On the heels of the Benders strategy minute, I want to take a moment to describe a recent matchup that was horribly one-sided -- in fact it was the least fun game of SW I have played so far. I was playing TO and my husband was the Benders. We are new players, with about 8-10 games under our belt, all against each other. Neither of us are really "mind games" people so the Benders are not very intuitive to us.
The game was a blowout in favor of the TO's. At the end, Tacullu was surrounded by Krung, another TO champion, and a couple walls, with Grognack nearby. It was pretty frustrating for my husband as he was in desperation mode for many turns leading up to the end as I hit him with Freezes, etc. (We are pretty nice, sympathetic "aww you did a good job"-type players, so this made it less fun for me as well.) For a few turns late in the game, he was playing about 1 common per turn just to emergency-defend against me because that's all he could afford, and he was never even close to being able to use Tacullu's un-summoning power. Kalal never showed up because he couldn't afford her.
I say this kind of stuff not to toot my own horn (because I think TO are WAY easier for beginners to play than Benders) and not to suggest that the factions are unbalanced, but to ask what someone in his place could do differently in a rematch. Build more magic early like James said? Use more events (like Mind Control, which he never used on me) instead of building them for magic? This was our first SW game that really felt almost unfair and therefore also un-fun, but hubby says he likes the concept of the Bender faction and would like to learn how to play them better. I could use the advice too, as I usually lose with them.
Thanks for any input you can give!