SWC08-cardfan-02In case you have not checked out Fantasy Flight Games’ (FFG’s) Star Wars Living Card Game (SW LCG) yet, by all means do get started right away here, at FFG’s official YouTube channel. It’s a great play by play streaming video tutorial on how the game works – much better way to learn compared to actually reading the rulebook!


Anyway, I have gotten more plays out of this game, and I am absolutely won over by how swiftly this card game can play. 30-minute games are very possible, with a maximum of 45 to 50 minutes, if things get drawn out.


In a nutshell, SW LCG is a fast-paced card game that plays up several key conflicts and battles, each time you play. I have to emphasis “fast” and “key”, as this non-collectible card game does not simulate the massive, sprawling battles you’re probably more used to, in the movies, and any of the spin-off novels, video games and other medium.


For example, in a recent game I played, a lone Y-Wing and several independent operatives or spies show up, and are promptly blasted by several Stormtroopers. Admiral Motti and several TIE Fighters follow suit, before Home One makes its appearance. The game finished with the Imperial troopers swarming the Rebellion to death!


cloud-city-operativeIn another game, a motley crew of young Jedi warriors get going, together with Home One. The Imperials throw some TIE Fighters and Stormtroopers in the mix, but get the Rebellion close off the win despite some accurate shooting from the notorious Boba Fett.


It becomes very apparent that the game is really geared towards plenty of customization, but the Objective set mechanics make it simpler and more complicated. Decks of at least 60 cards must be built based on six-card card pods (your Objective sets), and may not repeat more than twice per set (unless they’re labeled unique, or no more than one per deck).


There’s only a single Core Set so far: a two-player “starter” set that has everything that you’ll need to start playing. You get a more “complete” experience by buying two Core Sets and mixing doubles of selected Objective sets, but I’d hold off on buying as the first expansions – 60-card Force Packs – are already on their way.


LCGs operate on a fixed model, so no randomized cards and overpriced rares and such. This is another great reason to play this game.


Now, with monthly Force Packs coming in, you could buy one Core Set now, and wait for the expansions to come in. The first four expansions, are part of the Hoth Cycle – a vast majority of the cards come from the first story arc of the Empire Strikes Back movie. Yup, AT-ATs, Snowspeeders and then some!


The previews for these expansions are still not completely out yet, but it does seem that the sets will focus more on the ffg_mandalorian-armor-core-33-4Imperial and Rebel Alliance affiliations, more than anything else. The other four affiliations look to be represented too, but I’d bet my scruffy-looking nerf herder that all the key bits of the Battle of Hoth, gets their royal treatment, over the next four months.


If you’re more keen on the Smugglers & Spies and Scum & Villainy affiliations instead, there’s the Edge of Darkness (big) expansion to look forward to. Would it be possible to skip the Hoth Cycle and wait for that instead? Knowing how FFG would want to drive up sales, I highly doubt it, since I already see several Scum & Villainy/Smugglers & Spies cards appearing in the Hoth packs already.


But yes, it is very possible for us to just give the Core Set a whirl, for now. Fire away!


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