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Star Wars: Rebellion» Forums » Strategy

Subject: The 3 Archetypes of Rebel players rss

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David Umstattd
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So I've been meandering through these forums since long before the game came out and I've been noticing a few distinct schools of thought or general strategies regarding playing the rebel side. I've noticed it for the empire too but I'm just talking rebels right now.

These three strategies aren't necessarily philosophies a player takes on before the game but are focuses that they'll go into after playing and often will default to if card draw and enemy openings don't dictate they go for one of the other styles.

And oddly enough each of these styles main difference is how they value the three non Build Alliance starting missions. So I'm naming each style after their respective starting card.

Each of these styles pretty much all agree that you should do Build Alliance every turn unless you have a really good reason not to.

So to start,

Sabotage style:

These players are all about trying to build up a powerful military presence on the board. About fighting the empire in a region of space, preferably a one rich in space units. Utupau on turn one is glorified board setup. Perhaps you go for Corescant early, perhaps you keep the empire from being able to place troops in an area, or you cripple the empire's fleet or ground strength. Often Sabotogue players will try to go for a group of systems their fleet can protect. Though they will often wait until the empire is spread to go for this strategum, and it depends on setup but usually after taking Utupau they will go for mid area of Nal Hutta, Kessel, Toydaria etc. since the fleet in Salecami will usually move away from this region by taking Mon Calmar on the first turn, leaving the center board open for the rebels to take. So they like the "Regional support" objective a lot, and any of the objectives around combat.

This style only does infiltrate if convenient and Rapid Mobilization if necessary. Bases are generally under defended as they need their troops to attack the empire. Their fleet is a buffer from their base. Though sometimes they will build up a fleet on their base and use Hidden Fleet to move it to a place the empire is weak.

Good Sabotage players know when to retreat and are always looking for the weakest part of the empire and wondering if they can capitalize on that area.

A Sabotage player looks at Build Alliance as valuable more for the units it produces and less for the influence it gains.


EDIT: it should also be noted that Sabotogue players focus on accomplishing the tier 1 objectives more than skipping them. So by knowing which missions they're going to get early on it allows them to plan around those missions easier even though they are difficult to accomplish. By Sabotoging every turn they make Cut Supply Lines easy. By protecting their influence systems with their large military forces they make the influence missions easier, and by building a strong military they make Crippling Blow and Rebel Assault easier. Sabotage players rarely infiltrate and use the knowledge of their first few objectives as an advantage for their planning. As opposed to infiltrating and hoping you get a mission you can more easily accomplish.


Infiltrate style:

You can usually spot people who follow this style by saying "infiltrating the first few turns is required." Which is very different from the Sabotage mindset. This style is focused on victory points, namely the higher value victory points and specifically death star plans to keep the empire from being able to one shot your base. This style will go for fighters over capital ships (unlike Sabotage which goes for capital ships more)

Infiltrate sees Build Alliance as more valuable for the influence it spreads for VP than for the units. Infiltrate tries for quick victories before the empire can build up.

Since infiltrate is focusing on getting DSP as soon as possible they will also focus on gaining a large ground presence in order to slow imperial expanse. Infiltrate players will use sabotage specifically on systems that produce AT-ATs or large numbers of ground troops and will prioritize speeder production for themselves. Infiltrate players usually resign themselves to losing space battles and expect their ground forces to be strong enough that the empire can't defeat their base before they score enough points to win. Similar to the Rapid Mobilization style in this way.

Ground troops will sometimes be spread if Defender of the People is drawn or they want to make Build Alliances easier. Infiltrate players focus on influence missions over combat missions.

Infiltrate players tend to have weaker than normal military presences. Sometimes rarely having units outside of their base unless a mission instructs otherwise. But they're focused on getting the "good" missions where they don't have to do much.

EDIT: it should also be noted that the Infiltrate player tends to use Build Alliance to take systems that are far away from empire fleets in order to retain them for objectives. As opposed to RM which uses Build Alliance to distract the empire and Sabotage who uses it for the units mostly.


Rapid Mobilization Style:

I know about these kinds of players the least, so if you're an RM player please feel free to specify your strategy. These players are the ones that will activate RM a whole lot, even if the empire isn't near them. Just to manipulate the probe deck and to be ready to escape if they need to. RM is all about denying information to the empire and hiding their base in the furthest possible location. Also with the information from constant RM they're able to get a good idea on where the empire is going to search and will relocate their base, even if not threatened, to places they think the empire is less likely to search.

These are the empiricists, logic nerds, the people who stare at you for uncomfortable amounts of time before picking their base location. The ones who pay less attention to missions and fleet movements and more into trying to pick and move their base in such as a way to be almost impossible to locate.

This style will sometimes prioritize shield generators in order to made a few ground troops incredibly powerful without going over 7 units at their base. But this is usually only done if the RM player thinks they can hide their base long enough. These players are the ones who usually win without the empire ever finding their base.

Some RM players will mass forces on their base. trusting in their clever position to hide their base even with the extra probe draw cards from Gather Intel. Their base will possibly be discovered by the empire but it will be so well hidden by the time the empire makes it there their base will be so strong the empire won't be able to take it. Unless they brought the Death Star. In which case, (unlike the infiltrate player) the RM player will generally have trouble. Their response to the DS is usually to just RM really far away from it and try building up their ground forces again.

Right up until, and after the point of base discovery the RM player who masses will switch gears and focus on sabotaging, and eliminating imperial transport units near to their base. As opposed to the Sabotage player who will use these tactics to weaken the empire in a place that has valuable planets, the RM player does it near the rebel base, so the empire is less able to mobilize fleets and ground troops against them.

Before the point when the RM player thinks their base is about to be discovered they will harass places that are not near their base, so the empire will think their base is there.

The RM player (I think) sees Build Alliance as a tool for misdirection. The rebel systems are bait to move the empire away from their base.

EDIT: RM players are also sometimes able to use card counting and early RM to be able to know for certain where they will be able to RM on a future turn if no deck shuffling happens. If deck shuffling does happen they're still often able to have more knowledge on where they will be able to relocate. Or more often, they'll have knowledge on where they won't be able to relocate, and use that information to decide if they want to RM or turtle up.




Now to an extent every good Rebel player will have some of these attributes, and will choose which style to follow after setup and card draw and which opponent they are playing. But usually people have a default style they are comfortable with or sometimes even think is necessary or just how you play rebels. And each of the styles thinks the other cards associated with the other styles are good, they just tend to spam the card that is associated with their style.


Now I'm off to analyze the empire styles and maybe I'll write a post on which of the styles tends to have an advantage over the other styles.
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Saro Gumusyan

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Very good thread idea, the interesting thing is I've never played or encountered a true hide and seek RM style of play.

The first two styles of play lend themselves to being aggressive/passive styles of play:

The Saboteur takes the initiative to the Empire by engaging, blockading and sabotaging key systems without relying on drawing critical missions. By forcing the Empire to put out fires the Rebel player has time to get what reputation points are possible and survive a weakened base assault from a depleted Empire.

The Infiltrator tailors objectives based on system and mission situations, and will save fleets for specific goals. As mentioned this expedites Death Star Plans as a hedge and even allows a window for Heart of the Empire. The Imperial player will catch on to this and be forced to play the Death Star more conservatively.

I consider myself an Infiltrator, but I like to dabble in sabotage just to keep the Empire honest.
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Darth Ed
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I'm by no means an expert (only played 3 times), but I feel like I dabble in all three strategies as well. Say 45% RM, 30% Infiltrate, 25% Sabotage.

As a RM-focused player, I often assign a leader to RM as a feint and/or as an insurance policy and not use it. And sometimes I will RM even when the Empire isn't close to the Rebel Base to intentionally manipulate the Probe Deck. Late in the game, I really like knowing exactly which cards are left in the Probe Deck.

But I'm definitely Infiltrating to get the Death Star Plans and to get to the better/easier Objectives for the current board state. If I have the DSP and Luke or Wedge and the DS isn't well defended, I will certainly try to blow it up for the VPs.

But I'm definitely still using Build Alliance and Sabotage where I can, almost every round. I do it to build units I need and to keep the Empire on its toes and reacting to my play rather than the other way around.
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Nice post, but I don't think it matches me, at least not 1 track.

Somehow you hit on much of my strategy, but split it into 3.

As you said,
1. I sabotage often and early, usually my first move is to attack the empire and blockade 1 planet while sabotaging another. I tend to try and limit imperial production to start off the game, hopefully clearing out a little section of the galaxy in the beginning of the game, while building myself. Gaining loyalty is a must. As the game goes on, I sabotage to hinder imperial deployment.
I attack the empire to gain combat objectives
2.infiltration in the first 2 turns is a must! I also believe that you should go for a good balance between refresh and combat objectives, too much of 1 kind will stall your objective progress. Much of the other points as the infiltrator apply to me, perhaps except the level of base defenses.
3. which brings me to this point, I don't RM often for misdirection (although I do gain loyalty for this purpose), however i believe as the game goes on, you MUST start strengthening your base for the final stand. Ofcourse moving the base is also an important action to time (sometimes not moving it is the smarter choice)

I believe a lot of what you pointed out are good situational strategies, and perhaps some people have tendencies towards one of them, but I really think that I am a successful hybrid of all 3, and that it would be hard to be successful without being so.
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Joshua Schutte
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RM on turn one followed by one on turn two (if you drew unfavorable systems) helps stack the bottom of the deck. Usually we get down the last 4 cards near the end of the game knowing what will be a possible move spot is invaluable both for bluffing and actually moving. Granted you may have to do this again if the empire finds a shuffle the probe droid deck after mission.
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Luke Heineman
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Just got my first rebel win with the last strategy. Manipulating the probe deck when you can't draw viable objectives vs. a rapidly expanding empire was crucial. I was able to throw him off my location and stall long enough to pull out the win.
 
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David Umstattd wrote:
Now to an extent every good Rebel player will have some of these attributes, and will choose which style to follow after setup and card draw and which opponent they are playing. But usually people have a default style they are comfortable with or sometimes even think is necessary or just how you play rebels. And each of the styles thinks the other cards associated with the other styles are good, they just tend to spam the card that is associated with their style.



I'd say that's mostly fair. The thing about the Rebels is that they're more likely to play missions than the Empire, who is generally more focused on opposing and moving troops- so it's more likely that each of these cards and playstyles actually will get significant play in a single playthrough.

For me, you'll find that I almost always send Mothma on a Build Alliance mission. After a while it becomes predictable, but at that point it becomes a win/win scenario- I either get the loyalty I'm looking for, or I flush Palpatine out where he's nice and out of the way.

Sabotage is pretty common for me, too. It's a little more risky, but it's also a good way to flush out Fett or Vader, so again, win/win.

I generally send (it's been a while since my last game, but I think it's Dodonna?) on Infiltrate. The way I see it, the more victory cards in my hands, the quicker I can start fulfilling them.

Finally, I tend to not use Rapid MO unless absolutely necessary. However, I have used it to great effect before. Furthermore, I also tend to put a few units in the Rebel Base whenever able. Obviously, the more there the better.
 
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Witold G
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
I generally send (it's been a while since my last game, but I think it's Dodonna?) on Infiltrate. The way I see it, the more victory cards in my hands, the quicker I can start fulfilling them.


It's probably worth pointing out that Infiltration does not give you more "victory cards", it just rearranges the cards in objectives deck (so you can reach easier/stronger ones faster).
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Perf wrote:
Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
I generally send (it's been a while since my last game, but I think it's Dodonna?) on Infiltrate. The way I see it, the more victory cards in my hands, the quicker I can start fulfilling them.


It's probably worth pointing out that Infiltration does not give you more "victory cards", it just rearranges the cards in objectives deck (so you can reach easier/stronger ones faster).


Yeah, it's been a little while since my last game. Regardless, it does help me cycle through for the good cards.
 
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David Umstattd
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
David Umstattd wrote:
Now to an extent every good Rebel player will have some of these attributes, and will choose which style to follow after setup and card draw and which opponent they are playing. But usually people have a default style they are comfortable with or sometimes even think is necessary or just how you play rebels. And each of the styles thinks the other cards associated with the other styles are good, they just tend to spam the card that is associated with their style.




For me, you'll find that I almost always send Mothma on a Build Alliance mission. After a while it becomes predictable, but at that point it becomes a win/win scenario- I either get the loyalty I'm looking for, or I flush Palpatine out where he's nice and out of the way.


Right. As I said in the OP all three styles do Build Alliance every turn more or less and usually this is done by Mon Mothma.
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David Umstattd
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DarthEd wrote:
I'm by no means an expert (only played 3 times), but I feel like I dabble in all three strategies as well. Say 45% RM, 30% Infiltrate, 25% Sabotage.


I imagine most players are like this. Going full 100% towards one of the styles just doesn't happen. However whichever of the styles is most dominant has a significant impact on your overall strategy.
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