Welp, leave it to Fantasy Flight to do their Kylo Ren-esque mind probe on me and crank out dis sucka...
Here's FF's HoloNet sales pitch for Outer Rim from Board Game Geek:
"Take to the stars and become a living legend in Star Wars: Outer Rim, a game of bounty hunters, mercenaries, and smugglers for 1-4 players!
"In Outer Rim, you take on the role of an underworld denizen, setting out to make your mark on the galaxy. You'll travel the outer rim in your personal ship, hire legendary Star Wars characters to join your crew, and try to become the most famous (or infamous) outlaw in the galaxy!
"But it won't be easy since the warring factions of the galaxy roam the outer rim, hunting down the scum that have proven to be a thorn in their side, and other scoundrels looking to make their mark see you as the perfect target to bring down to bolster their own reputation. Do you have what it takes to survive in the outer rim and become a living legend?
"In more detail, a game of Outer Rim takes place over a series of turns that sees players taking dangerous jobs, tracking down bounties, upgrading their ship, and more, all in service of gaining more and more fame. Regardless of the path you take to get there, your goal is to gain ten fame, which can come from a variety of sources, such as completing your character's personal goal, collecting on bounties and jobs, delivering illegal cargo, taking down patrols from the various factions struggling over the galaxy, and enjoying the finer things in life by purchasing luxury items with your hard-earned credits.
"While the path to victory may be different for scoundrels finding their way in the Outer Rim, everyone starts from the bottom with a simple starship. Your player board not only tracks your fame progress, but also contains slots for your ship, your character card, gear, reputation, modifications, jobs, and bounties."
If you wanna know more, feel free to dive into the Jedi holocron of knowledge that it the game's full ruleset right here.
SESSION PLAY-THROUGH (8-FAME MATCH)
Han starts things off. He's currently flying a relatively crappy G9 Rigger, which has a base speed of 6, augmented with a +2 thanks to the cocky smuggler's special ability. Laden down with cargo, Han races across the galaxy, travelling eight spaces from Lothal to Tatooine. Still stuck in deep space, Han decides to sensor scan the region. Unfortunately, this alerts a Hutt patrol to his presence! In the ensuing skirmish, Han rolls 2 Focus results versus a Crit by the Hutts! This results in a "defeat" right out of the gate, so Han loses 3000 credits, discards the Secret concealed under his character card and ends his turn! Yikes! The Outer Rim is a tough place, yo!
As for Bossk, he started the game with a bounty for Dr. Evazan's gnarled head. He starts the search effort by guiding his G-1A Starfighter to the Ring of Kafrene. Before looking for the (not) good Doctor in earnest, the Trandoshan hits up the local markets, discarding a Jet Pack on the top of the Gear Deck and revealing an Armored Vest, which he buys for 3000 credits. This moves the Imperial Fleet patrol three spaces, which ends up in the same system. Mercifully, Bossk doesn’t have a negative reputation with the Imperials...yet! During the Encounter Step, the bounty hunter attempts to Encounter the white token in the same space, but it turns out to be Garindan. Since Bossk has neither a negative Imperial reputation or a positive Rebel reputation, the Strength Test is ignored. Thinking that the snout-nosed Kubaz spy might be helpful in tracking down Evazan, Bossk hires him for 2000 credits.
Having barely survived his encounter with the Hutt gank squad, Han uses his Planning Step to repair the damage to his ship. Since he didn’t move, he once again dares to scan the sector of space he's in. He discovers the Rebel Patrol that drove the Hutts away and saved his ass. With one of the Rebel ships damaged in the fracas, Solo offers to use his Tech knowledge to help them. He rolls two Hits, repairs the problem and gains a positive reputation among the Rebels!
Meanwhile, Bossk continues to scour the galaxy looking for Garindan, using his Planning Step to fly to Naboo. Now that he's completely out of money, the Trandoshan decides to take on another bounty. Plot twist: that new bounty turns out to be Garindan! At the same time, the Imperial Patrol continues to shadow him, but since they still don't have any dirt on the bounty hunter, they leave him be. Naturally, Bossk immediately turn on Garindan but he rolls zero Hits. The spy, on the other hand, rolls a Crit, wins the firefight and Bossk takes 2 points of damage. By the time Bossk "comes to" his quarry has fled the scene and is already on a charter ship back to the Ring of Kafrene. Undaunted, Bossk encounters a Contact Token on Naboo, which turns out to be a Black Sun Agent. The bounty hunter rolls a Crit on his subsequent Influence Test, adding the Agent to his crew!
Han's ship finally limps into Mos Eisley spaceport on Tatooine. He delivers the long-delayed Moisture Vaporators, gaining 5000 credits in the process. Impressed by the windfall, he decides to take on another Cargo Job, this time for a Food Supply job cargo which pays 1000 credits. At the same time, however, the Hutts manage to track Han back to Tatooine! In the subsequent Encounter, Han rolls one Crit and one regular Hit while the Hutts only roll one. This is enough to defeat the Hutt death squad, so he gains 5000 credits for eliminating his rivals! Unfortunately, this raises the ire of the Hutts and they send out an even deadlier patrol to seek revenge!
Bossk wisely decides to abandon his pursuit of Garindan, choosing instead to take on some odd jobs for 2000 credits. He also picks up a Job Card called "Rescue from the Mines". In doing so, the Syndicate Patrol token moves three spaces towards the bounty hinter. Bossk then decides to take advantage of his neutral Imperial reputation and explore Naboo. After stumbling upon a suspicious late night gathering in an alley near Theed Palace, he attempts to Test Knowledge. Unfortunately, all of his rolls are Focus results, so the Skill Test fails but he keeps the card for the matching Secret.
Hoping to bury the ol' vibroaxe with a Hutts before things get completely out of hand, Han jets off to Nal Hutta, which is just two parsecs away. There he delivers the Food Supplies, collecting 5000 credits and gaining one positive Reputation with his former enemies, so that now he's on neutral ground with them. The savvy smuggler then takes a Market Action, opting for another Cargo Job. He then invests 2000 credits in some Smuggling Compartments, which he immediately installs. Now that the heat is off of him, Han explores Nal Hutta, eventually encountering a group of bounty hunters looking for Secrets or Bounties. Since Solo has neither, the encounter is turfed without effect.
Bossk departs Naboo, making the long journey towards Kessel. En route he decides to encounter his current nav point. With no patrol in the same space and a neutral Syndicate reputation, Bossk is privy to a distress call from a ship trapped inside of a giant space slug! He rolls a Tech test, getting one Focus and one Hit. Unfortunately, since he’s unskilled in Tech, this is a failure and his ship suffers three points of damage. Yikes!
Han putters around, doing odd jobs and earning 2000 credits in the process. He then picks up a Stolen Weapons Cargo Job, which involves a 2000 credit down payment. This activates the Imperial Patrol, which moves three spaces towards him. He then pokes around Nal Hutta a bit more, and discovers *surprise, surprise* that there’s an active bounty for Hondo Ohnahka.
Given the chance to to track down Dr. Evazan on Tatooine, Bossk decides to pop down there while he's headed to Kessel. First up he performs his Character Action, which is allows him to recover damage on both himself and his ship. Hearing that there's a Cargo Job destined for Kessel, he drops the 2000 credit purchase cost to cram these Stolen Supplies away in his ship's hold. This prompts the Syndicate Patrol to move three spaces in his direction. He then investigates the white Contact Token there...which turns out to be Dr. Evazan! Unfortunately, Bossk totally whiffs his combat roll, scoring zero hits. Naturally, Evazan scores 2 Crits (!) on his counter attack for a net 4 damage (!!!). Mercifully, Bossk's Armored Vest saves his life!
Han jets over to Tatooine and attempts to deliver his Stolen Weapons. Unfortunately, he rolls a Crit where he needed a regular Hit, so he has to resolve Card #1. He rolls a single Hit with that card, so there’s no effect. Han escapes detection and decides to bide his time, immersing himself in the local underground scene. In his subsequent Influence Test, he rolls one Crit and resolves card number 40. As it turns out, Han can't resist the temptation of a sabacc match against Bossk. Unfortunately, the Corellian rolls no Crits and Bossk instantly sees through this comically-bad hand. Skilled in Tactics, Bossk rolls two Crits and handily wins the card game. This entitles the Trandoshan to either take 6000 credits from the other player or a trade ship sheets with him. Naturally, he opts to take the money, which mercifully ends another disastrous turn for Solo!
Deciding that he needs more firepower to deal with these pesky bounties, Bossk scrounges up an additional 2000 credits by performing some local gigs. During the Action Step, he resolves his own Personal Action to heal 2 damage from himself and one from his ship. Then, after dropping a sizable 8000 credits on an MPL 57 Grenade Launcher, he heads back out to find Evazan. As a side note, acquiring this weapon prompts a Rebel Patrol to land on Tatooine. In the subsequent scrap, Bossk rolls 3 Hits and 1 Crit while Evazan just rolls 1 Hit. After subduing his quarry, Bossk takes him prisoner.
As for poor Han, he can’t seem to catch a break. He spends his Planning Step doing odd jobs in an attempt to make up some of the money he lost in the sabacc match. In his Action Step, he attempts to unload the Illegal Cargo still sitting in his ship's hold. He rolls a Blank but, thanks to his Smuggling Compartments, this lets him turn the blank into the Hit needed to successfully deliver the cargo. This earns him 7000 credits and one Fame! Emboldened by this, he pays the 1000 credits required to take on a Coaxium Cargo Job destined for nearby Ryloth. This moves the Imperial Patrol four spaces, and they land on the desert planet. Things are getting hot...in more ways than one! Having finally learned his lesson, Han decides to keep a low profile for the rest of his turn
NOTE: Ham Salad action figure not included!
Anxious to get paid, Bossk jets off to Kessel. In deep space, he decides to scan around his current nav point. He intercepts a transmission intended for someone else, quietly banks this Secret and keeps on truckin'.
NOTE: kick ass Bossk figure not included.
Han flies two nav points to Ryloth during his Planning Step. During his Action Step he delivers the Coaxial Crystal, gaining 5000 credits and one positive Imperial Reputation. While on Ryloth, he hears rumors of a used ship for sale, which turns out to be a battered YT 1300 light freighter. He immediately pays the whopping 20,000 credit asking price. Sure she’s a bit beat up, coming to him with three damage, but it also fulfills Han's Personal Goal, which is to have a ship valued at 15,000 credits or more. He earns one Fame and flips his card to the "Skilled" side. Thrilled by this turn of good fortune, Han decides to take on a Bacta Supply job. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the 1000 credit investment to accommodate it. Although it pains him to do it, he sells his Smuggling Compartments to accommodate the cargo. This moves the Hutt patrol three spaces in his direction.
After Bossk arrives on Kessel he rolls 1 Hit, delivering his Stolen Supplies, earning him 1 Fame and 7000 credits. After taking a Character Action to recover 2 damage to himself. He then takes a Market Action, investing 1000 credits to pick up Salvage Card, which moves the Rebel Patrol four spaces in his direction. Then, during the Encounter Phase, he attempts to rescue a local governor's son who fell in with an unsavory crowd and found himself in the spice mines. This requires Bossk to test Knowledge to locate an alternate entrance, but he fails to roll the required Crit. This leads to Plan B: going in guns a-blazin' versus the pike sentinel guards. Armed with his grenade launcher, he rolls five dice and gets six hits...two regular and two Crits! The Guards dice up three hits in reply: one Crit and one regular. He defeats the guards but also takes three damage in return, nearly dying in the process. He currently has 4 damage but, thanks for his Armored Vest, he's still alive! Unfortunately, the door to the prisoner's cell is so corroded with rust he needs to roll a Strength test to open it. The one Hit he generates is just enough, which lets him spring the prisoner and make good his escape. He gains 8000 credits and one Fame, but also loses favor with the Syndicate. Note: in a strange twist, having a Black Sun agent on board earns him a bonus 2000 credits for this venture.
After series of rough bounces, Han decides to just heal all of his damage and repair his new ship during the Planning Step. Feeling refreshed, Han then takes a Market Step, taking on a job called Rooting Out Spies for his ol' buddy Maz Kanata. This moves the Hutt patrol three spaces in his direction and they touch down on Ryloth. While passing by a junk pile he comes across a wrecked IG-type battle droid. After re-activating it, Han learns that the droid was a former bodyguard. He attempts to reprogram the thing using Tech and rolls a Hit! The droid joins the crew, adding +2 Strength as well as the matching attribute.
Knowing that piloting isn't his strong suit, Bossk eschews travelling via the Maelstrom, choosing instead to depart Kessel via the traditional nav points. He then uses his Ability Action to heal two points of damage. It’s a darn good thing that Trandoshans can regenerate! Rested up a bit, he decides to chance an encounter with his current location. His scans reveal a derelict transport that's completely abandoned. Bossk salvages the cargo, taking a hit to his reputation with the Hutts, so now he's neutral with them.
Blasting off in the newly re-dubbed Millenium Falcon, Hanuses the nine (!) movement points at his disposal to move all the way from Ryloth to Takodana. Looking to help out Maz, Han spends 1000 credits to hire someone who's adept in local knowledge. In the subsequent test, Han must pass an Influence check. Although he rolls one Hit, he;s unskilled, which means he needed a Crit, so this is a failure. The information broker betrays Han and her minions try to murder him for poking around. In the resulting shoot-out, the smuggler gets a surprising three Hits and the goons roll two. He wins the fight, taking only a single damage in the process. The contact tries to flee, but Han's local connection knows a shortcut through the hideout's basement. The resulting Knowledge Test scores a Hit, just enough to pass through without damage. They catch up to her, resulting in a running firefight. Han fires from a distance, scoring a single Hit on his first attempt. Unfortunately, that’s not enough...he needs a Crit! The same result happens on the second attempt, so he takes another damage, but the third time's the charm! He takes down the spy, completes the job, discards the hired help, and then gains 5000 credits and one Fame!
After Bossk touches down on Mon Calamari, he delivers the Salvage, gaining 5000 credits and one Rebel reputation. He also delivers Dr. Evazan to the authorities, scoring a whopping 10,000 credits and a Fame. Once again, his Personal Action pays off and he heals two damage. Positively rolling in cash, Bossk decides to take a Market Action, picking up a 3000 credit nav-computer which will add 1 to his ship speed. Unfortunately, he's still 1000 credits shy of his personal goal, which is to have at least one mod and two gear with a combined cost of 15,000. After deciding to check out the local space port, he bumps into a Wookiee bounty hunter by the name of Black Krrsantan. Not only is Bossk fresh out of active bounties to share with him, the Trandoshan's reputation of being a wookiee-slayer sparks a fight. Bossk rolls a grand total of three Hits and one Crit while his rival only scores two Hits. Although the wookiee is defeated and removed from the game, Bossk gets nothing for the kill. BOOO! C'mon, that's gotta be worth at least a Fame point!
Han decides to spend the first part of his turn healing three damage. He then heads off to the Market, picking up a DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol for 3000 credits. This moves the Syndicate Patrol three spaces in his direction. Before shipping out, Han explores Takoana a little bit. As it turns out, Imperials have been sniffing around the system and Maz accuses Han of bringing them there. He takes a hit to his reputation with the Impies just to stay in her good graces, which allows him to resolve a new card involving a clandestine meeting with a code breaker. Sensing that he's getting in way over his head, Han decides to step back a bit.
Now on a roll, Bossk jets off to Cantonica, which is 5 parsecs away. After regenerating 2 damage during the Action Phase, the Trandoshan attempts to offload his illegal Stolen Cargo. Unfortunately, he doesn’t roll a Hit, which results in some "unwanted attention." Since he rolled the Focus symbol, he overhears that the Rebellion is in desperate need for the cargo he's looking to sell. He callously disregards their plea, choosing to deliver it elsewhere. This causes him to lose one Rebel Reputation, but the goods are moved and the resulting 7000 credits are banked.
Han decides to stay on Takodana for one more turn, collecting 2000 credits by doing some odd jobs for Maz. He decides to cycle the Market Deck, revealing a Vibroknife, which he decides not to take. Instead, he accepts a job for the Hutts, which involves hijacking a merchant freighter. This moves the Syndicate Patrol three spaces in his direction. During the Encounter Step, he decides to hang out at Takodona Castle, bumping into Bib Fortuna while he's there. Han tells the majordomo about Bossk's past transgressions against Jabba, which causes his rival to lose one Hutt reputation.
After pursuing some odd jobs on Cantonica, Bossk cycles the Ship Deck. By some wonderful coincidence, the next vessel turns out to be a YV-666 Light Freighter, which he immediately purchases! He decides to celebrate his new ride, re-dubbed the Hound's Tooth, by hitting the town. He finds himself embroiled in a game of chance in a run-down sector the city. Feeling lucky, the bounty hunter drops a 2000 credit bet and rolls the chance cubes. Sure enough, he gets a success...netting him a cool 5000 credits. Everything's comin' up Milhou...er, Bossk!
Han jets off to the Ring of Kafrene. Before tackling the hijacking job, he to scare up some additional crew. He decides to cycle the Job Deck, revealing a card called "Hutt Favor", turfing the bounty on Hondo in the process. This also moves the Hutt Patrol four spaces. Undaunted by his skeleton crew, Han proceeds with the hijacking job. First up, a single Hit ensures that the Falcon docks with her prey without a hitch. Once onboard, they need to remove an access panel to try and slice the freighter's computer. Fortunately, the IG unit rolls one Hit on its Strength check, which is more than enough to succeed. Now it's Han's turn to shine! Unfortunately, his Tech roll results in back-to-back Focus results: a failure! This sets off an alarm and the Falcon suffers a point of damage in the resulting chaos. Desperate to flee, Han tries to blow up the docking clamps now holding his ship in place. He manages to roll a Crit, freeing the Falcon while accruing no extra damage.Things get even worse when a Black Sun escort fighter shows up and attacks the Falcon. Han's gunner generates only a single Hit on 4 dice but the attacking fighter delivers a punishing Crit and single Hit for a total of 3 damage! The Falcon gets away, but, sadly, the job is a complete bust.
Bossk continues to loiter around Cantonica, collecting 2000 credits for various odd jobs. He then sells his Armored Vest for a 3000 credit, um...credit to buy a Vibroknife for 1000 credits. This allows him to complete his Personal Goal, so he flips over his Character Card and scores one Fame in the process. This also moves the Syndicate Patrol 4 spaces in his direction. He then opts to explore Cantonica, crossing paths with the protocol-droid-turned-bounty hunter 4-LOM. He decides to spend the 3000 credits to hire the merc, just to gain the Tactics skill and +1 to ground combat.
Ask for Han, he's forced to burn his Planning Step in order to repair all of the damage to the Falcon. Looking to increase his odds, he pays 5000 credits to install an Ion Cannon on the ship. He then doggedly attempts to tackle the job again. After Han's flawless Piloting check, the IG-unit's Strength test is bungled, resulting in the Falcon taking a point of damage. Han rebounds with a Crit on his Tech check, slicing the computer like buttah. In the subsequent dogfight, Han rolls two Crits and two regular Hits for a total of six damage. The Black Sun escort fighter rolls one Critical and one regular Hit, the latter of which is cancelled by the Ion Cannon, so it's a net two damage. Han wins the combat and finally completes the job, collecting 5000 credits and scoring well-earned bump in Hutt Reputation as well as +1 Fame.
Bossk jets off to Lothal, which is five parsecs away. He decides to hit up the Market, getting a bounty for Greedo. This prompts the Hutt patrol to move four spaces in his direction. He then checks out the green contact on that space, who turns out to be Boshek. The bounty hunter decides to drop the 2000 credits required to hire the expert Pilot, giving him the matching skill.
Once again, Han spends his Planning Phase repairing the damage to the Millennium Falcon. He spends the rest of his turn prospecting for a Targeting Computer Mod, which moves the Rebel Patrol three spaces in his direction. He then explores the local underground, running into a starship "hot rodder", who offers the top three cards of the Market Deck, including some sweet Maneuvering Thrusters and a Quad Laser Cannon. Unfortunately, due to his painful lack of funds, the destitute Corellian has to pass.
Bossk continues to chill out on Lothal, acting as temporary muscle for a local crime lord to collect 2000 credits. Unbeknownst to Boshek, the ruthless Trandoshan hears about a bounty on his co-pilot's head and immediately turns on his ally. Bossk starts this capture attempt armed with his Grenade Launcher, a Vibroknife and backup from 4-LOM. He rolls of grand total of four Hits and one Crit hit for a total of six while the surprised Boshek can only manage 1. As a result, he's captured.
Han manages to scrounge up 2000 credits while loitering around Kafrene. He then cycles the Cargo Deck, spending 1000 to accommodate some Food Supplies. This also moves the Hutt Patrol four spaces in his direction. They touch down in the same system but Han currently enjoys a positive reputation with the Hutts, so it's all good. He then resolves an Encounter Card, getting into conversation with a local *a-hem* jizz wailer (look it up) who claims to be "the most famous musician in this corner of the galaxy." He offers to write a song detailing the smuggler's exploits, but since Han isn't technically the most famous character right now, it's gonna cost him. Begrudgingly, Han pawns off his blaster to come up with the 8000 credits required for payment. It's a solid investment, though, scoring him a much-needed Fame. He's now at 6!
The Hound's Tooth has just enough movement required to make landfall on Nal Hutta. He immediately delivers Boshek, gaining 8000 credits and bringing his Fame up to seven. In a bid to get the eighth and final Fame point to win, Bossk cycles the Luxury deck. He passes up the Undercover Agent card, opting instead to pay 2000 credits to take on some Stolen Weapons, hoping to cart them off to Tatooine next turn. This moves the Imperial Patrol three spaces in his direction. They arrive on Nal Hutta, but since he has a neutral reputation with them, everything is copacetic. Bossk then bumped into local alien dudebro Ponda Baba. With a successful Strength test, the Aqualish goon is put into his place and, suitably Beta-cucked, he joins the Trandoshan's crew.
Between the Millennium Falcon's obscene speed and Han's special ability, he gets all the way to Nal Hutta on one turn! The smuggler then delivers the Food Supplies, collecting 5000 credits and re-enforcing his positive reputation with the Hutts. This also completes his Ship Goal since he has two Mods and just delivered a Cargo! It’s now a race to see who gets that final Fame point! After cycling the Job Deck, Han learns of Jabba's Hidden Stash which moves the Hutt Patrol three spaces in his direction. He then decides to poke around on Nal Hutta, passing up an open bounty on a Black Sun agent.
As if there's nothing to it, Bossk flies his Illegal Cargo to Tatooine, unloads it with an effortless Hit roll, collects 7000 credits and gains one more Fame for the win!
- I like the Outer Rim map board and the recessed ship control panels. The latter is particularly sweet since your trackers won't fly all over hell and/or creation if someone mistakenly bumps into the table.
- The rules are remarkably clear and intuitive and I didn't spend a metric crap ton of time looking stuff up.
- Of course, I'm gonna compare this to both Firefly and Merchants & Marauders and, frankly, I think it beats both of them handily! Both of those games have a tendency to come to a screeching halt during the "Aim to Disobey" actions in the former and combats in the latter; a situation that's completely remedied in Outer Rim. In addition, the patrol system here is very elegant and doesn't require a ton of book-keeping. Another point: even when you're floating around in deep space, you still can get into misadventures, so it feels as if your turn is wasted. Put it this way: I'm seriously thinking of turfing both of those other titles! Frankly, I think the only other game that holds a candle to it is probably Xia with the expansions.
- My session reports shows just how thematic the game can be.
- Between the ships, mods, characters, crew, equipment and jobs there's a decent variety here.
- The balance seems pretty decent to me, at least with these two characters. Despite Han getting consistently kicked in the space-cubes, he still only lost by one Fame!
- Given that most of the cards are without art and, even less forgivable, we don't get any ship models ("BOOOO!!!"), clearly the price point is high just because the words "STAR" and "WARS" are plastered all over the box. I subbed in minis from the old WOTC Star Wars Miniatures game, 'cuz I just thought anything else was a travesty.
- The game abstracts a lot of stuff, which may annoy a certain segment of hardcore gamers. Personally, after gnashing my teeth at the design failures that hobble it's competitors, I'd prefer breezy over chrome-y with a title like this.
With it's planet-hopping pace, rich thematic content and no shortage of tough scrapes to get in and out of, Outer Rim scores five pips outta six, with a tilt up towards the top of Chewbacca's furry pate!