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Comprehensive Rules Update

The release of our new set, Shadows of the Galaxy, coincides with the first ever update of the Comprehensive Rules for Star Wars™: Unlimited. As such, we’ve asked our “rules admiral” Ryan Serrano to introduce the changes you can find in that document, as well as discuss some of the rationale behind those changes. Read on to learn more about what you can expect with the release of Shadows of the Galaxy!


Hi everyone! The release of any new set demands an update of the Comprehensive Rules. This is to account for new abilities and card interactions found within that set as well fix any errors we’ve found over the course of the last few months. However, it’s also a time to reflect on what we’re seeing and hearing from players around the world when it comes to understanding and intuiting the rules of the game. So, there are three different kinds of updates you can expect to find in version 2.0: New Rules Additions, Quality of Life Improvements, and Rules Adjustments. I’ll address each below in turn.

New Rules Additions

Sections 7.5.13 and 7.5.14 add rules to use the new keywords Bounty and Smuggle, respectively. Both of these new keywords behave in new ways that necessitated adjustments in some other sections as well. Bounty is the first instance of an ability on your unit that your opponent gets to resolve, so we’ve updated some entries to account for this, including the concept of “controlling” abilities. Smuggle is the first instance of an ability that lets you play cards from your resource zone, so we’ve updated some rules on how the game handles playing cards and facedown cards (some of which tie into another change below).

Sections 8.34 and 8.35 add rules to use the new capture mechanic as well as clarify how some “for each” expressions resolve that have been prompting questions from players.

Quality of Life Improvements

I won’t go through each individual entry here, but we have fixed several errors and restructured some sentences that were open to interpretation in order to make the document easier to understand. Based on player feedback, we’re aiming to continue to improve clarity with each update to the Comprehensive Rules, so expect even more improvements in the future!

There is one section I’d like to call out in particular: Section 7, Abilities and Effects. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to change how the Comprehensive Rules presents and discusses what were previously termed “nested actions.” In watching the community engage with the rules and apply them to real-life situations, we found that our use of “nested” to apply to both “nested actions” and “nested abilities” caused many players to incorrectly intuit how abilities that prompt actions are meant to resolve. Consequently, we’ve revamped this section to no longer use the term “nested action” – instead, we’ve added a new entry, 7.1.6, to discuss “Abilities that Modify Actions” and adjusted 7.6.11-12 to clarify nested abilities specifically. Note that no rules have changed regarding how these abilities work, but we hope that the new explanation will result in a more intuitive understanding of these situations!

Rules Adjustments

We are making one minor rules adjustment, enforced upon the release of this document: Leader Units are now considered to enter play when they are deployed and leave play when they are defeated. We don’t take the decision to change a rule lightly, but in this case, we believe the new play pattern will do a better job of aligning with player intuition. Since the release of Spark of Rebellion, we’ve seen many new players assume that leader units enter/leave play like any other unit, only to be confused when told that they do not. Given that the original intention of considering leaders to be always in play was to make leaders easy to understand, it’s clear that the original rule was not serving its goal.

We’ve decided that the release of Shadows of the Galaxy is the ideal time to institute this change. Up until now, the only cards that have cared about units entering or leaving play are Boba Fett: Collecting the Bounty (leader) and Boba Fett: Disintegrator (unit). However, the number of cards affected will grow over time, and making this change now allows us to be more flexible in some of our upcoming sets. Given that Shadows of the Galaxy introduces the concept of Smuggling units into play or capturing them from play, both of which involve a card entering/leaving play when it is turned faceup or facedown, this rule change makes the game’s fundamental infrastructure more consistent by making leader units behave the same as any other unit. Basically, any time a card in an in-play zone turns from being facedown to being faceup, it enters play (and the reverse for leaving play).

While we don’t plan to make a habit of changing core rules of the game, when we do identify a needed change like this, we want to make sure to communicate it to you as soon as we can and explain our reasoning behind it. We hope you find the rule adjustment improves the game as much as we have!

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