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#1 Wildstrike

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:43 AM

 Hey Guys,

I was able to sit down and play the Star Wars: LCG at Gen Con this past weekend. From my limited demo I really enjoyed what I got to play but must admit I didn't get to play as much as I wanted. Anyways, I wrote this article about the game demo experience in much more detail and I wanted to pass the information along to anyone who might be interested in learning more about it. 

 



#2 dbmeboy

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:02 AM

 What was your experience on LS/DS balance? In all the demo games I played, the DS dominated. Granted Vader managed to come out first turn every time, but there seemed to be very little the LS could do once that happened.



#3 Wildstrike

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:47 AM

dbmeboy said:

 What was your experience on LS/DS balance? In all the demo games I played, the DS dominated. Granted Vader managed to come out first turn every time, but there seemed to be very little the LS could do once that happened.

Honestly I didn't play enough to say one way or the other. Darth Vader came out early with me and it was a constant uphill battle after that. I actually think the DS players had a Rancor and Vader on the table within a couple of turns. That being said until you can play several complete games its hard to say if one side is more over powered or not than the other. The pressure is on the rebels for sure though.



#4 dbmeboy

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:08 AM

 Yeah, that's what somewhat worries me. Putting pressure on the rebels makes sense thematically, but might make balancing the sides much harder, which is important for a pvp game.



#5 Dobbler

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:25 AM

 In the one game I played at Gencon, Vader was out by the second turn (I played DS).  He (combined with the Force Choke card), did significant damage on the LS board.  However, LS was still able to destroy an objective of mine both on the first turn and the second turn during conflict/engagements.  That put major pressure on me not to lose my third objective which I eventually did through losing the Force Battle.



#6 Budgernaut

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:46 AM

 Nice article, but I don't think many people brag about mitochondrian chounts. Usually they brag about midichlorian counts. But that's an easy mistake to make since there are a lot of parallels between the two. In fact, my final exam for Cell Biology was to draw figures and write out figure legends for a fictional paper about how midichlorians invaded humans and became symbiotic. The fake citations in the paper referenced (Skywalker & Skywalker), (Chewie & Solo) and other fun characters from Star Wars. Best final I ever took. I wore my Jedi outfit when I turned it in to the professor.

Anyway, it's good to see that some people are so excited about this game.


"There is a fine line between neutral and amoral. In fact, there may be no line there at all."

--Count Dooku


#7 MarthWMaster

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

That's a pretty awesome final. Even better that the instructor understood what midichlorians actually are, and more specifically what they aren't. I could live without midichlorians as much as the next guy, but it sure bugs me when someone says they create the Force. All they do is respond to it, and allow a being to interact with it, which is really just a technobabbly way of explaining the same things Obi-Wan and Yoda had to say about the Force in the Original Trilogy. It's still everywhere, binding all things, but only living things can manipulate it.

Speaking of manipulating the Force, I'm glad that this review has established for our benefit that only Force Sensitive units can commit to the Force. This was something that didn't come across very well in the demo, making it seem like anyone could use this ability. And that didn't make much thematic sense. C-3PO is a droid, so no committing him for this purpose.

 



#8 dbmeboy

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:51 AM

MarthWMaster said:

That's a pretty awesome final. Even better that the instructor understood what midichlorians actually are, and more specifically what they aren't. I could live without midichlorians as much as the next guy, but it sure bugs me when someone says they create the Force. All they do is respond to it, and allow a being to interact with it, which is really just a technobabbly way of explaining the same things Obi-Wan and Yoda had to say about the Force in the Original Trilogy. It's still everywhere, binding all things, but only living things can manipulate it.

Speaking of manipulating the Force, I'm glad that this review has established for our benefit that only Force Sensitive units can commit to the Force. This was something that didn't come across very well in the demo, making it seem like anyone could use this ability. And that didn't make much thematic sense. C-3PO is a droid, so no committing him for this purpose.

 

In all of the demos I played in, any unit could commit to the force.



#9 ScottieATF

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:02 PM

MarthWMaster said:

That's a pretty awesome final. Even better that the instructor understood what midichlorians actually are, and more specifically what they aren't. I could live without midichlorians as much as the next guy, but it sure bugs me when someone says they create the Force. All they do is respond to it, and allow a being to interact with it, which is really just a technobabbly way of explaining the same things Obi-Wan and Yoda had to say about the Force in the Original Trilogy. It's still everywhere, binding all things, but only living things can manipulate it.

Speaking of manipulating the Force, I'm glad that this review has established for our benefit that only Force Sensitive units can commit to the Force. This was something that didn't come across very well in the demo, making it seem like anyone could use this ability. And that didn't make much thematic sense. C-3PO is a droid, so no committing him for this purpose.

 

 

All of the demo games I played and watched, and this was between all the different demoers, any character could commit to the force,

Would it make any balance sense to have a non-Jedi/Sith deck have no ability to contest the force?  Given the Dark Side effect when they control the force any non-Jedi deck would hard pressed to be successful without the ability to ever gain control of the force.

I understand the thematic reservations, but it is a game after all.

 



#10 MarthWMaster

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

ScottieATF said:

 

I understand the thematic reservations, but it is a game after all. 

 

 

That's true. But of course, it is a game meant to evoke the sense of the films, is it not? I will concede that, once the core engine of the game is finished and playtesting begins, the top-down perspective should take a backseat role. But prior to that point, when crafting an IP-based game from the ground up, I would think that the priority should be to make all elements feel as close to the source material as possible.

I'm not saying there isn't a way to hand-wave this particular issue. A couple of in-universe explanations come to mind. But it bugs me when people dismiss the importance of theme in a game's design, feeling that any and all discrepancies are fine so long as the game is balanced. That's simply not true. And nowhere is it less true than in the case of this game. Star Wars fans, especially Classic Star Wars fans, are a discerning bunch. You know that most folks are going to first be looking into this game because it is Star Wars, not because it's a new collectible card game they can throw money at. With that in mind, should it be a game that has Star Wars pictures, but does its own thing? No. It is Star Wars: The Card Game, and its style and theme should live up to the expectations, lofty though they may be, summoned by that name.



#11 ScottieATF

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:25 PM

I've never said that any and all discrepancies are OK in the name of game balance.  I've simply said that particular "discrepancy" is.  Firstly, as we know the game right now, it is completely needed for any chance at balance.  Secondly, the "discrepancy" is already handled given that the characters that are strong Force users have been shown to have extra Force icons allowing them to easier win the Force battle.

Did people use to get upset that the old Star Wars CCG use to label any charcater with high ability as "Force Sensitive" even when they weren't?  I mean Han Solo is a cool guy but I should have never been able to run him through all those Jedi trials on Dagobah.



#12 cleardave

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:53 PM

ScottieATF said:

I've never said that any and all discrepancies are OK in the name of game balance.  I've simply said that particular "discrepancy" is.  Firstly, as we know the game right now, it is completely needed for any chance at balance.  Secondly, the "discrepancy" is already handled given that the characters that are strong Force users have been shown to have extra Force icons allowing them to easier win the Force battle.

Did people use to get upset that the old Star Wars CCG use to label any charcater with high ability as "Force Sensitive" even when they weren't?  I mean Han Solo is a cool guy but I should have never been able to run him through all those Jedi trials on Dagobah.

In SWCCG, any character with an Ability of 4 or 5 was labelled "Force-Sensitive" on their card.  Off the top of my head, this included most personas of Luke (Ability 6 was "Jedi Knight" for Light Side and "Dark Jedi" for Dark Side) and Leia on the Light Side, and Mara Jade, Thrawn and Zuckuss on the Dark Side.  I'm sure I'm forgetting a card or two here.

Ability 7 was Jedi Master/Dark Jedi Master respectively, for Yoda and The Emperor.

As far as I know, Thrawn isn't "Force Sensitive", but the game mechanics of having Ability 4 or more on a character were very advantageous for reasons to complicated to properly explain here, but if you've played the game, you'll know what I mean.  For Thrawn, it makes mechanical sense because of his tactical prowess exhibited in the Heir to the Empire novels.  For Zuckuss, I think they mention in "Tales of the Bounty Hunters" and on the card that he was pre-cognitive or something.

Also, regarding Han and the Jedi Tests, you absolutely could train Han up to Ability 5 through testing.  Only Leia and Luke could be Jedi Tested through Ability 6, as the card to do so specifically targets Skywalkers, of which Luke and Leia were the only ones in the card game.

Basically, the Jedi Test was a Destiny Draw, plus modifiers, to reach a target number.  Part of what factored into your success was adding the student's Ability score into the algebra to get the result.  Obviously, when the Dagobah set came out, "Son of Skywalker" was the popular choice, being the first Ability 5 character in print.  All previous versions of Luke were Ability 4.

Also, your Ability score would be modified if the test number you completed was greater than your current Ability score.  Thus, for Han, if you really wanted to, you could make a deck that trained him all the way to Jedi Test #5 and you'd have an Ability 5 Han running around afterwards.  There were 6 Jedi Tests in total, but as I said, only Luke and Leia could "become" Jedi Knights because the final test only applied to them.

Of course they would go on to print "Jedi Knight" versions of Luke later on, which lead to a meta shift of training Leia with Yoda and having Jedi Luke causing all kinds of trouble elsewhere.

As far as people getting upset over naming characters "Force Sensitive" when they weren't (like Thrawn), I don't think anyone cared, at least not in my experience.  The "Force Sensitive' label was really just left in for the sake of consistency I'd imagine.  When the Premiere set came out, you had really good "normal" characters with Ability 3 like Han.  Luke was Ability 4 and thus "Force-Sensitive", and Darth Vader and Obi-Wan were Ability 6 for Jedi and Dark Jedi status.  Premiere only drew from images and ideas in "A New Hope".  This was then followed up by the game's first expansion…which was called "A New Hope".  I always thought that was such a dumb name to run with, considering 300 cards just dealt with that movie from opening to close.

So going back to the Force Sensitive characters being able to exclusively alter the balance of The Force in SWLCG, I would say having "anyone" being able to do it seems easier from a rules perspective right now.  Otherwise, you would have to make a list of all Force-related traits on the cards.  Jedi, Dark Jedi, Sith, and Force Sensitive are what we've seen so far.  It makes more sense to either say "everyone" can influence The Force, or make a very specific trait and print that on the cards.  Either way, it can't be too complex for people to remember.  I'm sure this also includes starships as well, so it's probably for the sake of efficiency.  You can play Vader's TIE, which I'm sure is implied to have Vader in it, but then you can add a Black Squadron pilot to it as an enhancement, so it wouldn't be "Force Sensitive" anymore.

Yeah, I think the "anyone" thing is probably just loads easier to keep the game moving along at a good pace, and for balance and utility, it means you don't need to focus so much of your deck building on having all this Force-Sensitive stuff running around as a defensive measure.  I would say having nothing but Jedi Luke/Yoda/Obi and a bunch of those "Jedi in Hiding" type cards we've seen isn't really the spirit of the movies we remember.  Maybe when Yoda spoke of "another", he really meant the dozens of other would-be Jedi that Obi-Wan's ghost should be out networking with, instead of hanging around that kid from Tatooine all the time.



#13 Mattr0polis

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:19 AM

ScottieATF said:

 

Secondly, the "discrepancy" is already handled given that the characters that are strong Force users have been shown to have extra Force icons allowing them to easier win the Force battle.

 

 

This. I don't see it being that off thematically. If some character like a TIE pilot was told of the Force by Vader and wanted to try and "commit himself" to learning the ways of it, that seems fine to me. He may not be very good at it at all but he could sure try and learn, I guess.

But yeah, it's kept in balance by the fact that it looks like the most Force-sensitive characters have the most Force bubbles. So I could waste my time committing a TIE pilot to the Force if I really want to but he's going to be completely outmatched by someone like Luke in the Force battle, so why waste my time.



#14 MarthWMaster

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:41 AM

How does that improve the balance, though? If I build a deck full of Force Sensitive characters, who therefore have more Force icons than a non-Force-Sensitive deck would, I still eke a tremendous advantage, not a smallish one, when it comes to bidding for control of the Force. And besides, both of the decks that were demoed were already themed around Force Sensitives, weren't they? Can we say for sure that characters like Han Solo, for example, won't have the same number of Force icons as Luke or Vader? Since Force icons are also used to decide the outcome of Edge battles, I see it as a tremendously unbalancing factor for the four non-Jedi, non-Sith factions to have any inferiority with regard to how many Force icons their key characters possess.



#15 Budgernaut

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:02 AM

 This is why the icons used in edge battles need a different name, like destiny icons.

As for committing characters to the Force, does the player commit characters to the Force, or does the character commit to the Force? If the latter, I can see how there are some thematic issues, but if the former, it makes sense for any character to commit to the Force to show how that character is being guided - whether they know it or not.


"There is a fine line between neutral and amoral. In fact, there may be no line there at all."

--Count Dooku


#16 MarthWMaster

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:16 AM

 I could see Destiny icons working better. There's been talk about how the terminology in this game could use adjustment, with Destiny being a word that needs a presence somewhere. In the saga, only Jedi and Sith seek the counsel of the Force, which I assume is what "committing to the Force" represents. But everyone is following the path destiny has in store for them.



#17 Mattr0polis

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:29 AM

 I don't think there's any way they would ever change the name of those icons to 'destiny' icons due to the mechanic already having some similarities to destiny draws in swccg (both are a hidden number on a card used to calculate something).

Besides, Force icons sound cool too.



#18 herozeromes

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

Mattr0polis said:

 I don't think there's any way they would ever change the name of those icons to 'destiny' icons due to the mechanic already having some similarities to destiny draws in swccg (both are a hidden number on a card used to calculate something).

Besides, Force icons sound cool too.

Really, anything other than EDGE BATTLE that has something to do with Star Wars. Gambling, Playing Sabaac, The Odds.



#19 Inksplat

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 09:05 AM

herozeromes said:

Mattr0polis said:

 

 I don't think there's any way they would ever change the name of those icons to 'destiny' icons due to the mechanic already having some similarities to destiny draws in swccg (both are a hidden number on a card used to calculate something).

Besides, Force icons sound cool too.

 

 

Really, anything other than EDGE BATTLE that has something to do with Star Wars. Gambling, Playing Sabaac, The Odds.

 

But getting an 'edge' in battle makes sense. Playing Sabaac to get the drop on your enemies..? Not quite going to work for me.



#20 MarthWMaster

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:43 PM

Would it be off-base to call them Fate battles? It has a darker feel than Destiny, and also alludes to the fan favorite anthem, "Duel of the Fates."






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