Hard to See the Future is...

Fantasy flight has unveiled more details about their newest addition to their Living Card Game family: Star Wars the Card Game. This week on their Web site they gave us a sneak peek at some of the gameplay mechanics, deck building concepts, and new artwork.

The Artwork - Looks fantastic! It's original, and not just more of the same screen shots rehashed into a game format, but also not a completely new re-imagining of the classic characters we all grew up with. Instead the images appear to be an artistic translation of well known images from the movies!

The Gameplay - Back in February FFG told us they were scrubbing the original game design entirely (which at the time was a co-op game, and had some similarities to their Lord of the Rings title). And scrub it they have. The game is now a 2-person head-to-head battle for control of the galaxy. The Empire is attempting to reinforce its hold on the galaxy, and essentially wait out the Rebels, by advancing the "Death Star Counter." Meanwhile the Rebels are trying to destroy 3 of the Empire's 5 objectives. They've also included a "new" system called "edge battles"—a battle mechanic that revolves around players secretly bidding cards face down and revealing them to see who gets first strike that turn. There will apparently be a fair amount of effects and abilities triggered during these edge battles to make things interesting.

Deck Building - This is by far the most innovative concept of the game. Players will build their "Command Deck" by selecting 10 (or more) objectives. Each objective has a set of 5 cards that come along with it, you set your objectives aside, and shuffle the 50 cards that came with them and there is your deck!

My Thoughts - I really like the artwork as I said earlier, I think the screen shot thing has been done to death (although, maybe not so much in this century), but choosing to not go solely on screen shots will allow for more creative freedom as the game grows and changes—we could even see characters, ships, and locations from the novels and other iterations of the Star Wars universe come into the game!

I don't know if I'm sold on the "edge battle" thing; when I first read it, it sounded all too familiar to me, and smacked of "Young Jedi," and, well, we don't need to go there again. I much prefer a game that's multi-player; a Living Card Game is typically a hefty investment, and I'd like to be able to play with more than one friend at a time if I'm going to dump some cash on the game. That being said, I'm glad they took the time to revamp the title,; I think a Star Wars rehash of the Lord of the Rings game would have been more of an annoyance, and shown some contempt toward us gamers.

The deck building concept seems really interesting to me. I think new gamers, or folks who haven't built a deck from the ground up, are going to be able to compete and not be overwhelmed right out of the gate. I also see deck building veterans getting super frustrated because they're going to be unable to jettison some unwanted fluff from their deck! It poses a challenge to both the green and grizzled.

Fantasy Flight still hasn't given a hard street date for the title; they are still saying that the release will be sometime in the 4th quarter of this year. I imagine they won't miss the Christmas rush, so I'm expecting it to hit shelves around Thanksgiving (hopefully sooner!).

You can read the news release on Fantasy Flights' Web site RIGHT HERE!

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Thanks for reading!