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Back in 2017, we celebrated the fourth of May by getting a copy of Star Wars: the Card Game , but with everything that's been going on, it's taken me this long to get around to blogging about it. The game, of course, has been discontinued since, but I'm not letting that stop me. Magali Villeneuve: Princess Leia ** A post shared by Michael Halila (@michaelhalila) on May 4, 2017 at 3:01pm PDT Way back when we first bought the Lord of the Rings LCG , we also immediately bought the Dead Marshes adventure pack, because my partner insisted on Boromir . This time, it was my turn, so we bought Jump to Lightspeed for Arden Lyn , the Sith antagonist of the unforgettable Masters of Teräs Käsi . I'm not sure I can adequately explain to a native English speaker how surreal and fantastically hilarious Teräs Käsi is. Supposedly a Star Wars martial art, it was apparently named by someone taking an English-Finnish dictionary and looking up the words for steel and hand. Never mind that "steel hand" in Finnish would be a compound word and therefore spelled teräskäsi , and that would still sound kinda lame. More than that, though, the name "Masters of Teräs Käsi" is somehow so amazingly ludicrous that when I first saw it, I flatly refused to believe that such a game could possibly exist. Surely, I reasoned, this must be some bizarre joke. Reading an actual review of the game momentarily convinced me that it was real, but I promptly forgot it, no doubt because my brain dismissed it as completely absurd - meaning that I was stunned when I encountered it again after almost a decade. So once I learned that Arden Lyn was included in the Star Wars card game, how was I supposed to build a Dark Side deck without her? One of the perennial hot-button issues of Finnish politics is whether and how much compulsory Swedish should be taught in our schools. Whatever the broader picture, for the purposes of this topic I'm delighted that we're a nation of bilingual illiterates, because it means that in addition to enjoying Teräs Käsi, we can also marvel at Hustru fönster , which is as ungrammatical and barely any less hysterical. I hope to one day see the card. Finally, in the process of looking up those Wookiepedia links, I was reminded - I had mercifully forgotten this - that there is also a Teräs Käsi stance called " Förräderi ". At this point, I feel quite comfortable in saying, on behalf of the Nordic countries, can you just fucking stop already. ** Since it was the fourth of May, we had to try a game. I picked the Sith starter deck, and my partner used the Jedi deck. Since it was our first game ever, we misplayed some things and had barely the slightest idea of what we were doing. We had a lot of fun, though! A particular highlight of our game was C-3PO 's rampage through Coruscant. I had initially drawn the Heart of the Empire objective, and it looked like it might be a fun idea to try playing it. Despite these extra resources, I ended up heavily outnumbered, so I used Varys There Is No Escape to wipe the board. Next turn, my partner played C3PO, and finding no units on my side, attacked Coruscant with him. Now, C3PO has no damage icons, but since there were no defenders, he did one unopposed damage to Coruscant. So imagine, if you like, C3PO wandering around Coruscant, somehow doing 10% of the damage the rebels needed to wrest it from the Empire - because I eventually lost by losing Coruscant. ** While we were getting into the game last summer, Fantasy Flight announced the last adventure chapter Force pack cycle and its first instalment, Allies of Necessity . Since it featured Jyn Erso (a name straight out of the Knights of the Old Republic name generator) and my partner was a big fan of Rogue One , we had to get it. I was intrigued to notice there was also a dark side lady, a Doctor Aphra . To find out who she was, I read her epynomous comic , and liked it enough to also get the Darth Vader comic it was a spinoff of. I highly recommend both! I find I very much enjoy Kieron Gillen's work: he writes an excellent Vader, and like the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, his stories move at a deliberate and purposeful pace, so far from the breathless rush that I find too many contemporary comics are consumed with. Anyway, with both Jyn Erso and Doctor Aphra on board, we'll be getting into deckbuilding. That works very differently in Star Wars compared to the other Fantasy Flight LCGs: instead of selecting individual cards for your deck, you pick objectives, each of which comes with five preset player cards. This means there are less choices, but arguably they're far more significant ones: instead of agonizing over whether to have two or three copies of a single card in your deck, you're picking card sets and figuring how they're going to interact with each other. I think this was a good idea, and it wouldn't necessarily go amiss in other LCGs. ** Finally, a verdict: this was a fun enough game and it seems a real shame if Fantasy Flight doesn't follow it up with another Star Wars LCG. A co-operative Star Wars card game made to anything even remotely like the Lord of the Rings LCG standard would frankly be amazing. We can always hope?
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