Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Star Realms» Forums » Strategy

Subject: what kind of deck building strategy do you use? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mike Qunell
United States
Puyallup
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My normal strategy is to concentrate on just two different factions and also grabbing outpost bases of any faction. I haven't really determined which factions are the best or which ones make the best combinations. Recently I have had success using Red and Yellow (sorry, can't think of the names of the factions off the top of my head), but I have won with other combinations as well. I do think I prefer Red and their scrapping ability.

I have also tried a different strategy and try to collect just one faction and if nothing is available to just get Explorers. I don't think I had much success with this. I guess it depends on how the cards come out.

What type of faction collecting strategy have people used with continued success?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Benj Davis
Australia
Summer Hill
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's certainly a game where you have to be opportunistic, but yeah, I tend to favour aiming for a one or two colour deck. I loves me some scrapping, so if there's bots to be got, I'll shun them not.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wyatt Smith
United States
North Platte
Nebraska
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It really depends on what is available and what is available after what was initially available and what your opponent(s) are buying up. Generally speaking going for 1 or 2 colors is the best game plan. Certain colors do tend to have better synergy than others, red + yellow for example tho I have seen all combos work.

Red is unique is it's scrap ability. All of the other colors us a draw mechanic in attempt to bypass instead of ride one's deck of the early cards (Vipers & Scouts), however, if a player can use both the scrap to get ride of and then combine with extra draws for even more good cards, well then, you have it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John H.
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
I think the most important thing is what cards are available to purchase.

My personally feelings though is that yellow is the worst color and part of me dies every time I'm forced to buy an Explorer.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Staudt
Germany
Rutesheim
Baden-Württemberg
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Niediam wrote:
I think the most important thing is what cards are available to purchase.

My personally feelings though is that yellow is the worst color and part of me dies every time I'm forced to buy an Explorer.


I personally think Explorer is a much better card than the "always available" cards in other deckbuilding games since you can easily get rid of it when your deck has improved.
If you scrap it the first time it is still a card that is 4 times better than the starting cards.

In e.g. Ascension the "always available" cards are only twice as good as the starter cards and stay in the deck forever.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John H.
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
ashman wrote:
Niediam wrote:
I think the most important thing is what cards are available to purchase.

My personally feelings though is that yellow is the worst color and part of me dies every time I'm forced to buy an Explorer.


I personally think Explorer is a much better card than the "always available" cards in other deckbuilding games since you can easily get rid of it when your deck has improved.
If you scrap it the first time it is still a card that is 4 times better than the starting cards.

In e.g. Ascension the "always available" cards are only twice as good as the starter cards and stay in the deck forever.


I don't disagree at all but that doesn't make the card something that I want in my deck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David
Switzerland
Buchs
St. Gallen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Personally I follow a mostly opportunistic approach in terms of colors. I'll buy pretty much anything that has what I'm looking for although although I try to keep my reliance on rainbow cards as low as I can.

I generally start with money, then bases+scrap, then combat and if I can get a good draw card I'll take that too.

Green generally only really worth if you invest heavily in it or got plenty of drawing capabilities otherwise. Too many of those cards rely on allies. I love the outpost that gives either +5 attack or draw a card for each blob card played.

Red. If you're going to go for scapping in your first two turns get at least two. Or you'll be guaranteed to draw your only red card immediately after the first reshuffle. I love the +3 trade / +5 attack.

Yellow. Discards can be unbelievably nasty. Got hit with a discard 4 in an AI match recently. But I much prefer the drawing capabilties and the recycling station.

Blue. Awesome for shopping and their +Authority effects saved my skin more than once.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I played a 2-p game the other day, and I ended up focusing solely on yellow while my opponent focused solely on blue. I usually wouldn't have let him get all the blue cards, but there was always a yellow to be had.

The game turned out to be pretty epic. He was dominating, but then I lucked out and got the Command Ship, aka "game changer", my only non yellow card. I think I did like 40+ damage and killed him in two turns.

Generally I think you have to be opportunistic. I hate explorers and usually scrap them as soon as possible. I think that getting an early red card to help you scrap is never a bad idea.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger S.
United States
Roseville
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's my take on strategy so far:

Early game, prioritize purchasing and playing red cards to scrap your initial Scouts/Vipers ASAP, and secondarily give yourself the ability to generate 8 trade in a given round. Effective ways of getting to this 8 trade level are cards that provide at least 3 trade themselves (Trade Pod (3T), Freighter (+4T), Patrol Mech (+3T or +5C), and cards that can be scrapped for +trade (Blob Wheel (+3T), Space Station (+4T), Ram(+3T)). Don't go too crazy on +Trade, however, as Trade is a means to an end, and not the end itself.

The reason you want to be able to generate 8 trade at any time is that if Brain World or Command Ship show up you want to get them ASAP. It's worth scrapping your Blob Wheels, Space Stations, and Rams to purchase one of these cards. Brain World, in particular, will often give you inevitability if you can get it early on.

I'd lump cards into two categories: generally useful and faction-specific. Early game, I'd like to focus on more generally useful cards (like the ones I outlined above) to help me accomplish my goal of being ready to purchase any power cards, should they come out.

After my deck is thin enough (because of scrapping with reds), and rich enough (meaning I could fairly consistently swipe an 8-coster if it came up), then I would try to provide some focus for my deck. Take a look at the cards you've already acquired and the ones that are available in the trade row to see if you can focus on a particular color or 2. Green and Blue have some of the strongest Ally powers, so if the trade row and your opponent are allowing you to go all-in on a faction, I'd pick one of these two.

Regarding the colors, here's how I see them:

Red: Useful even if you can only get a few of them (for their scrap ability), but can become very formidable if you combine some of their cheap cards early on with the more expensive ones later (Missile Mech and Battle Mech). Stealth Needle deserves special attention because it's a great card, but I often won't buy it early on as it will end up copying a Scout or Viper for a couple rounds and I really don't want that when my goal is to be able to pounce in a high-cost power card if one becomes available. Their Bases are generally weak IMO, with the exception of Brain World which is the single best card in the game. I do like the fact that all of their Bases are outposts, though, so I'm not averse to picking some up just for their propensity to stick around. The caveat to this is that if you weren't able to pick up any of the Scrapping ships early on, then getting one of the Bases that can scrap cards should be prioritized. Their ability to scrap each turn (provided they aren't destroyed) is pretty strong.

Yellow: Primarily useful for their Outposts (I recommend all of them, they're great - Space Station is especially effective early because it can be scrapped for +4T) and their Cantrips (the +1 Card ones - Corvette and Survey Ship). Also, don't shy away from buying an Imperial Frigate, as you could always scrap it when you play it for +1 Draw, so it's not really impacting your overall deck composition. You *can* build a successful yellow combo deck that just wallops the other player, but for me personally it is too inconsistent unless you build it later in the game when your deck has thinned out a bit. Their big Base (Fleet HQ) is the worst of the 8-cost cards in my opinion, although it can certainly give you great value in the right situation.

Green: Probably the most combo dependent color, but also has plenty of cards that are powerful in their own right. As mentioned previously, I like both Ram, Trade Pod, and Blob Wheel in the early game for their ability to take out early Bases played by your opponent (in Ram's case), and give you some +Trade when needed for a big purchase. Other than Blob Wheel I think their Bases are really best when combined with a Green-centric deck composition, and don't shine on their own.

Blue: Like green above, they really shine when their ally abilities are activated often. They have a few ships that are good in any deck, however (Embassy Yacht in a Base-heavy deck, Freighter for the early game, maybe even Trade Escort falls into this category, and the 2nd best card in the game - Command Ship). And their Bases are generally useful to everyone - I like to snag one when I can. In particular, Port of Call can be a real lifesaver in filling in your Trade deficiencies if you weren't able to get many +Trade cards.

If none of the cards on the trade row fit into your overall strategy, Cantrips (+1 Draw) and Outposts are almost universally useful and should be considered.

Late game, you want to focus on combat to the exclusion of all else - you can even scrap some of your big +Trade cards if they're just getting in your way. Ideally you'd draw and play your entire deck each round, or get pretty close, and you should be generating 20+ damage each round at this point.

[Edit: I erroneously called Bases "Worlds" - now fixed]

59 
 Thumb up
1.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David
Switzerland
Buchs
St. Gallen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the above is really terrible advice and I sincerely hope nobody listens to it...











... because it would make it much harder for me to beat you in the tournaments.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John H.
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
I rate Roger's post as 100 out of 100.

Truely top notch work.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger S.
United States
Roseville
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Some other thoughts:

I alluded to it briefly above in the Yellow section, but one of the decisions you need to make is how much variance you're willing to tolerate in your deck, and when it is acceptable to allow for more variance.

The strategy outlined above aims to reduce variance through a rock-solid deck that can cycle itself and dish out massive damage (+ heal itself, force discards, etc...). On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have decks that could *potentially* wreck you, but only if all of the parts come together just right.

Let's say you're generally trying to accomplish the strategy I outlined above, yet every single red Scrapping card comes up in a way such that only your opponent is getting them, or they were able to get Brain World early.

If your opponent seems to be headed towards that super strong and small deck and you're not, then you should go for broke and load up on all of the cards of one faction (generally Green and Yellow would be strongest in these cases - Green for its ability to end the game quickly, and Yellow for its ability to force discards when the other player has better cards in his/her deck). You're increasing your variance dramatically, because now your deck will be larger and filled with all of the low cost ship cards that are pretty weak on their own but great when triggering their ally abilities, but you're at least giving yourself a shot.

Scrapping:
Probably one of the more nuanced areas of play. Cards that can be scrapped to trigger an ability are stronger than they first appear. Knowing when to scrap them and take their benefit is pretty tough to read but can change the tide of the game. For example, many of the Yellow cantrip cards can be scrapped to force the opponent to discard a card. This is normally not that great of a value proposition. However, in the end game, when both of you could potentially nuke the other player in one turn, forcing a discard can be a great play. Even some of the more expensive cards that have +1 Draw as their scrap ability can be game-winning if you're just a few combat short of the kill and you know you have some strong combat-heavy cards in your draw deck.

Base Killing:
Generally it's good to kill a base as soon as you can. However, if the other player's deck is almost empty and they will be reshuffling next turn, it may be better to let the base survive one more round so that when you kill it it's sent to a discard pile that it won't be picked up from soon.
26 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason "J.T." Taylor
United States
North Highlands
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
decadence20 wrote:
Some other thoughts:

I alluded to it briefly above in the Yellow section, but one of the decisions you need to make is how much variance you're willing to tolerate in your deck, and when it is acceptable to allow for more variance.

The strategy outlined above aims to reduce variance through a rock-solid deck that can cycle itself and dish out massive damage (+ heal itself, force discards, etc...). On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have decks that could *potentially* wreck you, but only if all of the parts come together just right.

Let's say you're generally trying to accomplish the strategy I outlined above, yet every single red Scrapping card comes up in a way such that only your opponent is getting them, or they were able to get Brain World early.

If your opponent seems to be headed towards that super strong and small deck and you're not, then you should go for broke and load up on all of the cards of one faction (generally Green and Yellow would be strongest in these cases - Green for its ability to end the game quickly, and Yellow for its ability to force discards when the other player has better cards in his/her deck). You're increasing your variance dramatically, because now your deck will be larger and filled with all of the low cost ship cards that are pretty weak on their own but great when triggering their ally abilities, but you're at least giving yourself a shot.

Scrapping:
Probably one of the more nuanced areas of play. Cards that can be scrapped to trigger an ability are stronger than they first appear. Knowing when to scrap them and take their benefit is pretty tough to read but can change the tide of the game. For example, many of the Yellow cantrip cards can be scrapped to force the opponent to discard a card. This is normally not that great of a value proposition. However, in the end game, when both of you could potentially nuke the other player in one turn, forcing a discard can be a great play. Even some of the more expensive cards that have +1 Draw as their scrap ability can be game-winning if you're just a few combat short of the kill and you know you have some strong combat-heavy cards in your draw deck.

Base Killing:
Generally it's good to kill a base as soon as you can. However, if the other player's deck is almost empty and they will be reshuffling next turn, it may be better to let the base survive one more round so that when you kill it it's sent to a discard pile that it won't be picked up from soon.


Having lost to Roger after gaining a 62-15 lead over him and then proceeding to watch him beat me -4 to 44, I approve this message..
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
United States
Berrien Springs
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I use whatever is available while comparing to what I went with on previous turns. If I can stay focused in on one color, I generally do so. Add another color as needed, generally try to stay away from a third color, unless the ship or base is just awesome.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John H.
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avoid going yellow. Pray that good cards of your color come out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Petersen
United States
Shoreview
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Niediam wrote:
Avoid going yellow. Pray that good cards of your color come out.

Always go yellow! Nothing beats causing the opponent to discard 4-5 cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John H.
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
steveisbig wrote:
Niediam wrote:
Avoid going yellow. Pray that good cards of your color come out.

Always go yellow! Nothing beats causing the opponent to discard 4-5 cards.


Except that you get to do that 1 game in 20 that you go heavy yellow.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.