Friday, December 2, 2011

Recycling Gets A Great New Twist: Star Wars Reflections II Cards Rule The Game!

The Good: Great new premium cards, Foil card set value, Good mix of recycled cards, Collectible value!
The Bad: Still a lot of recycled product.
The Basics: A very cool set for collectors, players and investors alike, "Reflections II" truly did flesh out the best of the Star Wars CCG with great new concept cards.

When Decipher was reorganizing, it had to come up with some new ideas to retain the client base while it developed new products. After they tried to unload their overstock with "Reflections" (reviewed here!), they discovered two things. First, they still had more overstock and second that the "Reflections" idea was not a bad one, but that it was missing something to bring more collectors back to the fold. What is was missing was original cards, unique to the set and they decided to take a stab in the dark and try again with their winning formula with "Reflections II." "Reflections II" did exactly what Decipher hoped in terms of getting back a wilting customer base and re-energizing the Star Wars CCG. Because so much of the Star Wars universe had already been mined by Decipher for the game, they took a creative approach with "Reflections II." Subtitling it "Expanding The Galaxy," "Reflections II" offered cards based on concept characters or other works, like the multimedia project Shadows Of The Empire. To satisfy collectors, there were new concept characters and ships, to thrill players there were cards that offered two playable options on a single card and for Decipher, they loaded the packs up with cards from previous sets to get rid of overstock. And, in truth, this is a set where everyone won!

"Reflections II,” as a set, is split between the all-foil reprint set and the premium card set. This is intended for collectors, players and investors and it lives up to the expectations of all three, at least with the premium set.

Basics/Set Composition

The Star Wars Customizable Card Game “Reflections II” set was one of the last Star Wars expansion sets and it both reprinted the most popular cards from the first eight years of Decipher’s Star Wars and added new cards to the game. It also unloaded loads of Decipher's overstock. The "Reflections II” foil set is a 105 card set focusing on characters, ships, alien races and scenarios that were most powerful in the game and as a result is one of the most popular sets in terms of content. This is a foil set without the loser cards that act as filler. The entire foil set is reprinted rare cards, which means that they are the hardest to find and most sought after cards from the earliest sets. Thus, this set includes characters like Leia, Han, Chewbacca and C-3P0, as well as ships like the Death Star II and the Millennium Falcon. The set consists of 52 Light Side and 53 Dark Side cards which form sets of 105 foil cards.

The real meat of this set, though, is in the 54 premium cards inserted two per pack in "Reflections II." The set consists of 27 Light Side and 27 Dark Side cards which are exclusive to the "Reflections II" packs. The 54 card set features 2 Admirals Orders (ship-based goals, in this case the Black Sun Fleet and No Questions Asked), 19 Characters (Droids, Rebels, Imperials and Aliens who make up the primary characters for playing with, like Prince Xizor or Dash Rendar), 2 Devices (cards that represent equipment, like Obi-Wan's Journal and Mercenary Armor), 3 Effects (Changes to the situations which allow for movement during the game, like the double Effect Sunsdown & Too Cold For Speeders, which pretty much cripples Rebel vehicles), 2 Epic Events (cards which illustrate very long-term effects and missions for the game conditions, like the double-sided Watch Your Step/This Place Can Be A Little Rough), 21 Interrupts (immediate changes to gaming conditions which may be played even by the player on the defensive, like Alter & Friendly Fire), and 4 Ships (cards for vehicles for interplanetary travel, like the Outrider and Virago). This set is evenly split between the Empire and the Rebellion, though this is a set that truly beefs up the underworld and gives players the chance to take on more clandestine missions.

Rather smartly, this set focuses on characters, ships and weapons with more gameplay cards filling out the set as the more common foil cards. As a result, fans often use Reflections II foil cards to get the rare characters that might be too expensive for them in the initial run. This can be an affordable way to get Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader cards as the foils sell frequently for less than the original black border versions of the same cards. They also tend to like the alternate versions of main characters offered in the premium assortment.

The booster pack box comes with twenty-four packs of eighteen cards. The packs are filled out with single cards from:
A New Hope
Cloud City
Special Edition
Jabba’s Palace
Death Star II
Tatooine in addition to the one foil reprint card and two premium cards in each pack.


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 Reflections II 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. As well, "Reflections II" is not playable right out of the pack because of it lack of location cards in the premium cards.

Rules/Rule Changes

There is no rulebook in this set of cards. Instead, one has to get a revised rulebook from the Special Edition set (link above). In this set, there are no new card types nor rule changes. There are also Admiral's Order cards which were introduced in "Death Star II" and cards which have multiple functions and effects. Rather nicely, the dual-title cards tell players exactly how to use them and what their effects are.


Players, collectors and fans of Star Wars will appreciate the image quality of most of the foils, as well the concentration of valuable characters in the set. This is a set that offers fans a captured Han Solo, a new Luke Skywalker and the Emperor.

For a highlight I have to go with Prince Xizor. The Shadows Of The Empire villain is created for the game using a very cool CG artwork that makes him look like he fits perfectly in the Star Wars universe. As well, this card of the reptilian gangster has a comparatively low cost of 4 which is great when one considers he has 5 power, 3 ability and is Force-attuned. As well, he adds 2 power to any ship or vehicle he pilots! Also, he makes a great substitute for Vader as he is immune to attrition when Vader is not in play!


The Reflections II foil set had terrible collectability. The boxes and packs of the cards had absolutely terrible collation with the Ultra Rare Foils being virtually impossible to find, even within a case! 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. Conversely, the Reflections II premium card set was a great investment and has easy collation. Usually, any two boxes would net the complete 54 card premium set.

The cards come in packs of 18 cards that feature one foil card, two premiums and a crapshoot of rares, uncommon, common and fixed deck cards. There is no rhyme or reason to the boxes and this became a great way for Decipher to unload its merchandise without regard to the fans. A full master set usually takes two cases, because of the Ultra Rare Foils.


The "Reflections II" CCG was a set of gaming cards that Decipher got right. They realized they could sell the same old stuff, but they had to offer something new and between the value of the foil cards and the awesome playability and collectibility of the premium cards, "Reflections II" has almost enough to excuse the recycled content. Almost.

This set culls material from the original Star Wars Saga, which is reviewed here!

This set was preceded by "Tatooine" (link above) and followed by the Star Wars CCG expansion "Coruscant," reviewed here.

This 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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