Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Star Wars Destiny Galactic Rumble - Part Two

Last update: May 17'th.  
 
Greeting, Star Warriors!

I had so much fun with my first Star Wars: Destiny tournament (deets right hur) that I couldn't wait to do another! 

My original plan was to run it exactly like the first one, I.E. with the same number of decks. But after placing two separate orders for singles and acquiring a gravity feed box of the new set, Legacies, things quickly shot into Hyperspace. By the time I was done, sixteen different decks were vying for galactic supremacy!

Naturally, with things changing so much, the card lists for each deck are also in flux. In fact, at one point I had to spin characters off from established decks to form brand new ones. Think of this as a flurry of mid-season trades! I'll try to do my best to keep you informed of these tweaks but I consider all of these decks to be works in progress and I'm constantly fiddling with them.

As you'll soon see, not only did the tournament double in size, the play-by-play for each match became increasingly detailed. As such, I've decided to make this a "living post" which I'll update every few days with the results of a new match. Not only will this spare me a nigh-insurmountable initial time investment it should make the post more approachable for visitors as well.

So, with all of that established..."Let's get ready to rumblllllllllllle!!!"

ROUND ONE - MATCH ONE

WONDER TWIN POWERS - ACTIVATE!

Characters: Luke Skywalker - Jedi Knight and Leia Organa - Born Leader

Battlefield: Moisture Farm - Tatooine

Supports: Launch Bay x 2, Strike Team, Outpost
Vehicles: n/a
Droids: C-3PO and R2-D2

Upgrades: Teamwork
Ability:  Fearless, Force Training, Coordination, Force Protection
Equipment:  Jedi Robes
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: DH 17 Blaster Pistol, Lightsaber, Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber

Events: Daring Escape, Our Only Hope, Willpower, Block, Leadership, Dodge, Deflect, The Day Is Ours, Fierce Resolve, Defiance, Take Cover, Determination, Force Misdirection, Lightsaber Pull, Strategic Planning

*** VERSUS ***

SERVANTS OF THE DARK SIDE

Characters:  Servant of the Darkside and Darth Vader (Elite) - Sith Lord
Battlefield:  Separatist Base - Mustafar

Supports: Power Of The Darkside, Emperor's Favor
Vehicles: Darth Vader's TIE Advanced
Droids: n/a

Upgrades: Now I Am The Master
Abilities:  Force Choke, Force Throw, Immobilize
Equipment:  Sith Holocron
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons:   Lightsaber Pike, Vibroknife, Grand Inquisitor's Lightsaber

Events: Pulling The Strings, Dodge x 2, Force Strike x 2, Lightsaber Throw, Isolation x 2, Block x 2,  Abandon All Hope, No Disintegrations x 2, The Power Of The Force x 2, Your Skills Are Complete, It Will All Be Mine, Lightsaber Pull, Battle of the Wills

***


In quick succession, Luke got "Force Trained", Leia promoted "Teamwork" and Vader played with his "Holocron". "Force Strike" hit the table 2 times in a row, dealing a total of 6 Melee damage to Luke! Our boi responded by arming himself with his namesake"Lightsaber". The Bad Guys dropped "No Disintegrations", prompting a Discard. Luke remained "Fearless", giving him the ability to draw 2 new cards and get a Shield with every Activation. Vader swapped his "Holocron" out for "Force Choke". Ruh-roh.

Our favorite neophyte Jedi proceeded to tee up 6 points of Melee damage but Vader countered with a "Choke" Special, dealing 1 smack to Luke and turning one of his 3 Melee dice to a miss. Fortunately Leia's re-roll came to the rescue! She gave her bro back his power smash (#unfortunatewording) and then dialed up a "Teamwork" Special. But then mean ol' Papa Vader delivered 3 Melee damage of his own to Luke, dropping him down to 1 point shy of defeat.

Luke went on to pummel the Servant with 6 damage blowing out his target's lone Shield. The Servant bounced back, taking on 2 new replacement Shields. Knowing that his elimination was inevitable, Luke convinced his sis to take the 2 Shields provided by the "Teamwork" die. The Bad Guys Claimed the Battlefield, dealing a single point to Luke and knocking him right the fux out.

The Servants kicked off the next round with "Abandon All Hope", flushing all of Leia's resources down the space-loo. After recovering 2 back from her dice, she immediately constructed an "Outpost". Vader proceeded to clobber her Shields with 3 Melee damage. Leia Claimed, delivering a point of damage to her pops. The Servants finished the turn by gaining 1 Resource.

C-3PO shuffled onto the scene and the Servant generated 3 Melee damage. Noticing this, Leia  quickly put her Shields up. The Bad Guys dropped "Power of the Dark Side" and Leia took 2 hits after they rolled a Blank on the next turn. A Focus provided by the "Outpost" turned Leia's Character Die to 2 Ranged damage. In reply, the forces of evil chucked out "Power of the Force" to re-roll Vader's die. Leia dealt her Ranged damage to the Servant but thanks to those pesky Shields he was still kickin'.

To add insult to injury, Vader's activation forced Leia to discard "Co-Ordination". Done with this crappy round, she Claimed the Battlefield to put a point of damage on Vader. The Sith Lord responded by piling 2 more damage onto his "beloved" daughter.

Leia finally got her "Lightsaber", but this long-awaited moment was short-lived. After the Dark Side forced 3 Discards with a second "No Disintegrations", Vader pulled a Padme on his own daughter (#toosoon) via a lethal "Choke".

SERVANTS OF THE DARK SIDE WINS!

 
Wow, rough match for the Twins. Their deck really benefits from getting "Launch Bay" and / or "Strike Team" out early, so it was probably short-sighted to spend my early Resources on Luke's saber.

I always knew that Elite Vader could be vicious and this match certainly proved that!

***

Next up: "We Do Need Their Scum", a semi-finalist from the the first Tournament, goes up against a re-constituted and re-jiggered "Millennial Falcon". How will a heavily-armed Fett and Bossk fare against wunderkind Rey, traitor-riffic Finn and a new mystery ally?

Tune in next week to find out!

***

ROUND ONE- MATCH TWO

MILLENNIAL FALCON

Characters: Rey - Force Prodigy, Finn - First Order Defector, Max Kanata – Pirate Queen
Battlefield: Starship Graveyard

Supports: It Binds All Things, Awakening
Support - Vehicles: Quadjumper
Support - Droids: BB-8
Support – Location: Maz’s Vault

Upgrades: n/a
Abilities: Second Chance x 2, Force Heal, Force Training
Equipment: Jedi Robes
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Rey's Staff, Rey's Lightsaber

Events: Draw Attention, Take Cover, Riposte, Heroism, Defensive Stance, Draw Attention, Deflect x 1, Unpredictable, Dodge, Block x 2, Mind Trick, Willpower, Negotiate, Use The Force, Flank, Daring Escape, Let The Wookiee Win.

*** VERSUS ***

WE DO NEED THEIR SCUM

Characters: Boba Fett (Elite) - Deadly Mercenary and Bossk - Wookiee Slayer
Battlefield:  Mos Eisley - Spaceport

Supports:  Weapon Cache, My Kind Of Scum, Black Market, Infamous, Hutt Ties, Underworld Connections
Vehicles: Z 95 Headhunter, Hound's Tooth, Slave-1
Droids: n/a

Upgrades: Prized Possession
Abilities:  Deadly, Hunter Instinct, Jetpack
Equipment: Mandalorian Armor, Cable Launcher
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Thermal Detonator x 2, Hidden Blaster, Relby VE 10 Mortar Gun, Flame Thrower, Wrist Rockets

Events: He Doesn't Like You, Threaten, Entangle, Subdue, Go For The Kill, Take Flight, Relentless, Pursuit x 2, Evade

***


Rey dons “Jedi Robes” and gets 2 bonus Shields since this happened on turn 1. She then Activates, as per her Special Ability. The bounty hunters pay 2 Resources for the “Hound’s Tooth”. Maz Activates, turning her and Rey’s Focus into a 3 point Melee attack. The hunters respond with “Take Flight” for free. Bossk Activates, rolling 1 Ranged damage. 3 damage is delivered to Fett, but 1 is soaked up by a Shield. The Millennials Claim the Battlefield. Before the round ends, the hunters pay 1 Resource to get 2, thanks to the “Hound’s Tooth”. Then they deliver 2 Melee and 1 Ranged damage to Maz. Oh, and Bossk gets his “Relby”. 

Maz Activates, resolving her Focus to magically transform Finn’s blank into 2 Ranged, which goes on Fett. Boba retaliates by rolling double Specials and Maz takes 2 more damage.  Finn plays “Draw Attention” to divert 2 of her wounds but not long after the Millennials are forced to Claim. Bossk gets a last minute single smack in on Maz before the rounds ends.

The Millennials play a much-needed “Second Chance” on the already-bloodied Maz. Bossk activates his “Hunter’s Instinct”. Finn also gets his own “Second Chance”! Bossk Activates, shifting 1 Damage from Finn to Rey and on the following turn 2 more Ranged damage is piled onto her. After Maz Activates she resolves both her and Rey’s Focus, setting up 1 Melee from Finn with a +2 assist from Rey. Fett counters this with “He Doesn't Like You”, removing 1 of his own blanks to take out Finn’s Melee die. Out of options, the Millennials are forced to Claim. The hunters pile on, playing “Weapons Cache" and then discarding “Threaten” to re-roll 4 dice. Fett gets another Special, resolving both it and the “Hound’s Tooth” die to deal a whopping 4 damage to Rey!

The good guys lead with “Maz’s Vault” while the bounty hunters bring in a “Z-95 Headhunter”.  Bossk activates, methodically shifting 1 Damage from Finn to Rey. He then resolves the “Hunters Instinct” Special, leaving our favorite Force prodigy with only 2 Health remaining. Maz Activates and gets a Focus which she uses to give Rey 1 Melee. She then resolves Finn’s 2 Ranged on Fett with a +1 assist from Rey. Fett strikes back with 2 Ranged damage on Rey, eliminating her. Tapped out, the Millennials are forced to Claim and the bounty hunters go on a tear. Fett’s 1 Resource powers Bossk’s 3 Melee on Maz and then a 2 value Disrupt is resolved. Bossk then drops a punishing 4 damage on Maz. Knocked out, she discards “Second Chance” to come back with 5 health.

Butt Hole Eyes...er, Maz, rolls and resolves 1 Focus to turn Finn’s die to a 2 Ranged result, which he promptly uses to blast Fett. “Hunter’s Instinct” is played on Maz for 2 points of damage. Fresh out of options, the Millennials are once again forced to Claim the Battlefield. Fett uses 4 Melee to knock out Maz for a second time and then proceeds to whack Finn upside the head for 1 Ranged.

Finn picks up “Rey’s Lightsaber”. In quick succession, the bad guys deploy “Underworld Connections”, “Deadly” on Fett and then “Hutt Ties”. The good guys respond with 2 Ranged damage to Boba. Again, the Millennials must prematurely Claim, putting “Jedi Robes” back on top of their deck. Before the round ends, Finn gets rawked by a brutal 4 points of Ranged damage from Fett and the “Cache”. Another single Damage comes from Fett’s Special and 2 more from “Hunter’s Instinct”. Yeesh.

Finn applies “Jedi Robes” like a giant body-sized band-aid. Bossk gets a “Thermal Detonator”. Finn polishes off Fett with 1 Ranged Damage. Bossk “Entangles” Finn for 1 Ranged Damage. Finn’s all out of tricks so he’s forced to Claim. Bossk goes HAM on Finn with 3 Ranged damage, killing him. “Second Chance” kicks in and he comes back with 5 health but then Bossk resolves a “Thermal Detonator” special for 3 points, “Hunter’s Instinct” for 2 and the “Headhunter” for 1.

Winner:  We Do Need Their Scum


***
At first I was concerned that I’d stumbled upon a game-breaking combo that recycled an infinite loop of “Second Chances”. Mercifully I noticed that these cards are meant to be discarded from play after they’re activated.

Maz’s ability to daisy-chain dice resolutions together is great and all, but Finn and Rey just weren't generating much damage. To mitigate this I swapped in a “Hidden Blaster” for "Riposte" with “What's a Padawan?” and another “Hidden Blaster” for a “Dodge” with the bounty hunters.

Hopefully that’ll improve their odds in a future match.

*** 

Next up: a Sith powerhouse faces off against Han and his 62%-more-thematically-appropriate partner!

***

ROUND ONE - MATCH THREE

THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE

Characters: Palpatine – Galactic Emperor, Royal Guard
Battlefield: Emperor’s Throne Room

Supports: Emperor’s Favor, Power of the Dark Side
Support - Vehicles: n/a
Support - Droids: n/a
Support – Location: n/a

Upgrades: Dark Counsel
Abilities: Force Lightning, Temptation, Force Illusion, Force Rend
Equipment: Sith Holocron
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Vibroknife, Infantry Grenades

Events: Deflect, Power of the Force, Feel Your Anger x 2, Manipulate x 2, Doubt x 2, Indomitable, Snare, Boundless Ambition, Overconfidence, Momentum Shift, Block, Pulling the Strings, Nowhere to Run, The Price of Failure, Dodge, As I Have Foreseen, Intimidate.

*** VERSUS ***

BEST BUDZ

Characters: Han Solo - Scoundrel and Chewbacca – Loyal Friend
Battlefield:  Outer Rim Outpost – Nal Hutta

Supports: n/a
Vehicles: Millennium Falcon
Droids: n/a

Upgrades: Life Debt, Ammo Belt
Abilities:  Roguish Charm
Equipment: Quickdraw Holster
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol, Bowcaster 

Events: Battle Rage, Shoot First x 2, Let The Wookiee Win, Close Quarters Assault x 2, Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder x 2, Impulsive x 2, Cheat, Quick Draw, Block, Disarm, Never Tell Me The Odds, Against The Odds, Hyperspace Jump, Scramble, Smuggling, Dodge, Smuggler’s Run, Sabotage, “Fair” Trade.

***


The Emperor kicks things off, dealing 3 Ranged to Han and then 2 damage to Chewie for his special ability. Han pays 1 Resource to plow the Guard for 3 Ranged damage and, in response, the Royal Guard gets 1 Shield. The round ends after Chewbacca takes on a “Life Debt” and the bad guys Claim the Battlefield.

After Palpatine gets "UNLIMITED POWAAAAH!!!" with “Force Lightning” he rolls 4 Ranged (requiring a cost-prohibitive 1 Resource) and 2 Discards. Han pays a Resource to blast the Guard again. The Emperor resolves the Discards and the good guys are forced to chuck out “Smuggler’s Run” and – EEP! – “Bowcaster”. Our favorite walking carpet then takes 2 points of damage from the Emperor’s special ability. The bad guys then turf “As I Have Foreseen” to re-roll. This time the Emperor gets 2 Ranged and a blank. The good guys Claim, Chewie turns his own die to the Special, flips Palpy’s die to 4 Ranged and then hammers the Guard, killing him. Since the Emperor can't resolve the die’s cost, he’s forced to end the turn.

The good guys play “Cheat”, swapping an “Ammo Belt” for the “Bowcaster” while the Emperor incongruously scores some “Infantry Grenades”. Han picks up a Resource. The Emperor rolls a 2 Discard result, so after Han and Chewie both take a point of damage, they're forced to throw out “Sabotage” and “Disarm”. The Furry One gets a “Quick Draw”-augmented “Bowcaster” so he Activates immediately. The Emperor resolves his Grenade Special, delivering 2 damage to both of his enemies. He then piles 2 more Ranged damage onto the wookiee. Chewbacca fires back, using his “Bowcaster’s” Special to smack the Emperor for a point. After Palpy Claims the Battlefield, Han and Chewie polish off the round by picking up a Resource.

Han gets his “DL-44 Blaster Pistol” and, thanks to the Ambush keyword, he also snags a Shield and then Activates. The Emperor spends 2 Resources for "Dodge", which returns a whopping 6 Ranged damage. Ouch! The Emperor then discards “Price of Failure” to re-roll. Chewbacca resolves his Special, inflicting 1 damage on the Emperor. Palp then makes the wookiee’s hair stand on end with 3 Ranged damage! Han loses a Shield and takes a damage from the Emperor’s relentless Special Ability. The good guys Claim and since the Emperor can’t pay for the cost for his 4 Ranged “Force Lightning”, the round ends.

Han generates an insane 6 damage but Palpatine is ready for him. He flops “Overconfidence”, forcing the smuggler to re-roll, getting 2 Disrupt and 1 Resource, the latter of which is lost. Vicious! As a consolation prize, Han resolves the 2 Disrupt. The Emperor rolls 2 Ranged on 2 dice and the good guys play “Let the Wookiee Win”, delivering 2 damage to Palp. Then Chewie takes 4 Ranged damage right in his furry mush. With that, he’s knocked out and Han mourns by Claiming the Battlefield.

Han gets another “DL-44” so now he’s like an interstellar version of Chow Yun Fat. This gives him another Shield and he Activates. The Emperor plays “Indomitable” and gets 3 Shields! Han plays “Against the Odds”, producing 2 Ranged damage. Next up, Palpy plays “Intimidate” and Han loses his Shield. Our favorite scruffy-looking nerf-herder then discards “Close Quarters Assault” to re-roll his “DL-44” die and ends up smoking the Emperor for 4 points, 3 of which is soaked up by Shields. The Emperor then pays 1 Resource to drop a nasty 4 Ranged lightning blast on Han, who immediately Claims. The Emperor collects 2 Shields and the round ends.

Monsieur Solo Activates. The Emperor plays “Doubt” on Han’s 3 Ranged roll but he gets the same result. He pays 1 Resource and Palpy takes a net of 1 damage. Han then jettisons “Block” to re-roll one of his blank dice but gets a duplicate result. The Emperor plays the appropriately-named “Feel Your Anger” which turfs one of Han’s blanks but also a Supply die. Han then discards “’Fair’ Trade” to re-roll but he only gets 1 Supply. “Emperors Favor” hits the table. Han resolves his 1 Supply and then claims on his next Action. The Emperor picks up 2 Shields then delivers 2 Ranged to Han, finishing him off.

Winner: The Emperor’s New Groove


***

As expected, the Emperor is a freakin’ brute. This deck is basically the polar opposite of “We Do Need Their Scum” which has a shit-ton of Supports and Upgrades. But this one also works. Like really, really well.

It works because that be-helmeted, red-fabric-swaddled meat-shield the Royal Guard can soak up lots of damage while the 15-health Emperor gets established. It works because the bad guys have some pretty hardcore dice manipulation. But it works mainly because Palp is probably gonna light you up with 4-5 damage...every...SINGLE...TURN

Even though the Emperor won, I thought that Han and Chewie acquitted themselves rather nicely, mainly because their relative speed is a big threat to this deck. Next time out I’ll trim “Best Budz” down a bit more and table an elite Chewie.

***

Next up: an octogenarian Jedi and his fledgling apprentice, er...padawan take on the whole Empire by themselves!

***

ROUND ONE - MATCH FOUR

IMPERIAL WAR MACHINE

Characters: Ciena Ree - Adept Pilot, General Veers - Field Commander, Veteran Stormtrooper
Battlefield: Imperial Academy

Supports: Imperial HQ,  E-Web Emplacement, Armored Support, Attrition, Tech Team
Vehicles: Speeder Bike Scout, AT-ST, AT-DP
Droids: Interrogation Droid, Probe Droid

Upgrade: n/a
Abilities: Imperial Discipline, Promotion
Equipment: Plastoid Armor
Vehicle: 74-Z Speeder Bike
Weapons: Infantry Grenades, T7 Ion Disruptor Rifle, EMP Grenades

Events: Take Prisoner, Tactical Mastery, Imperial Envoy, First Strike, Occupation, Flanking Maneuver, Covering Fire, Probe, Firepower, Imperial Backing,  Imperial War Machine, Imperial Might, Pinned Down

*** VERSUS ***

"WHAT'S A PADAWAN?"

Characters: Luke Skywalker (Elite) - Unlikely Hero and Obi-Wan Kenobi - Mysterious Hermit
Battlefield: Obi-Wan's Hut

Supports: It Binds All Things, Your Eyes Can Deceive You, Perseverance  
Vehicles: n/a
Droids: R2-D2

Upgrades: Journals of Ben Kenobi
Abilities: Force Focus,  Akashi Training x 2, One With The Force, Inner Strength, Psychometry
Equipment: n/a
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Hidden Blaster, Lightsaber, Hunting Rifle x 2, Heirloom Lightsaber, Shoto Lightsaber

Events: Heightened Awareness, Invigorate, Guard, Distraction, Force Vision, Voices Cry Out, Rejuvenate, Noble Sacrifice, Alter, Mislead, Bestow, Krayt Dragon Howl, Mind Trick

***


“What's a Padawan?” starts, paying 2 Resources to play “Force Focus” on Luke. The Imperials bring in an “Interrogation Droid”, which later forces a Discard of “Heightened Awareness”.  Ben uses a Focus to turn 1 of Luke's dice to a 2-Ranged side. Luke then uses his own “Force Focus” to turn his other die to a 2 Ranged result! He then heaps all 4 points of damage on Ciena! “What’s A Padawan?” go on to Claim the Battlefield and Luke gets a Shield. The Imperials end the turn with Veers giving Ciena a badly-needed Shield.

After a flurry of activations, the “Interrogation Droid” forces the good guys to turf “Mislead” while “What’s A Padawan?” collect 2 Resources. Veers gets a “Promotion” and draws a card. “One With The Force” is played on Obi-Wan (natch). Once again, Ben’s Focus transforms Luke’s die into a 2 Ranged result and on the following turn this damage strikes Ciena, who loses 1 Shield and takes 1 damage. The good guys Claim and Ben gets a Shield. The villains play “Imperial HQ”, pick up 1 Resource and assault Luke with 3 points of damage. He takes a net of 2 thanks to his Shields and the round ends.

The Veteran Stormtrooper picks up some “Infantry Grenades”. Ben executes his now-trademarked stunt of using a Focus to turn 1 of Luke's dice to 2 Ranged. Luke returns the favor, using “Force Focus” to spin Ben’s “One With The Force” die to a 3-Ranged result! 4 Resources are spent to bring “Tactical Mastery” onto the table. 1 Shield is placed on the Trooper and 1 Ranged damage goes to Luke. “What’s A Padawan?” clobber Ciena with 4 more Ranged damage, knocking her out! 2 more points are delivered to Veers, so he loses a Shield and takes 1 point. The Imperials collect 1 Resource. The good guys Claim and Luke gets a Shield. Fresh out of options, the Imperials end the turn.

Luke ignites his “Lightsaber”. The Stormtrooper inexplicably gets dressed up in a second set of “Plastoid Armor”, giving him 10 Health. When the villains table “Imperial Envoy” 2 “Makashi Trainings” are revealed. Since this is an Upgrade, nothing is lost. Luke delivers 1 Ranged damage to Veers and then picks up a Shield. Ben Claims, giving 1 Shield to Luke. The Impies use their “HQ” to make the 2 Ranged “Infantry Grenades” side free to play and then plaster Luke for 3 points of damage. After his Shields are reduced, he ends up taking 1 damage. The turn ends after the villains collect a single Resource.

“What's A Padawan?” plays “R2-D2” for 1 Resource. For 2 Resources, “Imperial Might” hits the table, hammering Ben for a blistering 5 points of damage! The “Interrogation Droid” forces the good guys to Discard “Makashi Training”. Once again, Ben uses a Focus to switch one of Luke’s die to 2 Ranged. The Imperial spend 2 Resources to play “Imperial Backing” and later “Tech Team” comes down for free. The good guys direct a punishing 5 damage on Veers! Veers uses a Focus to turn the “Infantry Grenade” to its Special. The good guys spend 1 Resource for 3 melee damage on Veers, knocking him out of commission! The “Infantry Grenades” go ‘splody, dealing 2 damage to both Luke and Ben. Luke collects a Resource. The Imperials Claim but the Trooper can't get a Shield ‘cuz he’s not Blue. *beep, boop* Luke finishes the turn by picking up 1 Shield.

“Tech Team” lowers the cost of the “AT-DP” by two Resources. Ben gets “Makashi Training”. The “Interrogation Droid” forces the good guys to jettison “Bestow”. Luke uses a Focus to turn 1 of his dice to 2 Ranged. The Impies discard “Firepower” to reroll the Trooper’s 1 Ranged result and his blank. Luke does a 2 Resource Power Action which delivers a whopping 4 damage to the Trooper. The embattled bucket-head strikes back at Ben for 1 damage. The Trooper is then brutalized for another 3 damage before he’s forced to Claim. “What’s a Padawan?” polish off the round by dealing 1 more Ranged damage to the Trooper and collecting 2 Resources.

“Armored Support” is played for free, thanks to the Imperial’s “Tech Team”. The villains pay 1 Resource for 3 damage on Ben but thanks to his Shields, he only takes one. Luke’s “Lightsaber” Special does 2 damage to the Trooper. “Imperial HQ” resolves, covering the cost of 3 Ranged damage on Ben...he’s eliminated! “Makashi Training” is played on Luke for free. Monsieur Skywalker then proceeds to use a Focus result to turn 1 of his own Character Die to 2 Ranged. Next turn he takes a Power Action, spends 2 Resources to deal 3 Ranged damage to the Trooper and he’s K.O.’ed!

“WHAT'S A PADAWAN?” wins!


***

The Imperials rolled a lot of blanks so, honestly, I don’t know if the solution is to add more Weapons and Vehicles to the deck. Cheaper options, more Resource generation or the ability to retrieve cards would be equally-attractive additions. Sadly, the “Disruptor Rifle” and the “AT-ST” arrived in hand waaaaaaaay too late in the game.

As for Luke and Ben, their synergy is pretty obvious. Not only can Ben soak up a crap-ton of damage, his ability to consistently customize Luke’s dice is pretty sweet. The deck also seems to generate Resources reasonably well, which, in turn, often translates into some pretty potent Power Attacks.

***

Next up: a fledgling Rebel deck gets a baptism by fire in battle against the last tournament’s champion!

***

ROUND ONE - MATCH FIVE

THE DORK SIDE

Characters: Kylo Ren - Vader's Disciple, Captain Phasma - Elite Trooper, Nightsister

Battlefield:  Frozen Wastes - Starkiller Base

Supports:  Power Of The Darkside
Vehicles: First Order TIE Fighter
Droids: n/a

Upgrades: Lure of Power, Force Stasis, Immobilize, Mind Probe
Abilities: n/a
Equipment: n/a
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Kylo Ren's Lightsaber, Captain Phasma's Blaster, F-11 D rifle

Events: Feel Your Anger, Firepower, Isolation, Closing The Net, Pulling The Strings, Enrage x 2, The Power Of The Force, Parry, Drop Your Weapon, Kill Them All, As You Command, Ruthless Tactics, New Orders, Decisive Blow, Leadership, Undying Loyalty x 2, Tactical Mastery, Subjugate, Clash.

*** VERSUS ***

WE’RE REBELS, WE REBEL

Characters: Poe Dameron –More Than A Pilot, Rebel Trooper, Admiral Ackbar – Perceptive Tactician

Battlefield:  Rebel War Room – Yavin IV

Supports:  Air Superiority, Resistance HQ
Vehicles: Y-Wing, Black One, T-47 Airspeeder, Z-95 Headhunter
Droids: Astromech

Upgrades: Wingman
Abilities:  Natural Pilot, Tactical Aptitude
Equipment: n/a
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: IQA-11 Blaster Rifle, A-280 Rifle

Events: It’s A Trap!, Surgical Strike, Strike Briefing, Logistics, Natural Talent, Hit and Run, Rebel Assault, Strategic Planning, Suppression, Logistics, Leadership, Reckless Reentry, Deploy Squadron, Field Medic, Air Superiority, Honor Guard, Defensive Position, Direct Hit.

***


“Force Stasis” is played on Kylo but he completely whiffs on his Activation. But, then again, so do Poe and Phasma! Ackbar uses his 2 Focus result to change Poe and the Rebel Trooper’s dice to 2 Ranged each. 4 Ranged damage is then delivered to Phasma. Kylo resolves his Special on the Rebel Trooper, revealing a “Y-Wing”, so that’s 3 damage! After the Rebels Claim the Battlefield, Phasma picks up a Shield and the round ends.

The Rebels lead by launching a “Y-Wing”. The bad guys respond by giving Phasma an “F-11D Blaster Rifle”. “Hit and Run” is played on Poe and on their next turn the Rebels spring “It’s A Trap!” for 1 Resource, selecting Ranged results. Poe, the Rebel Trooper and the “Y-Wing” all turn their dice to their  2 Ranged damage sides! Kyle-O resolves his “Stasis” Special on the Rebel Trooper who loses his Ranged die and takes 1 damage. 4 more damage is piled onto Phasma’s chrome dome. Her Shield soaks up 1 so she takes a net of 3. Hux then uses his Focus to turn Phasma’s “Rifle” to +2 Ranged and Kylo’s die to its 2 Melee side. The Rebels respond with “Logistics”, so they get 2 Resources from Ackbar’s 1 Resource die. The Dork Side plays “Enrage” for 1-Resource and once again the Rebels Claim. The Rebel Trooper gets plowed with 4 damage, killing him! The Dork Side then pay 1 Resource to resolve Kylo’s 2 Melee damage on Ackbar. Yowza!

Poe gets armed with an “A-280 Rifle” and then an “Airspeeder” takes wing. Once again, Hux uses his Focus to turn Phasma’s die to 2 Ranged and the “Rifle” die to a +2. On their very next turn Ackbar eats all 4 damage and then Mr. Ren drops an additional 1 Melee on the Admiral. The Rebs discard “Leadership” to re-roll 4 dice and then the bad guys spend 1 Resources to play “Power Of The Dark Side”. Next action, Poe does 3 Ranged Damage to Phasma...defeating her! Hux inherits her “F-11D”. The “Y-Wing” resolves its Special, dealing a combined 4 hits to either Characters and / or Resources. The Dork Side opts to lose 2 Resources and take 2 Shields from Kylo. The villains then Claim. Ackbar finishes up the round by collecting 1 Resource and 1 Shield.

Hux stumbles across “Phasma’s Blaster” in the armory. In true action hero fashion, Poe adds an “IQA-11 Blaster Rifle” to his free hand. In a familiar play, Hux employs his Focus to turn his “F-11D” die to +2 Ranged and “Phasma’s Rifle” to 2 Ranged. After spending the required 2 Resources, all of this damage is then piled on Ackbar, eliminating him! Kylo adds insult to injury, resolving 1 Disrupt and delivering 1 Melee to Poe. The Rebels discard “Suppression” to re-roll all of their dice and the Dork Side Claim the Battlefield. Poe and company finish up the round by collecting 2 Resources and using this to play “Direct Hit” on Kylo Ren for a total of 4 damage with an additional 2 coming from the “Airspeeder”.

The Rebels pay 1 Resource for “Air Superiority”. Hux then uses his Special to resolve “Firepower” for free, spending 1 more Resource to deliver 3 Ranged damage for a total of 4 on Poe! The good guys then pay 1 Resource to play “Field Medic” on their wounded ace pilot. The “F-11D Rifle” Special resolves for 2 more damage on Poe. The Rebels respond by tabling “Honor Guard” but then Kylo uses his Special to hit Poe again for a single smack. Poe responds with a vicious 4 damage back to Kylo, taking him out...and not in a “let’s go to brunch” kinda way. The Rebels then apply another point to Hux who promptly Claims. The Rebels finish up the round by giving a Shield to Poe and discarding “Defensive Position” to re-roll a bunch of craptacular dice. The new results are marginally better. First they resolve 2 Ranged damage on Hux from the “Speeder” and then 4 points of hurt from the “Y-Wing”. The bad guys decide to split this up by turfing 2 Resources and the dealing 2 damage to Hux. They finish the turn by picking up 1 Resource.

The Dork Side kicks off the new turn with “Tactical Mastery”, giving them 2 more Actions. Hux Activates then spends 1 Resource to do 5 Ranged Damage on Poe, knocking him out!

THE DORK SIDE Wins!      



***

Clearly this Rebel Deck isn’t fully baked yet. Poe is an animal and he’s nicely assisted by Ackbar, but they just don’t have enough Weapons and Vehicles to put up a proper fight. Especially against The Dork Side; a deck that’s been aging to perfection like a fine wine since the game first launched.

With the upcoming addition of “Legacies” and a bunch of single Upgrades I’m about to buy, I should have plenty of options to build a proper Rebel / Resistance deck. Heck, I might even be able to build two of them!

Stay tuned, Star Warriors!

***

Next up: two bros who lift face off against a kiwi and an asthmatic. The results are just as weird and wild as you might expect.

***

ROUND ONE - MATCH SIX

QUI-GONE GYM & OBI-BRAWN KENOBI

Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi - Jedi Master & Qui-Gon Jinn - Ataru Master

Battlefield:  Jedi Temple - Coruscant

Supports:  Defensive Teaching, Jedi Council 
Vehicles: ETA-2 Interceptor, Delta-7 Interceptor
Droids: R2-D2

Upgrades: Protective Mentor
Abilities: Makashi Training, Inner Strength, Coordination, Force Protection
Equipment: Hush-98 Comlink
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Lightsaber, Shoto Lightsaber

Events: Ancient Wisdom, High Ground, Unbreakable, Synchronicity, Overconfidence, Riposte x 2, Secret Mission, Strength Through Weakness, Investigate, Ataru Strike, Caution, Defensive Stance x 2, Concentrate, Swiftness, Lightsaber Training.

*** VERSUS ***

THE KIWI & THE ASTHMATIC 

Characters: General Grievous - Jedi Hunter & Jango Fett - Lethal Mercenary

Battlefield:  Separatist Base - Mustafar

Supports:  Black Market, Bubble Shield, Outpost, Backup Muscle
Vehicles: Fang Fighter
Droids: n/a

Upgrades: Prized Possession
Abilities:  On the Hunt
Equipment: Armor Plating x 2, Supply Pack, Jetpack, Mandalorian Armor, Ascension Gun
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Vibrosword, BD-1 Cutter Vibro-Ax, Vibroknife, Thermal Detonator, Verpine Sniper Rifle, 
IQA-11 Blaster Rifle, LL-30 Blaster Pistol

Events: Lying In Wait, Coercion, Suppression, QuickDraw, Recon, Tactical Mastery, Battle Fatigue, Armed to the Teeth, Only Business Matters, Loose Ends. 

***


The villains spend 2 Resources to equip Grievous with a “Vibroknife”. Obi-Wan Activates, giving Qui-Gon a Shield. This activates Liam, er...Qui-Gon’s special ability to deal  1 damage to Jango. Fett opts to use his own special ability to Activate. The Jedi play “Defensive Stance”, giving Obi-Wan 2 Shields. After  Qui-Gon plows Grievous for 3 Ranged damage, Obi-Wan performs a “Riposte”, smoking Fett for one damage for each of his 3 Shields. The bad guys Claim the Battlefield and ding Obi-Wan for a point of hurt. For their final action, Obi-Wan uses “Concentrate” to dial up a 3 Melee die result which he then delivers to Fett’s shiny metal face.

Fett dons (more) “Armour Plating” and Grievous goes “On The Hunt”.  After “R2-D2” arrives on the scene, Obi-Wan Activates which gives Qui-Gon  a Shield. After Jango Activates in response to this, the villains chuck out “Backup Muscle” to reroll 3 dice. On their very next action, Grievous spends 1 Resource to deliver 4 damage to Obi-Wan. “R2” generates 1 Resource, which the good guys then use to rock Jango for 3 more Melee damage. His “Armour Plating” soaks up most of this, resulting in a net damage of 1. Grievous resolves a Disrupt, forcing the Jedi to throw out “Swiftness”. Fett nails Obi-Wan with 2 Ranged damage and then Qui-Gon returns the favor, tagging Jango with 1 Melee. The villains Claim, delivering a point of hurt to Obi-Wan and the good guys pass, ending the round.

Like the walking Swiss army knife he is, Grievous suddenly produces an “LL-30 Blaster Pistol”. Obi-Wan Activates, giving Qui-Gon a Shield which he, in turn, uses to snipe Fett for one damage...eliminating him! After Grievous discards “Coercion” to reroll 3 dice the villains strike back, plowing Obi-Wan for 4 Melee damage. Unbowed, the Jedi returns the favor, delivering 3 right back to Grievous! This vicious slug-fest abruptly ends when Obi takes 1 final Ranged hit and gets knocked out. So uncivilized! Once again, it’s “R2” to the rescue! He uses a Focus to turn Qui-Gon’s die to 2 Melee which the Jedi Master then uses to smoke Grievous. All the asthmatic android can do in response is generate one measly Resource. Qui-Gon Jinn Claims, Grievous takes another damage and the round ends.

Qui-Gon fires up a “Lightsaber” and Grievous pays 1 Resource to draw his “Vibrosword”.  This reveals a minor error: the mechanical menace was supposed to get a free Ambush action for his “LL-30”. To make amends, Grievous resolves his “On The Hunt” special to turn his “Blaster” die to 1 Ranged and then zaps Qui-Gon.  The Jedi plays “Force Protection” on himself right before he takes a whopping 4 Melee damage. Grievous gets 1 Resource just as Qui-Gon reconciles his “Lightsaber” special on his foe. In a last ditch effort, Grievous pays 2 Resources to play an “Outpost” but it’s way too little / too late. Qui-Gon delivers the coup de grâce to Grievous in the form of 2 Melee damage, ending the match.


Winner: QUI-GONE GYM & OBI-BRAWN KENOBI!

***

Wow, this one was the equivalent of four hockey goons meeting at centre ice of beating the shit out of each other.   

Admittedly, this new Grievous / Jango deck is pretty anemic, mainly because the lion’s share of my best Upgrade cards are in my Bossk / Boba deck. Needless to say, I need to find some kind of hook or engine for this deck other than “two heavily armed goons try to murder you”. At the very least it needs a Slave-I and Grievous’ Big Wheel! 

As for Obi and Qui-Gon, their synergy worked perfectly, as expected. Obi Activates, Qui-Gon gets a Shield and he then uses his special ability to spend a Shield to deal a point of damage. Nice!

***

Up next: a massive influx of new cards from the “Legacies” set results in a second chance for Poe Dameron and a rabid Attack Dawg being let off the chain!

***

ROUND ONE - MATCH SEVEN

ATTACK DAWG

Characters: Maul – Vengeful One, Mother Talzin – Nightsister Matriarch, Nightsister

Battlefield:  Sith Temple – Malachor

Supports:  Insidious
Vehicles: n/a
Droids: n/a

Upgrades: n/a
Title: Jedi Rival
Abilities: Immobilize
Equipment: Crystal Ball
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: Maul’s Lightsaber, Grand Inquisitor’s Lightsaber, Lightsaber Pike

Events: Momentum Shift, Intimidate x 2, Consumed by the Dark Side x 2, Now You Will Die, Frighten x 2, Evade, Spell of Removal x 2, Double Strike, Witch Magick x 2, No Mercy, No Surrender x 2, Block, Take Cover, Dodge, Hidden Motive, Cornered Prey x 2.

*** VERSUS ***

HOT SHOTS – PART DEUX

Characters: Poe Dameron –More Than A Pilot, Temmin “Snap” Wexley, Admiral Ackbar – Perceptive Tactician

Battlefield:  Launch Deck – Home One

Supports:  Air Superiority, Resistance HQ
Vehicles: Y-Wing x 2, Black One, T-47 Airspeeder x 2, Z-95 Headhunter
Droids: Astromech

Upgrades: Wingman
Abilities:  Natural Pilot, Tactical Aptitude
Equipment: n/a
Vehicle: n/a
Weapons: DH-17 Blaster Pistol x 2, Poe Dameron’s Blaster

Events: It’s A Trap!, Surgical Strike, Strike Briefing, Logistics, Natural Talent x 2, Rebel Assault, Strategic Planning, Suppression, Reckless Reentry, Deploy Squadron, Targeting Computer, Attack Run, Refit, Aim.

***


Mother Talzin gets the potential to “Immobilize” and the good guys launch a “T-47 Airspeeder”. Maul plays “Hidden Motive”, declaring Ranged damage but the re-rolls don’t match. The Nightsister provides one Resource but then Snap Disrupts it! Mother Talzin activates, revealing a cost 2 “Astromech” so there’s no effect. Ackbar forces Mama Talzin to discard her “Witch Magick”.  The Nightsister responds by using her Focus to turn Maul’s die to 3 Melee and then Em Tee collects a Resource. Poe uses his Special to give Ackbar a Shield and then turns the “Speeder” die to 2 Ranged. The bad guys then spend a Resource to clobber Poe with 3 Melee! Yowtch! The “Speeder’s” 2 Ranged damage is then leveled at the Nightsister! After the villains Claim the Battlefield, the good guys opt to end the round.

The villains lead off by paying 1 Resource to “Frighten” their foes, so Ackbar discards one Shield and Snap chucks out 2. The Resistance pay 1 Resource to give Temmin a “DH-17 Blaster” and then Ackbar get the same weapon on the following turn. Maul delivers 2 Melee to Wexley. Mother Talzin Activates, drawing “Air Superiority” (cost 1) and turning the “Speeder” die to a blank! Mother Talzin follows this up by forcing her rivals to discard the “Astromech” and giving the Nightsister a Shield. The Resistance discard “Supression” to re-roll all of their dice and then Ackbar gives the beleaguered Snap a Shield. The Sith Claim, removing one Disrupt die to do 1 damage to Temmin. The heroes finish the round with Poe playing “Logistics” for 2 Resources and Ackbar doing 1 Ranged damage to the Nightsister who discards her Shield.

Mother Talzin gets her “Crystal Ball” for 1 Resource...look out, y’all! Ackbar displays his “Tactical Aptitude” and “Air Superiority” comes out next turn for 1 Resource. After a “Strike Briefing”, the Sith are forced to discard “Cornered Prey” and then “Air Superiority” is used to place a Shield on Snap. The Nightsister resolves a Discard, forcing the good guys to jettison “Natural Talent”. The villains then voluntarily throw out “Consumed by the Dark Side” to re-roll all of their dice. The heroes give no quarter, blasting the Nightsister for 3 Ranged damage! Maul prompts a Discard and the Resistance chuck out “Reckless Re-Entry”. Mother Talzin gets all matronly, giving 2 Shields to her Sistah. “Frighten” is played on their next turn, so Snap loses his Shields. The bad guys Claim, dropping one unblockable damage on Wexley but then Poe and company are fee to pile on. After using the “Airspeeder” Special to draw 2 new cards, they launch a “Y-Wing” with 3 Resources and then play “Wingman” on Snap. Sadly the “Y-Wing” whiffs on its Activation. Ackbar consoles the group by giving Temmin a Shield and then Poe delivers 2 Ranged damage to the Nightsister, who forfeits her 2 Shields. So ends the round!

The heroes pay 2 Resources for another “Airspeeder”. Ackbar Activates , using “Tactical Aptitude” to draw a card and seed “Attack Run” at the bottom of the deck. Mother Talzin removes the “Immobilize” die to turn the Speeder’s 2 Ranged die to a blank. She then uses a Focus to turn her die to 2 Ranged. Ackbar uses his own 2 Focus to flip the “Y-Wing’s” die to a Special and the “Speeder” to 2 Ranged.  “Intimidate” forces Snap to give up a Shield. The villains pay 2 Resources to play “Dodge”, removing all Ranged damage! The “Y-Wing” executes it’s Special, so Maul takes 3 damage and Mother Talzin takes 1. Mother returns the favor, hitting Snap for 2 Ranged. “Air Superiority” gives a Shield to Temmin but Maul bombs in and clobbers him with 2 Melee damage! Snap executes a Discard so the bad guys heave out “Spell of Removal”. Out of options, Maul and company Claim, giving Wexley a damage in the process. For 1 Resource Poe gets a “Targeting Computer” and then upgrades the Speeder die to 2 Ranged which is then delivered to the Nightsister...eliminating her and ending the round!

Ackbar Activates and uses “Tactical Aptitude” to draw a card and bury “Rebel Assault” at the bottom of the deck. The bad guys spend 1 Resource to knock Snap out with 3 Melee! Mother Talzin Activates and, as per her special ability, she draws a card which turns out to be “Poe’s Blaster”. Since the cost is even (2 Resources), there’s no effect. The Resistance pay 2 Resources to put a “Z-95 Headhunter” into the air. Mother Talzin collects 1 Resource and the villains pay 2 to play “No Mercy”. They discard “Momentum Shift”, adding +1 to their 2 Ranged attack on Poe. Ackbar forces a Discard so the villains throw away “Take Cover”. Once again, the Sith are out of options and are forced to prematurely Claim, giving the heroes an opportunity to run rampant. After Poe takes 1 damage, they use “Air Superiority” to give him a Shield and Ackbar adds another. They resolve the “Speeder’s” Special and draw 2 new cards while the “Y-Wing’s” Special inflicts 4 hits! The bad guys decide to divide the hurt equally between Maul and Mother Talzin. 4 more Ranged damage is then directly inflicted on the not-so-good Mother.

Maul pays 1 to do 3 Melee to Poe just as the pilot gets his “Blaster” for 2 Resources. After Em Tee activates, the Resistance draw “Surgical Strike”. Since it’s an odd number (1 Resource), the villains get to turn Ackbar’s Ranged 1 die to a blank. On their very next turn, the bad guys use “Immobilize” to turn Ackbar’s 1 Ranged “Blaster” result to a blank as well. Mother Talzin follows this up by using the Focus on her “Crystal Ball” to turn her own Character Die to 2 Ranged which later strikes Poe. They then play “Evade” to remove the Speeder’s 2 Ranged die. After this flurry of actions, the villains are once again tapped out and forced to Claim. The heroes discard “Refit” to re-roll all but the “Headhunter’s” die. They then resolve the second “Speeder’s” Special (try saying that five times real quick!) and draw 2 cards. Poe generates and then spends 1 Resource to “Aim”, adding +1 to the “Headhunter’s” 1 Ranged die, which then strikes Mother Talzin! They continue to pile on with Ackbar forcing a Discard of “Block” and then discarding “Strategic Planning” to re-roll 3 dice. Unfortunately the only useful thing they get is 1 more Ranged damage, which is applied to Maul.

The villains use “Witch Magick” to collect 1 Resource and then Maul heals 2 damage. They then play “Consumed by the Dark Side” which turns Poe’s “Blaster” die to a blank. Ackbar’s “Tactical Aptitude” helps him draw “Resistance HQ” and bury “Natural Pilot” at the bottom of the deck. Poe and Ackbar then combine for 2 Ranged damage on Maul. Maul plays “No Surrender” to re-roll his blank but he misses again! Ackbar gives Poe a badly-needed Shield. Maul discards “Intimidate” to re-roll...and then misses for a third time! The heroes pay 2 Resources to table “Resistance HQ”. Maul Claims, dealing one unblockable damage to Poe...killing him! The good guys retaliate by activating all of their ships. To maximize the results, they discard “It’s A Trap!” to re-roll the 2 “Speeder” and 1 “Y-Wing” dice. The “Speeder” forces a Discard: the “Grand Inquisitor’s Lightsaber”! Ouch! Since Maul has no cards left in hand, this triggers Ackbar’s special ability and he takes 2 damage. Finally, the “Y-Wing’s” special ability delivers the coup de grâce!


Winner: HOT SHOTS: PART DEUX!

***

Bad rolling really seemed to drag out this match. The bad guys definitely need more Dark Side Force powers to be competitive, particularly a “Lightsaber Pull” make sure Maul gets his signature weapon in hand early. It is in this deck; it just got buried at the bottom.

I’ll also be the first to admit that the deck has waaaaaay too many m’eh-level Events. Hopefully the thing will be more competitive after I procure a few more Dark Side upgrades. Also, is it also too late to ask for Maul’s Scimitar in the next set?

As for Poe and company, it’s a strong roster. And, let’s face it, I don’t care how Sith-y the competition is, when you come at them with an entire squadron of fighters and bombers they’re gonna get pasted.

***

Next up: Phasma gets her own second chance to prove herself against the gender-flipped Indiana Jones of the Star Wars universe! 

***

Hey, folks, if you've been enjoying this series, please consider supporting the blog by buying me a Coffee. Full disclosure: I can't promise that I won't spend at least some of the money on a troll-r-iffic Jar-Jar Binks deck!

C'mon...you know you wanna see it! 

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Ahead By A Century - "Century: Spice Road"


So, what makes Century: Spice Road such a tempting l'il hors d'oeuvre for your game night? Well, here's a sousant of info courtesy of the fine folks at Plan B Games:

"Discover the beauties of the spice trading road and its colorful markets with the amazing artwork by international renowned artist Fernanda Suárez. 

"Wrap your mind around simple and pure game mechanics combined with a touch of deck-building system that lead to endless strategies and decisions. Century Spice Road is truly an outstanding game. One you will play over and over and... over again!"

If that whet your appetite for a full meal, feel free to click on the following link to digest the entire rules!

***

Like Splendor, Century: Spice Road is compulsively-playable because you can only do one of four possible things on your turn. They are:
  1. Play one of your Trader Cards face-up on the table and execute its effect. Everyone starts the game with the same two options: a card that lets you take two yellow Tumeric Cubes out of the supply and put them in your Caravan and a Conversion Card that lets you perform a two-step Spice upgrade. For the record, the game's Spice hierarchy goes from lowly Turmeric (yellow), to Saffron (red), to Cardamon (green) and finally up to the Cadillac of spices: Cinnamon (brown). So, for example, I could use my Conversion Card to swap two Turmerics for two Saffrons or one Turmeric into a Cardamon. 
  2. Pick up a new Trading Card. The card in the left-most slot is free but if you want something  that's deeper in the ranks, you have to place one Spice Cube on every card you want to skip over. Later, if you pick up a Trading Card with Cubes on it, you get to add them to your Caravan as well. By carefully selecting certain Trading Cards, players start to create deck-builder-style efficiencies to help them win the game! 
  3. Rest! After you've played all of your Trading Cards face-up on the table, a Rest action lets you take all of 'em back into your hot l'il mitts! Now you've got all of your options back...yay!
  4. Pay for a Scoring Card! If you have all the Spices you need to snatch up a Scoring Card in your Caravan, then chuck 'em all back into the Bowls to get that card! If a Scoring Card came from one of the first two slots, help yo'self to an accompanying Gold or Silver Coin as well! 
NOTE: as soon as a card is removed from either the Trader or Scoring track, everything to the right of it slides down and the far-right slot is filled with a new card drawn from the appropriate deck.

Players take turns, choosing to do one of these things at a time until one player nabs their fifth Scoring Card. Then you count up your total Points which come from your Scoring Cards, Coins (three points for a Gold, one point for a Silver) and one Point for every Cube on your Caravan other than Turmeric.

So, now that we've got all that established...

"YET ANOTHER FRIGGIN' GAMING BLOG" THEATER PRESENTS... 

IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLAN B GAMES...

A FEW SAMPLE TURNS OF...

CENTURY: SPICE ROAD


Emmy plays a Trading Card, collecting two Turmeric from supply. Matt executes his Conversion Card, upgrading two Turmeric for two Saffron. Suki grabs the first option in the Trading Card row, a Card that will let her swap one Saffron for three Turmeric.

Emmy tables her Conversion Card, swapping two Turmeric for two Saffron. Matt wants the Trading Card in the third position so he places one Turmeric Cube on each of the two prior Cards to pick it up. Suki plays her Conversion Card, transmuting two Turmerics into two Saffrons.

Emmy drops one Turmeric on each of the first three Cards on the track to pick up a powerful triple Conversion Card and put it into her hand. Matt plays his new Trading Card, exchanging two Saffron for one Cinnamon and two Turmerics ("Twomerics"?). Suki plays her "acquire two Turmeric" Card.

Emmy plays that triple Conversion Card, upgrading a Saffron one step to a Cardamon and another Saffron two steps to a Cinnamon. Matt plays his "collect two Turmeric" Card. Suki places one Turmeric on each on the first three cards to snatch up a new Trading Card which will let her transform two Turmeric into one Cardamon.

Emmy Rests, taking all of her played Cards back into her hand. Matt follows suit. Suki plays her Trading Card which turns one Saffron into three Turmeric.

Emmy pays for a Trading Card that's three spaces deep, placing one Turmeric Cube per Card...aaaaand immediately gets it all back 'cuz there's already three Turmerics docked on the card! Matt plays a Trading Card, returning two Turmeric and getting two Saffron in exchange. Suki plays a Trading Card, swapping two Turmeric for one Cardamon.

Emmy plays a Trading Card to get two Turmeric. Matt plays his Trading Card which turns two Saffron into one Cinnamon and two Turmeric. Suki finally takes a Rest action, adding all of her played cards back into her hand.

Emmy plays her Conversion Card, promoting one Turmeric two steps up into a Cardamon. Matt plays a Trading Card to get two Turmeric. Suki grabs the Trading Card in the first slot, picking up three free Turmeric in the process!

Emmy pays two Turmeric and two Cardamon to capture an 8-point Scoring Card. Matt plays his Conversion Card, upgrading two Turmeric for two Saffron. Suki plays her Conversion Card, transferring one Saffron into one Cinnamon.

Emmy drops her triple Conversion Card, turning one Turmeric into one Cinnamon. Matt returns two Turmeric, two Saffron, and two Cinnamon back to the supply to acquire a 15-point Scoring Card.  Suki spends a whopping five Turmeric to pick up a Trading Card that allow her to take two Saffrons from supply everytime she plays it.

Emmy picks up the Trading Card in the first slot, gaining four free Turmeric in the process! Matt spends two Turmeric to pick up a Trading Card in the third slot, gaining one Turmeric back. Suki plays a Trading Card for two Turmeric.

Emmy drops a Trading Card that lets her return a Cinnamon for three Cardamon, one Saffron and one Turmeric. Matt picks up a Trading Card in the second slot by paying one Turmeric but immediately gets two free yellow Cubes back! Suki plays her newly-acquired Trading Card and gets two Saffron from supply.

Emmy drops a Trading Card, turning one Cardamon into two Saffron. Matt plays a Trading Card which transfers two Turmeric into two Saffron. Suki grabs the first option in the Trading Card slot, gaining three Turmeric in the process.

Emmy reveals her triple Conversion Card, upgrading one Turmeric three steps to a Cinnamon. Matt plays a Trading Card which lets him transform two Saffron into two Turmeric and one Cinnamon. Suki plays a Trading Card, exchanging two Turmeric for one Cardamon.

Emmy pays three Saffron, one Turmeric, one Cardamon and one Cinnamon for a 16-value Point Card and a one-Point Silver Coin. Matt rests. Suki picks up the Trading Card in the first slot, getting one Turmeric Cube.

And so on!


REVIEW

PROS
  • It's pretty! The card art, coins, component Cubes and Spice Bowls are all fantastic.
  • It's easy! If you read the four possible actions that I listed above, you've already got 95% of the game's rules locked down cold!
  • It's fast-paced! The play examples illustrate just how quickly turns go. Like Splendor and Ticket To Ride, the fact that you can only do one thing on your turn keeps the game moving at a brisk clip. This also cuts down on analysis paralysis and results in a sleek thirty-to-forty-minute play time.
  • It's interesting! Selecting the right Trading and Conversion Cards will help you snag those all-important Scoring Cards before your opponents. Even when you're armed with a giant mitt-full of cards, playing them in the proper order is key. And since I really enjoy creating in-game efficiencies, the deck-builder-esque qualities of Century: Spice Road are very appealing to me.
CONS
  • It's not exactly the deepest game on the planet. I'm legit curious as to how it'll hold up after a metric crap-ton of plays. 
  • The play-mat featured in the pics above really adds a lot to the game's appeal. Unfortunately, it isn't included with the game and has to be purchased separately. For comparison's sake, another card-based game like Splendor feels slightly more substantial mainly because of the inclusion of those top-shelf gemstone chips.
***

Century: Spice Road might not be the most multi-faceted or ground-breaking game I've ever played but it's components are appealing, it's easy to table, it's well-paced and, most importantly, it offers some genuinely-interesting choices to getcher brain percolatin'.

So, if your game group is sick to death of l'il plastic trains or weary of the same ol', same ol' gemstone chips and development cards, this one might just be the tasty palate cleanser that you've all been looking for.

As such, Century: Spice Road earns four pips out of six with a tilt up...but only if you're playing with the play-mat! 😂



***
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Star Wars Gaming Saga - Episode I - Imperial Assault

Thanks to the fine folks at Fantasy Flight, we now live in a Golden Age of Star Wars-themed tabletop gaming. In fact, by linking Imperial Assault, X-Wing, Armada and now Rebellion together you can create an epic, interconnected four-part campaign game filled with tension, drama and heroism.

So, here's the deal: I'm gonna play a game of Imperial Assault and the faction that wins that match will get a slight advantage in a follow-up game of X-Wing.


So, without further ago, here's Part One:

STAR WARS - EPISODE I

Aftermath

With the destruction of the Death Star, 
a spark of hope flickers in the galaxy. Even 
though the rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin 
has been temporarily spared, it has now stands revealed:
a target for Imperial retribution. In a desperate bid to buy the 
evacuees more time, remote Rebel outposts across the galaxy have been 
tasked to intercept and disrupt Imperial communication wherever possible. 

In the nearby Saleucami system, Rebel fighters 
attempt to rendezvous with allied capitol ships to destroy 
Victory-class star destroyer before it can mobilize. This involves a dangerous trip through a sector closely monitored by the Empire. 

In an effort to safeguard the 
mission, strike team of freedom fighters attempts to knock out an Imperial monitoring station on the remote forest moon of Trieste...          

***

ROUND ONE

After disembarking from their sensor-inhibited shuttle, four Rebel agents creep through the forest and arrive at an Imperial bunker. They're hoping to create enough of a distraction to give their in-bound fighter squadron the element of surprise. Spying a small platoon of Imperials guarding the entrance to the outpost, the Rebels launch their attack!

The Wookiee warrior Gaarkhan Charges to within melee distance. He slashes at one of the Stormtroopers with his Vibro-Ax, rolling one red and one yellow die for a whopping four Damage. The Stormtrooper rolls two Blocks with his black Defense Die, so the result is two hits. Gaarkhan then uses his second action to attack the same target, scoring three more Damage, one of which is cancelled. Since the Stormtrooper only has three Health, he's defeated.

The Imperials activate their Stormtrooper platoon and exhaust the "Show of Force" Class Card to give the first trooper a green Focus die. Before he can fire, though, the Smuggler Jyn Odan takes two Strain to activate her "Quick Draw" special ability. She fires her Vintage Blaster, using two green dice, to score two Damage, three Range (just enough) and one Surge. The Stormtrooper rolls two Blocks, so he takes only one point of Damage. The same trooper retaliates, rolling one green, one blue and a bonus green die, producing five Damage, eight Range and one Surge. Gaarkhan rolls two Block for defense, taking four hits including the Surge. Gaarkhan is now Focused due to his "Rage" ability. The second Stormtrooper scores four Damage and Gaarkhan takes two more hits after rolling two Blocks.


Haunted Exile Diala Passil moves two spaces and then takes two Strain to use "Precise Strike", which will prevents her target from rolling their Defense die. She swings her Plasteel Staff, using one yellow and one green die, and gets three Damage and one Surge, eliminating the trooper.

The Probe Droid then activates, targeting Gaarkhan. It rolls two yellow and one blue die, getting four Damage. The wookiee rolls a lame single Block, resulting in three more points of Damage.

Jyn fires at the remaining wounded trooper, getting three Range, three Damage and one Surge. The Stormtrooper rolls two Blocks, so the resulting Damage is two: just enough to drop the trooper. Jyn then exploits her "Opportunist" ability, which allows her to move one space after dealing damage. She then moves another five spaces, putting her adjacent to the bunker's blast door.

The Imperial Officer also takes a shot at Gaarkhan, rolling one blue and one yellow die. He rolls five Range, two Damage and one Surge. Gaarkhan gets two Blocks, so he takes one Damage from the Surge and is already down to four remaining Health!

Squad leader Fenn Signis moves four spaces. He takes one Strain to activate "Havoc Shot", using his Infantry Rifle to target the nearby communication Terminal. He rolls one blue and one green die, getting Range three and Damage three. Unfortunately, given the Terminal's built-in Defense of one and an additional Block provided by the Probe Droid floating nearby, it only takes a single point of Damage. On the plus side, the Droid was adjacent to the Blast, so it takes a point from that.

ROUND TWO

Gaarkhan takes another two Strain to Charge in-between the Terminal, Probe Droid and the Imperial Officer. He hacks away at the Droid with his Ax, rolling a bonus green die thanks to his Focused "Rage" and getting four Damage and three Surges. The Probot rolls three Defense (of course!) but thanks to a +1 Pierce courtesy of a Surge, the Droid takes two points of Damage. The second Surge gives Gaarkhan the opportunity to deal a point of Cleave damage to the Terminal. He swings at the same target, rolling four Damage but, once again, the Probot gets a stellar three Blocks, resulting in a measly single point of hurt.

The Probe Droid activates, but before it can attack, Jyn takes two Strain to do her "Quick Draw". She rolls a Range of five, three Damage and one Surge. This time the Droid only gets one Block so it's finally destroyed!

Fenn moves up four spaces, putting him adjacent to the Imperial Officer. He blasts away at the nearby Terminal, scoring four Damage. Since the Terminal now only has a single built-in Block, it takes two Damage and gets fragged!

The Imperial Officer targets the rampaging wookiee, tapping "Show of Force" to add a bonus green die to his pool. He rolls four Damage, Range seven and one Surge. Gaarkhan rolls two Blocks in response and takes three points of Damage. Once again he becomes "Rage"-Focused!

Diala moves three spaces between the blast door and the Imperial Officer. She attacks him and gets two Damage and one Surge. The Imperial Officer rolls one white Defense die, getting a single Block and Evade, which cancels the Surge so he ends up taking just one point of Damage.

Jyn fires two blaster bolts at the Imperial Officer standing right next to her. The first shot generates three Range, one Surge and two Damage, but it's cancelled by a Dodge! The second roll is one Damage, two Surges and three Range. The Officer responds with one Block and one Evade, so the net it only one Damage! Good thing this guy wore his lucky Lepi foot today!

ROUND THREE  

The Imperials spend three Threat to spawn a new Probe Droid onto the green Deployment space

Diala uses one Action to open the blast door. As soon as she spies the E-Web Engineer stationed  inside she spends her second action to charge at them!


The Probe Droid activates, using a bonus green die thanks to "Show of Force" to  target Gaarkhan. The roll is four Ranged, two Damage and five Surges. Since the wookiee can only take one more hit, he's Wounded!

Gaarkhan rushes three spaces into the bunker and then takes a Rest action, healing all of his Strain.

The E-Web Engineer fires point-blank at Diala, rolling one yellow, one red, one blue and one green Focus die. He rolls six Range, three Damage and three Surges. Diala gets one Evade and one Block on her white Defense die, so it ends up being three points of Damage. Since the E-Web can attack twice, it takes a second shot at her, this time minus the green die. He gets three Damage, Range three and one Surge. Again, Diala rolls one Block one Evade so the net damage is only two.

Fenn Signis uses his first Action to raid the nearby equipment Crate and recovers a C-22 Frag Grenade. He then moves four spaces ahead.

The first Imperial Officer activates and fires at Jyn, rolling Range three, two Damage and one Surge. Jyn rolls her white Defense die, getting one Block so the net result is two Damage.

Knowing that time is running out and speed is of the essence, Jyn opts to move five spaces deep into the bunker. She then takes a Rest action to recover all of her Strain.

The entire Stormtrooper platoon stationed inside the bunker immediately converge on Jyn. But before they can fire, the Smuggler takes two Strain to do her "Quick Draw". She gets Range four (good), Damage two and one Surge. The trooper rolls two Defense so he just takes one point of Damage. The first trooper now attacks Jyn, getting three Range, one Damage and one Surge. Thanks to "Squad Training" that trooper decides to re-roll the green die, this time getting two Damage so now the total stands at three. Jyn rolls her white Defense die and gets one Evade and one Block so she takes two more smacks. The second trooper fires, rolling four Range, two Damage and one Surge. He also decides to re-roll the green die, getting the same result. Once again Jyn rolls one Evade and one Block, taking just one point of Damage. The third trooper rolls five Range and a whopping four points of Damage. Jyn rolls a blank, taking all four hits! She now has only one Health point remaining before she's also Wounded!

The Imperial Officer inside the bunker moves up three spaces and then fires at Jyn, rolling up seven Range and two Damage. Jyn gets one Evade, but that doesn't cancel Damage so Jyn is Wounded.

ROUND FOUR

The Imperials spend all three of their Threat to bring a second Probe Droid onto the red Re-enforcement point.

Fenn desperately heaves the Frag Grenade at the cluster of Stormtroopers, causing two points of Damage to all of them...including Jyn! This kills one of them. He then takes one Strain for "Havoc Shot" and blasts another trooper, rolling three Range, one Damage and one Surge. The trooper rolls one Block but still takes a point from the Surge, so he's killed. The Blast effect also takes out the adjacent trooper and damages Jyn for one more point.

The E-Web strikes back, firing at Diala and scoring six Damage and five Range. Her Defense roll is only one Block so she takes a crippling five points of hurt! The thing attacks her again, this time tapping "Show of Force" to get three Range, four Surges and two Damage. Unfortunately she rolls a Blank, takes all three points and is Wounded!

Gaarkhan spends two Strain and Charges onto the Terminal space. He rolls three Damage and two Surges, one of which adds to Damage and the other activates Cleave. The net Damage is two since the console has a built-in Block and another provided by the adjacent E-Web. The Cleave follows through, causing a point of Damage to the E-Web. He takes another shot at the Terminal, rolling three Damage and one Surge, so that's two more Damage!

The Probe Droid in the bunker moves onto the northernmost Terminal and fires at Jyn, rolling three Range (sufficient), two Surges and two Damage. Jyn rolls one Evade, so she takes three more points.

Diala tries to finish off the Terminal, rolling two Damage and one Surge. Unfortunately, that's just one point of Damage. She attacks it again, getting four Damage and finally destroying the effin' thing.

The Probe Droid outside moves up three spaces and then fires at Fenn but, with only three Range, it misses!


Jyn moves four spaces onto the southernmost Terminal in the Storage Room and starts blasting away at it. She rolls two Damage and one Surge, so that's two hits!

One Imperial Officer spends an Action to Order the adjacent Probe Droid to move. He then shoots at Fenn and scores three Damage, two Surges and three Range, the latter boosted by +2 by a Surge-fueled Accuracy. Fenn counters most of this by rolling three Blocks but the Officer spends the last Surge for one Damage!

The second Imperial Officer spends an Action to move adjacent to Jyn and then fires, rolling three Damage. Jyn's Defense roll is one Evade, so she takes three hits! She's just one point away from Defeat!

ROUND FIVE

Gaarkhan uses his first action to Interact with the adjacent Crate. He retrieves a Shock Grenade and then uses his second Action to heave it at the E-Web, causing a point of Damage and Stunning him.

The Imperial Officer next to Jyn shoots at her again, tapping "Show of Force" for an extra green die. The result is eight Range, four Damage and one Surge. Jyn rolls her white Defense die and gets only one Block, so she takes four points of damage and is forced to Withdraw!


Fenn moves four spaces onto the Terminal and fires at it, rolling five Range, two Surges and two hits so the net Damage is only one point. Since he's gone off by himself, he also recovers one Strain thanks to his "Lone Wolf" ability.

The Probe Droid inside the storage room moves three spaces and attacks Fenn. It gets seven Range, three Damage and one Surge. Fenn rolls one Defense, so he takes three Damage.

Diala spends a Strain to move four spaces next to the northernmost Terminal. She then rolls two Damage and one Surge so that's a total of two hits to the console.

The Probe Droid in the Atrium moves three spaces and fires at Diala, rolling two Range and three Surges! Mercifully, Diala rolls a Dodge, avoiding all damage!

The Imperial Officer outside moves four spaces and then fires at Diala. He gets two Damage, three Range (good) and one Surge. Diala responds with one Evade and one Block and only takes one point of Damage!

The E-Web Engineer discards the Stun effect.

FINAL ROUND 

Finn fires at the Terminal, rolling a lame one Damage and one Surge, all of which is soaked up. The second roll, two Damage and one Surge, only results in a single point of damage. Things are looking pretty bleak for the Rebels.

The red-tagged Probot floats in three spaces and targets Fenn with "Show of Force", getting a spare green die. It nets seven Ranged, four Damage and one Surge. Fenn rolls one Evade, so the four points of Damage comes through. Yikes!

Diala attacks her closest Terminal, rolling one hit and two Surges...I.E. one Damage. Her second strike delivers two hits and three Surges, which is two more Damage. This is still two points short of destruction.

The purple Probe Droid moves two spaces and attacks Fenn, rolling three Damage and two Surges. He only rolls a single Evade...so that's four more hits! With that, Fenn is the last Rebel to be Wounded and the Imperials win!



EPILOGUE

After the Rebel strike team was forced to withdraw, the victorious Imperial defenders quickly turned their efforts to damage control. Captain Gace Myridian, the outpost's ranking officer, stalked into the main communication room, eyeing his subordinates.

"Get back to your stations and give me a long-range sensor sweep!" he shouted.

A few tense moments passed before Lieutenant Lyncade managed to wring anything reliable out of his damaged console. As soon as his display started to show something conclusive he cleared his throat and tentatively broke the awkward silence.

"Sir, I'm picking up the Rebel's life signs! They're just a half-kilometer north west of the..."

"The rabble who attacked us are of no concern to me, Lieutenant!" Myridian growled. "Follow my orders and scan the entire system!"

Lyncade grimaced and turned back to his monitor. Just seconds after casting a wider electronic net, he noticed something odd that gave him a chill.

"Captain, I'm showing Rebel fighters coming out of hyperspace close to Saleucuma!"

"I knew it," Myridian muttered, barely audible. "This was nothing more than a diversion."

He stalked over, kicking a piece of scrap metal out of his way. It rattled along the durasteel floor, making everyone within earshot flinch. He leaned over Lyncade's monitor, forcing him to shift to the side.

"How many ships?" he demanded.

"Nothing significant," the officer replied, reaching over to bring up a detailed display of his findings. "Just a pair of T-65's and a bomber."

A red flicker from the monitor's display played across Myridian's darkening face, making him look vaguely diabolical.

"I imagine that the Rebels are spread thin right now," he mused, almost to himself. "Likely that's all they could muster. Still, it's more than enough to create a problem. What do we have in that system?"

A few beats passed before Second Lieutenant Krell won the informal competition and announced the results.

"Looks like a Victory II-class star destroyer in orbital spacedock," he declared. "It's the Indominable. She just received orders to join the assault on Yavin IV but its going to take at least thirty minutes to get her fully crewed and bring all of her systems back on-line."

Myridian stood up to his most imposing height and crossed his arms.

"I assume the Rebels are headed their way?" 

This triggered a renewed clattering of keys. This time Lyncade won the race.

"They are. Estimated time to intercept: twenty minutes."

Myridian's face flashed confusion then concern.

"The Rebels knew the Indominable was in the system but didn't know exactly where. If only we could make them pay for their mistake..."

"Actually, we might be able to, sir!" Lyncade said. "I noticed that a patrol from our Saleucuma outpost has nearly gotten back to base. If I can reach them in time, they might be able to divert and engage the Rebels." 

"Do it," the Captain ordered, then turned on his heel to face Krell. "Lieutenant, contact the Indomitable and let them know what's happening. And bring up a tactical display!" 

"Yes, sir!" the junior officer responded, fumbling over himself in his haste to execute the orders.

Myridian pivoted towards the monitor. Soon all eyes in the bunker were glued to the large display screen. They all watched intently as a blip representing the TIE patrol banked one-hundred and eighty degrees and made a direct line for the Rebel signal.

"They're on their way," Lyncade announced. "At their current speed they should engage the Rebels in approximately fifteen minutes."

A predatory smile twisted the Imperial commander's cruel features.

"Good," he intoned. "If all goes well, this Rebel filth will be exterminated once and for all!"

***

SUMMARY

First off, I just wanna ask all of the Imperial Assault nuts out there for a quick take on how I ran the game. If you notice any glaringly-obvious cock-ups, please let me know in the comments below. Constructively, if at all possible! 😁

Oh, and...for the record, I've already reviewed Imperial Assault right here.

The game makes for a decent opening chapter in my tabletop Star Wars saga, but it isn't perfect. I'm still galled by the fact that the game is essentially Descent: Second Edition with the serial numbers filed off.

My biggest problem with Imperial Assault, besides the incessant fighting, is how the game handles movement and ranged combat. Here's my gripe summarized in the original review:

"The ability to spend double movement points to elbow your way through a scrum of enemies may be forgivable in a melee-based game like Descent but it feels pretty goofy here. Yes, the firefights in the Star Wars franchise weren't very realistic but they had a certain internal logic and still felt perilous. 

"Whenever our heroes encountered hostiles in the movies, they'd quickly jump into cover and then start blasting away from across the battlefield. Not once did I ever see Luke, Leia, Han or Lando make a suicidal bee-line charge into a pack of Stormtroopers, stand right up next to them and then try to cap each one in the helmet gangsta-style at point blank range."

The problem with the game is that, like Descent, it's completely obsessed with constantly...moving... forward. That's why you'll routinely see characters armed with deadly, long-range blasters getting into Tarantino-style, Mexican standoffs with enemies armed with deadly long-range blasters. Tense, sure, but something you'd never, ever see in a real-life fire-fight let alone a Star Wars movie.

And, unfortunately, there's no easy solve for this. You could institute a "pin down" rule whereby characters equipped with ranged weapons can't do a full move if they're within LOS of a similarly-equipped enemy. Naturally, melee characters would be exempt from this since they're relying on their blaster-wielding team-mates to provide cover so they can close and engage. Once a blaster-equipped figure is engaged in melee combat, they can't "pin down" any more since they have an enemy all up in their grill trying to cave their helmet in with a vibro-ax.

Other ideas which would might make the game feel more Star Wars-y:
  • Make the Imperials a lot easier to gun down.
  • Incorporate D&D-style "attacks of opportunity". Frankly its moronic that you can move diagonally through a horde of enemies with absolutely no repercussions. 
  • Make the Imperials more legion but also less likely to hit the heroes. 
  • Reduce the Rebel's hit points as well.
  • Give advantage for cover.
  • Break up the constant fire-fights with more interesting in-game decisions and more character skill tests.
This introductory scenario is also a King Kamehameha bitch to the Rebels. You can't waste a single point of movement. You have to practically ignore all of the enemies who are attempting to trim your eyebrows with blaster bolts and prioritize destroying a bunch of inexplicably-durable Terminals.

S'funny, Han destroyed an Imperial console with a single blaster bolt on the Death Star. Hmmm...

Oh, did I mention that every single Rebel character has to be inside the bunker by the start of Round Three if they even have a hope in hell of winning? In the famous words of a certain nefarious Gungan: "Dis is nutsen!"

Anyway, Imperial Assault is fine enough for the purpose of kick-starting this crazy experiment of mine. One of these days, I'll continue the campaign just to see what wacky hi-jinx Fenn, Jyn, Diala and Gaarkhan get up to next. With a hefty spoiler warning at the start of every new entry, natch.

Side note: what do you guys think about Withdrawal = Death. I.E. Jyn was killed in action and a new character has to join the team for the next mission? Lemme know in de comments below.

Next up is a game that I consider to be virtually flawless: X-Wing. And since the Imperials won this match, they'll go into the star-fighter portion of the saga with a bonus ten squadron points to spend.

'Til next time, "Take care and may the Schwartz be with you!"

***

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