Thanks to titles such as SolForge, Order & Chaos: Duels, and Heartstone, collectible card games have emerged as an incredibly popular genre on mobile platforms. That EA wished to capitalize on the popularity of the genre and add to the proliferation of TCGs in the Play Store is no real surprise. However, that EA decided to put forth a TCG in the form of the Base Command mini-game included in the Star Wars Battlefront companion app, is quite the surprise.
Base Command is a mini-game within a companion app. Expecting a story in a game such as this would be like expecting the next Sonic Dash to be a Bioware level tour de force of video game storytelling.
Players begin the game with a starter deck of twenty-four cards, but are able to create two custom decks from a pool of star cards (perks, instant damage, and repairs), identical to the ones that players can unlock in Star Wars Battlefront. In addition to a deck of star cards, players also have access to randomly drawn unit cards (rebel soldiers and various vehicles). In total, the player’s hand comprises three unit cards and three star cards.
The objective of the game is for the player to prevent the forces of the Empire from destroying their base. Rounds are known as a “siege”, and take place on a circular battlefield with four quadrants, each quadrant containing four rows.
During a turn, the player can play all (depending upon the hand drawn), or none of the cards in their hand in order to fend off encroaching enemies. With each passing turn, enemy units advance forward by one row in order to encompass the base, cripple its shields and destroy it. But the base is not without a countermeasure. The player’s base doubles as a shielded turret, allowing the player an opportunity to take action in the event of a mulligan.
The game requires the player to be mindful both of the enemy’s position on the board and the player’s current hand. As such, the game favors strategic decision making more so than it does the luck of the draw. Victory is achieved when the player successfully wipes the board of all enemy waves.
TCGs are well suited to touchscreen controls, and Base Command is no different. Unless your device has a bad digitizer, then all of your swipes and taps should register accurately.
Compared to many other TCGs, the card artwork in Base Command is uninspired. However, the units on the battlefield and the backgrounds themselves give the game some visual appeal that makes up for mundane card art.
Even if you are not a fan of collectible card games, the battlefield dynamics involved with a siege make Base Command worth a try. The difficulty scales with each new siege, continuously challenging the player to create new strategies to attain triumph. The average length of a siege is approximately twelve minutes, making Base Command ideal for quick sessions on a commute or while waiting in a line.
Even though Base Command is a mini-game, I can’t help but wish there were an online multiplayer component so that I could challenge the deck combinations of other players. Even an option to play from the Empire side would have been appreciated. That said, the overall experience of Base Command is satisfying, especially since you don’t have to own a copy of Star Wars Battlefront in order to play the game. However, if you do play Star Wars Battlefront, then Base Command will be a boon. For every siege the player completes, credits are awarded and can be used to purchase in-game items in Star Wars Battlefront (e.g. weapons, star cards, character models and costumes).
Although Base Command is not as robust an experience as its esteemed peers, it does serve as a solid experience for casual gamers and TCG novices.
– An accessible TCG for novices that offers a fair bit of challenge for experienced card game players
– Allows the player to earn credits for use in Star Wars Battlefront
– No multiplayer component
– New star cards can only be unlocked in Star Wars Battlefront
Whether you are a TCG novice or veteran, Base Command offers a surprisingly involved gaming experience that is sure to hold your attention. Head to the link below to download the Star Wars Battlefront Companion App from the Google Play Store.