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Subject: How does this compare to Decipher's SWCCG? rss

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Michael Ptak
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Light side V Dark side, abstraction in combat... I'm reading some similarities between the two games but can anyone who has played both comment on their differences and similarities?
 
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Peter Hall
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Well, I haven't played the new one, but I've watched several demos and read the rules. I would say that they aren't terribly similar, at least not int he context of CCG-type games.

The old game was slower to develop and generally longer. Combat was spread over two theaters and each theater usually had multiple locations. The deck served as life points and was used to resolve certain actions. The game had a lot of very specific rules and text-heavy cards to deal with major events from the films.

New game streamlines/shoehorns everything into one conflict. Edge battle is, I suppose, somewhat analogous to destiny draws, but not really. Decking is a secondary win/loss condition. Card text is usually shorter; cards have more icons/stats.
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Robert Brimer
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The Decipher CCG almost had a miniatures feel to it. You had the cards and you moved them around different locations and sites. It was a very tangible experience.

In this game, it seems the movement is all but gone, abstracted and appearing as keywords on some cards. In my opinion, this newer game has a better combat system. The icon usage gives some flavor and flexibility for units, and it lacks the more complicated rules of the CCG's combat system.
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Matthew Jensen
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I've been looking forward to this game since it was announced. I was a hard-core junky of Decipher's SWCCG and so had high hopes for FFG to do it right. I'm one of those that was happy when the coop option was pulled and the game returned to the SWCCG-esque Dark/Light showdown. Having read the rules of the new version, I'd offer these observations:

Objectives are the new locations - Decipher's game was all about recreating the actual feel of moving between sites and planets. It was very cool in that way. There isn't a real movement in FFG's version outside of committing to a strike. The downside of this is that you lose a bit of that epic feel of the galaxy. Positive is that you are drawn into conflict from the get go. Decipher's game could lead to one person on Endor and another on Tatooine never meeting and just force draining each other to death. Not that fun.

Edge Battles are the new Destiny Draws - Decipher's game had the destiny value on every card that was incorporated into weapon shots, skill checks, and battle destiny/attrition. Since the decks recycled, good players could actually count cards and setup destiny in their favor and give them the 'edge' in a battle. I thought this was very unique about the game. In FFG's game this additional edge is captured through the edge battles which is a conflict before the battle to see who triggers the extra benefits of having the Edge. While some decry this as a game of War, the fact that your deck doesn't recycle means that you have to pause and consider about committing a character or unit to a Edge battle. Do you use Luke's three force icons for an edge battle or have him out on the field doing battle. It's going to be a game-by-game decision.

Pod Selection is the new deckbuilding - Decipher's game was unlimited in its deck options. Jawas and Ewoks could be a major threat if you put the right things together. There was a ton of flavor as such, especially after many sets. Pod selection simplifies the deck building adventure. I'm most skeptical about this side of FFG's game. You are constrained by the different pods you select. Now that doesn't mean you can't customize, but instead of 'splashing' a random Vader in a Scum and Villiany deck, you've got to bring the other four cards and objective that Vader is attached to. In some ways this might more sense thematically but it does constrain the creativity of decks. Be prepared to see very similar decks until a couple expansions come out.

Force Generation is Force Generation - Decipher relied on actual location cards that were in your deck. They could clog your deck or leave you starved depending on the draw. That said, each location usually gave force to both sides or at least were a liability. Later in the game it wasn't unusual to generate 10-20 force per turn. FFG is an evolved form of Force Generation. The Objectives are your main source of Force and are a separate deck. Certain enhancements in your play deck can also be used to help generate force. Without seeing all the cards in the core set, I would say that force generation could be much more limited than in Decipher. However, you aren't worried about movement, battle commitment, and other uses of force at this time. I think this might be an improvement.

Battles are now Objective Attacks - Decipher had a beautiful way of separating the epic space battles and the ground battles of the Star Wars universe. However, it complicated game play and could lead to separate arenas where players never met. FFG has battle a bit more abstract but representing the overall forces marshalled to attack an objective. While it might seem weird for Luke Skywalker to take out a TIE without an X-Wing, I can imagine that there will be objectives that could limit what type of units can be used to attack it. That might lead to thematic balance in the game without developing separate arenas for battles.

Health is the new Forfeit Value - A difficult thing to grasp in Decipher's game was attrition and forfeit value. A big main character could be sacrificed to fulfill a huge battle loss and then just play another copy from hand. Sometimes that was a bit hard to swallow. In FFG it is simplified down to a health number on units. They take damage and carry that damage along with them until they are healed or killed. A bit more realistic and easier to understand.

Damage is now specialized - Decipher's battles and damage resolved down to doing damage in force. That could be unit forfeit amounts, cards from hand or cards from deck. The sufferer could usually choose. The whole goal was to deplete your opponent's deck (outside some special win conditions). Damage in FFG's game goes a bit more particular. Damage Icons assign damage tokens to characters or objectives or, even funner, focus tokens to characters in order to make them not be able to activate. Talk about slamming a door on Vader as the Falcon flies away. Some units do one thing while others do the other. Even good cards don't do the same. Leia can focus(distract) opponents while Luke kills them. I love it!

Focus is the new Activate - This is an interesting twist. Decipher's game you activated characters and then could attack or do other things with them. As mentioned in the Damage section, focusing is what is required to use units and cards. Thing is that a card could receive multiple focus tokens through different means but only one focus token is taken off each card per turn under normal circumstances. What a novel concept in seeing how rebels stymie the efforts of the Empire or vice-a-versa. I'm excited about this concept.

That's a run down of differences and comparisons between FFG's game and Decipher. I'm excited to see a supportable living game based on Star Wars again. I'm signed up for a core and might be dumping some other LCGs in favor of this IP that I have enjoyed for quite some time.

Hope that is helpful.

Matt Jensen
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Matthew Jensen
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One more additional comment.... After further reading I might have overstated the confinements of the Pod system of deck-building. The saving grace is that you can have multiple copies of each objective pod in your deck. That means you can create a TIE swarm or Storm trooper Beat down deck. You'll just have multiple copies of that objective in the deck.

So, that means from that you can get the basic gist of the game simply from one Core Set. However, I can see competitive players buying multiple Core Sets in order to maximize pod selection for their deck. While maybe not practical, can you imagine seeing a deck with ten exact same Objective pods! How boring but possibly very effective. While money is the limiting consideration, my experience shows that combining Star Wars with collectible games leads to some outlandish spending.

Hmm... I can see an errata/clarification to limit repeated objective pods to three or four per deck.

Still, looking forward to the good fun.
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Kenneth Chan
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I believe there is a limit of 2 of the same "pods" for a deck, and some are unique and limited to only 1 per deck
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Matthew Jensen
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TrekkerMJ wrote:
One more additional comment.... After further reading I might have overstated the confinements of the Pod system of deck-building. The saving grace is that you can have multiple copies of each objective pod in your deck. That means you can create a TIE swarm or Storm trooper Beat down deck. You'll just have multiple copies of that objective in the deck.

So, that means from that you can get the basic gist of the game simply from one Core Set. However, I can see competitive players buying multiple Core Sets in order to maximize pod selection for their deck. While maybe not practical, can you imagine seeing a deck with ten exact same Objective pods! How boring but possibly very effective. While money is the limiting consideration, my experience shows that combining Star Wars with collectible games leads to some outlandish spending.

Hmm... I can see an errata/clarification to limit repeated objective pods to three or four per deck.


Still, looking forward to the good fun.


Hmm... Thanks for the catch. That's what I get for reading from a PDF scan of the rules. Glad they anticipated that and I only have to buy two sets if I want to. Thanks for the catch dacool561!
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