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Strategy Articles

Full of Passionate Intensity

by Ben Hosp, Zero Hour Designer

27th May 2017

Hostilities Unleashed

Combo Cards Come To 2E! (sort of)

CCG History Lesson: Remember combo cards? Decipher used to have a habit of smooshing two (usually lesser-used) cards onto one card in their boutique or "Reflections" products. In 1E, this was mainly the Combo Dilemmas like Male's Love Interest & Plague Ship, but I guess the Mission II's also count. But in Star Wars CCG, there was more variety in the types of cards they used, and usually the cards had subtle changes in their gametext (rather than obvious stuff like the changed point values on the Mission II's) for (1) balance and (2) because late Decipher Star Wars CCG design was a hot mess. (Then some of those cards also eventually got made into "Defensive Shields", so then there were 3 different versions of a card with the same title, sometimes each with a slightly different ability...)

That was the dubious inspiration behind Hostilities Unleashed. I originally thought it would be funny to just title the card "Cry 'Havoc!' & Standing Your Ground", use the images from those two cards with a weird slash down the middle as the picture, and just not make any rule changes, so we'd have this one-off combo card in 2E that wasn't technically a combo card, just a totally seperate card with a weird title and image. (While we're on the subject of Design Pranks, I think at one point I floated putting the [1EC] icon on all cards in this set, just to troll the 1E community, because I'm really not a very nice person.)


Obviously (and fortunately), that didn't fly, but the idea of smooshing Cry "Havoc!" (which is so bad that even though people insist on entering decklists for sealed tournaments, and also that it's in almost all the starters, it's only in one recent deck) and Standing Your Ground (which fares a little better but is still very rarely-used) into one card stuck. There are very few "reusable" battle cards. This is approximately comparable to Bred For Battle or Quark, Son Of Keldar; the effect of winning the battle is a generic "one opponent's personnel killed", but it's a bit harder to use, which is balanced a bit by the fact that engagements generally require fewer resources (some ships can be staffed by as few as one personnel).

So what are you actually going to do with it? Well, obviously killing one personnel isn't that great, especially when you have to move and stop a ship and its staff (including its Commander), so you're probably going to want to have other cards that trigger off of engagements, or at least off of having that ship and personnel at your opponent's mission during their turn. Call To Arms is probably the most obvious example, but now you can have Velal and the Rovaran come kill someone, remove a card in your opponent's hand from the game, and still have your Maneuver event in your core to trigger Velal's ability if they attempt that mission on their turn. The ability of cards like the Kreechta to unstop itself and its crew and restore its range starts to be more interesting; now you can poke at any target of opportunity just by discarding an event from your hand. And don't forget: Zero Hour contains a handful of "war heroes" that really like a reusable card that starts engagements...


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