Every Night Is Game Night: Star Realms


I’m playing a board game every day this month and blogging about it (I did a similar challenge last year)Feel free to join me during my Every Night Is Game Night: My Daily Play & Blog Challenge. And tweet me with what you’re playing these days!

Star Realms is one of my favorite deck builders for so many reasons: it’s fast, it’s compact, it’s cheap, and, best of all, it has the kind of player interaction that other deck builders lack.

Players start with the same basic deck of spaceships: 8 Scouts (worth 1 money each) and 2 Vipers (worth 1 combat strength each). A row of five cards for purchase are laid out and any time one is bought, another card from the deck replaces it. Each player starts with 50 Authority (hit points) and any combat dealt out by a player will be assessed to their opponent.

What I love about Star Realms is how fast the action ramps up. The four factions in the game offer various abilities and bonuses when played in combinations. Better spaceships can be bought and outposts and bases can be used for additional protections from an opponent’s attack. It’s fun figuring out how each faction behaves: Blobs bring the most fire power while the Trade Federation can heal those precious Authority points.

Tonight I played one of the solo scenarios from the Colony Wars expansion: Pirates of the Dark Star. Solo play is like a normal two-player game, but for the dummy player, you’ll trash one card and draw one card. There are set actions for each of the four factions and whichever faction is drawn will determine the action. For example, draw a Blob faction and you’re hit with damage equal to three times that card’s cost.

The solo scenario seems easy, but that damage piles up quickly. Even with the standard starting Authority of 75 vs the dummy player’s 25, it’s easy to lose and any wins are usually close. Tonight I got the better of those pirates, winning by 18, but it could’ve easily gone the other way.