The Circle is Now Complete: Returning to Star Wars CCG

Introduction

I’m Ryan, aka Clone 1, and I’m just getting back into Star Wars CCG after a 20 year hiatus.

To help myself and others get back into the game I’m going to produce a series of blog posts with increasingly sophisticated decks.  I want to learn (or re-learn) the cards, rules, virtual cards, and everything I’ve missed out on but in a deliberate and fun way.

Fortunately I have the support of my brother (Brandon aka Boba) who participated in Nationals this year.  And of course everyone has the support of the Players Committee Forum.

Follow along on how to get back into the best game in the galaxy.

7 Easy Steps to Restarting Your Star Wars CCG Career

  1. First, we need the cards. I (of course) recommend hard copies from the SWCCG Store.  The exact deck I will discuss can be found here: SWCCG Store: Attack Run & Commence Primary Ignition Deck
    • The deck has been put together to reduce cost while still enabling key events from A New Hope
    • This is not a tournament deck. I created the decks to specifically play against each other and enable Epic Events.
  2. Next, grab some slips to protect the cards. I’d never seen these until I watched Nationals but they are great to have.  The slips protect the cards and make shuffling faster and easier.
  3. Print the basic rules and the Epic Events Rules
  4. Find a friend and schedule a time
  5. Put on Star Wars: A New Hope
    • Tournament gameplay is 60 minutes and A New Hope runs 2 hours and 5 minutes (perfect timing for two games)
  6. Order a pizza
  7. Get playing!

Deck Overview

PDF: Attack Run & Commence Primary Ignition Deck List

Deck List.PNG

If you don’t have the cards handy today (maybe they’re being shipped) check out Players Committee Card Lists to view the cards.  All of the cards are from Premiere, A New Hope, or Premium.  To follow along online you can construct the decks in Gemp and view/play virtually.

I used the Enhanced versions of Darth Vader With Lightsaber and Obi-Wan With Lightsaber to reduce the overall deck cost as well as ensure that each character is equipped for a proper duel.

  • Note: “Enhanced” characters do not have immunity to attrition.  I would recommend playing with a “house rule” that both Darth Vader and Obi-Wan are immune to attrition <5.  
  • Upgrade your deck with Premiere Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Don’t forget their lightsabers (Vader / Obi-Wan)

Deck Themes

In tournaments Epic Events aren’t favored as they are hard to achieve and generally specific to your opponents deck (it’s hard to blow away Hoth generators if your opponent is on Yavin 4).  The decks I’ve created are focused on Epic Events because they’re awesome, easy to understand for a returning player, and create an amazing theatrical experience that made so many of us Star Wars fans fall in love with the game.

Dark Side

  • Primary Theme: Commence Primary Ignition – blow away Yavin 4 to end the rebellion
  • Secondary Theme: Circle is Now Complete – eliminate Obi-Wan from your opponents deck, enabling Vader to carve up the ‘pathetic resistance’

Light Side

  • Primary Theme: Attack Run – blown away the Death Star, dealing a crippling blow to the Imperials
  • Secondary Theme: Circle is Now Complete – beat Vader with Obi-Wan and take over the Death Star from the inside out

Note the rules on Battle Damage from Commence Primary Ignition and Attack Run:

  • “If the system blown away was a Rebel Base, the light side player loses 2 Force for each light side Force icon at the system and all its related locations (regardless of who deployed it).”
  • “If [Death Star] blown away, the dark side player loses 2 Force for each dark side Force icon at all Death Star locations (regardless of who deployed it)”
  • Given the locations in each deck, players will deal 10+ damage if they complete an Epic Event. This should ensure victory (and encourage each player to pursue or defend against the events).

Deck Strategies & Gameplay

The beauty of Star Wars CCG is that the game can unfold in an unlimited number of ways.  Below I’ve listed out a number of potential combinations.

Strategy Image

Which strategy to pursue will depend on what cards are drawn and played initially as well as opponent’s strategy.

For example, if the Imperial player initially draws Star Destroyers and Tie Fighters their strategy may focus on controlling systems and preventing an Attack Run.  The Imperial deck has the firepower to control systems so this should be an effective strategy.

If the Rebel player draws Obi-Wan and other characters they may focus on entering and controlling Death Star sites for Force Drains (check out the Trash Compactor location text for how to enter the Death Star).  This pressure will require Vader to counter which will prevent Vader from resisting an Attack Run or wreaking havoc on Yavin 4.

I’ve tried to make these decks both simple and balanced across many different strategies (sites, systems, Epic Events, etc.).  Each deck can be offensive or defensive across each objective.  This contrasts to current tournament decks which (to my untrained eye) appear to focus on one specific (and devastating) offensive strategy combined with very broad defensive capabilities.  This makes sense in a tournament setting where you don’t know your opponents deck…but it also makes it far more difficult to just jump in and play with those decks.

Tips & Tricks

I’ll end this post with a few tips and tricks I noticed at Nationals that can add depth to your strategies even with these simple decks.

  • Character positions/locations matter
    • Each deck has interrupts that can return key characters to the game (Luke’s Back, Han’s Back, The Empire’s Back, Evader, etc.)
    • Because characters can be retrieved, it is occasionally beneficial to forfeit a character and retrieve/replay them elsewhere to the surprise of your opponent
      • For example, if Darth Vader with Lightsaber is in a battle on Yavin 4 and the Rebels are nearing an Attack Run, losing Vader in a battle could allow the Imperial player to play “The Empire’s Back” and redeploy Vader as a pilot back at the Death Star
    • This should be considered offensively as well
      • For example, the Rebels could deploy a fleet at the Yavin 4 system and draw the Imperials into moving or deploying Vader, Tarkin, and a Star Destroyer at that location
      • The Rebels may lose a battle here, but Vader will now be at a system and away from the Death Star, potentially enabling an Attack Run or the deployment of Obi-Wan to the Death Star
  • Card Destiny numbers matter
    • A balanced deck include numerous cards with high destinies
    • Drawing high battle destinies can swing a game in your favor
  • One Battle Destiny is hardly enough
    • Character combinations and interrupts that add or subtract battle destinies can be extremely powerful
      • Note the Vader/Tarkin combination
  • Use your weapons wisely
    • First, make sure to have force available to fire your weapons in all battles
    • Lightsaber strikes are especially powerful as they reduce the forfeit (and therefore attrition satisfying value) to zero
    • Consider targeting ‘easier to hit’ characters to remove opponent cards
      • For example, if Vader is battling two characters and neither have immunity to attrition, target the lower ability character with Vader’s lightsaber
      • The lower ability character will likely be hit, reducing forfeit to zero
      • As long as your battle destiny is great than zero the other character will be lost to attrition
  • Lose a battle to win a war
    • Don’t leave characters or starships vulnerable to attacks after your turn is over
      • For example, if you deploy a Star Destroyer with a pilot and battle a Rebel fleet you may win the battle and cause damage to your opponent
      • But, you may also have to lose something to attrition
      • If you forfeit just the pilot, you may have a Star Destroyer vulnerable to whatever you opponent can deploy next turn; it may be better to forfeit the Star Destroyer, with the pilot, to ensure you don’t take twice as much damage in the future

Summary

I hope you are as excited as I am to jump into these decks and get back into Star Wars CCG.  Now that you’ve read the deck goals, strategies, and tips, purchase your deck and get playing!

Let us know via the comment section or email (bobafett@swccgstore.com) if you have any comments, suggestions, feedback on the deck, etc.