Age of Rebellion Beginner Game Review
Recently I picked up the Age of Rebellion Beginner Game boxed set. Not because I’m a beginner with RPGs or even with this particular version of Star Wars RPG, but because I’ve had a great time with both the Edge of the Empire Beginner Game as well as all of the other Edge books.
The Age of Rebellion beginner box is very similar to the Edge beginner box, which generally is a good thing. It encourages a “learn as you play” approach rather than trying to memorize all the rules before running your first session. The rule book included does detail more rules and mechanics from the more complete game, and works as a great starting point for joining the rebellion! The set comes with a set of special dice that are particular to the Fantasy Flight version of Star Wars, but are exactly the same as the dice that came out for Edge. It also includes a set of cardboard markers for heroes, baddies, vehicles and destiny points. Thank fully they included markers for all 6 PCs, the 4 that come in the box and the 2 you can download as bonus material from the support site. Beyond that, there is the map and the initial adventure. The map is a little disappointing as it is not in the typical one inch format that the cardboard markers are. Granted they were trying to show a lot of base with only so much poster, and distances are relative in the system so mechanically it doesn’t matter, but I imagine a lot of the battles getting a bit crowded.
The adventure itself is an infiltration mission, in which your team of rebels is charged with capturing a clandestine listening post that was built by a Moff to spy on an Imperial Admiral. Since this is Empire on Empire activity, the Rebel brass thinks it provides a unique opportunity to gain a foothold on Onderon. If the party succeeds, the captured base provides not only a stronghold, but plenty of adventure seeds to staff and supply the base. Here is the obligatory text scroll.
One of my favorite things Fantasy Flight did with the Edge box, was extending the adventure with Long Arm of the Hutt. Age of Rebellion has follow suit with Operation Shadowpoint. I look forward to reading that in detail later. While it is shorter than Long Arm, it seems to have a lot of adventure seeds that could be fleshed out for several sessions.
The thing I really enjoy about Edge of the Empire is it doesn’t make you choose sides. In fact, it can be a really compelling story element to have one of the party members working for the Empire or one working for the Rebels. Due to the nature of the fringes of space, Edge allows you the freedom to work for Hutts, Black Sun, Crime families, or local governments. With Age, I imagine you’ll be a little more restricted. The benefit of this is that most casual fans are more familiar with the relationship between the Rebels and the Empire, and you can adapt a lot of old d6 Star Wars modules that were based on Rebels vs. Empire scenarios. Finding older scenarios that made sense in Edge was a lot more difficult.
With the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels cartoon, the excitement surrounding production of episode VII, and the popularity of both Edge of the Empire and the X-Wing miniatures game, it is a fantastic time to be a Star Wars fan! Age of Rebellion Beginner Game provides a great introduction to narrative-driven role play, and is definitely a great buy. I’m looking forward to running it on free RPG day in less than three weeks, and there is already a wait list for a seat at the table! Clearly the demand locally is pretty high. It’s going to be a great game, and a great system!