Written by CLAUS STAAL
The new article series "Game Analysis: X" is meant as a way to challenge and improve your decision making processes in games of Star Wars Destiny. I'll be focusing on different games, either recorded by the YOUR Destiny team, but it can basically be any game of interest that I find. Sometimes it will be meta decks and at other times it will be janky decks. The most important thing is that they contain challenging moments throughout the game.
Some games will contain play mistakes and others may have situations where rules clarifications are needed as the analysis progresses, and while I'll be discussing all of this as those situations occur, that's not as important as looking at the individual games from a player's POV. We all make mistakes. Hopefully we learn from them.
When I'm analysing the games, I'll be analysing progressively and will in most instances only have seen some 4-5 minutes of the game myself before going back to the start of the game to do the analysis. This is to mimic the situation of playing the game as closely as possible.
I'll be asking various questions throughout the analysis. You can answer these as you read along.
Finally, remember that it is almost always easier to watch a game retrospectively than actually playing the game. The purpose of this article series is not to point out mistakes, but rather analyse game plays in order to figure out what are the reasonings behind our decision making processes throughout a game of Destiny.
You can watch the game here either before or after reading my commentary. My recommendation is to read the commentary first and then watch the game afterwards:
L8 NIGHT GAMING:
L8 NIGHT GAMING run some pretty cool streaming sessions Friday nights, you can follow the action live or see the streams on YouTube. Their YouTube Channel is brimming with loads of cool games with various notorieties invited to join them for games. In this game they'll be battling it out with Jack Broomell aka JustJack from the Golden Dice Podcast.
We definitely recommend you swoop past and check out all the action!
The deck analyses are not the decks specifically played in the featured game, but are analyses of the character pairings played and should in most instances provide for a good introduction to the decks and their core mechanics.
Keeping Han Solo's dice and Easy Pickings makes a lot of sense, while not wanting to keep any of the supports is also an okay choice. I'd probably have kept the Handheld L-S1 Cannon well as it's a great starting gun on C-3P0 or R2-D2 (EDIT: The graphics has it wrong as he did mulligan the Handheld out of his hand). He's probably looking for a cheap mitigation piece to help him counter the damage early allowing him to set up his board state before losing character dice. In this particular match-up, I'd probably have kept the Resistance Speeder to be able to ramp hard early, possibly netting 2 resources off it in round 1, but I can understand the temptation to let it go. He ends up with a significantly weaker hand though redrawing the Millennium Falcon and a Republic Cruiser. Easy Pickings does look sweet here though and could pull a lot of weight!
Keeping just the CONSCRIPT SQUADS and MEASURE FOR MEASURE while probably digging for some heavy hitter like the AT-RT or Megablaster Troopers and a bit of resource generation cards like Fresh Supplies and Logistics to set up a strong board state early. Although missing out on any of the ramp cards, his final starting hand does look pretty good with an AT-RT to go with the Conscript Squads and a bit of mitigation if needed. Seizing Territory isn't a preferred card in round 1 since TAKING GROUND should all but assure Battlefield control.
2. BATTLEFIELD ROLL-OFF:
Even though PLAYER B is heavily favoured to win the roll-off, and does win it, there's actually an interesting choice here due to Seizing Territory sitting in his hand. He could actually choose to take the Shields and give the Battlefield to his opponent, retaking the Battlefield as his first action with Seizing Territory, but the risk of an action cheat card into disrupting his resources (R2-D2 Disrupt side resolved for 2 Disrupts with C-3P0) is just too big and would leave him extreme weakened round 1 - especially with no ramp card available.
IF he gave the Battlefield to his opponent he'd also miss out on the extra die provided by BENDU'S LAIR, effectively giving him a 6dice start (counting in Gideon Hask's Power Action). It can in fact become a 2 times 6dice start if he either claims the Battlefield first or use Seizing Territory at the end of the round to recapture the Battlefield after his opponent claims. PLAYER B is really spoiled for choices here, but opts for his own Battlefield.
There's also no way that you can allow an opponent to play on Mean Streets, which can be so incredibly abusive when it starts stacking resource tokens.
FIRST ACTION(s) of the game is PLAYER B using the BENDU'S LAIR Power Action to find a 1 Resource side, while PLAYER A plays a HAN SOLO'S DICE on Han Solo, and PLAYER B resolves the Resource side.
The early resource is really massive. PLAYER A should already now consider the real threat of an early Megablaster Troopers if PLAYER B has either Fresh Supplies or Logistics in hand. PLAYER A is definitely betting on his Easy Pickings to put in some work here and might even consider a defensive line playing Republic Cruiser if the Megablaster Trooper shows up.
As both players are setting their board states, they continue round 1 by:
- [PLAYER A]: Activating Han Solo finding a 1 Resource, 1 Ranged damage and a +1 Resource side on Han Solo's Dice.
- [PLAYER B]: Playing Conscript Squads,
- [PLAYER A]: Resolving 2 resources,
- [PLAYER B]: Playing AT-RT.
If you were PLAYER A what would have been your line of play here?
PLAYER A decides on what I'd consider a big gamble! He plays the CHEWBACCA'S BLASTER RIFLE. Even with C-3P0 and R2-D2's after abilities he'd need the Blaster to over perform to defeat a character and potentially pay back on the investment. The damage on R2-D2, although taken on a Shield, to roll the Blaster die into the pool also seriously increase the risk of losing that investment this round. There's also the question on what mitigation, if any, PLAYER B has in his hand. PLAYER A hits the Disrupt side.
PLAYER B proceeds to activating Gideon Hask finding a 2 Indirect and 1 Ranged damage side, while PLAYER A discards to reroll to find a 4 Ranged damage side. Mind you that there's just 33% chance of him finding a damage side that can be resolved immediately without hitting a resource side on C-3P0. Without Focus sides in the pool Chewbacca's Blaster can at times be fickle.
The question here remains whether or not PLAYER A had been better off activating C-3P0 to possibly find a Resource side, then play the Millennium Falcon, or activate both Droids, fix his dice and then play the Falcon. Either of these would probably have been my line of play.
PLAYER A is actually rewarded for his aggressive play as:
- PLAYER B activates his AT-RT and hits the +2 side.
- PLAYER A activates C-3P0 hits a Resource side and resolves it with C-3P0's after ability for 2 resources (hitting a Focus side would also have been ok though),
- PLAYER A uses FATEFUL COMPANIONS to trigger C-3P0's after ability a second time on the Chewbacca's Blaster die,
- Chewbacca's Blaster deals 5 damage to Gideon Hask
- While PLAYER A is left with 1 resource for his Easy Pickings in hand.
The something weird happens:
- PLAYER A follows up by activating R2-D2 and hits the 2 Ranged damage on the Blaster as well as a Disrupt side on R2-D2. I was expected him to turn the R2-D2 die to a 2 Melee, but for some reason doesn't use the after ability. This could be down to the player simply forgetting the after ability or wanting to keep the Disrupt side for something ... I was mulling over this for a bit before restarting the video.
- PLAYER B removes the Blaster die with MEASURE FOR MEASURE trading it with Gideon Hask's 2 Indirect damage showing, making it highly unlikely that he'll lose Gideon this round.
They go on to exchange damage:
- PLAYER A resolves 1 Ranged damage on Gideon Hask,
- PLAYER B resolves 2 Ranged damage on R2-D2. It's really smart resolving the 2 Ranged damage side BEFORE activating the Conscript Squads and Iden Versio as there would have been more than 60% risk of rolling a 2 or +2 Ranged damage side that could have been targeted with Easy Pickings, while there's just above 20% risk of getting those dice sides once the Gideon Hask die is out of the pool.
Do you always play around Easy Pickings against yellow heroes?
To put insult to injury, PLAYER B finishes off his turn by reclaiming the Battlefield with SEIZING TERRITORY taking initiative going into Round 2.
PLAYER A keeps both the Easy Pickings and Millennium Falcon, and draws into 3 new cards which leaves him with one dead card in hand, Seize The Day, because he doesn't control the Battlefield, while the packed mitigation could go a long way to keep him in the game this round. He'd probably have wanted to see a cheaper upgrade, and it might have been better for him to let go of the Millennium Falcon to dig for an Ezra's Lightsaber or a Handheld L-S1 Cannon. He's already two damage dice down from last round and will be facing a storm of dice this round.
PLAYER B keeps the Riot Shield and draws into 4 new cards including Tactical Mastery, which might give him an edge in preventing his dice from running straight into mitigation. He should take note of the fact that no mitigation was played from PLAYER A last round, which could indicate a fairly high probability of mitigation this round. The two Riot Shields can block most of the damage thrown at him, so he should feel fairly confident having the initiative.
PLAYER B starts off by activating Gideon Hask, which I honestly believe to be a mistake. The die roll is good though: 2 and 1 Ranged damage, but if PLAYER A had an Instigate in hand, he would have had the possibility of killing Gideon Hask outright, 5.55%, or even worse a Han Solo's Blaster.
- As it is, PLAYER A activates Han Solo, doesn't find lethal damage,
- PLAYER B plays the RIOT SHIELD on Gideon Hask.
- PLAYER A resolves the 2 Resources and goes to 5 resources ready to play the Millennium Falcon.
PLAYER B, probably in an attempt to burn down C-3P0 and avoid mitigation in the process, decides to play TACTICAL MASTERY and activate Iden Versio alongside the Conscript Squads. That's a bit odd though as the chance of hitting the 8 damage required (including the 3 already in the pool) is just 5.55%, while his chances would have improved drastically had he activated the AT-RT first, then followed by the Tactical Mastery play. He ends up putting 7 damage into Han Solo.
- PLAYER A plays the Millennium Falcon,
- PLAYER B activates the AT-RT,
- PLAYER A activates the Millennium Falcon AND C-3P0, hits a Focus side and use the after ability to immediately resolve it turning the Millennium Falcon to a 3 Ranged damage side.
- PLAYER B use the Power Action on Bendu's Lair
- PLAYER A removes the two Blanks (Iden Versio and Bendu Lair) with Easy Pickings. It's prudent to use the Easy Pickings in this situation as a discard to reroll would have made it all but impossible to remove them.
- PLAYER B use the Gideon Hask Power Action to roll an Iden Versio die into the pool finds a 2 Focus, which is useless.
- PLAYER A resolves the 5 Ranged damage against Gideon Hask.
PLAYER B eventually hits the Discard side on Iden Versio and a +2 modifier on the AT-RT to discard PLAYER A's entire hand. That's a pretty rough discard meaning he lose two great mitigation cards AND the action cheat card, most of which I'd suspect he would have wanted to keep in his hand for round 3.
PLAYER A redraws into a Seize The Day as well as 3 upgrades of which the Handheld Cannon could be strong on C-3P0 for the endgame, while both Han Solo's Blaster and Han Solo's Dice could be useful. Seeing a Hidden Motive on the side is a bit of consolation for having lost his mitigation at the end of round 2.
PLAYER B doesn't draw any cards to advance his board state, but does get a great defensive hand. He already has a strong board state set up, even if risking to lose Gideon Hask early this round, although the combination of Riot Shield and A Sinister Peace could go a long way to prevent that. Counterintelligence and Separatist Embargo is a great defensive combo, especially at this stage in the game, which might very well be the last round of the game and therefore the cards in hand the last cards any of the players will be seeing this game. Fresh Supplies is a dead card since he doesn't have Battlefield control.
IF you were PLAYER A, having initiative, what would be your line of play here? Possible lines of play would be:
- Defensive: Use Seize The Day to activate the Millennium Falcon and Han Solo to try and hit the 1 damage needed to defeat Gideon Hask immediately,
- Offensive: Play Han Solo's Blaster to go in as strong as possible and put as much damage as possible on both PLAYER B's characters.
PLAYER A decides for the defensive approach, plays SEIZE THE DAY to activate both Falcon and Han Solo, hits the 1 Ranged damage side and defeats Gideon Hask. The damage output from the initial roll-out is lower than expected, but actually pretty good in the current situation as he finds the damage to defeat a character, while also being able to harvest another 3 resources to set up C-3P0 with either a Handheld Cannon or a Han Solo's Blaster.
If given the choice with your current hand and resources available, which upgrade would you play on C-3P0?
PLAYER B, having lost Gideon Hask to the action cheat play decides to go slow and use the COUNTERINTELLIGENCE to get rid of the Hidden Motive, the only mitigation card, in PLAYER A's hand. I honestly think that he would have been better off using the A Sinister Peace to remove the 2 Resource side showing on the Millennium Falcon die, preventing PLAYER A from resolving the Resource sides at all. That would have left PLAYER A with very few quality dice in the pool and would possibly have meant that he'd either discard to reroll the remaining dice in the pool or use the Han Solo Discard side. Opting not to use A Sinister Peace could then be the fear of being left with just 2 cards in hand following a possible Discard from PLAYER A.
- PLAYER A resolves the 3 Resources showing bringing him to 4 resources,
- PLAYER B plays SEPARATIST EMBARGO, and with his hand knowledge from Counterintelligence calls Han Solo's Blaster, which also removes the last piece of mitigation from PLAYER A's hand.
- PLAYER A plays the HANDHELD L-S1 CANNON on C-3P0, while
- PLAYER B activates Iden Versio and the Conscript Squads knowing that there's no mitigation left to stop him. PLAYER B can't end the game this round, but could get VERY close.
- PLAYER B keeps to his plan of getting as many dice into the pool, probably followed by aggressive discards to rerolls to maximise on damage.
- PLAYER A decides to discard to reroll, but keeps the Han Solo Discard side in the pool, and hits a 1 Disrupt side on the Handheld Cannon. He's clearly resigned to losing Han Solo next action, which then prompts the question on why he doesn't resolve the Discard side rather than rerolling? Assuming he doesn't know PLAYER B's deck list, there could be a Focused Fire in PLAYER B's hand, which would take out C-3P0 this round (it turns out that there isn't a Focused Fire in the deck list), and if nothing else it again reduces his discards to reroll this round.
I really enjoyed watching the game! The monored villain deck (PLAYER B) while it doesn't feel like a tier 1 deck can definitely dish out some damage fast and has a few tricks in the bag. It did feel like the Han Droids player (PLAYER A) was a bit unaccustomed to the deck, including missing a few triggers and might have followed a faulty strategy at times, but made the game super exciting nonetheless.
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