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Focus on Your Objectives - Deckbuilding Article


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#41 gokubb

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:21 AM

I don't mind the dial. Its just a thematic representation of an imposed interactive time limit. They obviously felt they needed it in the game to prevent extremely long matches. I can see this being especially important when you have to play two games (one as light, one as dark) in a tournament round.

And, the objective set deck building makes sense. I'm not 100% on board with it, but they are trying to shake things up a little bit and make the game more accessible to casual players. I think this does that, and while it does hinder the hard-core deck builder, it still leaves enough decision points to give a good builder advantage over a poor one.

My biggest problem with what we've seen so far continues to be with the gameplay. As others have stated, its so generic. I might as well be playing cowboys vs indians, axis vs allies, or any other opposing factions. Tap (focus) a card, spend a resource, play an event. Its Magic/VS/GoT/etc all over again. They just call it different names and hope the intellectual property makes up for it. Which, I must admit, it does. I won't touch Magic, but if someone came out with a balanced Star Wars game that played identical to it, I'd play it. And, the starship vs character interaction is just flat out lazy. The designers should have done better in that regard (unless things have changed since the previews).

But, in short, its Star Wars, so I'll give it a shot. Even lackluster game mechanics can be overlooked if it does a successful job of making me feel like I'm in the Star Wars universe.



#42 Darksbane

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:43 AM

 Well there is a pretty big difference between focusing a card in SWLCG and tapping in magic. You can get multiple focus tokens on your card in SW, taking many rounds or special abilities to remove them all and be able to use the card again. 


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#43 Bolfa Fluffbelly

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

houjix1138 said:

 

 

Its a game timer. They want the game to conclude within a reasonable amount of time. With no impetus, games can devolve into stalemates, where players are either unwilling, or unable to do anything. Does this provide any unfair advantage to the Dark side, perhaps. However, since we hardly know any of the cards, it's hard to discern how much of an advantage this really is.

I'm willing to see more on how the game plays before I declare the DSD as the worst idea in the history of card games.

 

 

 

Maybe i'm not making myself clear but how does making the dial into an objective take away the gametimer aspect?

 It's the concept of the dial i'm against, not what it represent.



#44 gokubb

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

The game timer can't be an objective, because the objectives are how you build your decks and collect resources. If you made the game timer one of those, then every dark side deck would have to choose it. Or, if they didn't have to choose that objective when creating a deck, then you eliminate the built in time stop that they're going for. I'm not saying that they couldn't have found a different mechanic other than the dial, but I don't think mixing it with objectives would work well.



#45 Darksbane

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:27 AM

gokubb said:

I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

I guess it is a matter of opinion then, because in play they might both be ways to denote a cards use but how  and to the extent they are used it is very different.


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#46 Bolfa Fluffbelly

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:35 AM

gokubb said:

I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

The game timer can't be an objective, because the objectives are how you build your decks and collect resources. If you made the game timer one of those, then every dark side deck would have to choose it. Or, if they didn't have to choose that objective when creating a deck, then you eliminate the built in time stop that they're going for. I'm not saying that they couldn't have found a different mechanic other than the dial, but I don't think mixing it with objectives would work well.

 

Sure it can, just make it an obligatory objective that you have to start with. Make it powerful with some less powerful cards that go with it.

I would have prefered that the objectives themself were more dynamic instead of the stale resource-cards we got now. Mixing in winning conditions with the objectives would make more sense.



#47 Budgernaut

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

 

gokubb said:

 

I wouldn't call focus vs tap a 'pretty big' difference. They've just spiced it up a little, but the core concept is identical.

The game timer can't be an objective, because the objectives are how you build your decks and collect resources. If you made the game timer one of those, then every dark side deck would have to choose it. Or, if they didn't have to choose that objective when creating a deck, then you eliminate the built in time stop that they're going for. I'm not saying that they couldn't have found a different mechanic other than the dial, but I don't think mixing it with objectives would work well.

 

 

 

Sure it can, just make it an obligatory objective that you have to start with. Make it powerful with some less powerful cards that go with it.

I would have prefered that the objectives themself were more dynamic instead of the stale resource-cards we got now. Mixing in winning conditions with the objectives would make more sense.

 

 

You're not the first one I've heard complain about the objectives being stale, resource-generators, but I disagree. From the cards previewed at GenCon, it seems that most of the objectives have some kind of ability attached to them and they can be pretty powerful. Mission Briefing lets you draw a card at the end of your turn, which is great since your hand will be smaller at the end of your turn if you chose to battle and played a lot of cards in the edge battle. Mission Briefing will give you an extra card that may or may not have a lot of force icons, but it will make your opponent think twice about what to commit to the edge battle on their turn.

Mobilize the Squadrons is a great card for resource acceleration since it lets you remove a focus token from an objective or enhancement. Say you focused a 2-resource objective, (if I remember correctly) it takes two focus tokens, so you can't focus it again for 2 rounds. If Mobilize the Squadrons is in play, you cut that down to one turn.

What's even cooler to me is that because your objectives are random, each time you play the same deck, it could be completely different because of the choices you make based on your objectives' effects. For example, if you got Mobilize the Squadrons, you may play more toward getting units on the table because you can afford them, whereas if you had Mission Briefing, you may play more to maximizing the attack power of the few units you have by trying harder to win the edge battles.

It's so exciting!!!!


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#48 Bolfa Fluffbelly

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:37 PM

Budgernaut said:

 

You're not the first one I've heard complain about the objectives being stale, resource-generators, but I disagree. From the cards previewed at GenCon, it seems that most of the objectives have some kind of ability attached to them and they can be pretty powerful. Mission Briefing lets you draw a card at the end of your turn, which is great since your hand will be smaller at the end of your turn if you chose to battle and played a lot of cards in the edge battle. Mission Briefing will give you an extra card that may or may not have a lot of force icons, but it will make your opponent think twice about what to commit to the edge battle on their turn.

Mobilize the Squadrons is a great card for resource acceleration since it lets you remove a focus token from an objective or enhancement. Say you focused a 2-resource objective, (if I remember correctly) it takes two focus tokens, so you can't focus it again for 2 rounds. If Mobilize the Squadrons is in play, you cut that down to one turn.

What's even cooler to me is that because your objectives are random, each time you play the same deck, it could be completely different because of the choices you make based on your objectives' effects. For example, if you got Mobilize the Squadrons, you may play more toward getting units on the table because you can afford them, whereas if you had Mission Briefing, you may play more to maximizing the attack power of the few units you have by trying harder to win the edge battles.

It's so exciting!!!!

 

 

 

FFG… is that you?



#49 spalanzani

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

I still don't see why you don't like the Death Star Dial, other than it being "meh", or whatever. Is it because you want a game to go on forever until you have beaten all of the cards in your opponent's deck? So many other card games can be like this, though. I think putting a timer on the game works well because the films are, primarily, the conflict between Rebels and Imperials (whether on a personal scale or a more grand sweep), and the Rebels always have to do something before the Empire will win, be it blowing up Death Stars or escaping planets. It's all about the race against time. Showing the timer as a Death Star is about as cheesy as most of the dialogue in the films, anyway, so it does seem to fit in that respect. 

I do hope the objective cards become something more than they are currently. This has been hashed out already, of course, but having objectives that you can complete would be a major step forward in my view, and I do have some hope that the game will evolve to include this soon. Quests in Warhammer Invasion were pretty bland things at first, but have since evolved to be cards that you want to interact with etc, so I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility for the future. 

I just think FFG are making this a straightforward game to appeal to the widest demographic possible. And they'd be stupid not to, really. 


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#50 Fbaranow

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:50 PM

 As a long time casual gamer ( I play a lot but do not go to any events) I must say I like the deckbuilding mechanic very much. I think it's great that reconstructing the deck between friednly maches will take 5 minutes and not 30. It should make the game much more thematic. I already want to try out several concepts just for the fun of it, like: Darth Vader leading an attack of 501 legion stormtroopers or a fleet of all best pilots and fastest ships the rebel alliance could find in the outer rim. I hope that the objective set mechanic will make such decks effective in an actual play.

The Death Star Dial doesn't bother me at all. hanks to it the rebels will not have time to build a great force that matches the Empires forces. They will have to make due with what they have. The light side player will have to take risks and attack. That combined with edge battles mechanic should provide an interesting situation: Rebels have to attack, have to win edge battles not to get crushed by the Empire so they must use up powerfull cards for force points. Rebels do not have time to build the strike force they would want. Desperate times…



#51 ScottieATF

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:45 AM

Bolfa Fluffbelly said:

Budgernaut said:

 

You're not the first one I've heard complain about the objectives being stale, resource-generators, but I disagree. From the cards previewed at GenCon, it seems that most of the objectives have some kind of ability attached to them and they can be pretty powerful. Mission Briefing lets you draw a card at the end of your turn, which is great since your hand will be smaller at the end of your turn if you chose to battle and played a lot of cards in the edge battle. Mission Briefing will give you an extra card that may or may not have a lot of force icons, but it will make your opponent think twice about what to commit to the edge battle on their turn.

Mobilize the Squadrons is a great card for resource acceleration since it lets you remove a focus token from an objective or enhancement. Say you focused a 2-resource objective, (if I remember correctly) it takes two focus tokens, so you can't focus it again for 2 rounds. If Mobilize the Squadrons is in play, you cut that down to one turn.

What's even cooler to me is that because your objectives are random, each time you play the same deck, it could be completely different because of the choices you make based on your objectives' effects. For example, if you got Mobilize the Squadrons, you may play more toward getting units on the table because you can afford them, whereas if you had Mission Briefing, you may play more to maximizing the attack power of the few units you have by trying harder to win the edge battles.

It's so exciting!!!!

 

 

 

FFG… is that you?

 

So if he's FFG are you their biggest competitor?



#52 gokubb

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:23 AM

I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.



#53 houjix1138

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:29 AM

gokubb said:

I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.

 

True, but in many other TCG's I could give you 80% of the deck by seeing the first card they play. Information overlaod can have a negative effect on you as well. The higher variance in this game means you should probably be more proactive than reactive.

And if more games are won based on play decisions and not deckbuildings decisions, isn't that a good thing?



#54 gokubb

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:49 AM

They are customizable games for a reason. I love deck building. Coming up with combinations that others have not thought about is as much fun as playing to me. If I merely wanted a playing experience, I'd play a board or video game.



#55 Toqtamish

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

We already have many, many games that are pick every single card. And really a lot of those devolve to the same card 3 or 4 times depending on the maximum allowed. Something different is nice to see.



#56 Bolfa Fluffbelly

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:32 AM

spalanzani said:

I do hope the objective cards become something more than they are currently. This has been hashed out already, of course, but having objectives that you can complete would be a major step forward in my view, and I do have some hope that the game will evolve to include this soon. Quests in Warhammer Invasion were pretty bland things at first, but have since evolved to be cards that you want to interact with etc, so I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility for the future. 

I just think FFG are making this a straightforward game to appeal to the widest demographic possible. And they'd be stupid not to, really. 

Well, at least someone agrees with something i think.

That was how my probelm started with the dial, besides me not being a dial-person. I just thought it was unnecessary, ugly and i couldn't understand why it wasn't incorporated into the objectives. i would rather have different game-winning objectives than one single ds-dial.

But it is what it is. I will probably use a proxy instead of the dial. Just because.



#57 houjix1138

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

gokubb said:

They are customizable games for a reason. I love deck building. Coming up with combinations that others have not thought about is as much fun as playing to me. If I merely wanted a playing experience, I'd play a board or video game.

 

It's just a new and different set of limitations than previous games. There will still be penty of customizations opportunities to suit those that enjoy deck building, but it's more of a macro approach verus a micro one.



#58 spalanzani

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:52 AM

gokubb said:

I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.

The thing is, people will get to know what cards do. I play a lot of Warhammer: Invasion with a friend who always plays High Elves - he has never played anything else. I now know exactly what is in his deck, and can build decks with the other five races that counter more or less than what he's going to be up to in the game. With Star Wars, however, yes you'll get to know what cards you'll be coming up against, but your opponent can either use those cards as their intended unit/enhancement/whatever, or in the Edge Battle, so you won't quite know what will happen with those cards, even though you know they're lurking there somewhere. (The same thing can be said of cards in Warhammer being used as developments, of course, but in this case, I know my friend's deck doesn't involve development-exploitation, so it's rather moot). 

The same friend has always played Stark in A Game of Thrones, and always has exactly the same tactic in each game. Knowing what's in your opponent's deck isn't a problem that will be exclusive and unique to Star Wars.


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#59 LMKComaBlack

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

 So having played this at GenCon, here's my impression.  The sets are thematic and mechanically tied enough to give lots of unity.  That being said, if you don't like having to take Red-Shirt number 4 with your Darth Vader, it's cool because you've got options.  Maybe it has force icons, and so you can use Red-Shirt to edge.  Maybe the force is not strong with the Red-Shirt.  Use it to bluff.  When your opponent has three battles to fight (against each of his three objectives) he's going to be worried about burning his hand too early and not being able to compete later on.  So drop two cards into an edge battle and scare him off.  He doesn't know you just dropped BS.  Or maybe try to shine him on.  Get him to over commit.  Let him win the edge battle 6 vs 0.  See where that leaves him the next combat.  At the beginning of your turn you always draw back up to a full hand, so there is a lot of throwing cards, which gives low power cards lots of use.  Just looking at a nice full hand against you will make you think twice about how you commit to stories.

So don't be so freaked about about FFG trying to give you something new.  Any good card player knows that you can't build a deck of 50 Luke Skywalkers.  FFG knows this, and so they are doing something different.  They are giving us a thematic game, complete with ewoks and that jerky storm trooper who can get bluffed by c3po.

And btw, my game came down to the last round.  11 clicks on the death star dial, 2 imperial locations destroyed, the third heavily damaged.  Yoda killed a Rancor (which was bad ass), but it was an edge battle that won the game.  Some crappy one force- icon dude won me the initiative to make the final kill.

The Red-Shirt won the game.



#60 Fbaranow

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

houjix1138 said:

gokubb said:

 

I was discussing the deck building with my play group in the area and while, its not a deal breaker to us, a few players did bring up some good points. Basically, when I sit down across from my opponent, I'm going to immediately know fifteen cards they have in their deck. After they play one card that doesn't come from one of their revealed objectives, I now know four more cards in addition to that one. So, its not unreasonable after turn one to know over 50% of what my opponent brought to the table. I think this is going to make deck building way less important to the game than playing. An experienced player can beat a superior deck, but inferior player simply by knowing what his opponent's options are. 

I find it kind of interesting that FFGs other latest release, Netrunner, prides itself on the hidden/bluffing aspect of card games. Its a game that's full of surprises and great plays. It seems to me like Star Wars will be the exact opposite. So long as I've done my research on what cards are in what pods, I'll be able to predict my opponent's options and play around them.

 

 

 

True, but in many other TCG's I could give you 80% of the deck by seeing the first card they play. Information overlaod can have a negative effect on you as well. The higher variance in this game means you should probably be more proactive than reactive.

And if more games are won based on play decisions and not deckbuildings decisions, isn't that a good thing?

It's a great thing in my opinion. That is one of the factors that cought my attention to this geme. In many older titles like M:tG or CoC you have very limited options for playing cards from your hand. Often you just play the best card you can afford this round without even thinking of it. Almost every player will play the same card from a given hand. Here the situation should look much different thanks to the Edge Battle mechanics and refreshing your hand to 6 cards. Since every card can be used in two different ways (standard play and Edge Battle), and every card used gest replaced the next round the focus is shifted from deck building to actual gameplay. The first 6 objectives the players draw tell them both what kind of battle to expect. They know if they will be defending against a massive fleet invasion or performing a covert op. It's something different than what CCG and LCG players are used to, but I personally don't want yet another game that plays the same but has different graphics. If you don't want to take a risk and create something new it's best you do nothing at all. 






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