Star Wars Trading Card Game:
A lot of speculation and rumor has been circulating about the new Star Wars TCG from Wizards of the Coast. On this page you will find basic information and answers to frequently asked questions.
? Star Wars Trading Card Game was designed by Richard Garfield to please all types of Star Wars fans with an easy-to-learn introduction and with very complex, very challenging expert-level play. Simple to learn, difficult to master.
? Light and Dark Side units fight on opposing sides. Players control an ever-growing mass of characters, ships, vehicles, and ?The Force?. Combat stretches across Space, Ground, and Character arenas simultaneously. Missions and non-combat flavor can give your side the edge at a crucial time.
? Dice are used as a means to resolve combat. Each card in combat has a Power rating. That number determines how many 6-sided dice you will roll to attack another card.
? Players use limited game resources to play cards, called Build points and Force points.
? Build Cost refers to how many build points it would take to bring a card from your hand into an arena of battle. It is represented by a colored number in the upper left-hand corner of the card face. Build Points do not carry over from turn to turn. Use ?em or lose ?em.
? Force Cost refers to how many force points you would have to pay to activate a force-related ability, like Anakin?s Evade ability. Some of the Battle cards also require you to pay a certain amount of Force to play them. You start with 4 Force at the beginning of the game, and you gain 4 Force at the beginning of each new turn. There is no maximum number of Force points you can accrue. That being said, there is a point where gaining more Force doesn?t do you much good, especially in comparison to the benefits of using the Force for Battle cards and Force abilities.
? Before the game begins, players go through setup, where they deploy cards to the three arenas of battle. The way that Setup is arranged is such that each player is sort of ?leap-frogging? the other with Build points until they both reach 30 points. Because of this, there is no reasonable advantage to holding at somewhere under 30. Once you?re in the thick of battle, however, there are plenty of ways to deceive your opponent. For instance, you do not have to build your unit behind its appropriate arena. Conceptually, building units takes place off-planet somewhere, so the enemy is not aware of that?s coming until it arrives on the scene. Of course, certain cards *might* allow a player to ?divine? what the other player is building.
? You cannot play Battle or Mission cards during setup. If you draw a bunch of Battle or Mission cards to even up during the Setup phase, you could end up very under deployed. Something to consider when building your deck. Remember, you can discard Battle and Mission cards ONCE after your initial draw of seven cards.
? The complete game (using all the advanced rules) can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour. Average time is usually around 45 minutes to an hour.
? ?Infantry? tends to represent a faceless group of soldiers, while a Character has a specific identity. A card like ?Stormtrooper Platoon? would go in the Ground arena, because no specific character is involved. But a card like ?TK-299, Stormtrooper Captain? would go in the Character arena because it?s a specific person.
? Character cards do not currently hop aboard ships nor do cards currently move from arena to arena. But certain types of cards in one arena can affect cards in another arena. Ion cannons in the Ground arena can fire at Starships in the Space arena. Likewise, certain Starships with the Bombard special ability can fire at units on the Ground.
? Multiple cards can target the same unit in any given turn. For example: Player 1 has 3 Naboo Starfighters deployed in the Space arena, and Player 2 has 1 Trade Federation Battleship. Starfighters are quick, so they?ll have a higher Speed rating than the Battleship. Starfighter 1 fires on the Battleship (roll the dice and rotate the card). Starfighter 2 fires on the Battleship (roll the dice and rotate the card). Starfighter 3 fires on the Battleship (roll the dice and rotate the card). If at this point the Battleship hasn?t been destroyed, it fires on one of the Starfighters (roll the dice and rotate the card). Once every card is rotated or removed from battle (destroyed), move on to the Ground arena and attack in order of speed there.
? The order of battle in the different arenas is such that Space combat always occurs before Ground combat. This means that a unit with Ion Cannon will fire into the Space arena after the Space battle has already taken place. Of course, you can plan your attack such that the Ion Cannon can finish off the last of your opponent?s units in Space (thus giving you control of it), or whittle down a Battleship so next turn your fighters can swarm it, etc.
? One of the beautiful aspects of SWTCG is its flexibility and ability to evolve from expansion to expansion, which allows many, many possibilities for new future mechanics. Things like weapon, equipment, and location cards, along with side arenas, cards moving from arena to arena, the ability to attack cards as they are being built, and other mechanics like these, could all conceivably be a future enhancement. WotC cannot currently guarantee what elements will be featured over the course of the next several years, but the R&D department is hard at work on these types of topics.
? There are three "starter" products: A two-player game, a light-side starter deck, and a dark-side starter deck. All 3 products are pre-constructed, but are not exclusive. Every starter kit will thus have the same 40 or 60 cards respectively, but you can find those same cards in booster packs.
? Each 2-Player game will have 2 foil cards included (1 Dark Side and 1 Light Side). The low $6.99 price for the 2-player game is intended to make the game accessible to a broad audience.
? Each 40 card Starter Deck has 30 Commons, 8 Uncommons, 2 Rares and 1 Light or Dark side foil respectively, so it actually adds up to 41 cards. The better-than-average cards in the starter decks warrant the $9.99 price and allow the experienced TCG player to dive right into a product with some good content.
? Both products provide the buyer a good track to learning the game and getting underway, and both products have a complete set of rules that will teach you everything including expert-level play. The variety of product choices allows for those players that already have some dice, and are just ready to get a rulebook and start building decks.
? Every card in Attack of the Clones will have a premium equivalent, so you have a good chance of getting the powerful rares into your decks, but you can also go after a set of super-cool holographic foils as well. The odds of pulling a premium card are about 1 in every 37 cards, approximately every three to four 11-card boosters. A premium card will replace a Common card in the booster pack.
? Some cards (like Darth Vader) will be packed in a merchandise item before it becomes available in a card set. But once that card set releases, you?ll find them in there, guaranteed (even though they might be rare). There are no products that have any kind of exclusive chase cards ? you will be able to collect the entire set without divine intervention!
? Tournament-legal decks will consist of 60 cards. The 2-Player TCG gives the beginning player a quick, easy-to-learn introduction into the game. After that intro, they can bulk up that beginner deck with boosters and make it tourney-legal. The Starter Decks each have 40 cards in them, which gives a more advanced player an intermediate introduction into the game. It won?t take much to grab a few boosters and beef that up so it?s ready for tournaments.
? The debut SWTCG tournament will be held at Celebration II.
? WotC Organized Play department is currently discussing the tournament rules for dice.
? Star Wars Gamer #10 will release in April of this year, and will feature an entire AOTC SWTCG encyclopedia ? card list, images, card text ? as well as game play tips & hints.
? The official Star Wars TCG section of wizards.com will be up as soon as possible. Card images will be posted for every card in the Attack of the Clones card set. Because of some rather extensive spoiler content in the set, these will not be put up before AotC releases. Wizards.com intends to put future expansions up online as well. The timing of posting card images for future sets will be evaluated with each release.
? The yearly plans for the TCG are centered on 3 sets a year, with individual expansions ranging from 90 to 180 cards. Most of those releases focus on a Spring, Summer, and Fall timeframe.
? Mara Jade will be in the SW: TCG, but WotC is focusing on Episodes II and IV this year so don?t expect her to be seen for a little while yet. WotC has not yet begun any negotiations with any models for Mara Jade or any other EU character. But they will soon.
? The name of the Star Wars TCG premeire release will focus on Episode 2 content and is titled Attack of the Clones. The July ?02 release is titled Sith Rising, the November ?02 release is titled A New Hope, and the March ?03 release is titled Battle of Yavin.
? The November ?02 and March ?03 releases will be the first Classic Trilogy based card sets and will feature new card mechanics and special abilities that further enhance the gaming experience and provide even more depth of play. The new cards are very exciting, and the special abilities do the Classic Star Wars justice. Mechanically speaking, the Rebellion Era material will be compatible with the Republic Era material. Also, we will begin to see a little Expanded Universe content in November. This material will increase throughout 2003, and by the end of that year we can expect to see some seriously mind-blowing stuff!