Who needs Tabletop Simulator?

Pandemic Lockdown could have caused a drop in our Star Wars: Destiny play. We have always had Tabletop Simulator (TTS) to play online with but who needs it anyway? While TTS is a great way to play against people from all over the world, I was missing something.

Oh, my dear friend. How I’ve missed you.” — C-3PO

I was missing the feel of shuffling cards and rolling dice. As if the dice gods had heard me (not that they usually listen), a Facebook post popped up about a discord group that two guys had set up, namely Matt Basil of West Virginia, USA and Elliot Reed of York, UK. The group was for playing Destiny over your webcam and advised how you can use your phone as a webcam. Well, I just had to see what that was about and got my invite to the discord.

At this point I’ve only managed to play 10 games in the 5 weeks it has been running. 5 of those in a mini knockout tournament. I managed to get set up using a phone holder to use my phone as a camera pointing down at my cards and play area. It felt good to be setting up to play Destiny with real dice and cards. I’d watched several games before jumping into one to see how players had managed to set up their cameras. It took some messing about with until I found the set up I use now. It’s not always smooth going, connections can be ropey. My first game we pretty much played blind without the cameras working just telling each other what we rolled. There are people who have their phone in the slats of a top bunk bed to view the table below. Everyone has found a way. It sounds awkward, yes, but once you’ve got it set up – it feels no different than playing destiny at your local store or at a Prime Championship. I urge you to give it a try

The format is infinite as the goal is to allow people to play with whatever product they have and the enthusiasm for the game of this group knows no bounds. In those 5 weeks, 400 games have been played with all sorts of decks. 80 games a week and it is probably already more as I write this. Players have joined from various countries now and the growth has not slowed down.

Sarah Evans of iRebel writes a very good piece on the entry point to the game and it is this group that inspired that article – You can read that here:

Click the image to see the article

There are a bundle of new players to the game buying the cheaper boxes of the Awakenings block from online retailers and you can feel the buzz of excitement and almost hear the anticipation of freshly opened packs and new additions to their decks.

I managed to talk to Matt about the group, he and Elliot created, here’s what he said

“It all started when I got into SWD about 2 months ago. My buddy introduced me to the game. We played via webcams due to the pandemic and learned quickly how easy it was to set up and play virtually. My buddy and me both have families and had trouble finding available time to play each other. But I couldn’t get enough of the game. I had the itch and had to find a way to play more! So I made a post in Reddit and asked others if they’d be interested in playing virtually. It got a few upvotes but no one seemed interested. Then Elliot messaged me and asked how virtual play works. We connected via discord to play a match. He tested his setup and we played our first match and the rest is history. We had a blast. Then he had the idea to create a server we could invite people to. I took the lead on promoting via the 13,000 member SWD Facebook group and the server grew steadily from there!”

Should you like to give this a try the server is here and everyone is welcome:

Click the image to go to the discord server

I’d now like to share my deck for the mini tournament. I’d not used my Covert Missions Bane yet and the opportunity to get some abilities from the Awakenings era with his discount was too tempting not to try out. With such big abilities and the Emperor’s Throne Room back in the mix to get the specials on all these abilities or on a Sith Holocron, Bane has proven to be a right monster. In the tournament we played best of three and I think there was 13 players. I was lucky enough to get a bye to the last 8 where I faced a Palpatine – Ultimate Power and Trandoshan Hunter. These were great games and I just managed to pull off a 2-1 win, Good old Deflect was pretty big in this match up. In the semi-finals, Bane was a bit of a beast against Rey and Kylo Ren, Lack of Faith proving very useful in this match. We haven’t managed to find time to play the final of the first tournament but I’ll definitely be looking to play this at some point soon. I will be against Yoda and Hondo when we get to it. Considering I was tempted to sell him on to someone initially as I didn’t pull Sith Lords or Death Fields in my packs, I’ve now completely changed my mind as I’ve really enjoyed playing him.

So in conclusion, if you are like me and are missing the clatter of dice and dancing of tokens as they come in and out of play, then I urge you to give this a try. If not in the server that Matt and Elliot have created, then with some of your own gaming group. Actually …

You won’t regret it.


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