Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A New Hope

Back in junior high and high school, I used to be really into CCGs. Over the course of 6 years, I probably tried out near a dozen different games. Only one really ever stuck with me. It was the Star Wars CCG by Decipher.

Out of all the games I tried, this one was my favorite, largely because it wasn't a simple game. The learning curve was steep, which tended to keep away many of the immature people that CCGs can frequently attract. The detailed rules also made for a very deep strategy and games were always enjoyable.

Then suddenly, in 2002, at the height of popularity, when the Star Wars CCG was catching up to the CCG monsters, Magic: The Gathering, the company that produced the game lost the license. Decipher could no longer produce the game. Instead, the rights were given to Wizards of the Coast, the company that made games that while amusing for a few minutes, really consisted of little more than holofoil Pikachu's and feverishly releasing new editions without thoroughly play testing them, in order to suck as much money out of players as possible, without providing nearly as deep of a playing experience.

WotC was offered the chance to continue the fantastic game that Decipher had created (paying royalties on the game mechanics that Decipher had developed), but decided against it. Instead, they produced a Star Wars Trading Card Game (TCG) which amounted to little more than rolling dice. It was awful. Absolutely wretched.

Wizards did, however, make a miniatures game that was mildly successful and somewhat fun. But it never had a large player base like the Decipher CCG did.

So for the past 8 years, I've been waiting.

I've been waiting for Lucasfilm and WotC to realize they just fail at making a Star Wars game. I've been waiting for WotC to lose the license.

It's finally happened.

I've kept the three, 3" binders that hold my set collections. I've kept the 4 boxes of thousands of commons and uncommons. I've kept the stack of rares to trade and build my decks. I've kept the decks I worked tirelessly to build.

So now.... Decipher just needs to get the license back.

5 comments:

Brandon said...

That would be awesome. I can still remember how disappointed I was on the day I found out that Decipher was no longer going to be producing this game... I bought the Two player game, both anthologies, and who knows how many booster packs...as well as a few "complete sets" like the Death Star set. Man...makes me want to get it out and try to teach my wife how to play!

Terron said...

You should check out swccgpc.com. The game is still alive and well, and a lot of fun, with new cards coming out all the time.

Jon Voisey said...

Terron, I'm familiar with the player's committee and am sadly disappointed. Towards the end of the Decipher run, they started at tendency towards download decks which, along with defensive shields, ruined a great deal of gameplay in my opinion. The PC has taken this even further.

One of the things that I always liked about Decipher's game was that old cards were still worthwhile as they were and old strategies were still competitive with a few new cards to boost them. But now, old decks can't compete with downloads that can setup an entire deck in a few turns and defensive shields that outright negate many old cards.

That's not the game I loved. Decipher started the push away, and the PC threw it over the edge.

Terron said...

Jon, I've heard that argument quite a lot, and I have to say I simply don't understand it. Downloading is an interesting idea, because it allows decks to have reliable setups, which gives decks clear themes. Once the setup is complete, the game comes down to really out-playing your opponent. Early Star Wars was very boring to me, because decks were just piles of good cards, and you hoped to have the good cards when you needed them. Now Star Wars is much more of a metagame, where picking the right deck archetype is very important, and identifying what archetypes your decks are weak against, then finding ways to construct and outplay those bad matchups. Of course, discovering new archetypes happens all the time, and it's very exciting. Decks that aren't setup-heavy are usually not competitive, but sometimes they are. Setups are card intensive, and the 60 card deck is the great equalizer of SWCCG decks. Mains decks with high efficiency sometimes do very well depending on the state of the metagame. I would never, ever go back to a game of SW where you have to pack 5 2/0 locations and pray to get them. Games ended on pure luck if you failed to get any 2/0s, if your opponent got all of his on turn 1, or if you drew too many 0s during key battles. (You may notice Decipher basically admitted this game design flaw when they put high destiny numbers on locations in Wars:TCG). The game now is much more skill based than it was when decks were piles of mains and 0s, or piles of high destiny cards and inserts, or piles of crappy chatacters and non-battleground force drain locations. I would strongly urge you to give it another shot.

Also there are a fair number of ignorant assholes over on the PC forums that you could have a fun time bashing in the face with the mallet of science. If you're into that kind of thing. ;)

I actually found your blog accidentally looking for something totally unrelated to either SWCCG or astronomy, but I have some interest in both. I'll add you to my Reader feed.

Lee "Terron" Edwards

Jon Voisey said...

Terron, I'm familiar with the player's committee and am sadly disappointed. Towards the end of the Decipher run, they started at tendency towards download decks which, along with defensive shields, ruined a great deal of gameplay in my opinion. The PC has taken this even further.

One of the things that I always liked about Decipher's game was that old cards were still worthwhile as they were and old strategies were still competitive with a few new cards to boost them. But now, old decks can't compete with downloads that can setup an entire deck in a few turns and defensive shields that outright negate many old cards.

That's not the game I loved. Decipher started the push away, and the PC threw it over the edge.