Star Wars: Shatterpoint – Amazing New Skirmish Game
We come to you with exciting information! I had an opportunity to play some games of Star Wars: Shatterpoint before the premiere and we want to share my opinion and experience with you.
Firstly, the miniatures look beautiful and the sculpts are very detailed. When painted they allow you to deeply immerse into the conflicts of the Galaxy Far Far Away. Miniatures poses are more dynamic than in Star Wars: Legion and they are quite bigger here (40mm compared to 27mm).
But here we go straight to the review. Game rules are pretty easy to learn which is definitely a plus when compared to Star Wars: Legion or any other wargame.
At the start of the game each player rolls 5 attack dice to determine which player is the first one. After that first player can choose the side of the board he wants to start (choosing any of the 4 sides of 36”x36” battlefield) and placing one of his squads on the field. To do that he places his leader in range two of his board edge, then placing all other models in range 1 of that unit leader. After that his opponent does the same and the cycle is repeated again.
After that we go straight into the action. Players take turns, drawing a card from their order decks and activating corresponding units. Activated unit can perform two actions (choosing from Move, Focus, combat and Taking Cover) and activate its abilities.
The game is highly objective-centered (you need to go for them as it is the only way to get points on the Struggle Tracker) but aggressive type of gameplay is also promoted. As we are here, some words about pointing will be appropriate. In games of Shatterpoint pointing is like tug of war. After each turn a turn player scores points from his objectives, moving Struggle Token toward his side of the board on a special track. To add spice to this process, every time you injure one of the enemy units you get a momentum token, which shortens your side of the track. This is a reason why aggressive gameplay is promoted – you can shorten your track quickly and in consequence you need less points to win a game. This isn’t the only way you can get momentum. Each time a Struggle token is moved at the end of your turn and it is still not on your side, you will also get a momentum; if it ends on 0, both players will get momentum. It’s important and allows “weaker” players to bounce back into action.
After a Struggle token is pulled into one of the ends of the track, the game is still not finished. Player who wins a struggle gets one point and then the second part of the struggle begins (changing positions of objectives due to special Struggle Cards). The game continues until one of the players scores 2 “big” points.
I told you about pointing, so now I want to put some attention on combat. Combat is pretty dynamic due to Stance cards. Atomic Mass Games makes mechanics that I have not seen anywhere before. The game operates with a special set of dice. Attack dice are 8-sided and have 4 different types of results – Critical Hits (cannot be prevented by Block Results), Hits, Expertise (which can add Critical and Normal results as well as Direct Damage (!!)) and Blanks. Defense dice are 6-sided and have 3 different types of results – Blocks, Expertise (which can be converted into Blocks, Moves and other effects (as well as affecting your opponents dice)) and Blank results. After all results are considered all remaining damage is converted into “steps” on Combat Tree. On CT you start on orange square and go one square to right for each damage you have, then you sum up damage and other effects (including statuses, moves, healing, pushes or even activating your unit abilities).
In sum, all of these solutions provide us with a dynamic gameplay. You need to move, claim objectives, attack (one of the most interesting mechanics for me) and coordinate your units as well as you can (comboing their abilities and finding synergies).
In my opinion it is one of the most important premieres this year that will change the wargaming scene and have a potential to be one of the most recognizable games ever. As a secret news we can tell you that over the months after premiere we will get many expansions that will make a great diversity in list building.
P.S. You cannot field Anakin and Vader in one Strike Team, believe us 😉