Having watched a couple of reviews we set up the learning game and dived in. Stan took the role of the rebels and I was the evil Empire. The box includes a built-in learning game with quick set-up (all things being relative...) and simple rules.
The nub of games like this is the rule-set: with X-Wing, we found the basic rules simplistic to the point of being slightly boring, and therefore never made it to the point of the (presumably more nuanced, and more rewarding) advanced rules. I was hoping for a different experience this time.
Wookiee in the sh*t
We began with me in control of a few Stormtroopers and an Imperial officer. Stanley controlled a wookiee (not Chewbacca) and another guy whose name now escapes me. Our board was a jaggedy circle with a crate nestling in a nook and we went to battle.
The game is like Star Wars themed boxing; if the boxers rolled dice instead of hit each other. I say this after only the introductory game and, as with X-Wing, I'm sure we were not garnering the full experience - and thus, rewards! (especially in the Morrison household, where it's convention to miss at least one key rule) ...but in essence you're taking it in turns to fire or swing weapons.
The weapon system is pretty neat once you get your head around it - dice are rolled for the attacker that decide accuracy and amount of hits (plus possible extras) and the defender also rolls a die or dice that can minimise damage or even negate the attack entirely. You take it in turns to activate your heroes (Rebels) or bad guys (bad guys).
I would have been quite happy to go through an hour or so of this if Stanley enjoyed it, but unfortunately - it's not a cheap game - he got bored quite quickly. Each character has a bunch of special moves they can employ but essentially it's variations on a theme, and we both found the re-reading of all possible special moves a bit tiring, especially as we could only find obtuse references to both Havoc and Focus.
I'm not writing it off as both Stan and I would be willing to give it another whirl with someone present who knows their Imperial Onions and is happy to bash through a skirmish with us - Matt? any chance? - but when the game ended (Stan won somewhat jadedly) I said "It's not Eclipse, is it?" and Stan said "No" with a kind of scoffing finality you rarely hear in one so young.