EOD is worth buying. But it only has one pod each for Jedi, Rebel, Sith, and Navy. It's there for running Smugglers and Scum decks.
The Force Cycle and Between the Shadows are the two big Jedi options. The Force Cycle adds a bunch of Jedi like Kyle Katarn, Ferus Olin, and a Jedi affiliation version of Leia. For Navy it's a bit less impressive. Though it does add Dark Trooper cards, and a lot of really nifty Sith stuff, like Mara Jade, Jerec, and Sariss.
Honestly, depending on how far out it is, you might be better off waiting for Imperial Entanglements, and just comboing it with Between the Shadows, along with a pair of Core sets.
Also, the Hoth mechanics are best exploited by Navy, Rebels, and Smugglers. There aren't a lot of Hoth related Jedi cards.
So does The Force cycle really do things bigger and new from BtS?
Yes and no. The Force Cycle adds a lot of neat things. Depending on what aspects of the setting you love, it could either be a much better option than Between the Shadows, or a much less appealing one.
The Force Cycle has a heavy focus on cards from the Dark Forces series, as well as a few other corners of the EU.
Between the Shadows is basically a Shadows of the Empire focused set. If you're wanting to build a Black Sun deck, then that's what you should be paying attention to. (Remembering that it's Scum and Villainy that gets the major Shadows of the Empire focus. The Jedi stuff is very potent, and it gives them a nice thematic feel... but it's more focused on Return of the Jedi and the training on Dagobah than Shadows of the Empire.)
And how do any of these enrich a story driven experience?
Honestly? Star Wars is a game where you're going to have to do most of the heavy lifting to get a narrative going. It's mechanically a very solid game, but it's more interested in being a good game than telling a story. The way the Lord of the Rings LCG or the Babylon 5 CCG are/were.
That doesn't mean it's impossible. But it does mean you need to decide what the objectives mean, and what story is going on for yourself, with the cards as sort of... "points of inspiration."
Again, the Babylon 5 CCG did that very well, so looking at Star Wars, I might be saying it's more prone to a narrative interpretation than someone without that experience.
You mention corex2... Isnt that just for competitive play? I'm only talking solo in here?
I actually didn't mention doubling up on the Core set in this thread. That said, I still strongly recommend starting with two copies of Core.
There's the game as it exists with one core, which is very swingy, prone to imbalanced draws, and, well, not incredibly satisfying. At least for me.
Then there's the game with two cores, which is much more consistent. You stick two copies of Vader (Fall of the Jedi) in your deck, and you're probably going to see Vader on the table with his lightsaber wrecking havoc. You stick two copies of The Emperor in your deck, and you're going to see people getting force choked, and force lightning for everyone.
When there's one, then you're much less likely to see stuff like that happen.
Now, two cores is a lot less vital than it was when the game launched. You could run a copy of Vader, a copy of Palpatine, and two copies of Mara Jade, and still get your Dark Jedi on. But, the core set is a very good entry point.
This is as true with all four of the core factions, by the way.
Ps... Is there anything that builds up Smugglers?Two sets. One of them is available, the other isn't out yet.
Edge of Darkness is what introduced the Smugglers as a playable faction. (You could technically build a Renegade Squadron deck from the Smuggler cards in Hoth, but it was rather lackluster.)
As with the core set, EoD is a two off. Again, it's the question of do you want to see Han, Chewbacca, the Falcon, and Lando bouncing around wrecking havoc, or do you want to roll the dice and hope some of them pop up.
Imperial Entanglements is, at this point, unseen, but it's adding a heavy dose of Smugglers and Navy. It's also going to be a one off, with two copies of each objective set.
Beyond that, The Force Cycle adds a lot of heafty Smuggler cards. Between the Shadows adds Talon Karrde, and the Rogue Squadron cycle is shaping up to include some hefty Smuggler stuff.
For the record: I'm not saying buy everything, but look at the contents of the sets and see what elements of the EU you're looking for, and get that stuff.
This is the end; hold your breath and count to ten; feel the earth move and then; hear my heart burst again
"We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson
If you can't buy everything, I recommend:
Core set x2
Edge of Darkness x2
Between the Shadows
Imperial Entanglements (coming out later this year)
Skip the cycles completely and buy deluxe sets as they come out.
Or pick and choose individual packs you're interested in, but that's a slippery slope.
But as I mentioned in the other thread, you'd be better off spending your money elsewhere if you don't have a real person to play it against. Star Wars is an easy "10" with a human opponent. Best card game I've ever played. But I would rate the solo variant an "8". Still very nice - I enjoy it a lot - but it's got nothing on the actual game. That's a lot of money to spend on an "8", in my opinion.
Ok here is a few things to help to choose sets. I'll comment on having cool playable decks with strong theme. Cycles are more expensive than deluxe expansions.
Between the Shadows is a neat set with every objectives twice if you can include them.
For Jedi, you will get a very good Yoda, Luke, and Dagobah sets. Also Ewoks and the second Obiwan objectives. The luke featured is based on the return of the jedi. The other ones might be thematically redundant with the core box bu offers different styles of play.
For The scums it is mainly based on EU black sun crime syndicate. 4 of the 5 scum objectives are about them and they play pretty well together. You almost have a complete Black sun deck just with this box. As I love the black sun this sold the set for me. The Fifth one is a new Boba fett.
The other objectives are to complement certain aspects. Rebel gets their commandos, smuggler Karrde, Sith gets intel officer themed objective and Navy a trooper based objective.
The echoes of the force cycle is a lot about force users and the expanded universe. If you liked the Dark forces/ Jedi academy game you will love some of these sets. As well as emperor's hand sith witch etc.
For Jedi, You get Kyle Katarn from dark forces and his ship as two different objectives. You also get a Leia Jedi, a new Yoda (again) and Ferus olin.
For Rebel you get Jan (again from Dark Forces Series) and 4 complementing sets: A-wing, General Riekan, Endor Commandos and a Spy set.
Smugglers get some of the most hated pods (some got restricted so they are not played together in tournaments) Anyway you have C3P0 with ewoks, more wookies, gamor run somethign false report and DASH ! (this one is worth getting IMO)
Sith gets Mara Jade, Hand of the emperor, Jerek and Sariss(Dark Forces), Dark trooper legion (dark forces), and a more esoteric call of the cult.
Imperial gets the dark trooper project (DF) and 4 complementing objectives. Victory star destroyer, Admiral Piett, tie fighter swarm and reserve troopers.
Scum gets IG88, 4-lom and Zuckuss, Jabba's palace people, Jawas and Slavers for captured cards.
Hoth Cycle, this one speaks for itself, you want to play Episode V themed deck, it does the job extremely well. I'll get to the point faster for this one.
Jedi: Pilot Luke, Obi wan Ghost, Jedi training enhancements
Rebel: Evac transports, Speeders, Speeders, Echo Base troopers.
Smuggler: Evacuation escorts, renegade squadron
General Light: Echo base themed
Sith: 501st, executor, Hoth hostile environement
Navy:Tanks, Walkers, Veers, Vader, star destroyers
Scum: Dengar, cloud city Ugnaught, people from jaba's palace.
General DS: wampa, snowtroopers
I hope this helps.
P.S. I'm working on a list to represent each star wars episodes with the set of objectives, but it requires all set as of now.