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A Brief Review of the Star Wars LCG


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#1 flipperlord

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:48 AM

 I was one of the lucky individuals who received a free copy of the game at worlds, so I have been playing the game a lot since that date. Here is my brief review of the game:

First of all, I was skeptical about how good this game was going to be, but after many play-throughs I have started to really enjoy this game. I first thought that the hero units (Darth Vader, Luke, Devastator , ect.) would be too powerful if the other player did not have a hero in play. I was wrong. I have won games where the opponent has had a hero on turn one, and I did not play a hero unit until many turns later.

The Edge Battles are intense. Almost every edge battle could go either way, and winning these edge battles is crucial to winning the game. I really enjoy this aspect of the game, because it is difficult to say that you "have the game wrapped up" until the last turn or so.

The fact that each card has two uses is also a great aspect of this game. Resources are not AS big of a concern because if you have fewer cards played each turn, you can commit more to the edge battle, which in my experience  creates a very balanced game.

The force struggle mechanic also works really well in trying to get a little edge over the opponent, but committing to the force is such a commitment, that it sometimes really backfires.

The combat system works well for the most part. Its not the most innovative combat system ever, but its relatively original (it borrows aspects from other games, that are obvious, but in the end it is original) and I think it works well for the game. No real complaints here.

I love the objective set deck building of this game. It forces you to play cards that you don't necessarily want to play in order to get other cards that you like. Enhancements, for example, are just a weak type of card in almost every card game, but you need to play them to play some of the Jedi and Sith characters. Chuddly characters like rebel troopers need to be played to play the stronger rebel cards and so on. By having objective sets, FFG has saved themselves a lot of grief in playtesting and balancing the game, because the game is just alot easier to balance with objective sets, so don't expect too many overpowered cards in this game, because strong cards are offset by weaker ones. Also with a small set of deck options, stupid unintended combo decks may never occur.

Thematically, the objective sets work well, because it pairs similar units together to create a more unified theme to each deck. I really like this aspect of the game.

Also, the fact that you draw back up to your maximum hand size at the start of your turn means that bad draws are not too big of a deal, and it is easier to find "the card" you are looking for. Even bad hands can be used to win edge battles. I have only had one game (playing as the rebel alliance) where I just could not seem to draw any relevant cards, but having terrible hands over multiple turns is a very rare occurrance. This is a step up form most card games where a bad opening hand usually means that you lose.

Also, card advantage only exists for 2 turns (yours and then the opponents) before you refresh your hand. Losing card advantage in most games usually means you are losing, but in Star Wars, while card advantage is critical to each turn, a player's hand refreshes at the beginning of that player's turn. 

-A side note, weaker cards in objective sets are just a little weaker than strong ones (proportionally to cost). I have killed many hero units with little crappy dudes through power-plays, but it is not easy to do that either. It seems to be the perfect balance of strong cards vs weaker cards IMHO.

One weakness of the game is that the Rebel Alliance seems a little weaker than the other factions. I have won games with them, but it always seems the the rebel cards just are not as good as the other faction's cards. This is not a huge deal though, because if the rebels are indeed weaker than the other factions, they can be balanced out through future expansions.

Another weakness of the game that other reviewers have pointed out is that it is certainly possible (and relatively common) to have space ships "fighting" ground units. While this is definitely a wonky thing to think about, I feel that this idea works well. Hear me out. Say the Devastator attacks a planetary objective, and the defending player defends with Luke. From a thematic perspective, Luke would defend the planet by getting the citizens to shelter, and maybe disrupt the Devastator's communications, so the Devastator has difficulty damaging the planet's objective.

Another way to look at this is if a ground unit "kills" a space ship, it does not actually destroy it, it gets discarded. Unique units that are discarded from play are not gone forever; a player may replay that same unit from their hand. Because of this, units are not necessarily killed/destroyed when they go from play to the discard pile. Therefore, if it seems ridiculous that Obi-Wan just killed Darth Vader's TIE Advanced, it is, but Obi-Wan did not destroy the ship. He sabotaged its engines before it took off, or he gained control of an anti-air turret and destroyed it or forced it to retreat, or perhaps he used the force to screw with it somehow. Therefore, I believe that it is not right to view combat in this game through such a narrow lens of "Dealing damage = killing stuff," because that is far from what occurs in the Star Wars universe. Also, when thinking about combat with a more open mind-frame, the game emulates the experiences of the movies much more.

I love this game, and I am hooked. For those skeptics out there, at least give it a try. Star Wars is an intense game that takes a fair amount of skill (not as much as GoT though) and is extremely fun and satisfying. If you are a Star Wars fan and you like competitive card games, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't give it a try.

Hope you enjoyed my post :) What do you think of the review? What do you think of the parts of the game that I mentioned? Were there things that you wish I had discussed? Please respond appropriately. :)

TL;DR: Star Wars is a great game and worth the purchase when it comes out!   :)



#2 AshesFall

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:26 AM

 Nice review! :D

Would you mind posting it on boardgamegeek as well? It's always good to get a couple of more reviews out there that arent wholesale negative. :)



#3 flipperlord

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

 I do not have an boardgamegeek account yet, but I will sign up later today and [hopefully] post my  review there

 



#4 MarthWMaster

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

 Are people on BoardGameGeek allowed to post positive reviews of CCGs?


"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable."
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#5 flipperlord

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

MarthWMaster said:

 Are people on BoardGameGeek allowed to post positive reviews of CCGs?

Probably not lol… maybe I should not post there for that reason ;)



#6 Toqtamish

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

MarthWMaster said:

 Are people on BoardGameGeek allowed to post positive reviews of CCGs?

I was wondering the same thing. What a negative bunch of folks over there. And the site itself is so out of date. It's the same with Android: Netrunner.



#7 flipperlord

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

*Needed to access the edit button for my review and needed to create a new post in order to do that* 



#8 Zethnar

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:16 PM

flipperlord said:

Another weakness of the game that other reviewers have pointed out is that it is certainly possible (and relatively common) to have space ships "fighting" ground units. While this is definitely a wonky thing to think about, I feel that this idea works well. Hear me out. Say the Devastator attacks a planetary objective, and the defending player defends with Luke. From a thematic perspective, Luke would defend the planet by getting the citizens to shelter, and maybe disrupt the Devastator's communications, so the Devastator has difficulty damaging the planet's objective.

Another way to look at this is if a ground unit "kills" a space ship, it does not actually destroy it, it gets discarded. Unique units that are discarded from play are not gone forever; a player may replay that same unit from their hand. Because of this, units are not necessarily killed/destroyed when they go from play to the discard pile. Therefore, if it seems ridiculous that Obi-Wan just killed Darth Vader's TIE Advanced, it is, but Obi-Wan did not destroy the ship. He sabotaged its engines before it took off, or he gained control of an anti-air turret and destroyed it or forced it to retreat, or perhaps he used the force to screw with it somehow. Therefore, I believe that it is not right to view combat in this game through such a narrow lens of "Dealing damage = killing stuff," because that is far from what occurs in the Star Wars universe. Also, when thinking about combat with a more open mind-frame, the game emulates the experiences of the movies much more.

The other side of this coin is that I shouldn't have to make up excuses for why the mechanics work in a weird way.  No one is going to sit at the table and attack a Star Destroyer with a Rancor and say, "really the rancor got loose in the Star Destroyer's cargo hold and is rampaging through the ship, distracting the crew."  All that's going to happen is one player will use is Rancor to attack an objective while another uses a Star Destroyer to defend (for the record I have no idea whether there is even a Rancor card or if its available in the light side decks).  Taking two paragraphs out of the review to explain why this kind of situation could maybe not be considered weird, in my mind, indicates that there actually is a problem there that probably should have been fixed by the designers before the game went to print.

That being said, I'm not against trying the game and deciding for sure whether I like it or not.  However, having already read through the rulebook, I'm not 100% sure its going to appeal to me, regardless of how silly some of the battles may or may not be.

 



#9 flipperlord

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:39 PM

Zethnar said:

flipperlord said:

 

Another weakness of the game that other reviewers have pointed out is that it is certainly possible (and relatively common) to have space ships "fighting" ground units. While this is definitely a wonky thing to think about, I feel that this idea works well. Hear me out. Say the Devastator attacks a planetary objective, and the defending player defends with Luke. From a thematic perspective, Luke would defend the planet by getting the citizens to shelter, and maybe disrupt the Devastator's communications, so the Devastator has difficulty damaging the planet's objective.

Another way to look at this is if a ground unit "kills" a space ship, it does not actually destroy it, it gets discarded. Unique units that are discarded from play are not gone forever; a player may replay that same unit from their hand. Because of this, units are not necessarily killed/destroyed when they go from play to the discard pile. Therefore, if it seems ridiculous that Obi-Wan just killed Darth Vader's TIE Advanced, it is, but Obi-Wan did not destroy the ship. He sabotaged its engines before it took off, or he gained control of an anti-air turret and destroyed it or forced it to retreat, or perhaps he used the force to screw with it somehow. Therefore, I believe that it is not right to view combat in this game through such a narrow lens of "Dealing damage = killing stuff," because that is far from what occurs in the Star Wars universe. Also, when thinking about combat with a more open mind-frame, the game emulates the experiences of the movies much more.

 

 

The other side of this coin is that I shouldn't have to make up excuses for why the mechanics work in a weird way.  No one is going to sit at the table and attack a Star Destroyer with a Rancor and say, "really the rancor got loose in the Star Destroyer's cargo hold and is rampaging through the ship, distracting the crew."  All that's going to happen is one player will use is Rancor to attack an objective while another uses a Star Destroyer to defend (for the record I have no idea whether there is even a Rancor card or if its available in the light side decks).  Taking two paragraphs out of the review to explain why this kind of situation could maybe not be considered weird, in my mind, indicates that there actually is a problem there that probably should have been fixed by the designers before the game went to print.

That being said, I'm not against trying the game and deciding for sure whether I like it or not.  However, having already read through the rulebook, I'm not 100% sure its going to appeal to me, regardless of how silly some of the battles may or may not be.

 

That is precisely the way many people look at it. I even labeled it as a weakness in my review. However, I find the rest of the game to be quite solid, and to dismiss a game (I am not directing this at you) because of this possible weakness is sad to me. Many popular board/card games have similar occurances where one unit should not really be fighting another. Magic and thrones both do this, and nobody seems to care too much about that. :)



#10 MarthWMaster

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:38 PM

 In the case of Magic, though, the more powerful creatures often have either flying or trample, which tends to prevent them from being stopped by throwaway mooks.


"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable."
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#11 ScottieATF

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:57 PM

MarthWMaster said:

 In the case of Magic, though, the more powerful creatures tend to have either flying or trample, which tends to prevent them from being stopped by throwaway mooks.

That has to do with the way resources work in that game.  You have to ramp up to your big hitters, so they have to be worth it over little spuds.

Though both abilities only make it harder to deal with those creatures.  Not impossible for those spuds. 

 



#12 flipperlord

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:23 PM

MarthWMaster said:

 

 In the case of Magic, though, the more powerful creatures often have either flying or trample, which tends to prevent them from being stopped by throwaway mooks.

 

 

Merfolk vs. any "land-based" creature  showcases how two types of enemies in Magic could not physically "fight" each other. No one seems to care about this issue in Magic.  :)



#13 qwertyuiop

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:11 PM

 I plan to generate near continuous card advantage through card disadvantage. O_o

And board game geek isn't THAT bad so long as the reader has the ability to see through over zealous hype, nerdrage, and the like. Use the site with a grain of salt. I've never seen a forums user on bgg that i'd want to play a game with. I've seen several on this site.

Also, BGG's ranking is way off. How is Dreamblade considered better than MECCG?



#14 Toqtamish

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:36 PM

qwertyuiop said:

Also, BGG's ranking is way off. How is Dreamblade considered better than MECCG?



#15 flipperlord

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:59 AM

 Just an FYI i have posted this review on BGG, if that concerns anyone :)



#16 qwertyuiop

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:38 AM

Toqtamish said:

qwertyuiop said:

 

Also, BGG's ranking is way off. How is Dreamblade considered better than MECCG?

 

 

 

And I can't even remember where they placed Wyvern! The nerve! At least they scored Hecatomb properly. That game was trash. ;)



#17 MarthWMaster

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:58 PM

flipperlord said:

MarthWMaster said:

 

 In the case of Magic, though, the more powerful creatures often have either flying or trample, which tends to prevent them from being stopped by throwaway mooks.

 

 

Merfolk vs. any "land-based" creature  showcases how two types of enemies in Magic could not physically "fight" each other. No one seems to care about this issue in Magic.  :)

I dunno, that looks like it can go on land. YMMV


"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable."
– Beethoven

#18 flipperlord

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:08 PM

MarthWMaster said:

flipperlord said:

 

MarthWMaster said:

 

 In the case of Magic, though, the more powerful creatures often have either flying or trample, which tends to prevent them from being stopped by throwaway mooks.

 

 

Merfolk vs. any "land-based" creature  showcases how two types of enemies in Magic could not physically "fight" each other. No one seems to care about this issue in Magic.  :)

 

 

I dunno, that looks like it can go on land. YMMV

 

Fine… Lord of Atlantis vs. Knight Exemplar… my point is valid. If one (or a few) Merfolk do not fit the mold of my argument, the other hundred of them do. The point is that this kind of combat occurs in games other than Star Wars, and those other games don't have complaints about this. :)



#19 MarthWMaster

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

 Fair enough. I would argue, though, that there's nothing saying merfolk can't slither on land. They tend to more resemble naga than true mermaids/mermen. I think the fact that some sea creatures can't go on land is represented in the game with its sharks, which "can't attack unless the defending player controls an island."


"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable."
– Beethoven

#20 Fbaranow

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

 It all doesn't change the fact that in M:tG an insect is able to block a giant for one turn (not every huge creature has trample).

In Call of Cthulhu I'm able to arm my formless shoggoth with a machinegun, sword and six pistols at the same time :).

You just have to use your imagination or simply stop caring too much and concentrate on the game itself. 

 

Compared to the examples above, SW should even be more realistic in many sutuations because a lot of cards can be used only on characters, only on force users or only on vehicules. Other units can't be enchanced be enhanced in any way. Most of the card games doesn't even have that kind of restrictions. 






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