Forget Pandemic, Play Star Wars: The Clone Wars Instead
Pandemic has arguably been one of the biggest hits in the last decade, alongside titles like Dominion and Wingspan. The concept is fairly simple – you work with the other players at the table to eliminate diseases and save the world from a pandemic. It’s a great system that allows you to trade cards, remove diseases from the board, and cure illnesses for good. But the Pandemic System has now been massaged into a Star Wars experience, and I’m here to tell you it is better than the game it is based on!
If you want to learn how to play Star Wars: The Clone Wars, check out this great video from fellow Canadian, Rodney Smith.
I am a big fan of Star Wars and therefore am really thrilled with all the miniatures included in this game. There are full sized miniatures for all 7 Jedi and the 4 sith lords, but also miniatures for the blockades and the droids as well. The Droids are especially exciting, as there are multiple different droid figures that just make the game a bit more fun to play.
I do believe the board art leaves a bit to be desired. While it is definitely functional – and it really needs to be – it doesn’t scream Star Wars to me, outside the names under the planets. That being said, I’m not entirely sure how to make this better, so perhaps after much thought this was the best option
Is It Worth It?
If you are a fan of Pandemic and love Star Wars, this game is a really easy recommendation. In fact, if you own Pandemic, I’d throw it out and replace it in your collection with this game. The changes included in the Star Wars version of the game just make it more exciting to play. Battling droids at locations as opposed ot just removing cubes (like in Pandemic) is an extra bit of gameplay that really makes a huge difference.
Further, it’s Star Wars! How can you not get excited about that. And there are miniatures! Since we got the game a few weeks ago, we’ve played about a half dozen times with all the included enemies. They are all fun to play, and feel slightly different which gives each game a unique feel. I’ve played it with about 13 people so far, 10 of which were familiar with Pandemic. All of them agreed this is a better pandemic game, and they’d probably never play the original experience again.
Don’t get me wrong. This Star Wars game is still quite different from standard Pandemic, and perhaps the battling system that happens won’t be for you. But it is a little something extra to what can feel like a boring and drawn out experience. What’s more, this still keeps the difficulty of Pandemic, so when you are victorious, you still get those same feelings of excitement and accomplishment. There is also an argument to make that somewhat of a fandom in Star Wars will make this experience better. Without that knowledge – like perhaps if you don’t know who Count Duku is – it might be hard to really engross yourself in this experience.
Outside of those few things, there is no reason to NOT play Star Wars: The Clone Wars. You will have a great time.