Ultra-Fast Play Rules for Single Jedi Combat in Star Wars Miniatures
These rules were conceived as a way to play fast, small games of Star Wars Miniatures, with an emphasis on fancy terrain and a focus on Jedi duels. In fact, my original goal was to find a way to play on Elizabeth’s Freezing Chamber before I’d taken the time to build the rest of Cloud City. The idea grew from there. Nothing is going to change in the actual game mechanics, but we’re going to pick our forces a little differently today. The focus is on a single Champion, operating with very little support, against an arch Nemesis. But who’s the Champion and who’s the big baddy? Lets find out.
The Way of the Bluff
The force building portion of Blind Jedi’s Bluff starts with both players choosing sides (you could probably get away with running additional players as well, but I haven’t play tested that yet. Let me know how it turns out.). Factions don’t come in to play at this point, just Force affiliation, Light Side or Dark Side. It really doesn’t matter how you do the choosing – both players can just pick one and agree, you can flip a coin or roll for it, you could arm wrestle, it doesn’t matter. One player picks the Light side, the other takes the Dark.
Once you know who you are fighting for, you will secretly pick your character. The only requirement for character eligibility in a game of Blind Jedi’s Bluff is a Force rating. It makes no difference if they are Force 1 or Force 5, but they must be Force sensitive. Here’s where the Bluff comes in -- do NOT reveal who you have chosen to your opponent.
Both players must pick their main man in secret. You will choose your character without knowing who you will face, how powerful they will be, or anything else.
Once you have chosen, you are locked in – you will play that character, and can not change it. I’d just handle this on the honor system, but if you feel the need to write it down or tell an impartial party, that’s your business.
Now that you are both locked in, reveal to your opponent the point value (not his name or faction, just cost) of your chosen character. The character with the lower cost will be the Champion, while the higher cost character will play the roll of Nemesis. Now, subtract the cost of the Champion from the cost of the Nemesis – this value is the Low Ball Special.
For example, lets say one player chose Darth Vader, Jedi Hunter; the other player chose Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. Subtracting Luke’s cost of 27 (he’s what we’re calling the Champion) from Vader’s
75 (he being the Nemesis) we get a Low Ball of 48. The Light Side player bet low, hoping to beat the odds. This is the essential gamble of Blind Jedi’s Bluff – will you take a low-cost Sith hoping to make it up with Stormtroopers? Or will you take Darth Vader, Chainsaw Juggler and just eat everything in sight? If you bet safe down the middle, will you be the Champion or the Nemesis? What will the other player do? This is the Bluff.
Evening the Field or, the Low Ball Special
The Low Ball Special is just a goofy name for a simple concept – the player who picked the lowest cost Jedi (or Sith, whatever) may make up the difference by building a Goon Squad, of value equal to the difference between the main opponents. The Goon Squad may only contain non-unique characters whom have no Commander Effects or Force rating. They must be from the same faction as the Champion – in a Blind Jedi’s Bluff, Fringe characters will only goon up for Fringe Champions. Within these restrictions, you are free to choose your squad normally.
That’s it, that’s your force – either a Champion and his Goon Squad, or the Nemesis. That’s all – this should go quickly.
To continue our previous Luke vs. Vader example, the Light Side player would find themselves with a Low Ball Special of 48 points for their Goon Squad. Luke might choose to spend those points on two Elite Hoth Troopers and three Hoth troopers, totaling 45 points. This leaves a few points left over that could have gone to an Officer instead of an Elite, but his Commander Effect renders him ineligible. Other combinations are also certainly acceptable, so long as they conform to the Goon Squad restrictions.
Show me Your Hold Card
Once both forces are finished, reveal to your opponent what character you choose – remember, up through the Goon Squad selection you only know the cost of your opponent’s character, not their name. Once everyone gets acquainted, you are ready to set up the game. Blind Jedi’s Bluff was conceived as a way to use very nice, large, single terrain pieces. The Hanger Bay on the Death Star or the Carbon Freezing Chamber are obvious choices, but any decent-sized are will do – you don’t want your Champion confronting his arch Nemesis in the closet, do you? Pick your battlefield however you and your opponent see fit.
The first roll of the game determines set-up. Each player should roll a dice, and the winner may choose who will set up first, and on what side of the board/terrain they will set up on. The first player to set up should then place their Character on the edge of the board. Up to two Goon Squad members may be deployed with them at the start of the game. Any additional Goon Squad members will be left off-board for now. Once this is done the other player may place their character(s) on the board along the opposite edge.
From this point on, play continues normally – Roll for initiative and play the game the way you always would. This is going to go very, very fast – when you got less than half a dozen characters in play turns don’t last very long.
The winner is the last man standing. Rinse, repeat. That’s the Blind Jedi’s Bluff
Extra Goons Join the Fray
If the Goon Squad contained more than two characters, the extra characters start the game off board. Each turn, after all your other characters have activated, roll a die for each Goon left off board. On a roll of 11+ they enter the fray. Place the model on the first row of squares on the edge of the board. Entering the board costs their entire Move action for this activation, but they may use their Attach phase normally, by moving, attacking, or using a Special Ability. These extra Goons fight normally for the remainder of the game.
Special Rules and Force Powers
There you have it – the basic set up for a Blind Jedi’s Bluff. It’s a lot of fun, and because it plays so fast you can get in many games with several people in a single evening, preferable talking mad trash in between. But because the Bluff is so small, it’s a great time to use optional rules you’ve been looking to try. Or not, you can play it as basic as you like. But my crew, we turn it up to 11. Every last special rule and Force power we can lay our hands on (mostly in the Ultimate Mission books) is fair game in a Blind Jedi Bluff. Any other special rules you find or come up with, like the advanced terrain effect rules we’ve been kicking around the forums, will probably also work just fine in the Bluff.
Fan-made rule sets like this are all the same – they suffer from a lack of play testing. If you’ve got something to add or discuss, bring it up in the forums. If you’ve got a question, feel free to ask, and if you think you can do better, knock your self out. Just be sure and post it!
The terrain used in this article is available for free to download from SWMiniatures.