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Star Wars Trading Card Game:
Celebration II SWTCG Report

By Jason Inlow

Editors Note: Star Wars Celebration II (the biggest Star Wars Event of the year aside from Episode II) was the location of the first large event for the Star Wars TCG and of the first Star Wars TCG sanctioned tournaments.
Below are the experiences of one of the attendees, Jason Inlow. He writes of his unique experience through the eyes of one who has never played a TCG before.

The Star Wars Celebration II at the Indianapolis Convention Center was what Obi-Wan would almost assuredly refer to as "a wretched hive of scum and villainy." I mean, what else could you get by crossing having the pleasure of seeing rude people getting kicked out of a Star Wars convention and the frustration of seeing 30,000 other Star Wars fans ahead of you in line? Where else could you whoop up on (and get whooped by) your fellow Star Wars fan by manipulating some of the greatest Star Wars characters (albeit in two-dimensional form)? I am, of course, referring to the official kick-off of the new Star Wars Trading Card Game that occurred over the course of the aforementioned 3-day Celebration II.

This game is pretty sweet, in my opinion, so if you were hoping for some SW:TCG bashing, you won't find it in this article. I've heard the complaints from the veteran gamers about this game being too easy, but being a newcomer in the field of collectible card games, the ease of the rules was the reason I picked it up in the first place (my brother was able to almost completely master the rules after one game).

But you hard-core gamers needn't wait for difficulty much longer: while at the convention, I was told by one of the game's creators that newer expansions to the game would feature more complicated rules and abilities. The expansion packs are intended to eventually cover the entire Star Wars universe, from Episode 1 to the Expanded Universe. So if you're a Star Wars fan who has never tried the collectible card game before, now is the time to get on board. If you're a hard-core card gamer with only a limited knowledge of the vast Star Wars universe, don't wait another second. The beginner's pack is available in your area NOW. It features everything you need to start playing, such as cards, dice, playmat, force counters, and rulebook. If you've mastered the beginner's deck, or if you think you're experienced enough to skip it, you can get the advanced deck for either the Light or Dark side, which only includes the cards and rulebook.

After getting the hang of the game in the week before the convention, I was able to watch the game's designer, Richard Garfield, in action against one of the newest Star Wars stars, Daniel Logan. The game didn't take very long, and Garfield came out ahead, but the fun and education was in the watching. Logan didn't take long to adapt to the rules of the game, though it seemed to me that he had never played the game before. He seemed particularly excited about playing a card with his face on it. Garfield had a tendency to forget some of the rules to his own game (!), but I suspect that comes from having an extensive background in many other forms of collectible card games. I walked through the teaching arena, where the creators and experts made themselves available to teach the uninitiated.

The next day, we were allowed our first day of official skirmish matches. I didn't last very long, but it was very educational to watch the other players and listen to the help they received from the experts. On Sunday, I fared much better. I only lost two games (one to my wife) out of five, but there was no tournament match on this day (the convention closed several hours earlier on Sunday.) But I was able to win an entire 180 card deck in the raffle they had after the skirmishes. So, needless to say, I was (and still am) pretty stoked about that! All in all, it was a really great weekend, made even greater by the release of my new favorite hobby (read: obsession.)

09 May 2002

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