Thursday , May 23 2024

Board Game Review: ‘Star Wars Outer Rim’

First announced back in February, Star WarsOuter Rim offers two to four players the opportunity to step into the shoes of the smugglers, bounty hunters, and other denizens of the Star Wars galaxy who live at the fringes of the empire and on the edge of the law.

The Outer Rim

The design of the board captures the distance between the Outer Rim planets, featuring well known locations from the franchise, like Takodana, Lothal, Tatooine and Naboo. The unique arc also allows for the cards to be stored within the diameter, reducing the overall draw on table space.

Players can take up the role of one of 8 characters as they begin their adventure: Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett, Bossk, Jyn Erso, Doctor Aphra, IG-88 or Ketsu Onyo. Each character has a personal goal to achieve, but the majority of the action will be driven by the Jobs, Bounties and other Encounters players will pick up as they travel from planet to planet.

Bossk stares down a Rebel Y-Wing as he fuels up on Cantonica.

Scattered amongst the planets are a number of face down Contacts. Activating these Contacts will flip them over, revealing well known characters from the Star Wars universe. Each character has their own encounter, dictated by a deck of cards which relays the instructions to the players. In addition, many of these Contacts can be hired on as crew to help the players along their journey.

By far, one of the most interesting mechanics in the game is the Bounty mechanic. There are bounty cards available for a high percentage of the Contacts in the game. If a player holds a specific Bounty card when they encounter that Contact, they can forgo the card and instead fight a battle. If they win, they detain the subject and may collect the reward on the Bounty card (here, players may either ‘eliminate’ the Contact and collect a smaller reward instantly, or they may ‘capture’ the Contact, holding onto them until they are delivered to a specific destination, where the player receives a much higher benefit).

Because of the Bounty mechanic, certain Contacts can be eliminated from the game, and thus their Encounters may never be used. This makes each play a little bit different. In addition, if the Contact is working as Crew for an opponent, you can attack and board their ship to arrest the Wanted Crew (assuming your opponent doesn’t put up much of a fight)!

Bossk scores many hits against the Black Sun Agent, successfully detaining him.

Although the first player to reach 10 fame wins the game, there are many routes to victory. Players may gain fame by: collecting certain bounties, performing certain jobs (such as providing security for a VIP or robbing a casino, all driven by a deck of story cards), completing their personal goals, upgrading their ship, delivering certain (and usually illegal) goods to specific destinations…and more!

Star Wars Outer Rim offers a large sandbox experience. All cards and ships are available to all players. It’s perfectly possible that Lando Calrissian will acquire and hold onto the Millenium Falcon. Bossk might end up with Boba Fett’s Slave I, or Jyn Erso might become the pilot of the Moldy Crow. Anyone can take up bounty hunting, or smuggling, or jobs (whether criminal or legit)…it’s entirely up to the players. And frankly…it is awesome.

Star Wars Outer Rim is slated for release late in Q2 2019.

Fantasy Flight Site: Star Wars Outer Rim
BoardGameGeek Site: Star Wars Outer Rim

Start of the game for Jyn Erso

About Eric Engstrom

Eric Engstrom is an avid board game lover and general tabletop enthusiast. He is also the owner and operator of Grey Dolphin Games, which focuses on supporting game designers and publishers.

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