Looking for some new Mara Jade artwork? Fantasy Flight Games slid a few image of Mara Jade into the base set of Star Wars: The Card Game, which came out in December. The game features artwork on all of the cards, ranging from concept art from Ralph McQuarrie to new artwork done for Fantasy Flight. While not directly named on any cards, Mara Jade makes her appearance as the Emperor’s Hand on two cards in the Sith deck sets for the Dark Side player.
Unlike the previous constructed deck Star Wars card games (such as from Decipher, Wizards of the Coast, and WizKids) that were sold in packs, this game comes as a single box set, and from the box contents, it seems that there’s a lot of tokens for this Living Card Game.
But is it any good? Designer Nate French does have a good track record – three of his other Living Card Games are in the top 20 in the Customizable category on BoardGameGeek, while Fantasy Flight has a few other titles in the top twenty (including their Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game).
The role-playing game will be beta tested in three installments, and the first, entitled Edge of the Empire, is available (the 224 page rulebook is $30) at GenCon, online, and some select retailers. The game introduces the use of unique, custom dice as part of the gameplay, and includes sticker sheets to customize your own dice. Edge of the Empire focuses on characters at the fringes of society: those in the Outer Rim, and assorted scum and villainy. An Obligation game mechanic will help provide narrative for why the characters are out on the Rim, and what are they running from.
The upcoming beta installments, Age of Rebellion, will focus on being part of the Rebel Alliance, and bringing the fight to the Empire, while Force and Destiny introduces the powers of the Jedi… and being wanted by the Empire. Ben at Word of the Nerd has been gathering some of the buzz at Gen Con about the game, and wonders if it can top the popularity of the last RPG. 30 bucks to beta test a role playing game? I can understand the printing costs…. but… if you end up testing all 3 installments, you might be out close to a Benjamin, for something that is not the final version of the game. (Who they will make their money on: Wookiepedians!)
At Gen Con 2011, Fantasy Flight Games demoed versions of their co-op card game and X-Wing minis game. This year, the X-Wing Miniatures Game has launched, and is available at Gen Con (until it sells out), and Fantasy Flight has put the core rules up online and held a tournament for the game on Friday.
Will we also see the card game at some point? It was supposed to come out in the spring, but it was pushed back as they kept tweaking it to make it more epic (and perhaps less akin to their existing Living Card Games).
After announcing last week that Fantasy Flight Games had obtained the licensing rights for Star Wars-themed RPG, card and miniatures games, it seemed pretty natural for them to be demoing their upcoming titles at Gencon this past weekend. Beasts Of War interviewed Fantasy Flight Games on the two upcoming titles demoed the gaming convention: X-Wing, the miniatures game, and Star Wars: The Card Game. io9 enjoyed their chance to try out a demo version of the starfighter combat minis.
Buzz on Board Game Geek for the card game seems to be positive, especially from the fans of FFG’s other cooperative Living Card Games. But a few CCG gaming friends tried it out and weren’t as positive – was it a poor demo experience (not being told that it was cooperative and not competitive)? Several players remarked on the game having some bad artwork. Hopefully the look and feel will get more polished as they finish it up for its 2012 release. But as a co-op game with all players being the Rebels against the Empire, players seeking to play on the Dark Side of the Force will be left unhappy.
The license was previously held by by Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast, which let it go in 2010. Star Wars roleplaying and card games originated under West End Games and Decipher, respectively, but from what I’ve heard over the years, WOTC’s versions suffered when compared to the much-beloved originals.