Star Wars Destiny boosters and starters

Essen Spiel – Day 1 Highlights

So it is already 10pm here whilst I am typing this up so this will just be a brief recount of some of the games that we got to see. We will be doing some more in depth articles about some of the games next week. This is our first time at Essen and we have certainly learnt a lot from just our first day. The scale of the place is quite frankly enormous.

Hope Cardgame

Hope was our first demo of the day and is a game that crosses a card game with a board game. It is a column and rows style game where you place units in a column and try to win dominance over the enemy. You win the game when you knock your opponent down to 0 life or if you get to 30. In this game your life total are your resources, so when you play a card you are sacrificing some of your life to do so.

Game of Hope Cardgame taking place

The combat system will be familiar with most card game players with an attack and defence. Although each character also has a health amount as well. If your attack beats their defence then they take a damage, however if you double their defence then you kill a character instantly.

All in all the game was very enjoyable and the game was certainly quite tactical. We will be looking to give the game another go now that we have a better handle on the rules. The game is currently only available in the Czech Republic however it does have English cards and rules. One that we will be keeping an eye on.

Star Wars Destiny

The next game that I would like to talk about is Star Wars Destiny. There is a lot of hype about this game so we were really excited that we got to play a demo of it. I will start by saying the game looks awesome, lovely artwork on the cards and beautiful dice. It will come as no surprise that my brother took the side of the Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren which left me with Rey and Finn. The aim of the game is simple enough, knock out the enemy characters to win.

Star Wars Destiny Starting Position

There are really two resource systems in this game since as well as the standard resources you can also discard cards to allow the reroll of dice. The game follows a simple my action then your action back and forth which means you have to try to think about what your opponent is going to be doing ahead of time. It gives a game a very fluid feel and means that you are never waiting around for long to do something.

The discarding cards to be able to reroll dice helps to try to mitigate some of the bad luck feeling of not rolling what you need and many cards allow you to change the face of the die. The only downside is if you do roll a blank or a + side without something to add it on to then it does feel wasted however that wasn’t often a problem in our game.

Star Wars Destiny boosters and starters

Our 30 minute demo of the game flew past and was up before we knew it. The game was very enjoyable, fast paced and you always felt involved. It is certainly a game that I think both Alex and I will be getting when it is released.

Blood Bowl

The Blood Bowl game

The old classic is coming back! This isn’t exactly news however it was great to see the game in the flesh again. Not too much has appeared to change since its last release however it is positive to see the start of the return of specialist games after an absence. The main question facing it is if it can take its crown back from the likes of Dreadball or Guild Ball. Only time will tell!


Leaders is what they call a combined game since it uses both an app and a board game. Set during the cold war, you play one of the world leaders of the time and each nation has its own bonuses. This game has a very Risk feel to it, however it is much more advanced than that gives it credit to. There are actually several ways to win this game such as military, research and completing missions.

The app controls a lot that happens in the game, from setup through to what you are building. One of the uses of the app allows the game to have hidden actions which is something that games such as this struggle with. You can use spies to sabotage enemy units or steal their research as an example.

Leaders Game In Progress

The game worked very well and the app allowed a lot greater choices in what you could build or actions you could take. The only downside is that we feel it could limit the game chatter as you each get drawn in to the app on your turn. The hidden aspects of the game are the defining parts of the game, Alex was able to gain a massive hold on the game through use of spies and we had no idea who to suspect. If you like your work domination style games then definitely take a look.

Round Up

So those were the highlights of day 1, there are many more games we could talk about along with the load of games that we have sitting in our hotel room ready to play. However that will have to wait until tomorrow… Just about got enough time for a game of Camel Up Cards before bed!

Jamie Grinstead on Email
Jamie Grinstead
Director at Athena Games
One of the owners of Athena Games and is often seen running the store. Plays a variety of games including card games, board games and miniature games. Jamie has over twenty years of gaming experience with various games.

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