- Scott Johnson
The Clone Wars Adventures Trading Card game by Topps and Sony Online Entertainment
Hey there folks! Back again this time with another Expanded Universe-related trading card game to showcase. If you browsed the Target trading card section during 2011 you were likely come across packs of the Clone Wars Adventures Trading Card Game. This short-lived game was based off “Card Commander” which was part of the Clone Wars Adventures MMO. Its one and only set featured 140 cards including 94 commons and 46 rares. Each pack was priced at $2.99 which was identical to the MMO virtual version of the game and contained seven cards including two foils and one “loot” card redeemable for a free virtual item in the MMO. Starter packs were also available and contained 21 cards and three loot cards and cost $7.99. One out of every 18 loot cards were considered rare and unlocked a special virtual item. A relic of the era, each pack bore the symbol of Hyperspace, the official Star Wars fan club at the time.
With all the hype surrounding The Clone Wars in recent years including Ahsoka-mania, where comics, magazines, and other material related to the tv show has seen steep increases in price and collectability, The Clone Wars Adventures and this related card game have been largely forgotten. While I realize TCW can be a sore subject many EU fans try to avoid because of its dual canonicity, this card set can still be considered exclusively an Expanded Universe-centric set like the Topps Shadows of the Empire set and others such as those focused on The Force Unleased or the Clone Wars micro-series. For that reason, I think The Clone Wars Adventures Trading Card Game should be a consideration of fans when building out their collections of all things EU.
The rules of the game were exactly like Card Commander in the Clone Wars Adventures virtual world, with each card having a number value and color. However, Topps added traits, gametext, and lore to each card to make the game feel more like a TCG. The games theme was exclusively set in the Clone Wars era and feature duels between characters ships and vehicles from the Dave Filoni animated television series. When a player won a duel they could reveal one of their opponent’s “hidden bases” or prize cards and attack it in attempt to destroy it. When a player destroyed all of their opponent’s hidden bases, they won the game.
Each card had one of three colors (red, blue, or green) and a numerical power value. Cards also had traits (warrior, starship, or diplomat). A few cards gametext could also modify certain rules, sometimes referencing cards of a certain trait. The basic rules of each duel were very straightforward. Each player would play a card from their hand facedown. When revealed a duel would be resolved first by color:
Red beats Green
Green beats Blue
Blue beats Red.
If colors matched the highest power or numerical value won. The losing card in the duel would be discarded. If both color and number were the same, both cards were discarded. The winner of a duel then chose an opponent’s hidden base to attack when would be a random face down card. Once attacked, the hidden base would be revealed similar to a duel except that a hidden base would win in a tie. If the attack was successful both the attacker and hidden base would be discarded. If the attack fails the attacker is discarded and the hidden base is flipped face down. There is no mill aspect to the game because if all cards in a players deck are discarded then a player shuffles his discard pile and replenishes his deck. Players only win by destroying all opponents hidden bases.
Deck construction is suggested at 18 cards, with six red, six green, and six blue, for proper balancing. Four prize cards are suggested. Unfortunately, these suggested rules make for a game solely based on RNG and no strategy except for memorizing of the color of failed hidden base attacks and memory of what colors were likely left in an opponent’s deck or hand. Fortunately, because of the simple number and color values on the gamecards, players could make their own rules variants which could be more like traditional playing card games like poker, or blackjack. Character cards like Jedi, or Senators, could be assigned as part similar grouping to where you not only have number and suit but also faction or traits. I could envision a poker game where players could work to build a royal flush of Jedi Council members or a straight hand of clone troopers.
The foil cards in this set are my favorite and feature some great characters from the EU like Asajj Ventress, Aurra Sing, and Cad Bane, so don’t let the fact that this is from Dave Filoni’s Clone Wars sour your interest. It is worth checking out if you haven’t already. Cards and sealed product are still available online. Happy hunting.
Did you ever play the Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures TCG either with physical cards or online as Card Commander? Do you collect the cards because of their relation to the Expanded Universe? Let me know in the comments below!