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The Search for Skywalker is the second Force Pack in the Hoth Cycle for Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars: The Card Game LCG. It follows the standard model for LCG expansions - $15 for 60 cards, including a full playset of everything. So what’s to care about here for the Star Wars LCG payer?

1. The Most Common Decks Get Nothing

The tournament field has been pretty narrow in the Star Wars LCG so far. The Dark Side has consisted overwhelmingly of Sith decks, with only a few variations – mostly whether you run a single pair of an Imperial objective set (usually Motti’s) and/or do you run the Hoth objective sets from The Desolation of Hoth? On the Light Side, the most common decks are Jedi + Han, although (unlike for the Dark Side) there is a real secondary choice in the form of vehicle-only Rebel decks designed to play well against the Sith’s array of events that target only characters (the Icetromper, which has been a 4x in most Sith decks, also can’t hit vehicles).

The Search for Skywalker adds nothing to those decks. There’s no Jedi or Sith objective sets, and the Rebel objective set is all characters. This is a good thing, really, as the tournament scene could use some shaking up. It also lets us know for sure how FFG is going to handle trying to keep things even between the factions and sides of the Force – they aren’t, at least not on a Force Pack level, as The Search for Skywalker not only excludes two factions, but also is weighted towards the Light Side.

2. Smugglers/Spies and Scum and Villainy Show Up Again, But You Won’t Care … Yet

Both the Light Side Smugglers faction and the Dark Side Bounty Hunters pick up their second objective set, and first since the base game. However, these objective sets are unlikely to see play now. There just aren’t enough objective sets from these factions to make a deck out of, Han Solo’s overpowered objective set from the core game isn’t getting displaced anytime soon as a throw-in to be included in Rebel/Jedi decks, and the Jabba’s Orders objective set is too focused on capturing to mesh well with an Imperial or Sith deck (sorry, smushing together the two Bounty Hunter objective sets, the Imperial capture objective, and the Sith capture objective is not going to end well for you).

 


That doesn’t mean they won’t come in handy in the future, though. The smugglers/spies objective set – Renegade Squadron Mobilization – features the rather beefy Renegade Squadron, with the damage capacity to challenge something like a Star Destroyer, but a nice spread of combat icons (including Tactics!) instead of just piles of unit damage or objective damage. And the objective itself is card draw, which is always desireable. The Scum & Villainy objective set, Jabba’s Orders, should become potent once a full-on bounty hunter deck, loaded with capture cards, becomes available. The 2x Weequay Elite are amazing as long as you’ve got a single captured card at an objective (2 cost for 3 combat icons, including tactics, plus 2 health), and Jabba’s Palace, which increases the damage capacity of all of your objectives and sports 3 force icons, is good right now (just not good enough to justify dragging the rest of the set along right now).

3. A Full-On Hoth Deck Is Now Possible

That all-vehicle Rebel deck doesn’t gain anything here, but a whole new Rebel deck is possible. Joining the Rebel Speeder objective set from Desolation of Hoth and the Unique neutral LS objective set, Search for Skywalker adds in another Rebel and another neutral objective set (neither Unique), which means the Rebels can now sport 7 Hoth objectives, enough to just flat-out call it a Hoth deck. With 7 Hoth objectives, you’ll almost always have at least two of them out and the “more Hoth objectives than opponent” effects will almost always be turned on. The Desolation of Hoth cards now become all-starts, with Hoth Operations handing out lots of edge to the eight Speeders you can pack (from Hoth Operations and the brand-new Preparation for Battle) – add that to Sensors Are Placed and you might really be able to dominate the edge battle. Echo Base Defense and Subzero Defenses will make for great defense, and Wilderness Fighters will always be a solid buy. You’ll even get to get in on the character resource generators with Tauntaun. Add in your choice of another handful of Rebel objectives (or, as always, Han) and there might just be another tournament-caliber deck taking the field.



4. No, I Didn’t Mean You, Imperials

The Imperials got a new objective set as well, but it doesn’t enable a new deck, and I don’t see it lifting the Imperials out of their current small tournament showing. Deploy the Fleet is a pretty focused objective set – two expensive capital ships, and four cards that produce resources to pay for them. And those capital ships themselves are pretty focused – they deliver a lot of objective damage and are hard to kill, but don’t contribute at all to shutting down enemy units. But the Imperials just aren’t positioned to be able to successfully execute the sort of rush attack that such focus requires, and those capital ship spearheads are really expensive.

Verdict

The Search for Skywalker might add a new Rebel decktype to the tournament mix, but doesn’t do much elsewhere, at least not yet. The Smugglers & Spies and Scum & Villainy objective sets are just drooling in anticipation of their decks coming into existence in a few months when those factions become fully playable.

You can find this and other Star Wars and Netrunner LCG coverage on Strange Assembly. You can also find other Strange Assembly reviews there or on our reviews geeklist.
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Brandon Holmes
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Thanks for doing this. I am not a tournament player so it's interesting to see how it changes the strategies up for you guys. As a casual player I loved this set for the extra Hoth objectives, S/S and S/V objectives, and the option to build a more thematic Imperial Navy set that focuses on large ships.
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bholmes4 wrote:
Thanks for doing this. I am not a tournament player so it's interesting to see how it changes the strategies up for you guys. As a casual player I loved this set for the extra Hoth objectives, S/S and S/V objectives, and the option to build a more thematic Imperial Navy set that focuses on large ships.

Glad you liked it! I'm shooting to do little reviews like this for each of the Star Wars LCG and Netrunner expansion packs, but we'll see how well intention translates into reality.
 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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it's interesting you skip over the meta changing objective set. one that's already found it's way into alot of decks in our area.

No mention of echo caverns and how it is one of the best cards release so far.

 
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SeerMagic wrote:
it's interesting you skip over the meta changing objective set. one that's already found it's way into alot of decks in our area.

No mention of echo caverns and how it is one of the best cards release so far.



To be fair, he did kinda mentioned it.

He said that the new new o-set is not good enough to displace the Han one as splashing, while there is still not enough to build a deck around smugglers.

I don't think Han's pod is as overpowered as many people think and I would be curious to hear about your opinion about the use of Echo caverns and Renegade Squadron in general.

By the way, I regret not having a reliable meta in Rhode Island or anywhere nearby. I play a decent quantity of games (>1/day), but always with the same opponents (2), although we experiment many a deck.

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Dustin Crenshaw
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the objective set that is getting no love is


that by itself is a game changer



May not look that great at first glance, but this is some much needed control in the rebel deck. In a rebel deck you are gonna have more units, regardless if you win edge with this or not they have to block it. that's one less blocker for the blast ships the rebels have. If you get it with the objective early (which happens alot) you can make a big ship immune to damage for a whole turn... very nice!



Admittedly, I thought it was only a good card. Then I had to play against it. This card gives you so much flexibility on offense or defense. It can swing a battle to your favor, a crucial one. Enough to effect the rest of the game. It's popping up in more decks all the time the more people see how good it really is.

I've seen it in the jedi/han deck. I've seen it in a most recent in a hoth based rebel deck. and I'm currently using it in a han/leia deck.


geki wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
it's interesting you skip over the meta changing objective set. one that's already found it's way into alot of decks in our area.

No mention of echo caverns and how it is one of the best cards release so far.



To be fair, he did kinda mentioned it.

He said that the new new o-set is not good enough to displace the Han one as splashing, while there is still not enough to build a deck around smugglers.

I don't think Han's pod is as overpowered as many people think and I would be curious to hear about your opinion about the use of Echo caverns and Renegade Squadron in general.

By the way, I regret not having a reliable meta in Rhode Island or anywhere nearby. I play a decent quantity of games (>1/day), but always with the same opponents (2), although we experiment many a deck.

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Well, in general, part of it is the inherent limitation of the format I'm using here - basically, it isn't intended to be a lengthy thesis, so I can't go into every card and I can't examine every possible deck.

More particularly, I don't think the Renegade Squadron objective set is going to get a lot of action because (1) I don't think it's wise to run more than 2 out-of-faction objective sets (and never more than three) and (2) I still think the Han objective set is just better. To me, that limits to at most a one-of as a third non-Jedi/Rebel objective, and there you're starting to strain your resource match requirements. I could have highlighted Echo Caverns instead of the Renegade Squadron unit, but I guess the unit seemed more exciting now, when you can't really have meaningful discussion of how all of these are going to play out in a S&S deck.

As for a lack of detailed discussion of the Preparation for Battle objective set, that was purely a space/time issue, because I was focusing on this Rebel Hoth deck as a whole, which required not only hitting on two objective sets here, but also going back and revisiting two objective sets from Desolation.

Regardless, I'm glad to see discussion and, of course, I don't intend to suggest that my opinions are definitive - so maybe I'm just wrong about Han crowding out Renegade Squadron.
 
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Daramere wrote:
I don't think it's wise to run more than 2 out-of-faction objective sets (and never more than three)


Is this opinion based on resource matching? I've never had any real issues running as high as a 5/5 split.

Also, Renegade Squadron Mobilization has the Hoth trait, so Rebels can run as many as 9 Hoth objectives at the moment if desired. You listed 7 - is that because you don't advocate running more than 3 out-of-faction and those slots are already neutral before looking at RSM?
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BakaMattSu wrote:
Daramere wrote:
I don't think it's wise to run more than 2 out-of-faction objective sets (and never more than three)

Is this opinion based on resource matching? I've never had any real issues running as high as a 5/5 split.

Yes, based on resource matching. I say 3 because once you go to four that opens up the possibility that you're completely cut off from your primary faction at the start of the game. Granted, that's not particularly likely, but when it happens you basically auto-lose the game, so I think it makes a handy cut-off point.

I currently run two out-of-faction in my LS (Jedi w/ Han) and 3 for DS (Sith w/ Motti and Recon Mission), and it still causes problems every once in a while. The issue is that, even if you have the one objective from your primary faction, your plays will sometimes end up constrained because your hand is predominantly from your primary faction and you just don't have the resource matches to play more than one per turn (for example, I lost a game at my Regionals in April because I ended up with only one Jedi objective and two turns of small Jedi-faction units and events that I couldn't play). It's less of an issue for the Sith because they have a couple of faction-aligned resource-generating units. I guess if Imperial is one of your factions then they might be able to get by a lower count based on stacks of faction-aligned resource-generating cards, but then I don't think there's a viable Imperial-focused deck right now, so to me it's kind of moot.

BakaMattSu wrote:
Also, Renegade Squadron Mobilization has the Hoth trait, so Rebels can run as many as 9 Hoth objectives at the moment if desired. You listed 7 - is that because you don't advocate running more than 3 out-of-faction and those slots are already neutral before looking at RSM?

Yeah, I would just stick to straight Rebels/neutral (filling out with Missiong Briefing and Defense of Yavin 4, I think). Of course, if you're comfortable with lots of "out-of-faction", then you could add in the Renegade Squadron objective set as #8-9, sacrificing resource match consistency in order to further power-up some of your cards.
 
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I disagree. If you build right, you should have enhancements and units that provide resources for a faction.

I have a deck that uses 4 out of faction objectives, and it's only cost me 1 game out of many.

But I will agree it's just alot easier to build straight decks of a faction, or peppering 2 and making your affiliation that. But I've yet to notice a big problem even with my 4/4/2 colorless.
 
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SeerMagic wrote:
I disagree. If you build right, you should have enhancements and units that provide resources for a faction.

*shrugs* There are no Jedi faction cards that provide resources. There is one Sith faction card that provides resources. There is one Scum and Villainy faction card that provide resources. There is one Smugglers and Spies faction card that provides resources. There are two Rebel faction cards that provide resources. The Imperials, as I noted, do have a lot of in-faction resource generators. But aside from that your options are really constrained, especially in the two "standard" primary factions right now (Jedi and Sith). It's not that you can't do it at all, but there isn't much you can do in your deckbuilding to help.
 
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Well Jedi & Sith are the 2 you probably wouldn't be out of affiliation deck building with. but it is lower than I thought, I realize now I don't play either of them without an affiliation match.
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Daramere wrote:
The issue is that, even if you have the one objective from your primary faction, your plays will sometimes end up constrained because your hand is predominantly from your primary faction and you just don't have the resource matches to play more than one per turn (for example, I lost a game at my Regionals in April because I ended up with only one Jedi objective and two turns of small Jedi-faction units and events that I couldn't play).


I can see where you're coming from, but the odds of ending up with a primarily single-faction hand decrease proportionally to the increase of the number of objectives included for the second faction. If, for example, I'm running with 4 Smuggler & Spies Objectives alongside 6 Jedi ones, consider that roughly 40% of my deck will need Smuggler faction-match anyway. A quick number crunch shows that in 89% (8/9) of my openers I'm going to draw into at least 2 of those 6 objectives in my initial pull.

At a 50/50 split, it's around 3/4. At that point, it's more pronounced, but your dependencies are also split.

Admittedly, my usual splashes often come with resource-matching enhancements (Imperial Navy and the new Scum and Spies each have one in Echo Caverns and Jabba's Palace). It's also more pronounced with swarm type decks, and I gravitate more to heavy beaters and rarely need to match more than 2 resources a turn.
 
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Of course, having run my mouth, here's some objective data to assess my comments with: the Top 4 from the FFG May the 4th Be With You tourney. Decks were something like:

1-Dark: Sith with Navy faction card, one Navy set (Motti), and the neutral Hoth set
1-Light: Rebel Vehicles + Leia, including the two vehicle Hoth objective sets (Rebel and neutral)

2-Dark: Sith with Navy faction card, 3 Navy objective sets (Motti, Devastator, Death Squadron), neutral Hoth
2-Light: Jedi plus Han

3-Dark: Imperial Navy vehicles with Sith faction card, w/ 2x Sith objectives (Black Squadron) and 2x neutral objectives (Endor Gambit)
3-Light: Rebel Vehicles with Leia, plus the Jedi Red Five objective set

4-Dark: Imperial Navy w/ Sith faction card, 2x Sith Coruscant objective set, and 2x Endor Gambit
4-Light: Rebel Vehicles + Jedi faction + 2x Red Five objective set

40 players isn't exactly a ton, but it's about as big as a Star Wars LCG tourney has been. So I think we can pretty conclusively say that I've underestimated the strength of Star Destroyers. And after this Rebels will likely become the norm for LS decks. And there is one Sith deck in there that's willing to go down to only 6 Sith objective sets.
 
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BakaMattSu wrote:
I'm running with 4 Smuggler & Spies Objectives alongside 6 Jedi ones, consider that roughly 40% of my deck will need Smuggler faction-match anyway. A quick number crunch shows that in 89% (8/9) of my openers I'm going to draw into at least 2 of those 6 objectives in my initial pull.


Even those numbers are high. ~41% of all cards are neutral. If you exclude neutral pods that brings the number of neutral cards down to ~28%.

Only 3 Objective Sets are made completely of their faction, they all happen to be Navy.
 
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Yes, but those numbers change depending on what objective sets you're using, and when you exclude things like Fate cards. For example, if you look at a generic Jedi w/ Han deck (let's say A Hero's Journey, In You Must Go, The Secret of Yavin 4, Message from Beyond, Questionable Contacts), you've got 16 neutral cards in your deck, but 6 of them are the generic 1-for-1 resource producers and 6 of them are fate cards. The only unit you can play neutral is C-3PO and the only event is Crossfire. So, yeah, 32% of your deck is neutral cards, but almost all of your firepower is faction-affiliated. You can set aside a portion of the Jedi cards (because they have no resource cost, even though they're faction-aligned), but you're still looking at over half of your deck being units, enhancements, and events that require a Jedi resource match - and it's the half of your deck that you can't afford to miss playing for a turn.

I'm not saying it's the end of the world to go to something like a 4/6 or a 5/5 split (although, obviously, I'm in general not a fan), but there are definitely reliability/consistency costs to it.
 
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SeerMagic wrote:
I disagree. If you build right, you should have enhancements and units that provide resources for a faction.


That's a nice sentiment, but most of the cards that provide a resource match require a resource match to play. So if you run a 4/6 split with the faction of "4" as your affiliation, and you draw all four at the start, you won't be able to use any of the non-neutral resource-providing cards of the affiliation you have 6 sets of in your deck.
 
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I found that resource matching with some sets is not a complete shut down. For example, Hoth operations has Rouge Three and Wedge as the only two cards that can't be played if you don't have resource match. Rouge Three can be dropped for a big edge battle so that leaves only Wedge as a dead card. If I only have two useless cards to discard in the deck, it's not a huge deal, but getting Han with Hoth Survival Gear is incredible!

Plus, 2/3 of the time you will draw the objective at the start and the Rouge Three, Wedge combo kills.
 
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