The Battle Of Endor.
by:  Carl 'Mike' Hardy, Red 32

     With the release of Death Star II, Decipher has made plans to begin a new type of tournament.  This tournament will be called the Battle Of Endor 'closed' tournament format (for simplicity's sake, I'll refer to it as BOE).

     Within the next few months, we will begin to see several of these tournament events pop up all over the place.
Decipher itself, in fact, plans on promoting this style of tournament very heavily in the coming months.  This article will
educate you as to what BOE is and how you can prepare yourself to compete in such a tournament.

What is The Battle Of Endor (BOE) 'Closed' Tournament Format?
     Put simply a BOE Tournament is a scenario tournament that limits card usage to only those cards found in the Death
Star II and Endor expansions.  This provides a 'closed' environment where the game play is localized to Endor and the
Death Star II.  Here are a list of cards that will be legal for play in the BOE tournament format:
>> Any card from the Endor Expansion.
>> Any card from the Death Star II Expansion.
>> The following "utility" cards from other expansions (as seen in the Death Star II Starter Decks):
  >> A Few Maneuvers (Light Side, Common)
  >> Black 3 (Dark Side, Uncommon)
  >> Blaster Rifle (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Dark Maneuvers (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Imperial Reinforcements (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Kessel (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Tatooine (Light Side, Common)
  >> X-wing (Light Side, Common)
  >> Y-wing (Light Side, Common)
  A New Hope:
  >> Enhanced TIE Laser Cannon (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Ghhhk (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Grimtaash (Light Side, Common)
  >> Houjix (Light Side, Common)
  >> Monnock (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Reserve Pilot (Dark Side, Uncommon)
  >> Victory Class Star Destroyer (Dark Side, Uncommon)
  >> Derek 'Hobbie' Klivian (Light Side, Uncommon)
  Cloud City:
  >> Bespin (Light Side, Common)
  Special Edition:
  >> Flawless Marksmanship (Dark Side, Common)
  >> Intruder Missile (Light Side, Fixed)
  >> Intruder Missile (Dark Side, Fixed)
  >> Steady Aim (Light Side, Common)
  >> TIE Defender Mark I (Dark Side, Fixed)

The good and bad about BOE...
The Battle Of Endor Format promises to be even more exciting than it's short lived predecessor, the Bespin and Beyond
tournaments.  Here are the good things about such a tournament format:
>>  By localizing the action you enhance the interaction in tournament games.  Because, players have no where to go but, Endor or the Death Star II, they'll have little choice but to fight for every piece of real estate in the game.  This, by it's nature, makes BOE tournament games as exciting and action packed as the scenes in which they depict in Return Of The Jedi.
>>  By reducing the card load in this 'closed' tournament format, you make it easier on newer players to "get competitive
quick."  In a way, you level the playing field for players that have just broken into the game and veterans who have
been collecting for some time.  Now, all players have to do is collect cards from Endor and Death Star II, spice it with
the 'utility' cards, easily attained from other expansion, and they're ready to rock!  Much like sealed deck tournaments
are, this 'closed' tournament format will reemphasize on deck building prowess.
>>  It will also reemphasize on battle tactics and strategy.  Gone are the non-interactive, turtle, strategies that we've all come to know and hate, Dagobah Training, Ralltiir Ops, EBO, Dark Deal and Manip are all non-existant in this new format.  Scanning Crew, Revolution, Numbers, Baragwins, Hidden Base, all these common lock down startegies are not
present here.  Now you must fight!  Often times not on your own turf, or on your own terms.
With the good there is always the bad.  Here are some things that might make such a format difficult to swallow for some players:
>>  Inability to get some of the cards.  There are instances where expansions, Endor for example, are not readily available in your area.  This limits your access to important cards and, thus, hinders your ability to creat competitive decks in a BOE environment.  Also, getting all the Death Star II cards you need (especially the highly sought after
Ultra Rares, Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight and Emperor Palpatine) might also be difficult due to price.
>>  Some Old School players might find it difficult to cross the bridge from normal tournament play to the new BOE format.  They might feel that the reduction in card load reduces the overall strategic options available to them.  Some may simply not even want to bother trying to rethink they way they're used to playing the game.
>>  By competing with normal sanctioned tournaments there's a risk that BOE formats would cause lower turnouts for other tournaments.  This will make it hard to get some tournaments sanctioned.  Some players simply do not have the cards nor the time to build decks for both regular format and BOE format tournaments and still remain cometitive.

Understanding the good and the bad you'll be able to decide for yourself if a BOE format is good for you.  Normal tournament formats will still be there, BOE is not intended to take over the tournament scene.

Kickin' it BOE style!
If you decide to give BOE a try, here are some tips and tricks that I've noticed will be of prime importance when you prepare to compete in a BOE tournament:
Light Side:
>> Mon Cal Cruisers.  You've got a ton of them at your disposal!   From the unique, named Mon Cals to the non-unique ones you should already have white bordered versions of.  With captial ships alone, you'll already have an edge over the Dark Side (as the only non-unique (and non-rare) capital ship at the Dark's disposal are the lower powered
Victories).  You can exploit this advantage with the Mon Calamari system and Staging Areas.  Your Mon Cals are suddenly deploy 6 (5 with Ackbar at the system) which is just as much as the Victories, with one more point of power.
You can use Launching The Assault to enhance the Force drains at systems they're at as well...  Also allowing you pull the flag ship of the rebellion, Home One.
>> Nebulon-B Frigates.  These floating firepower platforms have the distinction of being able to house the expensive Heavy Turbolaser Batteries for free!  This ship, used in conjunction with the Admiral's Orders, Taking Them With Us, and the Special Edition "utility" card, Steady Aim, can make mince meat of just about any Capital Ship the Dark
Side can put in the air!
>> Strike Planning.  An excellent card for getting a quick start for any strategy that you may have in mind.  By being able to pull your Generals (which you have four available to you in the BOE environment (Gen Solo, Gen Crix Madine, Gen Calrissian and Gen Walex Blissex)) straight out of your reserve deck, you can supercharge quite a number of strategies.  Want to grab a sure foothold in space?  General Calrissian with Squadron Assignments can put the most powerful starfighter in the game out by turn one!  General Crix Madine can get your Colonel Cracken and Lieutenant Blount for Tala 1 and 2.  Ground?  Gen Madine can fetch you a number of effective ground pounder scouts to assist in your Deactivation of the Shield Generator.  Gen Solo can almost act as a Tarkin with any scout or with Chewie (who can be fetched with Madine), spending two Force to cancel a battle destiny.
>> Take The Initiative.  This nasty used destiny 3 interrupt can nearly double your battle destiny draw.  You gonna have the scouts, BOE is loaded with them, use this card to really hammer your opponent with them.
>> Insertion Planning.  Biker Scouts?  Expect to see them!  This used destiny 6 interrupt not only tanks your opponent's destiny draw by 3, but, it also yanks a guy off of a open vehicle (Speeder Bike) that moves to your location.  Biker Scouts can react, they will react, make them pay for it!
>> Head Back To The Surface.  Death Star II?  Expect to see that! Better try to blow it away too, 'cause That Thing's Operational is going to ruin your day!  It's a good bet that if the Dark is brave enough to try to build the Death Star II in front of you, he'll have the foresight to be packing Desperate Counter.  Unless you want Lando and Nien Nunb to
be a bright red smear on the side of the Death Star II: Capacitors, you'll want to be packing this baby.
Deck building tip:  Even though you won't have to face numbers strats or Sacnning Crew in this format, don't  underestimate the power of Your Insite Serves You Well.  Start with it with Heading To The Medical Frigate and then toss it to grab you another Effect that better suits your strategy.  Cards like Honor Of The Jedi (still a must in this format because of Your Destiny!) and Launching The Assault can't be deployed with Heading To The Med Frigate...  But, you can use Your Insite Serves Your Well to go fetch 'em.
Dark Side:
>> Emperor's Power.  A terror in a regular tournament format, Emperor's Power doesn't skip a beat going into BOE.  Drawing that extra battle destiny can make Immunity to Attrition and inside joke...
>> Empire's New Order.  While Ewoks lose a step in competitiveness without their tree-hugging Ithorians, they're still tough hombres.  This effect (startable with Prepared Defenses), can act like the Scum And Villiany for Imperials.  Burn an Ewok, get 2 Force back.
>> Royal Escort.  Biker Scouts are a thing of beauty!  This card makes them even nastier!  Now it'll be next to impossible to target them with weapons.
>> Compact Firepower.  I had a player try this stunt on me during a game.  He plays this little jewel, draws a 4 and suddenly my almighty Jedi Luke is power and forfiet =0!  With all of the used 4, 5 and 6 interrupts that are available to you (that work great with what you've got), it won't be too hard to make your opponent's precious mains wish they were some place else.
>> Ominous Rumours.  Well, the Light Side doesn't get it's EBO anymore...  But, you still do!  As long as you can keep from getting creamed on Endor, you can be Force draining for gazillions in space!
>> Gall.  Wanna get rid of some of the nastier Rebels or Ewoks?  Gall can help you do it.  You've got the blasters, hit one of those good guys with 'em and you can send him straight to the lost pile!
>> TIE Interceptors.  Evil, fast, and powerful.  These guys are the state of the art in TIE swarm strategies!  Get 'em rocking with Baron Soontir Fel and the rest of Saber Squadron and you won't need Star Destroyers.  Here's a nasty trick to play on your A-wing nemisi (is that plural for nemesis?):  A Few maneuvers.  Not only do you add a point of power to
your Interceptor, but, all his A-wings are now power -1!
>> Pitiful Little Band.  Light Side Scouts?  You will be see some of these guys!  Have your Biker Scouts make their lives miserable by playing this used 5 destiny interrupt, High Speed Tactics and toss in another from Emperor's Power (that's 3 battle destiny!).
Game play tip:  Most of your ground stuff moves as a react.  This gives you a definite advantage as it allows you to spread out more and cover more terrain.  Combat Readiness is going to help you out big in the reacting and weapon firing department.  I would suggest having your Scout Walkers react instead of busting around with the Speeder Bikes...
Insertion Planning is way too juicy for the Light to pass up and it'll make your biker scouts' day real hard one.

Parting shots.
What really excites me most about this new format is the fact that it's something new.  Personally, I'm getting really tired of doing the same old tournament thing.  That's why scenarios are so much fun.  Unfortunately it's hard to get a scneario sanctioned because it's next to impossible to relay the scenario rules to everyone.  BOE does that.  It sets that field and the rules.  Best of all, it's been play tested exhaustively, so, you know it'll be balanced.

Hopfully this article has been of some use to you.  And, I hope you'll
give BOE a try when it comes to your town!

-Mike, Red 32-