Today, news has arrived that seems to have been a long time coming: Star Wars LCG is coming to an end.
Star Wars LCG had originally been slated as a cooperative game, where a team of Rebel players worked together to thwart the diabolical schemes of the Empire. There were some mixed responses to it, with many players lamenting the fact that they wouldn’t be able to play as the Empire. Somewhere along the way, the cooperative game got shelved, and instead a competitive card game with asymmetric sides, somewhat akin to Netrunner, got released.
I’ve loved Star Wars for many years, and I excitedly picked up my two Core Sets very early in the games life. The mechanisms were innovative and interesting, and the art was absolutely gorgeous. I was hooked, and some of my good friends got involved in the game too. Although the deck building was rather restrictive, the gameplay itself was more than enough to keep me coming back for more.
There was a large hiccup early in the release schedule as FFG moved toward the new packaging that all LCGs now come with. After a fairly mediocre first cycle which saw most decks still relying almost entirely on the core set (and the recently released deluxe, for the light side at least), the second cycle looked incredibly promising, which only made the delay even more frustrating. The forums were rife with disgruntled players, and FFG’s no communication policy only increased negative sentiment.
By the time the second cycle landed, many of the players were gone. Still, the game was actually at an all time high (after a hiccup with the first two packs which resulted in the creation of a restricted list). Plenty of exciting new cards came out, and all the factions finally had some time to shine. Unfortunately, by the end of the cycle, it had become clear that there were two main decks that dominated the meta: Jedi/Smugglers and Core Set Sith (yep, they still only needed the Core Set).
I had an excellent time at the 2014 Nationals. There was a great turnout from the interstate players, which made up for the unfortunately poor local one. I remember the finals fondly; I opened with Darth Vader, backed up with tonnes of diabolical Force powers in my hand. After committing the Dark Lord to the force, I then used Force Choke, Force Lightning, and Force Storm to defend my objectives turn after turn. Darth Vader chucking powerful power after power secured me the national title, and a ticket to play in worlds. I was super excited!
And yet, I never ended up playing in worlds that year. The meta was incredibly stale, and I anticipated that everyone would be playing the exact two decks I had played to win nationals (perhaps with very mild alterations). Warhammer 40K: Conquest had just come out, and I’d been playing that like a madman. Thinking that I had a good shot at actually taking the first world championship for it, whereas with Star Wars I would be coin flipping in a lot of match-ups, I decided to go for gold with the newest LCG at the time. I felt bad, but I couldn’t bring myself to be excited about the game at the time.
In fact, I never again found myself excited enough to play again. A casual tournament played with friends before I headed out to worlds would be the final time I played Star Wars LCG. Reminiscing on it now, I think that it was a fitting final way to enjoy the game that seemed to have so much potential, but had stumbled all the way.
When Star Wars: Destiny came out and was a huge hit, many (myself included) thought it would spell the end for Star Wars LCG, a game that had apparently been on life support for several years now. Yet somehow it persevered, never flourishing, but refusing to die. Every so often, I’d peek at the new articles for the game to check out the cool characters and designs they’d implemented into a game I was once so fond of.
And then today, it happened. The typical unceremonious farewell of FFG. A casual mention in an article. Nothing more, nothing less. Like Warhammer Invasion and Warhammer 40K: Conquest before them, Star Wars LCG will quietly fade away. The epic battles between the light and the dark will continue, but not in LCG form.
I would be lying if I said I was surprised by the announcement, or if I said I was terribly saddened by it. It’s been over three years since I last jumped into an edge battle, flipped a Yoda from Along the Gamor Run, or locked down my opponent’s board with Palpatine. Perhaps FFG will revisit the cooperative concept they shelved years ago, and you’ll be able to gather together with friends and have more fun adventures in the Star Wars universe. For now, I bid farewell to a game that gave me good memories and many good times with friends.
May the Force Be With You, Star Wars LCG fans!