Star Wars Saga Edition: The Clone Wars Campaign Guide – Read-through Impressions
Continuing Wizards of the Coast’s tradition of releasing a product months away from its tie in, the Clone Wars campaign guide is now available. So far I’ve purchased most of the supplements for Saga, and this may be my favorite book yet. It has almost all of the qualities necessary to be a worthwhile purchase. It has new talents, the same consistent layout as the other books in the series, and enough hooks to take advantage of the setting.
What really makes this book stick out to me though are the new rules that are introduced. The book really encourages the “war” in Star Wars. The soldier class receives the new Squad Leader skill tree. It allows you to have soldiers under your command so you can be an Obi-Wan fighting with trusted Commander Cody or the leader of a squad of Republic Commandos as seen in the video game and novels. They wisely limited the power of this by treating the followers as talents. You have to give up your actions to give them actions. Without the rest of the talents in the tree, this seems to make them a bit like dead weight. It is a very appropriate addition to the game and it’s setting. Squad rules for enemies have also been implemented to make low level trooper enemies a more difficult obstacle for experienced PCs.
Above the squad level, there are now official rules for massive battles. Massive battles are done on the starship scale, which is an abstraction of distance so that a single square on the battle map represents as much distance as the GM feels appropriate. The battles are fought with “units” that are also treated the way the game treats starships. So a unit moves as one object on the map, but can contain a commander, a medic, and a gunner. The rules give enough examples and ideas on how to incorporate these battles into your game so that the players have about as much control on the battle as the GM. This keeps the game exciting for everyone.
I give this book a hearty recommendation to any groups that find Saga on their table often, as the Clone Wars Campaign Guide is a great addition. I only have a few complaints. A lot of the focus is on the new cartoon series, and the screenshots clash with the original artwork that is usually of such high quality in these books. It is also missing stats on some characters an equipment that I thought would be necessary to the setting. The rifle of the Republic Commandos, for example. The most positive factor on its side is that this book will be useful no matter what Star Wars setting you play in. I’d be curious to see how these rules could be converted to 4e as well.
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