$15.00
$30.00
$5.00
$20.00
Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Star Realms» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Board Games and Baseball Review Star Realms rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Josiah Shanks
msg tools
Not a super in-depth review but did write a little something about the game. May write a more expansive one for Star Realms: Colony Wars

Number of players: 2
Time: 10-15 minutes
Complexity: Low-medium
Type of game: Deck-building/set collection

How to play: It's another deck-building game and surprise, surprise, it's a game I really enjoy. The concept of the game is simple in its original form. You and your opponent start out with 50 health and your goal is to reduce your opponent's health down to zero. You do this by recruiting new ships and bases in your fleet and playing cards that initiate this damage inflicted upon your opponent.

At the beginning of the game, you start off with ten cards, eight scouts (worth one coin each) and two vipers (each worth one damage). Like almost all deckbuilding games, you draw the first five cards from your deck and away you go. You play the cards from your hand to either inflict damage on your opponent and/or to recruit new ships or bases from the trade row (depending on how much you can afford). The trade row is five random cards from the rest of the cards in the game.

The cards in the trade row help build the rest of your deck. Like most deckbuilding games, the cards are better as they cost more. Thus, at the beginning of the game, you're unlikely to be able to afford cards that you will want to use through the whole game. But as you work your way through the game, you're able to get cards that help you get better ships or to attack your opponent.

One of the more interesting parts of the game is that the cards can serve more than one purpose. Each card will provide you with economy (coins) with attack points or to heal yourself. But even more interesting about this game is that each card belongs to a different faction. These are symbolized by the symbols on the card as well as the background color of the cards. These cards will allow you to chain actions together. These factions can also provide bonuses in the form of secondary actions.

The primary action is listed just under the picture of the card. The secondary action is listed under the primary action. The secondary action has the same symbol and color of the card that is being played. This means that if you played other cards with the same color that turn you can chain actions together pretty well.

Instead of recruiting ships to your deck, you can recruit bases instead. When you play a base, they stay in play until they are destroyed. If they have a black shield over their defense value, they have to be destroyed prior to an attack hitting your or your opponent's health. These bases have their own symbols/color that can match other colors and provide benefits each turn that they are in play. If the base has a gray shield over its defense value, then they do not have to be destroyed before the attack can continue. While the bases can build a defense fortress around you for a while, the base defenses can be destroyed as the game gets later and people are able to chain actions together.

Once you or your opponent gets to zero health, the game immediately wins. Whoever still has health remaining is the winner. All in all, the game takes about 10-15 minutes to play.

Pros: For a quick game of 15 minutes or less, it's difficult to find a game with more strategy. It is a great game for two players. The price point of the game is right around $10 which probably is offering you the most game for that little of money. You're attacking your opponent the whole time which is an interesting take on the deckbuilding genre. The various factions allow you to chain your actions better than most other deckbuilding games. Since you want to chain your actions together, you have to strategize for which cards you want to add to your deck. There are times that you will want to take a lesser card in the trade row to help build your deck with a few factions. Beside the fact that each faction allows you to focus on how you want to build your deck green cards primarily focus on building large attacks, yellow cards focus on cards either your own (drawing) or your opponent's (discarding), blue focus primarily on healing yourself, and red cards focus on thinning your deck. Which brings me to the last pro, it is surprisingly easy to thin your deck quickly and with a few cards.

Cons: Most of my cons of this game will focus on features not bugs for other people. Because you're attacking your opponent the entire time, it is directly confrontational. The game can drag if it lasts too long. One of the ways that it can drag is if your opponent is able recruit bases at the beginning part of the game (especially blue bases) which allow them to build an impenetrable wall or to heal themselves past 50 health allowing the game to drag. Since you are trying to focus on destroying your opponent, you may stop looking for cards that allow you to recruit more ships or bases into your deck. You may not be able to recruit the ships that you want for your deck because you can't afford them which might drag the game about. My final con is on all deckbuilding games that require a random deck of cards showing in the trade row. This makes the game more luck dependent than it should be. Cards may come up in the trade row that directly benefit your opponent. Or the card that you want never comes up in the trade row and seemingly only comes up for your opponent. It can be incredibly frustrating. As you are recruiting the factions into your fleet, you may run into situations where you can't get any factions that you want. Also, it's space themed which may be a turn-off.


Overall thoughts: Good game, especially considering the price-point. It's even thematic, if that's what you're into.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dániel Lányi
Hungary
Budapest
* -Not Applicable-
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review but I'd like to mention the other side of some of your cons.

josiahshanks wrote:

Because you're attacking your opponent the entire time, it is directly confrontational.


I wouldn't say that. If you except bases to be immediately shot down (which you should unless your opponent is played extremely defensively) then damage isn't really confrontational, it's more like scoring points. And because bases will go back to your deck and not get destroyed permanently, it doesn't feel like my opponent destroyed what I built, because what I built is my deck, not the bases themselves. Even Rahdo said something like this, and he might be even more conflict-avoiding than me.

josiahshanks wrote:
The game can drag if it lasts too long.


Some people complain the game is too short, and while I have no problem with this, I enjoy an epic Star Realms game from time to time where both me and my opponent heal 20-30 damage each turn and deal over 50 by the end. It makes it longer but it's sometimes fun, and when you know the a game a bit, you see when both you and your opponent are starting to do longer game strategies, so it's no surprise.

josiahshanks wrote:
My final con is on all deckbuilding games that require a random deck of cards showing in the trade row. This makes the game more luck dependent than it should be. Cards may come up in the trade row that directly benefit your opponent. Or the card that you want never comes up in the trade row and seemingly only comes up for your opponent. It can be incredibly frustrating. As you are recruiting the factions into your fleet, you may run into situations where you can't get any factions that you want.


This, too, has another side to it. While Dominion-type deckbuilders are certainly more strategic, I think you make most of your decisions at the start of the game. You look at the cards and decide which ones you'll buy at which phase of the game and usually for about half the cards you will just never buy them. This means for me you're kind of autopilot for the whole game and while there's no luck in trade row, there certainly is luck in your draws (with some of these games even more than Star Realms, for example in Dominion drawing all your actions without +1 action means you'll play 20% of your hand, while in star realms if you draw the worst possible combination, you just don't get the ally abilities and get a bit less out of your cards).
Another problem I have with fixed pool of cards type deckbuilders is that it doesn't force the designers to balance the cards. Sure everyone has access to the same cards (unless you get a lucky 5 copper draw at the star and buy that good 5-cost card), but there are some cards or some 2-3 card combos you have to buy to not get left behind. Then it's jsut about noticing at setup which cards are stronger which again results in less real decisions while you're actually playing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josiah Shanks
msg tools
Thank you - I don't disagree with your points and do think is is an excellent game (in my top 20).

We do every once in a while play a game with 75 HP instead of 50/and can be fun.

Thank you for your comments
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Talmadge
United States
Clinton
CT
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
What does this have to do with baseball?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Taylor
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
ct5150 wrote:
What does this have to do with baseball?


Star Realms has an Infield Fly rule.

It doesn't come up that often.

Ian Taylor
Director of Organized Play
White Wizard Games
3 
 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.