Thoughts on Star Wars Rebellion
After playing 5-6 games of Rebellion, I am starting to be able to suss out some of the finer points of strategy in this amazing game. It needs to be discovered through playing rather than taught in the rule books. On the surface it's fairly straightforward, but there's some very interesting dynamics that reveal themselves which should affect how you approach future games.
I've played most games as the Rebel Alliance, so I will write from that perspective. Also, none of these strategies are rock-solid, so please take these writings more as an exploration rather than concrete facts.
Focus on Objectives
This was a hard-learned lesson for me. At first I didn't care much for the objectives because it seemed like they didn't really affect the game that much. At the beginning there seems like there's so many turns to go until you even come close to closing the gap.
If you focus on objectives early and constantly, they can have a dramatic end-game impact. Stay the course, always be thinking about them, and DEFINITELY play infiltration a lot to make sure you're going to draw objectives that you can actually complete. Another great way to get the track to move down is to recruit Obi-Wan and send him on a Noble Sacrifice.
Don't worry about military
The rebellion literally cannot win by military power alone, so putting all of your attention into your ships isn't the best idea. The game is designed so that you need to think about things differently. You're only objective is to keep the base hidden, and do your objective cards to shorten the length of the game. Only go into a fight if the empire is getting too close to your base, or you want to divert their attention away from your base. I've done this a few times. I've initiated battles and built up garrisons only for the purpose of diverting the empires focus away from my base.
Always Always Always keep good people in your reserves
This cannot be overstated enough. If you spend all of your leaders to move or to do missions, you effectively let the empire do whatever they want to unchallenged. This does go both ways, but it's important for the rebellion to keep good leaders in their pool so that they can effectively counter the empire in terms of missions. This is much more effective then trying to counter them with military strength.
Mon Mothma == Build Alliance
The one exception to this in my opinion. The rebellion NEEDS to win systems to even have a fighting chance in this game. Mon Mothma is the only qualified person to do this. I've used her almost exclusively for building alliances every time I've played Rebellion. Building alliance not only let's you get units out on the table, but a lot of early objectives require you to have loyal planets in your sectors, things like that.
Rapid Mobilization a turn early
I got into a bind a couple plays ago because I let my opponent get too close to my base. He eventually found it (on Hoth... I know...) and was able to take it over. The reason he won is because I played Rapid Mobilization too late (which lets you pack up and move your base). The card states that you must play this at the END of the round, which let him bring in his fleet and attack the base before I was able to trigger the ability. You don't want to play the card too soon to tip them off, but you want to make sure you don't play it too late and literally run out of time before you can move your base.