The newest Fantasy Flight Games’ (FFG) LCG sets the stage for the epic duel between the light and the dark side in Star Wars: The Card Game. It is designed by Eric M. Lang, who previously gave us great games like Warhammer: Invasion, the Quarriors series and the highly successful A Game of Thrones LCG. This two-player game puts one player in control of the Rebels against another in control of the Empire. Currently with only the base set on sale, there are 3 factions for each side. The light side has the Jedi, Rebel Alliance and Smugglers and Spies; and the dark side with the Sith, Imperial Navy and Scum and Villainy.
With so much hype built up before the release, I just had to try it for myself. A friend of mine who already played this game decided to give me a demo, and I was not disappointed. Aesthetic wise, the game was very well polished; there were counters for everything and the artwork on the cards were awesome. For most games, the end goal for both players is always the same (e.g. taking that special objective or knocking down health points), but for Star Wars: TCG there is a relative big difference. The light side has to destroy three dark side objectives, which is done by churning out troops like droids and starships to attack them. However the dark side needs only to turn its Death Star dial counter from 0 to 12 to win. Similarly, by summoning troops to attack Rebel objectives, it can hasten this process. Another aspect to this game is committing units to The Force, where units committed are exhausted longer but reap benefits from it. All of this leads to an intriguing game that was not confusing and provided strategic challenges even for hardcore card players.
Unfortunately, Star Wars: TCG is not balanced just yet. Having played the Rebel Alliance and Imperial Navy factions, I personally felt that the light side is at a disadvantage. The Imperial Navy had more objectives that provided extra resources, which could lead to a ridiculous head start that the Rebel Alliance can’t cope with. Fortunately the game is still in its infant stage, with several expansion packs already announced for release. These expansion packs could balance out the game play, as the demo was played with a pre-constructed deck. Maybe a change of certain cards or mixing up certain factions would have made a better deck. Being a LCG, this provides even more possibilities and fun for both casual and advance gamers. Star Wars: TCG was entertaining throughout the demo and I hope that FFG continues to innovate on it.