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New Star Wars tabletop games announced

By Cody K. Carlson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Aug. 21 2014 4:00 p.m. MDT

The Star Wars: Armada core set, from Fantasy Flight Games, features detailed models of an Imperial Star Destroyer, a Corellian Corvette, a Nebulon B Frigate, and several fighter squadrons for both factions.

Fantasy Flight Games

Tabletop gamers who love Star Wars have new reasons to celebrate.

At last weekend's Gen Con in Indiana, America's largest annual tabletop game trade show, Fantasy Flight Games announced new Star Wars games and a massive expansion to an existing title.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault, perhaps the biggest announcement of the entire convention, is a Star Wars-themed dungeon crawler that can be played in one of two ways. First, in an extended campaign game, one player takes on the role of the Imperials while up to four players work together as the Rebels. Second, the skirmish game allows two players to build armies of units and slug it out.

The game comes with a mountain of plastic Star Wars figures, including a large AT-ST walker (seen in "Return of the Jedi"), several tiles that create different battlegrounds, and a host of different scenarios.

“We've been working on this game for over a year,” said Steve Horvath, Fantasy Flight Games senior vice president in a YouTube video posted by Team Covenant.

Horvath also promised that future expansions were definitely in the works: “There will be more stuff coming for the game.”

Another major Star Wars game announcement is Star Wars: Armada, a new miniatures game. Like Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Armada will feature beautiful miniatures that move and attack each other across the table. Fantasy Flight Games promises that the scale of Star Wars: Armada will make game play very different from Star Wars: X-Wing, however.

“You're actually taking on the role of a fleet admiral, and you've got to coordinate your whole fleet,” Horvath said.

The core set will come with one Victory Class Star Destroyer, a staple of the evil Empire in the Star Wars universe, as well as two Rebel ships — the Nebulon B Frigate and the Corellian Corvette. The core set will also come with several fighter squadron escorts for both factions.

Fantasy Flight Games also announced Wave VI of its popular Star Wars: X-Wing line. Up until now, the game has been a contest between the Empire and the Rebels. This new wave brings an entirely new faction to the game, Scum and Villainy.

“The ranks of the Scum and Villainy faction are filled with many of the Star Wars galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunters, pirates and Black Sun agents," Flight Games' website reads. "You’ll find such infamous figures as Boba Fett, IG-88, Greedo and Prince Xizor.”

Most Wanted is the first set of the Scum and Villainy line, which offers a Y-Wing and two Z-95 Headhunter ships with alternate paint schemes (both ships are already available as Rebel ships), new pilot and upgrade cards, and even a conversion kit to change the Imperial Boba Fett into a Scum and Villainy Boba Fett. Three more ships are are also being released as part of the Scum and Villainy faction.

Fantasy Flight Games has also recently announced Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion, a lighter, fast-paced two-player card game that allows either a military or diplomatic victory.

When asked by Team Covenant if, from a business perspective, there was a danger in Fantasy Flight Games releasing too many games with the Star Wars intellectual property theme, Horvath responded, “I don't think we've released too much. You can always go too far with anything, but we haven't yet."

Certainly with Disney's acquisition of the Star Wars film franchise and "Star Wars: Episode VII" due in December of next year, the time seems right to capitalize on the Star Wars name. Star Wars: X-Wing is currently Fantasy Flight Games' biggest seller, and if these new titles offer gamers similar play experiences, it's a safe bet we'll see even more Star Wars games from Fantasy Flight in the future.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault and Star Wars: Armada are due in stores in early 2015. Star Wars: X-Wing Wave VI and Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion are both due in stores by the end of this year.

Cody K. Carlson holds a master's in history from the University of Utah and teaches at Salt Lake Community College. An avid player of board games, he blogs at thediscriminatinggamer.com. Email: ckcarlson76@gmail.com

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