The Good: Good images, Exceptional collectability
The Bad: Script-like nature of game, Rarity issues with foils, Collation issues
The Basics: Endor is a Star Wars CCG release that was put together in a sloppy fashion, leaving collectors and players underwhelmed.
Back when I was reviewing for the other site, I was known as a pretty harsh grader. But for a long time, even though I wrote at length about the importance of having standards and not simply liking everything that came down the pike, it took a long time before my negative ratings (below the median) outweighed my positive ratings (five and above on my current ten-point scale). I am nowhere near there now, but on that site, it was with my review of the Endor CCG set that I finally had more below average products I had reviewed, which, I think, highlighted the sterling products better. But, the panning for the “Endor” card set is actually worth it. This is a set I would recommend collectors try to find from a dealer as opposed to trying desperately to collect these cards from the boxes.
Endor was only the fourth Star Wars CCG release that appeared only in limited, black border form. Unfortunately, it was produced in a remarkably sloppy fashion with terrible collation, which made it exceptionally difficult to collect a master set. Collectors found it a pain to collect, players found it underwhelming to play; the only people who did well with it were investors who assembled master sets inexpensively and then sold high. Endor negates the "role playing" aspect of CCGs and replaces it with a “script like” game. By that, very specific cards tended to be required to get out of certain situations and as a result, the game stopped being a creative play within the Star Wars universe and more of a recreation of the movies as players played cards back and forth. As one who no longer plays the game, the gameplay of this game matters a lot less to me than to most, but I almost never see players playing with Endor cards because they were so specific and unimpressive.
The Star Wars Customizable Card Game “Endor” set was the seventh Star Wars expansion set and it continued the presentation of the third (or sixth, depending on one's perspective!) Star Wars film in the card game form. The "Endor” set is a 198 card set focusing on characters, ships, alien races and scenarios presented in Return Of The Jedi, mostly the latter portion set on Endor. This set is centered on the events on Endor where Leia, Han, Chewbacca and C-3P0 find themselves in the company of the Ewoks trying to disable the shield generator on the Endor forest moon. The set consists of 90 Light Side and 90 Dark Side cards which form sets of 50 common cards, 50 uncommon cards, 80 rare cards and 18 rare foil cards, with the most popular characters and vehicles being given rare status and the background supernumeraries filling out the more common cards. This is the first CCG set to feature speeder bikes and Ewoks and it offers new versions of many of the primary heroes.
The 180 card set features 57 Characters (Droids, Rebels, Imperials and Aliens who make up the primary characters for playing with, like General Solo and Biker Scout Troopers), 27 Effects (Changes to the situations which allow for movement during the game, like coming up with a Battle Plan or going on a Search And Destroy mission), 3 Epic Events (cards which illustrate very long-term effects and missions for the game conditions, like the double-sided Endor Operations/Imperial Outpost or the mission to Deactivate The Shield Generator), 45 Interrupts (immediate changes to gaming conditions which may be played even by the player on the defensive, like a Sneak Attack or a Surprise Counter Assault), 4 system locations (star systems which form the “board” of the game, like Endor or Carida), 18 Site locations (places on Endor for characters to move around at, like the Bunker or Ewok Village), 3 Ships (cards for vehicles for interplanetary travel, like the shuttle Tydirium or a Lambda-class Shuttle), 11 Vehicle (cards representing planet-bound transport, like Chewie's AT-ST or a Speeder Bike) and 10 Weapon cards (which feature equipment used to kill characters or destroy ships, like a Speeder Bike Cannon or Chewbacca's Bowcaster) . This set, unlike Return Of The Jedi is evenly split between the Empire and the Rebellion, though this is a set that truly beefs up the Rebellion and the Light Side, giving the good guy players a real chance to annoy the villain players with ways to overcome their more powerful artillery.
The booster pack box comes with forty packs of nine cards.
At its most basic level, this is a board game where one constructs the board and pieces out of a selection of cards. The starting purpose of the game is to drain your opponent of Force without depleting your own Force and to survive the trip around the Star Wars Universe with whatever your player throws at you. The basic idea is to assemble a sixty card deck (for beginners), lay out the board (spaceline) and play against an opponent. In laying out the board, players get the power from the Force they need to play other cards.
Locations form the board for the game and almost all of them have an indicator which puts into play Light Side and Dark Side Force points, which the player may then tap into to “buy” characters, ships, weapons and tactical cards to thwart their opponent. Events represent the obstacles that opponents can use to make the game more than just a basic search and kill game. The rulebook clearly defines what each deck must possess in terms of numbers of the card types. But basically, one starts by laying out a board, assembling a starship and its crew and traveling along the planets and through space to either crush the Empire or put down the Rebellion.
This is a very complex customizable card game, but it represents a level of gaming sophistication designed to appeal to younger adults and actually challenge them, which is a decent idea given the thematic complexity of the Star Wars universe. The problem, of course, is that most people who would be most stimulated by this game do not have the time or effort/interest to learn to play it. As a result, the late-teens that basically run the CCG players world seem to have had mixed impressions about this game.
Unfortunately, many of the cards in Endor require specific opposing cards to progress with the game. As a result, it is quite possible for an opponent to stop a player with a card and if they do not have one of the specific cards needed to remedy that card in their hand, they cannot progress with the game. I found this to be an additional detraction to playing the game.
There is no rulebook in this set of cards. Instead, one has to get a revised rulebook from the Special Edition set (reviewed here!). In this set, there are no new card types nor rule changes.
Players, collectors and fans of Star Wars will appreciate the image quality of the situations from Return Of The Jedi in “Endor,” especially because this gives the Light Side players a fighting chance to win. It does this through a powerful collection of remakes of primary Light Side Rebel characters, like Chewbacca Of Kashyyyk, a new Leia card (Daughter Of Skywalker), General Solo, and Threepio, alongside powerful leaders like Mon Mothma and annoying Ewoks like Wicket and Paploo.
For a highlight, though, I still turn toward the Dark Side and Tempest 1. So, I'm a sucker for AT-ATs, sue me! Tempest 1 comes into play for 6 Force, but it has a 1 on all of its weapon destiny draws and that encourages one to bulk it up with firepower. With an armor of 7 and a power of 6, this becomes a decent way to protect up to 9 armed character cards.
The Endor set had terrible collectability. Because it was only released in one, “Endor” remains one of the hardest sets to find. However, the boxes and packs of the cards had absolutely terrible collation. The foil cards are exceptionally hard to find and some boxes did not even have any (there were supposed to be 4 – 5 in each box). As well, the Ultra Rares were about one per case, which meant that it usually took two cases just to get all of the foils! As an investor set, it was great, as fans quickly became tired of trying to assemble their own sets and dumped boxes of these hoping dealers would buy them up and make the sets themselves. And dealers did, but they ended up with a lot of crap and few full sets.
The cards come in packs of 9 cards that feature one rare, three uncommon and five common cards. While packs were traditionally split 4/5 between Light and Dark Side cards, Endor tended to have runs of cards in order (Commons and Uncommons in name order alphabetically) and they were lopsided. Several of the packs I opened had all Light or all Dark side cards). As a result, even with a box of forty packs it is unlikely a collector will be able to assemble even a single common set, much less an uncommon set. A full master set takes two boxes with ideal collation (not counting the foils). To get the last two foil cards, most collectors had to buy multiple cases.
“Endor” cards were found in packs as well as packs of Reflections II and II, which is another reason they have retained their high value on the secondary market.
The "Endor" CCG is a set I loathe because it was hard to assemble as a fan and the incentives (the foil cards) were not unique, merely reprints of cards from within the set. This all made for a pretty lackluster set which was more valuable than it was playable. And its value has sunk in recent years, making it just a pain-in-the-butt set in many ways!
This set culls material from Return Of The Jedi, which is reviewed here!
This set was preceded by “Jabba’s Palace” (reviewed here!) and followed by the Star Wars CCG expansion "Death Star II," reviewed here!.
Endor is a set of gaming cards I proudly sell in my online store! Check out my current inventory by clicking here!
For other card reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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