Written by Roland Christy
When I introduce a new player to Star Wars: Destiny, I always ask who that person’s favorite Star Wars character is. Getting to play your favorite characters is what makes this game exciting, and part of the fun of this game is how thematic it is. I’d like to talk about theme and how it applies to one of my favorite characters of all time, Darth Vader.
Although the image of Jabba with Jango’s armor plating equipped or Obi-Wan wearing Maz’s Goggles can be rather jarring, let alone the fact that Jar Jar can now use a lightsaber or three, this game is rather thematic. The developers have really captured the essence of the characters with their abilities and even dice. Obi-Wan gaining a shield every time he activates is a perfect representation of his defensive Soresu style lightsaber fighting. And Darth Vader forcing your opponent to discard a card every time he activates is a perfect representation of him choking the life out of his enemies.
At 16 points for one die and 21 for two, he is going to be the majority of your squad points. This makes pairing him with other characters a little difficult, but in the movies he is usually seen flanked merely by a pair of Stormtroopers. He is powerful and doesn’t need much backing him up. He has the second highest life total in the game, second only to Palpatine – Galactic Emperor, and there are numerous cards to keep him swinging with four sets in the game. Even Han Solo couldn’t kill him with three perfectly aimed blaster shots (I’m still waiting for a Force Ability that allows you to remove an opponent’s ranged damage side and gain health equal to half of the die’s value, and it could even be neutral since we see Yoda use the same ability as he absorbs Count Dooku’s Force Lightning).
The developers even did well representing him with his dice, which I think is really awesome. While Darth Vader only has two damage sides, they are high numbers and really embody his slow but powerful fighting style. And I like to think of his 2 disrupt side as the fear his presence brings to the battlefield, the kind of fear that he inspired in Rogue One when he was cutting through Rebel scum to secure the Death Star plans.
With his ability and his dice working together, you have a character who is proficient in an aggro strategy as well as a controlling/mill strategy. This captures beautifully what we see in the original trilogy. I already mentioned Rogue One and him brutality taking down the opposition, but he is not always aggressive with just his lightsaber. As he hunts Luke Skywalker and later the Millennium Falcon in the Empire Strikes Back, he leaves the dirty work to his stormtroopers and instead focuses on choking out all possible escape routes until he has the bait he needs to lure Luke to him.
As a competitive player, it is easy to get caught up in finding the perfect deck combinations and overlook the attention to detail that the developers have shown in the construction of these characters. However, I find it difficult to keep a stupid grin off my face when I play Darth Vader and get caught up in a game that allows me to use my favorite character in all his Dark Side glory. It actually feels like Vader dueling and taking every opportunity to (Force) strike to victory.
That’s all I have for now, but remember to have fun with your games, and may the rolls be with you!