ESB Starter Rules

ESB Starter Rules


“You have learned much, young one.”

“You’ll find I’m full of surprises.”

— Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

— Luke Skywalker, The Empire Strikes Back


If you loved Star Wars™ when you saw it on the big screen, you won’t be disappointed as the adventure moves from a galaxy far, far away into your own back yard. With the Star Wars™ Customizable Card Game™ (CCG), players battle to control the dual forces of Light and Dark. Opponents use their skill and cunning to manipulate the Force by selecting the locations, characters, weapons and other cards that will test the limits of their talent and luck.

How does it work? It’s easy. This game contains two decks of 60 cards: a Light Side deck (with the Rebel symbol on the back) and a Dark Side deck

(with the Imperial symbol on the back). One player is the Light Side, the other is the Dark Side. The 60-card deck represents the amount of Life

Force available to the player during the course of the game. The elegant design of the game means the cards become a natural scorekeeper; no tokens or counters are necessary. The object? Be the first player to deplete your opponent’s Life Force (when he has no cards left in his deck) and you win. Okay, maybe it’s a little more complicated than this description. But with minimal effort, you’ll master the basics faster than a Jedi Knight!

Your Expansion Pack — Also included is an “expansion pack,” a free sample of 15 cards randomly selected from the total set of 324 cards in the Premiere edition. (The Premiere edition was the first product in the Star Wars CCG universe that players can play with and collect.) Do

not mix these expansion set cards with your other cards yet. You will want to play a few games using the basic decks, which have been especially designed to introduce you to the game, before you start the adventure of ‘customizing’ your own decks. When you feel confident, you can include some of these cards in your deck, or you can use them to trade or to begin your own larger collection.

There are other expansion sets available to you. In fact, some of the cards from the first expansion set, called A New Hope, have been included in the basic decks! They are identifiable by the small crossed-lightsabers icon in the upper right corner of the cards. Cards from the second expansion set, The Empire Strikes Back: Hoth, are the feature of this boxed set and have the small snowy planet icon. Premiere set cards have no icon at all.

Premium Cards! — This two-player set contains seven new cards which are not found anywhere else: one new location, two new interrupt cards and two new vehicle cards, along with Chewie and Veers — two characters which are the stars of these pre-customized decks. The entire game setting, including the location cards and ‘supporting cast’ for the decks, is centered around sites on the ice planet Hoth.


A “customizable card game” (CCG) is one in which there are hundreds of different cards available. In the Star Wars CCG you customize a deck of

60 cards to play with from all the cards in your collection. Since your skill in customizing has an impact on your chances of winning, part of the fun is discovering what cards are available and trading with friends to get the ones you want!

The Star Wars CCG currently consists of over 650 different cards, and there will be more in the future. We are giving you an introduction by precustomizing two decks for you.

There are distinct differences between Light Side and Dark Side cards. Designed to be in “dynamic equilibrium,” the cards are relatively equal in strength but differ dramatically in composition. The Dark Side, represented by the Galactic Empire, is the side of the Force that tends to be more technically advanced, better equipped and the stronger aggressor. As a contrast with its rugged appearance, the Light Side, represented by the

Rebel Alliance, has some surprising advantages. Using the power of the Force, they enhance their defensive capabilities, maximize their resourcefulness and achieve a sense of honor that sets them apart from their glossier counterparts.

The highly visual cards create a unique panorama as the game proceeds. Battles and encounters all take place at locations drawn from the Star Wars universe. If you’re an avid fan, you will discover that many interesting new facts have been added to the game. Decipher Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd. have incorporated information about background characters and other details not explicitly named in the films. For example, strange aliens only briefly glimpsed in the shadows of the Cantina now have names and biographies approved as official lore by Lucasfilm Ltd!


This two-player game set is mainly meant for beginners, although experienced players occasionally enjoy returning to a scenario where play skill is the major determining factor and deck-building skill is de-emphasized.

The cards that have been included will provide a rich, exciting game. When you are reading the rules for the first time, skip the sections

that are shaded. You will only need to read these when you have mastered the basic rules, and also when you start to use cards beyond the

120 cards in the two pre-customized decks.

This rules booklet is a compilation of the Premiere edition rules booklet along with selected portions of the A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back:


rules supplements.

Don’t forget the glossary! Some terms which may be unfamiliar to you are defined at the back of this booklet.


Like an energy field, the Force can be manipulated. Both sides of the Force are a part of the natural order, life-affirming and destructive.

Since the game revolves around players offensively and defensively manipulating their Life Force, understanding how the Force is represented and used is extremely important. Each card represents one unit of Life Force in the game. During play, your Force cards will circulate through your piles as shown in the diagram above.


A Few Details…

Your Life Force — The Reserve Deck, Force Pile and Used Pile make up your Life Force. If these three piles are totally depleted, you lose!

Cards in your hand, on the table or in the Lost Pile are not counted as part of your Life Force. Your Life Force is like a flow of energy. How well you manage this Force is a key strategic factor.

Reserve Deck — The 60-card deck you use to play the game becomes your Reserve Deck and represents the total Force available to you throughout the game. When the game begins, one location is placed on the table, and the remaining cards are shuffled. Eight cards are drawn from the top to form your ‘hand.’ The remaining 51 cards remain face down on the table to form your Reserve Deck.

Force Pile — The first thing you do during your turn is ‘activate’ Force by counting cards from the top of your Reserve Deck and putting them face down in your Force Pile. Cards are only in the Force Pile temporarily. They represent the amount of Force energy that is available for you to ‘spend’ performing various game actions. During your turn, any or all Force cards can be used, drawn into your hand (during the

Draw Phase) or left to accumulate for future use.

Used Pile — Deploying a card to the table usually requires an expenditure of Force; cards from your Force Pile are moved face down to your

Used Pile to represent this expenditure. As the name implies, this temporary pile holds cards ‘used’ during a turn. Sometimes cards are placed here from the table or in other ways.

Lost Pile — This is a pile off to the side of the table where ‘lost’ cards are placed face up. Usually cards are discarded to the Lost Pile as the result of battle or at any time the opponent causes you to lose Force. These cards are generally not available for the rest of the game, but can sometimes be brought back by certain cards. For this reason, a character forfeited from battle is said to be ‘lost’ rather than ‘killed.’

For example, Darth Vader was lost, but not killed, after the unsuccessful defense of the Death Star, when an ‘out of nowhere’ attack by Han

Solo sent him spinning out into space.

Re-circulating — At the end of each player’s turn, you re-circulate your Used Pile by placing it beneath your Reserve Deck. These cards will work their way back to the top of the Reserve Deck during subsequent turns to be activated again. If you forget, your opponent can insist that you re-circulate. There are also ways he can use it to his advantage if you forget and he chooses not to remind you.

Losing Force — When you are required to lose Force, you must discard cards face up to your Lost Pile, one at a time. You may choose cards to be lost from your hand or from the top of your Reserve Deck, Force Pile or Used Pile.



Before the rules are outlined, the following information will give you a detailed understanding of the cards. If you come across any terms you do not understand, remember to consult the glossary at the back of this booklet. For a quick-start of play, skim these sections and begin detailed reading again with the section entitled Some Basic Game Definitions.





There are two types of locations: site and system. In this two-player set there are only site locations. Location cards are placed on the table in a horizontal line between the two players. Site locations on the same system are played next to each other to form a group and normally are not broken apart. Site locations from different systems are separated by a gap. The cards are oriented so that, when deployed, the Light Side player is facing the side with the blue lightsaber icons and the Dark Side player is facing the side with the red lightsaber icons. Since locations have no deploy cost, they can be played on the table during your deploy phase with no expenditure of Force. You may deploy as many as you have in your hand and wish to deploy at that time.

Site Locations (horizontally oriented) — These are specific places within a system where characters and vehicles are played. There are exterior sites and interior sites.

System Locations (vertically oriented) — These are planet, space or mobile cards played on either end of a row of ‘related’ site locations (if already in play). Otherwise a system may be played alone. A system card is related to all sites in the same system (e.g., the Tatooine system is related to all Tatooine sites). Having a system card and related sites in play together can yield added benefits. Usually, starships are played at system locations.

Converting Locations — There are Dark Side and Light Side versions of many locations. (Be aware that the game text and Force icons will vary!) Only one of each location may be in play at a time. A location in play can be converted by deploying the opposing side’s version on top. It is not uncommon for a location to change back and forth (Light to Dark, Dark to Light) several times during a game. When customizing your deck, you must decide whether to include one or more of each location. The special game text or the number of Force icons may make a card vital to your strategy. You never know when your opponent will play a version of the same location on top of yours; you may want to have another copy of the card to restore the location to your benefit!


A Few Details…

Force Icons — Sites can have a number of lightsaber icons on each side (usually 0 to 3). The Light Side has blue icons and the Dark Side has red. These indicate the amount of Force generated for each side at that site.

Additional Icons — These areas indicate characteristics of the site such as whether it is interior; exterior; underground; related to a planet, space or mobile system; or equipped with a Scomp link (a computer access connection referenced by other cards).

Game Text — This describes details specific to the card’s function.

(Note: All docking bays are special sites which allow for easy movement of characters and vehicles from system to system. This is accomplished by “docking bay transit,” which is explained later in this booklet.)

Deploying Site Locations

Sites are deployed in a manner which emulates natural planet topographies while allowing the ‘customization’ of the planet. Thus, the players may actually create the layout of the planet as they play! Sites are placed in a pattern where interior and exterior sites are separated from each other, with a docking bay possibly in between. After several turns of deployment, a typical system layout might appear as follows:


Interior Sites




Exterior Sites



As long as you maintain this pattern, when a new location is deployed to an existing system, it may be inserted between (or placed at the end of) the related locations. For example, in the diagram above, there are four places where you could deploy a new exterior site (anywhere between the docking bay and the system location). Once deployed, however, location placement may not be re-arranged.

If any of these groups are not yet in play, the other groups are laid out adjacent to each other. As new groups come into play, they are inserted into the appropriate place. For example, before the docking bay was inserted in the above diagram, the interior site group would have been next to the exterior site group. The rules for character movement between adjacent sites is not changed regardless of whether the docking bay is in play or not; if not, then the rightmost interior site will be adjacent to the leftmost exterior site.

The exterior Hoth locations called “marker sites” are an exception. These sites represent areas outside Echo Base and have a special sequencing feature called “marker numbers.” Marker sites can be brought into play in any order but are laid out sequentially. Thus, marker numbers indicate where a site must be inserted when it is deployed.

Using these new rules, the four systems currently in the game would appear something like this:

Death Star







Yavin 4





DB 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th

Marker Sites






Interior Site



Docking Bay

Exterior Site

Special Location


System Location



Since this two-player set contains only Hoth locations, only that planet is immediately relevant. To summarize for Hoth only:

• the exterior sites are always deployed according to their marker numbers, inserting where necessary;

• the docking bay is deployed to the left of the innermost marker site; and

• the interior ‘Echo base’ sites are deployed to the left of the docking bay or innermost marker, inserting in any order.

Adjacent Site Locations

Some cards refer to adjacent sites (systems cannot be adjacent). These are sites on the same system that have been played next to each other and are therefore linked. During movement, characters and vehicles may move from site to adjacent site like a sequence of connected spaces on a game board.


A Few Details…

Force Icons — Systems can have a number of lightsaber icons on each side (usually 0 to 3). The Light Side has blue icons and the Dark

Side has red. This indicates the amount of Force generated for each side at that system.

Additional Icons — These areas indicate characteristics of the system such as planet, space or mobile.

Parsec Number — This number, which ranges from 1 to 9, is used to calculate the hyper-route distance between different systems.

Capacity — Ordinarily, only starships may exist at system locations. Characters and vehicles must have a starship to carry them.


Characters are the stars of the game. Their movement and interactions create the story that becomes the basis of your adventure.

A Few Details…

Destiny Number — Used in gameplay to represent the element of fate or chance involved in actions.

Lore — Information related to the Star Wars universe.

Power — An attribute that represents overall strength.

Ability — This number ranges from 0 to 7 and represents a character’s ability to use the Force.

Force Sensitivity — Characters with high ability values have a measure of sensitivity to the Force.

Additional Icons — These icons indicate skills for characters, such as warrior and pilot, which affect gameplay in various ways.

Deploy Cost — Expenditure from Force Pile required to deploy a card. You can deploy characters where you have ‘presence’ (ability of 1 or higher) or where you have one or more Force icons present.

Forfeit Value — Number representing the amount of battle damage that may be absorbed by ‘sacrificing’ this card to the Lost Pile.

Game Text — Special powers and game information are described here.


An interrupt is a special card that generally has a temporary impact on the game. Like a plot twist in a story, it is a surprise that can occur at any time, even during an opponent’s turn. To play one, say, “Interrupt!” and bring out the card. An expenditure of Force is often required. To play it during your opponent’s turn, you will need to have left the necessary number of Force cards in your Force Pile.

Interrupts always have priority over other cards. After use, ‘used’ interrupts go face down on the top of the Used Pile to re-circulate; ‘lost’ interrupts are placed face up on top of the Lost Pile and are out of the game (unless ‘retrieved’).

If several interrupts are played in a row, they are handled in the order in which they were played. An exception occurs when you play an interrupt that cancels or affects the previous interrupt. In this instance, you get an opportunity to cancel the previous card and, if successful, the earlier interrupt is immediately discarded to its owner’s Lost Pile. Any Force your opponent expended to play the canceled interrupt remains in his Used

Pile. After you play an interrupt, place it on the appropriate pile.

A Few Details…

Destiny Number — The ‘destiny’ numbers on interrupts are generally higher than on other card types.

Interrupt Type — There are two types: used and lost. Some allow the option of choosing to be used or lost when they are played.

Game Text — The nature of the interrupt and the amount of Force required to play it are listed here.




Effects modify certain cards or aspects of the game. They are played during the Deploy Phase of your turn on the table or on characters, locations etc. An effect generally applies only to the side of the table where it is played. Effects can be canceled by other cards (e.g., a specific interrupt), in which case any cards or conditions the effect was modifying revert to their previous status.

A Few Details…

Destiny Number — The ‘destiny’ numbers on effects are generally higher than on other card types. Keep this in mind when creating your decks, as it can be very beneficial to customize the destiny numbers.

Effect Type — There are four types:

• Effects are cards that are deployed on the table during your deploy phase and remain in play for the rest of the game, unless canceled.

They can deploy on characters, vehicles, starships, locations or even just on the table. The Alter card specifically cancels Effect cards.

• Immediate Effects are usually deployed in response to an action performed by the opponent, rather than during your deploy phase. They are not vulnerable to the Alter card but are vulnerable to the Control card.

• Mobile Effects are deployed like normal effect cards, but have an automatic movement function. Mobile effects are not vulnerable to Alter but are vulnerable to Control.

• Utinni Effects are usually played on one location to cause a specific character to move to that location, in order to cancel a negative effect or benefit from a positive effect. If the target of an Utinni Effect is lost, the Utinni Effect is lost at the same time. Utinni Effects are vulnerable to Alter.


Each character, vehicle and starship already has inherent blasters etc. computed into the power of that card and can battle without a weapon card. The green weapon cards are ‘activators’ which allow the players to specifically target the blasters that their other cards already possess and battle with.

A Few Details…

Weapon Type — There are five types: character, starship, automated, vehicle and artillery. Artillery weapons are immune to the Overload card.

Game Text — A weapon’s deploy cost and amount of Force required to use it are listed here. Most weapons require an expenditure of Force each time they are used.


A Few Details…

Game Text — A device’s deploy cost and amount of Force required to use it are listed here. Most devices require an expenditure of Force each time they are used.


You may deploy as many weapons and devices as you like on a character, vehicle or starfighter, as long as there are no duplicates (i.e., the weapons and devices must all have different card titles). However, each character, vehicle or starfighter may use only one weapon and one device per turn. Capital starships and characters with Backpacks may use any number of weapons and devices — even duplicates. Note however the cumulative rule explained in the glossary.

Devices and weapons already deployed on a character can be transferred (re-deployed) to another character at the same location, if capable of carrying the device or weapon, for an expenditure of Force equal to the deploy cost as if it were deployed directly upon the new card.


Vehicles move between sites carrying passengers. A vehicle must have ‘presence’ aboard in order to move. Vehicles may deploy and move only to exterior sites (including docking bays).


A Few Details…

Vehicle Type — There are currently four types: transport, creature, shuttle and combat.

Power — Vehicles can be used in battles, adding power and sometimes special game text such as the ‘react’ function.

Armor or Maneuver — These are measures of a vehicle’s resistance to attack and are generally used to calculate damage by weapons.

Landspeed — The landspeed number indicates how far a vehicle can travel along adjacent sites in one turn. Vehicles can move and transport characters from site to site.


Starships can only be deployed at system locations. Characters use starships to travel and battle throughout the galaxy.


A Few Details…

Starship Class— There are currently three classes: starfighter, capital and squadron.

Power — A starship’s power can be enhanced by pilots but not ordinarily by passengers (astromech droids and gunners being the notable exceptions).

Armor or Maneuver — These are measures of a starship’s resistance to attack and are generally used to determine whether a weapon card is successful or not. Capital starships usually have armor and starfighters usually have maneuver, but they generally function in the same way.

Hyperspeed — The hyperspeed number indicates the maximum distance (in parsecs) a starship can move once per turn.

Scomp Link — An icon indicating a computer connection used mainly by droids. Also found on some location cards. Referenced by other cards.

Additional Icons — These icons represent enhancements to starships such as ‘permanent’ pilots and astromech-nav computers.

Deploy Cost — Starships are deployed to system locations, and some site locations (see below). You can deploy a card directly onto a starship if the starship is capable of carrying it, and you meet normal deployment requirements.

Forfeit Value — Starships and all cards aboard them can be individually forfeited, if they have a printed forfeit value.

Game Text — Special capabilities such as pilot and passenger capacity are listed here. Some starships can carry more than one pilot, plus a number of passengers, vehicles and other equipment. Starships with a ‘permanent’ pilot aboard have ability as listed on the cards.

Deploying Starfighters…

A starfighter that has a permanent pilot aboard may be deployed to (1) a docking bay, (2) one of your capital starships with starfighter capacity or (3) a system location.

A starfighter that does not have a permanent pilot aboard may be deployed

• to any of the three places listed above if it is deployed simultaneously with a pilot (which counts as a single game action), at normal use of the Force; or

• ‘empty’ to a docking bay or one of your capital starships with starfighter capacity — not to a system location.

Landing and Taking Off…

A piloted starfighter at a system location may land at any related exterior site. Similarly, a piloted starfighter at an exterior site may take off to the related system. (TIEs require docking bay facilities and thus may not land or take off at other exterior sites.) Landing or taking off requires 1 Force, but is free at a docking bay.

A landed starfighter has no landspeed, power or maneuver. It may not utilize game text, normal starship weapons or any cards which would logically require the starfighter to be moving (e.g. Dark Maneuvers). However, in a battle at a site, a landed starfighter may fire any starship weapon that works at a site (e.g., the Surface Defense Cannon).

Landed starfighters behave in most respects like enclosed vehicles.


Deploying on Vehicles and Starships…

You may deploy directly aboard your vehicles and starships at any location where you have ‘presence’ or Force icons and the vehicle or starship has sufficient capacity.

Remaining Aboard…

Characters may get onto and off of a vehicle (and may remain aboard) independent of the vehicle’s movement. As with a starship, you indicate whether characters are aboard a vehicle by placing them underneath that card.

If a vehicle is lost, any cards aboard it are also lost. (Exception: if a creature vehicle is lost, any characters aboard it may “jump off” — disembark — at the same site and survive.) Having a character (or permanent pilot) aboard a vehicle prevents your opponent from ‘stealing’ or

‘purchasing’ that vehicle.

Embarking and Disembarking…

Your characters ‘embark’ on and ‘disembark’ from your vehicles and starfighters. Similarly, your starfighters embark on and disembark from your capital starships with starfighter capacity. Embarking and disembarking is free and unlimited, and may occur any time during your move phase or at the beginning or end of a ‘react.’

When a starfighter or vehicle is aboard a capital starship, it is considered to be in a cargo bay. Its occupants may disembark to the capital starship and vice versa. Any characters aboard the starfighter or vehicle do not count toward the capacity of the capital starship and may not pilot (or otherwise enhance) the capital starship.


Characters aboard a vehicle or starship fall into three categories: pilots, drivers and passengers (which includes gunners).

Pilots — A starship, combat vehicle or shuttle vehicle must have a pilot aboard to use its power, maneuver, landspeed or hyperspeed or to

‘react.’ Characters acting as pilots have the capability to enhance combat vehicles and shuttle vehicles as well as starships. For example,

Darth Vader “adds 3 to power of any starship he pilots.” This +3 bonus will also apply when Darth is piloting a combat or shuttle vehicle.

You may designate which characters are acting as pilots at any time during your deploy or move phase. Any pilots aboard a starship or vehicle in excess of its pilot capacity are passengers and thus may not enhance the starship or vehicle.

Drivers — A transport vehicle must have a driver aboard to use its power, maneuver or landspeed or to ‘react.’ (A creature vehicle has ability and thus does not require a driver.) If more than one character is aboard, you must designate which one is driving. You may designate the driver at any time during your deploy or move phase. The driver uses up the capacity of one passenger. Unless otherwise specified, droids may not drive vehicles.

Passengers — Passengers are any characters aboard a starship or vehicle who are not acting as a pilot or driver of that starship or vehicle.

Gunners — Gunners are special passengers. Gunners have the capability to enhance combat vehicles and shuttle vehicles as well as starships. For example, Danz Borin “adds 1 to starship’s weapon destiny draws.” Thus, this rule gives him the capability to add 1 to the weapon destiny draws of any combat vehicle or shuttle vehicle he is aboard as a passenger. Gunners are identified by the word ‘gunner’ in their title or lore.

Open and Enclosed…

‘Enclosed’ vehicles are identified as such in their card lore. Any vehicle not identified as enclosed is considered ‘open.’ All starships are enclosed.

Characters aboard an open vehicle are exposed to the surrounding environment; they are present at the site (and thus are vulnerable to cards which affect characters at the site). All characters aboard an open vehicle may use personal power, ability, forfeit and game text (when appropriate). They may also fire character weapons and may likewise be targeted by weapons.

Characters aboard an enclosed vehicle function just as they would aboard a starship (because starships are also enclosed). They are sheltered from the environment and thus are not present at the site, preventing them from using their personal power, firing character weapons or being targeted by weapons. On an enclosed vehicle or starship, all characters may use ability, forfeit and game text (when appropriate), but passengers may not apply their ability toward drawing battle destiny.



‘Present’ indicates a card is at a particular location or certain conditions are met at a particular location. Think of present as being physically ‘at’ a certain place. There are three places where a card can be present in the game: at a site location, at a system location or aboard an enclosed vehicle or starship. No card is considered to be present at more than one place at the same time. For example, if an Imperial Walker is at the

Hoth: Defensive Perimeter with Veers aboard, then the Imperial Walker is present at the Defensive Perimeter and Veers is present aboard the

Walker. (Veers is not present at the site location.)


The concept of ‘presence’ is critical to determining who controls a location for Force drain and whether or not deployment and battle can take place. It is possible to have certain cards played at a location and still not have legitimate ‘presence’ there.

Think of presence in the spiritual sense, as the Force emanating from an individual. Remember Vader saying, “I sense something. A presence I’ve not felt since….” In game terms, your cards with ability create a ‘presence’ that your opponent’s characters can sense (even when they are hidden inside an enclosed vehicle or starship). Having presence at a location is defined as:

(1) having total ability of 1 or higher present at that location; or

(2) having a vehicle or starship present at that location that has total ability of 1 or higher aboard. For example, if Chewie is aboard a Rebel

Snowspeeder at the Hoth: Ice Plains, then Chewie creates presence at the Ice Plains location.


Ability is found on character cards and on other cards. Some cards, such as droids, when played alone at a site do not qualify as ‘presence’ because they have no inherent ability.


Movement is defined as any method of physically or conceptually relocating a character, creature, vehicle or starship from one place to another.

Regular Move — Each of your characters, creatures, vehicles and starships is limited to one regular move per turn (which occurs during your move phase). A regular move requires you to use 1 Force unless otherwise specified. A regular move is defined as:

• one card using its landspeed or hyperspeed (all characters and creatures have landspeed = 1 unless otherwise specified);

• one character or vehicle shuttling;

• a group of cards using docking bay transit;

• one starship landing or taking off; or

• one starfighter making an Attack Run.

Reacting — This is a special form of movement (granted by cards that say ‘react’) that may occur during your opponent’s turn. A ‘react’

• occurs just after your opponent announces a battle or Force drain;

• allows you to move a card (if within range) to the location of the battle or Force drain (at normal use of the Force); and

• allows other cards to embark on and disembark from the reacting card just before it departs and just after it arrives. (Embarking and disembarking is possible even if the ‘reacting’ card is already at the battle or Force drain location.)

To ‘react,’ a starship or non-creature vehicle must have a pilot or driver aboard. (Creature vehicles have ability and thus do not require a driver.) Cards involved in a ‘react’ are prevented from ‘reacting’ again during the same turn.

‘Reacting’ to a Force drain cancels the Force drain if you bring presence to the location. ‘Reacting’ away from a battle (e.g., using a tauntaun) cancels the battle if you remove your presence from the battle location.

Unlimited Move — An unlimited move is (1) any movement your opponent forces you to make or (2) any movement which is not a regular move or a ‘react.’ A card may make any number of unlimited moves per turn. Unlimited moves occur in various phases and are free unless otherwise specified. Some examples include

• characters embarking on or disembarking from vehicles;

• starfighters embarking on or disembarking from capital starships;

• a group of cards transferring from one starship to another (requires 1 Force);

• characters and other cards being carried by a moving vehicle or starship;

• interrupts (e.g., Elis Helrot, Nabrun Leids); and

• special game text (e.g., Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chief Bast).

Shuttling — A character or vehicle may shuttle from an exterior site to a capital starship with ship-docking capability (or vice versa) for 1

Force. Capital starships are assumed to have dedicated shuttles for this purpose. Because starfighters are not large enough to carry shuttles, shuttling is not allowed to or from a starfighter, even if it has ship-docking capability.

Transferring — Any number of characters and vehicles may transfer from one starship to another at the same system location for 1 Force if at least one of those starships is piloted and has ship-docking capability.

Unique and Restricted Cards

If the name on a card is preceded by a dot (•), this indicates that it is a unique card. Although you are free to place more than one unique card of the same title in your deck, you cannot have more than one face up on the table at any time during the game. If cards have two (••) or three

(•••) dots, the number of identical cards of the same title that can be on the table at the same time is restricted to the number of dots on the card. When there are no dots preceding a card name, there are no restrictions on the number of these cards you can have on the table. [Note:

An interrupt card with one dot (•) indicates that only one interrupt of that name may be played per turn.]

If both players have a unique (•) card with the same name (e.g., •Ice Storm), only one copy of that card may be on the table at a time. It doesn’t matter that one is a Dark Side card and one is a Light Side card.

Cumulative Cards

Cumulatively is a boldfaced term used in game text to indicate that multiple copies of a card can increasingly affect the same thing. For example, the FX-7 droid says, “Cumulatively subtracts 2 from X on your Bacta Tank.” Two FX-7s would therefore subtract 4 from the Bacta Tank.

Conversely, the Imperial Squad Leader says, “Your troopers at same site are forfeit +1.” The Imperial Squad Leader is not cumulative, and thus a

Snowtrooper present with two Imperial Squad Leaders is only forfeit +1, not forfeit +2. (No cards are cumulative unless they say Cumulative or



As with any collectible card game, the depth and complexity of this game requires intricate rules. At some point, you will probably want to play competitively with friends or in tournament play. You will need to know the cards and rules well in order to use this knowledge to your strategic advantage.

We have tried to be as comprehensive and detailed as space allows in outlining the rules of the game. Many cards have special powers that create exceptions to the rules. In this case, the card’s game text takes precedence. In addition, situations not anticipated or addressed in the rules may arise. If you have a question that is not covered here, simply use common sense or agree to a ruling between the players. You can also contact Decipher if you have rules questions.


At the beginning, each side plays one location card to the table. Both players reveal their starting locations at the same time. If players choose the exact same location, they set them aside temporarily and choose again. Once two different starting locations have been selected, any locations set aside are added back into the decks.



Shuffle the remaining cards and place your Reserve Deck face down.


Each player draws 8 cards from the top of his Reserve Deck to make a hand.


Sometimes it pays to be the bad guy.


The players alternate taking turns. During a player’s turn, that player will perform six phases:

Activate — Control — Deploy — Battle — Move — Draw

Phase One: Activate

The first thing you do is count the Force icons on your side of each location. Add 1 to represent the personal Force you generate yourself.

Activate that total number of cards by transferring them, one at a time and face down, from the top of your Reserve Deck to the top of your

Force Pile (see diagram on page 3). Do not look at the cards or put them into your hand. You do not have to activate all the Force you are entitled to.

Note that as your deck gets drained of Force by the opponent, your options diminish. When you have fewer than 10 or so cards remaining, you must be especially careful how you handle your Force. For example, if you activate all the cards in your Reserve Deck, you will not be able to draw ‘destiny’ if a battle occurs. When you reach this point in the game, consider leaving some cards in your Reserve Deck so you can draw destiny, if necessary. In a close game, when both players have only a few cards left, the way you manage your remaining Life

Force will be critical to your success!

Phase Two: Control

When you control a location, you have an advantage. To control a location, you must have ‘presence’ there when your opponent does not. Control is a continuous process; it does not just happen during the control phase. Presence is defined on page 11.

Force drain

When you control a location during your control phase, you may drain Life Force from your opponent at that location. You may drain an amount equal to the number of Force icons on your opponent’s side of the location, possibly with modifiers. This is called a “Force drain.”

If Rebels control a location, the Force in that area is drained of the Dark Side’s energy, and vice versa. Since locations generate Force, having many locations on the table increases the amount of Force you can activate each turn. Controlling a substantial number of locations means that you can drain Force from your opponent at each one, but you are weaker and more vulnerable to attack when your forces are spread thin.

Concentrating your cards in one place makes you stronger in those areas, but susceptible to Force drains at others. “The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

Some cards mandate that a bonus be added to a Force drain. This bonus is added to the total number of Force icons (but only for the purpose of

Force draining). Some locations have no Force icons for your opponent, some cards can cancel Force icons on a location and other cards mandate a minus to Force draining. In such cases, it is possible that your Force drain at a location will be for zero. Regardless, performing a Force drain is an optional action that you choose to perform at each location you control (one at a time).

Once both players have presence, neither controls the location, unless one player loses his presence there.

When Force is drained from your opponent, he places the appropriate number of cards (face up) on his Lost Pile. During the Control Phase, announce each Force drain you wish to attempt, one at a time. At each point, your opponent has the option to respond, possibly using a card that may ‘react.’ (See explanation of ‘react.’) If he does not, then he must suffer the Force drain as described above.

Note: Force icons are a double-edged sword. The more Force icons on your side of a location, the more Life Force you can activate at the start of your turn. But if your opponent gains control of that location, you lose more Force there as well.


Several cards cause characters to become disoriented or lost (in the normal sense of the word, not to the Lost Pile). This condition is defined in game terms as ‘missing.’ To indicate that a character is missing, place that character face up beneath the site where it became missing.

A missing character is still “in play.” However, because conceptually nobody knows exactly where a missing character is at the site, the character is not considered to have presence, does not participate in battles, may not move, may not be forfeited and may not have new cards deployed on it. Likewise, missing characters cannot be targeted by weapons or any other cards that do not specifically target missing characters.

During your control phase, you may attempt to find missing characters by forming and using a search party as follows:

1. Designate one or more of your characters at the same site as the missing character(s) to be members of the search party.

2. Draw destiny.

3. Add 1 to the destiny draw for each member of the search party (2 if character is a scout).

4. If total destiny > 5, one of your missing characters there (random selection) is found and joins the search party.

You may only search where you have one or more characters missing (you may not search for your opponent’s characters). Members of a search party (including any characters they find) may not move, search again or participate in a battle you initiate for the remainder of that turn.

Phase Three: Deploy

You can deploy characters, vehicles and starships where you have presence or a Force icon on your side of a location.

Weapons, devices, effects and similar cards may be deployed wherever appropriate, with or without presence or Force icons.

Card deployment usually requires the expenditure of Force. This is achieved by moving the appropriate number of Force cards face down, one at a time, from the top of your Force Pile to the top of your Used Pile. Then place the card or cards you are deploying on the table. You will find the deploy cost of effect, weapon or device cards in the game text. If a card does not list a deploy cost, you can deploy it for free. (Spies can deploy where there are no Force icons or presence.)


Phase Four: Battle

Battles are fought one at a time, and can powerfully deplete the opponent’s Force.

Announce a Battle

Battles can only occur at locations where both you and your opponent have presence. Select the location where you want to initiate a battle. You can battle more than once during a turn, but not twice at the same location or twice with the same cards.

Use Force to Initiate Battle

You must use 1 Force to initiate each battle.

Your Opponent May ‘React’

Your opponent can respond to a battle declaration by saying, “React!” (a game function similar to an interrupt) and moving or deploying specific cards to that location (he must have a card that lists the ‘react’ capability in order to do so). If your opponent reacts, he must have the appropriate amount of Force to move or deploy cards. If he did not leave enough cards in his Force pile, he cannot ‘react.’

Fire Weapons

For each weapon, you may fire at one target at the same location. Weapons are fired one at a time. The player who initiates battle fires weapons first; then the opponent returns fire. Expend any Force required to fire, and draw the required destiny card(s) to see if you successfully ‘hit’ your target.

Each weapon has its own way of working, which is specified on the card. In order to hit your target, the weapon destiny drawn (as specified on the weapon) must generally exceed the target’s ability (for a character), armor (for a capital starship or armored vehicle) or maneuver (for a starfighter or vehicle).

Drawing destiny: Most cards have a “destiny number” in the top right corner. This number represents the element of fate or chance involved in actions. When a player is required to draw destiny, he must take the top card from his Reserve Deck, turn it over to read the destiny number and then place it face down on top of his Used Pile. If a card has no destiny number (such as a location) its destiny value is zero.

‘Hit’ Cards

Targets ‘hit’ by a weapon are immediately turned sideways. Unless specified on the weapon, cards that are ‘hit’ still participate in the battle until its resolution. A targeted character that is ‘hit’ can still fire back. (The stages of the battle are occurring simultaneously, although enacted sequentially. Regardless of who wins the battle, ‘hit’ cards are forfeited at the end by both players.)

Some weapon cards do not cause a ‘hit’ but instead have another game effect.

Add Battle Destiny Value

Sometimes you can increase your power by drawing destiny. Each player should check to see if he has a combined ability of 4 or higher at that location. If a player has combined ability of 4 or higher, he may make a destiny draw. (Note: If you have an ability value of 8, you do not get to draw two destiny cards. Also, do not add any weapon destiny values that you may have drawn during the battle. Some cards do allow you to add extra destiny draws to your battle, and will say something such as, “during a battle, add one battle destiny.”) When revealed, the destiny value is added to the total power value described below to indicate the player’s combined power in this battle. Since most battles involve some degree of risk, the battle destiny number is also used to determine ‘attrition,’ which is a mandatory loss that may result from battling.

Total Players’ Power

Now, total each player’s power values for all cards at the battle location. ‘Hit’ characters still add power, so include their value(s) as well. (Read the game text on all cards, including the location, as this might alter the power totals.)

Battle Resolution

Now compare the Light Side and Dark Side power totals. If it is not a tie, the player with the least power must lose Force equal to the difference between the two power totals. For example, if player A’s total is 9 and player B’s total is 5, player B loses 4 Force. If it’s a tie, no battle damage occurs though there might be attrition for one or both sides (see ‘attrition,’ below).

Losing Force

Lost Force can be taken from your hand, from your Life Force (which includes your Reserve Deck, Force Pile and Used Pile) or by forfeiting (see

‘forfeiting,’ below). Each card transferred to the Lost Pile counts as 1 Force. Losing a card from your hand is not always bad because you know what you’re giving up. As the Lost Force cards are selected one by one, place them face up on top of the Lost Pile. Both you and your opponent are allowed to see the cards as you place them in your Lost Pile.


Before you lose Force in a battle, you can reduce the number of cards to be lost by ‘forfeiting’ cards that were involved in the battle. In that case, the forfeit value of the card is counted against your total loss. For example, if you were required to lose 6 Force, and Chewie was present at the battle location, you could forfeit him (forfeit value of 3) and three other cards from your hand or Life Force. This reduces the total number of cards to be lost, but sacrifices an important character in the process. You can make multiple forfeits from the location in order to equal or exceed the required ‘battle damage.’ Cards ‘hit’ by weapons must be forfeited, and their forfeit values count against your total loss for ‘battle damage.’


Attrition represents the danger inherent in conflict, the chance of losing cards regardless of who wins or loses the battle. Attrition can be an important offensive strategy as it allows a smaller force to attack a larger force and still inflict significant damage. If a player involved in a battle draws battle destiny greater than zero, loss by attrition will occur for his opponent. If both players draw battle destiny greater than zero, both will suffer attrition. A player’s required attrition loss is equal to his opponent’s destiny number.

To satisfy attrition loss, you must sacrifice card(s) with a forfeit value equal to or greater than your opponent’s total battle destiny. For example, if you won the battle, satisfy the attrition loss by forfeiting the necessary cards from this location. If you lost the battle, you must satisfy the attrition loss by forfeiting the necessary cards and then make up any difference you have yet to incur from battle damage.

(Note: Attrition loss incurred by the loser of a battle is not in addition to battle damage, but it can affect the way he absorbs the battle damage by forcing the forfeiture of cards.)


For example, in the battle diagram below you had a total power of 6 but could not draw destiny as your total ability present was only 3. Your opponent had a total power of 3, but because his total ability present was 4, he could draw destiny. Assume in this case he drew a destiny of 2.

This makes his combined power total 5.

Since you won the battle (6 vs. 5), your opponent would lose 1 Force. However, his destiny of 2 means that even though you won the battle, your attrition loss is 2. You must now lose at least 2 in forfeit value from that location. It is your choice whom you forfeit as long as you meet the minimum requirement of 2.

Immunity to Attrition — Some cards have a special trait called “immunity to attrition.” For example, if Darth Vader’s card says “Immune to attrition < 5” and your opponent’s destiny during a battle is less than 5, this means that Vader is not affected by attrition loss. Other cards at this site are still vulnerable. Let’s examine how.

If your opponent draws a destiny value of 4 during a battle against Darth Vader (immune) and one Stormtrooper (forfeit value of 2), the

Stormtrooper would be forfeited due to attrition loss. The remaining forfeit value of 2 is ignored; it would not affect Darth Vader because of his immunity to attrition less than 5. However, if the destiny drawn is 5, Vader is no longer immune. In this instance, Vader would have to be forfeited.

Interruption of a Battle

If a battle is stopped due to an interrupt or all presence on one side being removed through some game action, all Force cards expended for the battle remain in players’ Used Piles.

Phase Five: Move

After all battles (if any) are resolved, you can move some of your cards if you so desire. There are three categories of movement: regular moves,

‘reacting’ and unlimited moves. Normal Regular Moves allow each of your characters and vehicles to use their landspeed once per turn during your move phase to go from one site to adjacent sites.

Phase Six: Draw (and end your turn)

This is the final phase of a player’s turn. If you have some cards left in your Force Pile, you can draw any number of them into your hand, one by one. There is no limit to the size of a player’s hand. You also may want to leave some cards in the Force Pile; these can be expended to ‘react’ or to play interrupts during your opponent’s turn. When you are through, put the Used Pile under your Reserve Deck. Then announce to your opponent, “The Force is with you!” to end your turn.


The first few times you play the game it could take an hour or more. When you become more familiar with the structure and rules, most games take about 30 to 45 minutes. Players usually like to play a two-game match, playing one game with a Light Side deck and another game with a

Dark Side deck. To do this, keep score by determining the winner’s margin of victory in each game played, and combine these numbers to determine an overall winner. For example, if Player A wins the first game with 11 Life Force remaining, he won an 11-point victory. In the second game, Player B would need to win by 12 or more points to win the overall match.



Counting Off Cards

Many times during the game you will have to ‘count off’ cards from one deck or pile to another. This should always be done one card at a time, not in a group.


This contains information related to the Star Wars universe. However, lore also contains terms that are relevant to gameplay. These terms are usually but not always identified by the use of bold type.

Future Rules

We will continue adapting the rules and expanding the game. In the future, players will be able to capture their opponent’s cards via bounty hunting and participate in a wider variety of adventures. Rules for multiple players, advanced rule variations and revised rules may be published with future expansion sets.


The ability to customize your deck and plan a game strategy is what makes collectible card games so challenging. The Star Wars CCG rules require that each player use a deck of 60 cards. You can play with fewer or more cards, but it’s critical that both players have the same number of cards in their deck because each card represents one unit of Life Force.

When you move beyond these two pre-customized decks and begin to add cards to your collection, you will have complete control over the cards you use and the strategies you employ. The only things you can’t control are luck (destiny) and your opponent’s plan of action. Consider both offensive and defensive strategies as you design your decks.

You can include any variety of card categories in your deck, although you will normally want to have locations, characters and a generous mixture of the other cards. As you expand your collection by trading and buying additional cards, you will become more creative in customizing your decks. Interesting strategies (and a few rare cards) can increase your chances of winning!

New Versions of Main Characters

Throughout the Star Wars trilogy, some of the main characters ‘grow’ significantly in skills and abilities. To reflect this growth, we have decided to occasionally create new versions of those characters. We will do this in a manner which avoids making previous versions obsolete or less valuable.

The new versions will tend to be specialized, having advantages and disadvantages in various situations. For example, in keeping with the progression we saw between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Commander Luke Skywalker in the Hoth expansion set is a bit stronger than Luke Skywalker from the Premiere edition. However, Commander Luke Skywalker has a higher deploy cost, does not activate extra

Force each turn and is less versatile in terms of deployment. Which version of a main character you choose to put in a particular deck is a strategic choice which depends on your objectives.

Persona Rule

Different versions of a single character are all considered to be the same ‘persona.’ No more than one version of the same persona may be in play at the same time.

Cards that reference ‘Luke’ (for example) apply to any version of the Luke persona (Luke Skywalker, Commander Luke Skywalker etc.).

Similarly, references to ‘Chewbacca’ and ‘Chewie’ are considered interchangeable.

During your deploy phase, you may replace one of your characters on the table with an “older, wiser” version of the same persona from your hand (for free). The new version (1) must have power and ability at least equal to those of the replaced card and (2) must obey its own deployment restrictions (if any). For example, Luke Skywalker (power 3, ability 4) may be replaced by Commander Luke Skywalker (power

4, ability 4), but only when Luke is on Hoth (because Commander Luke Skywalker’s game text says “May deploy only on Hoth”).

Any weapons, devices, effects or utinni effects deployed on or targeting the character transfer to the new version of that character (if applicable). Any cards which are not applicable are placed in the Lost Pile, along with the younger version of the character. For example, if Leia was Undercover and was replaced with a new (hypothetical) version of Leia who wasn’t a spy, the Undercover card would not be applicable to the new Leia and would therefore be lost.

Optional Mining Droid Rules

There are optional mine field rules which enhance the capabilities of mining droids in an exciting new way!

As with the normal rules, a mining droid can still ‘lay’ mines face up at any site where it is present. At the player’s option, however, mining droids can also ‘bury’ mines face down on planets to simulate creation of a minefield.

At any exterior planet site where you have a mining droid present, during your deploy phase you may bury any number of cards from your hand face down underneath that site. You may choose to bury ‘real’ mines, ‘duds’ (non-mine cards buried as a bluff) or a mixture of the two.

When any character, vehicle or starship deploys or moves to or across that site, all buried cards there are ‘tripped’ (revealed). Any duds are simply lost. Any mines immediately ‘explode,’ targeting the card that tripped them if applicable. (When your opponent trips any buried Timer

Mine, you immediately draw destiny to see how many characters your opponent loses.)

Buried cards are not considered in play. If buried mines are tripped during your turn and you have a mining droid present, you may choose to

‘defuse’ any or all of them (at normal use of the Force) before they explode.



There are many other Star Wars CCG products, and many other cards available to you! You are encouraged to customize the decks in this set with new cards, expanding your strategic options and enjoyment. Nevertheless, there will be times when you wish to return to the standard mix of

60 cards. The following list will enable you to do so, as well as give a good reference.

Light Side



Commander Evram Lajaie


Echo Base Trooper

Echo Base Trooper Officer

Fall Back!

FX-7 (Effex-Seven)

Hoth Survival Gear

Hoth: Defensive Perimeter (3rd Marker)

Hoth: Echo Corridor

Hoth: Echo Docking Bay

Hoth: Echo Med Lab

Hoth: Snow Trench (2nd Marker)


Infantry Mine

It Can Wait

It Could Be Worse


LIN-V8K (Elleyein-Veeatekay)

Lone Rogue

Nice Of You Guys To Drop By

Rebel Commander

Rebel Guard

Rebel Scout

Rebel Snowspeeder

Restraining Bolt

Sai'torr Kal Fas

Surprise Assault


Tauntaun Handler

Timer Mine




































Dark Side

AT-AT Driver

Blaster Rifle

Cold Feet

Counter Assault

FX-10 (Effex-ten)

He Hasn't Come Back Yet

Hoth: Defensive Perimeter (3rd Marker)

Hoth: Echo Docking Bay

Hoth: Ice Plains (5th Marker)

Hoth: Mountains (6th Marker)

Hoth: North Ridge (4th Marker)

I'd Just As Soon Kiss A Wookie

Imperial Blaster

Imperial Commander

Imperial Squad Leader

Imperial Trooper Guard

Imperial Walker

Infantry Mine

Ket Maliss

LIN-V8M (Elleyein-Veeateemm)

Lt. Pol Treidum

Officer Evax

Restraining Bolt


Snowtrooper Officer

Stunning Leader

Timer Mine


Walker Garrison

































* — Common and only in The Empire Strikes Back Two-Player Game


Ability — an attribute of characters that represents their ability to use the Force

Activate Force — moving cards from the Reserve Deck to the Force Pile at the start of each turn (one for each of your Force icons in play, plus one for yourself)

Activate Phase — turn sequence that comes at the beginning of the turn before the Control Phase

Adjacent — site located directly next to a neighboring site

Alien — type of character other than Rebel, Imperial or droid (can be Light Side or Dark Side)

Alone — your character is alone if (1) you have no other character present at the location, (2) you have no other character aboard a vehicle or starship at the location, and (3) you have no other ability (e.g., a tauntaun or permanent pilot) at the location

Armor — defensive number generally used on capital starships and large vehicles as an indicator of shields against weapon fire

Armored Droids — Some droids (e.g., Probe Droids) have armor. This number is used only as a defense against weapons. When a weapon targets an armored droid, use the droid’s armor instead of ability.

Astromech — type of droid necessary for starfighters to move through hyperspace

Astromech-Nav Computer Icon — symbol that indicates a ‘built-in’ mechanism that allows a starship to move (astromech for starfighters and nav computer for capital starships)

Attrition — gameplay mechanism that simulates casualties (mandatory losses) determined by ‘destiny’ drawn during battle, regardless of which player wins or loses the battle

Battle — conflict initiated at a location where both players have ‘presence’ in an effort to deplete the opponent’s Life Force (requires the expenditure of 1 Force to initiate)

Battle Damage — amount of Life Force lost as a result of a battle

Battle Destiny — destiny drawn during battle for power and attrition only (not for weapons)

Battle Phase — turn sequence that comes between the Deploy Phase and the Move Phase

Boldface type — marking used in the lore section of cards to highlight some of the terms that are relevant to gameplay and referenced by other cards

Bounty Hunter — character attribute referenced in boldface type in the lore

Cancel — act of preventing a card from having its consequences (card is placed in the Lost Pile unless otherwise directed)

Capacity — limit that a starship, vehicle or character can carry (starship and vehicle capacities are defined on the cards; character capacity is limited to one weapon and one device)

Character — type of card that represents Rebels, Imperials, aliens and droids

Combat Vehicles — type of vehicle which is specialized for battle. Combat vehicles cannot be ‘purchased’ (sorry, Wioslea!)

Control — ‘presence’ at a location where the opponent has no ‘presence’

Control Phase — turn sequence that comes between the Activate Phase and the Deploy Phase

Customize — select cards from your collection to create a personalized 60-card deck

Cumulatively — boldfaced term used in game text to indicate that multiple copies of a card can increasingly affect the same thing; no cards are cumulative unless they say cumu-

lative or cumulatively (see page 12)


Dark Side — dark side of the Force (represented by all cards with an Imperial logo on the back)

Deploy — to place a card in play on the table

Deploy Cost — expenditure from Force Pile required to deploy a card

Deploy Phase — turn sequence that comes between the Control Phase and the Battle Phase

Destiny — represents the element of fate or chance involved in actions

Device — type of card that represents an item that can generally be carried or used by characters, starships or vehicles

Docking Bay Transit — during your Move Phase, transfer any or all of your characters and vehicles from one docking bay to another docking bay (by the symbolic use of starships for hire) for an expenditure of Force as listed on the docking bay card

Draw Destiny — the action of drawing the top card from the Reserve Deck and using the destiny number in a variety of ways as described in the rules or on the cards

Draw Phase — final turn sequence that follows the Move Phase

Droid — type of character card that can be Light Side or Dark Side (ability = 0)

Effect — type of card, played during the Deploy Phase, that modifies certain cards or aspects of the game that generally have a lasting impact

Expansion Set — randomly assorted 15-card pack that includes 7 Light Side, 7 Dark Side and 1 rare card that alternates between the Light and Dark Sides

Exterior Site — ‘outside’ location identified by an exterior icon

Force — an energy field generated by all living things and represented as the basic unit of measurement in the game (1 unit of Life Force = 1 card)

Force-Attuned — a level of Force sensitivity that indicates minimal awareness of and strength in the Force, but no training (represented in the game by an ability level of 3)

Force Drain — an action that can occur when a location is controlled by a player, resulting in the opponent losing Force equal to the opponent’s Force icons at that location (occurs during the Control Phase)

Force Generation — the amount of Force you can activate each turn, as represented by Force icons on your side of locations (occurs during the Activate Phase)

Force Icons — symbols (lightsabers) that identify the amount of Force Generation and Force Drain possible at that location (indicates you can deploy at that location)

Force Pile — pile from which Force cards are ‘used’ or drawn into hand

Force-Sensitive — a level of Force sensitivity that indicates an awareness of and some training in the use of the Force (represented in the game by an ability level of 4 or 5)

Force Sensitivity — describes a character’s level of ability to use the Force

Forfeit Value — number representing the amount of battle damage that may be absorbed by ‘sacrificing’ this card to the Lost Pile

Forfeiting Cards — a substitute for battle damage (a card at a battle site is ‘sacrificed’ to the Lost Pile for its forfeit value instead of losing an equivalent number of cards from hand or Life Force)

Game Text — information that contains details specific to the card’s gameplay function

Hand — term for cards held in a player’s hand (a ‘hand’ starts with 8 cards, thereafter there are no limits to its size)

Hit — term for a target that has been successfully shot by a weapon (marked by turning the target sideways until the battle is complete, at which time the target must be forfeited)

Hyperspeed — number of parsecs a starship can travel when it moves

Imperial — type of character other than Rebel, alien or droid

Immunity to Attrition — some characters are resistant to attrition as listed on the card

Innermost Marker — term used to indicate the lowest-numbered marker site that is currently on the table (applies only to Hoth)

Insert — term used for the action of sliding a card into an opponent’s deck where the cards are then shuffled, cut and replaced

Interior Site — ‘inside’ location identified by an interior icon (most vehicles cannot go to interior sites)

Interrupt — type of card played at any time (even during an opponent’s turn) that generally has a temporary impact on the game

Jedi Knight — a level of Force sensitivity that indicates an advanced level of Force ability (represented in the game by an ability level of 6)

Jedi Master — a level of Force sensitivity that indicates mastery of Jedi ability (represented in the game by an ability level of 7)

Landspeed — number of adjacent sites a vehicle can travel when it moves

Life Force — combination of Reserve Deck, Force Pile and Used Pile

Light Side — light side of the Force (represented by all cards with a Rebel Alliance logo on the back)

Location — types of cards that represent ‘sites’ and ‘systems’ (where Force is generated and characters, starships, vehicles, etc., are deployed)

Lore — information related to the Star Wars universe (see boldface type)

Lose Force — placing cards onto the Lost Pile

Lost Interrupt — type of interrupt that is placed on the Lost Pile after it is played

Lost Pile — pile off to the side of the table where ‘lost’ cards are placed face up

Maneuver — defensive number generally used on starfighters and small vehicles as an indicator of how well it can evade weapon fire

Maneuver or Armor — reference to the maneuver number or armor number, whichever occurs on the targeted card

Marker Site — any of the seven Hoth sites with a marker number

Mobile Effect — type of effect card that has an automatic movement function. Mobile effects are not vulnerable to Alter, as indicated by the wording of the Alter card.

Move Phase — turn sequence that comes between the Battle Phase and the Draw Phase

Nav Computer — a navigation computer used on capital starships that allows movement through hyperspace

Negative Numbers — Some cards instruct you to subtract numbers, in which case the final result may not fall below zero

Occupy — ‘presence’ at a location (regardless of whether the opponent has a ‘presence’ at the same location)

On Table — all of a player’s cards not currently in their Life Force, Lost Pile, ‘hand’ or ‘out of play’

Outermost Marker — term used to indicate the highest-numbered marker site that is currently on the table (applies only to Hoth)

Outnumber — having more cards at a location than the opponent

Out of Play — cards which are lost, but rather than going to the Lost Pile are taken out of the game entirely

Parsec — number on system locations symbolizing the relative hyper-route distance between systems

Passenger — character aboard a starship not acting as a pilot

Permanent Pilot — “built-in” pilot aboard a starship, indicated by a pilot icon on the starship card (if an astromech is aboard, allows starship movement without the necessity to add a character with pilot skills), provides ability as listed on the card

Pilot — attribute that allows a character to control and move a starship, add power to a starship’s power and use ability while aboard (indicated by a pilot icon on character card)

Pilot Icon — symbol on a character card to indicate the character is a pilot, or on a starship card to indicate a permanent pilot is aboard

Power — an attribute of characters or starships that represents their overall ‘strength’ (symbolically represents experience, training, tactical skill, built-in weaponry, etc.)

Presence — having presence at a location is defined as (1) having total ability of 1 or higher present at that location or (2) having a vehicle or starship present at that location that has total ability of 1 or higher aboard

Present — indicates a card is at a particular location or certain conditions are met at a particular location. Think of present as being physically ‘at’ a certain place. There are three places where a card can be present in the game: at a site location, at a system location or aboard an enclosed vehicle or starship. No card is considered to be present at more than one place at the same time. For example, if an Imperial Walker is at the Hoth: Defensive Perimeter with Veers aboard, then the Imperial Walker is present at the Defensive Perimeter and

Veers is present aboard the Walker. (Veers is not present at the site location.)

React — game function similar to an interrupt that allows a player to respond during an opponent’s turn by saying, “React!” and moving or deploying specified cards to a location (you must have a card that lists the ‘react’ capability in order to do so)


Rebel — type of character other than Imperial, alien or droid

Re-circulate Force — moving the Used Pile to the bottom of the Reserve Deck (done by both players at the end of each player’s turn)

Related Sites and Systems — system and site cards beginning with the same location name (added benefits may result when played together)

Reserve Deck — the 60-card deck you customize to play the game from which Force cards are activated

Restricted Card — if a card is ‘restricted,’ only a limited number of identical cards of the same title can be ‘on table’ at the same time during the game (the number of cards ‘on table’ is restricted to the number of dots ••• preceding the name on the card), however, there is no limit to the number of these cards that can be placed in a deck (see Persona rule on page 16)

Retrieve — card recovered from the top of the Lost Pile and then placed face down on top of the Used Pile (unless otherwise instructed on the card)

Scomp Link Icon — represents a computer connection referenced by other cards

Ship-Docking Capability — feature of some starships that allows shuttling or transfer of characters and vehicles by the symbolic ‘docking’ with other starships (unrelated to docking bays)

Shuttle — movement of characters and vehicles from any site to any capital starship with ship-docking capability, and vice versa, at the related system by expending 1 Force

Site — type of planet, mobile or space location where characters and other cards can move or be deployed (horizontally-oriented location)

Spy — character attribute that allows this character to deploy anywhere, even where a player has no ‘presence’ or Force icon (referenced in boldface type on the card)

Starter Deck — randomly assorted 60-card pack that includes 30 Light Side and 30 Dark Side cards plus a rules booklet

Starship — type of card that represents capital starships and starfighters

Starship Movement — starships with an astromech or nav computer aboard can move from system to system for an expenditure of 1 Force (hyperspeed and parsec numbers permitting)

Steal — A card is stolen when one player is able to take the card from the other player and use it as his own (generally moving the card from the Light Side to the Dark Side and vice versa), to return at the end of the game. A character who has the capability to ‘steal’ a weapon or device may do so only if that weapon or device says it can be deployed on (or moved by) characters. For example, a character may steal a lightsaber, an E-web Blaster or a Light Repeating Blaster Cannon, but may not steal Proton Torpedoes, a Laser Gate, a

Hydroponics Station or the Planet Defender Ion Cannon.

System — type of planet, mobile or space location where starships and other cards can move or be deployed (vertically-oriented location)

Table — term used to describe area where all cards are in play

Target — action of selecting and identifying a particular character, starship, vehicle etc. for a specified purpose

Turn — six consecutive phases of play (activate, control, deploy, battle, move and draw) executed by one player

Underground Site — A type of site indicated by an underground icon

Unique Card — if a card is ‘unique,’ you cannot have more than one ‘on table’ at any one time during the game; however, multiples can be included in your deck (‘unique’ cards are designated by one dot • preceding the name on the card) (see Persona rule on page 16)

Unoccupied — a location where neither player has ‘presence’

Use —transfer of card(s) from the Force Pile to the Used Pile representing the expenditure of Force

Used Interrupt — type of interrupt that is placed on the Used Pile after it is played

Used Pile — pile where cards are placed after they are ‘used’

Utinni Effect — special type of effect generally compelling a character to move to a specific location in order to cancel a negative condition or initiate a positive one

Vehicle — type of card that provides a means of transportation from site to site

Vehicle Movement — for the expenditure of 1 Force, vehicles with ‘presence’ aboard can move between adjacent exterior sites (landspeed permitting), and vehicles with or without

‘presence’ can be shuttled aboard starships as cargo

Warrior — attribute that allows a character to carry and use character weapon cards (indicated by a warrior icon on the character card)

Warrior Icon — symbol used on a character card to indicate the character is a warrior

Weapon — type of card used in battle to target opponent’s specific characters, starships, vehicles, etc. (usually requires an expenditure of Force each time they are fired, as listed on the cards)

Weapon Destiny — destiny drawn for weapons only (different from battle destiny)


This game is dedicated to Joseph Campbell, whose vision and guidance inspired a young writer to explore the depths of his imagination and create a myth for a generation in desperate need of heroes.

Contact Decipher: For more information about the Star Wars™ Customizable Card Game™, including tournament rules, frequently asked questions, news, product announcements etc., contact Decipher Inc. via the following: our internet site featuring FTP, WWW and ListServ. (FTP: WWW: http://www.deci- [email protected] e-mail questions on rules, new cards, gameplay feedback etc. [email protected] e-mail our customer service department with problems or comments on damaged or misprinted cards, product information etc. (757) N2D-NEWS our 24-hour-a-day fax response system. If you have access to a fax machine and a touch tone phone, this automated service will fax documents to you almost immediately. Or write to customer service at: Decipher Inc., 253

Granby Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1813 (757) 623-3600.

D E C I P H E R ®

The Art of Great Games ®

TM & © 1997 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Star Wars and related marks are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. Used under authorization by Decipher Inc. TM, ® & © 1997 Decipher Inc.

Decipher, Customizable Card Game, The Art of Great Games and associated marks, logos, packaging, instructions, game theory and strategy, and intellectual property are exclusively owned by

Decipher Inc. All Rights Reserved. Gameplay by Technical Game Services. The Empire Strikes Back Two-Player Game distributed by Parker Brothers, Beverly, MA 01915.

Package printed and assembled in the U.S.A. with cards printed in the Belgium by Carta Mundi.




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