Fantasy Flight Games' excellent board game Star Wars: Outer Rim allowed players to pilot a ship across the galaxy as they sought fame and fortune, and now players can add a host of new characters, jobs, ships, and mechanics to the game courtesy of the new expansion Unfishined Business. Unfinished Business would have been fine if it had just added more of what was so great about the base game, but Fantasy Flight decided to make some improvements to the original experience in both major and subtle varieties, and those are what make this particular expansion indispensable and the absolute best way to experience the game moving forward.
For those unfamiliar with Outer Rim, the game has you playing any number of memorable characters from the Star Wars franchise as you travel across the galaxy and amass fame. To do that you'll complete jobs, deliver cargo, and capture (or eliminate) bounties, though you can also gain advantages by meeting contacts, drawing Encounter cards, and confronting patrols. Unfinished Business ups the ante and adds 8 new characters to play as (each with their own unique abilities), 45 Market cards, 6 new Ships, 52 new Databank cards, and 91 Encounter cards, and that's on top of adding rotating Cargo cards (which carry a second stop and even better reward) and multi-person jobs, which requires some unexpected teamwork, and all of those new additions inject some welcome new energy into your next replay.
As for those new characters, there are some fan favorites in the mix, including Hera Syndulla, Black Krrsantan, Cad Bane, Chewbacca, and Maz Kanata. These characters and more are also represented in 11 Orange Contact Tokens, which are now placed on each of the planets in addition to the two other Contact Tokens. The Orange Tokens allow you to meet more Star Wars favorites earlier in the game, though they also are more expensive to add to your Crew and harder to take down if there's a Bounty on them. Despite the added challenge, I enjoyed getting a chance to meet the more famous names sooner and even managed to add a few to my crew earlier on to help tip the scales in my favor.
The biggest additions by far though are the Core Worlds, which are added to either side of the board and allow for hyperdrive travel. In the previous version, you would have to make your way back across if your next destination was all the way on the other side of the cosmos, but now you can pass through a gateway with its own Encounter Deck, and this addition opens up the game considerably. You'll still get the random chance element that might cost you some money, damage, or reputation of course, but the risk is more than worth it. At times it was easy to rule out certain Jobs or Cargo deliveries because of how far the destination was, and the same went for capturing Bounties, which demand you apprehend the Bounty and then take them to another place for a better reward. The Core Worlds changed that, as now no location ultimately seems too far, and thus I find myself taking on more Jobs and widening my previous scope.
Unfinished Business also brings in two optional rules that can enhance the experience in Favors and Ambitions. Favors will have a more immediate impact on the game, as you can ask a player for a favor anytime during the game (outside of after a dice roll), and if they accept you will then owe them a favor later on. It's a guaranteed request as well, and thee can be in the form of utilizing one of their Skills for a dice roll or skill test, getting a bump up with a Faction, adding another die to your combat, and an extra boost to your Hyperdrive. Players can also negotiate the terms of this with credits and assets if you really want to spice things up, and you might need to if you all play with the Ambitions optional rule, which carries a set of unique winning conditions on top of the required Fame goal. This is perfect for those who are looking for a shaken-up experience over the long haul, and as this game is not on the short side by any means, longtime players will definitely get something out of this new twist.
Unfinished Business delivers a bevy of new additions that not only enrich the core experience but also improve it substantially, and I can't imagine a time when Outer Rim is on the table without the expansion alongside it.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Published By: Asmodee and Fantasy Flight Games
Designed By: Tony Fanchi and Corey Konieczka
Art Direction By: Jeff Lee Johnson
Star Wars: Outer Rim – Unfinished Business releases in stores on June 10th, and can be pre-ordered here.