Written by DarkAngelAz
I have never felt as close to walking away from Star Wars: Destiny as I did last Saturday (January 2nd 2021). Not even when the game was officially cancelled. The stealth way that whomever currently has the controls of the FFG Organized play social media account released the news that there would no rearranged World Championships and nor would Wild Horizons be released in the Echoes of Destiny event kits. This deserved a proper website announcement, because the players, their customers, often across multiple games, deserve that. I completely understand the business reasons for it and I am sure most people do and we all should have had the courtesy extended to us that our patronage has merited. The pandemic is not something anyone could, in all honestly, have predicted and especially not how paralyzing it has been, especially to things such as organized play.
This coupled with the stresses and pressures we all suffer from at Christmas time, be that from work, financial strains, too little family (or too much), have all been polarized this year and left me at a low ebb. I have been wanting to work on the OP project for A Renewed Hope, but simply planning anything other than TTS events right now is near impossible. That frustrates me as I know people want that and I don’t like not being able to deliver my part of it as quickly as I would like.
Then in the morning the news broke that one of the UK’s most prominent Star Wars: Destiny players, Carl Harrison, had suddenly died overnight. I had known Carl for a long time from other games and he was without doubt one of the finest men I have ever known. Many of you will also know Carl from the events we have played (he was at almost every event I played at or was involved in running), the tokens he created, and his presence.
Much as we may lament for lost friend that must be as naught compared the hole his family has right now, and his son Kayne is not someone anyone who has ever met him will forget and someone whom I hope will remain involved with the game in the future, although someone else will have to step up and say ‘KAYNE!!!!” when it is necessary.
When we can do so we will hold an event, a commemoration of life, and remembrance for a good man.
So my intention to write a piece around the leaked PDF of Wild Horizons came up short last week. Leaving aside the ethical implications of someone making the files available with undue haste once the announcement of its non-release was made public, the set was clearly still a work in progress and not ready for release.
I am not going to a card-by-card review (that would be too long and tedious), but just look at the key points. The set brought in a whole new colour, Green, which was to be Primal and creature based. The set would have brought some heavy-hitters in Green such as Jabba’s Rancor and the Krayt Dragon. This also became the first set to have some characters playable from the start with three dice, Yoda, being the other one after Krayt Dragon. The set also has events with dice such as Hunting Pack, as well as several new mechanics. We may yet see some of these used by the ARH design team, now that they are in the public domain.
Renew is a lovely way to get extra value from cards by allowing them to be played from the discard pile. Feral is an effect on dice which means your opponent can resolve the die against you and is a balance for the power of those creatures and reflects the unpredictability of trying to control a Rancor or Nexu. The third new mechanic was the concept of doing indirect damage to yourself as a cost of resolving a die, which is perhaps a better way than resource costs if I am honest. The set has numerous ways of dealing with supports too, which was definitely needed in the meta.
Lest we think that the other colours were neglected by the introduction of a fourth colour, each of them had some serious heavy-hitters, not just in characters such as Tarkin, Endless Ambition, or Black Krrsantan – Ferocious Gladiator, but also events like Brandish, supports like the game ending AT-AT, which is basically a win condition in itself, and powerful upgrades like DL-18 Blaster Pistol, which had ambush and redeploy on a card for the first time since the classic staple Holdout Blaster.
Heroes got some love too with a finally playable Chewbacca – Champion of Kashykkk, Loth-Wolves (including Dume), a huge 18 health, three dice Yoda – One with the Force, and a Red Han Solo – Reluctant Captain. It also had the last member of the Rebellion who directly destroyed the second Death Star, Nien Numb – Loyal Smuggler, in it
I don’t know how the set would have affected the meta but I feel it would have been a much-needed shift in the scene.
I have no doubt that some enterprising people with time on their hands will put art to all the images and then people are likely to print it and play with it. And you know what, without the stewardship of FFG anymore, everyone should play and enjoy the game however the hell they want and relish the company of good friends to laugh, banter, compete and roll dice with.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and sorry I kept you waiting.
** If people want me to do a more in-depth review of this non-set then I would be happy to so as my time allows.