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Subject: The Good, The Bad, The Star Wars! rss

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Will Haskell
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For those of you who like it short and sweet, I’m going to cut to the chase before I get into the real review. Note: If you are not a Star Wars fan there’s o point in reading anything more than the Chase.

The Chase:

If you do not like love Star Wars, do not play this game. Strip away the theme and you're not left with much of a game. The game play alone does not make this game fun to play. But for those you who are Star Wars fans, keep on reading.

For the rest of us:

Remember that first time you saw star wars? I know you do, you were sitting in the movie theater with your older brother or maybe your first date picking your jaw off the floor as that massive Star Destroyer crawled over the top of the screen(you still feel the goose bumps) and instantly you were captured. And from that day on you dreamed of being that lightsaber wielding, wookie friending, dark side smashing, X-Wing flying, metal bra wearing, ewok hugging Jedi master. Well today is your lucky day my friend, because that’s exactly what you Star Wars Miniatures is all about.

The components:

The Miniatures(the central component of the game) are nice, but nothing spectacular or eye popping. The sculpts do a good job of capturing the look of the characters but the overall quality leaves something to be desired. Often when the pieces come out of a booster they are bent or deformed in some way(usually a light saber or blaster). Not really a problem but annoying still.

Most of the play mats are foldout paper maps, but they are great quality and very durable. The Revenge of the Sith Starter comes with a nice traditional board game style board. The major disappointment is that the art is very cartoony and doest complement the miniatures well at all.

Stat cards are also disappointing, printed on poor quality cardboard with goofy looking pictures of the character they represent on their "back" side. Some cards have flavor text, but they only come in one flavor- dull.

The "Right feel":

The number one reason I have heard for why players enjoy this game is that it “feels” like Star Wars. What does that mean? It means Han and Chewie effortlessly kill of hordes of storm troopers while remaining un-scathed. It means Vader can slice you down with Palpatine cooks you with force lightning. It means all the major players(and minor ones too!) are here and they are represented almost perfectly in their abilities and appearance. It means that you can finally be the sarlacc dodging, princess saving, Jedi you always wanted to be. It means if you love Star Wars, you will love this game.

Oh yeah, and then there’s the Game:

Okay so maybe not all Star Wars lover will really love this game, 'cause to be honest, it has its faults. The rules are basic. Movement is simplified with rules covering 3 types of terrain, plus pits and walls. Combat is a no-brainer - roll one twenty sided die, and compare this number to that number. A little more strategy is required when a character has "force points" which allow players to re-roll dice or use special force powers. I'm not going to go into more detail because you can get the rules online, but I will conclude this section by saying the rules do get the job done, but fail to do anything original or deep. On the plus side, the simple game play is fast and fun, and really gives you the feeling that you gotta keep movin’ before you get blasted! Standing out in the open without cover is not recommended.

Did I mention its collectable?:

This is the real killer. Even if you don’t mind collectibale games this one can is just absurd. Every set(of which there are 6 as of this writing)) has 60 new miniatures. Of those 60, 24 are rare or (even worse) "very" rare. This makes collecting a complete set a nightmare. Just to give you an example, I spent a lot of money(how much is a lot? lets just say hundreds) and I still do not have any form of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, or Princess Leia. Ouch. Although, I do have 3 different forms of Vader(I'll let you be the judge on whether or not that’s a bad thing).

Which brings me to my next point,

The Cost:

This game will cost you money. Lots of money. Especially if you are trying to collect any figures from Episodes 1-3 because those sets are out of print. If you attempt to get into this game expect to spend a good chunk of cash compared to other games.

So, was it all worth it?:

Yes, in fact it was. My brothers and I can't get enough of this game. All three of us are hardcore Star Wars fans so running around blasting Ewoks and repeating "you have failed me for the last time" is a blast. But I feel that without the Star Wars theme it wouldn’t be as much fun, or that I would even play it at all. D&D miniatures have a similar rule set* but I have no desire of ever playing or collecting them. I get my enjoyment out of this game mostly because it is Star Wars.

A long Story Short:

Pros:

Star Wars!

Cons:

Cost
Collectablecry
Simple Rules (there’s nothing wrong, just nothing new)
Ewoks

But for fan boys (like me), the Pros outweigh the Cons.




*see first post below.

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Hilary Hartman
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WLHaskell wrote:
D&D miniatures have a similar rule set but I have no desire of ever playing or collecting them.


Heh. Close, but no cigar. While the two games share similar game mechanics (e.g.-rolling a D20 against a target number to see if a hit occurs, and the magic spells v. force, and very few others), the games otherwise share nothing except being made by the same company. Okay, maybe they share some crappy figure sculpts from time-to-time, too.

But if you want a game with depth (which Star Wars Miniatures lacks) you have to go with its older sibling.

I discovered Star Wars back in 1977 at about the same time a friend introduced me to Dungeons & Dragons, and while I collect and play both of the miniatures games it is the lack of depth that keeps me from playing the Star Wars game. It's a shame that I am such a fan boy that I am compelled to continue buying them.

Otherwise, great review!
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Will Haskell
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I stand corrected!
I guess I made an assumption without having all the information, thanks for the input.
 
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Jeff Brown
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I myself got all of my figures off of the secondary market, so I wouldn't have the problem with spending tons and not getting what I wanted.
 
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Jeff Brown
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By the way what are your favorite maps to play on and do you have a favorite scenario?
 
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Will Haskell
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jeff brown wrote:
By the way what are your favorite maps to play on and do you have a favorite scenario?


I only have three maps-the one from the Rebel Storm starter map, the Revenge of the Sith Starter map, and what looks to be some kind of temple ruins that came as a bonus with an eBay auction. Note sure where it came from.

I'd have to say that most of the time I play on the Revenge of the Sith map, although I like the terrain tiles that came with Rebel Storm. The temple map isn’t very good.

As for scenarios, most of the time by brothers and I like to make up our owncool.

jeff brown wrote:
I myself got all of my figures off of the secondary market, so I wouldn't have the problem with spending tons and not getting what I wanted.


Yeah, I have looked into this to finish off my Rebel Storm collection (my favorite era). I am definitely going to do this with figures from the new Bounty Hunters set as I can get everything I want for $40-$50(all the common/uncommon and a few of the rare and huge. No VRs).
 
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Hilary Hartman
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WLHaskell wrote:
As for scenarios, most of the time by brothers and I like to make up our own.


Hey, care to share your process for scenario design? Also, have you tried any straight out military skirmeshes? Campaign play?

I have thought about combining some of the D&D Minis rules to Star Wars Miniatures in an effort to add a little more depth to the game. If I do so, I'll share them with you to see what you think.
 
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Will Haskell
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Quote:
Hey, care to share your process for scenario design? Also, have you tried any straight out military skirmeshes? Campaign play?


Well I'm sorry to tell you that it's not very scientific. Usually we just sit around a say, "Hey, what if..." And we use that "what if" as a theme(eg. what is boba fet was on the other side, and his bounty was on the Emperor). Then we pick out the set characters that will be used, which will make up about 30-50 points for the army, sometimes more if we use an expensive character (e.g. Empire must use Palatine, Boba Fett must be used and his force can only be made up of fringe). Then the rest of the army is filled in secretly by the players to a full 100 or 150-point army. We also usually generate a list of characters who cannot be used(e.g. only characters who appeared in episodes IV-VI). It's a lot of fun coming up with new "what if" situations. Because we do it just for fun there usually isn’t a problem with agreeing on the parameters.

I would love to run a campaign but with me at school and my brother running the kitchen at a resturante, its difficult to get the whole group together all the time.

Quote:
I have thought about combining some of the D&D Minis rules to Star Wars Miniatures in an effort to add a little more depth to the game. If I do so, I'll share them with you to see what you think.


Could you elaborate a little on what gives D&D minis more depth. I don't have much experience with it and you have me interested(please, please don't let me get hooked).
 
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Joe Reil
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More depth you say?

I had bought a few boosters/starters worth of these, just to have them way back, and fell in love with the models – that whole Star Wars thing and all…

I didn’t much care for the rules, though, primarily the lack of depth that’s been mentioned.

I actually went and bought a copy of the old West End Games miniatures rules (main book and the companion). I’m also looking at a few generic rules sets. I haven’t decided for sure which rules set I’m going to use, but I’m pretty much guaranteed to end up with something a bit deeper than WotC’s rules.

The pros: Nice full developed rules set designed for full skirmish level. A full skirmish level game won’t be suffer from “rareitis” (where the rare figures are noticeably better for their points than the commons) as much as a game designed around the collectibility aspect, as such the most useful figs are the basic troops, which tend to be common, and therefore, not that expensive.

The cons: WotC has made some figures that would be “staples” in a skirmish level game rare or very rare. This makes them difficult to get in enough numbers to be useful in the non-collectible skirmish based rules. Speeder-bikes and Destroyer droids come to mind. I don’t mind putting down $10-15 for the occasional figure I’d only want one of (say a cool “named” character) – but not if it’s something I’d want 5 or 6 (or 10!) of…

 
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The Mighty Greedo
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Quote:
Stat cards are also disappointing, printed on poor quality cardboard with goofy looking pictures of the character they represent on their "back" side.

hee hee... That's SO true! When I popped open the box I bought today (my first!), I was shocked at how bad the artwork was on the cards. I couldn't help but think that someone at LucasFilm might not be too happy with the quality of the artwork here.

Also, the paint job on some of the minis is bad. Luckily, I fancy myself an average mini painter, so I can fix these guys up without too much effort.

Nice review! It was one of the reasons I finally picked up this game!

G
 
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