By Matt Hyra
SW Rules Guru - WotC Game Support
We are now just a week away from the new Battle of Yavin expansion, so it's had me thinking about the big battles from all the Star Wars movies. Since I don't have any Yavin cards, yet, I decided to tackle a battle I could recreate. Below are 2 decks that can fairly accurately recreate the final battle scenes of AOTC, from right after everyone leaves the big Geonosian arena to the final escape of Darth Tyranus.
You might be thinking to yourself, "But there wasn't a Space battle during the final conflict in AOTC! How can this work?" Well, sure, we didn't see it, but all those Jedi and Droids had to have flown to Geonosis somehow. We'll just have to add a little something to the history books. Here are the decks:
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In the Character arena, I chose only to include the combatants in Tyranus's Sailer hangar, so that leaves out Padmé. Obi-Wan (A) and (B) versions can protect Anakin, not that he thinks he needs it. Anakin alone is no match for a stacked Tyranus, so multiples of each Yoda are necessary to make sure you draw him in time to come to the rescue and so you can stack him up.
The Ground arena was the titanic clash of the battle, so there are twice as many units here than the other two arenas. The Gunships brought in a few Platoons and Squads of Clones, then took the fight to the Dark Side's heavy artillery. The Clone Trooper Legion didn't assemble until everyone was back on Coruscant, so it's not included. The Mobile Assault Cannons made short work of the Trade Federation Control Core. Finally, who can forget the Republic Drop Ships swooping in to unload the AT-TE Troop Transports.
In Space, we know that Obi-Wan's Starfighter (A) was there and so was Padme's Yacht (A). In the early scenes of the battle, we see Acclamators dropping off various units after having transported them through space to Geonosis. The Jedi probably flew to Geonosis in their Starfighters, so there are many copies of those in the deck.
As for Battle cards, I left out the tricky stuff so the fight would be more of a slugfest than a Battle card combo-clash. That's also why this deck doesn't use any Mission cards. To truly simulate the battle, a new Light Side unit should appear somewhere almost every turn.
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Since the Dark Side only has Darth Tyranus to fight it out in Character, this will be tough matchup. Be sure to save enough Force so Tyranus can Evade each and every attack against him. Even doing that, he will still take some damage, so it would be smart to stack him up ASAP. When Yoda shows up, put the (A) version on top. It would also be a good idea to have another Tyranus partially built in case he does get taken out. Just be sure you have units in the other two arenas if this happens.
In Ground, you've got some big units here that should be able to last a long time. Supporting all the big units is a horde of Droids to square off against the Clones. In the movie there were a lot of different units available for the Dark Side. This deck replicates that well with a great selection of units, so you'll always be able to find the right tool for the job.
As for Space, we saw a couple of Geonosian Defense Fighters escorting Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A), so we know those were present. Tyranus's Solar Sailer (A) flew past a couple of Trade Federation Warships, so both of those were there. Techno Union Warships were trying to take off when the attack started. Maybe you can actually get one into Space in your reenactment.
Tyranus will need the help of some Battle cards to stand up to three Jedi. Knockdown is a natural as both Anakin and Obi-Wan spent a fair amount of time on the floor. Tyranus's Wrath should put them there permanently. Retreat Underground has two purposes. It can keep Tyranus's Geonosian Speeder (A) out of harm's way or it can protect Tyranus himself. Just be sure you still have units in the other two arenas if you Retreat Tyranus.
Since Tyranus will take damage, you need a way to heal him up. Mending will keep him in fighting shape turn after turn. You'll need one of these about every third turn. Tyranus needs Force to do all of his tricks, so Capture Obi-Wan will allow him to steal some. Finally, since there are so many copies of Tyranus, you may find your hand choked with them. When that happens, take a moment to Plot the Secession and get 5 new cards.
Prepare For Battle!
There are two ways to go about doing this. First, and most radical, is to start the game with a fixed set of units already deployed. The second way is to perform the setup rituals as usual, but with some optional rules in place.
Fixed Setup - Light Side
Character: Obi-Wan Kenobi (B) & Anakin Skywalker (C).
Ground: 1 Republic Attack Gunship UH-478, 1 AT-TE Troop Transport, 1 Clone Platoon, & 1 Clone Squad
Build Zone: 2 build counters on a Mobile Assault Cannon
Obi-Wan (B) is the obvious first target as one of his special abilities protects Anakin. Once Obi-Wan has been heavily damaged, retreat him to to the build zone where he can still use his ability to prevent damage to Anakin. He can even prevent damage to Anakin from the special attack of Darth Tyranus (D).
In the movie, the Clones showed up in the Ground arena to secure the landing zone, then the heavy units poured in. You'll start out with your smaller units, but they can hold out long enough for reinforcements to arrive.
You'll start out with nothing in Space, so you'll have to decide whether you want to spend your build on a Space unit or complete the Assault Cannon to help control the Ground then use its Ion Cannon to clear out Space.
Fixed Setup - Dark Side
Character: Darth Tyranus (E) with (D) version understacked.
Ground: 1 Trade Federation Control Core, 1 Hailfire Droid, & 1 Battle Droid Assault Squad
Space: 1 Geonosian Defense Fighter
Build Zone: Nothing
In Character, Tyranus will start out with 60 Speed, 6 Power, 6 Health, Stun 2 and Pay 2 Force Evade 2. He'll be able to Evade both attacks and should be able to get some damage through to cause some Stun. Be sure to stack him up to four after the first build roll. Once you play a Capture Obi-Wan, you can afford to put the Darth Tyranus (D) version on top and take care of Obi-Wan and Anakin once and for all.
The Control Core is the anchor, allowing the Hailfire to go charging after a Light Side Gunship, just like they did in the movie. The Droids are a good matchup against the Clones. Hopefully the Control Core can get in a couple of attacks before the Light Side's Mobile Assault Cannon shows up.
Your single Defense Fighter in Space will get you an extra build point for occupying all three arenas, but don't expect the Light Side to let that go unchallenged.
Once all the units are in place, both players should shuffle their decks and draw seven cards. Mulligan Battle and Mission cards if you wish and continue the game as usual with the Ready Phase.
Optional Purist Rules
These rules are mainly for those who choose not to use the fixed setup. However, if you're a hardcore purist, these rules, in conjunction with the fixed setup, will help mirror the movie's action quite closely.
I've playtested these decks a lot and they often mirror the Attack of the Clones final battle quite well. Stay tuned for future installments of Great Battles in Star Wars History. Next week, a deck utilizing cards from the Battle of Yavin set!