A game that I've been literally wanting to try for over a year is Star Wars: The (Living) Card Game.
In Star Wars: The Card Game, one player takes on a Rebel faction (there are pre-constructed decks for Jedi and Rebel Alliance) and attempts to thwart the objectives of their opposing Imperial faction (decks for the Imperial Navy and Sith). Each turn starts with the "Balance" phase - on the Imperial turn, the Death Star track will go up by one or two points, depending on which side is controlling the Force, and on the Rebel turn, they can damage an Imperial objective if they control the Force. (The game is played on a countdown, with the Rebels attempting to destroy three Imperial objectives before the Death Star track reaches 12.) After this, the active player refreshes their cards by removing one focus icon from each card. Then, they draw back up to their hand limit (after optionally discarding a card). Next, forces are brought into play. Finally, we get to fight! The active player can choose any number of their "ready" characters (any that don't have a focus token on them), and attack their opponent's objective. The defending player can choose to defend the objective with their own ready characters, and if so, an "edge battle" occurs. In the edge battle, players play cards back and forth face down until both pass - and then whoever has played the most "Force icons" wins the battle. The player who wins the edge battle gets to use extra icons (some icons on characters are only valid if you win the edge battle), and players alternate taking turns assigning damage, starting with the player that won the edge battle. Finally, after all of the conflict is resolved, the active player has the option of assigning characters to the Force. After assigning (or choosing not to assign) characters to the Force, whoever has the most Force icons assigned to the Force flips the Force icon to their side. Play continues like this until either the Death Star dial has reached 12 or the Rebels have destroyed three Imperial objectives.
|They also created custom artwork instead of movie images|
The next thing that I like about Star Wars is how some of the resource generation works. Some cards allow you to generate several resources, but you must put a focus icon on the card per resource. However, each card only has a single focus token removed in the refresh step of your turn. So, if you choose to generate a lot of resources from a single objective, then it will take you a few turns before you can use resources from that objective again. Basically, there is a "cool down" period. (This cool down period applies to characters as well.) I like this concept, and I think that it causes there to be more important decisions.
|A Force struggle - the Jedis are winning!|
The last pro (that I will mention) for Star Wars is that I like that your units can serve different purposes. We have already discussed how edge battles work - and so, one use for a unit is to discard them in an edge battle. Some of your characters, like Mon Mothma and Grand Moff Tarkin, can also be used to generate resources. Obviously, you can also use your characters in battle. Finally, you can commit your characters to the Force, which is a critical element of the game. (By the way, I also like how committing characters to the Force works, and adds another element to the game that players must balance.) So, with each individual card, you must decide which way to use it - and, if you are able to use your cards to counter what your opponent is planning, you will probably win the game!
|Obligatory picture of R2-D2|
The next con that I have for Star Wars is really pretty trivial, and is common to many games of this nature - some cards seem a bit too powerful. Now, as I've already mentioned, there is at least some balancing of this by the objective sets - having powerful cards in your deck also means that you're going to put some weaker cards in your deck. But, if you draw the powerful cards, you have a major advantage. And some cards, like Force Lightning, seem ridiculous. Force Lightning lets you kill an exhausted character. Just, *poof*, they're gone. Doesn't matter if its Yoda, Obi-Wan, or some grunt. There are a couple of cards that I've seen that allow you to cancel an opponent's event, but if you don't have one, then you just die. Similarly, if the Rebel player draws Luke and Obi-Wan early, and his opponent doesn't draw anything that is able to easily deal with them, then the Light side might run away with the game. I know that most card games have some luck of the draw elements to them, but for whatever reason, I noticed it more in Star Wars.
Overall, I give Star Wars: The Card Game a 9.0/10. I really enjoyed this game a lot, and I'm looking forward to giving it more plays to see how well it stands up over time.
If Star Wars: The Card Game sounds interesting, then you might also check out the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and Game of Thrones: The Card Game.