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Subject: Star Wars CCG - How to get started? rss

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Dan Brandt
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Star Wars CCG - How to get started?

I played this in college and really enjoyed it then.  However I was very committed to MtG which got the most of my game budget. 

Dominion, Thunderstone, Rune Age, Netrunner, and others have reawakened the nostalgia I have for CCGs. 

I am contemplating adding Star Wars CCG back into my game collection. I do not want to go too crazy. 

My plan is to stick with cards from the first three sets and build out a couple variations of light and dark decks for casual game play with my local game group.

I am seeking advice on how best to get started. I see sealed boxed sets on eBay but have no clue as to how many I would need to get a good base together such that I could create a couple variations of light / dark decks. 

Thoughts?
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Mike Compton
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I'm not sure if buying sealed boxes of packs is necessarily the best way to go. In my opinion, though you can still have a lot of fun with this game regardless, it's much MORE fun if you have the cast of characters (Luke, Leia, Han, Obi-wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, etc.).

Decipher had a tiered rarity system (rare "1", rare "2", uncommon "1", uncommon "2", etc.) Most/all of the main cast of characters are rare "1's" and, if you buy a box, you could end up with a lot of cards but very few of the personalities you might want or need to really add good flavor to your decks.

I would suggest skipping the crap-shoot of blind boosters and just buy what you know you'll need as sets if you can find them.

I would also suggest checking out the website of the Star Wars CCG Players committee (www.starwarsccg.org). You can check for local players in your area through a player locator and through the forums. They also have detailed card lists posted which can help you figure out what you might consider "important" cards in your search.

I also think you're wise to focus on just the first few sets. The first two sets are mainly what I have and the general consensus I find on other threads is that, in the interest of adding new things to new sets as Decipher made them, the game got more convoluted with each progressive set.

I don't know if that helps but I wish you the best of luck.
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David Bate
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I would look to building a few LS and DS themed decks, maybe linked to key events in one of the films. This can be character, space or location event based. If you have any old scrye magazines or access to some older web links (via wayback machine if now gone) you may find a few ideas for published decks.

SWCCG Continuing Committee site may have some ideas too.
 
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Sebastian Blanco
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Not everyone might agree, but I see no problem with buying a few boxes/decks of cards and then just printing out the other, rarer cards that you need to make your decks that you want to use to play with your friends. This is a dead game, and the Player's Committee that keeps it alive should be supported with your money once you've decided that it's a game you want to play more of. For starters, though, proxies are your friend.

BTW, you can get common/uncommon sets from the PC here: http://www.starwarsccg.org/index.php?page=shop.browse&catego...

Another great option, even though it doesn't fit with the first two or three sets idea, is to pick up a Dark and Light side starter from the Death Star II set. These were preconstructed decks from Decipher that are meant to be played against each other, and they're also good teaching aids, since they're engaging (Battle of Endor!) while not having too many complicated cards.

I don't see these decks on the SWCCG PC site, but they're available somewhere, I'm sure (eBay?)
 
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Brian Franzman
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What a great idea, limiting your collection to a few sets to keep it simple and accessible for your friends. The combination of Premiere/New Hope will give you a great feel from the game's golden period, letting you play out events from the first film very well, although you'd be limited to only Tatooine, Yavin, and the Death Star for locations. This should make for very active battling, but you may eventually want to add Hoth and Cloud City for more variety. Also, picking up some cards from Special Edition should enhance your "early era" gaming.

Ebay is your friend. All sorts of SWCCG cards are available at reasonable prices (for the most part), depending on what you're looking for. Former players and dabblers alike are constantly listing complete/near complete sets and large lots, sometimes listing the main characters included and sometimes not. If you're not demanding mint condition, you should be able to pick up a good number of the earlier, easy-to-find sets very inexpensively.

Singles of rares (and especially mains) can get very pricy. Since you're essentially starting from scratch, I'd recommend picking up a few large lots with mains, and then seek out the ones you're still missing (or want duplicates of) afterward. Vader seems particularly hard to get, so you may want to make sure he's present in any lots you go after.
 
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Dan Brandt
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Hey all. Thanks for the suggestions. I downloaded the rules the other day and re-read them. I'm pretty much into trying this experiment out.

I did some budget checks. Looks like I'll be focusing on Premiere to start. By your recollection can you build a couple different Dark and Light side decks with just premiere? Or does that set gravitate toward a single dominant strategy for one or both sides?

My goal is to create a couple deck recipes for each and then have the card supply to create a particular light and dark recipe.

As for getting my collection started. I'm going to begin by buying a couple of those full sets people offer up. The game's no fun without the major characters in the films and they are all rares. Buying complete sets will ensure I have those.

Thanks for all the support. I did not expect this number of responses!



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beerandpretzel wrote:

I did some budget checks. Looks like I'll be focusing on Premiere to start. By your recollection can you build a couple different Dark and Light side decks with just premiere? Or does that set gravitate toward a single dominant strategy for one or both sides?


Mains Beatdown with Sense/Alter will be dominant on both sides. It won't matter though because you won't have enough Mains to pull it off. My advice: Don't go looking for early Premiere tournament level decks. If you are in charge of building all the decks, try some things that seem fun, then tweak them to make them stronger. If you eventually figure out a tournament level deck from the Premiere era, you will have played hundreds of hours of games. That will have been its own reward.
 
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Dan Brandt
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darthnice wrote:


Mains Beatdown with Sense/Alter will be dominant on both sides. It won't matter though because you won't have enough Mains to pull it off. My advice: Don't go looking for early Premiere tournament level decks. If you are in charge of building all the decks, try some things that seem fun, then tweak them to make them stronger. If you eventually figure out a tournament level deck from the Premiere era, you will have played hundreds of hours of games. That will have been its own reward.


You've explained what I hope to do. I hope to build out two different dark side decks and two different light side decks. Hopefully balance them but not make them tournament crazy. What my gaming group likes are decks that are fun but don't feel like they stall out.

I'll do some digging and see if I can find anyone online who has posted some fun but mildly competitive recipes. Know of any?

Thank you.
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Matt Quackenbush
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I'm attempting to build a complete collection of cards from Premiere through Death Star II....I would love to learn how to play, I remember collecting the cards when they first came out, but the rules always confused my brother and I. :-\
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CPBelt
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AFAIK you'll have to download them one at a time from the site's Resources-->Card Lists pages. These are the old Decipher images. Not high res images by today's standards, but they will work. I did this back in the day with the Decipher website was active.

All totaled, it's about 300MB of images.

No virtual deck builder with card images for the SWCCG like there is for the Star Trek CCG.
 
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CPBelt
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red black wrote:

Thanks. One other question. Could you tell me which card sleeve size fits the game?


Standard size sleeves. I like Player's Choice sleeves.
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David Bate
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The Player Committee card images run at 350px × 490px.

I have blown up to double size a few of these images and they are quite usable.

From what I can remember many of the original Decipher images has drop shadows as well as the card image, which made for an undersized card image. Not all cards are listed on the site, but you can find them on Decipher's site as stored on the Wayback Machine website.
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CPBelt
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wrrlykam wrote:
The Player Committee card images run at 350px × 490px.


The Decipher and Virtual cards are all 72dpi and only 8-bit 256 colors. Printed straight to the printer, they come out to almost 5"x7" in size! So we need to "shrink" them to card size.

Instead of using Paint Shop Pro's 'resize' function to literally resize the image, which can mess up the text, I increase the color to 24bit, open the resize function, and then increase the DPI to 143. This will then print the card to the proper size, give or take a micron, but with much better results. I set my printer to high quality to get the best results. I can use a Cannon color ink jet if I want, but usually I just print to my b&w Brother laser printer.

Cut the card image, stick a junk card behind it for support and proper feel, slide them into the sleeve, and there you go. Who needs to drop $20 for a Premier Darth Vader from a dead card game?

BTW Decipher's Star Trek 2E card images are better than the SWCCG. Using the same as above, the quality is amazing.

One last thing, you could copy/paste the cards to a new blank image sized for a sheet of paper and then do all the resizing as above. That way you could print several cards on one piece of paper, saving paper.
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Matt Lernout
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You can freely mix white and black borders. The game also has no limit on copies you can include a deck, contrary to most card game. How many copies you run of something is entirely deck dependent. In the very early life cycle it wasn't uncommon to see players running as many as 6 Darth Vaders and 10+(!) copies of Sense.
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David Bate
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6 Darth Vaders in a deck?!?! Ye gods, it took me 10 years to get a Vader out of a booster pack. They must have been lucky booster pickers or rolling in the green stuff.
 
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Matt Lernout
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wrrlykam wrote:
6 Darth Vaders in a deck?!?! Ye gods, it took me 10 years to get a Vader out of a booster pack. They must have been lucky booster pickers or rolling in the green stuff.


Sorry, correct my earlier post to say it was not uncommon to see those numbers in Pro-level Tournament decks.

I was with you. Until the alternate personas, precons and EPP versions rolled around, I was lucky to have 1 copy, let alone more of a main character, and I cracked Premiere as my pack of choice 8 out of 10 times.

I still have old card gaming magazines with those monstrous 6 Vader listings, even if I never got more than 2 by the end of my time with the game. But hey, if you're proxying, why the hell not? :)
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David Bate
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No problem. At least Vader was cheaper than a Black Lotus cards.
 
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Matt Lernout
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red black wrote:
How does game play compare with the Premiere set? Are there objective cards in the Death Star II set?


The DSII precons do not have objectives, but do have starting interrupts. They are also closer to real constructed decks than the Premiere introductory 2-player set (or the Premiere "Starter Decks" which were random and unplayable). They feature both arenas of the game (sites and systems) which was lacking in the 2-player intro sets, and actually use reasonable card selections where the 2-player was loaded with chaff like troopers and timer mines.

Hands down the best option available from their sealed products if you're looking for decks playable out-of-box.
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Matt Lernout
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Power creep only really hit a noticeable high with the Episode I sets and forward (Tatooine, Corsucant, Theed, Reflections III). Most everything else mixes reasonably well, although there are many subtheme mechanics that are mostly confined to particular sets.

A New Hope is a logical mixer with Premiere as it only slightly expands on the things introduced in the first set. It also mixes in some important game-changing elements such as Undercover. The "Grabbers" and Monnok/Grimtaash are the first bullet responses to decks overstacked with interrupts like Sense/Alter.

Hoth can feel like it tips the scale to dark with the AT-ATs, but they aren't invincible. There's some interesting stuff in the set, but nay of it requires playing (suprise) Hoth locations.

Dagobah has the light side cards dip into Jedi Training and Asteroid Fields, things that wouldn't necessarily mix well into generic Premiere type decks. However, the dark side features a huge slew of bounty hunters.

Cloud City brings in an assortment of capture cards for dark which again don't splash in generic decks. It also has a number of cards involving Cloud sectors.

Jabba's Palace is widely regarded as a weak set. It has an extremely high density of character cards when compared to other expansions, but many of them are underwhelming.

Special Edition is another great mixer with Premiere. Here's where objectives were introduced which are huge game changers, although just about all of them rely on an assortment of cards from across all preceding sets. Ignoring those, there is a nice spread of useful cards in the set.

Endor is an interesting option as well. I believe it was the first set designed with drafting in mind and as a result, there are what feel like a slightly better mix of cards at all rarity levels. A bunch of things are Endor-theme specific (Ewoks), but Endor itself has some good locations and isn't such a bad choice.

Death Star II is another great set, following in Endor's design. Where its predecessor is heavily ground based, DSII does a lot to spice up space elements, bringing in a bunch of new ships, including A-Wings, B-Wings, and TIE Interceptors.

I'd say the best choices for mixers for Premiere would be Death Star II, Special Edition, Endor and A New Hope, roughly in that order, but all of those bring useful elements without bringing too many imbalances or useless chaff.
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