23 September 2016 | Star Wars: Destiny

Combat Training

An Example of Gameplay in Star Wars: Destiny

“Luke! You must complete the training.”
–Yoda, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

From the swamps and soaring architecture of Naboo to the forests of Endor and the desert sands of Jakku, the Star Wars saga has invited you to experience a fully-formed universe, brimming with life and adventure. Throughout this saga, you’ve encountered noble and roguish heroes as well as undeniably daunting and infamous villains. Now, with Star Wars™: Destiny, you have the chance to play out any battle you can imagine, using your favorite heroes or villains from across the entire series!

In our last two previews, we took the time to explore the different actions you can take in a game of Star Wars: Destiny, looking at both the dice and the cards that you’ll use to battle your opponent and claim victory. Today, we pull all of that information together to give an example of the deep strategy that lies behind the game’s elegant rules.

First Shots

As we’ve explored in previous articles, every round of Star Wars: Destiny is a fast-paced, back-and-forth struggle to defeat your opponent’s team. Each turn consists of a single action—and then your opponent has the chance to respond with another action. Just like in a blaster fight or a lightsaber duel, timing your strikes and your actions is essential to claiming victory. 

As an example of gameplay in Star Wars: Destiny, let’s take a look at a game between two players just after they've opened up their starter sets. Tim is playing as the elite version of Rey (Awakenings, 38) and a normal version of Finn (Awakenings, 45)—their character cards and dice are currently set out in front of him. Rey’s ability will allow Tim to move faster, taking an additional action whenever he plays an upgrade on Rey. Finn, on the other hand, can receive any weapon upgrade, regardless of restrictions. Tim also won the roll-off at the beginning of the game and chose to use his own battlefield, the Starship Graveyard (Awakenings, 174), which will hopefully allow Tim to recycle his upgrades and support cards.

Tim’s opponent, Kate, has a team consisting of the elite version of Kylo Ren (Awakenings, 11) and a First Order Stormtrooper (Awakenings, 2). Kylo Ren has a special ability that allows Kate to look at a random card in her opponent’s hand and deal damage to a character equal to that card’s cost. The First Order Stormtrooper, meanwhile, has no special abilities, but can be very useful for dealing more damage quickly. In addition, because Kate’s battlefield wasn’t chosen during setup, she received two shields and placed both of them on Kylo Ren. 

At this point, lightsabers are ignited, blasters are drawn, and the battle can begin! Because Tim controls the battlefield, he takes the first turn. Tim decides to start with an early offensive, so he activates Finn, turning him sideways and rolling Finn’s character die into his dice pool. Tim rolls one ranged damage, and he’ll be able to spend that die on a future turn by spending an action. For now, however, it’s Kate’s turn.

Kate sees that Tim is trying to make an early push for damage, and she decides to weather the storm before striking back herself. With that in mind, Kate takes an action to play a card from her hand: Take Cover (Awakenings, 157). This card allows her to give a single shield to any character, and it can be played for free! Kate gives the shield to the First Order Stormtrooper, because Kylo Ren already has two shields. Because Take Cover is an event card, it takes effect and is discarded—leading to Tim’s next turn.

Tim now needs to carefully consider his next move. He has only two resources at this point, and although he could roll more resources, he wants to deal damage early, and he’s willing to discard cards to make it happen. There are two cards in his hand that he could play—the first card is Jedi Robes (Awakenings, 40). This upgrade won’t help his offensive potential, but it will give one of his characters some shields, and give him access to some focus symbols. Focus symbols allow you to change your dice to any faces you want, which can be crucial for getting the results you need. On the other hand, Tim could also save his resources to play Daring Escape (Awakenings, 126) at a later time. This event would allow him to reroll any number of Kate’s dice and remove any dice that show a blank.

Tim thinks about his strategy and decides that saving resources for Daring Escape is a more defensive move, while Jedi Robes will hopefully allow him to push some extra damage through to Kate’s characters. With that in mind, Tim plays the Jedi Robes upgrade onto Rey, paying two resources, placing the Jedi Robes die on the card, and giving two shields to Rey, per the ability on Jedi Robes. Ordinarily, this would be the end of Tim’s turn, but Rey’s special ability reads, “After you play an upgrade on this character, you may take one additional action.” Tim takes another action to press his attack, activating Rey and rolling her three dice—two character dice and the single die from Jedi Robes. Tim rolls a blank, a plus two melee damage, and a resource. That’s not quite the high-damage roll that Tim was hoping for, but he may be able to change it on a future turn.

Kate is glad to see there wasn’t much damage in Tim’s roll, and she decides to begin laying the groundwork for her own attacks. She activates the First Order Stormtrooper and rolls its die—getting two ranged damage, so long as she pays a single resource to use the die. Kate will have to think about whether paying a resource is worth the extra damage, but for now, it’s Tim’s turn again.

Tim decides to start his initial attack by spending Finn’s ranged damage. He takes an action and deals one ranged damage to the First Order Stormtrooper, which is absorbed by the shield that character gained from Take Cover. Then, Tim removes Finn’s die from his dice pool, placing it back on Finn’s card. 

On her turn, Kate decides that dealing some extra damage is worth spending one of her resources. After all, she only needs a single resource for the trick she has up her sleeve to avoid most of Tim’s damage! Kate spends one resource to resolve the ranged damage on the First Order Stormtrooper’s die, dealing two damage to Finn. As we mentioned in a previous article, each character’s health is shown in the card’s upper right-hand corner—if Finn takes eight more damage, he’ll be defeated.

Tim decides it’s time to reroll some of his dice, and as his action on his turn, he discards Force Throw (Awakenings, 57), which he wouldn’t be able to play for several rounds anyways. He chooses to reroll the dice showing the blank and the resource symbols, and he rolls one melee damage and a disrupt instead. 

Kate sees that Tim rolled a disrupt, which can remove one of her resources, and knows that she needs to play her event now—if she waits, she might lose her resource and the opportunity. Kate spends her last resource to play Use the Force (Awakenings, 149). To play this event, Kate also needs to spot a Blue character—which means that she needs to have a Blue character currently in play. Kate spots Kylo Ren and chooses to turn Rey’s die showing one melee damage to the blank side, leaving Tim’s bonus melee damage useless. 

Tim thinks about discarding another card to reroll his dice again, but ultimately decides that the cards in his hand are too valuable. Instead, he uses his action to claim the battlefield, resolving its claim ability and returning his Force Throw card back to the top of his deck. By claiming the battlefield, Tim has guaranteed that he will strike first in the next round, but he automatically passes all future actions this round.

Kate now has free rein to do as she pleases, so she spends her next actions activating Kylo Ren and resolving his dice, before she also passes. Once both players have passed consecutively, there’s a short upkeep phase. In this phase, all exhausted cards are readied and any dice left in the dice pool are returned to their cards. Tim and Kate also have the chance to discard any cards in their hands that they don’t want, before drawing back up to five cards and gaining two resources. At that point, the next round is ready to begin!

In You Must Go

With every game, every round, and every turn of Star Wars: Destiny, you’ll have to face the same tense strategic choices. When is the right time to activate your characters? Do you play cards from your hand or save them to reroll dice? When do you claim the battlefield? Should you press your attack or play defensively at first? These answers to these questions and the layers of your strategy will determine your chances for victory.

Pre-order your starter sets for Star Wars: Destiny at your local retailer today!

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