This is a great, action-packed game for all ages featuring the four simultaneous battles being waged at the end of Star Wars Episode I, Phantom Menace. The game is easy to learn and play, but with nuances you will not appreciate until you have fought it through many times. The game presents each player with the Breakout Normandy style priority sorting dilemma, i.e., where do I concentrate my actions this turn? For example: I can take down the Gungan Shield this turn, but if I don't help Darth Maul now, he may be dead before I get another chance.
The Naboo and Trade Federation players must each pursue strategy in four separate arenas. The Gungan and Droid armies are locked in a battle of attrition, with extremely important bonus plays awarded for successes. Anakin is fighting his way through a maze of Federation Starfighters, hoping to shut down the Droid warriors. The Queen(s) and Captain Panaka are battling what seems to be a never-ending stream of Battle Droids and Destroyers as they try to ascend three floors of the palace to the throne room, where they must capture the Trade Federation Viceroy. Last, but certainly not least, Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, and Obiwan are locked in mortal combat in the Generator Facility - woe to the side that loses here, because a Jedi or Sith emerging from this battle usually proceeds through enemies in the palace like the proverbial hot knife through butter. On the other hand, sometimes a badly wounded Jedi is no match for Droideka.
Despite the myriad tactical possibilities, the actual rules are very simple and easy to assimilate. A word to the wise from a battle weary Circus Maximus player may be appropriate at this point: Kill the women and children first.
The Tournament will be a multiple heat competition with four preliminary heats leading up to the single elimination rounds. Players will have four opportunities to advance to the single elimination rounds by being one of the top 16 qualifiers. The Single Elimination rounds will be expanded to 32 only if the event draws 64 or more players. More than one win during the heats will not earn you an additional slot in the single elimination rounds, but it will greatly improve your chances of advancing to the Elimination rounds. In the event of lack of sufficient games, priority for play in the heats will be given to those with games (first) and those who have not played in a previous heat (second).
In Multiple Entry, Single Elimination events for multi-player games, players possibly qualify for Single Elimination play in the second round by winning any of up to four preliminary Heats. Players can enter one or more Heats without limit. This MESE event consist of five rounds; an opening Round consisting of four Heats, and four rounds of Single Elimination play for the top 16 to advance. The elimination portion will advance a pre-designated optimum number of players to fill the second round: i.e., 32 players for 64 or more entrants in the preliminary round, 16 players for 32 to 63 entrants in the preliminary round, etc.
Winning a heat will not in itself guarantee advancement. Win and your in is not a given although it is a strong possibility. The MESE system of tiebreakers encourages repeat play in Heats without requiring it. A single win (especially in the first heat entered) will probably advance that winner but is not guaranteed to do so. Conversely, players who continue to play additional heats after winning a Preliminary game only enhance their chances of advancement without damaging their prospects, but a player who wins his only heat game will probably advance without investing further time in preliminary play. Meanwhile, non-winners who continue in the heats will have additional chances to qualify in search of that elusive first win since in most events, a single win will still advance you. In 2-player games, that is not as likely and due to the high number of players without games we've had to adjust the tiebreakers as follows.
This MESE event will advance the optimum number of players to the next round based on the following tiebreakers in descending priority without exception:
- Three Wins and has copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Two Wins and has copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Win in 1st Heat entered and has copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Win in 2nd Heat entered vs a previous winner and has copy of the game (if needed).
- Win in 2nd Heat entered and has a copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Win in 3rd Heat entered vs a previous winner and has a copy of the game (if needed).
- Win in 3rd Heat entered and has a copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Win in 1st Heat entered, but without copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Three Wins but without copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Two Wins but without copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Win in 2nd Heat entered vs a previous winner, but without copy of the game (if needed).
- Win in 2nd Heat entered, but without copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- Win in 3rd Heat entered vs a previous winner, but without copy of the game (if needed).
- Win in 3rd Heat entered, but without copy of the game (if needed for next round).
- High roll of two dice. Re-roll ties.
Moral of the story; if you have got a game - better bring it. There will be no time limits for games during the heats, but games usually conclude in less than two hours. Opponents will be assigned randomly by order of appearance, however, if you do not wish to play your oft-faced next door neighbor, please inform the GM.
Single Elimination (SE) Rounds:
The SE rounds begin at 1200 Saturday, with succeeding rounds following every two hours.
A time limit will be observed during the SE portion. All games not completed 15 minutes prior to the start of the next round will end at the completion of the turn in progress. No new turns may begin. If the Naboo and the Jedi have not yet won the game at the end of that turn, then the Trade Federation and Darth Maul win. A player judged to be stalling as the time limit approaches may be disqualified.
Side Determination - All Rounds
Players may mutually agree on sides to be played. If an agreement cannot be reached, a bidding process will be necessary. If both players wish to play the Naboo, they will be required to bid away Palace Guards in order to acquire the Naboo side. Each player will have the opportunity to make one secret bid in which the number of Palace Guards to be forfeited will be recorded. The player forfeiting the most Palace Guards will be the Naboo player. In case of a tied bid, the die will be rolled to determine sides and the winning player will forfeit the number of Palace Guards bid. The guards to be removed will be chosen by the Naboo player.
If both players wish to play the Trade Federation, they will be required to bid away Battle Droids on the first floor of Theed Palace in order to acquire the Federation side. Each player will have the opportunity to make one secret bid in which the number of Battle Droids to be forfeited will be recorded. The player forfeiting the most Battle Droids will be the Trade Federation player. In case of a tied bid, the die will be rolled to determine sides and the winning player will forfeit the number of Battle Droids bid. The droids to be removed will be chosen by the Trade Federation player.
- Card instructions always supersede the rule book.
- Captain Panaka always moves four on a "Rush"
- Palace Guards always move eight on a "Rush"
- If the true Queen Amidala is dead, the movement rates of the Decoy Queen and Captain Panaka are not reduced to two, only palace Guard movement is affected.
- Window Ledge movement is possible from the second to the third floor, and vice versa, at both ends of the palace.
- Palace Guards, Queens and Panaka are not required to start on a window ledge in order to use window ledge movement.
- There are many card interactions during play. All card actions must be completed unless the player declares a pass, in which every action on a particular card must be passed.
- The die roll for a Riposte must be rolled. A Riposte cannot be blocked.
- On a Darth Maul Rage or a Jedi Fury, the character may move up to 12 and use three attack dice, and then move up to 12 and use three attack dice a second time.
- On a Use the Force play, a player may discard any number of cards desired. The new replacement cards drawn must all come from the same deck.
- When Droids are transferred from the Battlefield to Theed Palace, they must all originate in the same Battlefield hex. If there are insufficient Staging Zone spaces on the first floor of Theed Palace to accommodate all the Droids leaving the Battlefield hex, the excess Droids are eliminated.
- When Battle Droids or Droideka transfer to Theed Palace, they may be placed in any vacant hex in the Staging Zone regardless of the location of other Trade Federation or Naboo pieces.
- When Battle Droids or Droideka transfer to Theed Palace, they may not shoot after they are placed.
- New Battle Droids or new Droideka may not shoot on the turn they are deployed from an MTT.
- AAT and MTT may never enter a Gungan Shield hex, regardless of whether it is a split shield hex or a full shield hex.
- Catwalk Movement - see page 10 of rules: Jedi/Maul may move from the center catwalk square that borders each catwalk to any of the four adjacent squares and vice versa. They may only change catwalks by passing through the center square first.
- Characters on a staircase may only attack:
- (a) someone on the staircase space either above or below the attacker or
- (b) any adjacent character. Similarly, any character adjacent to a staircase space may attack a character on that staircase space.