Sunday, 19 July 2015

In Which Three Dudes Play Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

It’s a Star Wars event that’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally happened. On Saturday 18th July something occurred that would change everything, an incident so rare and explosive that nothing in the history of Star Wars fandom could compare. The galaxy would tremble.

Me, Mark and James met up to play the Fantasy Flight Games Edge of the Empire Roleplaying Game.

Now, before you pass out from the shock and excitement and start posting reaction videos on Youtube, let me assure you that this will happen again at some time in the future so don’t worry, you will get the chance to experience it all over again.

I don’t get to game with James and Mark often. In fact, it’s a rare event as it’s a pain to get all three of us together. James Semple, composer and avid tabletop gamer, and Mark Newbold, Fantha Tracks editor and Star Wars aficionado, and myself got together in possibly the best place you could wish to play a Star Wars roleplaying game – Mark’s room dedicated to his collection known as Echo Base. He had it built especially to house his collection and it’s awesome on so many levels it’s hard to describe.

And this is just a part of it...
The edition was Fantasy Flight Games’ Edge of the Empire, and James was running it for our two characters Moss the smuggler (played by Mark) and Ajanar the mercenary (played by me). Moss was the prisoner being bought to a prison facility and I was one of the guards watching over the place.

After a brief altercation with some other guards who were trying to kill him, under orders from the prison governor, I step in and help him out – of course, I didn’t fully trust him and kept my gun to bear (which is where Mark’s incredible collection comes into play for props).

One thing led to another and we destroyed the command station and stole a ship. Yeah, not exactly the plan but hey – this is Star Wars.

It was a great game. James was as new to the system as we were – it’s been a long time since I played and reviewed it when the original beta rules came out – so there was some stalling on getting the dice and interpretations right but other than the odd moment the game flowed really well. Over a roughly five hour playing period we got at least three encounters in and decent starship chase scene, so the system didn’t really slow us down and it gave great scope for some dramatic moments. James’ game was well designed and was very enjoyable, with the typical Star Wars moments of melodrama and high action, and we felt like heroes which I do feel is the driving core behind the original trilogy nature of Star Wars, which Edge of the Empire, and the follow-up core books, is all about.

There were some downer moments, as you can expect in any roleplaying game, and there were some great high-five moments when the dice came up trumps. We played the characters to the hilt and blasted our way through the game, enjoying the roleplaying aspects just as much as the action.

They’re good rules and played well, so I can recommend the game just as much as when I originally reviewed it, but there was an extra element to this session – we were surrounded by one of the greatest Star Wars collections in existence, we were all hardcore Star Wars fans, all three of us are driven by imaginations that keep us awake at night and we were all singing from the same sheet. Mix that with spontaneous creativity and a fun rules system and you’ve got a potentially explosive situation that will be long remembered.

A great game with a fun system and some amazing friends. This is why I love my hobby.