Star Wars Villainous: Scum And Villainy Review

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Today, the biggest Star Wars villains are angry YouTubers. Zing! Gotta! But Star Wars history hasn’t been full of villains. Although Darth Vader is the character most deeply associated with George Lucas’ space western before Luke Skywalker or Han Solo, he’s almost too good, and Star Wars too often relies on him instead of building new characters. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like it has as deep a bench for Villainous as Marvel and Disney do (after all, the whole Sith thing is that there can only be two), but I recently tried out the latest expansion pack for Star Wars Villainous, Scum And Villainy and it’s clear that the great villains of Star Wars run deeper than Vader.

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The three villains in the expansion are Boba Fett, Cad Bane, and the Seventh Sister, and even though I’m calling it an expansion, it can be played completely on its own, without the Star Wars Villainous base game. And since I don’t even have that, I can confidently say that it works on its own. Given my familiarity with the Marvel game, of which I have the original box and the Twisted Ambitions expansion, I can see Scum And Villainy sliding nicely alongside the main game.

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If you’re only familiar with Marvel, you’ll be surprised by Star Wars’ Multi Fate Deck system, where each character gets their own set of Fate cards. While I think this helps keep things more focused (Marvel game decks can often have bad cards when a certain villain isn’t in the game), it also reduces the options. Star Wars has a wide universe, not a deep one, so some sets seem repetitive.

Evil droppings and evil Star Wars components

It is an unhappy subject throughout. Under the IP, Villainous is the same game with a few minor twists, so we shouldn’t expect a completely new experience every time. There’s nothing here as unique as Titania’s growing power in Marvel’s Twisted Ambitions expansion. For example, Boba’s reward fulfillment is very similar to Doc Ock’s goal, only with a little more combat. However, the more positive similarity that Boba and Doc Ock share is that they may be my favorite figurines.

If you only play the Star Wars version and don’t collect the entire Villainous series, the Marvel resemblance won’t bother you. There are also some complex mechanics here that help it stand out: Star Wars uses both ambition and credits to fund its nefarious actions, which can make tracking every move more complicated, which could appeal to players who want a more involved and thoughtful experience.

Boba Fett in Star Wars Return of the Jedi

The Seventh Sister wins by permanently removing three characters from the game (including welcome Ahsoka), paying extra ambitions after defeating them in the normal way. However, with two currencies to balance, this can seem like a bit of a daunting goal – but then again, that’s probably more important depending on your experience with other Villainous games. In general, her goal is simple to understand, which makes her a solid character.

Then there’s Cad Bane, who adds targets (a third currency) to his enemies. This works in a similar way to Marvel’s Hela, but is much more accessible. When his allies kill heroes, a target is applied to them, and then Cad must draw a certain card to collect those targets. It’s a clever idea, but with Boba Fett next door and collecting bounties, it seems like he might be the best fit for the whole idea. Still, Cad offers the best overall experience, especially for newer players.

The biggest weakness of Scum And Villainy is more of a question for the future. With Clone Wars and Rebels represented here, and Bob not even being considered a villain these days, it seems Star Wars Villain has nowhere to go. I enjoy playing the Villainous games, but I wonder if there is a way to expand it other than just “more characters”. When you add more complexity, it can take away the charm. Board games are made for replayability, and Boba being a worse Doc Ock, Cad being a better Hela, and Seventh Sister being “okay if a little complicated” are a decent mix that can be replayed even though she seems uninspired.

Scum And Villainy is a great pack if you’re looking to expand your Villainous collection for the first time, or if you’re just interested in playing the Star Wars branch of the game. But if you already have other Villainous games, this is just fine instead. He doesn’t think outside the box, but he has some great pieces in him. With some niche and popular Star Wars characters and three different ways to play (even if you’ve already played their versions), Scum And Villainy does enough to be worth your time and your credits. Or wait, do you pay for that in Ambition?

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