“Target The Main Generator”

Target

[Update (April 2019): deck has been slightly adjusted based on feedback we’ve received from people playing the decks]

Everyone loves the Empire Strikes Back.  But when trying to explain to others why it’s the best Star Wars movie you inevitably sound like you love soap operas.  Luke learns who his father is, but he doesn’t know who his sister is, and the man his sister loves is frozen in carbonite.  Basically every Telemundo story line.

My favorite Star Wars scene, and potentially favorite scene from any movie, is the opening battle on Hoth.  Replaying this battle via SWCCG is basically a dream come true and highlights both the incredible gameplay of SWCCG and the drama of Empire’s introductory sequence.

Hoth is a planet where I would like to live.  I love the winter – on Hoth no one questions why you’ve been playing SWCCG for six hours straight on a Tuesday.  You’re playing because if you go outside you’ll die of frostbite and exhaustion.  What an amazing life.

As a quick recap, the Imperials find the secret Hoth base, AT-AT walkers arrive (what a vehicle!), an epic battle ensures with the full might of the Imperial navy trying to eradicate a secret rebel base, and the rebels are lucky to escape at all.  This battle is a true representation of the rebellion – outgunned, outmanned, under supplied, relying on courage and ingenuity to persevere.  [Don’t get me started on any recent films where the Dark Side appears to be the underdog and sustains incredible amounts of damage from lone star fighters or untrained peasants]

“Target the Main Generator” – a terrifying order from a supremely confident General preparing to complete his mission.  As he should, given his supreme firepower, Veers succeeds in destroying the generators.  The rebel cause is lost, aside from the hasty escape of a few Medium Transport vessels.

At SWCCGStore.com We’ve put together a deck to specifically recreate this battle.  The primary difference between the deck and the movie is that the rebels have no Medium Transports.  There is no escape, which only adds drama to the battle!

Here is the decklist in PDF form: Target The Main Generator Hoth Deck List (April 2019)

The deck can be purchased here: Hoth “Target The Main Generator” Deck

And an image:

Hoth Image (April 2019)

Unlike the “Attack Run / Commence Primary Ignition” deck, the rebels don’t have an Epic Event to pursue.  The Imperials bring the battle to the Rebels, and the Rebel strategy is to survive.  I’d recommend playing both sides with your opponent, and if both people lose as the Rebels the true winner is the person who lost the least amount of life force.

Make sure to review the “Blown Away” rules.  Specifically, the Light Side loses 8 force if the Imperials succeeds in destroying the Main Generators.

Blown Away Rules (PDF): Blown Away Rules – Hoth

Blown Away Rules - Hoth Image

Given the significant impact of losing 8 life force, the Rebel strategy should be to attempt to engage the Imperials, knock out as many AT-ATs as possible (specifically Blizzard 1), and just limit battle damage sustained.  With 6 AT-AT Walkers in the deck the Imperials will keep coming, but the Rebels have a bit of an advantage with Commander Luke.  He’s the most powerful character in both decks and can be used to wreak havoc on the AT-ATs.  Luke with a Lightsaber can use Under Attack to target AT-ATs during the Control phase.  In addition, Luke in Rogue 1 with a power harpoon (as well as Lucky Shot) is generally good for an AT-AT per battle as well.

On the Imperial side, focusing on Target the Main Generators is the most fun way to go.  Veers in Blizzard 1 is the obvious choice for taking the shot.  The tricky part about the deck is that the Imperials will also want to control a couple Hoth sites to add to the destiny.  This creates a problem of spreading out the AT-ATs at risk of Luke eliminating Blizzard 1 or picking off AT-ATs one at a time (particularly with Under Attack as losing an AT-AT in the Control phase can then lead to an ugly battle).  A plethora of Snowtroopers helps to control different sites though, and the sheer number of AT-ATs and Snowtroopers can also be enough to overwhelm the Rebels even if “Target” isn’t successful.  Oh, and don’t forget to unlease your Wampa if the Rebels start force draining at the outer perimeter.

We’re early on in testing this deck so let us know if you have any suggestions or different strategies!

Last Place Finisher Interview: Dagobah Regionals

Clone1: Dagobah Regionals were on Saturday, September 26th, and Georgia States were on Sunday, September 27th.  Today we’re catching up with the organizer of the events.  Not only did he organize the tournament…he also finished in last place!  Brandon – welcome to the blog!

Brandon: I guess…thanks for that introduction.  Yes, I helped organize the Dagobah Regionals and Georgia State tournament this year, with help from Phillip Gladney and Jonathon Murray.  And yes, I finished in last place in Regionals – thanks for reminding me.

Clone1: Both the Dagobah Regionals and Georgia State tournaments consisted of 8 players. So how competitive are these tournaments?

Brandon: The tournament was competitive yet laid back at the same time.  Everyone wanted to win, but all players were patient and helped explain rules or consequences of actions (or non-actions) that weren’t optimal.

Clone1: That’s great to hear.  In general, how do people sign up for these tournaments?  Now that I know I don’t have to be super competitive this sounds more interesting.

Brandon: We have a regional Star Wars CCG Facebook Group that messages each other about upcoming events and tournaments.  I would urge any new or ex-player considering jumping into the game again to search for a regional Star Wars CCG group as there are a lot of them out there.

In fact, our regional Facebook group is the reason why I actually got back into the game 6 months ago after being out of it for 15+ years.  Big shout out to Phillip Gladney, he’s the key organizer for our group, and if it wasn’t for his work, and the encouragement of some folks in our group, I wouldn’t be playing Star Wars CCG right now and would be missing out on some amazing people and events.

Clone1: That’s great to hear.  I’ve seen the general SWCCG Facebook group but didn’t know about all the regional sub-groups.  Back to the tournament, what do the prizes consist of for a Regional/State level tournament?

Brandon: For Dagobah Regionals, 1st and 2nd place received tournament foils as well as travel vouchers to Worlds.  We all also each opened one pack of Dagobah Limited packs and received a few random rares and foils!  For States, 1st place received a travel voucher to World’s and we each opened up a pack of Jabba’s Palace.

Clone1: Anybody pull a good rare from the packs?

Brandon: Haha, unfortunately not.  Still, it feels great opening packs of Star Wars cards again!

Clone1: Okay, and last thing about the tournament – what’s the scoring system?  Is it just whoever has the most game wins that wins the tournament?

Brandon: These two tournaments were set up were based on differentials between you and your opponent’s life force at the end of the game or end of the time limit. So not only do you need to win, you want to win big.  Jonathon Murray and Mike Kessling took the 1st and 2nd spot in the Regionals, Brad Kippel won Georgia States (for the 6th year in a row!!!).  Congrats to them!

Clone1:  Six years in a row, what a streak!  So what deck did you bring when you lost every game at Regionals?

Brandon: I’m a sucker for main characters and lightsabers, so I tried to customize Hunt Down and Throne Room decks but learned how difficult it is for a new player to build a deck that stands up to a wide range of tournament decks.

Clone 1: What sort of customizing did you do?  Was this a complete rework of the decks or were you just tweaking cards here and there?

Brandon: I started with a pretty standard decklist for both, and playtested (or playfailed?) them on GEMP over the past few weeks.  It started with a few minor tweaks here or there, but before long those minor tweaks ended up changing a good portion of the deck strategy… which in retrospect wasn’t a great idea.  When you make big changes to decks you need a lot of time to test them to see if you’ve thrown off some of the balance accidentally.  This caught up with me on Saturday at Regionals.

Clone1: Even though you didn’t fare well it’s still fun to know that you can still get creative on deck construction, even at these tournaments.  Give us an example from Regionals about a game that didn’t go so well – you have all of them to choose from.

Brandon: Yeah, lots to choose from, that’s for sure.  I didn’t have any particularly large loss, but I was constantly wishing that I hadn’t made so many customizations.  For example, while Maul with Stick is customary in a Hunt Down deck, my deck design ended up being almost an equal split of cards dedicated to empowering Maul versus cards dedicated to beefing up Vader.  This was a great learning lesson

Clone1: Well, lessons, since you lost 4 straight…

Brandon: Haha.  For me, I came away with a new appreciation for sticking with a single goal or focus for the deck and working to truly dominate that goal.  Playing against competitive decks combined with great players (which there are many of in Georgia and the surrounding area) made me come away with a newfound appreciation of the current meta, and made me realize how arrogant (or ignorant) I was to think that I could build my own decks after being away from the game for the past 15 years.

Clone1: It’s probably a great exercise to change the decks up and then see how they perform – you now have better insight into the original deck construction.  In terms of the current meta, what decks did you see the most of at the tournament?  Any that stand out as good tournament decks to start analyzing for a beginner? Any advice for beginners in general?

Brandon:  I saw a lot of YBO (Yavin 4 Base Operations) which seemed to be quite effective.  The Dark side decks were a little bit of everything.  After getting crushed at Regionals I changed away from my custom decks to a standard AOBS (Agents of the Black Sun) and YBO deck for States on Day 2.  I ended up performing much better on the second day.  My advice to beginners would be to utilize standard meta decks first, get an understanding of the strategy as well as what to look out for from your opponent, and make small tweaks that match your play style.

Clone1: Was there a pivotal moment in any of the games that stands out to you?

Brandon: Yeah.  So, on Sunday at States I had a particularly devastating battle.  I had Green Leader in Green 1 on his own at a system.  I knew this was a risk but thought I had myself protected.  I was holding both Hyper Escape and Houjix, so I was double covered, and I had one force in my force pile at the end of my turn.

My opponent dropped the Finalizer with essentially every character that adds a destiny on board.  Again, I thought I was okay…until my opponent played First Strike and initiated battle. First Strike makes you pay 1 force to play an interrupt during battle – so Hyper Escape cost me my force, but I had planned for this.  Then, he Sensed my Hyper Escape.  I still had my Houjix though, but it turns out Houjix is also an interrupt and my opponent politely reminded me that I didn’t have any force to pay for it.

Clone1: Brutal.  These are the types of plays I would expect at a tournament level – you thought you were twice protected, but you opponent still managed to negotiate around your Hyper Escape and Houjix to destroy you.  Out of curiosity, what was the damage differential?

Brandon: 27….

Clone1: Wow.  Half of your life force in one battle.  That is a tough game.  So how did you end up on Sunday even with that devastating loss?

Brandon: I finished 4th out of 8 on the second day.  I was much happier with my results!

Clone1: Happy with 4th place? I guess compared to Regionals this was a much better finish for you.  If you hadn’t lost 27 life force on a single battle you may have even done better!

Brandon: Thanks…I’ve noted that.

Clone1: Excellent.  Well, if you can, try to put us in touch with one of the winners.  You gave us plenty of stories on losses, so maybe we can get the other side next time!