Open Accounts (Unfinished Business) is the first expansion for the board game Star Wars: Outer Rim – localized in German via Asmodee in this country. The makers have tweaked the small adjustment screws, so the extension does not become a game changer. Still, fans of the basic game should have Unfinished Business, because the expansion underlines the strengths of the board game.

There are times when, as a bounty hunter, mercenary, or trader in the galaxy, you've seen all there is to see and experienced all the adventures there are. And then? Sip blue milk in the Cantina or go in search of the undiscovered in the Outer Rim. At least Fantasy Flight Games and Asmodee Germany make it easy for the fans – they have a few unpaid bills to hand.

Star Wars: Outer Rim - Unfinished Business, Unknown Stories

Fans had to wait a long time for the expansion. The pick-up-and-deliver board game Star Wars: Outer Rim was released in 2019, had many small stories and big adventures in the Outer Rim and is considered one of the best Star Wars board games that you can currently buy for credits.

Test board game Star Wars Outer Rim expansion
The game board expansions are central components - and something like the game highlights of the expansion. Photo: Volkman

The basic game wasn't free from weaknesses, but its narrative concept and atmosphere made it particularly convincing. You can't experience much more Star Wars at the board game table. For those who don't know what to do with the franchise, the basic game at least offers solid mechanics that provide entertainment - as long as you can at least get involved with the sometimes sluggish flow of the game.

At some point, however, the air is out. You have turned every playing card five times, read everything, seen everything, often won or lost. Early after the release of Star Wars: Outer Rim, Fantasy Flight Games indicated that they would be releasing supplies, but at that point it was completely unclear when the story would continue until the expansion was announced. In any case, the time has come and at least fans of the basic game can't avoid Star Wars: Outer Rim - Unfinished Business.

There are several reasons for this: the creators have worked on all the central elements and have accordingly provided new content. There are new ships, equipment, characters, quest, even new mechanics. At first glance, none of this seems to make the expansion a must-buy, but in the end it's the coherent overall package that an "unfinished business" wouldn't want to do without. The add-on isn't a complete overhaul, because the base game didn't need it at all. Rather, it is an optimization of the structures that are already working – but this also applies to the weaknesses of the game. It sometimes has lengths, the trading principle is a bit fiddly, sometimes bulky. Open Invoices adds many features to the basic game on a detailed level that need to be considered. This makes gameplay more complex, but not necessarily more complicated - commendable. Nevertheless, because the expansion is not mandatory, beginners can and should try the basic game first. There is enough to do in it - with "Unfinished Business" the fun can be extended afterwards.

Test Star Wars Outer Rim Open Accounts
Han Solo as a crew member? This is possible with the extension – a cool feature. Photo: Volkman

Same concept, but more varied

The concept remains the same: you slip into the role of a character known from Star Wars, equip yourself and your ship, hire crew members and complete various tasks from bounty hunts to trading orders to earn Fame Points. On the way there you experience a lot: the story unfolds step by step via map texts. Hardly any game is the same. The most obvious addition to the Star Wars: Outer Rim expansion are the new map pieces that complement the Outer Rim. Hyperdrive travel allows you to jump from one end of the board to the other, but at the expense of safety. This trick makes the gameplay more exciting and streamlined at the same time. You can, but no longer have to, traverse the entire Outer Rim, you can take a shortcut. That goes well with Star Wars itself - but at the same time with the board game. It is simply more practical to be able to process certain orders efficiently. This only makes it easier to a certain extent, because there is always a decision behind the flight: dare risk or not?

A special encounter stack provides for some unpleasant surprises that can sometimes cost you dearly. You lose credits or your reputation with the factions changes. It brings another little moment of tension into play. And the short trip option has another, much clearer effect: You are more flexible when it comes to the selection of orders. If you had previously simply rejected tasks because the travel obstacle was too big, you are now happy to take them with you. This expands the Qquest options, which ultimately has a positive effect on the flow of the game.

Review Board Game Star Wars Outer Rim Expansion
Chewbacca as the main character was something that was missed in the base game. Now it is here! Photo: Volkman

Otherwise, open invoices basically starts with the strengths of the basic game and expands them: Over 200 new cards, around half of which are encounter cards, bring further story shreds into play. So Star Wars: Outer Rim gains in narrative moments. The rest is equipment: characters, market cards and Co. And: New AI cards are also included, which significantly improve the game against imaginary opponents, because the bounty hunter AI is a new approach to solo gaming fun. In addition, the expansion now also enables solo play against several fantasy opponents - a clear plus for those who cannot get their friends and acquaintances excited about Star Wars board games. The degree of challenge is sometimes high, and it is no longer quite as relaxed as in the basic game for solo players. In contrast to multiplayer fans, Star Wars: Outer Rim is actually close to being a must-buy for solo players.

Overall, however, the extension is not a bargain at around 40 euros. The equipment is not necessarily poor, but in view of the asking price it is not exactly lavish either. In the end, the investment is still worth it - it's fun and even more than in the basic game. Last but not least, this is due to the sometimes more forced approach to interactions. They were there in the base game, but not to the extent one would have wished for in the confrontational world of the sci-fantasy epoe. That changes with the new jobs for several bounty hunters: players are asked to cooperate. The new game element irons out a small weakness of the basic game. And the new contact brands also have an impact during the games: You can add the popular characters to your own crew, but not without paying a proud price for it.

Test Star Wars Outer Rim Expansion Solo Game
For solo players, the new expansion for Star Wars: Outer Rim is much closer to a must-buy than for multiplayer fans. Photo: Volkman

A small highlight are the debt markers, an optional rule for experienced outer rim fans. Favors can give you a temporary advantage, but you can later be obligated by others to return the favor. A bit of bluff builds up around it, role-playing elements are noticeable in the beginning – at least it increases the confrontation factor of Star Wars: Outer Rim on a low level. Another variant is the game with ambitions: then it is no longer enough to collect fame points to win. You also have to complete certain objectives on an additional progress bar. This adds some complexity to the flow of the game and adds variety. This not only ensures a different flow of the game, but also requires strategic changes and an adapted selection of tasks, because sometimes it is about having to reach a fixed reputation level with certain factions.

All in all, Star Wars: Outer Rim - Unfinished Business ties in with all ends of the base game and often expands the gaming experience with meaningful details. Due to the significant expansion of the possibilities, the long-term fun increases. Unfinished business not only lets fans get the board game Star Wars: Outer Rim out of the rule, but also brings it back to the table more often in the future. Beginners could be overwhelmed by the increased complexity; practice with a few basic game games is recommended here.

Infobox

Number of players: 1 to 4
Age: from 13 years
Playing time: 120 to 150 minutes
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: high
Genre: Expert game
Core Mechanics: Pick up and deliver, Fame points, Battles, Rolling dice

Authors: Toni Fanchi, Corey Konieczka
Publisher: Asmodee
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2022
Language: German
Cost: 40 Euro

Summary

There's no question that the Star Wars: Outer Rim expansion comes at a price. The investment can dare fans of the basic game without hesitation. Everyone else would benefit from the additional content and concepts, at least on a game-mechanical level. Even the basic game has not only appealed to fans of the franchise for a long time, but was also able to convince in terms of the flow of the game. A few lengths aside, Star Wars: Outer Rim was and is one of the most atmospheric pick up and deliver board games. This will not change with the expansion. On the contrary: there is more of everything.

The authors Toni Fanchi and Corey Konieczka have also reworked the right places in a purely playful way. The gameplay is streamlined, can be polished up with alternative rules and shines with a bit more variety. This mainly results from the playing field adjustment itself. The hyperspace shortcuts are small measures with big effects. Instead of wasting time traveling, the focus is even more on the missions. Ultimately, this also leads to more solo players in large groups, but here too, optimizations ensure the necessary interaction, at least in significantly more game moments.

Whether Star Wars: Outer Rim - Unfinished Business is a must? Not as much as is the case with Dune: Imperium and the expansion Rise of Ix, but the many small innovations make you at least think twice about whether you really want to do without unfinished business. The content is good for the game, which you should ultimately use if you've always had fun with the base game but are now looking for a change.

Solo players in particular derive added value from the new material. Instead of staying relaxed in the duel mode of the base game, you can throw yourself into an exciting game against several AI opponents - quite challenging and in this case worth every credit.

The New Characters - Not you, Chewie! - are options, but not necessarily the most popular of the franchise. You can know them, and as a fan you will undoubtedly know them, but for everyone else Enfys Nest, Hera Syndulla or Maz Kanata are just more of the same. After all, everything fits thematically to the expansion. But in the end it's the same in this case: once you've played Star Wars: Outer Rim with the expansion, you won't want to play it without it anymore.

Author

Last updated on 4.08.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API