A to Z Gaming: Star Wars: Outer Rim

We hung out with the scum of the galaxy chasing bounties and delivering contraband in Star Wars: Outer Rim, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Star Wars: Outer Rim
Players: 1-4
Time: 120-180 Minutes
Designers: Corey Konieczka, Tony Fanchi
Artists: Borja Pindado Arribas, Balaskas, Tiziano Baracchi, Bernard Bittler + 45 more
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

In Star Wars: Outer Rim, players take on the role of a member of the underworld trying to make their fortune and grow their fame. Players race to earn fame by seeking bounties, delivering various cargo, and succeeding at odd jobs. Whoever gains enough fame first wins.

Game play

Star Wars: Outer Rim is set up by placing out the board and adding various tokens, including faction patrols and a random contact token on each matching space. Players create a supply of credit, damage, and goal tokens.

Then each player chooses a character to play and takes a player board, character card and standee, starter ship, and credits based on their player order. They’ll do some additional set up based on their character. Finally all the decks of cards are shuffled and laid out around the board (for the encounter cards for specific systems) and into a market (for the ships, cargo, upgrades, etc.).

The game is played in turns until one player has achieved a number of fame points — the number depends on what players decided at the beginning of the game.

Each turn has three steps: preparation, actions, and encounter. During the preparation, the player can choose to move their ship, recover damage, or collect credits. Next the player will take actions including buying cards from the market, turning in bounties, or delivering cargo. Finally they’ll resolve an encounter depending on their location.

There’s so much more to the game than I can describe here. For example, the encounters take a number of different forms. If your ship encounters a patrol, you may need to fight it. Or if you are on a planet, you can either draw a card for that planet and resolve it or encounter one of the contacts there. The encounter cards can leave you with a secret goal, and the contacts can add new crew to your ship. Oh, and those patrol ships each represent a different faction, and you can gain or lose reputation with the factions through the encounters, which can affect whether or not you have to battle them when you cross their path. And the various characters have different skills which will come in handy when you need to do skill checks during encounters.

Ultimately the game is a race to a number of fame points. These can be gained through different encounters, delivering certain cargo, and various jobs.

My Thoughts

While I’ve been a lifelong Star Wars fan, I generally don’t get into licensed games, but Outer Rim was one that caught my attention. We rented it from our local game cafe during the COVID lock-down and gave it a try. It took a couple more years for me to pick this up (I actually got it at a game exchange), but I’m so happy to have it in my collection.

It’s a bit of set-up at the beginning with all the various decks and tokens. But it’s worth it because it’s fun to take on the role of a seedy character in the underbelly of the galaxy. The game does take a while to play, but it can accelerate quickly once everyone has a better ship and a full crew with a variety of skills. And, players can agree to play a shorter or longer game if they’d like, so you can tune the game to your mood.

Three Quick Questions

How is it as a 2-player game? So far I’ve only been able to play Star Wars: Outer Rim at two, so I don’t have a comparison for higher player counts. However, it works great at two, and I can only image it might last way too long at a full count of four.

How about the art and component quality? I like the art style of this game. It’s not screen captures, but more of a comic book style that gives the game some great character. The components are fine — nothing spectacular, but nothing to complain about, either.

Will this stay in my collection? Yes, this was a more recent acquisition, and it will stay for a while. We’ve also picked up the expansion, so there will be more for us to explore after we’ve exhausted the base box.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *