced in Star Wars™: The Card Game with the cards coming in the Jedi objective set built around Knowledge and Defense (Assault on Echo Base, 252).
So long as you have no damage on Knowledge and Defense, it allows you to return friendly units destroyed during engagements to your hand instead of discarding them. This means that you can ignore your opponent’s icons when you strike with units, like Twi’lek Loyalist (Core Set, 15), that have icons. You can prevent your opponent from damaging your objectives with icons, and your damaged Twi’lek Loyalist will return to your hand, allowing you to bring his icon back to the table the next turn. If you can prevent your opponent from placing damage on the objective, you can play your Twi’lek Loyalist repeatedly, and build your strike force in the meantime.
- However, in Star Wars: The Card Game, time is always ticking, the Death Star dial is always advancing toward “12,” and the pressure is always on the light side player to attack. Thus, it’s easy to be lured into aggressive stances and early engagements, but those attacks may leave you exposed to the dark side’s machinations. The unit you exhausted to strike against an opponent’s objective may be struck down by Force Lightning (Core Set, 60), or your dark side opponent may cackle with glee when he realizes that you’ve attacked for just one or two damage against his objective and left yourself undefended against his lethal counterattack. There are, of course, times when early attacks may swing the game into your favor, but as the light side player, you should always be mindful of the Force struggle. If you win it, you can fully halve the dark side’s progress each turn. Thus, the Knowledge and Defense objective set includes two copies of Daughters of Allya (Assault on Echo Base, 253), which remove damage from your objectives when they commit to the Force. Because they come with a () icon, Daughters of Allya can also serve as excellent defenders, and if Knowledge and Defense returns them to your hand after an engagement, then you can trigger their Reaction again the next turn.
- Still, icons can’t fully guarantee you safety against your opponent’s strikes, and the unit recursion you gain from Knowledge and Defense will stand at risk. Eventually, the dark side is likely to attack with more units than you can exhaust with your icons, or it will win the edge battle and strike first. There are, however, several ways to keep returning your defenders to your hand. You can mitigate your concerns by getting two copies of Knowledge and Defense into play; then, even if your opponent places damage on one copy, you can return units to your hand with the ability of the other copy. You can also shield your Knowledge and Defense with either Yoda’s Protection (Assault on Echo Base, 254) or Protection (Assault on Echo Base, 256).
- Finally, if your icons and shields fail, you may still be able to surprise your opponent at the last possible instant. Confronting the Terror (Assault on Echo Base, 255) not only allows you to prevent all the damage dealt to your objective, it forces your opponent to redistribute that damage to his units and objectives. Suddenly, he won’t be nearly so pleased to find his strike from his Devastator (Core Set, 44) go unopposed; its four will turn back to his side of the table.
While the tactics made possible by Knowledge and Defense are good for slowing the dark side’s progress, you’ll still need to attack and destroy your opponent’s objectives to win the game. What you’ll gain, though, is time to build the strike force you desire. These tactics might buy you one or two more turns to play attachments on Luke Skywalker (Core Set, 92) or Yoda (Core Set, 166). Then, when they strike, fully trained and allied with the Force, they’ll be at their most effective!
The Shield Will Be Down in Moments
Imperial walkers and Snowtroopers are poised to launch their assault. Will the Jedi be able to play around the events of Hoth and strike for their own end game? Now is the time for patience, calm, and control, but soon the Force Pack, Assault on Echo Base, will arrive at full strength, and the light side must take action.
Until then, keep checking our site for more news and updates, and share your thoughts on the game with other members of our community forums!