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May The Fourth Be With You


It’s May 4th! Happy Star Wars day force fans. To celebrate one of the best loved franchises of all time the Zatu blogging team have highlighted some Star Wars tabletop games to fuel your lightsaber wielding, bounty hunting, Jawa disintegrating celebrations!

So whether you want to be a Jedi, do the Kessel run in less than 12 Parsecs or just pull the ears off a Gundark we’ve got you covered. Check out some of our favourites below:

Star Wars Destiny - Joe Packham

Star Wars Destiny is a collectible card and dice game from publisher Fantasy Flight Games. Destiny will always have a special place in my heart as it’s where my current tabletop gaming obsession began!

Players take control of their own set of characters from the Star Wars universe and a highly customised deck of 30 upgrade, support or event cards. All characters and many upgrades and supports have their own unique dice. When you activate these cards you roll their dice into your pool and resolve them to damage opponents, gain shield, resources and wotnot. Reduce all your opponents characters health to zero and you win. Careful though, run out of cards in your deck and hand and you automatically lose.

The dice in particular add a generous helping of luck to Star Wars Destiny. The skill in the game then comes from your ability to mitigate bad rolls, damage and other factors as they come up. That’s a massive part of the game and it makes for some really tense and fun set pieces. As fun as Destiny is to play I think my greatest enjoyment comes from creating new decks out of my collection of thousands of cards. The potential synergies are endless and really enjoyable to explore. The character combos are pretty hilarious too with the likes of Darth Vader and a Jawa facing off against Yoda and a Wookiee warrior!

Sadly FFG have now announced they’ll no longer be making more content for Star Wars Destiny. If I were you I’d grab a couple of starter sets and boosters from Zatu while there’s still plenty available because it’s a lot of fun.

Outer Rim - Carl Yaxley

Tabletop gaming fans of the Star Wars IP are pretty spoilt for choice in terms of Star Wars themed games. Publishing juggernaut Fantasy Flights Games alone have published board, card, dice, miniatures, and role playing games in the IP. Amongst my favourites is the one - four player, sandbox style exploration game, Outer Rim.

However, before I talk about that, I'd like to briefly recognise the Star Wars CCG. It was a two player game published by Decipher, until it was discontinued in 2001. As Star Wars games go, this was one of the best in terms of thematic gameplay (in my opinion). She may not look like much, but she's got it where is counts, kid. The game had some interesting mechanics and was fun to get into. The game lives on through an active fan community: SWCCG Players Committee.

Back to the present, and opportunities offered in the Outer Rim. You play the part of a smuggler or bounty hunter, operating in the semi-lawless regions at the edge of the galaxy. The aim is to generate fame, the first player to gain ten fame points wins. Players can acquire fame in numerous ways: completing jobs, collecting bounties, completing character and ship goals, and in some combat situations.

How you acquire fame is largely down to you. This is an aspect I particularly like. Players are assigned a character and ship, each with an in-game goal. The goals, however, are not required or particularly restrictive. Sure, they may influence how to play, but ultimately you have the freedom to explore and forge your own path.

Outer Rim is a great, thematic game fans of Star Wars will enjoy. But you don't need to be a fan to appreciate this game. If you like pick up and deliver, trading and variable player power mechanics, you may still enjoy this.

Star Wars Top Trumps Match - Nick T

I know the title suggests that I am about to write about some cards that will give you a pang of nostalgia from your childhood. In the same way as seeing a blister- packed Kenner toy would. But watch this Jedi Mind Trick... I’m not. This game has very little to do with that monotonous back and forth card game that always felt like it could go on as long as it takes a sarlacc to digest its food!

Top Trump Match has various incarnations, just like the cards, but is an entirely different two player game for children. What's more, dare I say it, it is actually quite good fun. It is a mix between tic tac toe and connect four, but I know this isn’t the description you’re looking for. So, my young Padawan, Match sees players duel across a vertical playing board. One cube is pushed through to start the game. The player who receives the cube studies it and once they have decided which of the six different images they want to face them, and where they want to place it, they push it back through another square. This in turn knocks another cube out of the board. Play goes quite quickly back and forth in this way with the cubes being rearranged until one player gains five identical images in a row.

Once you have five-in-a-row you will feel like you have the high ground, but there is a twist. Before the game starts each player draws two blind cards. If at the end of the game one of the loser’s cards match the winner’s five-in-a-row character they snatch victory from the clutches of defeat in a rather fun final luck-based “I am your father” style revelation. This gives a luck-based twist that means younger players can win and the concept is easy for them to grasp anyway. I am a fan of Star Wars, so for me there was only one genuine option as to which flavour of Match version I purchased. There are other character versions if you want to be a Salacious Crumb about it. Read my full review of Top Trump Match here.

Star Wars: X-Wing - William Moffat

For a long time, the concept of Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you”) was lost on me, as was Mario Day (MARch 10th) – but I try to celebrate these intertwinings of pop culture into the days of the year with a smile and mention to the family.

I have recently got into the Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game, so May the 4th will take extra significance for me, and I would love to celebrate the day with an evening of X-Wing with my gaming buddies – although unfortunately this year, with lockdown and all, I’ll have to make do with fawning over my small fleet of beautiful pre- painted ships and perhaps playing the app version of the game, FlyCasual, against the AI.

X-Wing is essentially a spaceship dogfight game, where you assemble a small fleet (usually between two to eight ships) from one of the famous Star Wars factions (Rebel Alliance, Galactic Empire, Galactic Republic, Seperatist Alliance, First Order, Resistance or Scum and Villainy) and face an opponent in a game of secret dials, dice and rulers!

At the start of each round is the Planning Phase where players secretly choose maneuvers for each their ships using a maneuver dial specific to each ship. The System Phase follows this, where some ships may resolve certain specific abilities. Then is the Activation Phase, each ship moves in order of pilot initiative (ability) and performs actions. The Engagement Phase then allows each ship to perform an attack if an enemy ship is in range.

What makes X-Wing so much fun is that for a miniatures game the action is fast-paced and streamlined. Games can be played until one team entirely eliminates the other, or you can play with a 75 minute time limit, where the player who has earned most points (through kills and half-kills) wins. Despite the randomness of the dice you usually see the most skilled and thoughtful players outmanouvering and beating those who can’t think creatively. But perhaps one of the most addictive things about this game is the app-based squad building aspect away from the game (I recommend LaunchBay Next), where you can spend hours tinkering and refining your ship lists, by adding and removing different ships and equiping upgrades to your ships such as crew, gunners, modifications and missiles.

A Galaxy Full Of Games

Well that’s some of our favourite Star Wars tabletop games but by no means an exhaustive list. There’s many many more to explore, here are some of our favourites:

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Star Wars Rebellion

Star Wars: Armada

Star Wars - The Mandalorian Dobble

Whatever type of gaming you’re into the galaxy far, far away has something for you!

May the fourth be with you and remember, always let the Wookiee win!

This blog was originally published on May 4th, 2020. Updated on May 4th, 2022 to improve the information available.