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Subject: Rebel base search rules adequate? rss

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Robert Feyerharm
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The Miami Dice review touched on the search rules. They're interesting but also somewhat lacking. It looks like the Imperial player draws system cards at random from a Probot search deck, from which the Rebellion player has already removed the planet card where the Rebel base is located. So the Imperial player operates by deduction, methodically ruling out the planets where the Rebel base is not located. I understand the logic behind this - the game designers don't want to see games where the Empire finds the Rebel base too early and wipes them out on Turn 3.

At the same time, with these rules the Imperial player will never have that Eureka! moment when he finds the Rebel base but must conceal his euphoria from the Rebellion player lest she evacuate to another system before the Imps can launch an attack. Which in fact was in the process of happening in The Empire Strikes Back. (Despite Vader's disapproval, I think if Admiral Ozzel hadn't exited hyperspace so close to Hoth, the Rebels would have been long gone by the time the Imperial fleet arrived.)

Anyways, a minor quibble, and perhaps there's a simple solution like shuffling the Rebel base planet card into the deck as well. Maybe the Rebellion player can put a "Rebel base" sticker on the card?
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Derry Salewski
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Why do you think the deduction (combined with torturing and tracking released leaders) isn't going to lead to a eureka moment? Sure sometimes it might feel like playing battleship, but I think players will know where the base is before their opponent knows they know plenty of times.
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Robert Feyerharm
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Well the search process seems too predictable - the Rebellion player clearly sees when the Imperial player has gone through 90% of the search deck.

You mentioned rules for torturing and tracking released leaders which would be cool. I wish FFG would release the rules already!
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Peter Archer
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You could always sleeve the cards and instead of the rebel player removing the card from the deck they turn that card upside down.
 
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Jan Probst
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robertf wrote:
You mentioned rules for torturing and tracking released leaders which would be cool. I wish FFG would release the rules already!

It's Imperial mission cards, so not gonna be "in the rules".
Both are done against a captured leader, the interrogation one has the rebel tell you 3 systems, one of which must be the base, the tracking one has the rebel place the now-free leader in a system in the region the base is at. (First mission seen in Dice Tower playthrough, other in FFG reviews and probably image gallery here)
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Robert Feyerharm
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That's a great idea. Since the location of the Rebel base is hidden, the base's armament (whether they have a planetary shield, ion cannon, etc.) ought to be concealed as well, but I don't know if that's the case in the rules.

Do we know if the Empire can use bounty hunters in the game?
 
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robertf wrote:
Do we know if the Empire can use bounty hunters in the game?

We know Boba Fett is one of the leaders the Empire has available.
 
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Davis Stringer
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scifiantihero wrote:
Why do you think the deduction (combined with torturing and tracking released leaders) isn't going to lead to a eureka moment? Sure sometimes it might feel like playing battleship, but I think players will know where the base is before their opponent knows they know plenty of times.


This, I believe. We'll all have a better idea when they post some rules.

If the Imperial has pretty good math, logic, and deduction skills, I'd be more afraid finding the base will be too easy rather than the other way around.

If that proves to be the case, then probably need to house rule that when the base is moved all planets go back into the probe deck unless the "space" around them are blockaded (contain Imperial Naval/Air units), or the planet itself sports an Imperial subjugation, control, unit(s) or some combo thereof. Forces the Empire to keep some garrisons as well.
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Jeremy Steward
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I think very rarely will the imperial player get to the end of the probe card deck. I think most of the time you will find it simply by landing troops in areas that havent been eliminated by the probe cards.

And I do think that will generate a Eureka! Moment.
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So, you're criticizing the rules without having even seen the rules? I understand that a review "touched on the search rules," but that's not the same as reading the rules. In addition, as others have noted, the game is not just about drawing cards to find the rebel base. There are other methods to speed this up, including missions and landing on planets. The talk of potential house rules already, when the official rules haven't even been released, is quite ridiculous really.

I trust FFG has got their act together and that the methods the imperials can use to search for the base are more than adequate.
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Dave Weiss
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Deadwolf wrote:
I think very rarely will the imperial player get to the end of the probe card deck. I think most of the time you will find it simply by landing troops in areas that havent been eliminated by the probe cards.

And I do think that will generate a Eureka! Moment.


I actually disagree. Accidental discoveries will happen for sure, but I doubt it will be the most common outcome. The rebel player will likely pick an out of the way system that wouldn't even be an interest for the Imp player to go to. Wasting turns sending units to uninhabited edge worlds would be a high risk gamble.
I think a good Imp player will burn through the probe deck pretty fast. Even if you know where the base is, you want to prioritize probes.

32 planets, although 1 is Coruscant, so 31. Remove 1 card for the rebel base and you have 30 planets.
2 probes per round automatically.
1 of the default cards that returns to your hand each round is a intel card that allows you 1 probe for every 4 units on the rebel base (minimum 1 probe).
There is Ozzel's probe card that gives you 2 or 4 probes depending on who does it.
At a base of 3 probes per round, its 10 rounds to wipe out the probe deck. If they get 8 units on the base, or you pull and use Ozzell's probe mission, you could cut another 1-3 rounds off that total. So now you are looking at 7-9 rounds.

Combine that with the fact that they can't be on an Imperial or subjugated planet, and the Imps have other ways to narrow down the search (releasing prisoners and interrogation), and the Imps could find the base pretty quickly if they really push it.
Technically, they could know the location on turn 1 or 2 but that would take a lot of luck. With modest luck and a heavy push on probes, you could have the base discovered by round 7 pretty easily.

But cleaning the probe deck is important not only for discovering the base, but for reducing possible base locations when they move. It's possible that by round 7, they can't even relocate if you push the probes enough. Or even if they can, the amount of locations left are easily covered.

I could easily see a scenario where the Imp player is moving a large fleet towards the base and gets the Rebel player to jump ship on the base only to pull the last 4 cards and realize that oops, 2 are Imp planets, and the Imp player has fleets next to the other 2.

That's another fun element of the game. The Rebels don't know if you know the location. Can you fool them into thinking you just want to subjugate the planet next to their base when actually setting up for a massive attack? Can you flush them out and force them to relocate to a location you can easily hit?

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Robert Feyerharm
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cagriggs wrote:
So, you're criticizing the rules without having even seen the rules?


Yes, if I'm going to pay $110 for a board game. All the details of the search process aren't known, but we do know it involves drawing cards from a search deck excluding the Rebel base - that's the part that seems wonky to me.
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Robert Feyerharm
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kmanweiss wrote:
Deadwolf wrote:
I think very rarely will the imperial player get to the end of the probe card deck. I think most of the time you will find it simply by landing troops in areas that havent been eliminated by the probe cards.

And I do think that will generate a Eureka! Moment.


I actually disagree. Accidental discoveries will happen for sure, but I doubt it will be the most common outcome. The rebel player will likely pick an out of the way system that wouldn't even be an interest for the Imp player to go to. Wasting turns sending units to uninhabited edge worlds would be a high risk gamble.
I think a good Imp player will burn through the probe deck pretty fast. Even if you know where the base is, you want to prioritize probes.

32 planets, although 1 is Coruscant, so 31. Remove 1 card for the rebel base and you have 30 planets.
2 probes per round automatically.
1 of the default cards that returns to your hand each round is a intel card that allows you 1 probe for every 4 units on the rebel base (minimum 1 probe).
There is Ozzel's probe card that gives you 2 or 4 probes depending on who does it.
At a base of 3 probes per round, its 10 rounds to wipe out the probe deck. If they get 8 units on the base, or you pull and use Ozzell's probe mission, you could cut another 1-3 rounds off that total. So now you are looking at 7-9 rounds.

Combine that with the fact that they can't be on an Imperial or subjugated planet, and the Imps have other ways to narrow down the search (releasing prisoners and interrogation), and the Imps could find the base pretty quickly if they really push it.
Technically, they could know the location on turn 1 or 2 but that would take a lot of luck. With modest luck and a heavy push on probes, you could have the base discovered by round 7 pretty easily.

But cleaning the probe deck is important not only for discovering the base, but for reducing possible base locations when they move. It's possible that by round 7, they can't even relocate if you push the probes enough. Or even if they can, the amount of locations left are easily covered.

I could easily see a scenario where the Imp player is moving a large fleet towards the base and gets the Rebel player to jump ship on the base only to pull the last 4 cards and realize that oops, 2 are Imp planets, and the Imp player has fleets next to the other 2.

That's another fun element of the game. The Rebels don't know if you know the location. Can you fool them into thinking you just want to subjugate the planet next to their base when actually setting up for a massive attack? Can you flush them out and force them to relocate to a location you can easily hit?


Thanks for the breakdown! Did you play a demo game?

kmanweiss wrote:

Wasting turns sending units to uninhabited edge worlds would be a high risk gamble. I think a good Imp player will burn through the probe deck pretty fast. Even if you know where the base is, you want to prioritize probes.


Is there an option to send probe droids to a specific system? That would be cool and more realistically represent how the probes would be used.

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Scott Forster
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both Interrogation and Tracking can lead to an immediate positive solution without the Rebel player knowing, since the Rebel player doesn't know which planets you've already seen.

If a tracked leader escapes to Felucia, and I'm holding Felucia and Saleucami in my hand and have troops on Mon Calamari, then you've just told me where the rebel base is.

If you tell me the Rebel base is on Dantooine, Yavin, or Hoth and I'm holding Dantooine and Hoth in my hand, then you've just told me where the rebel base is.

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I assume the probes are being sent all over the galaxy, and the probe droid cards represent when they provide definitive information back.

While I agree that having a probe suddenly find the base thematic, I'm not sure that would lend itself to fun gameplay.
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Robert Feyerharm
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I assume the probes are being sent all over the galaxy, and the probe droid cards represent when they provide definitive information back.

While I agree that having a probe suddenly find the base thematic, I'm not sure that would lend itself to fun gameplay.


Yes, good point. Making hidden unit rules playable is difficult.
 
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Dave Weiss
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robertf wrote:
kmanweiss wrote:
Deadwolf wrote:
I think very rarely will the imperial player get to the end of the probe card deck. I think most of the time you will find it simply by landing troops in areas that havent been eliminated by the probe cards.

And I do think that will generate a Eureka! Moment.


I actually disagree. Accidental discoveries will happen for sure, but I doubt it will be the most common outcome. The rebel player will likely pick an out of the way system that wouldn't even be an interest for the Imp player to go to. Wasting turns sending units to uninhabited edge worlds would be a high risk gamble.
I think a good Imp player will burn through the probe deck pretty fast. Even if you know where the base is, you want to prioritize probes.

32 planets, although 1 is Coruscant, so 31. Remove 1 card for the rebel base and you have 30 planets.
2 probes per round automatically.
1 of the default cards that returns to your hand each round is a intel card that allows you 1 probe for every 4 units on the rebel base (minimum 1 probe).
There is Ozzel's probe card that gives you 2 or 4 probes depending on who does it.
At a base of 3 probes per round, its 10 rounds to wipe out the probe deck. If they get 8 units on the base, or you pull and use Ozzell's probe mission, you could cut another 1-3 rounds off that total. So now you are looking at 7-9 rounds.

Combine that with the fact that they can't be on an Imperial or subjugated planet, and the Imps have other ways to narrow down the search (releasing prisoners and interrogation), and the Imps could find the base pretty quickly if they really push it.
Technically, they could know the location on turn 1 or 2 but that would take a lot of luck. With modest luck and a heavy push on probes, you could have the base discovered by round 7 pretty easily.

But cleaning the probe deck is important not only for discovering the base, but for reducing possible base locations when they move. It's possible that by round 7, they can't even relocate if you push the probes enough. Or even if they can, the amount of locations left are easily covered.

I could easily see a scenario where the Imp player is moving a large fleet towards the base and gets the Rebel player to jump ship on the base only to pull the last 4 cards and realize that oops, 2 are Imp planets, and the Imp player has fleets next to the other 2.

That's another fun element of the game. The Rebels don't know if you know the location. Can you fool them into thinking you just want to subjugate the planet next to their base when actually setting up for a massive attack? Can you flush them out and force them to relocate to a location you can easily hit?


Thanks for the breakdown! Did you play a demo game?

kmanweiss wrote:

Wasting turns sending units to uninhabited edge worlds would be a high risk gamble. I think a good Imp player will burn through the probe deck pretty fast. Even if you know where the base is, you want to prioritize probes.


Is there an option to send probe droids to a specific system? That would be cool and more realistically represent how the probes would be used.



No demo, I've just read every detail about the game and watched some playthroughs. I tend to overanalyze everything.

Send to a specific system? Not that we've seen. There are some targeted plays though. One card forces the rebel to name 3 systems, one of which must have his base. If you have the cards, or have been through the other systems, you know the location.
There is also the tracking device card where you release a captured leader and he has to go back to the same sector as the base. Again, if you have the other cards, or planets occupied, you can narrow it down.
Combine those two cards and you likely know where the base is.

So there are a lot of different combinations of ways to help seek out the planet. But again, even after you find the location, you need more probe cards to reduce the rebel's chance of escape.
 
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kmanweiss wrote:
32 planets, although 1 is Coruscant, so 31. Remove 1 card for the rebel base and you have 30 planets.


Less than that, even. Don't forget that the Empire Starts with 6 systems in total, Coruscant and 5 random locations. There are only 26 possible systems that the Rebel Base can be hiding at the start of the game.

Revising your math, if the Empire Gets 3 probe cards per round, they will know all locations except two by round 8, which means they know over half of them after round 5. Get more probe cards and you can push that element shorter.

The two question remains are a) if by doing so many scout actions, is there a significant enough decrease in the ability for you to capitalize on your knowledge, and b) if there is by chance a objective card that can counter when the Empire has scouted TOO many systems (planetary systems under duress from too much 'Big Brother Empire' sticking their nose into things). This may be unlikely as an objective like this would require the rebel player keeping track of the draws, and if the Rebel player is asking for that info, the Empire player must likely expect that Rebels have that objective. On-the counter-counter-spin, if Rebels ask that and Empire player feels they have the objective, it may force the Empire to REDUCE the draw for probes, allowing the Rebels to use it as a bluffing tactic and stall searches to the base!

I can't wait to see once the game is available just how deep the rabbit hole goes on the bluffing subset of this game, there is just so much potential within this story's universe.
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There's also an Imperial mission, Long Range Probe, that allows the Empire to ask about any one system and get a yes/no answer. Useful when you want to rule a location out but haven't drawn the probe card yet and don't have forces nearby.
 
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David Umstattd
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I feel like one of the coolest facets of this game is it's multi dimensional nature.

You have space combat and ground combat
The missions dynamic of bluffing and counter bluffing with leader placement
The deduction mind games of finding/hiding the base


So much more interesting than the countless games that just have miniatures rolling dice at each other.
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Robert Feyerharm
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benrankin wrote:
There's also an Imperial mission, Long Range Probe, that allows the Empire to ask about any one system and get a yes/no answer. Useful when you want to rule a location out but haven't drawn the probe card yet and don't have forces nearby.


That's closer to how I think a probe would operate. Except of course the Rebel player knows you've located his base when using Long Range Probe. But simulating the Imps searching a system without alerting the Rebels (which seems feasible - I think Luke got lucky spotting the Imperial probe droid on Hoth), would be tricky & require a separate search mechanism.

Another question is whether the rules allow the Imperial player to know when the Rebel player relocates her base. The answer ought to be No unless the Imps are secretly surveilling the Rebel base.
 
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robertf wrote:
benrankin wrote:
There's also an Imperial mission, Long Range Probe, that allows the Empire to ask about any one system and get a yes/no answer. Useful when you want to rule a location out but haven't drawn the probe card yet and don't have forces nearby.


That's closer to how I think a probe would operate. Except of course the Rebel player knows you've located his base when using Long Range Probe. But simulating the Imps searching a system without alerting the Rebels (which seems feasible - I think Luke got lucky spotting the Imperial probe droid on Hoth), would be tricky & require a separate search mechanism.

Another question is whether the rules allow the Imperial player to know when the Rebel player relocates her base. The answer ought to be No unless the Imps are secretly surveilling the Rebel base.


The probe was destroyed because they intercepted a signal from it, not because Luke saw it. Luke said it was an asteroid and never got a chance to investigate.
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William Finnigan

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The Dice Tower put a playthrough up on their YouTube channel. In the playthrough Tom (empire) plays what I think is the interrogation card when Sam had to name 3 systems and the rebel base has to be one of them. When Sam says the third system Tom laughs like a maniac because from that information he is really really sure where the Rebel base is. Does that count as a eureka moment. If it does then the only play through I've seen had one.

There also appears to be a card for the empire that lets you put soldiers on planets with nobody on them which could lead to you finding the planet. I'm not really sure I see much difference between stumbling on it via luck or stumbling on it because a card told you where it was or you got through a deck. You can still have some deduction in seeing if the rebels are protecting some part more than others combined with your cards or maybe they are bluffing you on where their forces are.
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robertf wrote:
That's closer to how I think a probe would operate. Except of course the Rebel player knows you've located his base when using Long Range Probe. But simulating the Imps searching a system without alerting the Rebels (which seems feasible - I think Luke got lucky spotting the Imperial probe droid on Hoth), would be tricky & require a separate search mechanism.

Another question is whether the rules allow the Imperial player to know when the Rebel player relocates her base. The answer ought to be No unless the Imps are secretly surveilling the Rebel base.


As a rule, you change the probe sequence so that the Rebel Player holds all the system cards, and whenever the Empire Player is supposed to get the probe cards, you could ask the Rebel player "Are the Rebels on X (and Y, Z, etc)" and they respond back either with yes or no (for each 'No', they give you the card representing that system to reduce the deck) Essentially this would turn every probe into the 'Long range Probe' ability, but this could interfere with some of the game balances:

- The rebel player would ALWAYS know when you found the base, and simply relocate at the next turn (which as far as we know there is no way to stop) This takes away a huge hidden element for the Rebels ("Does the Empire have a clue where I am?")

- The Empire leader may be able to have more success in pinpointing the base just based on the board setup. True the Rebels could jump away, but because some relocations occur at the end of the Command phase, the Empire player may be able to capitalize if they know for sure they found the true base without having to take the more equalizing route of splitting their forces and Leaders to cover unknown systems.

- It would slow the probe options a bit because the Empire leader would have to always consult with what cards they have before declaring what systems they want to send probes to (the random deck draw, while more ineffective, is much simpler to keep the game moving at a steady pace)

- It makes the Long Range probe card lose its uniqueness.

I think part of your concern about all this stems from the fact that you could potentially draw a probe card that you already have a ground force present on and makes the draw useless, correct? Thematically, why would you 'probe' a system when you know it is safe? This occurrence WILL happen for sure in every game, but here's what good to know: In order for the Empire to discover the base, they typically need to have Ground forces enter the system in order to reveal the base. If you have only Space units move into an adjacent system, the Rebel base will not reveal, so those probe cards that you draw can still help in cutting down the possibilities.

As far as for the Empire player to know that the Rebels have relocated is likely a balancing component to avoid giving the Rebels too much of an edge; if the Rebels could move without the Empire ever knowing, they could lead the Empire player even further away from being found and skew the win/loss ratio higher in the Rebel's favour. Think of this from a thematic view: the Empire, desperate to pinpoint the Rebels has a decent spy network of bounty hunters and loyal members. When Rapid Relocation occurs, they've spotted the Rebels in transit; they know they are moving, but they don't know where to, and they've just informed the Empire as such.
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It would also create an "optimal path" for the Empire, where someone would noodle out "You should always ask about X and Y first, position your fleet in this system, then ask about A and B, etc., and by Turn 5 you should have checked everything out." So the balance might be significantly off with that rule and (perhaps more importantly) the game would stagnate into a few central lines of play rather than the Empire having to deal with a different set of circumstances each game.

Pretty big risk to take with the game play and game balance just to make one portion of the game feel a little more authentic, IMO.
 
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