Following on from my blog earlier in the week about my Rebel Alliance deck for Star Wars LCG, I’m back to talk about the Imperial Navy today, and run through the deck to see what it’s trying to do during the game. For a brief run-down of deckbuilding in the Star Wars LCG, you can check out my Rebel blog, too!
So without further ado, let’s get to it!
The Ultimate Power x2
The General’s Imperative x2
Lord Vader’s Command
Death and Despayre
Deploy the Fleet
This deck works frighteningly well, I have to say. It has worked out pretty well, really, that in my recent upsurge of playing with this game, my wife has been using the Imperial Navy and I’ve been playing with the much jankier Rebels! It’s not like the deck just runs itself, and I’m not trying to do the other half down at all, but Jemma isn’t really a Star Wars fan like me, and she isn’t all that into this sort of game, I don’t think, so it just works nicely that the deck is quite efficient for what it does.
Let’s start at the top, with The Ultimate Power. This is the Tarkin set, and has a number of punishing cards in here. The objective itself cannot be targeted by more than two units, and Tarkin lowers the hit points of enemy objectives by 1. It also has the infamous Superlaser Blast card, which straight-up destroys an objective, just like that. You can see why there are two copies in the deck!
The General’s Imperative gives us General Veers and Blizzard Force, and the objective itself increases the reserve when it is undamaged. Veers has the useful ability of granting Walker and Trooper units an additional unit damage icon, and there are a lot of Troopers across this deck so that will be quite handy! There are two AT-ST walkers with Shielding in the set, a Turbolaser Battery enhancement you can sacrifice to discard all enhancements from play (which can be devastating if played at the right time), and a Battle of Hoth fate card, which is a new card from the Hoth cycle that I really like for its flexibility, either damaging or healing Hoth objectives. I’m not convinced of the need for two copies of this set in the deck, if truth be told, but I’m keeping him in there for now.
Unstoppable Advance gives Veers the big guns to play with – two AT-AT walkers and an AT-AT Assault Formation! The AT-AT walkers can blow up enhancements instead of their combat icons triggering, which can be useful because their objective damage is edge-dependent (and it’s thematic if you get them to blow up the Hoth shield generator this way). The Assault Formation, however, has three objective damage icons that you don’t need the edge for, and when it focuses to strike, you can damage each enemy Hoth objective. This and Tarkin can one-shot objectives by themselves! Shame it wasn’t Veers, for flavour, but never mind. The set also comes with Aggressive Assault, which allows you to damage each enemy objective if you control a Hoth objective – with only three in the deck, it’s a little more situational. But the set is very thematic, and really heavy-hitting, so I can’t ignore it for long!
Imperial Command is the Admiral Motti set, and Motti himself effectively grants Elite to a unit. As he can be focused for two resources, this has an inherently good use, though if someone like Tarkin or Vader is being swamped in focus tokens, it can be a useful effect to use there, too. He comes with another resource-granting unit, and two Troopers to provide some good targets for the additional Trooper boosts in the game. However, Orbital Bombardment is the main draw for this set, an enhancement that grants each unit an additional objective damage icon. This will become very useful, as you’ll see!
Lord Vader’s Command is the Darth Vader set, his first appearance in the Imperial Navy faction. The objective increases the cost of enemy events by 1, which can be annoying, and he comes with a card that can cancel enemy events, placing them on top of the deck. Effects like that, while annoying, aren’t quite so devastating here because your opponent will be drawing, potentially, 6 cards minimum, so the ability to know one of those cards and prepare for it isn’t so powerful as it is in a game like Magic, for instance, when you only draw one card per turn. There are two Probe Droid cards who deal damage to enemy objectives when they leave play, then Vader himself, who is of course Elite, and grants an additional objective damage icon to his fellow attackers. Very nice. Between Vader and Orbital Bombardment, then, we’ve got units dealing at least two points of objective damage in combat, not to mention whatever else they might have already on their card. And Tarkin very helpfully reduces the hit points on objectives – smashing!
Death and Despayre brings out the big guns – the Devastator star destroyer, Lord Vader’s ship during A New Hope. This bruiser has the potential to deal four objective damage if you win the edge (two if you don’t), and two unit damage, and with the buffs already mentioned, you’d be one-shot blowing up objectives in a very short game! In addition, the Devastator allows you to pay 1 resource to increase the Death Star Dial when you destroy an enemy objective. But that’s not all, because there is another unit here who gives the same effect for two resources; and you get an enhancement that provides those two resources, just in case you need it. Another enhancement grants +3 hit points to your own objectives, and finally, there is a copy of the Heat of Battle fate card, allowing you to deal one damage to an enemy unit participating in this combat. It’s a really nice objective set, and works well with the other sets like Tarkin and Vader, both mechanically and thematically.
Of course, the Devastator costs 6 resources, which is why Deploy the Fleet might come in handy, as the objective allows you to reduce the cost of a capital ship by 1 in return for damaging the objective itself (but that’s fine if you enhance it properly). If you don’t have the Devastator, that’s okay – there are two copies of Death Squadron Star Destroyer in here, which have three objective damage icons on them. Non edge-dependent damage icons, at that. And they have Shielding. There are additional cards in the set to make playing these expensive ships easier, but the fact that these star destroyers, coupled with any combination of Tarkin, Orbital Bombardment and Vader, will be blowing objectives up all over the place, it’s just brutal! And I have been on the receiving end of this before now, believe me!
Lastly, Family Connections is the General Tagge objective set, and the one that came from later in the game’s history than the other cards in the deck. I’ve tried to make the decks interesting like this, while still sticking mainly to the earlier card pool for the time being. Tagge allows you to return Troopers to your hand rather than they leave play, so long as they cost 2 or less; this set has two, and Admiral Motti’s set also has two. The objective also allows you to place Shield tokens on each trooper you control when you refresh – there are an additional two Troopers who would benefit from this, which is a nice to have. The set also has the Imperial Discipline enhancement, which forces your opponent to damage an objective when a Trooper leaves play – yikes! I almost need to find more sacrifice outlets to trigger that! The big news though, is that Tagge himself also has two objective damage icons. Tarkin, Tagge, Vader, Orbital Bombardment = objective kill each round. It’s just brutal, I say!
This deck can become a thing of beauty when you see all of the internal synergies lining up to smash you in the face. With the way the game works, you get to draw a significant portion of your deck across the average game, as well, which works out really nicely with this kind of deck. It’s nice to see a lot of your deck, for sure, but it kinda doesn’t matter with a deck like the Rebels, where there are no real key pieces for victory. With a lot of synergies going on though, it’s really useful for the Imperial deck.
I’ve not really been playing with the other four decks that I’d built for the game, as we were only using the Empire and Rebels decks for our games thus far, but I might continue on with this look at the other decks anyway, as it has been fun to talk about them – mainly because I’m still just obsessed with this game right now!