I’m a first generation Star Wars kid and a second generation D&D fanatic and both George Lucas’ brainchild and Gary Gygax and Dave Arnesons’ paradigm changing game have been a part of my life for longer than I care to either admit, or remember. So it’s a little embarrassing to have to own up to the fact that until this week, my only previous encounter with any Star Wars gaming system was the West End games RPG that I spent a washed out summer playing a long time ago in a campaign far, far away. And as addictive and enjoyable as that experience was, it wasn’t anywhere near as much fun, or as engaging, as Star Wars Destiny is.
Based on a relatively easy to learn – it’ll take you a couple of turns to fully get to grips with it, card and dice based system, Star Wars Destiny utilises a turn based system (in much the same way that Risk does) that allows the player to either adopt a strategic approach or jump straight into the fray, blaster blazing and light sabre swinging. Dependent on the faction or character (Grievous or Obi-Wan) that you decide to play, you’ll be allocated certain advantages and abilities which while appearing to give you an edge during play, actually balance out pretty evenly which ensures a fair and level playing field that means victory, or loss, is entirely dependent on the players decisions, the luck of the dice and how the cards are used during gameplay. Once you’ve mastered the system though, game play becomes a measured, if at times slightly frantic, affair that encourages you to think two or three turns ahead while attempting to second guess your opponent at every opportunity.
While the dice system is unique and the die are fairly bulky and detailed, the artwork on the intricate cards is sumptuous, elaborate and dripping in the sort of minutia that fandom adores and adds an extra sense of “period” to the game. Admittedly, I’d have liked to have seen the Starter Sets based on the original trilogy rather than the prequels, but that’s probably because I’m a Star Wars snob and my heart will always lie with the pre-New Hope title crawl era and the fact that you can’t play the game with one set, you need both (or you need to know someone you can encourage to buy, or who already has, the other set) is a slight drawback, but I’m picking at straws and trying to find fault with an almost flawless system as I haven’t had this much fun with a Star Wars related product since I laid my hands on my first two Star Wars figures in the summer of 1978. Star Wars Destiny is what gaming should be all about; having fun. The Force is strong with this one… Tim Cundle