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Subject: Should I avoid having my leaders captured too soon? rss

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Simon Lindén
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I'll play my second game of Rebellion later this week and have been thinking on how to improve since my first game. Again I'll be the rebels and we'll play only two players this time so it changes some things. In a multi-player game the rebels will have the last action if I assign my leaders to different missions. That would give me the chance to sabotage or infiltrate without risking having my leader captured. But in a two player game I can only be sure to avoid this if the opponent opposes one of my missions or assigns two leaders to the same mission, (or if I don't place my leaders in hostile territories).

In the last game a leader was captured on turn 1 and turned to the dark side on turn 2. While this did not turn the game it really felt like a heavy blow, so I've been thinking about not assigning any leaders to hostile territory missions on turn 1 and instead use excess leaders to oppose missions. The question is if this cowardly approach can be worth it in the right circumstances? Or if sabotage/infiltrate are just too good to be neglected?
 
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Andy
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Personally, I'd say Sabotage/Infiltration are too important - the Rebels have to build the pressure on the Empire to slow their expansion and you have to risk your leaders for this.
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Dennis de Vries
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I think it all depends on the circumstances. What is your strategy when you start the game? Does it rely on infiltrations and sabotaging early on? I usually determine my strategy largely based on the first objective I get.

Is it a long term objective? Then I want to dig for more/better short term objectives and then I'll take the 'risk' of infiltrating. If it's short term, I usually try to get that objective in turn 1 or 2, though that depends more on the state of the board and missions in hand.

If it's the 'cut supply lines' and I have the 'right' missions in hand, I will go for sabotaging early. Or when I have an important system close to an Imperial system, I want to sabotage them, so the Imperials don't get certain troops and/or can't deploy in that system.

Another thing: you can plan on a capture. If you fear a capture on a turn, and you have daring rescue/for the greater good in hand, you can use it. The Empire captures, but you also have a chance to rescue the leader immediately. This one is hard to do, because you have to guess what your opponent will do (before the Empire assigns missions).

Just a reminder: even if you stay out of systems that can get you captured: there is a mission where the Empire doesn't need a system with Imperial units (detained and collect bounty). I've had that done to me a few times on the first turn (especially collect bounty is really nasty).
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Sebastiaan Ringoot
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First of all, good for you that you're on the way to becomming good at this game. You're asking yourself the correct question(s).


Early game, not getting captured is vital for the Rebels. As the game progresses, it makes little difference if you lose one leader. However getting carbon freezed or turned to the dark side both give large boosts to the Empire, so try to avoid those from happening with everything you can. Rebels usually have too many leaders after turn 4, having 7 instead of 8 is really no big deal.


Infiltrating early is not really good. All Tier I objectives are easily attained sooner or later, so you want them all in your hand. Even without trying you'll trigger a few every game.


Sabotaging early is as much needed as it is at any givven time. Early in the game it's percentual influence is greater, so even better for that matter.

Sabotaging early without getting captured:
- Look at what empire characters are on missions. They need spec ops, they might not have any, making everything safe that turn.
- Wait with sabotaging untill the last turn, with some luck they already used their spec op character in the leader pool to move a fleet.
- Try to get the ' turn advantage '. If you oppose nothing and they oppose once, you'll have the last move and they will not have characters left.
- Sabotage a region the Empire will move a fleet to. You can sabotage any populous region, rebel/empire/neutral. Sometimes the map makes bottlenecks with the layout compared to certain empire fleets. Plan it out well and sabotage the one province they really want to move to. You'll make them move and capture a sabotaged region. Make the choice so agonising for them = best way to play as rebels.


And finally, from the moment you have enough characters, assign a character to a rescue mission. You'll have enough characters.

Every time you waste an Empire character doing something is a huge step closer to winning the game. If they capture and plan on carbon freezing the next turn, but you can rescue in time, they'll have wasted a character.

If your opponent is capture-happy, just rescue as much as you can, let your guy get capturd again, enjoy, you're winning the game. Every time both you and the empire spend a character move that cancel each other out, the clock keeps ticking, closer to a rebel victory.


Greetings and Good luck!




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Thomas with Subtrendy
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I'd say it's pretty important to avoid capture if at all possible, especially early in the game. Much like you said, not only does having more Rebel leaders allow you to perform more actions, but it also allows you to more strategically play missions later in the turn.

If a Rebel is captured, he is essentially worthless until/if he is rescued. Obviously, it's simply a numbers game at that point- if a Rebel is captured, you're losing out on all possible actions he'd have in the future up until that point. So, if he has to be captured, better later than earlier, especially since you'll be more likely to have drawn means of rescuing him by then.
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Nicholas Martinez
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I'll offer an alternate perspective: Getting captured sucks, but doing nothing sucks more:

Nearly all rebel missions will involve an imperial system. Sabotage, infiltrate, all of the uprising/revolt missions, etc. Studiously avoiding capture would mean forgoing essentially everything but 'build alliance'.

You first goal as the Rebels is to slow down the Empire. If you have to sacrifice a leader, so be it. Playing against a rebel afraid of losing a leader, I would put Vadar on 'rule by fear' every turn to scare you into thinking it was Capture Rebel Leader. And you'd sit twiddling your thumbs for the first two (critical) turns.

Big mistake.
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Nicholas Martinez
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caffeinated21 wrote:
I'll offer an alternate perspective: Getting captured sucks, but doing nothing sucks more:

Nearly all rebel missions will involve an imperial system. Sabotage, infiltrate, all of the uprising/revolt missions, etc. Studiously avoiding capture would mean forgoing essentially everything but 'build alliance'.

You first goal as the Rebels is to slow down the Empire. If you have to sacrifice a leader, so be it. Playing against a rebel afraid of losing a leader, I would put Vadar on 'rule by fear' every turn to scare you into thinking it was Capture Rebel Leader. And you'd sit twiddling your thumbs for the first two (critical) turns.

Big mistake.


Follow up: One "middle path" would be two put two spec-ops leaders (Reiken & Leia) on Sabotage together, and then following up with infiltrate with Dodonna in the same system, as this lowers the likelihood of capture working substantially.
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Simon Lindén
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Thanks for all your comments. I absolutely see your point Nicholas - if my opponent realizes I'll be playing carefully and doesn't play the capture mission I may be the one losing out more.

caffeinated21 wrote:
Follow up: One "middle path" would be two put two spec-ops leaders (Reiken & Leia) on Sabotage together, and then following up with infiltrate with Dodonna in the same system, as this lowers the likelihood of capture working substantially.


This way I'll have two against three right? Because Dodonna has no spec ops if I remember correctly. I guess my chance of resisting capture is under 50% but still pretty good.
 
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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caffeinated21 wrote:
I'll offer an alternate perspective: Getting captured sucks, but doing nothing sucks more:

Nearly all rebel missions will involve an imperial system. Sabotage, infiltrate, all of the uprising/revolt missions, etc. Studiously avoiding capture would mean forgoing essentially everything but 'build alliance'.

You first goal as the Rebels is to slow down the Empire. If you have to sacrifice a leader, so be it. Playing against a rebel afraid of losing a leader, I would put Vadar on 'rule by fear' every turn to scare you into thinking it was Capture Rebel Leader. And you'd sit twiddling your thumbs for the first two (critical) turns.

Big mistake.


That's very true. Imperial Assault is, in many ways, a very thematic game of chess. Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made for the greater victory. My point is that you need leader for missions and actions- yours is that those actions actually have to further serve the Rebellion, or they're just kind of pointless. Both pretty solid points.


Alandor wrote:

This way I'll have two against three right? Because Dodonna has no spec ops if I remember correctly. I guess my chance of resisting capture is under 50% but still pretty good.


Over all, not a bad strategy by caffeinated21. While Dodonna does not contribute to the roll, he is still protected by it. Smart mission placement- both in time and place- can help you keep your leaders around while not forcing them to stay sidelined. Won't work all the time, but it helps.
 
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Guy Rodgers
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I think for most setups capturing first turn is a poor move for Empire. Build is happening this turn and I only have four leaders to choke Rebel production and secure my own.

As Empire, on first turn, I'm thinking about:

- subjugating Rebel systems
- Getting loyalty on rich systems
- running R&D to clear sabotage&draw projects
- using a leader to parry a Rebel first strike

Capturing is pretty far down on my list of priorities. Probably only with a favorable Rebel start where I can't reach a lot of thier systems first turn, and even then I think I'd use Palpatine to oppose Build Alliance before I'd run Capture.

Basically, if Empire plays Capture first turn, I think he's paying a heavy price on the Build queue.
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Guy Rodgers
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Alandor wrote:
In a multi-player game the rebels will have the last action if I assign my leaders to different missions. That would give me the chance to sabotage or infiltrate without risking having my leader captured. But in a two player game I can only be sure to avoid this if the opponent opposes one of my missions or assigns two leaders to the same mission, (or if I don't place my leaders in hostile territories).


You can steal last action by forcing him to respond to you. If he opposes a mission or assigns a leader to a defense, that hands you last action. One reason why attacking first action, first turn with your starting forces can often be a good move. If he assigns someone to the defense, you can now get Sabotage in without worrying about R&D.
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Matt Kruse
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Something else to consider. If the empire plays darth Vader on capture first turn and you don't go into imperial territory you have not only avoided capture and possibly done something useful with all 4 of your leaders but also denied him the use of one of his leaders. You've also caused him to have to think long and hard about whether he wants to risk wasting Vader on a useless capture attempt again or not do a capture mission...in which case you might. Get off an intel mission with no risk.

I am always very careful with how I place my rebel leaders early on and always try to avoid capture by doing sabotage missions on unoccupied worlds I know the imperials want and waiting on intel missions till later. I love it when the imperials waste Vader on an uncompleted capture mission.
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Guy Rodgers
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harvest4 wrote:
possibly done something useful with all 4 of your leaders


Like what?
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Sebastiaan Ringoot
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UglyMug wrote:
harvest4 wrote:
possibly done something useful with all 4 of your leaders


Like what?


For example :

- 1 main fleet move
- 1 diplomacy
- 1 minor fleet move ( block an imperial system with a fighter etc )
- 1 random mission / assignment


It's not impossible to do 4 very usefull things on rebel turn 1 without using sabotage.



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Simon Lindén
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I've never played the Empire. But they assign their leaders after seeing the rebel players mission assignments. So what would the Empire look for to decide if they want to assign a leader to the capture mission? In other words, is there something I as a Rebel player can do to lure him into thinking he can capture me (so he would waste an action)?
 
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Guy Rodgers
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As Empire, it depends a lot more on my hand than my opponents assignments if I make the decision to run Capture. I pretty much only run it if I can immediately follow it up with something like Interogation Droid, Homing Beacon, Retrieve the Plans, or Lure of the Dark Side. I might also use regular Interogation late game if the game hinges on my ability to block an objective.

Two things that might influence me concerning Rebel assignments, I'm more likely to run it if Luke is on a mission, and less likely to run it if Chewie is in the leader pool. Also an intel-heavy leader that has a mission that doesn't get revealed at the end of the round makes me think he's sitting on a rescue.

I'd probably run it a lot more if I was playing a Rebel opponent that was easily spooked by it. Since it'd be absolutely worth it to make him think he "outfoxed" you by refusing to run his most useful missions. I'm totally down with trading an occasional action from Vader for that.

In fact, if I knew that was my opponent's counterplay to the threat of capture, at the begining of the game, I'd look my opponent dead in the eyes, and say "I'm going to run Vader on Capture every turn." And then proceed to do it.
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Doug DeMoss
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Sringoot wrote:
UglyMug wrote:
harvest4 wrote:
possibly done something useful with all 4 of your leaders


Like what?


For example :

- 1 main fleet move
- 1 diplomacy
- 1 minor fleet move ( block an imperial system with a fighter etc )
- 1 random mission / assignment


It's not impossible to do 4 very usefull things on rebel turn 1 without using sabotage.



There is almost never an Imperial system that can be blocked with a fighter on turn 1, especially when you factor in ALL on board Rebel units having to start in the same system.
 
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Saro Gumusyan

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Right, if anything it's more likely you can move a fighter to a neutral system to help with a future Build Alliance and Defend the People.

 
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David Umstattd
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Alandor wrote:
Thanks for all your comments. I absolutely see your point Nicholas - if my opponent realizes I'll be playing carefully and doesn't play the capture mission I may be the one losing out more.

caffeinated21 wrote:
Follow up: One "middle path" would be two put two spec-ops leaders (Reiken & Leia) on Sabotage together, and then following up with infiltrate with Dodonna in the same system, as this lowers the likelihood of capture working substantially.


This way I'll have two against three right? Because Dodonna has no spec ops if I remember correctly. I guess my chance of resisting capture is under 50% but still pretty good.


actually because defender wins ties I think it's slightly above 50% right? The stats are listed somewhere. It's good odds anyway.
 
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David Umstattd
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demoss1 wrote:
Sringoot wrote:
UglyMug wrote:
harvest4 wrote:
possibly done something useful with all 4 of your leaders


Like what?


For example :

- 1 main fleet move
- 1 diplomacy
- 1 minor fleet move ( block an imperial system with a fighter etc )
- 1 random mission / assignment


It's not impossible to do 4 very usefull things on rebel turn 1 without using sabotage.



There is almost never an Imperial system that can be blocked with a fighter on turn 1, especially when you factor in ALL on board Rebel units having to start in the same system.


True. But remember even if you don't draw any good missions all four starting missions are worth doing on turn one for the rebels. Though usually people fleet move instead of RM.

Though I've found that early RM to gain probe card knowledge is surprisingly useful.
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Guy Rodgers
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Since this is turning into a discussion of first turn in general, this is what I most often see first turn. Rebel player runs Infiltrate, Sabotage, and Alliance. If Rebel player has a another mission or action card he wants to play, Infiltrate gets bumped since it's the only mission that doesn't effect the build queue.

Empire runs some combination of R&D, Rule by Fear, an attractive mission (most often diplomatic), and leaders left over to move fleets and subjugate Rebel systems.

Rebel player sets up his forces to attack an attractive Imperial target turn one, action one, attacking using either Dodonna or Reikan - regardless of objective drawn. Imperial judges his chances and decides whether or not to assign defense. If Imperial assigns,(often with Palpatine or Tagge with thier action card) Rebels often retreat. If Imperials don't, Rebels try to press thier tactics advantage.

Then it goes Alliance, Infiltrate, Sabotage. If Imperials assigned to the earlier combat, then they no longer have last action and Sabotage can be run in a loyal system. If not, then Sabotage is run in a subjugated system. A crafty Imperial player might run Tagge on R&D so that if he doesn't get last action, he can run R&D to Corellia so that Tagge's fist can parry a Sabotage there.

Main weakness to this opening for Rebels is Empire running something like Trade Negotiations on thier first action and jumping Palpatine into Utapu before Mothma can get there. Mothma's action card negates this risk, however.

I might have been a bit dismissive of Capture earlier. Capture can be worth it even without the combo cards if you can grab Mothma. Which generally means Planetary Assault to Utapu or Capture Bounty (which nothing in this thread actually defends against). If you can get Mothma, Palpatine can shut down any future Build Alliances hard.

Two actions for Capture + Combo card on turn one is going to result in a worrying-looking Build queue for Empire. Waiting until next turn for the combo risks rescue. So you might as well do Capture then on turn 2 when you don't have to worry about the queue.


So concerning Capture in general, turn 1, I think Imperials are too strapped for actions to really run it all that much. Past that, Rebel player can defend against it by stacking fists in a system, sitting someone on rescue, or running missions to militarily weak systems where captured leaders can be rescued through a military action, Hit & Run, Incite Rebellion, ect. Also, having Chewbacca stomp out of the pool. Note that if you have "Wookie Guardian" an experienced Empire player knows you have it, since Chewie otherwise comes out with the Millennium Falcon or through "An Old Friend".

Not running missions in Imperial territory, I think, is playing far too passive and more benefit to Imperials than Rebels even if you thwart Capture.

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Simon Lindén
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Sringoot wrote:
UglyMug wrote:
harvest4 wrote:
possibly done something useful with all 4 of your leaders


Like what?


For example :

- 1 main fleet move
- 1 diplomacy
- 1 minor fleet move ( block an imperial system with a fighter etc )
- 1 random mission / assignment


It's not impossible to do 4 very usefull things on rebel turn 1 without using sabotage.

What about keeping Leia or Dodonna in the pool to oppose their mission to draw probe cards (or some random mission they started with).
 
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Guy Rodgers
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Gather Intel is very low on thier list of priorities for turn 1 unless you dump a ton of units in the base. Which is easy to counter - don't dump a ton of units in the base.

Most of what they want to run is going to require Imperial units in the system anyways, so if you oppose you're going to be in hostile territory anyways.

Your #1 priority turn one is build queue.Build queue.Build queue. Get loyalty down, Sabotage, get Rebel units in Imperial systems. Do not play against Capture. If your opponent also understands that turn 1 is all about the build queue he will not run Capture. If he doesn't understand this, then he will lose.

General maxim of strategy games is that if you overly commit to playing against a specific action your opponent might do it gives that action power and strength against you even when he doesn't do it.

If you always play as if your opponent drew "Lure of the Dark Side" in his opening hand, then "Lure of the Dark Side" benefits him even when he doesn't draw it.
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Guy Rodgers
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So funny thing, just played a game as Empire today where I ran Capture first turn as Empire. He played Temporary Alliance to Corellia, being a bit cheeky, I think, trying to block a Rule by Fear attempt there. Assignment was Vader free, Palpatine on Display of Power, Tagge on Capture, Tarkin on Rule by Fear.

So move to Corellia with Vader, Capture with Tarkin to remove opposition, RbF for Loyalty. And then Display to remove pressure to subjugate (ended up flipping Bothwai).

So Capture because it was Mothma and removed an obstacle to Loyal Corellia.

Thinking back, you know what would have caused me not to run Capture? If he had put pressure on me with his military. He deployed them passively to Utapu instead of getting in my face. If I was facing a first turn Rebel attack, I think assignments would have gone - Palpatine on Display of Power, Tarkin on Rule by Fear, then Vader and Tagge free (Tagge had "More Dangerous that you Realize"). Then Move with Vader and Rule by Fear to Mon Cal. If I can find an excuse to park Vader on a blue square, I'll often forgoe R&D. And I needed Blue squares this game since I already had two orange squares.

So that's one way to avoid Capture - put military pressure on him. If Empire sees an eminent first turn attack, he's going to respond with less leaders on missions.
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Simon Lindén
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UglyMug wrote:
Your #1 priority turn one is build queue.Build queue.Build queue. Get loyalty down, Sabotage, get Rebel units in Imperial systems. Do not play against Capture. If your opponent also understands that turn 1 is all about the build queue he will not run Capture. If he doesn't understand this, then he will lose.

All of your comments have given me a greater understanding on the strategies involved in the early game. Perhaps this is the most important one, or at least the easiest one to remember when the game hits the table. I've read other places that infiltrate is important in the early game, but I was thinking to myself to skip it on turn 1, your argument seems to support that.

I've been thinking about how it seems more important for rebels to have stronger ground forces than the empire. Could using sabotage on neutral systems close to their troops with orange squares or circles, to drain their production of strong ground forces be a good idea? Or to stop them from advancing in directions you don't want them to go. Have you seen this "scorched lands"-tactics played to success by the rebels? Of course doing this on turn 1 wouldn't affect their turn 1 production so it's not in line with that priority.
 
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