Epic Duels and personality minor hit points

Was thinking about minor hit points for personality minors, in relation to Poe Dameron in the Finn & Poe deck.  I think about the original game, and while it actually gives guidance in terms of how many HP a personality minor should have, it breaks its own rules enough to leave open to interpretation.  Then when you look at fan-made decks over the years and the Geektopia decks that followed them, we’ve interpreted it even more loosely.

The original Star Wars Epic Duels game had 5 personality minors:  Chewbacca, Leia, Padme, Zam and Greedo.  Three of the five had exactly 10 HP, while Chewbacca had 15 and the pathetic Greedo only 7.  What can we interpret from this?

My swing at it:  Personality minors should have 10 HP with some exceptions.  Having more than 10 HP is not dictated by the character’s prominence in the films but rather his importance in the deck, while having fewer than 10 HP appears to be more dictated by having a weaker overall persona.

Leia Organa, Padme Amidala and Zam Wessell all have 10 HP as minors to Luke, Anakin and Jango, respectively.   This actually spans a rather larger range of characters, since Leia and Padme are actually major characters in the films, almost as major as anyone, while Zam is a very minor character who appears in only a couple of sequences in one film before getting killed off.  Zam is clearly a trained assassin who knows how to fight, but both Leia and Padme show themselves to be very capable fighters as well.  Leia is no porcelain princess, she guns down Storm Troopers in all 3 of the original trilogy films.  She should probably have her own deck, and has had several fan-made decks created for her where she’s the major, but in the original game, she’s only a minor to Luke with 10 HP and 4 cards of her own.  Padme, in the prequel trilogy, is pretty similar to Leia.  While she’s obviously not much of a fighter in Episode III while pregnant with twins, Padme is a prominent action figure in Episodes I-II, especially during the Battle of Geonosis, killing as many Battle Droids as anyone.  So the rule appears to be that any personality minor character, at least any ranged personality minor character, has 10 HP, no matter how big or small a role she plays in the film, and to go along with this, major characters should have 15-18 HP.  However, there are exceptions.

In terms of exceptions, we start with Chewbacca.  He carries a Bowcaster and a reputation for being very tough, and is renown as Han Solo’s right hand ally, “the Mighty Chewbacca”.  However, in the first 6 films, Leia and even Padme probably out-pull Chewbacca in terms of importance in the films, total screen time, and enemies slain.  Does Chewbacca really do more than they do?  No, but Han has sort of a unique deck, with only 13 HP while Leia’s and Padme’s respective majors have 17 and 18 HP, and even Jango has 15 HP.  Daviau and Van Ness chose to structure Han’s deck in a different way to impose more of a team dynamic, more reliance upon the minor, by instilling a 13/15 HP split.  This also gives Han & Chewie 28 total HP, the most of anyone (tied with Dooku).  So in this sense, the rule is that exceptions can be made, but they are not made strictly for prominence in the films or fighting ability.  Rather, exceptions are made if you want a different deck structure where the major has few HP along with low defense, and you want to impose more of a team dynamic.

The other exception to the 10 HP rule is Greedo, with only 7 HP.  This one is actually much easier to discuss:  Greedo is sort of a comic relief character, and his big attack, DESPERATE SHOT, actually is an A7 that not coincidentally, kills him if it misses.  Greedo is also given very little screen time, dying in his only appearance and not demonstrating any real skill as a combatant.  All that stated, the Boba Fett deck would be more balanced if Greedo just had 10 HP like the other minors, especially when Boba Fett himself has only 14 HP.  Maybe when those other minors include Leia and Padme, Daviau and Van Ness just didn’t want Greedo to be equal, or wanted to weaken the Boba Fett deck overall but didn’t feel like Boba could have fewer than 14 HP.  So the rule from the original Epic Duels here appears to be:  Exceptions to the 10 HP rule can be made if you want to make a character intentionally weak and pathetic, or if you want to weaken a deck overall without weakening the major.

The final considerations are what the fan community has made over the years, including we here at Geektopia.  The first of the fan-made decks I can personally remember were Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan decks by Moonsylver and PD Magnus, along with a Lando deck.  Well, both Padawan Obi-Wan and Old Ben had 13 HP each.  I remember the Young Luke deck being made by a sole creator and I think Luke had only 13 HP of his own, but the Epic Duels community was involved in the Qui-Gon deck, and everyone sort of agreed that 13 HP felt right for Padawan Obi-Wan.  Geektopia originates from the Epic Duels online community decks so starting from there, the rule of 10 HP for personality  minors had already been broken.  That led to many other decks having more than 10 HP, both for Jedi minors and shooter minors alike.  Our first effort was the Luminara & Barriss deck, and Barriss Offee originally had 13 HP, which ultimately proved too strong for what we wanted and she was taken down to 10 HP, considered only a Padawan.  Meanwhile, many more team-oriented Jedi decks included two full-strength Jedi Knights or Masters, such as Master Obi-Wan & Jedi Knight Anakin, Darth Plagueis & Apprentice Sidious, Adi Gallia & Stass Allie, Saesee Tiin & Agen Kolar.  However, also because of following the Han & Chewie model, two more of the shooter decks break the rule by giving Han 12 HP in the Lando & Han deck, and Chewbacca 14 HP in the Tarfful & Chewbacca deck, and then for some weird reason, Bossk has 11 HP in the IG-88 deck.  By the time you get through all of these exceptions, the only Geektopia minors with 10 HP are Captain Rex, Lobot, Zuckuss and Barriss!  So much for the over-10 exceptions, it turns out that 10 HP is more the exception.

So now as we try to figure out The Force Awakens and Rogue One, it’s almost a disservice to a minor to give him “only” 10 HP.  What I think we can do here, is to use these movies same as the Star Wars franchise:  To reboot things a bit and in this case, the personality minor.  We want all of these new character sets to be fairly weak compared to the gallant Jedi of old, so we can help weaken them by keeping minors to 10 HP.  Poe Dameron might be a tough soldier, but is he really more capable than Leia or Padme?  K-2SO would appear to be the pretty classic 10 HP minor.  The exception might be Chirrut & Baze, since they would be where you would want a more team-oriented deck.  Meanwhile, BB-8 was given only 7 HP like Greedo, a very intentional decision for obvious reasons.

As we move forward with new decks, we should consider nearly all personality minors as 10 HP entities, unless we want to specifically break the rule for a more team-oriented deck or weaker minor.  The new movies give us a possible exception in Chirrut & Baze, and a more obvious one in BB-8.

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