Star Wars Rebellion is at heart an epic game of hide and seek
As the Imperial player you have a few priorities you’re going to have to split those scare actions between:
- Restrict the rebel player scoring objective
- Find the rebel base
- Conquer the rebel base
It’s worth remembering that despite the military asymmetry, 2 & 3 are not actually the same
My strategy for Rebellion is one I liked to that of a Python; The slow squeezing to death of a victim, with every move incrementally bringing you closer to victory.
Beseige the Galaxy
Here’s the set up from our recent game:
The Greeny systems contain scouting elements, an Assault Carrier and a handful of storm troopers. They may hold position for an extended period waiting for intel on the rebel bases likely location (the capture of Berlin is valuable though, and is worth making time for)
The Red systems contain the actual attack fleets, and this is where the Star Destroyers are petitioned.
The Orange force is to capture Correlia and defend the centre against rebel shenanigans.
I like Dagobah for the DeathStar as it makes Utapu less attractive and can access the centre of the board In a reasonable timescale. It is also next to an aggressor fleet, so can be quickly supported if the rebels make a move against Project Stardust while it’s under construction. Dathomir is a good equivalent system on the other side of the map.
Engage the Enemy
One of the most important things to do is maintain your military superiority, if there is a choice between subjugated a poor quality Rebel system, or claiming a high quality system, then I deny the Rebels every time. This approach will leave the rebels with a particularly feeble build queue, while your will be merely adequate. This may well force the rebels to place units into their base in excess 7, giving you the opportunity for extra effective Gather Intel with which to tighten the noose.
As the probes report back their findings you’ll build up your picture of the galaxy, the idea is not to find the rebel base early – it would only move anyway – it to ensure when it does move there are only 2 or 3 possible destinations, all of which have Imperial Forces not.
For this reason you need to be scouting with small forces, and holding the big stuff a little back so that they can head to the targets once the rebel base moves, planets like Mustafar, Geonosis & Bespin can quickly reinforce a modest detachment into one capable of breaking the base.
Manage Your Build Queue
It’s important to know that units can be left on the build queue instead of being deployed, meaning you’ll have the flexibility to jump the right way when you know your target destination(s). Building a Star Destroyer and an At-At in the right system can be just the extra push you need.
Always Forwards, Never Back
It’s tempting to start hunting around the corners of the map as soon as possible, but this is an excessive drain on your actions, especially systems like Dantooine which aren’t on the way anywhere.
Bid your time, restrict the Rebel’s options, pull probes and block their ability to score objectives. Eventually they will move when you’re getting close or after they’ve been revealed, and the ground work you’ve laid will mean you have a great idea of where they’ve gone and the forces in the right places to tackle them.
The end state of our last game:
On turn 6 I stumbled across the base (1) with a scouting element – 1 assault Carrier + 1 At-At, which managed to retreat after the first round of combat. Because I’d been blocking rebel production reasonably effectively the base was poorly defended (he’d also just sent units to capture Courascant using Lead the Assault Team)
Lacking the forces to defend, my opponent decided to move base (the option to pull back the trike team is blocked until the base is re-hidden).
However, the purple crosses indicate the systems I held Probe cards for, which meant his only possible destinations were Yavin and Mon Calamari (which was under blockade and so an unlikely destination).
I’d left an At-At on the build queue and the SSD as ready to go at the end of the round, leaving me able to swoop in and capture him in Yavin.