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Subject: Expansion Review: Dagobah rss

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Chris Engler
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Introduction
The Dagobah set introduced the most new game concepts compared to any other expansion already released at the time. This was a larger set than previous expansions with 90 new cards for each side of the force. The dark side definitely got the coolest “toys.” Darth Vader’s personal Star Destroyer, The Executor, was introduced and it was practically indestructible. The dark side also got a host of bounty hunters along with their weapons and ships. Bossk, 4LOM, Zuckuss, Dengar, and IG88 were all introduced, but conspicuous by his absence was Boba Fett. Anticipating the gripes from players for not having Boba Fett as part of the set, Decipher wisely introduced a collector’s “anthology” set that included a white-bordered (but entirely playable) version of Boba Fett slated for release in a future expansion.

In a somewhat bold maneuver, Decipher only released two characters in total for the light side in a 180 card set: Yoda and a new version of Luke Skywalker (“Son of Skywalker”). Also introduced to go along with these two were “Jedi Tests” (described in more detail below) that allowed a “master” to train an “apprentice.”

The Dagobah planet location and its associated sites were introduced but were very difficult to get to. The only characters allowed to deploy to Dagobah were those that were specifically allowed to by their game text.

New Game Concepts

Sector Locations: No doubt inspired by the significant amount of flying through asteroid belts, the Dagobah expansion introduced the concept of asteroid “sector” locations being around planets. Sectors are placed adjacent to planet locations and can be maneuvered between by ships. Sector locations made space battles more chase-oriented since ships could evade attacks by going to a different sector without having to jump to hyperspace to a different parsec.

Asteroid Rules: With asteroid sectors come asteroid collisions. Hanging out in an asteroid belt is a good way to lose a Star Destroyer on your tail because, as Han Solo said, “They’d be crazy to follow us.” Ships that remain in asteroid sectors face the significant probability of being destroyed every turn that they stay in an asteroid sector.

Cave Rules: The newly introduced “Cave Slug” creature in this game is so gigantic that ships can land inside of it. Special “Cave” site locations were made to accommodate this.

Starship Sites: Similar to the Space Slug’s cave locations, sites for capital starships were created. Now characters could have battles inside a capital starship potentially at the same time the same ship was involved in a space battle.

Jedi Training: A new type of card called “Jedi Tests” was introduced in the Dagobah expansion. These cards allowed a “master” on Dagobah to train an “apprentice.” Five different Jedi Tests were introduced in the Dagobah expansion. These tests had to be completed in order but for each successfully completed test the reward was great and a big advantage was conferred upon the light side.

Independent Starships: With the inclusion of bounty hunters a new designation of “independent” for starships was created. Starships with this designation were considered to be “privately owned” and were not affected by cards that targeted “Rebel” or “Imperial” ships.

Selective Creatures: In the rules for creatures introduced in “Hoth” a creature would attack another creature at the same site. Henceforth, any creatures designated as “Selective” would not attack creatures of a like kind.

Attaching Creatures: Some new creatures instead of attacking outright had a parasitic effect on characters or ships and would, sometimes literally, squeeze the life out of them gradually over time.

Review:
Dagobah was proof that Decipher was committed to making cards that they knew the fans of Star Wars would love. Using production stills and what must have been painstaking digital editing (remember it was 1998, folks) players got close-ups of characters, ships, and equipment that appeared in The Empire Strikes Back for a handful of frames or not at all. What springs to mind immediately was the attention given to the dark side’s Bounty Hunters and their associated ships and weapons. In my opinion, the bounty hunters were the best cards from this set and were a mainstay in many of the popular “beat down” decks of the time.

The inclusion of Yoda was, of course, entirely necessary for a set entitled “Dagobah.” While it was possible to take Yoda off of Dagobah and use him elsewhere but his game text compelled him to be deployed to Dagobah. The Jedi Test cards were a really cool adaptation of a thematic element but having them in your deck was almost like playing solitaire. While they did confer big advantages to the light side if completed they took a long time to complete. The only successful “training” decks used the first Jedi Test and maybe the second one. Executing all five would be practically impossible and almost requires ignoring everything else going on in the game which is not a great way to set yourself up to win.

The dark side definitely came up big in this set and “Dagobah” was worth investing in for the bounty hunter cards alone.
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Peter Hall
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While there are a few cool cards like Tunnel Vision, Order to Engage, and Executor, I think I would probably have to put Dagobah near the bottom of the list of SW expansions. It gave rise to an awful lot of degenerate strategies: Dagobah Drain, Shot in the Dark (Deal), Asteroid Sanctuary, and of course the dreaded Inserts, which plauged the game for several expansions.

Dagobah really could've gained a lot from being released post-Objective, since it really struggled to recreate the events of the movie within the open-ended framework of the game. Half of the cards in the set required their own special rules section and almost all of the cards were heavily themed. If you weren't doing any Jedi Training or navigating any Asteroids, then than a large percentage of the set was unplayable, and even if you were, many of these cards were still useless. When objectives came along, it really streamlined the representation of specific movie events, and card design got quite a bit better, though they still tended to design to many cards that were essentially extensions of objectives.

On the plus side, Decipher switched to 60-pack boxes and dropped split rarity (R1/R2) with Dagobah, which meant you got 3/4 of a complete set per box.
 
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Ken B.
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I'll second what Peter said. Dagobah was a low point for SWCCG.

There were degenerate strategies galore (numbers, asteroids, Dagobah drain, etc), there were far too many junky cards in there, interaction was at an all-time low...

Not a good time to be a SWCCG player.
 
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Michael Jordal
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franklincobb wrote:
I'll second what Peter said. Dagobah was a low point for SWCCG.

There were degenerate strategies galore (numbers, asteroids, Dagobah drain, etc), there were far too many junky cards in there, interaction was at an all-time low...

Not a good time to be a SWCCG player.


Except for those of us that loved the cheese
 
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Stephen Smith
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Quote:
On the plus side, Decipher switched to 60-pack boxes and dropped split rarity (R1/R2) with Dagobah, which meant you got 3/4 of a complete set per box.

They also increased the number of rares in the set from 54 to 100, meaning you would get 60% of a set (or 3/5) with no duplication.

Good for collectors (but bad for Decipher) the collation of rares in these boxes was much less varied than had been previously, so there tended to rarely be duplicate rares in a box. This meant you could get two adjacent boxes in a case and pretty much be guaranteed of having a full set of rares.
 
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Rich P
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But you've got to love any set with a card called 'Egregious Pilot Error', right?
 
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Jason Lewandowski
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The bounty hunter characters are great, but they too wouldn't really come in to their own until later.

Overall, I agree, a bit of a low point, but then, the feel of the movies kind of brings that part down as well so it fit.
 
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Peter Hall
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seppo21 wrote:
Quote:
On the plus side, Decipher switched to 60-pack boxes and dropped split rarity (R1/R2) with Dagobah, which meant you got 3/4 of a complete set per box.

They also increased the number of rares in the set from 54 to 100, meaning you would get 60% of a set (or 3/5) with no duplication.

Good for collectors (but bad for Decipher) the collation of rares in these boxes was much less varied than had been previously, so there tended to rarely be duplicate rares in a box. This meant you could get two adjacent boxes in a case and pretty much be guaranteed of having a full set of rares.


I believe it was only 80 rares, and 50 each of commons and uncommons. At least according to the archived spoilers on the Decipher site. But, yeah, you're definitely right about the collation being very even. I don't think it hurt them *too* bad with Dagobah, since people were still cracking packs for those second and third copies of Executor and Yoda/SoS, but the even collation was definitely part of the reason for the huge glut of Cloud City. If only they'd thought of foils earlier.
 
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Ken B.
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dangerouslycheesy wrote:
I believe it was only 80 rares, and 50 each of commons and uncommons. At least according to the archived spoilers on the Decipher site. But, yeah, you're definitely right about the collation being very even. I don't think it hurt them *too* bad with Dagobah, since people were still cracking packs for those second and third copies of Executor and Yoda/SoS, but the even collation was definitely part of the reason for the huge glut of Cloud City. If only they'd thought of foils earlier.



That even collation was so bad that if anyone pulled Captain Han from a booster box at the local shop, no one wanted to touch the rest of the packs. It made the shopowner pretty mad. Eventually he just got where he'd randomly shuffle packs between boxes (which of course angered the customers, but what was he to do when Han was pulled after four or five packs in?)
 
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Chris Crowder
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I actually liked this set, for its thematic elements, though I'd agree about the playability problems. Biggest downer for me was the huge amount of creatures; I've never found a use for those.
 
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