The quickstart rules for the upcoming Star Wars: Unlimited trading card game have leaked online and we have the details. (If you don’t want to see any of the rules yet, stop reading now.)
These are just the quickstart rules and more comprehensive rules will be released later, but this outlines the basic gameplay and provides a look at some of the cards.
Star Wars: Unlimited Trading Card Game Overview
Here is the overview of the Star Wars: Unlimited trading card game from the rulebook:
Star Wars: Unlimited is a trading card game in which each player takes on the role of a leader—an iconic Star Wars character—who rallies their forces into battle to defeat their opponent’s base. These forces are represented by a 50-card deck containing units, events, and upgrades.
The game is played over a series of rounds. During the action phase of each round, you’ll play cards from your hand and use these cards to attack your opponent’s base and units. Then in the regroup phase, you’ll draw cards, build up your resources, and ready your units for the next round of battle. Early in the game your leader will affect the battle passively, but eventually they’ll join the fray as a powerful unit.
Winning the Game
Each base starts the game with 30 HP (hit points). If you deal enough damage to the enemy base to reduce it to 0 HP, you win the game.
Star Wars: Unlimited Setup
Here is how to set up the game using the two-player starter set.
The starter contains two decks: Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Each player chooses 1 of those decks to play. Separate the double-sided leader, base, and token cards from the other 50 cards (with the Star Wars: Unlimited card back). Take the 2 playmats and set them up facing each other—they contain helpful rules reminders and indicate how to lay out your cards.
- Put your base into play, facing your opponent’s.
- Put your leader into play below your base, horizontal (non-unit) side faceup.
- Randomly determine which player starts the game with the initiative, and give the initiative counter to that player. Set aside all other counters and token cards, out of play.
- Shuffle your deck. Draw 6 cards from your deck to form your hand.
- You may take a mulligan by shuffling your entire hand into your deck, then drawing a new hand of 6 cards. You must keep the new hand. Strategy Tip: We recommend taking a mulligan if your hand contains no units that cost 1 or 2 to play on the first round.
- Choose 2 cards from your hand and put them into play facedown near your base. They are now resources—you will use resources to pay for cards you play during the game. When both players are ready, start the game with the first action
Your leader card will be Luke or Darth Vader with the starter decks.
When building your own deck, the aspect icons of your leader card and base card determine the colors of your deck. For example, Luke has the Vigilance and Heroism aspects.
A deck can’t have more than three copies of any card.
Star Wars: Unlimited Gameplay
As previously announced, the gameplay is split into phases and is a little different from standard trading card games.
During the action phase, players go back and forth taking 1 action at a time. The player with the initiative counter goes first, then the opponent takes an action, and so on until both players have “passed.”
These are the actions available:
- Play a card
- Attack with a unit
- Use an action ability
- Take the initiative
Play a Card
Cards have a cost in the upper left corner. To play a card, reveal it from your hand and pay its cost by exhausting that many resources (see “Ready & Exhausted”). For example, to play a card that costs 2, you must exhaust 2 of your resources.
There are 3 types of cards that you can play: Units, Events, and Upgrades. Each card type has different rules when played.
Ready & Exhausted
Units and resources enter play exhausted (turned sideways), then become ready (turned upright) at the end of the regroup phase each round. Many cards must exhaust in order to be used. Resources exhaust to pay for the cards you play from your hand. Units exhaust to attack or use certain abilities (indicated by an [arrow] icon). An exhausted card can’t exhaust again until it’s ready. Some leaders (including both Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader) exhaust to use their action ability. When you deploy your leader as a unit, ready it, even if it was exhausted before. This means it can attack the same round it’s deployed.
Attacking with a Unit
Attacking is the primary way to deal damage to the opponent’s base and win the game. You can also attack enemy units. A unit must be ready in order to attack. Only 1 unit can attack in a single action. To attack, follow these steps in order:
- Exhaust the attacker and choose what to attack. You may attack any enemy unit in the same arena (ground or space) as the attacker, or you may attack the opponent’s base directly.
- If an enemy unit in the same arena as the attacker has Sentinel, it must be chosen as the defender unless the attacker has Saboteur.
- Any abilities that are active while the unit is attacking, including Raid, become active at this time.
- If the attacker has Saboteur, defeat all Shields on the defender.
- If the attacker has Restore, heal damage from your base equal to its Restore value.
- If the attacker has any On Attack abilities, use them now.
- Deal damage. If your unit is attacking:
- a base, it deals damage equal to its power to that base.
- a unit, the attacker and defender simultaneously deal damage equal to their power to each other. If either unit has damage on it greater than or equal to its HP, it is immediately defeated.
Use an Action Ability
Some cards have Action abilities. These abilities often have a cost that must be paid in order to use them, found in brackets after the word “Action”. This cost may include resources that must be paid and exhausting the card. If you can’t pay the cost, you can’t use the ability.
An Epic Action is an action ability that can only be used once per game.
Take the Initiative
Only 1 player can take this action each round. That player takes control of the initiative counter, even if they already have it, meaning they will go first in the next round. After taking the initiative, you can’t take any further actions for the rest of the action phase. (You are considered to pass for all remaining actions this phase.)
If you can’t (or don’t want to) take any other actions, you may pass. When you pass, you are considered to have done nothing during your action, and your opponent is immediately able to take their next action. You may still take more actions later in the action phase.
After a player passes, if their opponent passes or takes the initiative as their next action, the action phase immediately ends and play proceeds to the regroup phase.
As you can see, most gameplay happens during the action phase. It’s followed by the regroup phase, when the players complete the following steps, in order:
- DRAW CARDS: Draw 2 cards from your deck.
- RESOURCE A CARD: You may choose 1 card from your hand and put it into play facedown as a resource, or you may choose not to put down a resource and keep all of your cards in hand. (The player with the initiative chooses whether to put down a resource first, followed by the other player.)
- READY CARDS: Ready all of your exhausted cards in play, including units, resources, and your leader. When both players have readied all their cards, play proceeds to the action phase of the next round.
Star Wars: Unlimited is targeting a 2024 release, with three additional decks coming per year to keep things fresh.
Are you excited to play Star Wars: Unlimited? Let us know in the comments below!