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Star Realms» Forums » Rules

Subject: Do you have to play all the cards from your hand? rss

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Adam Wells
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Hi there, just looking for some quick clarification on this - Do you have to play all 5 of your cards on each turn. Or can you play 3, and just draw 2 at the start of your next turn?

Not been able to find a comprehensive answer on this.

Best.

Adam
 
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Robert
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You do not need to play all 5 cards during your turn, but there is no reason not to. Whether they were played or not, you must discard all of the cards at the end of your turn (aside from active bases and outposts). You cannot hold any cards in your hand from one turn to the next.
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Pasi Ojala
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You can't save cards from one round to the next.

Whether you are required to play all cards is another question. I can think of a few cases when you might want to not play a card.

The app doesn't let you end your turn without playing all cards.
 
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John
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a1bert wrote:
Whether you are required to play all cards is another question. I can think of a few cases when you might want to not play a card.

The app doesn't let you end your turn without playing all cards.

I'm fairly sure this is one of the instances where the app and the physical game are different. In the physical game you may discard cards without playing them.

The reason you might want to do it is so that you din't trigger a reshuffle. Let's say you've bought 4 ships which give you lots of attack (but no card drawing). The only other card you have bought is a Corvette (1 Combat + Draw a card). On you turn you draw the 4 big attack ships and the Corvette and you deck is empty. Your discard pile is all scouts + vipers. If you play the Corvette you'll be forced to shuffle your discard pile and draw a card. Next turn you deck will have 9 starter cards in, the turn after 4 starter cards (so you might draw one of the good ships) and the turn after that you'll finally have a chance of drawing 2 or more decent ships. Far better to discard the Corvette and have a chance of drawing the good ships next turn as they'll all be in your discard pile when you shuffle it. Obviously this doesn't happen that often.
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Scott Heise
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You don't have to play all your cards, but you do have to discard any cards remaining in your hand at the end of your turn before drawing a new hand of 5 cards.

Note that in the app there is no way to not play a card, but this is a deviation from how the rules are written.
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Kevin B. Smith
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EDIT: Lost the context here: Other reasons you might choose not to play a card:

Or you might not want to play a "Draw" card if you know that the one card left in your draw deck is something that won't benefit you this turn. Maybe it's a faction you didn't draw this turn, or maybe it's big money and you had no money this turn. Or it's a base and you're hoping it will come out with other bases to protect it. Or maybe the draw deck only contains a card-trasher plus a card I really want to trash, so I don't want to split them up.

It doesn't come up every game, but it's not that rare that I at least contemplate whether or not I would to play a card.

But for what the OP asked, no, you can't carry any cards over to your next turn.
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Tod Andrew
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I understand that all played cards AND any remaining cards are discarded at the end of a turn.

But if unplayed cards could instead be retained in hand for future turns, wouldn't this enhance strategic depth of the game?

Maybe there are gameplay reasons why the whole hand of cards has to be discarded each turn?

 
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Kevin B. Smith
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tod_13 wrote:
But if unplayed cards could instead be retained in hand for future turns, wouldn't this enhance strategic depth of the game?

Yes and no. Some deckbuilders allow that (and some require you to pay to do so).

I think the traditional reason you had to discard your entire hand is because it forces you to try to build a deck that works well in 5-card chunks. If you can hold your "strong" cards until you draw their combo pairs, they become easy to use. But if you have to tune your deck to try to ensure that the combos show up together, it is more of a challenge. Holding cards over is more forgiving, which could be seen as reducing the strategic challenge.

I don't think either design is better. I generally just trust what the designer, developer, and playtesters ended up with.
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John
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I suspect that allowing holding cards would reduce strategy and possibly lead to some degenerate strategy being dominant. Cards which give trade would be weaker as hitting 8 trade in a turn early game would be trivial.
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