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Friday, 15 August 2014

More Star Wars Goodness from FFG!

Friday, August 15, 2014

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Alright, so the FFG Inflight Report had some interesting reveals! FFG seem to be the Star Wars company now. Of course, as they've handled the it very well so far I'm not complaining.

You've probably heard of Star Wars Armada by now, so I'll talk about that later and focus on the news from the seminar. What as me the most excited is the upcoming Star Wars Imperial Assault which is basically Descent in a Star Wars dressing. I felt sceptical at first but reading the anouncement and description page it certainly seem to bring some new stuff to the game; the main thing being the possibility of playing it as a two player skirmish game. What might be most interesting about this release is that it is in fact a proper board game (although with a skirmish component) which FFG didn't have the license for a couple of years ago. Apparently Christian Petersen was a bit cagey when this was brought up but I fully expect to see a slew of Star Wars board game in the future. Anyway, apart from it being a board game, the combination of Descent and Star Wars shouldn't come as a surprise as Descent 2 is their best selling board game and X-wing is their best selling game.

So why am I excited about a Descent re-theme? Well... because of the theme! Although I've actally come to enjoy the Terrinoth setting it can't really compare to Star Wars, especially when you focus on the original trilogy and do it as well as FFG does! There also seem to more focus on the roleplaying aspects of the game, which I like, but this could simply be the marketing speak making it look more interesting than it really is as Descent is very roleplay light. The two player skirmish mode is an interesting way of playing the game and if executed well I think it's a great way to get some use out of your game even when you can't pull together the full number of players (four rebs and one imperial player). So... now I'm considering if maybe I should try and offload my copy of Descent and get this instead. I guess future previews will help me decide. :)



Image courtesy of BGG.
Next up we have the next expansion for Eldritch Horror and it takes on my favourite Lovecraft novel: At the Mountains of Madness! This is both awesome and a bit frustrating at the same time. Awesome because I've always wanted to explore this setting in a bord game (not to mention roleplaying game!), but frustrating as I didn't really enjoy (my so far only game of) Eldritch Horror. Then again, perhaps a more focused expansion like this might be the thing to really make it click for me. It really comes down to how it's executed though. For me AtMoM is such a rich setting that it could easily be an entire board game in its own right! I'm guessing we'll get a smaller board to add to the main board, but if it turns out to be similar to the expansions for Arkham Horror, which suffered from lack of focus (Innsmouth notwithstanding), I think I'll be disappointed. Still, very excited to see FFG tackle this. Finally!

EDIT: Oops! Had missed the official announcement here. Here's the additional board:



Alright, back to Star Wars!

Image courtesy of Dice Tower News.
Ever since the launch of X-Wing I've had a kind of half expectation of seeing a
third pirate/scum/hutt faction and now here they are, the Scum and Villainy faction for X-Wing! Although I've already collected a sizable rebel force for the game, my Star Wars heart has always belonged to the smugglers and bounty hunters of the galaxy so I'm happy to see them getting their proper outing in the game. It seems like the first scum base box comes with one Y-wing and two Z-95s plus conversion cards for Slave I and HWK-290, which means I would have a pretty decent squadron with only that box. Later on we will see the Star Viper, the IG-2000 (seen at right) and the M3-A interceptor (called it!). I'd expect more of the SWG ships to turn up as they're all over the card and roleplaying game. Finally I might be able to get my own little Dunelizard! I loved that ship. So yeah, bounty hunters and pirates and hutts! Awesome!

EDIT: Here are some better pics, courtesy of El Taller. The Scyk look waaay too big and the Star Viper look waaay too small. Still, nice models. :)






Christian also talked a lot about digital integration and explained how it will work in forthcoming games. We've seen it in Xcom and to me it looks pretty neat. As far as I can tell you have an app that takes care of a lot of the "work" of playing a board game which should help both with keeping play time down and help make much smarter AI. Plus I guess the rulebooks will be a lot shorter when digital integration is used. I'm really excited to see this in future games and share few of the worries some doom mongers cry about over at BGG.

Finally there were the usual nice, but expected, announcements like more Netrunner (bringing a new faction?), two more factions for Battlelore and that the next force focused Star Wars rpg will drop in early 2015. They also showed some of the wave 1 ships for Star Wars Armada that look pretty neat, although I was a bit surprised not to see another rebel ship. Like I mentioned above, more on Armada in its own post later.

A pretty interesting inflight report. I must admit I'm a little sad that there are no news for FFGs own IPs. I would LOVE to see a new Twilight Imperium or something using that setting. Then again, when they actually have one of Twilight Imperium's main inspirations I guess that's where they'll put their money. Still, I like the look of both Armada and Imperial Assault so I won't complain.

More news as I read them.

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