Ask Artie!

Discussion in 'Games: CCG, TCG, and Boardgames' started by Artie-Deco, Jul 19, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Hello, fellow Star Wars card gamers!

    I've noticed a lot of new names popping up on this board recently. If you've been around here for awhile, you've probably seen my name pop up every now and then. I am primarily a Star Wars: Customizable Card Game player (been playing it since 1999) but I play all four Star Wars card games, and I like all of them. I hang around the Decipher boards a lot, and I poke my head in on the TCG Rebel Base from time to time to keep up with things over there too. I try to be helpful and answer people's questions about any of these games; I know what it's like to be a "newbie" trying to find out about a certain card or rule. Some of you know I can be very opinionated, but I try to be fair and objective. I don't believe there is such a thing as a bad question, but there is such a thing as a bad answer, and I try to avoid those (with limited success sometimes! :D).

    Anyway, someone suggested that I should start a regular feature here on TF.N called "Ask Artie". Well, here it is. Send me your questions, and this humble little astromech will do his best to hack into the Death Star's databanks and find an answer for you.

    Your questions can be on any subject related to SW:TCG, SW:CCG, Young Jedi or Jedi Knights: gameplay, deck design, strategy, future expansions, etc. Your questions can be questions of fact ("how do you perform a Bombing Run?") or opinion ("which version of Maul do you like the best?"). Any question is fair game. If I don't know the answer, I know some people who do.

    Once a week or so, I'll pick some of the best questions submitted and answer them here in this thread.

    To submit a question, either send me a Private Message (click on my name at the left) or email to "ArtieDeco@hotmail.com".

    Don't post questions here, to help keep the thread uncluttered.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

  2. Bacabachaui Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 4
    Great idea! Artie is a valuable fountain of info. Thanks AD!
  3. MoronDude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 6
    I have a question to ask you, Artie!!


    On 9/26/01 at 8:38am YOU, Artie-Deco, said the following:

    "If WOTC were to make a SW:CCG game, I suspect it would look a lot like JEDI KNIGHTS."


    DO YOU STILL HAVE THE SAME SUSPICIONS???
  4. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Ha! Good question.

    No, I no longer have any suspicions what kind of game WOTC would make. :)

    SW:TCG is somewhere between Young Jedi and Jedi Knights in terms of depth and complexity. Would you care for me to elaborate, or does that answer your question? :)

  5. Bacabachaui Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 4
    From a certain point of view, it is like Jedi Knights in complexity and easability to play.

    In other ways it is not like it at all, at least not in the way people called it "Jedi Knights with Dice" or in terms of gameplay. It is much better IMHO.

  6. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Yes, the gameplay between SW:TCG and JK is very different, making it hard to compare. But let me take a step back for a second?.


    I say SW:TCG is more complex than YJ for the following reasons:

    1. Simultaneous arenas. While YJ also has a "best-2-out-of-3" win condition, you play in each ?arena? one at a time. There's more strategy to battling in three arenas simultaneously.

    (Although in YJ's defense there is more strategy in having characters that can battle in all three arenas, as opposed to SW:TCG's dedicated space/ground/character units....)

    2. Retreating. This allows you to temporariliy concede an arena while you wait for reinforcements. Nice feature.

    3. Force points. This gives you another resource you have to manage, and affects the abilities of certain units.

    4. Non-random battle plans. Being able to choose which of your oppoent's units your unit will attack allows for more strategy than YJ's method of pre-determining secret battle plans.

    (Although the YJ method can lead to more interesting confrontations, and more surprises....)

    You'll notice I'm not listing stacking. YJ has its own concept of stacking, and there is more strategy involved in deploying stackable characters in YJ than there is in SW:TCG. And YJ has weapons, which have a bigger impact in battles than stacking characters in SW:TCG. And, of course, YJ does not use dice, which is a point in YJ's favor. But on the balance, I think SW:TCG has more depth to it than YJ. Not a lot more, but more nonetheless.



    Comparing SW:TCG to JK, there are points in each game's favor, so as I said a comparison is difficult. In SW:TCG's favor, you have some of the same points as above:

    1. Simultaneous arenas
    2. Retreating
    3. Force points

    But JK comes out ahead of SW:TCG in the following areas:

    1. Force cards vs. build point rolls. The use of Force cards in JK is much more strategic than simply rolling a dice for build points. Force cards control not only how much you can deploy (build) that turn, but also who goes first that turn (very important!) and how many cards you get to draw at the end of the turn.

    2. Battle order. In SW:TCG, the order of battles is determined by speed. In JK, you decide which of your characters will attack in what order. That allows for more strategy.

    3. Supporting. In JK, you do not have just one-on-one battles, like in SW:TCG and YJ. You can ?support? a character with other characters, who may add to your power, or intercept weapons fire, etc. The trade off is that the supporting character will not be able to initiate an attack of its own later on in the turn, so you have to decide when to support and when not to.

    4. Location cards. The ?arenas? in SW:TCG have no identity, they?re just generic locations somewhere out there. In JK locations have a name and they affect game play ? certain characters deploy for less on Tatooine for example.

    5. Multiplayer. JK has a formal multi-player option for 3 players ? one Rebel, one Imperial and one Independent (smugglers and bounty-hunters) player. For 4 or 6 players, you play in teams. Many games have informal multi-player rules, some have formal rules (LOTR for example) and I?m sure someone could come up with one for SW:TCG (although I don?t think it was designed for it) but for now JK is the only Star Wars trading card game with formal multi-player rules.


    So on the whole, I have to say Jedi Knights is the most complex of the three.

    Now, complexity may not be what you?re looking for in a game. And you may not care for some of the complexities of JK or SW:TCG ? or even YJ. So don?t think I?m saying JK is the best of the three games; I?m just saying it has the most depth of the three.

  7. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Okay, I haven't received any questions personally, so I'm making one up.... :)

    ?I?m interested in starting SW:CCG. Where should I start? What should I buy??

    SW:CCG has been around for 7 years now. There?s a plethora of expansion sets and premium products out there, and if you haven?t kept up with them it may be intimidating trying to find a good entry point into the game, and a strategy for building a collection.

    If you?ve never played the game before, and don?t have any friends who play it either, the best thing you could do is buy one of each Death Star II Starter Deck, light and dark. These decks are preconstructed, well balanced, and will help you learn a lot of the ?basics? in SW:CCG ? deployment, movement and battling; characters, vehicles and weapons; site and system locations. Plus, you get some cool fixed rares: Han, Chewie, Ackbar and Piett. Later on, you may want to buy a second set of starters just to get more of these main characters. Play these decks with your friends, read through the rule book and get familiar with the basics.

    After you?ve played the Starter Decks for a while and want to expand from there, you have several options. One option is, if you are interested in building on the Endor theme of the starters, you can buy boosters from Endor and Death Star II. These two sets are complementary, and were designed to stand more or less on their own. Practically every main character was released in one or the other of these two sets: Luke, Vader, Han, Leia, Chewie, Threepio, Lando and the big-bad Emperor himself. (Please note, though, Emperor Palpatine and Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight are ultra-rares and extremely hard to get.) Reflections II also had some foil Endor/Death Star II cards, plus some premiums that help those decks (like a premium Luke and Emperor, much easier to get than the ultra-rares). I would recommend this option if your interest in the game is fairly limited. By sticking to two sets,

    A second option is, if you like Episode I a lot, to start collecting the Episode I sets: Tatooine, Coruscant and Theed Palace. Like Endor/Death Star II, these three sets (and many of the premiums in Reflections III) were designed to stand on their own. Lots of Qui-Gons, Mauls, Queens, Battle Droids and Gungans to play with! The Episode I sets have a lot of really exciting gameplay options, with podracing, senate politics, and lightsaber combat (described in a little more detail below). Your Death Star II starter decks won?t help these Episode I cards a whole lot, but they will help more than enough to justify their purchase.

    The third option, if you are really serious about getting into this game, is to start delving into the original trilogy, the heart of SW:CCG. If this is what you want to do, the very first thing you should do is buy a Third Anthology, for several reasons. First, it contains the Glossary 2.0, the last printed Glossary for the game. The glossary contains a lot of key information for new players and old ? but don?t rely on it alone if you?re planning to play in tournament. Always, always, always check the Supplement to Glossary (on www.decipher.com) and new Rules Updates (here on TheForce.Net) before going to tournaments. Still, the Glossary contains many rulings and clarifications not in the Supplements or Updates (because they are still valid) and so it is a valuable resource. Second, the Third Anthology contains a good mix of cards: 2 Special Edition starter decks, 2 Premiere boosters and 2 Jabba?s Palace boosters. Third, it includes 6 premium cards, 5 of which won?t do you much good now but will later on. (The 6th one is ?Artoo in Red 5?, a great ship for Luke and appropriate in many decks.) And last, it all comes in a nice big storage box. Third Anthologies are going for a song on eBay these days, around $10 or so.

    After buying the Third Anthology, the rest depends on where you want to go and what you want to do ? in other words, what type of decks you want to build. This will det
  8. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Two comments-

    >>Feed captives to the Rancor or the Sarlacc.<<

    The Sarlacc wasn't released until special edition though.

    >>Death Star II ...<<

    One other big element is the rebel fleet, the lightside finally gets some heavy space in this expansion.
  9. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Just testing you, T2Q. Want to make sure you're paying attention.... :D

    Thanks for the correction!

  10. Restrainingbolt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 4
    Nice job Artie! Keep em coming.

    R'Bolt
  11. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Question posted today:

    "What is a profit deck? What is a dark deal deck? Basically, what are all the deck types that don't use an objective?"

    To answer the first two easy questions: A "Profit" deck is a deck built around the objective "You Can Either Profit By This.../Or Be Destroyed". This objective is available in the Enhanced Jabba's Palace pack with Mara Jade on the front. A "Dark Deal" deck technically could be any deck built around the "Dark Deal" effect found in Cloud City, but usually refers to a deck built around the objectived "This Deal Is Getting Worse All The Time/Pray I Don't Alter It Any Further" (often abbreviated TDIGWATT/PIDAIAF or just TDIGWATT). This objective is available in the Enhanced Cloud City pack with Lando w/Blaster Rifle on the front.

    The last question, "what are all the deck types that don't use objectives," is a little harder to answer. You could build ANY deck you want without an objective, there's nothing to say you can't play Dark Deal without TDIGWATT, for example. But it is so much easier to play Dark Deal if you start with TDIGWATT, that you hardly see anyone playing Dark Deal without it.

    But there are certain decks that typically do not use objectives:

    Echo Base Operations (EBO)

    The most popular form of this deck starts with just the Hoth: Main Power Generators (and, following the "Hoth energy shield rules", the Hoth: North Ridge - 4th Marker site) and the Effect A New Secret Base (ANSB) from Third Anthology. Then, you do the following:
    (i) use ANSB to pull Echo Base sites from your reserve deck and deploy them
    (ii) deploy characters in order to meet the conditions of Echo Base Operations (occupy 3 Echo Base sites)
    (iii) use ANSB to pull Echo Base Operations (EBO) from your reserve deck and deploy it
    (iv) now use ANSB to deploy systems, and use EBO to deploy cheaply to those systems and to add drain bonuses.


    Walker Garrison

    This deck starts the Hoth: Ice Plains - 5th Marker and the effect You May Start Your Landing (YMSYL) from Tatooine. With Prepared Defenses you can start YMSYL and two other effects ... Imperial Arrest Order (IAO) is usually one of them. You use IAO to deploy the Hoth: Echo Base Docking Bay, and use YMSYL to take the 3rd Marker - Hoth: Defensive Perimeter and Walker Garrison into your hand (and deploy the Marker site). Typically you'll have even more Walker Garrisons in your deck. Then you deploy AT-ATs to the exterior sites (the docking bay is both exterior and interior), causing direct damage to your opponent at the Marker sites with YMSYL and drain bonuses at all Hoth sites with Walker Garrison.

    Those are probably the two most popular objective-less decks, since there were no objectives ever released specifically for the Hoth set. They work very well without objectives, and provide a lot of the same benefits that you get from other objectives (deploy costs reduced, drain bonuses, direct damage, etc.).


    Mains and Toys (esp. "Throne Room Mains")

    This deck type is incredibly open-ended. Basically you load up your deck with your most powerful characters (the "mains") and their weapons and/or starships (the "toys") and just try to beat down on your opponent. Usually these decks will start with a 2-0 "twix" site (a site that has 2 light icons and 0 dark icons) or even the Jedi Council Chamber ... a 3-0 site! A recent popular variation of the Mains and Toys deck starts the Yavin 4: Massassi Throne Room, a 1-0 site that lets Light Side go first! This deck is seeing a minor renaissance because of the new "Naboo Occupation" deck that severely force-chokes its opponent ("force choke" means you deny your opponent force icons, or don't let them activate force at certain locations). "Throne Room Mains" gets around that deck by going first, getting set up fast in order to avoid the choke.


    CPI (Commence Primary Ignition)

    This deck uses the Death Star and the Superlaser and Commence Primary Ignition epic event, but without the
  12. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    >>which you use to pull the Death Star II system, Moff Jerjerrod (who pulls the other DSII sectors) and Desperate Counter . Once you deploy Desperate Counter, you use it to deploy Imperial Arrest Order (IAO) from your deck, use that to pull the Death Star II docking bay, put Jerjerrod at the docking bay, and start building the "happy funball II". <<

    Also, Desperate Counter allows you to pull the matching pilot-yanking effect "Combat Response", and can be done the same turn you grab IAO.
  13. Jirin_Raman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2002
    star 4
    Artie,

    I just wanted to tip my hat to you for your post ?I?m interested in starting SW:CCG. Where should I start? What should I buy??. While I played the CCG in the past, after I came back from a sabbatical, I wondered what the best expansions to buy from were. Great info!
  14. Jedi_Hope Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2002
    star 4
    Can you deploy a pilot to a non unique starfighter? Ones that have pilot Icons.
  15. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    The yellow "pilot icons" on the lower right hand side of a starship card in SW:CCG indicate that the ship has a "permanent pilot" on board. You can only deploy a pilot to a ship if the game text says something like "May add 1 pilot." Whether it is a unique or non-unique ship does not matter.

    Here are three simple examples to illustrate....

    X-Wing. This ship's game text simply says, "Permanent pilot aboard provides ability of 1." This ship has a permanent pilot icon on it. The game text describes that permanent pilot (he has ability of 1). The card does not say "May add 1 pilot," so you can not deploy a pilot to this ship.
    X-Wing Card Image

    Y-Wing. This ship has a permanent pilot icon, but it's game text says, "May add 1 pilot or passenger. Permanent pilot aboard provides ability of 1." This ship has both a permanent pilot and "capacity" for one more character, either an additional pilot (which could add to the ship's power and ability to draw battle destiny) or merely a passenger (a non-pilot which does not add to power nor to ability for drawing battle destiny). You can deploy a pilot to this ship.
    Y-Wing Card Image

    B-Wing Bomber. This ship has interesting game text. It has a permanent pilot (indicated by the icon), but it's game text says, "May add 1 pilot (suspends permanent pilot). Permanent pilot provides ability of 1." This ship can only have one pilot, and it has a permanent pilot already (with ability 1) but you can replace that permanent pilot with a pilot of your own if you want; just deploy a pilot onto the ship as if it were empty. If you do deploy a pilot to this ship, the permanent pilot is "suspended" -- treated as if it doesn't exist. Interestingly, if you deploy a separate pilot on board this ship, and later forfeit just the pilot ... the permanent pilot comes back!
    B-Wing Card Image


    Hope this answers your questions....
  16. Jedi_Hope Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks, did SOTE expansion and SKYWALKERS expansion come out?
  17. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Nope. It looks like SOTE became the premium cards found in Reflections II, and SKYWALKERS became many of the dueling interrupts found in Tatooine.

  18. Jedi_Hope Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2002
    star 4
    can you explain Politics from Ep 1 sets?
  19. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Sure.

    Politics is just another statistic for your characters, like Power and Ability. Politics only come into play at the Galactic Senate. If you have total politics greater than your opponent at the Galactic Senate, you have a "senate majority", which triggers several other effects and interrupts. Also, in battles at the Galactic Senate, your Power is equal to your Politics ... if you have no Politics, your power is zero.

    Almost all of the cards that deal with politics came out of the Coruscant expansion (I know one or two came out in Reflections III ... maybe one or two in Theed Palace, but I can't think what they are) ... perusing the Coruscant cardlist on Decipher.com would probably help you understand politics and what you can do with politics a lot better.

  20. Jedi_Hope Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2002
    star 4
    what do defensive shields do?
  21. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Short answer: they do whatever the card says they do. :)

    Do you have a more specific question about Defensive Shields? You can read the rules about them here. (Adobe Acrobat required.)

  22. DarksiderGeorge Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 2
    Artie, here's a question that I think was answered with the Glossary 2.0, but I wanted to get another opinion....

    Can my starfighters participate in a battle at a external site?

    The Glossary stated that they couldnt really add anything to the battle. What is your take???


  23. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    once landed, a starfighter is power=0. But as long as it is piloted or has a permanent pilot aboard, it can still be used as forfeit fodder in a battle.
  24. Dark_Jedi_Kam Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2002
    star 5
    ok Artie,

    I have a question about SWTCG. what is a good number of cards to keep in your deck? the rules say atleast 60, but not an at most number. I have 90 and I never see some of my cards.
  25. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 3
    Depends on your deck, but 90 cards is way too many for any SW:TCG deck!

    An average deck is probably going to put about 10 units into play during the setup phase. A "swarm" deck that uses cheap units might get 12-15 units; a "mains" deck that relies on some big expensive units (like Jedi and Sith characters) might only get 5-7 units into play.

    How many turns are you going to get per game? Hard to say. A very lopsided game may only take about 3 turns; two closely-matched opponents may take a lot more. But let's say that most games are decided in 10 turns or less.

    Without some card-drawing mechanism, you only draw one card per turn, so that means you'll only draw at most 10 cards during the course of the game.

    So, let's walk through how this works. You start with a hand of 7 cards. At the end of the setup phase you still have a hand of 7 cards, and maybe 10 units on the table. That means you've gone through 17 cards of your deck. During the course of the game, you're drawing up 10 more cards, meaning you've now gone through 27 cards of your deck, maybe more (35 or so) if you have a swarming deck or use significant numbers of card-drawing mechanisms, maybe less (20 or less) if you have a mains deck with lots of expensive units.

    If you have a 60 card deck, 27 cards is almost half of your deck, and that's not too bad. But if you have a 90 card deck, that's only 1/3 of your deck, which means you have a lot of wasted cards in your deck.

    So, Artie's advice is, unless you have a deck with a very low average unit build cost or without a significant card-drawing mechanism, stick to a 60 card deck, and work to make your deck more efficient. Notice that the winning decks at GenCon were both 60 card decks! If for some reason you find 60 cards is not enough to pull off your strategy, try 65 or 70. But I really don't see how 80 or especially 90 cards can be efficient in this game.

    Good luck!

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.