It’s been a while since our last article. During that time we’ve been playing a lot of Star Wars Destiny, as well as several other games (more on that soon).
I was recently invited to demo Star Wars Destiny to a longstanding local gaming club (Gobstyks, Lincoln, UK). They were having a ‘pick and play’ evening, giving their members an opportunity to try out a wide variety of games.
I was given a bit of notice about this event, so I had plenty of time to prepare. First off, I purchased one of the two-player playmats (which are quite nice, by the way), as this would be nicer to play on than my usual Huntik mat.
As an aside, I’ve never had a game of Huntik or ever seen one of the cards, but the mats were available in Poundland and they’re about twice the size of a regular mat, making them pretty good value for a quid.
Next up I had to decide which decks I was going to demo with. Legacies was officially released on the same day that the event was taking place, so I had the option of using the Luke & Boba starters, as well as all of the other starter decks.
While those decks are pretty good for starting your collection with, in my opinion they offer a slightly hollow experience for one-off games; the twenty card deck size really holds them back. I could have just added some cards to make them up to thirty cards, but I decided instead to make some customised decks. Most of the club members are experienced gamers, so I reasoned that they’d be okay with a small amount of complexity.
I started thinking about what I should build. I could have quite easily just taken some of my current decks with me, but people trying out Destiny aren’t going to care that the deck they are using is currently doing quite well in the tournament scene (Poe/Hondo). They most likely care more about the Star Wars theme, which is probably what attracted most of us to the game in the first place, and then the quality of the game kept us all playing.
With theme and target audience in mind, I decided to make two teams from Episode Four; Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader and Veteran Stormtrooper. Not only were the character pairings themed, but I endeavoured to make sure that the cards in the deck featured the characters on them as well. I had to make a few concessions for gameplay reasons (most notably the lightsabers, but also Fearless), but on the whole it worked out as planned.
As you can see, these decks contained some proper jank, but for the purpose of these demo games these would be more than adequate. So, how did it go?
Overall, pretty well! I managed to do six demo games during their club night, some including two other players at once, others just myself with one person. I think that the consistent theme in the decks made it more enjoyable (it was definitely a novelty for me!), and I also think that the decks were reasonably well-balanced against one another (if I had to say, I think that the heroes had a slight advantage).
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, as some of the cards went down like a lead balloon. I think ones like Mind Trick or Battle of Wills are just a bit too wordy for this kind of game, so I’d use simpler cards in future.
Designing decks for demonstration purposes was an interesting exercise. I am now actively going to design a couple of decks aimed at teaching new people (not necessarily gamers) how to play Destiny. These are going to have to include some very straightforward cards, but also be interesting enough to actually use. These will definitely be featured in an article at some point.
That’s all for now! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more Destiny articles, and also to find out which other games have been keeping us occupied recently.