After reading a bunch of reports here on BGG that Naboo always wins, I
had to try SW:QG again. When Michael and I have played it, the Trade
Federation has always won, with Anakin barely making it to withing 3
spaces of destroying the droids. And yet everyone says that Naboo
should win - very odd.
I was Naboo while Michael was the Trade Federation. We've played each
other 4 or 4 times in this game, so I set the game up during some
spare time in the afternoon and we were ready to go when he got here.
We started about 8:30 and the game ended about midnight.
I decided to concentrate on the all-important Jedi vs. Darth Maul
battle. Despite what some say, I don't believe that playing Anakin
cards is all that important. The TF player only has so many
Starfighter cards he can play, and barring a great run of luck on
Anakin's part, I don't see how he can make it through before all the
Starfighter cards are played, so what is the rush? You're going to
have to fight through them all anyway, so why not work on something
My priorities were:
1] Jedi / Maul fight
4] Other battlefield cards
I got a few Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan cards to start with, so I was able to get
the both of them around Darth. My attack rolls were okay, but his
defense was excellent, so I wasn't able to get through too much. He
concentrated on the Battlefield and whacking on Obi-Wan. He did some
serious damage on Obi-Wan, by playing two Darth Maul Rage cards (he
gets two attacks, which is 6 red dice worth) but I got lucky and got
the healing card for him (I had the Q-G healing card from the start),
so he lasted a bit longer. He was getting a ton of bonus cards on the
Battlefield, but I was able to get a few with the catapults.
He also played a few Starfighter cards, but I did pretty well with
Anakin, and was able to plow through the first few spaces. 5 was my
lucky number, enabling me to get through them. But my penchant for
rolling low in space would come back to haunt me....
He finally took out Obi-Wan, but Darth was taking a Maul-ing from Q-G.
Michael was still rolling well on the defense dice; in particular, the
2 blocks on the gold dice was showing up with annoying regularity.
But I was still chipping away at him, while he was piling up the
bodies (and bonus cards) in the Plains. The Gungan don't really stand
a chance and are just bonus card fodder for the TF player. But my
catapults were doing some damage, so I was still pretty happy at the
Finally, I was able to take out Darth Maul. He had three points left,
and I rolled 3 hits, but he was able to block two of them. I still
hadn't seen any Fury cards, which would've given me some double
attacks. But my next Q-D attack card got two hits, which finally both
got through, taking out Maul, leaving Q-D with 5 points of hits left.
Michael was ready to give up now, but I pointed out that Anakin still
had to make it through, while he had to clean up at the palace. We
had been playing about 2 hours at this point, and the final battles
were shaping up.
I made an egregious tactical error and moved a bunch of palace guards
up into the throne room, where I forgot about them. At this point, I
just had to survive in the palace until Anakin made it, so I should
have just pulled everyone back to the first floor and waited for the
guards to trickle down. But I left them in the throne room as easy
pickings, not even able to offer themselves up as human shields.
The droids began to trickle into the first floor, some from above and
some from the Plains. The Red (false) Queen and, esp, Captain Panaka had
taken some serious damage (the Captain was down to 1 point) and
somehow I missed the Captain healing card my first go through of the
deck. But I was able to keep taking out the droid guards as they
showed up, although each volley would cost me a Palace Guard or two.
Meanwhile, Anakin was slowly making his way through the star field.
He got to the last space and stalled out there. It's a tough one, and
you have to roll high to make it, and I just couldn't. For at least 5
or 6 Anakin Moves cards I stalled out there, watching my palace guards
get whittled away to nothing. Qui-Gon was able to keep it clean on
the first floor, but each foray by the droids took out another Palace
Guard, and the Captain finally bit the dust as well. So I was down to
the two Queens and Qui-Gon, with the Red Queen down to 2 hit points!
He kept bringing over Destroyer and Battle Droids from the plain, and
my queens were hiding behind pillars and Qui-Gon. He got plenty of
Intruder Alerts, so he was able to move them up and take pot shots.
But I was able to hold him off and finally finally finally I rolled an
11 to make it through and take out the droids! The last bit, from
Darth's death to end game took about an hour and half!
So all in all I think attacking Darth non-stop as the Naboo player is
the right strategy. Michael felt he didn't concentrate enough on the
fight back there, but with two Rage cards to no Fury cards, it seemed
plenty enough for me. It's possible that I could've gotten a few of
the characters up into the Throne Room to make it more difficult to
take them out, but I felt that it was taking him long enough to get
his guys down from the top floor to make any sort of attack, that I'd
rather not bring them up into the lion's mouth. The Trade Federation
can survive losing Darth Maul, as Michael almost proved, but letting
Darth loose is a death knell for the Naboo player. I think with a
little better luck, I could've taken out Maul a little earlier (say
one Fury card and a few better rolls), and thus made it even harder on
the TF player.
How long did this game take??? I've never had a game go over an hour (after setup). Good session report, really enjoyed it.
An HOUR? Wow, that's unbelievable. This is our fifth or sixth playing (3 reports here on the 'geek) and each has taken 3 - 4 hours. This one took about 3 1/2 hours, although it felt like I was going to win after less than 2 hours, but getting Anakin through took a very long time. I suppose if the Naboo player went for broke and got lucky, moving Anakin all the way through with little opposition, then it could end in an hour. But even that would require 5 successful moves which would take I don't know how many Anakin moves cards. You'd have to be a luckier man than I to be able to do it in less than 10 or 12 cards, which gets you nearly through the entire deck.
Excellent report. Many of my games have gone along the same lines as your report. While I absolutely love this game, the end game seems to stall out while trying to get those last couple of Anakin rolls. It really needs another Naboo victory condition (see my Viceroy variant comment posted above). If you have any ideas, please let me know. TF seems to have an advantage unless Anakin gets lucky rolls. Missing early/mid-game rolls with Anakin cards is devastating as the TF doesn't even have to counter w/Starfighter cards. I think I agree w/you, don't play Anakins early. Probably best to try to get a defensible position in the throne room first.