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Subject: The Definitive Young Jedi Review rss

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Russell Waddel
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When this game first came out, I was surprised to see that Decipher wasn't putting out another expansion for the SW:CCG. I had just seen the movie, and was blown away. Now, I know what you BGG'ers think of Lucas, and his newer Star Wars movies, but I loved the first one, and the next two.

When I finally broke down and bought some of the Young Jedi starter decks, I was disappointed in the "starter deck" only cards, namely the "Obi-Wan" and "Darth Maul" cards. This was the first set, Menace of Darth Maul. It was overall a good set, and most of the cards were great. The locations were limiting, and you didn't get much for Naboo or Coruscant in the way of characters. But, the deck building was very easy, and getting the right cards you wanted in the game is not as hard as some other collectible card games.

GAMEPLAY:
7/10-Reason: Simplistic, but very strategic
Gameplay is very easy. The game consists of 3 phases per turn. Once you choose who goes first (by drawing the top card of the draw deck, and comparing the "destiny" number in the corner), the winner chooses the first location. Both decks and shuffled and cut, and the players draw six cards. The first player deplys characters, weapons, and effects face down, and then evens up to 6 cards again (some effect cards allow you to draw up to 7 or even eight cards, and some effects allow you to deploy more counters). You get six of these counters a turn. Once both players have deployed face down, you then turn the cards face up, and the 2nd part of your turn becomes active. This is where you can battle, and is the meat of the Young Jedi card game. You (the attacker) get to declare a battle after deploying. You then look at the number of battle cards in your hand, and you see if you can use those cards to battle with. Your opponent does the same thing.

Once you decide your "battle plan," you put the cards face down and turn them up. Your opponent does the same. You compare power totals, and if you have any weapon cards, or battle cards with destiny draws, you draw the destiny and add it to the total power. The person with the larger power wins, and ties stay on the planet. Once you have exhausted your opponents battle plan, any cards left in the attacker's battle plan "break through the battle line" and cause damage, not unlike the "Battletech CCG" where you attack your opponent's deck.

WINNING:
If your opponent runs out of cards, or you control 2 out of the 3 planets, you win. For tournaments, you would count the remaining cards in your deck, and that would be your "winning differential."

DECK BUILDING
8/10-Reason: Very easy to show people how to build a deck, and keep a common theme.
Deck building consisted of building a deck of 60 cards. Unlike many other CCGs, where you had to freeform build and hope to get your card combo, this building mechanic was simple. You had 6 dots: red, blue, yellow, orange, green and purple. A seventh dot was added later, white, which could be put in any color. This dot was an "enhanced card," and only appeared in the "Enhanced" sets (Enhanced Menace of Darth Maul, etc). Because of this, you now had a better way of improving your deck by tweaking a dot around to get a better destiny draw, or improving your weapons.

SETS-
9/10-Reason: As the newer sets came out, no "surprise" rules or overtly complicated combos came out. The game remained simple, but new cards offered more strategy.
The next set released was called "The Jedi Council," and the planet of focus was Coruscant. This opened the door, because the new locations that you didn't have before for Tatooine, Coruscant and Naboo came out. Now you could have power where you didn't have power before. Now you had all 3 locations, and some were Dark, and some were Light. It really played on the strategy of the game, and the fun part was deck building, and playtesting the new strategies. When "Battle of Naboo" hit the shelves, it was awesome, because now the locations were up for grabs, and the introduction of the Queen's body double was in store. Sabe made her grand debut here, and boy, was she great. 2 deploy and 3 power for only 2 damage. And, she had a 4 destiny draw! Any higher, and she would have been the focus of many decks! As such, the game took a dramatic turn with the "Podracer" and Jedi duel expansions, and the podracing/duel focus quickly became obsolete in a simplistic card game. The Enhanced series and "Reflections" sets quickly made the game flashy, but failed to add anything new. Coupled with Decipher losing the rights to WOTC, and a new, polished card game; Young Jedi quickly lost steam, and many people stopped playing it.

CONS-
The major downside to the game is the focus on Episode 1. Although the movie did well in the box office, the card game quickly went downhill after the first set, and Decipher tried to resurrect the defunct SW:CCG with a few expasions from EP1. (Before you SW:CCG purists fry me, the original game lacked the streamlined effects of YJ, and had grown too large by 2000, with too many rules and cards to make the game effective. It was, in a sense, the Magic: TG of Decipher)
It needed new locations, new cards, and new sets without the focus of EP1. Decipher had a good thing going, and should have released the original trilogy. (who could resist blowing away whiny Luke with a stormtrooper on Yavin 4?)
PROS-
SIMPLICITY!!!
I think that many games today, with the exception of UFS, could take a nod from the simplicity of Young Jedi. Especially Magic, which is growing too large, IMHO. I love the deck building aspects, and the strategy of the battles. It is just satisfying to deploy about 20 characters, and watch the horror on your opponent's face when you hit him for about 15-20 breakthrough a turn! (I named that deck "the buzzsaw" most appropriately).

WOTC was granted the rights to the Star Wars line of game products in 2000, and remade the card game, using dice and EP2 for the focus.

I give this game an 8/10, for it's simplicity, ease of play, deck building and subtle flaws. I would recommend this game to anyone who is fond of Star Wars, but not sure where to start. Once you have the basics down, don't play the SW:CCG, just go for the TCG made by WOTC. Much more satisfying, and easier to play and get into.

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Ryan Strong
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Good review. I enjoyed this game quite a bit, as did my younger brothers (who were quite young and really excited by how easy it was to get the best cards, as compared to the other games we played). It was easy to get into, but not nearly deep enough for protracted play. 7/10

I really think Star Wars CCG is the best card game ever made, though. That Wizards game is pretty pathetic by comparison. Shallow and just plain boring. I collected for a while, mainly out of habit, and all the people I talked to at the comic shops about it seemed to miss SW:CCG as much as I did.
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Paul DeStefano
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I really really really wanted to like this game.

However, it rates with me as one of the CCG failures of the world.
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Steve Wagner
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I really enjoyed this game. The Battle plan was pure genius and reminded me of Guardians. The only problem I have with the game is not enough variety and the starter deck characters were useless (just like any Decipher game, the rare counter parts were always much better.)
 
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Russell Waddel
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I agree with the fact that the starter set characters are useless. Some of the characters became more powerful through the use of battle cards, but some were just downright stupid.

Check my next post for something awesome.

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