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Star Wars PocketModel TCG» Forums » Reviews

Subject: An Enjoyable Game and Quick Play rss

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Al White
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My son (9) and I have been playing Pirates of the Spanish Main (and its successors) for a few years now and really enjoy the easy game play and visually attractive models. At a recent trip to our local game shop to buy a few packs of pirate ships, we were given a free sample of this Star Wars game. I was a bit hesitant at first – I already have quite a few games that are underplayed and I have never really been that big of a Star Wars fan – but my son was excited so we opened the pack, put together the models (I will give him kudos for that – he really enjoys putting them together and it’s nice to see him spending his time doing something other than playing video games or watching TV), read over the rules and played a quick game. I was pleasantly surprised. The rules were easy to follow, the game moved quickly and we both had a good time – enough so that we’ve bought several expansion packs since our initial demo pack.

Here then, is my review of this game.

SET UP (1.7 out of 2.0) – This game really isn’t too difficult to set up and we found the ships (with the exception of the imperial shuttle) easier to put together than the pirate ships – we have had fewer broken pieces (except for the tie fighters which seem to be a bit more fragile than some of the other ships) and there are no flags that easily slip off. To set up your game, you decide a point value ahead of time and pull out a fleet of ships adding up to your point total. The ships are clearly marked with one to five stars and most games require about 30 points to start. My son and I play with 20 and there are rules for reserves, etc, that we are not going to pay much attention to until we build up our collection. After that, it’s just a matter of shuffling your cards and dealing them out.

GAME PLAY (1.6 out of 2.0) – This game plays quickly and really flows well but there are a few things I don’t like about it. The game sets up three zones – one for each player and a middle battle zone. The goal is to either wipe out the enemy fleet or destroy their three objective cards located in their home zone. This is akin to destroying the Death Star. Battles are simple and remind me of the HeroClix system. Cards can be played to enhance your abilities and to make special plays but essentially the attacker rolls the dice, adds in bonuses and compares the result to the defender’s defense rating. A tie or higher results in a hit and hits are subtracted from the defender’s shield ratings. When the shield rating hits zero, that ship is destroyed. In the games we’ve played so far, victory seems more easily accomplished by destroying the enemy fleet rather than the objective cards. Objective cards are tough to hit. Also, you can only ‘activate’ five points at a time, which is ok, but they all either have to move or fight with no mix and match, although we’ve adopted a house rule that will allow us to do that.

REPLAYABILY (2.2 out of 3.0) – I haven’t gotten bored yet, but I can see this game growing old on me. It is kept interesting by the variety of ships available and cards that can be used and the ensuing combinations so that’s a good thing – unlike the pirates game which just has a variety of ships. The randomness of the objectives that must be defeated also keeps the game somewhat fresh.

RULES (0.8 out of 1.0) – Rules aren’t too bad but I did have to read through it a few times to understand how the game is to be played.

COMPONENTS (1.8 out of 2.0) – I like the models and components. It adds a certain depth to the game that you can’t get with counters. The models aren’t too difficult to put together and once put together they seem to want to stay together (unlike some of my pirate ships). They are also somewhat to scale which adds a really nice touch.

Overall then, I rate this game an 8.1. It is an enjoyable game and a quick play. It wouldn’t be first on my list, but I think I would probably play this before I played Pirates of the Spanish Main.
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Eric Larson
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But it's made by Wizkids, that alone subtracts 5 from the playability scale. I'll wait a few more months to buy the stuff for cheap after the company folds.

I'm an ex MK, CS and MW player and have a huge grudge against this one company. It's my weakness.
 
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Arthur chang
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Overall I enjoy the game, but I have to say replayability is quite limited if you only have one set and a half (basically we have stuff from set 2 but not very much ground units).

It was fun the first few times but it got stale as it was always easier to just destroy objectives.

I suppose it may be that we always made our fleets faction specific -- for example a republic player can only use republic era characters and ships (and empire is restricted only to rebellion era imperial stuff). Some "generic" cards we allow any faction to use. This made it more appealing to us, but also limits the types of combos a fleet can have and thus fleet tactics/variety was quite limited.

I'm a bit ambivalent about the ground units... it's kind of cool to have a huge battle, but maybe because we expected the game to be space/starship battles, we weren't as enthused. Plus, some of the small ground units aren't that impressive to look at.

 
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