Recently Fantasy Flight has produced two epic Star Wars titles, Imperial Assault and Rebellion. These games have rightly received critical acclaim for their implementation of squad combat (Imperial Assault) and tactical strategy (Rebellion). But while both of these games focus on the grand scale, neither focuses on 1 vs. 1 combat between iconic Star Wars characters. Enter Star Wars: Destiny, a two player dice/card game designed by Cory Konieczka and Lukas Litzsinger and published by Asmodee/FFG.
Destiny pits two main characters from the Star Wars universe against two other main characters, using a customizable deck of cards and dice to defeat each other. Destiny officially releases in late November, 2016, and the initial release contains two starter sets (sold separately) plus booster packs (also sold separately) which provide additional cards and dice. Each starter set comes with 24 cards and 9 custom dice, and features two unique characters (Rey/Finn or Kylo/Trooper) which are the main focus of the game. The booster packs contain five randomized cards and one die, broken down into three common cards, one uncommon card, and one rare or legendary card with a corresponding die.
The goal of Destiny is simple – defeat your opponent either nobly (by killing both of her unique characters) or like a sissy (by exhausting her cards). And getting there is quite fun. First, you build a deck of up to 30 cards plus your two unique characters. Within a few certain parameters, building a deck should be at least half the fun of the game. In the starter game the decks consist of 20 cards, pre-assembled for simplicity’s sake. Asmodee/FFG will have more releases in the series which will certainly make the collecting/deckbuilding aspect of Destiny as robust as anyone would like. So what about actual game play?
Game play in Destiny consists of players alternating back and forth doing one action at a time. An action can include playing a card from your hand, activating characters by rolling their dice, using dice to attack, gain resources or disrupt the opponent, etc. There is zero downtime in Destiny. The back and forth aspect really does simulate an epic fight scene from any one of the movies (notwithstanding the 1977 snooze fest between aged Obi Wan and stiff Vader). The dice are very nice looking, slightly large, and roll nicely. While they do, of course, provide some luck factor, the cards you can play modify and mitigate sufficiently to avoid any table flipping urges. The cards also provide several “take that” aspects which can turn the tide of the battle, providing little twists and turns that force players (no pun intended) to adapt and respond. Truly, Destiny’s game play reminds me of another little known FFG Star Wars game, Empire vs. Rebellion, an excellent game in its own right. See my review of that game here.
While the Star Wars universe will always be a fertile sandbox for epic space battles and grand strategy, a game like Destiny is a welcome addition to the Star Wars table-top family. You can take as much time as you like building a deck and preparing for the melee, but the battle itself should take around 30 minutes. This allows you to scratch all of your Star Wars itch within a short period of time, and that can be a good thing. Destiny should be a giant hit this holiday season (and beyond) with stockings of many Star Wars fans, young and old, brimming with booster packs. Once again, FFG proves that they are at the top of the table-top game food chain. May the Force be with them, ALWAYS.
Thanks for reading and keep nerding on.
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