Star Wars Villainous: Scum & Villainy – “Never a more wretched hive of …”

With the excitement generated throughout 2023 by the plethora of Star Wars Disney Plus programming, it wasn’t going to be too long before Ravensberger’s Villainous franchise took advantage of a few of the more memorable characters to add to their tabletop gaming stable.

The Star Wars Villainous: Scum & Villainy expansion brings three new characters together as either a bite-sized package or as a reasonable expansion to the original game. Players have the opportunity to play as Boba Fett, Cad Bane or The Seventh Sister.

As with other Villainous titles (Star Wars) or otherwise. Each player in Villainous: Scum & Villainy wields their character’s sinister influence and unique abilities to manipulate events around them in their favour to fulfil their destiny.

Every character has their own game board, villain deck and fate deck built around their specific appearances in Disney-produced materials which beautifully illustrates many of their most memorable appearances but also the various protagonists they faced in each instance. All players follow the same diceless card-driven mechanics with differing outcomes to enable those using this as an expansion to integrate or expand the original game if you are lucky enough to own both.

But what does this cadre of rascals bring to the game and how do they play?

Boba Fett, probably the most well-known of the three, is recognised as one of the greatest bounty hunters in Star Wars History having captured Han Solo in the original trilogy and most recently assisting both The Mandalorian and redeeming himself as an Anti Hero.

Boba Fett’s mechanics (as you would expect) involve Bounty Hunting. Boba’s deck holds both Contacts, Bounties and Bounty Hunters. Working through his deck uncovers each of these with Boba needing to turn in 4 bounties to win the game. Boba players really need to get a move on to get as many contacts and bounties into play or it’s unlikely you can replay uncovered cards fast enough to reach your goal.

Cad Bane may feel like a footnote within the movie or television universe but carries a storied legacy within written materials in the universe and was one of the only non-force-powered antagonists who remained a consistent threat throughout, from the Clone Wars through to the fall of the Empire and his eventual (recent) death at the hands of Boba Fett.

Cad Bane also collects bounties but rather than specific cards he gains victory by defeating heroes. Hiring a crew hidden with his deck allows Cad to place targets on a hero and play specific actions to collect those targets. If your opponents aren’t playing heroes against you it can become difficult to quickly rack up enough targets to push through to victory but also having a full crew assembled helps to get to the target stage.

The Star Wars animation team managed to carve out not only an excellent new set of underdogs in Ezra, Kanan, Hera and Sabine but also delved into Vader’s Inquisitorius and delivered some memorable villains. Within Season 2, the Seventh Sister made her first appearance and personified the dark side of Vader’s hand-picked hounds. Dispatched in a particularly brutal fashion by Darth Maul, the Seventh Sister had hounded the crew of the Ghost for two seasons.

Seventh Sister’s core function as an inquisitor is the basis for her win condition. Defeat 3 Rebels, not just any three, however, the three main protagonists of the Star Wars Rebel series. Defeating Ahsoka Tano, Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger is challenging enough but the Seventh Sister also needs enough ambition to remove them from the board at the time of defeat and much of her deck is designed to help her build this fairly quickly.

Returning players will be glad to know you can mix and match Villainous: Scum & Villainy with the original “Power of the Dark Side” and have Darth Vader match up against Boba Fett if you so choose.

Weirdly the box references 2-4 players but it’s only possible for three players to play Villainous: Scum & Villainy as a standalone game. Three experienced players aware of the various mechanics should be able to complete a game in just under an hour.

Overall a great expansion to the Star Wars Villainous experience, Villainous: Scum & Villainy is great as a smaller bite-sized stand-alone or as an intro without too many players or as a way to get more friends around the table for an evening of scheming villainous fun.

You can purchase Villainous: Scum & Vallainy on Amazon.

Looking to get your friends or family into board games? Check out our list of great, accessible games, perfect for just that, here.

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