Star Wars: The Card Game – Reading through the rules of the new Living Card Game
So, not all that long ago, Fantasy Flight Games released the rules for Star Wars: The Card Game, their new Living Card Game set in, you guessed it, Star Wars. I finally got around to reading the rules for Star Wars: The Card Game (which you can read for yourself right here) and have collected my thoughts, as well as a brief overview based on my read-through.
Star Wars: The Card Game has a slightly different deck-building structure
That about says it all, doesn’t it? In Star Wars: The Card Game, you build your deck by choosing 10 ‘objective sets’, which are sets of related cards that contain eight cards each, with four different alliances appearing in the base game (Jedi, Rebel Alliance, Sith, and Imperial). Most objective sets can be used twice in a deck, and the cards are going to be sold in 60 card expansions, so completionists will likely need to buy a second copy of each pack. Honestly, this should make it a little easier sell for my wife, since she usually finds the whole deck construction thing not-a-whole-lot-of-fun, so maybe this will be a good middle-ground between no tweaking and full-on deckbuilding.
Star Wars: The Card Game victory conditions
Basically, the Dark Side player has to get the unnecessarily ornate Death Star-shaped counter to twelve (it goes up once a turn, or twice if the Dark Side player has the Force advantage and once each time a Light Side objective card is destoryed) to 12 before the Light Side player destroys three Dark Side objectives (Either player can also lose by needing to draw and being unable to do so). Reading that sentence, you should probably observe, then, that there are two very important aspects in Star Wars: The Card Game: Objectives and Force Balance. Each player has three Objectives in play at a time, which provide benefits to the controlling player. Combat in Star Wars: The Card Game revolves around these Objectives, with a turn of alternate blind bidding force points from a player’s hand (each card has a certain number of Force markers on it and the winner of the bid gets to use extra abilities during combat) and then alternating attacking. There are three kinds of attacks: Tactics (which makes enemies unable to take actions), Blast Damage (which does direct damage to enemies, possibly removing them from play) and Blast Damage (which damages Objectives). Units can have and use multiple attack types in a single attack.
The other big mechanic is the Force Balance. Each player can designate up to three players as trying to influence the Force in their favor. These units suffer double the exhaustion for participating in combat. Units do not affect the Force Struggle (comparing the number of Force markers on units committed to the Force) when they are exhausted. Each turn, the player that the Force favors gains an advantage (a free damage to a Dark Side objective for the Light Side or a free click towards doom on the Death Star counter for the Dark Side).
So, that pretty much wraps up the basic overview of the new Star Wars Living Card Game. Multiplayer support is planned in the future, and I definitely am glad that they went with a competitive game instead of a cooperative one, but I’m not sure how I feel about the big group combat. It’s an interesting take on Star Wars that has a more strategic feel, moving units around the galaxy to claim victory. On the other hand, I can also see a neat narrative forming as you see units trying to stop certain objectives from happening. Some people have already gotten to try it out, but the rest of us will have to wait for the game to release, which I imagine will be before too long. There’s more information in Star Wars: The Card Game on the official web page