Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Worst Of A Mediocre Idea: Star Wars CCG "Reflections" Disappoints.

The Good: Very valuable
The Bad: Hard to assemble, Nothing original, A lot of extra waste, Expensive.
The Basics: A decent concept - recycling old cards with new ones - is brought down with Star Wars Reflections because the new cards are truly not new at all.

Decipher, the gaming card company, was brilliant at repackaging the same old crap to make it appear new. One almost has to envy the veracity with which they pursued selling their products, despite the fact that the company was left in a position where they could no longer make new products. While some of the repackaged products were just shameless, problematic releases, "Reflections" at least made a passing attempt at value by creating eighteen card packs, each one containing a foil reprint card. This, at least, offered collectors the appearance of something new.

Unfortunately, the first "Reflections" product was pathetic in that it did not include any unique cards. Instead, the packs included seventeen cards from the earliest sets and a card from the early sets that was reprinted as a foil card. The benefit was not overwhelming and this was very much a collector's set, as well as a cunning attempt on the part of Decipher to unload their old crap.

"Reflections" as a set, was an all-foil set with oversized boxtopper cards which were annoying to fans. This is a set mostly intended for collectors, not players and there is nothing new to entice players or discriminating fans to this product.

Basics/Set Composition

The Star Wars Customizable Card Game "Reflections" set was the eighth Star Wars® expansion set and it simply reprinted the most popular cards from the first five years of Decipher's Star Wars® run while unloading loads of their overstock. The "Reflections" set is a 104 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 too often. The entire 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 and Millennium Falcon. The set consists of 52 Light Side and 52 Dark Side cards which form sets of 100 foil cards with four gaming aids.

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 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.

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
and Jabba's Palace
There are no original cards in this set.


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 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.

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.


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 Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and even a decent Princess Leia card.

For a highlight I have to go with Darth Vader. The reprint of the Premiere Darth Vader gives players a powerful Dark Jedi (Sith) who is surprisingly affordable to bring into play. For only six Force tapped, one may bring into play arguably the most powerful card for the Dark Side and level virtually all of your opponents. The picture looks good and with his bonuses to power and maneuvering of vehicles, he is a powerful asset. His immunity to attrition of less than five also makes him worth holding onto. He's the one to search for, even in the foil form!


The Reflections set had terrible collectibility. 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.

The cards come in packs of 18 cards that feature one foil card 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" CCG is a set I loathe because it was hard to assemble as a fan and the foil incentives did not actually provide anything new for fans. Loyal fans deserve more and it would take until Reflections 2 before they got it.

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

This set was preceded by "Jabba's Palace" (link above) and followed by the Star Wars CCG expansion "Endor," reviewed here!

This is a set of gaming cards I sell in my online store.  For my current inventory, please click here!


For other card reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment