Wanna Play Star Wars – Force Arena?

I do! And I have been, pretty regularly, since the game launched just over a week ago. If you’re already playing, you may or may not find this post interesting/useful, but if you’re not playing hopefully this will be a resource for you if you feel like giving it a try…otherwise, I hope it’s at least insightful and interesting on a purely academic level…or something…anyway, I’ve been describing Star Wars – Force Arena as a “tower defense moba (multiplayer online battle arena) card game,” clear as mud, right? Basically, it goes like this:  you control a “main” character with one usable ability on a long cool down. Your goal is to destroy your rival’s (Alliance vs. Empire) shield generator that’s protected by three large laser turrets (in 1-player mode). To assist you in your goal, you get to create a deck of cards that, using a resource called “energy,” you can activate during battle to summon minions (troopers, etc.) to help you win the day. The battles are timed so your opponent (or you) can’t turtle ad nauseam; in fact, each game only last a couple, three minutes, so it’s not a big time sink. Like most mobile games, you can pay to be a pro (sort of), but you don’t have to (I haven’t spent a dime and I win more matches than I lose). So, barebones, that’s it. If none of that floats your boat, check out another post instead, but if you’d like to know more, click right down there and we’ll get into more specifics…

Stack the Deck

Probably the most important part of the game is having the right deck:  while you may be tempted to fill it to the brim with heavy-hitters, they’re all going to require a ton of energy so you won’t be able to summon very many at once; alternatively, if you use nothing but low-energy cards, they’ll be weak and easy to take out with aoe (area of effect) abilities/minions. Something more toward the middle ground works best, but you also have to take into consideration how the cards work together and how they work in conjunction with the leader you choose. For example, I’m using my pal Baze Malbus here, who does pretty heavy ranged damage, so I complemented that attribute with a couple melee bruisers in the Wookiee Warrior and Rebel Honor Guards, as well as the MLC-3 Light Tank that both soaks and does decent damage. Additionally, and I always have this in any deck, I included the X-wing to clear a bunch of minions at once, as well as the Rebel Grenadier as another option for the same purpose. I’m also really fond of the Dressellian Sniper because I like to send one of those down one lane and then concentrate my attack on the other since the sniper can hit turrets from outside of their damage range. Lastly, I include the Rebel Pathfinders as my regular, grunt troops. I prefer them to the standard Rebel Troopers because they’re only one extra energy but have much more HP (hit points) and attack power (so they do more damage). Conversely, I’ve been using Leia a lot lately to great success by creating a deck full of low-cost minions as well as the ever-awesome Evaan Verlaine, who’s unique to Leia (you can see I don’t have her yet in the picture, but I have Nien Nunb who’s unique to Lando, and Obi-wan who’s unique to Luke – by “unique” they mean that they can only be used with their particular leader). Creating a deck that allows you to throw minions at your opponent fairly consistently works well with Leia’s skill to call three Rebel Honor Guards. It gives you the ability to pretty easily overpower your opponent with a huge group of minions as long as they don’t have lots of options for clearing out groups – Dengar, for example, can use his skill to great effect vs. a deck like that. Those are just a few of several ideas and strategies you can use when putting your deck together; the choice is really up to you and the style of game you want to play.

Hit me!

So, how do you get the cards to use in your deck? Well the annoying, time-delay mobile game way, of course! Okay, the “real” answer is from packs you get three ways via rewards:  Free Packs are entry-level packs you get on a regular timer no matter what (that’s why they’re called “free”); a Play Pack is a pack that’s available, again, on a timer that you can get once you get 10/10 Play Points, which you earn one at a time for losing battles and three at a time for winning; and last, but not least, Victory Packs are packs that you get for winning matches. You can have four Victory Packs at a time (unless you buy a Premium Booster, then you get a bonus Victory Pack slot – you can buy boosters with in-game currency that you get through playing, but you can also purchase for real money; I have a booster pack in the picture that’s leftover from the free Premium Booster they gave out when the game launched), and, yes, again, they’re on a timer. Lower tier packs have a shorter “Unlock” time, while higher tiers take longer. It’s a pretty standard mobile game system that makes you wait to improve for free, or pay to improve in a more instant-gratification sort of way…yeah, like I said, it’s annoying, but such is the way of the mobile game…if you’re looking to grab specific cards to flesh out a deck you’re putting together, you can also click on the Shop on the left menu and find individual cards you can purchase with credits, and packs you can purchase with crystals (you get both types of currency for free – though slowly – from playing the game, but you can buy crystals with real money and use those to buy credits). I have done this a few times to grab that last card needed to upgrade, but it’s not a very cost-effective means of getting cards.

That’s cool and all, but how do I play as Vader?!?!

Well, my friend, you do that by being lucky…or by waiting until you can select the leader in question from a mission reward, or just by winning the leader outright as part of the mission (for example, I’m on a mission that yields an Ezra card upon completion)…so what do I mean by “being lucky?” Well, I’m glad you asked! On the Trade menu, you can select the Legendary option and turn in one of your current Legendary cards (which are all the leaders), as well as 1,000 credits, for another, random Legendary card. The cool thing about this is you don’t lose the ability to play the leader you trade in, even if it brings your card count to zero, it just means it’s going to be a long while (probably) before you’re able to upgrade it. Oh, and did I mention trades have their own timer? I don’t think I did, but you probably should have guess that by now…anyway, if rolling the dice for a specific leader isn’t your thing, you can also use the trade menu to trade X amount of Commons for a Rare, Rares for an Epic, Epics for a Unique, and also a Unique for a Legendary (though I’ve no idea why you’d ever do that), all with an amount of credits as well, no one trades for free in Force Arena. I’ve done this a few times, just for grins and giggles, not really looking for any card in particular, and have ended up getting mostly doubles (as you can see, I have two Grand Inquisitors in the picture here – as an aside, when the area underneath a card is green like that, it means the card can be upgraded. If you click on the card in the Deck menu, you’ll see the upgrade options, with cost, of course, on the left side; upgrading a card increases the attributes of the minions that the card summons, or the damage it does if it’s a grenade, etc.), but I did get Bossk from a Legendary trade, and have enjoyed using him so I guess you could say the Trade menu has been good to me…

And that’s that, party people! Or something…so, do you play Force Arena? If so, what do you think? If not, how come? Are you not into mobile games? Did you try it and find it too difficult, boring, stupid, repetitive, or some other word? If you do play, do you have a guild? Because I don’t and could really use one…so, I mean, blivengo’s available, just let me know, I play a pretty mean Leia…okay, anyway, let me know what you think about the game, and/or about this post in the comments below, and, seriously, if you ever want to play, just let me know; if neither of us have a guild at that point, we’ll just make one…with black jack, and hookers! (Yes I did just make a Futurama joke, and if you didn’t get it you should start binge watching Futurama right now…) That’ll do it for me because all this talk about Force Arena has me jonesin’ for a game, so I’ll catch you cool cats later and may the Force be with you…

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