Over the past couple of years I've played 50+ games of Rebellion both in person and more recently in the SW Rebellion discord server.
Anyway I've recently had a few awkward moments when playing newer players where I have to say "sorry, you can't actually do that really important move you've been planning for ages" so I put together a list of some of the most commonly misunderstood rules in the game, and having made it I thought I'd share here too in the hopes it would help. I actually discovered when putting this together with the other Discord members that I was STILL playing the retreating rules subtly wrong, so it's potentially worth a read even for experienced players!
The list is pasted below, but it's available with cleaner formatting in a Google Doc here.
GENERAL: - Leaders without tactics values still block unit movement. - Action cards (the small cards used for recruiting leaders) that show a particular leader can only be used if that leader is present in the system / combat. - “Resolving” a mission is not the same as “attempting” a mission. Resolved missions occur automatically, cannot be opposed, and do not count as “success” or “failure” for the purposes of other cards.
LOYALTY: - A system with Rebel loyalty is counted as an Imperial system (not a Rebel system) if subjugated. - Rebel loyalty on subjugated systems still counts for objectives / cards / etc
DEPLOYMENT / SABOTAGE: - Sabotage markers prevent building, deployment AND the use of any card that reads “deploy units” (but does NOT affect cards that read “gain units”). - The Imperial R&D card only allows removing a sabotage marker on systems with Imperial loyalty, NOT subjugated systems. - You cannot deploy on a Shield Bunker in the same deployment phase that you placed it. - If you are placing a unit in the build queue and there are none of that type remaining in the reserves, you may choose to take one of those units off the board and place it on the build queue.
REBEL BASE: - If the base is revealed you cannot deploy on it, and deployment on the system containing the base follows normal deployment rules – i.e. you must have loyalty there, meaning you’re in trouble if the revealed base is in a remote system! - Rebel leaders in the base block movement out via cards unless the card specifies otherwise - most but not all do (Lead the Strike Team does not). - If the base is revealed, cards that move units from the base still work – they just move units from the system of the revealed base instead. Leaders in the system of the revealed base block movement as above.
RAPID MOBILISATION (RM): - Moving the base using RM DOES NOT move any units still inside the hidden base (they pop out in the system of the old base). - You CANNOT use RM to move units to the base if there is a Rebel leader present in the system containing those units. - You CANNOT use RM to move ground forces to the base if you do not have transport capacity in the system containing those units. - You CANNOT use RM to move units if the base is revealed.
RETREATING: - If the opposing player still has ANY units present in the system once both theatres of combat are completed, players may choose to retreat. - The attacker chooses to retreat first – and if they *fully* retreat their forces, they will no longer have units present and the defender will not be able to retreat. - You cannot retreat units unless you have a leader present (even via combat cards) and this leader moves with the retreating units. If the combat continues after the retreat, you can no longer use the tactics values of any retreated leaders. - When retreating, you must retreat ALL of your units capable of independent movement and MAY carry as many other units as you have transport capacity for – which means you can choose to leave some or all of your ground forces / TIE Fighters behind to continue the battle. - A “valid” retreat system is one that does not contain enemy units (loyalty doesn’t matter). Additionally, the defender can never retreat to any system that the attacker attacked from. - You MUST always retreat to an adjacent system that contains your UNITS or LOYALTY if able. You are only allowed to move retreating forces to other systems if this does not apply.
COMBAT: - At the start of combat you may only place a leader in the system if you do not already have a leader with TACTICS VALUES present. - If playing the expansion combat rules, note:
You must play a combat card in any battle where either player would roll dice (even if you’d prefer not to), so the Rebel player still plays a space combat card if an unarmed transport is attacked.
You choose either the top OR bottom effect of a combat card, not both.
When you play your last combat card, you return all the cards to your hand EXCEPT the one you just played.
Lightsabers can only remove damage that is currently present on units (so as the attacker rolls and assigns damage first, lightsabers rolled by the attacker are often useless).
Cards that cancel hits prevent the damage from dice showing that result - they cannot remove damage already present.
A direct hit does not count as a “black hit” or a “red hit” even if rolled on a die of that colour, and can only be cancelled by a card that specifically prevents “direct hits”.
CAPTURED LEADERS: - Captured leaders are immediately freed if there are no longer any Imperial units present in their system. - Captured leaders may be moved along with any Imperial forces moving out of their system. - Captured leaders CANNOT be moved by retreating Imperial forces.