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Subject: First game report rss

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Don
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My wife is a bit of what you might call, a reluctant gamer. She'll play stuff with me from time to time, but I generally have to beg or bribe her. I've been very excited about Star Wars LCG since I heard about it, so imagine my pain when just when I got a copy, I was going to be stuck at the in-laws for all of Christmas break, with no gamers around to play it with!

I read the rules and flipped through the cards, sighing and groaning audibly every time my wife passed by, lamenting my cursed situation and wishing out-loud for someone to play it with. I read the reviews, watched the how-to-play video, and lurked in SW LCG discussions threads, reading about the issues, thematic problems, deck-building complaints, etc. After about 2 days of this, when I sighed with particular hopelessness, she says, "OK, I'll play one game with you, that's it."

I immediately produced the materials and set up to play.

She was the Rebel Alliance, I was the Imperial Navy. I had the rule-book next to me, to go through everything step-by-step, as I'd never played before and she wasn't interested in reading a word unless I made her.

I started with a few small units, and took the balance of the force right away, much to her disdain. She played an x-wing of some kind, and I suggested she attack with it. She was hesitant, but I reminded her that the Death Star was ticking away every turn, so she sent it against an objective.

I defended with a unit and quickly explained how edge battles worked, and she handily won the edge, including a fate card that did an extra damage to my objective. Her X-wing blasted my defender and proceeded to do an additional damage to the objective. We didn't read the part about unopposed fights doing an extra objective damage, assuming that that was when no defender was declared.

I kept control of the force, and she was dismayed when my dial ticked up twice at the start of my turn. She frowned, and looked at her meager hand. I explained that she could discard 1 card and draw back up to 6 cards, and she brightened a bit. I played a few smaller cards, including some that gave me extra resources, and held back from attacking, preferring to let her come to me while I held onto the force.

She brought out a few more units, and grew more confident attacking and began to understand how critical the edge battles were. I wasn't drawing many units, but had beefed up some objectives and had 7+ resource cards out, so I felt ok. She took the force and finished off the first objective she'd weakened, and I brought out Devastator in response. Her eyes bulged at all the symbols, and I proceeded to blast one of her objectives with it, destroying it and speeding up the dial. I realized without the force, I had to be more aggressive to keep her off balance.

She pressed her attack, keeping the force and bringing out Admiral Ackbar mid-fight. I watched in horror as she won the edge and put two more focus tokens on my prize, Devastator with the Admiral. New connections were being made in my brain, and I salivated at the thought of future possibilities with this combat system. At the moment, I was the one that looked dismayed, even though the dial was steadily advancing towards 12.

She eventually finished the job with the help of the Wookie navigator, and seemed very satisfied with herself. I pressed for another game, but she refused, and I cleaned up, excited about all that I had learned and the new ways I had come to understand the game.

A very satisfying first game.

Final Thoughts:

+I didn't care at all about the un-thematic things, the art was lovely and the tactics were all that mattered with each unit card and event.

+Edge battles! We both really enjoyed the suspense and tension these produced. Most memorably, she figured out bluffing, multiple attacks, and the fate card that resets the edge stack and starts a new one.

+Drawing back to 6 cards. We both felt that we always had options. I started slow on units, but between edge battles and general play, I felt I could dump a bad hand and get back to where I wanted to be much more quickly than with traditional CCG's and LCG's.

+Alternating combat. It was fun to lose an edge and still be in the fight, if I had enough defenders. It felt like you could lose the battle and still win the war (even if I didn't in this case)

+Objectives/Deck-building - we're pretty casual, but even my wife could build a very satisfying deck, understanding only the basic elements of the game and with a very loose understanding of the Star Wars universe. I'm excited to try different combos, and learn how to make quick, thematic deck-building decisions that play out well.

-Learning curve: It's a bit less intuitive than say, MTG. I think it will take a few plays before I'm 100% comfortable with the way then turns flow. There's a lot of uses for cards/units, between attacking objectives, controlling the force and edge battles. We also missed a few rules, like the unopposed combat (duh!) and had to consult the book a fair bit despite having watched the video and such.

-Pace: It felt pretty dang frantic. I've played the other LCG's, which are by far longer. The mechanism of objectives and affiliation cards having resources plus drawing to 6 cards each turn makes for virtually immediate combat. Sometimes that was hard to account for, as units were bought and thrown into the fray the same turn. It will take some getting used to, but I think it will ultimately be ok. I can imagine trading decks and playing several games in the same amount of time a more traditional LCG would take.

-Multi-faction deck-building: As has been commented on, I can't imagine building multi-faction decks (yet) without having to include the affiliation card of the minor faction to guarantee resources. Like LOTR LCG, this will probably be fixed/changed in early expansions, which make building more complex decks easier.

-2 core sets: This is better than needing 3 to have enough of everything, but still I find myself wishing I didn't need to buy another core set to properly flesh out 1 faction or experiment better with the included scum/villainy + smuggler/spy stuff. To be expected with the genre and a minor complaint, but still worth noting.


Can't wait to play more! Give it a shot if you can, I think this will only get better with time. I know there's a lot of negative comments about the theme and some of the mechanics, but as a casual gamer, I think this is a refreshing take on the LCG format and am enjoying re-thinking the mechanics we take for granted in other LCG's.
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Michael Denman
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I pretty much agreed with you on everything but I thought I'd comment on your negatives.

vdaoine wrote:
-Learning curve: It's a bit less intuitive than say, MTG.


This made me snort coke out of my nose when I read it. I can't imagine anyone EVER calling MTG intuitive... except for somebody who already knows how to play and has forgotten how totally alien the game concept was at first. My wife tried a CCG with me once, but she was really turned off by the frequent precise language used. I wouldn't DREAM of trying to get her to play Magic. I can imagine her giving Star Wars a fair shake.

vdaoine wrote:
-Pace: It felt pretty dang frantic. I've played the other LCG's, which are by far longer. The mechanism of objectives and affiliation cards having resources plus drawing to 6 cards each turn makes for virtually immediate combat. Sometimes that was hard to account for, as units were bought and thrown into the fray the same turn. It will take some getting used to, but I think it will ultimately be ok. I can imagine trading decks and playing several games in the same amount of time a more traditional LCG would take.


This is probably the biggest negative for me... which is saying a lot because that leaves a whole lot of positives. It does feel like you can't afford to "waste" a turn and when one battle really doesn't go the way you had hoped, you feel like all may be lost. That is until YOU turn the tables big-time on your opponent.

vdaoine wrote:
-2 core sets: This is better than needing 3 to have enough of everything, but still I find myself wishing I didn't need to buy another core set to properly flesh out 1 faction or experiment better with the included scum/villainy + smuggler/spy stuff. To be expected with the genre and a minor complaint, but still worth noting.


I don't feel the need to buy a second core set at all. PATIENCE, my young Padawan. You will soon be buried under cards as the Force Packs come spewing out. And then you'll quickly retire much of your second (or third!) core set and wonder why you wasted the money. One of my gripes about CCGs (and LCGs) is that you end up accumulating so many cards that just sit in a box and never see the light of day. What a waste of money! Now with Star Wars' deckbuilding system, there's no such thing as dead cards that will never see the light of day. I LOVE THAT!!!
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Paul DeStefano
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vdaoine wrote:
It's a bit less intuitive than say, MTG.


Yeah, this is way outta line. MTG is absolutely unintuitive and only simple by its familiarity.
 
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Don
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Geosphere wrote:
vdaoine wrote:
It's a bit less intuitive than say, MTG.


Yeah, this is way outta line. MTG is absolutely unintuitive and only simple by its familiarity.


I think the core mechanics of magic are pretty straightforward. It's very complicated because of card mechanics, not core mechanics. All I meant was that the core mechanics of this LCG are more complicated by comparison. You're basically doing everything you're doing in Magic (draw cards, create resources, use the resources for units, attack and defend with the units) but also there's 3 different attacks to resolve every turn (maybe), each with their own edge battles, and then the force struggle.

I think it's harder to accurately evaluate the "best" move in this environment, i.e higher learning curve, but that's based on one play. Maybe it will get more obvious how to min/max each turn, but that's based on my impression so far.
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Michael D. Kelley
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Great session report. It gives me hope that my wife will love it too.

vdaoine wrote:
-Multi-faction deck-building: As has been commented on, I can't imagine building multi-faction decks (yet) without having to include the affiliation card of the minor faction to guarantee resources. Like LOTR LCG, this will probably be fixed/changed in early expansions, which make building more complex decks easier.


I did an analysis of this a few threads ago. I think multi-faction is fully viable.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/903035/why-i-think-multi...
 
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Don
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Good read XO, ty.
 
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ron watkins
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The multi faction option is actually very viable and can work well right now. Don't under estimate the value of the cards included in afiliated objective sets that do not have an affiliation symbol.Also cards that appear to have no use right away may be helpful during an Edge battle due to their number of Force Icons.
Options like the 'Looking for Droids' Objective Set helps out a multi faction deck really well. 'Dark Alliance' has already helped me a few times when it looked like I would be resourced out of options.Outside of that,'looking for Droids' also supplies eight Force Icons to a DS deck.
This is just one example after having a few games under my belt. A LS deck has the same types of options.
 
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Bo Patterson
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Star Wars: The Card Game » Forums » Sessions
Re: First game report
From my experience, here are ways you can get your wife to play again:

1. Buy a second core set but rename the cards to various movie stars, plot twists and one-liners she likes instead of Star Wars (shooting down a Twilight character might not make to much sense but who cares?)

2. Make bets frequently on stupid things (like who wins The Voice) with the condition she plays...but you might have to give a lot of foot massages too though

3. Play Ticket to Ride first...then say this is one of their 1,000 expansions (Ticket to Ride:Empire Map)

That's really what this thread is about...always looking for the human interest stories of posts!
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