The Biggest Takeaways From My Visit To FFG HQ
Join us for a look inside the studio that makes Star Wars Legion.
This week I got the amazing opportunity to fly up to Fantasy Flight Games HQ in warm sunny Minneapolis. While there, I was able to talk to the amazing people who have been working their butts off to bring Star Wars to the tabletop. I did interviews with a number of key figures on the game and even got to play a full game against Alex Davy the lead designer. Throughout the trip I was blown away by the love and devotion these people have for their game and for Star Wars in general. Here are some of the key of takeaways from my trip there.
Legion Is Something They’ve Wanted To Make For A Long Time
Where the magic happens
Legion is a dream game for a lot of people. From what I was told the fine folks at FFG have wanted to make Legion pretty much since the company first got the Star Wars licences. At the time however a number of factors prevented them from being able to make it right away, so instead we got amazing games like X-Wing and Armada. Talking to the designers you get a real feeling that the other Star Wars games were all sort of building towards Legion, refining there process. Legion it is fair to say is the most ambitious game FFG has made so far, but could also be the most rewarding. It may have taken them time to get here but FFG feels like they are finally at the point where they can do this product justice, and from everything we’ve seen, they are right.
Legion is Playing the Long Game
Me (center) with Alex Davy (left) and Luke Eddy (right) the designers of Legion
While we don’t know exactly how long the Legion has been in development I was told that the rules and the Core Set took about a year to produce. Since all that was wrapped up some time ago the team has been working on future unannounced expansions. I’ve talked before about how a lack of releases can kill a game but in this case the Legion team is way ahead of me. While I couldn’t get any solid numbers from them it sounds like they’ve got the next several years of releases worked out and a few future waves already in the can and ready to go. While its not surprising that they’ve got future stuff planned out its great to discover how committed they are to fleshing out the game. Anytime we mentioned the future of the game the team couldn’t say much, but they would all get these “just wait till you see whats coming next!” looks and big grins.
This Is A Perfect Time For A Star Wars Ground Combat Game
It’s not hard to see where some of the inspiration for the Rebel Troops set comes from.
While Star Wars has always been in the public consciousness the fairly recent release of Rogue One and the ongoing Rebels show have done a lot to highlight the ground combat in a Galaxy Far Far Away. Both of these releases gave the team behind Legion a ton of inspiration as to the kind of action they wanted to portray on the table top. For the first time we’ve really got some great insight into small unit tactical combat during the age of the Rebellion and this was a great boon for Legion. Moreover if you like Rogue One or Rebels, and the kind of combat you see there, you are going to love Legion.
Everyone Who Worked On The Game Loves Star Wars
They love it enough to paint lightsaber glow on Luke’s hair.
One of the things that shines through while talking to the Legion team is just how much they love Star Wars. It would be easy to understand if after working with the setting day in and day out for months or years their enthusiasm waned, but far from that – they only seemed more invested. Each one of them had their own Star Wars story, their own favorite part of the setting and shared in the joy of bring it to the table top. Crystal Chang, one of the Art Directors talked about how she still watches the Clone Wars everyday, while others talked about getting VHS copies of the original trilogy form their parents and other early experiences with the setting. It’s reassuring to know that such a setting, that means to so much to so many, is in such good and caring hands.
The Team is, and Will be, Actively Making This Game Awesome
We answer the burning questions
The team behind Legion is very committed to making this a great game. Not only are they pouring their energies into getting new product out, but also in making sure everything feels right. They want to make sure the game always feels like Star Wars, a fact they mentioned was very important to them several times.
In addition to that they are also very open and welcoming of the their fans and community. Before our interview Alex, the lead designer was busy replying to player questions about the newly released rules. He even took the time during out game to answer some of the communities questions. These folks really care about their game and it shows. It’s rare to see a team for a big company this directly engaged with their players and that is really awesome.
The Yuuzhan Vong
Yuuzhan Vong for life!
When asked the design team would neither confirm nor deny that the Yuuzhan Vong are coming as a faction. Given the lack of a negate I will take this as confirmation they are coming. Hopefully soon. 🙂
More To Come
I’m still fully digesting everything I talked to the team about while I was up there. Overall it was an amazing experience and joy to meet these fun, dedicated people. I’ll be talking more about what I found out up there, and we’ll be putting up the full interviews I did, so stay tuned for more in the days ahead.
Let us know how excited you are for Legion, down in the comments!