Fulfil Your Destiny (Star Wars Destiny Preview)

It’s definitely no secret now (if it ever was) that I am a mega Star Wars fanboy. I’ve dabbled in almost every Star Wars competitive game there ever was (with the exception of the Decipher one; that was before my time), and when Fantasy Flight Games released news of a new collectible Star Wars dice game on my birthday it was an amazing news to come across at 5 AM in the morning.

As my excitement grew and grew, it was clear to me that this would likely end up being a huge deal for me. The rules seemed interesting, the collectibility was a bold step for Fantasy Flight to take, and it contained characters from all the movies. What wasn’t to get hyped about?

Well, get ready to share in my excitement for this game as I take you through what I experienced when I was given a Kylo and Rey starter deck earlier this week in order to preview this game.

The Overview

Star Wars: Destiny is a collectible card/dice game soon to be released by Fantasy Flight Games, featuring very unique mechanics and all of your favourite characters. Players assemble dream teams of characters from across the Star Wars universe in order to do battle and emerge victorious. Each character in the game comes complete with their own special dice, which you (hopefully) use to roll over your opponents (figuratively).

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All of the dice you get with the Rey starter deck, the one I played more in our learn-to-plays.

The objective of the game  is to either completely strip your opponent of cards in hand and deck, or to eliminate all of their characters. Players alternate taking actions in this deceptively deep yet incredibly easy to learn game of dice chucking, blaster shooting, lightsaber clashing fun.

The Games

Thus far, I’ve played three games with these starters I’ve received. There was a lot of buzz everywhere (and indeed, I believed it too) that the Rey deck was far more powerful than the Kylo one. As it turned out, my partner chose to play Vader’s Disciple, while I got to play the noble heroes of the Resistance.

On the second turn of the game, Rey and Fin tag teamed and took the First Order Stormtrooper out of the match, punishing him with some insane melee damage. This left Kylo to deal with the two on his own; a difficult prospect, but not one that the Sith Apprentice wasn’t ready for. The dice flew, cards hit the table, and it looked to be all over for the Sith Apprentice…

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We hardly knew ye, Stormtrooper…

Until he landed a Close Quarters Assault on the last turn of the game to rip my final two cards away, and win by mill. The Dark Side had prevailed this time, but would the light get there next time?

Whereas the first game featured a showdown that mirrored the end of Force Awakens, the second was a much slower slog, with both Rey and Kylo getting stronger and stronger with various upgrades. The Power of the Dark Side was powerful, and Rey was succumbing to its influence until the noble Finn provided a distraction and moved the damage onto him. Renewed and calming herself, Rey drew forth her Lightsaber and cut down the Stormtrooper. Again, it was Kylo against the Heroes of the Resistance.

This time, the Heroes were just too much. Kylo himself wasn’t able to hold against the resource and dice advantage that Rey and Finn had, and whilst the game lasted a few more rounds, Kylo could only muster a token defense as the two heroes overwhelmed Mr Ren.

In the final game, we switched sides, with yours truly now commanding Kylo and the Stormtrooper. Kylo and Rey both took some heavy beats in the early game, and while Finn gunned down Kylo, the First Order Stormtrooper immediately responded by blasting Rey away.

“Traitor” yelled the trooper. It was on.

Although the trooper managed to greatly wound Finn, the hero proved to be just too much. Just as the trooper lined up his final shot, he was taken out in a torrent of blaster fire. He had tried his best and would be remembered as one of the finest, but the Resistance had managed to just achieve victory, though not absent a great cost in the loss of Rey.

The Verdict

Star Wars: Destiny is a truly wonderful and refreshing experience, even with just the starter decks. All three of the games we played were really quite tense and close, with awesome moments like Kylo on the brink of death managing to just hold out, Finn and Rey tag teaming to take out a Stormtrooper on the second turn, and Finn and the Stormtrooper engaged in an epic duel. Even after three games, I’m still rearing to keep playing.

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“You don’t know the power of the Dark Side!”

There is a surprising amount of decision points in what may seem like a simple dice game. Calculated risks, knowing when to pass and when not to, managing cards in hand in case you run out of deck, all of these factors are at the forefront of your mind as you battle one another. Whilst there is certainly luck involved in the game, there is a substantial amount of mitigation and control afforded to the players, meaning that a lucky roll won’t (at least, won’t often) define a game. Having said that, there is something exciting about rolling the chunky dice and hoping for that game winning result. It’s the right kind of lucky feel, the one that generates excitement instead of feeling arbitrary.

My gaming partner also said immediately afterwards that he’s hyped to build his own decks and interested to see how they’ll go. I couldn’t agree more. With such generous deckbuilding rules and many exciting combinations to play, I can’t wait for Destiny to be released at the end of next week. I can assure you that there will be much cracking of boosters and chucking of dice in my near future.

With a low barrier to entry (you just need a starter and a couple of boosters, which will probably cost you around $40), this is the time to get in on the ground floor. This is going to be big, and we’re all on the same foot right now. If you’re at all a fan of Star Wars, card games and/or dice games, I think you’d be doing yourself an injustice not to at least try this one out and see what it has on offer.

Until next time,

MTFBWY

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