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Subject: Negative Comments from the Gen Con demos rebuttal rss

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Jason Hawthorne
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The main negative comments I have seen are:

1. The card set (pod) deckbuilding. People are saying that it is too simplistic and decks will be to samey. I think that a radical change to way decks have been constructed for the last 20 years will always be difficult. Humans, in general, do not like change. I think that when you actually use the sets to build your deck, you will realize its beauty.

When you come up with a deck concept with any other game, you search for every card that will work well with your concept and then trim down to the deck minimum. Now you have to look at card sets instead of individual cards. Maybe 2 cards of the 6 work but the other 4 do not. You now have to judge if including those 2 cards is worth adding the other 4.

Sets also allow for interesting balancing effects. Imagine a really strong card that has 4 or 5 other generic cards with it. That 1 card is really powerful but has a hidden cost of forcing you to add the the rest of the set.

Decks are going to be a little samey at first, but when the card pool grows, that will go away.

2. Ships and troops are in combat together. I know that it is weird to see an X-wing and a Storm Trooper fighting. I think you need to pull back a little and realize there will abstractions like this in games. Maybe the Storm Trooper was firing a cannon. Maybe the X-wing is firing down on the Storm trooper to provide cover for his teammates.

3. Pasted on themeI disagree completely. The Imps are trying to get the death star online so they will be unstoppable. The rebels are trying to take out the Imps supply lines (objectives) so the Imps cannot complete their mission.

4. No longer a co-opThis makes me laugh. Last year, the boards were filled with people complaining, "Another co-op lcg", "I want to play the dark side" and "This game is too much like LOTR" FFG can't win. People will complain no matter what you do.

I just hope people give this game a chance. I took a demo of the game and thought it was a lot of fun. The game was intense, very quick, tactical, and had a strong level of strategy. I love the new set deckbuilding concept. I am looking forward to building decks. I think it is great that they went in a completely new direction instead of the standard formula that has been in place since the beginning of CCG's.

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Daniel B
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JackalopeJay wrote:
4. No longer a co-opThis makes me laugh. Last year, the boards were filled with people complaining, "Another co-op lcg", "I want to play the dark side" and "This game is too much like LOTR" FFG can't win. People will complain no matter what you do.

Laugh all you want, but this is a serious issue for me. I feel like they were dangling a piece of fantastic loveliness in front of my face and then snatched it away.

I love CCGs/LCGs both PvP and LotR (coop). I used to play a lot of card games with different friends, but since I got married and had kids my wife has become my main gaming partner and we enjoy playing games after the kids' bedtime. The thing is, she refuses to play PvP CCGs/LCGs with me because she doesn't enjoy deck-building so much which usually results in me winning most of the time which isn't very fun for either of us. LotR has been great for us and she was actually really excited about the Star Wars game. Now that it's PvP she has lost total interest. I'm sure I would love the game either way because I enjoy the license, but I probably won't purchase it since it won't see much play time.

So the problem is that FFG made the announcement that it was going to be coop and got a lot of people excited about it and then they changed their minds. The people whining now (me included) are not doing so for the same reasons people were whining last year.

I think the major issue then was the timing. FFG had just released a coop LCG and people wanted something different. If they would have waited with the Star Wars LCG until next year (after the awesome PvP LCG Netrunner) I think there would have been a much better reception for another coop.
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Matt Shinners
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No offense, but how the hell did this ever make it through the mods as a review? It's a response to common criticisms from people who haven't played the game, not a review.

It addresses issues the OP has no way of knowing for sure (such as deckbuilding - that's not something you got to do in the demo).

The second point could be said about any game.

The third point does nothing to tell me anything about how the actual gameplay is thematic, just an overview of the game (if you use the sell line on the back of the box, any game sounds thematic).

And the 4th point isn't even about this game.

Alright, I guess some offense was meant. This shouldn't have been submitted as a review; this shouldn't have been approved as a review.

Now, if you rewrote it to talk about your demo experience, tell me more about the game, tell me which features you liked, why, and which you didn't, and why, then it'd be closer. But it's still for a game that had extremely limited play in a demo.
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Michael
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Thank you for the summary of complaints. It is much appreciated as I've been carefully looking forward to this LCG. (Carefully, because I think that while FFG are pretty good at relaunching former CCGs, their very own card games are somewhat meh.)

1. Card set deckbuilding. Sounds fine to me. Not everyone enjoys the meta game of sitting in front of a pile of cards and fine tuning one's deck. I know that many people enjoy this a lot and consider the actual playing as a mere testing what they came up with in the tuning, but I have always found this part utterly boring. If card set deck building should restrict deck building, then I already like it for this. It also supports thematic coherence of decks to have several cards that belong together. (It seems that the roles in Android: Netrunner serve a similar purpose.)

2. Ships and troops are in combat together. That sounds like a bummer. In fact, my gut reaction is that it is an auto-turnoff. I guess your interpretation could be plausible, but that depends on whether there are equipment or modifier cards that counter the intuition. (You know, stuff like better hand weapons that provide combat bonuses - which also work against huge star ships.) From what I've seen the level of the game is somewhat more abstract than that, so perhaps it is less of a deal than it sounds. Still, if something like the parallel space battle and ground troop infiltration of RotJ would be jumbled into single battle field, then that would feel kindof sucky.

3. Pasted on theme? The scope of the game seems to go well with the count up mechanic, if that's what you are referring to, so I don't get the complaint at all. I am completely with you on that one. (Doesn't LotR have a similar count up mechanic? It was completely out of theme there, and hardly anyone seemed to mind it.)

4. No longer a co-op. This complaint has nothing to do with the game itself but with the meta meta "game" of public relations. FFG is exceptionally good with drip-feeding their potential customers information about upcoming games. While it is an amazing tool for prepping the customer base to tear products from their hands when they are published, it has the obvious second edge of leading to a strong of disappointment when the design process requires massive changes or *gasp* cancellations. Your games company doesn't end up producing the kind of game you were hoping for? Nothing to do about it other than not buying it. Oh no, there is: badmouthing the game or the company. Especially with themes like LotR and Star Wars, the potential emotionality of the latter should be considerable.

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Jason Hawthorne
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Apparently Matt has not had his coffee this morning.

My post made it through the moderators because there was nothing wrong with it. At most it should be under another category. I am mostly a lurker when it comes to BGG. I was just taken back by all the negative posts about this game and wanted to offer a counterpoint perspective.

Deckbuilding rules have been discussed. The demo group at FFG have shared the basics of deckbuilding. It is not hard to extrapolate from the information that was given. I was hypothesizing on the potential of the set deckbuilding system.

The second point could be stated about any game but needed to be said about this game because of the criticisms it had received.

The third, that is your opinion. I don't even know what "The sell line on the back of the box" says, I was using my words. If they are similar then I agree with the sell line.

The fourth, I just find it funny that FFG offers a co-op. Everyone bashes it and wishes for PvP. FFG scraps the co-op. FFG creates a PvP game. Everyone bashes it and wishes for co-op. People love to complain on the internet.

I didn't realize I was going to get attacked, but I am not shocked. There is a reason why I mainly lurk on these boards. God forbid I put this game in a positive light.
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Peter Kossits
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JackalopeJay wrote:

4. No longer a co-opThis makes me laugh.


Laugh all you want but it's a missed sale for tons of people. Everyone who bought LoTR would probably have bought Star Wars and LoTR is one of the most popular games on here.

Bought the Lord Of The rings game 5 weeks ago and have been playing pretty much every day. Looking forward to taking it with me on business trips so I don't have to watch the frikking TV all the time. It turned out to be an excellent buy.

Was hoping to have the same thing happen with the Star Wars game, but I seriously doubt that I'll be buying into a collectible card game system if I can only play the game sporadically when an opponent can be found. Co-op/solo makes a lot of sense for collectible/expanding games.
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Vince Arebalo
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Jason thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think the biggest key you mentioned is the "card pool" as that grows the complexity of interactions will increase in an enjoyable manner. I was excited for the co-op version and I'm excited for PvP version as well, for differing reasons. I've wanted the PvP version since the first Star Wars CCG by Decipher. (It seems that they worked in one of my favorite mechanics from that version - the "dueling" value of a card. I thought it an excellent self-balancing mechanism that powerful rares had a "low" dueling value.)

Anyway, I'm excited to duel with the light and dark sides of the force!

- Vince
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JackalopeJay wrote:
The fourth, I just find it funny that FFG offers a co-op. Everyone bashes it and wishes for PvP. FFG scraps the co-op. FFG creates a PvP game. Everyone bashes it and wishes for co-op. People love to complain on the internet.


I don't think that word means what you think it means.
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Matt Shinners
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JackalopeJay wrote:
At most it should be under another category.


That's pretty much the entire point of my post. This isn't a review at all. And I was disappointed by that fact as someone who didn't get to go to GenCon, but is interested in the new direction. As someone who played it, I'd love to hear an actual review from you. Anyone clicking on this hoping for a review is going to be disappointed, however, as this 'review' boils down to, "You know all that criticism people are saying? It's wrong. Trust me."
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Jason Hawthorne
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When I said that the complaint that it no longer is co-op makes me laugh, it is not a slight against co-op or LOTR.

It makes me laugh that many people complained that the original design was co-op. I don't know why FFG scrapped the 1st game but I do know they changed it to PvP. It can easily be a assumed that the multitude of complaints had to be a factor in the decision to scrap. They come back with PvP and now the complaints are "why did they get rid of co-op?"

The one poster made a good point that maybe it was a little too soon after the release of LOTR to release another co-op.

peterk1 wrote:
JackalopeJay wrote:

4. No longer a co-opThis makes me laugh.


Laugh all you want but it's a missed sale for tons of people. Everyone who bought LoTR would probably have bought Star Wars and LoTR is one of the most popular games on here.

Bought the Lord Of The rings game 5 weeks ago and have been playing pretty much every day. Looking forward to taking it with me on business trips so I don't have to watch the frikking TV all the time. It turned out to be an excellent buy.

Was hoping to have the same thing happen with the Star Wars game, but I seriously doubt that I'll be buying into a collectible card game system if I can only play the game sporadically when an opponent can be found. Co-op/solo makes a lot of sense for collectible/expanding games.
 
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sean johnson
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I have played both both versions of this game, and I have to say that I am in the camp that is deeply disappointed about the change of this game. As such, I kind of disagree with some of your rebuttal, so here are my thoughts on your four points.

1. I actually do agree with you on the deck building aspect of the game. While, I like the more traditional deck building of other games this an unique concept. I do think this approach to deck building might make it rough at the beginning, with a limited card pool but over time there will still be options available. From a competitive standpoint it forces players to find uses for all of their cards, including the ones they may not want. I think that can add a lot of depth to the strategy of the game.

2. For me ships and troops in combat together is a huge problem. It is a complete theme killer. For your example, it takes a pretty darn big cannon for a storm trooper to shoot down a Frigate. In the demo I played, I destroyed a Capital class star ship with a rancor monster. This is problematic because the Rancor was capable of actually dealing MORE damage than a star cruiser. For me, this really game me the negative impression that it seems like the theme was an after thought slapped onto the game.

3. I suppose that this is the point I disagree with you most on, because I do feel like the theme is pasted on. You mentioned the example of the death star being built. What if down the road I am playing an evil deck that is built around the Scum and Villainy faction? The rebels are now trying to stop Jabba the Hutt from building the Death Star? There was nothing in this game that gave it a very strong Star Wars feel, and this is completely different from the co-op version of the game. One of the things that I most appreciated about this game in the co-op form is that it felt like I was playing a game about Star Wars, and not a game with star wars inspired card art.

4. I agree with you, Fantasy Flight can not win. If a year ago they had demoed a PvP game,there would have been people complaining about it not being co-op. The people who are upset about the change are not the same people who were upset a year ago. The problem though, is that a year ago Fantasy Flight showed off an awesome co-op game, and then replaced it with (in my opinion) a much inferior game. At this point, Fantasy Flight has a problem because they have divided their own potential player base.

After playing the game at Gen Con last year, the Star Wars card game was my single most anticipated game. After playing it this year, I know that I will be staying away from it. If you think this is a game that you will enjoy, then I hope it is and I hope you have a ton of fun. However, that does not mean I can not be disappointed and even a little saddened by what I see as a huge mistake.
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1) The pod system will create interesting choices and I am excited about it. It also simplifies the deckbuilding process which may or may not be a positive to someone. On the other hand, the idea that once I see a certain objective or lead character I instantly know 10% of your deck is a legit complaint. After the first round it's entirely possible the opponent will know 50% of the deck composition. Is this a bad thing? Depends what you like about card games like this.

2) The way the demo was explained to me was that the combat was meant to exactly simulate the RotJ parallel battle scene. So that giant starship isn't directly firing at that lone Jedi, but both are involved in a larger battle and what one does can affect the other. This is a somewhat plausible abstraction, but will undoubtedly lead to all sorts of unthematic interactions. I think the main problem with this abstraction is not the lack of realism, but simply the lack of theme since we can't have space battles separate from individual duels.

3) I believe Fantasy Flight has officially stated that the countdown marker for the Dark Side has nothing to do with the Death Star coming online. When the counter reaches 12 evil has simply spread so far throughout the galaxy that the light side can no longer win. The Death Star idea wouldn't make any sense anyway since you can play as Smugglers or Scum, which have nothing to do with the Death Star. The theme isn't completely pasted on, but the completely abstract combat, the interesting but unthematic edge battles, and the random objectives combine to create an experience that bears little resemblance to anything from the movies.

4) A lot of people were excited for a co-op. I was excited but after playing LotR I'm not sure I needed another co-op nor that co-ops actually work that well in the long term as LCGs. I'm happy to give a PvP game a chance. This one had a few interesting mechanisms but seemed rather simplistic and lacked much connection to Star Wars.
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From what I've read (including this defense), it sounds like a no-go for me. They should just buy rights to Decipher's game.

I wasn't really looking forward to the co-op and would prefer PvP, but I'd rather see a thematic co-op than a theme-breaking game like this one. Rancor versus a capital ship?
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peterk1 wrote:
JackalopeJay wrote:

4. No longer a co-opThis makes me laugh.


Laugh all you want but it's a missed sale for tons of people. Everyone who bought LoTR would probably have bought Star Wars and LoTR is one of the most popular games on here.


I really don't understand the need to argue this point. The inverse argument is equally true (I was in the camp of people saying "Ugh...coop...pass"). Why argue over something that is completely and totally a matter of personal taste? I understand the concerns over the change in direction (though clearly I benefit from it), but arguing over someone's personal preference seems futile.

For what it's worth, I enjoyed my demo immensely. The game was tense, had interesting options, emergent strategy and already had some terrific artwork. The theme could have been tighter - including vehicles did feel very awkward to my fanboy sensibilities, but I was more focused on gameplay than thematic purity (not to downplay theme! You can only focus on so much in a 15 minute demo!).
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Brian Sturk
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SeanXor wrote:


2. For me ships and troops in combat together is a huge problem. It is a complete theme killer. For your example, it takes a pretty darn big cannon for a storm trooper to shoot down a Frigate. In the demo I played, I destroyed a Capital class star ship with a rancor monster. This is problematic because the Rancor was capable of actually dealing MORE damage than a star cruiser. For me, this really game me the negative impression that it seems like the theme was an after thought slapped onto the game.


Wow, yeah that is a immersion killer for sure. The co-op at least had a couple different zones. Some for ground combat and one for space combat IIRC. I can just see a buffed Jawa taking out the Millennium Falcon. Abstracted or not, it really seems disconnected to me.

I too am really disappointed with the move away from co-op. Insta-buy to not interested at all in one video...
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Mark Griffiths
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SeanXor wrote:
What if down the road I am playing an evil deck that is built around the Scum and Villainy faction? The rebels are now trying to stop Jabba the Hutt from building the Death Star?


Of course, a Hutt building a Death Star, or at least a Death Star-esque superweapon, is the major plot point of the novel Darksaber, one of my favourite Star Wars novels of all time. So for me, this idea is also very thematic

I don't know about all this talk that's going on at the minute. I liked the look of the co-op game last year, it looked to be tremendous, and I pre-ordered it with my online game store of choice as soon as they let me. Now that the game has been shown to be a completely different beast, I like the look of this game as well, and my pre-order remains (in fact, I've been debating the idea of pre-ordering a second copy, just in case all the objectives in the base game are 1x). Maybe I'm easily pleased, but I don't think it's right when people base their decision to buy this game on the notion that it is not a different game.
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JackalopeJay wrote:
4. No longer a co-opThis makes me laugh. Last year, the boards were filled with people complaining, "Another co-op lcg", "I want to play the dark side" and "This game is too much like LOTR" FFG can't win. People will complain no matter what you do.


I am a fan of SWCCG, a fantastic Star Wars themed CCG that is sadly out of print (and has been for over a decade) but which still has fan-based support and is still popular in smaller circles. I have my collection of cards as do my friends. If I wanted to play another SW CCG I would just continue to play it, because there are thousands of cards and dozens of possible decks that haven't been used yet by myself or my gaming group.

The idea of a SW co-op game was completely different and exciting. Sure, with SWCCG you could have two players sit next to each other and fight on the same side (good/evil) but it felt kind of tacked on. This was promised to be different. I wanted it.

Because it isn't a Co-Op, I don't have much incentive to buy it. I have a hard time believing that it will be better then SWCCG, and after all the money I put into one SW-themed card game I don't really want to do the same for another that doesn't offer what I want... and what they promised and advertised.

Sure, they cannot please everybody, but by changing their minds they sure aren't going to please me!
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Well, who knows, since the final product may again be different from this demo, but I was really excited about a thematic coop in the Star Wars Universe. The LOTR game occasionally has theme issues, but for the most part it works and you certainly never have something as silly as a rancor killing a cruiser. A non-thematic PvP game with Star Wars art is not going to work for me...
 
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My problem with the "pod" system is that if the cards in the pod are not all good, you are stuck with bad cards, which lowers the value of that pod.

With single cards, if one cards is weaker you can just not use it. So if they don't get the balance right from the start entire batches of cards will vanish from decks.
 
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I wasn't all that excited about a co-op, myself; my gaming group and I got bored of the LOTR co-op after a few plays, and we were going to pass on a Star Wars co-op LCG. For us, it's more fun to play against a person than against a "game system." (Though I do like the solo-ability of co-op games.) So personally, I'm glad to see this game reincarnated as PvP. The one demo video I watched really made it look fun.

I do share some of the concerns about coherence of the theme. Perhaps the game could be refined so that certain cards can only be used vs space-going cards, others can only be used vs. ground targets, etc. I don't know if that would require too big a makeover. Maybe so. Still, this isn't a deal-killer for me.

I like the "pod" deckbuilding mechanic. I wouldn't want it in every LCG or CCG, but it sounds like a great change of pace. The video I watched mentioned one pod of 6 zero-cost Stormtroopers. Sounds fun to me.


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JackalopeJay wrote:
Apparently Matt has not had his coffee this morning.

My post made it through the moderators because there was nothing wrong with it. At most it should be under another category. I am mostly a lurker when it comes to BGG. I was just taken back by all the negative posts about this game and wanted to offer a counterpoint perspective.

Deckbuilding rules have been discussed. The demo group at FFG have shared the basics of deckbuilding. It is not hard to extrapolate from the information that was given. I was hypothesizing on the potential of the set deckbuilding system.

The second point could be stated about any game but needed to be said about this game because of the criticisms it had received.

The third, that is your opinion. I don't even know what "The sell line on the back of the box" says, I was using my words. If they are similar then I agree with the sell line.

The fourth, I just find it funny that FFG offers a co-op. Everyone bashes it and wishes for PvP. FFG scraps the co-op. FFG creates a PvP game. Everyone bashes it and wishes for co-op. People love to complain on the internet.

I didn't realize I was going to get attacked, but I am not shocked. There is a reason why I mainly lurk on these boards. God forbid I put this game in a positive light.


Don't let a few crabby apples spoil things for you. I GREATLY appreciated and enjoyed reading your mini-review. Thank you very much for posting it! Once they changed this from a boring co-op, I was instantly hooked and interested again! Whew!!
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rjstreet wrote:
peterk1 wrote:
[q="JackalopeJay"]
4. No longer a co-opThis makes me laugh.


Laugh all you want but it's a missed sale for tons of people. Everyone who bought LoTR would probably have bought Star Wars and LoTR is one of the most popular games on here.


I'm sorry but there's really no way to prove that it's a missed sale for "tons" of people (though that would be an amusing way to determine sales for big business, "And so, in conclusion, we've closed the year up by 40 million tons of new sales!").

For every person who was content with the idea of buying yet another bland co-op, there is someone like myself who suddenly became super enthused once I found out that it's now a PvP game.

I suspect that a lot of the hullaballo is simply a case of a vocal internet minority trying to sound like a larger customer slice than they probably are (key words in that sentence are "suspect" and "probably").
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wytefang wrote:


I suspect that a lot of the hullaballo is simply a case of a vocal internet minority trying to sound like a larger customer slice than they probably are (key words in that sentence are "suspect" and "probably").


Funny. That's how I felt about the PvP guys in January.
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Peter Kossits
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wytefang wrote:

I'm sorry but there's really no way to prove that it's a missed sale for "tons" of people


LoTR (2011) 4051 ratings; 1072 comments Rating: 7.67
Star Wars Customizable Card Game (1995) 1310 ratings; 513 comments; Rating 6.5

2741 raters; 150 lbs each (I'm being really generous here; assuming lots of Swedes and North Americans who exercise) = 205 tons difference between the two games and LoTR even gave SW a 16 year head start.





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If nothing else, the title of the "review" tells you exactly what you're going to be reading. Additionally, it fits in with the reviews because it helps give you perspective about the other reviews that have/will get posted.

I played it at Gencon. My demonstrator talked about the deckbuilding aspect right off the bat--it seemed to be something they wanted to make sure people knew about, and will help simplify deck construction and make it easier to balance the power levels in the game. Sometimes accessibility is good.

I didn't experience the thematic wackiness of space vs. land, but whatever. Even what they had at Gencon is not necessarily a final product. Personally, I kind of question why ships even need to be in the game, but we'll see how it works out when it's actually released. (My demo game didn't include any.) But I will say that it would be dumber to have land and space units unable to face each other when you might not be able to draw into the unit-type you need. This isn't SWCCG; It seems to me you attack nearly every turn. If your opponent lucks into enough land stuff to defend against you, but then draws one decent ship and you draw none, the game is going to be HEAVILY in their favor, unlike SWCCG where undefended locations mostly just result in a slow trickle of damage that you're probably matching somewhere else. There is only one "battlefield," which is good for the game's accessibility. We don't need another SWCCG. But separating space and land units into two battlefields creates a big problem.

The game was a lot of fun and I look forward to it. I agree with all of the original poster's points.

To the other person/people posting here saying Fantasy Flight should have just licensed Decipher's game: I'd love to see that happen (particularly if they just pretended all that new trilogy stuff never happened) but this is a new game, which is very different to play, and you can sit down and play with a non-gamer friend in what I imagine to be a half an hour to 45 minutes. I played a 15 minute demo and enjoyed it thoroughly. SWCCG could take an hour and a half or more if playing with a new player. I tried to teach it to my dad, who is an engineer, a couple times, and he had a hard time remembering the rules in between sessions. This game is a LOT more straightforward, and the pod-building aspect (or whatever they call it) makes it a lot more accessible. If it's too CCG-esque for someone, then make two decks that YOU like, hand them one, be a good teacher and don't steamroll them. Easy enough.
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