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Han Shot First

Star Wars Han Shot First Nate

Hello and welcome to the first installment of Han shot first! A series of articles about the Star Wars universes favourite scoundrels aligned to light side of the force, smugglers and spies and those aligned with dark side of the force, scum and villainy.

Now first of all the boring bit, a little about me. I've been playing CCGs and LCG's since the age of nine when my uncle first got me into magic the gathering third, since that day I've played a multitude of both CCG's and LCG's including VTES, Vs, Legend of the five rings and pretty much anything that FFG have brought out. When I found out that FFG were producing the star wars LCG I simply couldn't wait to find out to see how the faction breakdown would go and to my delight, the guys that liked to answer to themselves both got their own factions. Now as I'm a noob when it comes to writing these articles I am always looking for criticism (constructive if possible) if there something specifically you want looked at, too long, too short, more in-depth all comments are welcome.

With that out of the way onto the article, now at this time the card pool for smugglers and spies and scum and villainy is limited to one objective set each in the core set so for now we are left looking at these.

First off we have the smugglers and spies objective Questionable Contacts (15-1). It has a damage capacity of five, provides one resource with a smuggler and spies affiliation. Nothing too exciting here but then it has an ability Reaction: after you refresh, damage this objective to move 1 damage from a target friendly unit to a target enemy unit. So at the cost the cost of damaging the objective you can effectively heal one of your own units and damage an enemies unit. This is extremely useful for keeping your tank units looking healthy and either finishing off your opponents units that are already damaged or sniping those income providing units that rarely come to a conflict such as Admiral Motti (26-2), Duty Officer (26-3) or the annoying Imperial Officer (29-3). Now unfortunately there is no clever shielding tricks to circumvent the cost of damaging the objective as shielding only protects damage from an attack or an enemy effect so I'm afraid you're going to have to take it on the chin. That said I still feel the costs are worth the swing it can give in a game and have used this tactic many times to forward a good board position.

Cloud City Casino (15-4) is a basic enhancement that produces one resource with no affiliation. There's nothing flashy about this card it's purely a resource, but for those of you that have already played the game you'll will of already realized how clutch resources are to maintain a good board presence.

Now onto the first of the two events in this set Crossfire (15-6). This neutral event cost one resource and has the ability to give a striking unit a combat icon of your choice till the end of the strike. You need one more unit damage to finish off a enemy unit, you got it, you just can't finish of that enemy objective, here have a blaster damage, that one unit that's swinging the balance while sat at home, here have a tactic token. This card is so versatile and every time I draw it I'm happy as it adds options that the opponent won't be anticipating.

The second event of the of the set is Swindled (15-5) and I feel has a much more smuggler and spies feel to it. This smuggler and spies event cost one resource and has the text Reaction: return a target unit with printed cost two or lower to its owner's hand. This card is great for giving both tempo advantage and resource advantage (providing you hit a 2 cost unit). Normally this would be used to remove an attacker or defender during the conflict phase to hinder your opponents plans but it also has applications outside of the conflict phase. Notice that it doesn't say enemy unit which gives the ability to bounce your own units back to hand if your in a pinch, for example if you need that Guardian of Peace (5-3) that has a damage token on it to last a little longer you could bounce it back to hand and replay it damage free or if say your Battlefield Engineers (9-3) are laden with tactic tokens and you want to abuse that emplacement some more bounce it out and slam it back down ready to give you some more emplacement fun.

Twi'lek Smuggler (15-3) is the first unit we look at in this set and is a two cost smuggler and spy unit with a damage capacity of one, a unit damage and a tactics damage. I find this guy to be a little frail with such a low damage capacity but on the the flip side if you can keep him alive he can do damage to your opponents board with cheap tactics, which are essential for helping to lock your opponents board.

Yep I saved the best (and my personal favourite)for last Han Solo (15-2) is quite simply put, a beast! He's a unique four cost smuggler and spy unit with a damage capacity unit of two, two unit damage, a tactics damage and a edge dependent blaster damage. He has targeted strike and the Reaction: After this unit is declared as an attacker or defender, deal 1 damage to an enemy unit. Han is one of those cards that as soon as he hits the table your opponent is thinking how is he gonna deal with him, and for good reason. He is the bane of all those units that like to stay at home out of the way of trouble but everyone knows that Han has a habit of finding trouble. With the effective ability to damage or kill a unit before its even had time to assign as a defender, strike those units that are been held in reserve and dump a tactic token on units that maybe to large to shoot down this mans reputation is well deserved. As far as I can see the man has only a slight flaw in that he's not the beefiest of characters and can be killed easily if your not careful, so investing in teaming him up with some characters with either protect or shielding is always advised.

Now we're going to look how this objective set can enhance the other two factions that can be currently built.

Now Han loves reigning terror on your opponents units but its a lonely job and loves nothing better than bringing his old friend Luke Skywalker (1-2) to the party. When these guys hit the table together there is no rock that the enemy can hide under that saber or blaster won't find. The other useful card in this set for ultimate wrecking power is Trust Your Feelings (1-5). This can turn Han from a annoyance to a terror instantly.

The Secret of Yavin 4 (5-1) brings with it some useful cards to help keeps these tanks on the table. Firstly you get one of my favourite cards Guardian Of Peace. With her combined shielding and protector getting damage or tactics through to other units will take work, which gives the big boys time to wreak havoc. Next we have the loyal C-3PO (5-2) always eagerly waiting to throw himself in the way of Force Lightning (23-5)'s and Force Choke (19-5)'s galore. Lastly you have Lightsaber Deflection (5-5) that helps keep the damage off your guys and adds piles the misery on theirs.

Last Minute Rescue (6-1) brings some interesting cards that can enhance the objective set. First the objective itself and Corellian Engineer (6-3) helps keep the theme up by keeping your tanks alive and doing what they do best. Next we have Emergency Repair (6-5) which will quite nicely take all those pesky damage tokens off of Questionable Contacts ready to be used again. Lastly we have Redemption (6-2) so if heaven forbid one of your guys manage to be taken out of action, after a little R&R in your hand they're back to wrecking your opponents face again.

Rebel Alliance
Draw Their Fire (12-1) brings with it Admiral Ackbar (12-2) who loves nothing more to jump down and help Han out to blow enemy units away before the opponent even gets chance to blink. Fleet Command Center (12-5) brings a helpful amount of resources and also as with a with the Jedi a way of handing shielding out to protect those powerful units.

Fleeing the Empire (10-1) is another objective that is good at keep your key units alive (are we seeing a theme yet). This set also brings Hans love interest Leia Organa (10-2) who can when she leaves play lets heavy hitters swing again.

Mission Briefing (9-1) brings a nice card amount of card draw from the objective and best of all the feared Heavy Blaster Emplacement (9-5) and its best friend Battlefield Engineers (9-3). These things can really help capitalise on the mass damage that the other units are throwing out.

Hopefully these insights can help you blend a deck together that can let you use this awesome objective set and all it brings with it.

Well that brings us to the end of your first instalment of Han shot first! Hope you enjoyed it and join me next time round when we look at the darker side of the criminal element of the Star Wars universe. The Scum and villainy…


Good stuff. I think Questionable Contacts works best in a Jedi-heavy deck with A Hero's Journey and A Message from Beyond. As you noted, Trust Your Feelings makes Han an absolute monster, and that combo becomes even more devastating with Old Ben's Spirit to keep Han alive. Han's chief weakness is his relatively low damage capacity, and the Spirit completely negates that drawback.
New hoth objectives with the Hoth survival gear could really help him too, I really want to play him in a Rebel focused deck but he's just too damned squishy!

Magpieman, on 28 March 2013 - 05:52 PM, said:

New hoth objectives with the Hoth survival gear could really help him too, I really want to play him in a Rebel focused deck but he's just too damned squishy!

Han? Hes a lot harder to deal with than you might think. Not only that but targeted strike is just nuts good. The only downside is that you cant use Mobilise The Squadrons if you use the S+S house card.
I've been very happy running this in my Jedi deck- power uniques w/ attachments works quite well in this game.

Nice write up Nate. From the previews of upcoming Smuggler cards, they look like they'll be interesting and I'd say you'll have a good amount of stuff to write about once their set hits. I'm more wary about the Bounty Hunters, as the capture mechanic seems to be a good way to lose a game fast if they manage to take an objective and refill their hand.
I love to swindle leia!!! xP
nice writeup, its good to see the SW articles starting to pop up.

Evilgm, on 30 March 2013 - 04:15 AM, said:

I've been very happy running this in my Jedi deck- power uniques w/ attachments works quite well in this game.

Nice write up Nate. From the previews of upcoming Smuggler cards, they look like they'll be interesting and I'd say you'll have a good amount of stuff to write about once their set hits. I'm more wary about the Bounty Hunters, as the capture mechanic seems to be a good way to lose a game fast if they manage to take an objective and refill their hand.

Yeh got to agree with you there Jon, the capture mechanic looks like late game it could be real detrimental as most of the cards captured will be mostly "good cards" otherwise you wouldn't of targeted them. They may make pods that give you the ability to discard captured cards etc that could help but that's pure speculation