Star Wars: Unlimited was down at PAXAus this year, and I managed to get into a demo of the hot new card game coming in March 2024. So here’s the big things from my experience.

Let’s start with a rundown on how the rules work…

Each player brings a deck constructed around a Leader card (which usually dictates what {faction} of cards your deck will contain) and a Base card (your life total).

Each player starts the game with the base and their leader (on its landscape side) in front of them, and a hand of seven cards. They place two cards from their hand down as starting resources, then determine who gets the first turn.

During a turn, players go back and forth performing an action each until both players pass. An action can be any of the following:

  • Play a card from your hand: If it’s a unit card, it enters play into its field of battle (space or ground) exhausted, otherwise the card will resolve and be discarded.
  • Attack with a ready unit: Attack the enemy base or an enemy unit. If you attack a unit, they deal damage to each other and, if they have more damage than their {health}, they are discarded from the field.
  • Perform an Action Ability: use any ability on your Leader or units that has an ACTION cost.
  • Perform an EPIC Action: These are actions that can only be used once per game. Usually this is making your leader into a unit on the battlefield.
  • Pass: Do nothing. If your opponent passes, the turn ends, otherwise you can jump back in on your next action.
  • Seize the Initiative: take the initiative marker to go first on the next turn. You automatically pass all future actions this turn.

At the start of the next turn, each player readies all exhausted cards, draws two new cards, chooses whether to place a card from their hand as a resource, and the player who goes first this turn is the player with the initiative marker.

The game continues until someone’s base is destroyed.

That’s it. That’s Star Wars: Unlimited in a nutshell, so let's get onto what I thought of it after getting a hands-on demo with the Star Wars: Unlimited demo team…

1 - It FEELS like a FFG card game

The game plays very similar to most FFG card games, in that during a turn, each player goes back and forth performing ACTIONS. There doesn’t appear to be interaction beyond your own actions, so if you prefer a game with Reactions (or Instants from Magic: the Gathering), you may be disappointed. Personally, the quick actions meant the game flowed fast enough that reactions weren’t really a consideration.

2 - It’s easy to learn

As shown earlier, the rules forStar Wars: Unlimited are very straight-forward and any passing familiarity with Hearthstone, Magic: the Gathering, or the Warcraft TCG makes it a breeze.

It’s not hard to grab two decks and show someone else how to play, so expect plenty of Learn-To-Play events once the game hits Vault.

3 - Resources are always on curve… kinda

By using the same cards you play with as a resource system, it means you are never without resources to gain. Unlike Flesh & Blood’s pitch system though, you're not spending your whole hand on one or two plays.

Because you're limited to only putting one card down as a resource per turn, there is a constant growth to your available resources that won’t leave you in the lurch, similar to Hearthstone’s Gem system. BUT there’s a strategic element to this as well, as you need to decide what card that’s in your hand right now you can live without for the rest of the game as it becomes a face-down resource.

4 - The Combat System is very cool (and surprisingly strategic)

In a game, you have a base that determines your Life Total for the game, and you play units into one of two fields of combat: Space or Ground. These units then can attack the enemy base, or opposing units in the same field of combat (so space to space or ground to ground). It has a Hearthstone style of combat as well, meaning you choose to attack the base or enemy units that then deal damage to each other.

With some units having On Attack abilities incentivising you, combat in Star Wars: Unlimited elicits strategic gameplay that becomes much deeper than it first appears. Which leads me to my first problem with the game…

5 - Sequencing and Misdirection are important to winning

Does this give Star Wars: Unlimited enjoyable strategic depth? Absolutely. There’s almost a chess-like layer of trying to out-manoeuvre your opponent to set up victory through your sequence of actions. BUT this presents a problem for me when I step away and look at the game in an organised play setting as a store owner and community builder.

Because misdirection and sequencing can become important elements on the road to victory, I have concerns about the experience of new players several months after release when they end up facing opponents who have been playing since the start. Yes, I understand that every card game has the “skill issue” argument however, losing a game of Star Wars: Unlimited is a slow experience (at least using the decks shown during the demonstration) so a misdirection can trigger a slow descent that you can’t get out of and leads to multiple turns of frustration as your opponent has a clear advantage.

Obviously, more experienced players upon seeing this game state may just concede and move to game two, but newer players are likely to stick it out thinking there’s a way out of their predicament, and end up frustrated with the game. I’ve seen players move on from a game for less. So this means the health of the game overall in stores (not just Vault) will depend heavily on the type of players that pick it up and cement themselves as regulars in the community.

6 - It’s a Licensed product

Yeah, let's deal with the elephant in the room here. Star Wars: Unlimited is not published by Disney or Star Wars, but instead by Fantasy Flight Games. So let’s go through their storied history of licensed competitive games…

  • Android: Netrunner - 2012-2016
  • Star Wars: The Card Games - 2012-2016
  • Warhammer: 40000 Conquest - 2014-2016 (after losing the Games Workshop licences for EVERYTHING, including Warhammer RPGs, Talisman, and all the cool little side games attached to Games Workshop properties like Blood Bowl: Team Manager)
  • Game of Thrones: Card Game - 2015-2019
  • Star Wars: Destiny - 2016-2020 (it stopped in Aus in 2018)
  • Keyforge - 2018-2021 (now being relaunched under Ghost Galaxy Games)

With four years being the general operation length for a competitive game under Fantasy Flight Game’s watch, there is a question on how long Star Wars: Unlimited will be with us, not to mention that, with it being a licensed property, it will continue precisely as long as Disney decides to not expand its royalties percentage beyond viability for Fantasy Flight Games.


So that’s it. Star Wars: Unlimited looks to be an enjoyable game, with a familiar rule set that’s easy-to learn, a smooth resource system,and deep strategic combat mechanics. The only things stopping it from getting full marks is the community the game is yet to build around it, and the publisher's history. Ultimately, I believe the time we’ll have with Star Wars: Unlimited in this world may be shorter than other TCG products we’re used to, but it’s likely to be great fun while it’s here.

Preorders are now live! Preorder your Star Wars: Unlimited product by clicking here.

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