Why Play Young Jedi? (Part One)
by Scott Markquart
We’re Number Three and Proud of it.
Believe it or not but Young Jedi might be the game you are looking for to satisfy your Star Wars gaming addiction.
A while back all the card games in existence were rated and not surprising to some players, Young Jedi finished third for the all time greatest game. Why? Well, its mechanics are easy to learn, the game is fast paced, and the restricted deck construction system creates a level playing field. Yet despite its apparent simplicity it had subtle strategies experienced players picked up on. Those players proved through consistently winning that YJ was not a game of pure luck or just doing math equations your third grade teacher would be proud of.
Why did people flee from “Dumb Jedi” after the Jedi Council expansion? Too many people said that expansion was a bust, as it did little to move the game forward. It gave players few options when it came to what planet you wanted to have most of your power on. Overall nothing was new and the excitement of Episode One was waning. The only thrill was created from the battle card Wisdom of the Council, which was the first card to break from the trend of somehow enhancing power totals.
The tournament scene in my area completely dried up, and the other tournaments an hour away from me began to dwindle from the normal twenty plus players down to about a dozen. We were losing players to “flavor of the month” games because they were fresh.
Then something miraculous happened, and a lot of players who had already abandoned the game missed. The Battle of Naboo expansion introduced Darth Maul’s Double Lightsaber, which drew two destinies instead of one. That was a huge innovation; Maul was now capable of breaking up the dominance of the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight-together deck. Yet using the new saber was not a no-brainer; you had to use some strategic planning because you could not get both out in the same turn without using the new effect This is Too Close!. Thus the ideas of strategy and tactics in YJ were reborn.
Players who stayed with the game were rewarded with the additional expansions of Duel of Fates, Reflections, and Boonta Eve. The Dueling mechanic was added (which completely revolutionized the game), and then was smartly revised to break up the powerhouses created by Destroyer Droids and Coruscant Guards. More effects were added to create diversity and to give players alternatives to using only Jedis/Sith with fodder. Above all else, characters had game texts which started to promote gameplay over power.
Still having trouble seeing what I see in Young Jedi? Think of this analogy: SWCCG is the Indy car of professional racing, but YJCCG is the NASCAR of the same sport. Indy Car racing requires both skill of the driver and a top notch car, but NASCAR by rule says that each car is technically created equal (think of YJ’s deck construction rule), and it is the skill of the driver which creates a winning team. As a race fan, you can enjoy both sports because they are unique enough from each other but both are about fuel racing in your veins.
Now is the perfect time to take another look at Young Jedi, and its not even going to hurt your bank account. The second virtual set is about to be released, which will give you a perfectly good excuse to dust off those Jedi Council cards. Even if you need to start from scratch, look at the online auctions and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Check out one the posted tournaments, then pull up a chair and let a veteran YJ player show you why they are proud to be number three.