The Power of the Card Side
I told myself I was done with CCG booster-style games after playing Magic The Gathering for a few years and shifting to LCG’s (there will be an article from The Living Card Guy coming out soon regarding that topic) and being burnt so hard by dice masters. These two occurrences made me really dislike the CCG model and dislike the idea that I don’t have full access to cards I want to use (with out proxying). However, with the popularity of Star Wars and the design similarities with Warhammer 40000: Conquest, Star Wars Destiny has finally got me underneath its thumb.I have a few decks built now, mostly net decks from my new favorite site www.swdestinydb.com. I have also only played a game, but hot damn does it feel like it is a winner. Today I would like to talk you all through this game to help you all decide if it is right for you to spend money on (if it ever comes back into stock).
First off, let’s start with a quick rules overview. This game is a deck construction game, meaning you build your deck before you come to the table and compete with your opponent (or opponents, as this game has built in multiplayer rules). Each deck has up to 30 points of characters at its helm. These can be either villains or heroes from the Star Wars universe. Then each player creates a 30-card deck consisting of cards that match their chosen character’s colors. This allows a deck to have one or all of the three colors in it, based on the character selection. Players then determine which battlefield they are fighting over by having a roll-off, this also determines who the first player is. After cards have been drawn, mulligans have been taken, and resources have been gathered, the game starts. The player who claimed the battlefield during the earlier roll-off takes a single action first, then the other player takes one action. This goes back and forth until all actions have been taken and both players pass. A player, as an action, can do any number of things including claiming the battlefield for themselves, thus giving them initiative next round, but if they do they forfeit all their actions the rest of the round. There is an undefined amount of rounds that happen, but they are all the same, each player takes an action until both pass. There are two ways to win. Either kill all of your opponents’ characters or mill your opponents hand AND deck to 0 cards.
So let’s start with the good stuff. This game’s mechanics reflect the back and forth interaction of a lot of games that left the LCG and CCG marketplace. Conquest and Doomtown: Reloaded being the two I can recall off the top of my head. This tennis-like back and forth changes how people think and allows for some of the most intense game interactions that I have seen. The ability to team up heroes from different galactic eras is a very cool feeling. Making it more like a holotable fighting game as opposed to an accurate-to-mythos period game. I personally think that is a very awesome thing because it allows for interesting team-ups and even more interesting interactions. The characters are also built in a top down manner, first considering what that character does or who that character is and building mechanics around that instead of building mechanics and then fitting characters into the game wherever you can. All of these good things bode well for this game; however, not everything about this game is great…
There are few issues I see with this game. The first and most obvious is that it is a CCG. This is the first issue I mention because it leads directly into all the other problems I am about to talk about. Moving back into the CCG world is hard for me because I like deck building and tinkering with net decks. In this game however it is nearly impossible to start that way. Not only because I have to buy random cards to fill out my collection, but also because FFG is not able to keep up with the demand of the game. This is the second huge issue. As far as I am concerned this game is in the same funk that Dice Master started in. Not enough product to fulfill demand. I don’t really buy the idea that FFG didn’t think it was going to be this big, as most interviewed members of the Destiny team have stated. They have been talking about it forever and even did prerelease events for it. They knew it was going to be big ‘cuz they built it up to be. Part of me thinks that they are controlling product to drive card prices higher, which frustrates me a lot. Suffice it to say my favorite part of most of my LCGs is building decks and testing them, so getting back into the idea of proxying is …difficult.
The game has some really good stuff at it’s core if you can get over probably not being able to pick up your own cards for a month or two. I really think there is potential here, hence me buying into it, but I also see a problem. If FFG cannot even keep up with the demand for the hype they generated in the first place, I have my doubts as to whether or not they can keep up with the competitive scene that needs product (boosters and promos) to thrive. People play CCGs to get more cards to fund their playing of more CCGs, it is a common thing in that world. How would one run a tournament if they have no product to give out as prizes? I personally do not believe the Organized Play kits from FFG are going to be enough to keep people happy with a competitive CCG, but we shall see.
What do you all think about Star Wars Destiny? Is it a game you are playing or one you are treating like the plague? Do you think FFG can keep up or will it fall on its face like Dice Master did? Leave you feedback in the comments and I will see you next time!