Fantasy Flight Games Previews Star Wars: Destiny

By Polar_Bear
In Dice Games
Sep 12th, 2016
15 Comments
1101 Views
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Well, we know Fantasy Flight won’t be making Games Workshop-themed games anymore. But that doesn’t mean they’re not making Star Wars games anymore. Those are still going full-steam ahead. Their newest, Star Wars: Destiny, is a dice-driven combat game. Today, we get a look at how the game works.

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The main mechanic we get a look at today are the dice. Considering their the main movers and shakers in the game (no pun intended… well… maybe a little intended), there’s quite a lot to go over. You start in play with the characters you are going to be using that game. The dice associated with them are placed on their card. On your turn, one of the things you can do is Activate a card. You do that by rotating it 90-degrees and rolling the die/dice associated with it, plus any upgrades attached to it. The numbers and symbols on the dice will indicate what sort of things you can then use those dice for. That could be melee or ranged damage, shielding against attacks, gaining Resources, making your opponent discard Resources or cards from their hand, allow you to change one of your other dice to any face you want, or some other special ability based on the card it came from. With the simple act of a die roll, there’s many different possibilities of what can happen in the game, depending on what you roll and when that die is further utilized.

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  • hvedhrungr

    So this is kind of like Qarriors with a bit of Magic the Gathering mixed in, if I understand correctly.
    I expect this will be a cash cow for FFG, and there will be half a dozen “expansions” contain 1-2 dice and 3 cards for $20 by Summer of next year…

    • Davos Seaworth

      It’s funny to think at one time FFG was so obnoxiously high-and-mighty about its LCG business model. But now that Dice Masters is on its umpteenth set of random collectible packs, suddenly FFG does an about-face & tries to get everyone loving the collectible model again. And of course they have to flog the Star Wars license in the process.

      • odinsgrandson

        I wonder why the about face. From what I can tell, the LCG model has been doing well for them.

        Probably, FFG are really good about spreading out their audience.

        Overall, they don’t seem like they’re making a lot of games that are selling to the same crowd. So its totally cool if their LCG audience hates their collectible dice games.

        • Davos Seaworth

          Money. The beancounters declared the only way to make an acceptable profit on this Star Wars dice game was to make it collectible. Now that Asmodee is at the helm, they’ve been pushing profit-margins like crazy to pay for all of their acquisitions, so it all makes sense.

          • odinsgrandson

            Given the high death rate of collectible games, I have a hard time imagining that the format is necessarily a better profit machine.

            That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bean counters who dream of somehow making Magic the Gathering.

          • AceaHigh ChrisM

            CCGs or TCGs are either insanely successful or die quick deaths. This is Star Wars… and the platform is targeted to collectors… Star Wars Collectors… I think they will do fine.

          • odinsgrandson

            That’s a different use of the term “Collectible.”

            Star Wars Collectors buy posters, action figures, games, minis, stuffed animals, costumes and other stuff that is themed in Star Wars.

            None of it comes in random packs (and a lot of it is only available on Ebay).

            That crowd isn’t necessarily interested in a game with random packed dice that don’t display well on a shelf (they might be, they might not).

          • Ghool

            It’s very clearly targeted at the cross-over demographic of Star Wars fans and gamers….and it’s a big chunk of the market.
            Gamers love dice, and collecting scads of them. I can see this doing very well, as long as it’s a decent game. And with FFG producing it, chances are it’s pretty good. Time will tell though.

          • Ghool

            Oh, but it is a huge profit generator. Any blind-buy collectible is always going to have a high profit margin.
            Look at Shopkins, Grossery Gang, or anything Imports Dragon is pushing for kids’ toys – collectible, and mostly blind-buy.

            It might be a large initial investment in capital. But, if they can capture the market, even for a brief period, I’m sure the profits from that single burst would be huge.

            Just because lots of collectible games fail, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not profitable.

            One need only look at the number of collectible franchises there are (and not just in games) to realize that it’s a viable, and very profitable business model. In the short or long term, these business models obviously make money, or the collectible industry would be a complete wasteland with no products at all.

            We see the opposite.

            At any rate, collectible or not, it might actually be a decent game. And just because it’s collectible doesn’t make it inherently bad. Unless you’re an obsessive completionist, which a lot of gamers are. And this is why the collectible model for games is lamented the most by gamers.

          • odinsgrandson

            I’m not saying that a profit cannot be made with a collectible format. I am just bothered by is the way that people talk about it as the only way to make money, or clearly the best way to make money.

            Most of the collectible crowd is younger- I used to like grabbing something random with my allowance (or sometimes lunch money). I even painted them.

            I once suggested to an LGS ovner that LCGs appealed to people who played CCGs. He corrected me, and told me how his LCG crowd absolutely never pick up a collectible game.

            There’s lot of money out there, and the non-collectible market is also quite healthy.

      • AceaHigh ChrisM

        I don’t see the problem. They are a business. They are in business to make games. Their mission statement, I’m sure, doesn’t say, “To supply the table gaming market with the best non-CCG games…”. This is a market segment that they have not supplied so it is an area of growth potential for them. They have an insanely hot license that they pay crap loads of money for. It’s also a license that appeals to a demographic that loves collecting. Put aside the “bean counters” comment (though those are the people that make it possible for companies to produce games that you lap up), and you’ll see, from a game designers perspective that it’s an opportunity to put their creation in the hands of people who will love it. Why all the cynicism?

        Sure they may have taken a stance on LCGs vs CCGs in the past but they were marketing their product. What would you expect them to do? Market dynamics change and so do corporate directives. If you don’t move with the market, you die. And I for one, do not want FFG going away any time soon.

        • odinsgrandson

          That’s a bit extreme. I’m sure that Fantasy Flight wouldn’t be filing for bankruptcy if they made this game non-collectible.

          Rather, this is diversifying their market (something FF do well). So that they can afford to lose the audience for any given product line- like the GW line.

          • AceaHigh ChrisM

            If extreme, just the tiniest bit, I’ll grant you. But mismanaging a major license – one that probably fully provides 1/4 to 1/3 of total revenues (possibly more – I haven’t looked at their financials) could be catastrophic. What people don’t understand is that managing a license is most definitely a two way street. We here in the peanut gallery have absolutely no idea the cicumstances behind the FFG – GW split, for example. None at all. It could have just as much been GW not choosing to renew the license as FFG. Nearing the end of an agreement, both sides perform financial analysis looking at past performance and future projects, juggle the numbers and decide if it’s worth continuing the relationship. Licensors look at whether their current relationship is working for them or if another group in the same market may do a better job.

            In the case of managing a lucrative Star Wars license, if you think Disney is unaware of the cash cows that are Pokémon, Yu-Gi-OH!, Magic and Dicemasters, think again. If they are nearing renewal, you better believe Disney is putting the screws to FFG to get on the band wagon and take advantage of that market with their license or they may just start returning Wiz Kids and WotC’s phone calls. There are many types of arrangements in licensing fees; flat recurring fees, rev-share fees and a combination of both – all geared towards making the license holder more money with higher sales. Otherwise, why do you need the license if not to increase market penetration? So you better use it or someone else will.

            So yeah, I sincerely DO see not making this move as a misstep that could cause FFG some significant damage. If they lost the SW license to a competitor, and provided there is sufficient margin after their licensing fees to turn a profit, NOT taking advantage of a collectible card game marketed to an insanely obsessive collector-oriented demographic would be fiscally irresponsible to their shareholders and may also be putting their relationship with Disney at risk.

            Again, only they and Disney know their financial dynamic. We are all just speculating. It could just as easily be that Disney’s fees are so high that this CCG is the only way they could see significant profits. But I doubt it. My point is that there is a lot more in motion in these decisions than just bean counters counting beans and diversifying their portfolio (all of which are indeed valid though). Just remember, these large companies have experienced professionals who have all of the financial and market data at their finger tips and the know-how to analyze it, working in conjunction with their creative and strategic leadership to make these decisions based on what their sales and vantage point over the ENTIRE landscape tell them. We just have the hearts on our sleeves and the view from the street that sometimes shows us only what we want or choose or have the capacity to see.

          • odinsgrandson

            Ok, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think that this is a mistake on FFG’s part.

            It is just that making a game collectible alienates one crowd and attracts another.

            If collectible games were the best way to make profit, then other formats of games would die off. There are plenty of companies that have market analysts that don’t decide that their games ought to all be collectible.

            I just don’t see how making this collectible is the “one right move” for FFG- it is just a decision that they’ve made, and probably a good one.

      • odinsgrandson

        Davos, do you remember Fantasy Flight taking a moral stand against CCGs?

        The way I remember it, they simply presented their format with a strong emphasis on how non-collectible it is. Then their audience started taking quite the moral stand against CCGs (which I’m sure they didn’t discourage).

        But for their part, FF will alwaysl be happy to sell you sleeves for your magic cards (the silver pack is the one you want).