Saturday, October 22, 2011

Even With Only Twelve Unique Cards, The Enhanced Jabba's Palace Is Worth Hunting Down!

The Good: Easy-to-play, Collectible value, Images, Concepts
The Bad: Still has a load of recycled cards!
The Basics: A decent expansion set, Enhanced Jabba's Palace offers players ship and character combinations that truly enhance gameplay.

As Decipher tried to revitalize its Star Wars CCG line, they became more creative with what they were selling to collectors. Instead of making full sets of gaming cards, Decipher tried to find new and different ways to recycle the products they had the most of. One of the last successful attempts at this for Decipher was with the Enhanced Jabba's Palace collection. Enhanced Jabba's Palace was part of their "deluxe draft deck" scheme and while many people did not like it at the time, the unique aspects of Enhanced Jabba's Palace have remained popular to this day.

To be sure, Enhanced Jabba's Palace is not just "Jabba's Palace" (reviewed here!): it includes packs from that set, but was essentially the twelve unique cards found in one of four Deluxe Draft Packs.

Basics/Set Composition

The Star Wars Customizable Card Game Enhanced Jabba's Palace set was not a true expansion and was the third of the "Enhanced" sets Decipher did. The Enhanced "Jabba's Palace" set is a 12 card set focusing on characters, ships, weapons and scenarios presented in Return Of The Jedi, as well as concepts implied in the criminal elements of the Star Wars universe. This set is centered on the events on Jabba's Palace where Leia, Lando, R2-D2, Chewbacca and C-3P0 find themselves attempting to rescue Han Solo and needing Luke Skywalker to come and rescue them all. The set consists of 4 Light Side and 8 Dark Side cards which are all premium cards.

The 12 card set features 7 Characters (Droids, Rebels and Aliens who make up the primary characters for playing with, like See-Threepio and Mara Jade, The Emperor's Hand), 2 Epic Effects (Changes to the situations which allow for movement during the game, like Luke Skywalker warning Jabba "You Can Either Profit By This / Or Be Destroyed"), 2 Ship (cards representing space transport, like IG-88 In IG-2000) and 1 Weapon cards (which feature equipment used to kill characters, like Mara Jade's Lightsaber). This set is heavily balanced to the Dark Side and finally offers a new, powerful Dark Jedi character for players to play with.

The deluxe draft pack comes with four packs of Jabba's Palace cards and one special packet of three of the exclusive enhanced cards. Thus, in order to collect the full set, one has to buy four draft boxes to get all of the exclusive 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.

The twelve cards in Enhanced Jabba's Palace are not enough to actually play the game with, though they may enhance one's game quite nicely.

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 (reviewed here!). In this set, there are no new card types or rules.


Players, collectors and fans of Star Wars will appreciate the image quality of the situations from Return Of The Jedi and the expanded Star Wars universe in Jabba's Palace, especially because this fleshes out the aliens in the Star Wars universe very well and adds a lot of menace to the Light Side player's experience. Most fans geeked out over the appearance of Mara Jade in gaming card form and even Jodo Kast, but for my money, they are not the best cards in the Enhanced Jabba's Palace selection.

For a highlight, I go with Boushh. Boushh is Princess Leia's bounty hunter persona and she is one of the most powerful Leia's one may play. With an armor of 4 this Leia is harder to kill and Boushh actually undercover on Tatooine or Coruscant for only 4 Force points. The picture is cool (I never noticed the tauntaun heads on the walls in the background of Jabba's Palace before now!). As a result, this is a cool card for both players and collector/fans!


The Enhanced Jabba's Palace set has good collectability. Because it was only released in one printing (though later some of the cards were made into Reflections foils), the Enhanced Jabba's Palace set is one of the sets which was rare enough to retain its value, so most collectors are likely to be pleased with it.


Despite the fact that to get the exclusive cards, one is saddled with extra packs of "Jabba's Palace" cards, the Enhanced Jabba's Palace cards are a surprisingly good investment and fun to play with.

This set culls material from Return Of The Jedi, which is reviewed here!

This set was preceded by Death Star II (reviewed here!) and followed by the Star Wars CCG expansion "Tatooine," reviewed 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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