Today finished up the Thanksgiving Holiday season for us. We were at my brother's house, eating waaaay too much and, of course, playing boardgames.
Today I decided to bring Star Wars Epic Duels, which my wife got for me at our garage sale last summer, still in shrinkwrap, for nothing or next to nothing. (SCORE!) I'd seen a lot of chatter around this game on BoardgameGeek, and had read some recent blog posts about it, but had never played it.
My nephew, Austin, my brother, Al and I set up. Austin had Darth Vader and his Stormtrooper lackeys, I had the Emperor and the Royal Guard, and Al fielded Obi-Wan and a pair of clones on the Geonosis Arena board. The fracas got hot immediately, with everyone using the "close and hose" strategy, even though nobody had really drawn a lot of cards yet. My Guards went out immediately, and then Vader and Obi-Wan started concentrating on each other while the Emperor withdrew to the shadows, building up his hand of cards. Finally, after Vader and Kenobi had whittled each other down to naught, I swept in with Palpatine and Force Lightninged the lot of the them. End Game 1.
However, we had just gotten the hang of this game, and so we moved onto the Kamino Landing Platform board, with Austin bringing Master Yoda and his Clones, Al with Han Solo and Chewbacca, and myself with Mace Windu and his Clones. I immediately became hemmed into a corner on this board, which rendered a lot of Mace's movement cards non-effective. This game engendered a lot more give and take, as we had all learned from the last game to try to be a little more tactical. The clone troopers had a very short lifespan in this session, but in the end both Yoda and Mace fell victim to Han Solo's deadly rain of blaster fire. End Game 2.
This game definitely deserves the hype it seems to get on the 'Geek. Even though the mechanics are dirt simple, there is enough variety in the different decks to really make the combats interesting. I suspected the maps were too small for 3 players, but that really did not seem to hurt the game at all. Overall, I am very impressed with it and will have to bust it out far more often.