Building a massive Star Wars game -- My Adventure
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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In the land of boardgame geekdom, is there anything cooler than a massive, “pimped” game? Answer as you may but I haven’t found it. From professionally designed giant Formula De tracks and Ticket to Ride boards at conventions to homemade “blow-ups”, big games are just more fun.

I’ve always thought it would be cool to create a massive game of my own. When I found Star Wars: Assault on Hoth, I found my muse.

This is a list of how I built my own version. It all started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
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1. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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The Basics

Assault on Hoth is a great game. It’s a fun and easily accessible game playing out one of the most iconic scenes from The Empire Strikes Back. My biggest problem was that the pieces… well, they sucked.

The original components are cardboard pieces on a paper mat with small chits for action markers. The worst part of all is the original cards. They came on a perforated sheet and looked hideous after the game got any regular play.



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2. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
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Indianapolis
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Step 1: Get a copy on eBay

I discovered the game on BGG, read all about it and poured over the photographs. One problem, I'd never played it. It made sense to check it out and see if it was any good before I invested a ton of time into a "bigger" version. The good news was that we loved the game!

Long out of print and hard to find, I got a used copy on eBay and shipped it to the US from England. Though complete, the game was a bit of a wreck. The cards had been poorly separated from their original sheet and the whole game was in rough condition.
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3. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
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The Dice

My first attempt to improve the game was the dice. The English language version had white dice with printed symbols of Vader and a Lightsaber. Mine were in decent condition but many forum posts talked about dice that had completely worn off.

The German version had molded dice that were much nicer.

Unable to find any molded dice to either buy or trade, I designed my own laser-etched dice. In the end, I abandoned the idea of Vader and a lightsaber in favor of AT-ATs for the Imperial player and Snowspeeders for the Rebels.


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4. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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The Board

I knew I wanted to make the game “bigger”, which obviously meant a new board. With extensive help from a friend of mine who is an industrial designer, the entire board was recreated in Adobe Illustrator. This allowed us to print it out in whatever size we wanted.

The playing surface is identical to the original with a few graphical changes made around the borders out of personal preference.

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5. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Character Figures / Playing Pieces

Looking at other pimped version of Assault on Hoth, I’d seen Micro Machines, Legos and Star Wars PocketModels to replace the cardboard originals. I wanted to use Star Wars Miniatures for my game. I thought the pieces were great and be fun to play with on a large scale map.

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6. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Vehicles

It became obvious pretty quickly that I couldn’t use Star Wars Miniatures vehicles and keep this thing at a reasonable size. At over 12” long, the AT-ATs would need a game map the size of our entire living room. That doesn’t even account for the fact that those things are about $100 each.

After several rounds of trial and error, I ended up using some pre-painted Japanese models from F-Toys. The AT-ATs worked great on their own. I mounted the AT-STs on some 50mm miniature bases and ordered some custom 40mm bases and flight stands for the snowspeeders from Litko Accessories. To number them, I had some labels printed.

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7. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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A new deck of cards

The cards were based on a design template I got from another BGG’er. I rebuilt most of them, changing a few pictures and added new images on the backs. As this is a card driven game, they needed to hold up so I sleeved them.


Cards based on design by:
John Hooper
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Germantown
Maryland
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8. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Expansions

The cards came in a 52 card deck but I didn’t need all of them. What do you do with exta cards? Build an expansion of course. I created several mini expansions with different cards that could be mixed into the deck to change things up a bit. I created Event and Action cards as well as some "Hero Cards" to add classic characters to the battlefield. I’m still trying them out but here’s a list of a few…

- Snow Squall - Cancels the next action card drawn
- Wampa’s Rampage - Adds a Wampa figure to the board that chases the nearest figure
- Infantry Burst - Roll the dice, get some extra infantry movement


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9. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Bigger is better

To build the game to a scale that would work for the AT-ATs, the board ended up being to big for any table in our house. It was printed on a vinyl banner material using a large format printer. The board is great... but did I mention how big it is?

Rather than relegate all future plays to the floor, I built an expanded tabletop out of foam insulation that folds up and can be placed on any large kitchen table. Though huge, the game is fully transportable.

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10. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Storage

Speaking of transport, I’m using a toolbox for component storage. All the vehicles and cards fit well in the bottom with the character pieces all sorted in the organization compartment on top of the box.

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11. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2590]
Scott
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Indianapolis
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Time to hit the table!

I had a lot of fun working on this project over 9-12 months. Each time a new piece of it was completed or different parts arrived in the mail I would pull everything out and see how it all looked together.

Now the goal is to get some major play out of this massive game!

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