GenCon is just a distant memory now. I never went but a friend, game designer, publisher (Ages the deck building game) and Star Realms guru Chris Shaner managed to pick me up a copy of the next Star Realms expansion United that was on sale there.
Like the Crisis expansion, United consists of four twelve card foil wrapped packs. The United expansion introduces new mechanics to the much loved game.
With missions there is now a new win condition! So instead of just crushing your opponent, now complete your three missions instead and it’s an instant win!
Sadly for your opponent they will have no idea what your missions are, because they are not revealed until you complete them. But you also have no idea what your opponents missions are. Oh the intrigue.
You are only able to complete one mission per turn, and when you do complete one you get a reward.
Missions will be something like have two bases in play from the same faction or play seven ships in a turn.
Rewards will be like get authority, but a ship of a certain value or less for free, draw a card. You get the idea.
The Covert Mission reward reminded me of a card that does something similar in Valley of the Kings. The missions reward is draw the top three cards from your deck. Put one in your hand, one in your discard, and one on top of your deck. A great ability to get that one card you need. Shame it’s a one off.
Let’s start bulking out that now enormous deck that is used to populate the trade row.
So we have new heroes which are more “powerful” to shuffle in. They also have a higher cost to match the increase in power. The humanoid heroes are based on tournament winners. Which is rather cool. You will notice my CEO Shaner card is signed. Yes CEO Shaner and Chris are the same person.
Let’s look at the two packs that bring more ships,bases and outposts to the game. These new packs bring another new mechanic to the game, Faction Pairs.
WTF?! Yep cards that are duel faction and can activate ally abilities for either of the factions they “belong” too.
Faction Pairs Pack A
I like the Coalition Messenger ship out of the four new ships. Mainly for its ally ability which allows you to choose a card of cost 5 or less in the discard pile and place that on the top of your deck. I like that a lot. The 3 cost is about right, plus its main ability gives you 2 gold to spend.
It’s the bases and outposts that really excite me about this and the other pack. Duel faction for starters. But Embassy Base, allowing you to draw two cards and have to discard one, and the Lookout Post with its draw a card ability. Awesome cards, but not cheap. Costing 8 and 7 gold respectively.
Faction Pairs Pack C
The Assault Pod at cost 2 giving 3 attack and ally ability of drawing a card is a nice cheap card that I like the look of. As is the Alliance Frigate, cost 3, 4 attack. Star Empire ally ability a further 3 attack, and a Trade Federation ally ability of gaining 5 authority.
Out of the bases and outposts I think the only one that doesn’t grab me is possibly the Alliance Landing.
Now that I have sleeves for the cards by the time you read this I should have played some games with these shuffled in to the now enormous deck for populating the trade row.
It will be interesting to see what impact on the game these new mechanics have on the game. When you play with Gambits, and all the Crisis packs, you can get some crazy first turn turns. It’s going to be fun finding out.
I close this post with a request to White Wizard “please, please, pretty please, sell a larger storage box”.