Covert Missions - Set Announcement


1. INTRODUCTION:


Written by CLAUS STAAL

In Scandinavia we are still waiting for our pre-order for Spark of Hope to arrive. It's something about a container and China. LAME EXCUSES!covert missionsjpg
This on the other hand is not preventing me from being pretty excited about the latest announcement article for Covert Missions, the ninth expansion for Star Wars Destiny. There are loads of awesome stuff in it, and I honestly think the two new plots are brilliant designs. It's still way to early to properly evaluate HOW it's going to impact the game, but bringing in a well-known boardgame element to Star Wars Destiny is nothing short of AWESOME.
LINK:
You can read Fantasy Flight Games' official announcement article here:Covert Missions set review THUMBNAILjpg

2. NEW WIN CONDITIONS:
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This is pretty friggin' exciting! I love the introduction of these alternative win conditions to Star Wars Destiny. Right now there's literally no way of properly assessing how difficult it will be to fulfill the win condition on each of the new Death Star Plots as they're like going to be massively impacted by the new cards. At a glance though it would seem as if a character pairing like Captain Phasma maybe coupled with Wat Tambor or Watto would be pretty well suited for the task of Construct the Death Star. That's loads of dice as well as good chances of hitting either Focus sides or Resource sides directly. Upgrades like Han Solo's Dice or a remake of the Chance Cube is probably never going to make it's way into the hands of villains due to this plot.

The really funky thing about the DESTROY THE DEATH STAR plot is that you are basically fighting against your own plot. Your opponent will have to prevent you from destroying that plot. AWESOME! This is such a weird twist to the game and I honestly think it's amazing design. How good is this going to be? Right now no idea, and we'll have to wait for what vehicles and Subtype - Pilots to expect, but from the ones we already know, I'm pretty sure teams the likes of eLando/eBiggs or eHan/eBiggs aboard a Falcon (even if they can't get Armored Reinforcement) would love to get to grips with that plot!covert5jpg
The only card we have so far that directly affects the plots is the DEATH STAR PLANS which has the interesting feature that it can be moved between your's and your opponent's characters. It's basically being designed as a "damage out of hand against a plot" kind of card. If we are getting more of this sort and things are going to be really interesting.

It's going to be exciting to follow the development of this particular design avenue as more cards will be spoiled from the set.

[EDIT]:
And as some shrewd players have already noticed we'll probably need clarifications to cards that allow you to move Shields around, i.e. Moving Rocks, to avoid the Destroy The Death Star plot, being brought along as nothing but a "Shield storage facility" rather as an alternative win condition.covert10jpg
I guess it needs clarification that you are only allowed to move Shields from characters to other characters. Otherwise it could mean a 9 health character boost for a 3wide team, which is probably NOT how the card was intended. There's of course always Shield hate, but I'm confident the clarification will come. Same goes for anything that would allow you to move resources around.

3. USE THE FORCE LUKE:

covert missions2jpgLUKE SKYWALKER - Red Five is built for the Death Star Destruction business and so is LUKE SKYWALKER'S X-WING. They are basically mirror images of one another barring the 1 Resource side on Luke which is a 1 Shield side on the X-Wing. Both look really good whether you are in the character killing or Death Star destroying business. The dice are solid and if there's a way to tutor the X-Wing from the deck outside of Armored Reinforcement, which you can't bring if you want to Destroy The Death Star, then the hunt is definitely OOOOOONNN!!! The Power Action of Luke's X-Wing and his ability synergise incredibly well and could make for some nasty damage.

Luke Skywalker also introduces a new keyword: "Piloting", which is essentially a weaker version of Biggs Darklighters ability. covert6jpg
The addition of cards like TRENCH RUN and TRUST YOUR FEELINGS, that function like an action cheat combo to finish off the Destroy The Death Star plot, is an early promise that you'll be able to optimise your entire deck around the fulfilling of the new win conditions. Again we see more and more cards that interact with the discard pile, which seems to be a general solution to the problem of the limited deck size. It's going to be exciting to see what the villain answer to this will be.

4. DIRECTOR KRENNIC, I PRESUME:
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The first Director Krennic saw literally no play. Because he was bad. MASSIVELY overcosted and not worth a single one of those 15/19e points. The new DIRECTOR KRENNIC though is not just a massive improvement, but could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. His die is really good, and would go well together with Jabba The Hutt3 for a hand mill control style deck or simply bring alongside the Construct The Death Star plot. His after ability is also really good.

Hand mill is generally considered slow, but if villains can find a way to also reliably mill from the deck then Director Krennic will definitely be your go to guy!

5. MORE BOUNTY HUNTERS:
We are still reeling from having finally received a new Jango Fett and the family reunion have already begun. Almost identically priced, 12/14e (Jango) vs. 11/14e (Boba), Boba Fett does at first glance appear to be the inferior of the two. Jango Fett is expected to have a huge impact on the Spark of Hope meta and I honestly can't see Boba Fett get the same attention. Boba has marginally better damage sides, which is sweet, but the ramp of Jango is just better than the Downgrade - Bounty dependent ability of Boba. One should of course never dismiss the ability to get get multiple uses out of dice and if low health swarms are ever going to be a thing, Boba Fett would beg to differ.
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It's very thematic how they made the new SLAVE I fit both father and son, who get Piloting when Slave I is in play. The damage sides are obviously an improvement over the two previous versions, but I'm honestly not sure it's good enough to include in a competitive deck.covert9jpg
It's probably in any case a bit on the weak side of what you'd expect from a 3cost support, we're sort of getting used to pretty crazy power levels and comparing it to Luke Skywalker's X-Wing sort of makes you sad.

[EDIT:] I'm still not entirely sure how "Piloting" works, BUT if this deals 1 damage every time it activates with a character that has "Piloting", then it's pretty damn good and will probably make it's way into a few Jango and/or Boba decks.

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