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Good, I Hate a Long Wait
TF.N Exclusive Preview of Return of the Jedi
By Len "RedneckJedi" Fowler

Wizards of the Coast (www.wizards.com) and other sites made quite a splash this month when they revealed cards for the upcoming Return of the Jedi expansion. This November, the 9th release for the Star Wars Trading Card Game (SW:TCG), will hit a store (on-line or local) near you. The final confrontation between the Rebel Alliance and the evil Empire as well as Luke and Vader are all here for players to relive.

In the movie's first act, the rescue of Han from the clutches of the vile gangster, Jabba the Hutt, ends in a rip-roaring fight over the Pit of Carkoon. During that fight, a well-known Bounty Hunter enters the fray. But, after losing his blaster to our favorite Jedi Knight and entrusting his aerial mobility to a rocket pack of dubious quality, he's suddenly being digested for over a thousand years... at least in the movie universe.

Boba Fett (H) - #42 - UncommonThat's right! Boba Fett returns to the SW:TCG, and he can sure make an entrance… one your opponent might not expect. This latest version of Fett sports the Hidden Cost ability revealed in the fourth Return of the Jedi preview. If you've got a little Force to spare, this 9 build unit with 50 speed and 6 power with Critical Hit 3 (zoinks!) and Armor has a Hidden Cost value of [Ewok Imperial Helmet drum roll please] 1. That's right, for 1 build point and 8 Force, Boba Fett (H) deploys during the Battle phase. That's pretty economical, for a unit with these stats. Previous versions of Fett released in Rogues and Scoundrels were problematic due to his high initial build cost and Upkeep. Now, for a trade-off in Force, you can easily put out the big Boba Fett (G) into the stack with a previously deployed Boba Fett (H) and then optionally restack him to bring out his fast and deadly version with the Bounty ability. Boba Fett is no slouch this time out. Expect to see a lot of this Uncommon unit in decks generating a lot of Force.

Another event during the Pit of Carkoon battle was Princess Leia's escape from Jabba the Hutt. Using all the strength she could muster, she managed to choke the life from the gigantic Hutt using the chain he had bound her with. Leia's incredible feat can now be yours, up to 4 times per game!

Surprising Strength - #108 - Common

The Light side Battle card Surprising Strength, for a low 2 Force, bestows any one of your units with 4 power or less with an additional +4 power! Though there have been similar Battle cards, such as Well-Aimed Shot, Precise Blast, and Preemptive Shot, this Battle card can be used in any arena. Light side swarm decks can take great advantage of this Battle card to power up any number of smaller units. Devastating units such as Wedge's Snowspeeder (A) and Luke's X-wing (B) benefit tremendously from a burst of surprising strength.

In the third act of the movie, the Emperor surprised the Rebel fleet by demonstrating the firepower of the Empire's fully-armed and operational battle station. The first blast from the battle station's superlaser destroyed one of the Rebels' capital ships. It didn't damage it, or cripple it... it completely destroyed it.

Death Star II (B) - #8 - RareThe Dark side gets the big guns again with Death Star II (B). Perhaps the first thing many long-time gamers will notice is that it's unfettered by its predecessor's Starfighter weakness by giving them Critical Hit 3. This 14 build, 15 power and health behemoth can not only take a pounding from Rebel and Jedi Starfighters alike, but it can also discard a Capital Ship outright. By tapping it when it would attack, select a Capital Ship and it is gone. No Shields and Armor to stop you. No dice rolling, no Disrupt, no damage prevention. The only thing that can stop it is by being denied the use of activated abilities, having no Capital Ships in the Space arena to target, or if it's forced to be tapped before it could attack. Even if there are no Capital Ships, 15 attack dice is a big dice roll for the Light side to swallow. This makes the Death Star II another candidate for Overkill bestowing effects and Battle cards such as A Bigger Fish.

The cards we're given make great additions to current sets, or could even be played on its own to recreate the struggle that occurred solely within Return of the Jedi. Keep watching The Force.Net for a few more Return of the Jedi card spoilers and a review of the set!

26 October 2004

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