Star Wars: Unlimited is finally here, and soon everyone will be able to jump into Fantasy Flight Games‘ anticipated new Trading Card Game. Part of what makes the game so fun to play is the unique mix of approachability and strategic depth. Longtime TCG players will find plenty to tinker with and master as they customize their decks and switch out Aspects and Leaders, but those are layered atop a cement foundation of just a few mechanics that new players can quickly grasp. ComicBook had the chance to speak to Star Wars: Unlimited Designers Jeremy Zwirn and John Leo all about Star Wars: Unlimited, and they broke down the key things you need to know to get up to speed on the game and get rolling.

One of Unlimited’s biggest winning factors is how quick it is to pick up and play, even for someone who’s not as familiar with card games on the whole. That approachability was a major focus for the team as they set to craft an experience that could appeal to those looking to master the game and those who are looking to jump into TCGs for the first time.

(Photo: Fantasy Flight Games)

“Oh, very important. That was one of the foundations we built the game upon to make sure the game was easy to learn but difficult to master because you want to make sure all players of all varieties can feel like they can play this game,” Zwirn said. “And I’ve been playing card games for 30 years, but I still love this game because there’s so much depth to it. It’s easy to learn, but I’m still having so much fun and discovering new things all the time. We wanted to appeal to a lot of players and make sure it wasn’t too overwhelming, or too complex, to make that too big of a barrier entry. So, we worked very hard on trying to get accessible to a variety of players,” Zwirn said.

One part of that strategy is that you can use any card in your deck, regardless of which Aspect or Leader you’re playing. There is a cost to that of course, but just opening that up lets players experiment and customize their deck to their playstyle, even if they are still figuring that out.

“For me, I think I would just tell a brand new player, pick the character that you like the best and try building a deck with them and whatever cards you gravitate toward,” Leo said. “I was just teaching somebody the game and she really liked the look of Boba Fett. I said, ‘Okay. Well, let’s pick some cards. What do you think might feel good with him.’ And so, she ended up playing a cunning aggression deck that was really cool and played great. So I think if you just let players go where they want to go, they’ll often find their level pretty quick.”

This approach is also represented in the Star Wars of it all, as you don’t need to be an expert in lore and mythology to find the fun and enjoy the game and its characters. That said, if you are a huge fan of the franchise, you’ll find a bevy of elements you know and love.

“If people aren’t familiar with Star Wars, you don’t need to be the biggest fans in the world to play the game. If you love Star Wars, we want to make sure it feels like Star Wars, so we put a lot of time and effort into trying to capture the theme, and especially all the other characters, like Boba Fett,” Zwirn said. “We want to make sure you feel like yes, you’re a bounty hunter, you feel like doing that, or for Darth Vader, you’re very powerful as soon as you enter play with your Darth Vader leader card. It’s extremely powerful so once he enters play, you can really change a game and make it feel like Darth Vader. So I think it’s very important, to try to capture Star Wars.”

If you are new to the game or Star Wars in general, there is a perfect set for you readily available. The Two Player Starter Deck features two pre-built decks that are ready to unpack and play, and they feature two Star Wars icons everyone knows in Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

“And just on the subject of onboarding a player who’s new to the game, we have this two-player starter deck that you can pick up right off the shelf and it’s just ready to go,” Leo said. “It’s got the tokens you need, it’s got the Quick Start rules booklet. You really can just pop this thing open at your local game store, buy it, sit down at the table, learn to play in about, like you said, about 15 minutes. So if it’s intimidating because you aren’t familiar with TCG’s or trading card games or you don’t really know how to play them, there is a product for you, there is a way for you to get into Star Wars: Unlimited that’s been sort of crafted, bespoke for you as a player.”

(Photo: Fantasy Flight Games)

One core element to Star Wars: Unlimited is Aspects, which guide how you build a deck and what type of cards will be most beneficial for you to use throughout a game. These come in six varieties, including Vigilance, Command, Aggression, Heroism, Villainy, and Cunning, and those who want to dive into each one and the playstyle associated with it will find all sorts of opportunities to evolve their future games.

“Yeah. An integral part to the the game is to allow players the flexibility to create the Star Wars they want so they can put essentially any card they want in their deck,” Zwirn said. “There might be an asset penalty but you can do it. There are no harsh restrictions where we say you can’t do this, can’t do that. No, it’s kind of wide open. So create the Star Wars environment you want; the deck, you want. Players that really like the min-max and to have plenty of chances to make the most efficient deck that they want, but also sometimes you might take a card that you do get that asset penalty because it fits your strategy very well. The decision, it’s up to you. We want to definitely empower the players, make their decisions on what think the best cards, the best decks will be and hopefully have a lot of fun doing that.”

“I think there’s something to be said too on the customization spectrum of it feels a lot like being on the playground again in terms of does this deck play right? Does it feel great? Awesome. You can swap out your favorite card with a cooler version, like a foiled-out version of the same card. You don’t like this card, you don’t like the way it plays, swap it out for something new, and try something new next time. So it really does feel like you can lean into that personal expression aspect of the deck building, which is something that I get really excited about,” Leo said.

There’s also the collectibility element of Star Wars: Unlimited, and the game features a host of collectible cards to obtain. What the game doesn’t do however is gatekeep any gameplay advantages behind those cards, so whether you have the base common version of a card or a fancy Hyperspace Foil version, the gameplay remains unchanged.

(Photo: Fantasy Flight Games)

“That was also an important factor. We want to do collectability but not to an extreme where we restrict access to many unique cards to being super rare. So the Foils and alternate arts and stuff is a way to still let the cards still be mostly really available, but then the really expensive desirable cards are just fuller versions of the normal cards. That way you’re not restricted to only having access to one very rare card in the game that normally might cost a lot of money, but you can find a normal version which should be a lot more feasible for players that just don’t care about the really fancy stuff,” Zwirn said.

“It’s been so much fun. Even just among people in the studio right now who’ve opened a lot of packs. This person over here might only want Hyperspace Foils. I’ll trade anything to get those premium cool cards for my deck. Some people just want one of everything, standard treatment just to have one of everything so they’re like, okay, I’ve got this Hyperspace, I’ll wheel and deal” Leo said. “And it’s been really fun to see the different ways that different people approach collecting this game. Whether you’re a competitive aspiring player or someone who wants to play casually or just someone who enjoys the collectability aspect. It’s been really exciting to see the way people can dig into it in different ways.”

There are already a host of characters featured in the game, including a healthy amount of Leaders to choose from, but this is just the start. Fantasy Flight already revealed two Leaders for the second set in Mando and Moff Gideon, and Zwirn hopes to have everyone’s favorite in the mix at some point down the line.

“Star Wars can mean different things for different people. We try to include a variety of characters so then eventually your favorite characters hopefully will appear in a game,” Zwirn said. “If you like even more obscure characters, we’re going to do our best to try and include a whole swath of characters over time. So it’s going to be an exciting moment to see your favorite character in the game and hopefully, you’ll be able to play that character and feel like, yes, I’m having fun. This feels like the character that I love.”

Star Wars: Unlimited hits stores on March 8th, and you can check out even more about the game right here.

Are you excited for Star Wars: Unlimited? Let us know in the comments and you can talk all things Star Wars: Unlimited with me on Threads @mattaguilarcb!



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