Star Wars: Outer Rim - Villainy Awaits!
Written by Jonnii Small - Aug 24 2020
Bounty hunting, smuggling or wandering about the galaxy sabotaging Imperial strongholds – it’s all here in Star Wars: Outer Rim!
You’ve rebelled as the Rebel Alliance, you’ve dominated as the Empire, now take the role of the outlaws in the Star Wars universe far, far away. Whether you take on the mantle of renowned Bounty Hunters like, Bossk or IG-88, an infamous smuggler like Han Solo or Lando Calrissian, maybe perhaps you will play as recent Rebel Jyn Erso or the notorious Doctor Aphra.
"Putting behind a checkered past by lending her skills to a greater cause, Jyn Erso is impetuous, defiant, and eager to bring the battle to the Empire."
With a whole host of Star Wars characters to play as, you’ll envelop yourself on the fringes of the galaxy, the Outer Rim; a lawless place full of scum and villainy. Here, you must chase bounties, smuggle cargo, perform jobs and find allies all in order to become the most infamous legend that Star Wars has ever known.
Mechanically, Star Wars: Outer Rim relies on a ‘pick-up and deliver system’ where you receive a card before going to a specific planet on the gameboard to solve it. Let’s say this card is a job that you are tasked to perform, you go to the planet named on the card, succeed in the tests that it requires you to before, and then gain the reward listed; this is the crux of the game. However, within that crux, there is a decent decision space the game asks of you. Throughout the game you will gain many jobs, bounties and pieces of cargo that you can deliver to gain credits or fame, therefore providing you with the choice of where to go first. Whilst this could be boiled down to which resolution is closer, other things that may come into play include the skills you possess and the reputation you have.
Skills in Star Wars: Outer Rim act as giving you a higher chance when you perform tests related to those skills. Let’s say you have the piloting skill on your main character, Han Solo, this gives you a slight advantage whenever you perform a piloting check. Now, if you also had an ally with the piloting skill as well, you would have an even larger advantage when perform this skill test. These skill tests resolve almost every scenario that appears in the game, so it pays to gain allies with specific skills required to fulfill your current goals.
Reputation is another mechanic the Star Wars: Outer Rim displays, allowing you to curry favour or disdain with certain factions in the galaxy. Alongside the Rebel Alliance and the Empire, you face down the Hutts and Crime Syndicates too. These factions patrol the Outer Rim and can be your enemies should you fall on their bad side; you may also gain rewards from planets tied to them should they be your friends in the cold universe. Interaction between players can depend on the people around the table; whether they want to destroy other outlaws for their own gains, or whether they want to keep to themselves.
They way the patrols move is tied to the Market that takes centre stage on the game board. Each time someone purchases a new job or equipment, takes on a bounty or gains some cargo to deliver, the card following indicates the space the patrol moves towards said player. It’s a clever system that allows for some randomness of movement and can force you into a ship combat if you’re not prepared for it.
Combat is two-fold; there’s Ground Combat and Space Combat. Whilst they resolve relatively simply (with dice rolls based on a stat your character or their ship has), it can be upgraded through equipment, allies or mods that you gain throughout the game. Combat also comes into play when you go after your bounties, forcing you to defeat them before deciding whether to hand them in ‘warm or cold’ to gain different rewards.
Other rewards that you could gain are goals that you meet; these either relate to your character, or a ship that you happened upon. In either case, you can flip it to find an improved version of what once was (usually an additional effect). In addition to that, you can encounter planets themselves, sometimes gaining advantages through those too. Bear in mind, these aren’t totally random as each planet has associated abilities that it is likely to give you, such as gaining credits or allies.
All in all, if you’ve played games like Xia: Legends of a Drift System, this will be a relatively familiar game space. But with the Star Wars name behind it, this game obviously has additional value to people like me who are completely enamored with the universe (not the sequel trilogy). If you love the brand and want to play a board game where you embody someone on the fringes of the known Star Wars galaxy, this is the ultimate game for you. With a decent chunk of everything Star Wars is known for, alongside some fun encounters, dice throwing and character-building; Outer Rim is an entertaining pastime that the whole universe can enjoy!