Many people say Christmas is their favorite time of year. I say the weeks after Chrismas is mine! I get to play with all my new games I got for Christmas! This week, I’m reviewing Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG from Fantasy Flight Games, and a fine fantasy-themed strategy Demo, Four Taverns from Rather Dashing Games.
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is a new RPG put out by Fantasy Flight Games, who have been working hard lately to put out a lot of great product under the Star Wars franchise: A mini’s starship combat game, and a card game, both with fantastic Star Wars flavor like X-wing Fighters and characters from the movies that fans will enjoy. The RPG is also made with that detail in mind. The beginner box comes with all the fixings you need to start a great little adventure with your fellow gamers. It has an introductory rulebook, a short adventure, some very nicely made pre-generated characters, an assortment of the specialized dice you will need for the game (if you want to play the game but don’t want to buy the box set, you can download an app for the star wars dice at this webpage), some maps for the adventure and some tokens to push around it. The art is slick and clean, and has a lot of new characters meshed with some great memories from the movies such as the one below.
I’m a fan of, and still love to play, the old West End Games Star Wars (d6) game, and still own a large library of books and adventures from that publisher. In fact, one of my favorite games I ever played in was a four year long campaign set during the same time frame as Episodes IV-VI. So trust me when I say, I see the potential in this game! It has all the excitement, pace, and settings of the Star Wars Movies, and the game itself reminds me of many aspects of the West End Game’s rules, specifically the difficulty levels, descriptions of skills and attributes and so on. The one new aspect is the specialized dice that come with the game. The dice are an assortment of d6’s, d8’s, and d12’s that have symbols that display successes or failures, triumphs and despairs. Outnumber the fail dice with successes, you win–triumphs and despairs flavor how well (or poorly) you do it. I ran a scenario with some of my friends at our local board game meetup at BlueGrass Magic and we had a great time! Even though they are mostly boardgamers, the adventure in the beginner box was simple enough to play out in about 90 minutes, even though I did shortcut some extraneous material to keep things quick. The rules are fairly simple and easy to learn as you play. Although there is no real mechanics for the Jedi or other force using characters in the beginner box, I am sure they will be in the much larger rulebook coming out later this year. We look forward to hyperdriving around the galaxy with this well-conceived RPG.
Four Taverns is a card game put out by my friends at Rather Dashing Games. Grant Wilson, of Ghost Hunters fame, created the art for the game and is hard at work with co-founder and President Mike Richie. They sent me a copy of the game to try out with my gaming friends and we had a great time playing the game! The goal of this fantasy-inspired game is to get the most rep for your tavern by sending out heroes to complete quests, thus gaining more gold to hire out more heroes to get more quests completed and upping your Tavern cred. There are some nice little mess-up-someone’s plans cards that allow you to steal quests, eliminate rival heroes and so on. Grant did a sweet job with the illustration…it reminds me of the old school RPG games from TSR back in the day, and have a lithograph/woodcut print look. Very rustic looking and appropriate for the game! The game mechanics can be picked up during play on the first round, and the quests reward more rep for harder quests.
The game consists of quest cards, hero cards, action cards and gold coin tokens. The game could be aided by a playboard to help keep the cards organized but plays fine as it is out of the box. I am happy to say that this is a fun family friendly game that can be played anytime, as the game length is fairly short and can accommodate 2-4 players, though I recommend at least 3. I can’t wait to try the next game they sent me, X marks the spot, and other games they plan to have out later this year!