Let the Wookiee Win: How to Navigate Through Star Wars Games
Star Wars has a rich history of recreational games one can play to take their mind off the ever-growing conflicts around the galaxy. Dejarik, Sabacc, and Pazaak are three of the most well-known and frequently played games in the galaxy, and many fans hope for one or all three mini-games to be included in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Perhaps you've played Pazaak as a part of the Knights of the Old Republic series or made your own adaptation of Sabacc to play at home. With the game's development entering its home stretch, now is the time to brush up on your knowledge and begin to develop strategies for the first time you enter a cantina.
The first recreational game ever seen in Star Wars lore was in Episode IV, aboard the Millennium Falcon. R2-D2 plays a game of Dejarik against Chewbacca. As seen in the movie, you play Dejarik on a circular board that is reminiscent of a chessboard. Also displayed in the movie is the gruesome nature in which the pieces dispose of each other in. Therein lies the simplicity of Dejarik. The overall goal is for at least one of your four hologram playing pieces to survive, while destroying your opponent's four-holomonsters. That is where the simplicity ends. Knowing your individual holomonsters, what their statistics are, and advanced strategy are all required to become a great Dejarik player.
There are standard holomonsters, and then there is a diversity of special pieces you can purchase in the Star Wars universe to play the game with. Each holomonster has different ratings in three categories: Attack, Defense and Movement. Some pieces you play offensively, while others are defense oriented. There are also pieces known as "power pieces," which have high ratings in all three categories.
Players can decide, in whatever manner they wish, who moves first. When it is your turn, you can move your allotted number of spaces twice. Conversely, you may attack and then move if you are adjacent to another piece, or move and then attack. You may also choose to attack another piece twice if you are in the correct position to do so. If you do choose to move a piece on the board, you may not do so diagonally and you must move all of your allotted spaces.
When one holomonster engages another, one of four things can happen: Kill, counter-kill, push or counter-push. A kill occurs when the player who initiated the attack destroys his opponent's piece. A counter-kill is when the engaging piece dies.
Push and counter-push are when either piece wins by a slight margin, but not by enough to kill the other piece. Ties cause a counter-push in favor of the attacked holomonster. When a push or counter-push occurs, the winning player moves the losing holomonster to an adjacent open space on the Dejarik board. This is where strategy really comes into play. You can use a push to block other pieces, or to set up your next attack. If and when each player is down to a single holomonster, the two pieces converge in a fight to the death to determine the winner of the game.
If you are interested in playing Dejarik at home before the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, visit Games of the Galaxy by Mike Kelly for more information. There you will find diagrams, tables, and the fundamental instructions.
It should be noted that this is only one version of Dejarik; there are others with different rules. While there is visual proof of Dejarik tables existing in The Old Republic, it is unclear what version of the game will be playable.
Counter-kill: The defensive holomonster kills the engaging holomonster.
Counter-push: A tie or a small margin victory by the defensive holomonster occurs, allowing the defending player to strategically move his opponent's holomonster to an open, adjacent spot on the board.
Holomonster: Holographic figures in the Star Wars universe, used as playing pieces in Dejarik. Each piece has three attributes: Attack, Defense and Movement, with varying values assigned to each attribute.
Kill: The engaging attacker kills an adjacent holomonster.
Push: A small margin of victory is attained by the engaging holomonster, allowing the player to strategically move his opponent's piece to an open, adjacent spot on the board.
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