Who am I?: Where I'm coming from is very heavy TCG and LCG background (played a LOT of VS System competitively and I'm a big fan of Thrones and especially LOTR). Also a very avid tabletop gamer of all types. Lastly I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. Like to the point where Star Wars influenced my choice of career huge. I have played the game five times, and started with a very good understanding of the rules, so none of the games were wasted on learning.
Why am I putting this here?: Again, this is a very critical review of the game, which are not often welcome on forums ABOUT the game (I've responded harshly to posts just like this in my day). But I wanted to post this, because I am genuinely looking for you all to explain to me why the following points are not true, because after two years of anticipation…I REALLY REALLY want to like this game.
Lastly: There are things that I did like about this game, but those points have been made elsewhere. However, the things I did NOT like about the game overshadowed the ones that I did, hence the tone of this review.
Star Wars the Card Game: My Top Three Problems
1) A Very Weak Link Between Theme and Mechanics – In short, I simply don't feel like the basic mechanics of the game support the idea that I am a part of the Star Wars Universe. The first level of this which is actually LEAST offensive to me is when Storm Trooper Squads shoot down X-Wings and Imperial Guards stab Y-Wings in the Death Star Trench.
And I know what you're thinking “But Leia gets captured, just like in the movie!!!”. And I do I agree that the individual cards are thematic, what I'm saying is that the fundamentals of the game aren't. This is in contrast to LOTR or Netrunner for example where the very basics of the game have a strong tie to the universe on which the game is based.
Additionally though, I don't feel like the 'hero' or 'villain' characters have a proportionate role to the foot soldiers and minions. Some of our favorite characters from Star Wars have the same chance of being killed as Imperial Cannon fodder and therefore have the same chance of staying on the board which leads me to….
2) The Scale of Combat – The scale of the skirmishing in the game seems off. To me, the game is communicating a scale of battle more like a Warhammer 40k universe where everyone lives for about 10 minutes in battle, instead of a Star Wars Universe where Heroes and Villains go on epic adventures that span the course of trilogies of films. This didn't bother me as much for the Storm Troopers and the like, but when Yoda gets gunned down by a TIE Fighter 1 turn after he entered play….something seems a little off.
3) The Discouragement of Interaction – Now admittedly, this point is probably my weakest and MAY change with intense playing against a variety of opponents…but I have a strong suspicion that it won't. The strategic bias of the game seems to encourage players to NOT actually interact with each other. What I mean by this is by game four or so, the cost-benefit rundown of attacking and defending usually yielded an unopposed engagement. It simply was more effective to not have your units die trying to defend your objectives, especially when your about to get a chance to attack back while your opponents units are now focused. The result of this is basically just 'who can do more damage the fastest' instead of an actual interaction between the two players' units. And for me, this is the biggest flaw of the game. I understand that a lot of people like this sort of thing (see MTG, Yu-gi-oh, etc.) but for me if I'm playing a game with another human, I'd rather actually be interacting with that person instead of us both just doing our own thing.
Again, the reason I put this here is because I WANT to be convinced that I'm wrong and I WANT to be convinced to buy Force Packs and to fall head over heels for the Star Wars game I've been waiting for…but based on my Core Set experience I'm just not. Please help!