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Toqtamish

Two Deluxe Expansions - Edge of Darkness & The Balance of the Force

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Two deluxe expansions are announced in the rulebook.

Edge of Darkness will complete the Smugglers and Spies & Scum and Villainy factions with pre-assembled decks.

The Balance of the Force contains rules for 3 to 4 players to play. Exciting stuff.

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spalanzani said:

I feel faint with happiness! Is there any further info beyond the names? Like…release dates?!

The Balance of the Force is slated as "the first half of 2013." Given that it seems like they'd want to get the Smuggler/Scum expansion out first, we might be looking at both of these released in the next six months or so.

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I was thinking about the Smuggler/Scum expansion last night, and it seemed a bit premature to be speculating. But now that we have confirmation and a name, here goes:

I wonder what the number of cards in the expansion will be like. So far, FFG seems to be keeping the releases having roughly the same number of cards as in other LCGs, even with the objective set model. Force Packs will be 60 cards, just like all the Chapter, Asylum, Battle, Adventure, and Data Packs. So it stands to reason that a Star Wars Deluxe Expansion will be the same size as Deluxe Expansions for other LCGs.

Most DEs are 165 cards, that is three copies of 55 distinct cards. The exceptions seem to be the first CoC expansion (110 cards, it evidently was never released in triplicate), and the two expansions from AGOT that added the two non-core set houses (180 cards). FFG doesn't seem to list the number of cards in the first Warhammer expansion, which might be the most useful to compare with, as it similarly introduces two factions that are only minimally included in the Core Set; it's gotta be 150 or less, because FFG says you need 3 packs of sleeves for it.

So that puts the range of cards in Edge of Darkness probably somewhere between 165 and 180, though it could go higher or lower. It probably won't be either of those numbers, for the simple fact that we need a number divisible by 12, assuming each side gets an equal number of pods (which I think is a fairly safe assumption).

If the AGOT expansions are any indication (and I assume the same holds true for the W:I and CoC expansions that add factions), I also imagine that the aim will be that if you buy just the Core Set and Edge of Darkness, with no Force Packs, all the factions will more or less have parity. They definitely design their expansions under the assumption that a consumer doesn't own anything other than a single core set and that given expansion, and all the decklists included only use that cardpool. With a single pod each for Smugglers and Spies and Scum and Villainy in the core set, the easiest way to reach that parity would be to include 6 pods for each faction. That leaves every faction with seven pods to use just from the Core Set and Edge of Darkness, which sounds just about right.

Assuming none of these affiliated pods are Limit 1 Per Deck (and none of affiliated core objectives are, so I doubt these would be), there would be two copies of each pod in Edge of Darkness. Two copies of six pods for each side is 144 cards. I suppose FFG could stop there, but they also tend to include cards that every faction can use in expansions, so that they'll be enticing products even if you don't intend to use Smugglers or Scum. I would think the remaining cards would be Neutral pods. The Neutral pods could be either Limit 1 or not, although so far it seems like FFG might favor putting Limit 1 on Neutral objectives (4 of the 6 Neutral objectives in the core are Limit 1, and the spoiled Neutral objective from Hoth is too). Assuming Limit 1 objectives, then they could put two in for each side, which puts us at 168 cards, which is almost exactly the size FFG favors for its Deluxe Expansions.

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Assault on Ulthuan, the Warhammer expansion that adds High Elves and Dark Elves, is a 110-card expansion. Its insert tells us it includes two 40-card decks for each of the new races, with a smattering of cards for the others. 

I'm going to assume Edge of Darkness will bring the other two factions up to the same level with the four included in the core set, so six pods for each, doubled, so 144 cards. But then that means there's nothing in this box if you're interested in just running with Sith, or Rebels, so they'll probably include one pod for each of the other factions too. Giving all six factions an extra pod on top of those 144 cards, I get 180 cards in this box. 

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Thing to keep in mind is that Assault on Ulthuan was back in the old days when chapter/battle/asylum packs were 40 cards (10 cards 1 copy, 10 cards 3 copies) before they changed it to everything but a core set comes with complete sets. So it is not the best comparison.

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A thought: I wonder if The Balance of the Force might involve salvaging some of the mechanics from the scuttled co-op iteration of this game? The Light Side players taking the roles of multiple factions, the Dark Side player filling in for whatever Encounter Deck style mechanics the co-op game would've had. Obviously it won't be a one-to-one conversion, but I would imagine that FFG would want to utilize some of the design work that went into the co-op. And it could explain how they can have two Deluxe Expansions coming out so soon, if some of the design of the multiplayer variant derives from work that's been done for over a year.

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alpha5099 said:

A thought: I wonder if The Balance of the Force might involve salvaging some of the mechanics from the scuttled co-op iteration of this game? The Light Side players taking the roles of multiple factions, the Dark Side player filling in for whatever Encounter Deck style mechanics the co-op game would've had. Obviously it won't be a one-to-one conversion, but I would imagine that FFG would want to utilize some of the design work that went into the co-op. And it could explain how they can have two Deluxe Expansions coming out so soon, if some of the design of the multiplayer variant derives from work that's been done for over a year.

That's been my hope as well, ever since their initial announcement about the change. I prefer the PvP experience and was actually relieved, but at the same time, Star Wars is not a PvP license IMO. It's a license that governs good's against-all-odds triumph over evil, which simply can't be represented accurately in a PvP game. As a cooperative game however, where multiple Rebel players are joining forces to crush the Empire? I think that does a much better job of capturing the tone of the saga.

Why do I prefer PvP, when I don't think it conveys the message of the saga? Three words: Dark Side Ending.

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alpha5099 said:

A thought: I wonder if The Balance of the Force might involve salvaging some of the mechanics from the scuttled co-op iteration of this game? The Light Side players taking the roles of multiple factions, the Dark Side player filling in for whatever Encounter Deck style mechanics the co-op game would've had. Obviously it won't be a one-to-one conversion, but I would imagine that FFG would want to utilize some of the design work that went into the co-op. And it could explain how they can have two Deluxe Expansions coming out so soon, if some of the design of the multiplayer variant derives from work that's been done for over a year.

That's a really interesting thought. I just assumed it would be 2v2 or 3v3 and was trying to figure out why you'd need extra components. Aside from more tokens, the best I could figure was a larger Death Star Dial, but even the, you could just take 3 Death Star Dials and count one up to 12, then the next, and then the next. The reason for more numbers on the dials is because more objectives will be captured with more people, I think, so you'd need a larger dial so that the 4th and 5th defeated light side objectives don't auto-win the game. So the point is that I really couldn't figure out what other components you'd need for multiple players.

However, if this was a way to turn the game into a shadow of it's former 2011 glory (jk), I can see how they really would need more components and special cards to affect the new rules and such. Very intriguing. But I won't be surprised if it's just 2v2 or 3v3. .. or maybe they'll have both ways to play multiplayer.

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Budgernaut said:

 

However, if this was a way to turn the game into a shadow of it's former 2011 glory (jk), I can see how they really would need more components and special cards to affect the new rules and such. Very intriguing. But I won't be surprised if it's just 2v2 or 3v3. .. or maybe they'll have both ways to play multiplayer.

 

 

 

We know from the rulebook it will be 2 or 3 LS vs 1 powerful DS. So similar idea to how the WoW TCG raid decks are run or how the LotR LCG would be if someone played the Shadow deck instead of it being on auto pilot.

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Toqtamish said:

 

Budgernaut said:

 

However, if this was a way to turn the game into a shadow of it's former 2011 glory (jk), I can see how they really would need more components and special cards to affect the new rules and such. Very intriguing. But I won't be surprised if it's just 2v2 or 3v3. .. or maybe they'll have both ways to play multiplayer.

 

 

 

We know from the rulebook it will be 2 or 3 LS vs 1 powerful DS. So similar idea to how the WoW TCG raid decks are run or how the LotR LCG would be if someone played the Shadow deck instead of it being on auto pilot.

 

 

Hmm. I missed the reference to "3 or 4" players and just read the "4" when I read through the rulebook. Plus, the demo table on the live stream at the World Tournament talked about 2v2 and 3v3, so I must have got that confused. Well it certainly does look like 2 or 3 vs 1, just like the Overlord scenario from Rune Age: Oath and Anvil.

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On sunday of the world championship weekend FFG staff vaguely seemed to state that the co-op version of this game might reappear using a different IP.  This was not a direct quote from them, but they definitely talked about having a game system that they were very satisfied with that might be used in the future.

 

TL

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alpha5099 said:

A thought: I wonder if The Balance of the Force might involve salvaging some of the mechanics from the scuttled co-op iteration of this game? The Light Side players taking the roles of multiple factions, the Dark Side player filling in for whatever Encounter Deck style mechanics the co-op game would've had. Obviously it won't be a one-to-one conversion, but I would imagine that FFG would want to utilize some of the design work that went into the co-op. And it could explain how they can have two Deluxe Expansions coming out so soon, if some of the design of the multiplayer variant derives from work that's been done for over a year.

The onslaught of products we seem to be getting may also be a result of FFG needing to kick things into high gear. They basically lost a year off their licensing with this game coming out now. Yes extensions are possible…but those only come if there are sales to warrant one.

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I'm glad we have 2 big box expansions coming out in the first half of 2013.  My biggest complaint with LCGs is how slow the card pool grows at the start with the 3-4 month delay before the first ______ pack is released.

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Keggy said:

I'm glad we have 2 big box expansions coming out in the first half of 2013.  My biggest complaint with LCGs is how slow the card pool grows at the start with the 3-4 month delay before the first ______ pack is released.

Perhaps that is another reason Core Sets are designed with the purchase of multiple copies in mind. It's not like you're getting new cards, but having a full playset of everything greatly increases the variety of decks you can build right away.

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qwertyuiop said:

 

 

The onslaught of products we seem to be getting may also be a result of FFG needing to kick things into high gear. They basically lost a year off their licensing with this game coming out now. Yes extensions are possible…but those only come if there are sales to warrant one.

I'm thinking this is most likely, they do have a lot of lost time to make up on, even though X-Wing seems to be making plenty of money for them for the moment. For what we all assume the licence must have cost, having "a year off" must have been terrible for them. 

I wonder how much of a required purchase Balance of the Force will be, though. If it is solely to introduce multiplayer rules, then I may actually find myself not bothering with it. If the cards are just as much use for one-on-one games, though, we shall see…

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