In a galaxy far, far… actually it’s not too far away.
We live here.
Star Wars: Destiny brings the entire Star Wars franchise to life on your tabletop, from the original trilogy, prequels, cartoons, and reboots.
The only thing missing is the retcon book cannon.
Brief Overview of Star Wars: Destiny
“It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force, but by our skills with a lightsaber.” –Count Dooku, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Players create a team from iconic Star Wars characters of all levels using cards and customized dice. Each character and equipment card has associated dice that go along with it.
It’s a relatively easy-to-learn game and definitely scratches the Star Wars itch in a pinch. It is much easier to set up and jump into a game with Destiny than most Star Wars games.
Does it live up to the hype, though? It’s a collectible card game so players have to continually buy booster packs to play competitively.
Is it worth it? Let’s find out.
Versions & Expansions
If you don’t know how the collectible system works then look no further.
The two-player starter sets are all the same and come with the exact same cards and dice. They’ll have enough for either 1 or 2 full sets to play. It depends on the starter.
If you want to get additional cards, you can buy something called a booster set. These have a random selection of cards of varying rarities. Not all cards are created equal. The rarer a card is, the better they usually are.
Each booster comes with 5 cards & 1 die:
- 1 rare/legendary card with an associated die
- 1 random uncommon card
- 3 common cards
Each card comes from a specific set and currently, there are 12 different sets out. Each set has its own booster that only has dice and cards from that particular set.
Certain popular heroes/villains will also have separate packs that specifically have those units in the box. So if you’re really into a particular character, you can pick it up without having to slog your way through a pallet of boosters to find them.
Unboxing Star Wars: Destiny
“Your focus determines your reality.” –Qui-Gon Jinn
It’s a bit hard to talk about unboxing Star Wars: Destiny because of the booster pack system, so I’ll be talking about the 2-player starter set and the overall components.
The 2-player starter set comes with everything you need for a 2-player game. It has all the dice and tokens required to play as well as 4 total hero/villain cards.
The starter heroes/villains are Kylo Ren & Captain Phasma vs. Rey & Poe Dameron.
With the starter set, you’re mostly going to see Red & Blue characters/cards. (Not so many yellow or grey cards/dice) That makes it a bit easier for new players by limiting the focus of the dice and cards.
All of the tokens that come with the game are well made and you’ll have enough to play basically any number of games.
The cards themselves are of high quality with very nice artwork. I was pretty impressed with what they did. Even though there are movie stills they could have easily slapped onto the game, they instead chose to render all the images into similarly-stylized art.
That way, when you have Luke Skywalker and Rey in a team, the artwork still has a cohesive feel to it. I always appreciate it when they don’t use stills from movies and TV shows in games.
Let’s talk about the dice for a second. They’re very well made and if you start collecting, you’ll soon have more dice than you know what to do with.
The dice themselves are solid, meaning that they aren’t random plastic cubes with stickers slapped onto them. The images on the dice are actually part of the dice. This is huge for me and personally, would make or break the game for me. Having completely solid dice without stickers is a must, especially when the dice are such a huge part of the game.
How to Play Star Wars: Destiny
“You can’t stop the change, any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” —Shmi Skywalker
The rules for Destiny aren’t all that complicated. The actual rulebook is a single page insert. Even players who completely hate reading rulebooks can get through a single insert.
Each player starts by choosing a set of Star Wars characters to form their team. Each character has a set point cost, so it’s up to the players if they want to just use the starter set out of the box, or pick up some boosters and draft their own team from the random cards and dice they receive. You can use up to 30 points when choosing your team and can have up to 3 different characters.
The object of the game is to eliminate your opponent’s characters.
Build a Deck
Before even thinking of starting you’ll need to build a deck. Star Wars: Destiny uses a collectible booster system to distribute cards, similar to Magic: The Gathering. You need to either pick up the starter set that has everything you’ll need all in one box or you’ll need to get several booster packs to give you enough cards and dice to play.
Once you have all the cards, you’ll need to set up your team of either Light Side or Dark Side characters. Pick two characters and fill out your deck with the corresponding dice. Don’t worry about hunting down separate packs for cards and dice. If you find a card in a booster pack, all of the corresponding dice will be in the pack too. You won’t have to buy 1000 booster packs to be able to use the cards. Everything needed for each card should be in the box.
The Duel Begins
Once the decks are set up, each player puts out a battlefield card. This is where the epic duel takes place and can have varying effects throughout the game. Both players roll all of their dice for their characters and add up the values. The winner gets to decide where the fight is taking place and discards the other battlefield card. The loser of the roll-off then gets to put 2 shield tokens on their characters. That lessens the sting of having lost the first roll (a bit).
Each player draws 5 cards, gains 2 resources tokens, and then you’re off!
It’s Your Turn!
Players take turns performing one action on their turn. Some abilities and cards will allow players to perform multiple actions. If not otherwise stated you can only do one action per round.
You can choose from the following actions:
- Play a card from your hand
- Activate a character
- Resolve dice
- Discard a card to re-roll
- Claim the battlefield
Play a Card from Your Hand
Cards in your hand have an activation cost. Sometimes it’s zero, meaning you can play the card for free. Simply follow the text on the card.
There are a lot of different effects but the two big ones are equipment and support characters that come from upgrade cards.
Upgrade cards are either attachments to character cards that add dice and special abilities to that character or support characters that work much like your hero characters and have their own dice pool.
Activate a Character
Similar to Magic: The Gathering, when you activate the character, you’ll turn it sideways (tap) to indicate that it’s been used this round. Then you’ll be able to roll all of the dice associated with that character.
The dice then go in front of the character card and can be used on subsequent rounds.
Now that you’ve rolled your dice, it’s time to actually use them.
Each die is completely customized to the character or equipment. They’re color-coded as well to indicate which characters can use them.
Each result of the dice can have multiple effects indicated by different symbols. Just to give you an idea of some of the dice effects you’ll encounter they can:
- Remove resources from your opponent or gain resources for yourself
- Add cards from your discard pile back into your desk
- Damage enemy characters using ranged or melee attacks
- Give shields to characters to prevent damage
- Force characters to discard cards
- Change or reroll some dice
As you can see, it’s all about the dice. Despite the inherent randomness of the dice, there are a lot of options and strategy to deal with your opponents.
Discard a Card to Re-roll
Don’t like your dice roll? Discard a card from your hand and re-roll.
Claim the Battlefield
This is actually one of the most strategic parts of Destiny. When a player claims the battlefield for the first time, they’ll take it from the side of the board and resolve any effects on the battlefield. It’s usually an extremely helpful ability.
Once a player claims the battlefield, that’s the end of the round for them. They’re no longer able to perform any other actions until the round ends.
End of Round
Once all players activate all characters, resolve all dice, and pass, they’re done for the round. The only other way a person ends the round early is when they claim the battlefield.
After the round ends, players draw back up to 5 cards, gain 2 resources, and reset their hero cards upright again.
The player who claimed the battlefield in the last round gets to go first and then the next round begins.
That’s basically it. Just keep on going until someone dies.
Your First Game of Star Wars: Destiny
“Senator, this is your arena. I feel I must return to mine. I have decided to go back to Naboo.” –Padmé Amidala, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
It seems to be a common occurrence that players are a little underwhelmed after their first game. The usual thing I hear after the first game is, “Eh, that’s okay… Want to go again?”, and that’s where it gets you.
After that first game, somewhere between rattling around a table full of dice and your stormtroopers making their first hit of the game, something clicks.
The game is fun. As much as I wanted to hate it initially, I found it growing on me… like a tumor. From the moment I heard it was a collectible system that requires separate boosters, I got a nasty feeling about the game. Even seeing that the boosters were only about $3 apiece, it only alleviated that feeling a little bit.
However, after my second game, I was starting to feel a disturbance in the Force. My heart of stone was beginning to crumble and I was starting to really enjoy myself. I have no idea what it is, but there’s something about the duels and dice of this game that is legitimately fun.
So before you fall down the rabbit hole that is Star Wars: Destiny, I highly suggest playing a few games before you pass judgment. I judged too soon and almost missed out on it.
Pros & Cons
“So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.” —Padmé Amidala
- Perfect for dice lovers
- Cheap initial investment to play
- 2 players
- Collectible booster packs
Let’s hit the elephant in the room. This is a collectible game. There are the implied continual purchases to keep the game fresh. Along with the collectible aspect of the game come the usual pros and cons. I won’t get into all of them because you probably already have your own opinions (and I’ve already voiced mine numerous times throughout this article).
Let’s look at what you’re actually collecting first: cards and dice. The cards are nicely done and they really did do a great job with mixing Star Wars characters from every single era, so your favorites are guaranteed to be around. That’s definitely a plus.
The dice are cool. If you start to collect, you’ll quickly find yourself with a massive pile of dice. They’re really cool looking though, so that’s a plus. They are custom dice, however, so you won’t be able to use them for any other games.
I like booster games. Despite my aversion to them, I do think they’re cool despite flashbacks from my childhood when I spent a lot of money on Mage Knight figures and Magic: The Gathering cards. It’s not necessarily something I want to get into again at this point in my life, but the starter set alone is still a pretty decent standalone game.
Star Wars: Destiny is a collectible dice/card game in which players duel each other with Star Wars characters.
Destiny is a very easy-to-learn, 2-player dueling game that can be learned or taught in about 15 minutes.
It uses a collectible system that requires players to buy randomized booster packs to obtain newer cards. The game is fully playable with one starter set.
“Show me again the power of the darkness, and I’ll let nothing stand in our way.” –Kylo Ren, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
When I first saw Star Wars: Destiny, I took one look at the components and thought it looked really cool. Then I realized that it used a collectible booster pack system and I instantly hated it.
I kept reading into it and tried a game. Then I really wanted to keep hating it, but I didn’t.
My initial impression was “Cool! Another Star Wars game!” but I judged it as another cash grab. Slap a game together, sprinkle on some Star Wars theme, and call it collectible: BOOM! Send it to market.
I’ll admit I was wrong.
The dice are actually cool, all of the cards have great artwork, and the game is legit fun.
You also can’t call something you can buy for $3 a cash grab.
So there it is. I still wanted to hate it. There’s something about the game that irritates me, but it ended up winning me over.
Have you tried Star Wars: Destiny? Did any of you feel the same way I did?
I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.