Okay, got round to actually trying these rules out!
Wanted to keep it simple to begin with and just try the basic troops out – Stormtroopers and Rebel Troopers, with an HQ choice thrown in. Aimed for 350 points, which gave a basic platoon (three squads and leader) and as I put special rules on every Rebel squad, the Imperials had enough left over for a squad of Scouts and a Viper Probe Droid.
In short, the Rebels lost – I was playing the Imperials, and I was somewhat aware of what the dynamics would be, and there were some very silly dice rolls supporting the Empire and hammering the Rebels. However, the relative strengths of the armies did shine through which is always nice to see!
Stormtroopers are not subtle. With 4+ Armour, they do not really need cover and at short range their Rapid Firing blasters can really make a mess of anyone.
In contrast, the Rebels have 6+ Armour but also have Stealth. For 5 points per model (that needs looking at) they can also have Shrouded which makes them a sod to root out once they get into cover. The only real option is bombard them with obscene amounts of firepower (Star Wars does not have many flamers in it!) or go in and engage them in close combat – and in Star Wars the only people good at close combat are Jedi and Wookies. For normal troops, it is a bit of an issue.
And I am kinda okay with that. Rebels get cut apart in the open but if they are sneaky, they live. The Empire does not do sneaky (even their Scouts do not get Stealth), but it has mass firepower at its disposal. This could lead to some fairly static games where the Rebels all opt for Shrouded and just sit in bushes but to counter this, there are many more units to go in on both sides and (more importantly) missions tend to require units actually move about. So, the Rebels will be very good at taking and holding objectives but will have issues getting there. The Imperials play like a more standard enemy but lack specialist tools to winkle Rebels out of tight spots.
Before we started, I had a feeling the Stormtroopers were under-pointed and the Rebels over-pointed. For the Stormtroopers, this is probably right, and I am goingto change them from 8 [points per model to 10 points.
The Rebels are currently 6 points per model, 11 with a Special Rule (they have a choice of Counter-Attack, Fearless, Hit & Run, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, Scout, Shrouded, Sniper and Tank Hunters – an HQ Officer can be used to effectively give a squad a second rule, allowing for combinations). If I keep the Special Rule upgrade at 5 points per model (adds up quickly!), I think the basic Rebel Trooper should drop to 5 points.
Oh, and I had forgotten to give the Viper Probe Droid Relentless. Still, that is why we playtest!