Category Archives: star realms

star realms

New Star Realms App Expansion Crisis Heroes Now Available


You may notice something different about which expansions to play with when challenging other players now.

It is now possible to buy the latest in app expansion based on an already available physical expansion, which is Crisis Heroes.


I’ve not played Star Realms with the Hero cards, so it will be interesting to see how these play. Will they give incredible insane starts like the Gambits/Events can give?

Continuing with the “pay once play anywhere” approach this is a snip at £1.49.

Epic New Stuff 26Mar16

Another week and more good more stuff dropping through the letter box.

From my FLGS I got the latest Fluxx to hit our stores Firefly Fluxx. As an incentive to buy from your FLGS or LGS if they are not that friendly when you buy from a store it should come with a promo card for the game too.

I also finally crumbled and got the Batman Fluxx. This had been on my wishlist for a long time.
Tiny Epic Kingdoms Second Edition, plus Heroes Call it's expansion qualifies as my first delivered Kickstarter of the year.
Star Realms Colony Wars is on its way (somewhere in the postal system) but I knew I didn't have enough sleeves for the new arrivals. So three packets of sleeves dropped on the mat this morning to solve that problem.
Finally a real bargain (aren't they all?) appeared on Facebook for three copies of the Kickstarter version of the game (that's basically the base game plus promos). I'd mentioned it to a friend who asked me to get it for them. So here we are a box full of awesome, ready for delivery Tuesday.

 

Hulk Smash

There you are sitting there on sixty authority, your opponent (me) is there sitting on fifty three authority.

Then I start playing cards. The attack starts to mount up. I’m scraping cards, buying cards with abilities for free, removing outposts with card abilities. All of a sudden forty four points of damage go flying across.

Sixteen authority left, oh wait if I scrap some cards for their attack value I can hit nineteen points and finish them off.

The killing blow taking them to -3 authority.

Ô

 

Here I’m hoping this is a video of this most epic of turns.

At sixty authority you really do think there are at least a few more turns left in the game. I’ve been on the receiving end of something similar. Usually this happens at around the forty authority mark.

These turns are few and far apart. But boy when they happen, they are something special. I’m just so glad I was the one dishing out the punishment and not on the receiving end. Far, far too many times this is usually happening to me.

You have to love Star Realms.

 

A mid week father son gaming day

I'm down visiting Natha at the moment. I had to come down to make sure he got to the dentist. Let's just say that his track record of attending has been poor. So yesterday he went to his second appointment to sort out some tooth ache he'd had a couple of weeks back. Which resulted in the pain inducing tooth being extracted! So even more pain for Nath.

We followed the dentist visit up with a trip to the Farnborough cinema to see Deadpool (such a great movie) and London Has Fallen (an average at best sequel). This is something that I haven't done in a long time, back to back movies. Between films we grabbed a quick guilt loaded bite to eat at McDonalds.

But that was our Tuesday. What about today though?

Well once Nath was up, and I had fed him breakfast (American pancakes) we played our first game of the day Eminent Domain. A game I have been wanting to get to the table since getting it second hand off Facebook.

I liked playing Eminent Domain a lot. The game did not disappoint. Setup was fairly easy, and quick. Always good. I like the turn structure a lot. It's simple, but does the job. At the start of your turn, you can play a card from your hand if you wish to perform its action. You then have to select a role from the middle and play that role ability. This builds up your deck, allows you to get resources for the path you are following, explore planets, research new technologies. The other players also have the option of also following that role or dissenting (which is basically draw a card from your draw pile).

Finally the turn is ended with a tidy up phase for the current player where played cards go on the discard pile, a player can discard unwanted cards in their hand, and finally draw back up to five cards.

I ended up taking an explore colonise path, while Nath went down the more aggressive war route and conquered his planets.

Neither of us tried the produce/trade route, and Nath was the only one out of the two of us who did any research to get those more advanced technology cards for the deck.

There is very little interaction between players, but you are still involved between turns, trying to work out whether following the others role phase is useful in advancing your own goals, or is it better to draw that extra card?

I ended up beating Nath 39 victory points to 27.

Next up was what must be Nath's favourite card game or even modern board game, Star Realms.

It felt like we were playing with everything plus the kitchen sink in the cards we were using. Base game, Gambits, Crisis (minus heroes cards), Colony Wars, plus Cosmic Gambits. That's a hell of a lot of cards. We had the draw deck for the trade row split into three piles.

There was

In the end having done superior scrapping to give him the edge he needed, Nath delivered the killing blow of 21 points of damage to remove my 19 points of authority.

Our final game of the afternoon was Discoveries. This game is on my list of ones to try and play this first quarter of the year.

Once again a very quick game to setup. There was a bit more referring to the rules for our play of this compared to Eminent Domain.

However once you get used to the turn structure this is a nice little dice allocation game. The part of American history this is set in is neither here or there for me. The look of the game is nice, and subdued. They have gone with wooden dice for the game, that do feel “light”, but look and fit in with the theming.

Once again there is very little interaction between players. Being limited to the grabbing of your dice back from another player, or grabbing a grey tribe dice from the player with the most of them. Between turns you are mainly planning how best to utilise the dice you have available to achieve your goal.

As I said I liked the game, it will be interesting to see how this plays with three or four players. Will it feel different?

Oh and as the score pad shows I won ^__^

Finally some news!

Coming soon to a Kickstarter near you I believe (can't remember where I saw this Kickstarter reference) from Albino Dragon is The Goonies Adventure Card Game. Once I know more details I'll post them.

When I mentioned to Nath about this, all I got was “what is The Goonies?” He hasn't seen the movie!!! I never thought I'd fall into that group of bad parenting that also includes having not shown their kids Star Wars, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones. How did this happen? I've made a point of making sure Nath has seen the modern classics.

I'm going to have to rectify this ASAP.

 

Driving Miss Daisy

Last night saw the monthly meet up of the Fenland Gamers. After a quick discussion about why I had handed in my notice at work, we had to decide on a game to play. I suggested that we played…

Formula D

I've wanted to play Formula D for a while, I even picked up a second hand copy off the Facebook trading and selling page late last year. Sadly I hadn't got my copy to the table. Over the previous weekend Gavin and I discussed what games we would be bringing along to the evening. Gavin mentioned he had got Formula D for Christmas, so being the lazy person I am (hey these games aren't light to carry you know), I encouraged Gavin to bring along his copy for us to play.

Before the race started we rolled for our starting positions on the grid. I was at the back of the grid in the fifth spot. The omens weren't looking good, my first dice roll, and I was rolling low.

I was going to have to drive aggressively if I was to make up for my poor starting position. I was determined to fight my way to the front and make a historic win.

We were playing the beginners rules.

I managed to claw my way into contention for first place with Jonathan and Gavin, by using some great rolls of the dice (oh yes I was rolling high when I needed to be low, truly the dice hated me), managing my damage, and when I'd take it on corners to catch up and put myself in the running.

Katie managed to join the battle for first on the last two or three corners. However Gavin stole first place, with a close second going to me. I think Jonathan was third with Katie coming in fourth and a distant last Debbie.

In fact it was Debbie and her distance behind the pack that inspired the title of this blog post. Yes it seemed like Debbie was driving Miss Daisy in her little plastic formula one car round the race track.

In an old episode of the Simpsons where if my fading memory is not playing tricks on me the Simpson family are racing round a kart track, Marge says “slow and steady wins the race”. This indeed did seem to be Debbie's game plan for Formula D.

Now as you may have guessed there was some “gentle” banter at the table about Debbie in last place. And while Jonathan was plotting to take any shine off a historic win (if I had gone on to win it), Debbie too was plotting her revenge for the next game.

Wow I enjoyed playing Formula 6 a lot. It's more than a simple just roll and move game. There are some tactics to employ. The game cleverly uses different sided dice to represent the different gears of the formula one car you are racing in. These dice have different number ranges on them. For example in fourth gear you will roll the green dice that only has values in the range seven to twelve.

You have to stop a predetermined number of times on each corner. One corner may be once, while another might be three times. So you have to plan which gear you need to be in so that you are rolling numbers that allow you to stop the required number of times.

Then you have damage to your car, end up adjacent to another players car, and you both roll to see if you take damage. Fail to stop the correct number of times on a corner, take damage. Take too much damage and your car engine blows up. So managing your damage is an important factor. In the advanced version of the game, this damage is applied to more specific areas of the car.

The game does a fantastic job of simulating the “thrills” of racing round a track. I'm not a formula one fan, I find watching it boring. But I still enjoyed playing Formula D.

Hopefully Jonathan's idea of having a Formula D league can see the light of day for our group. It certainly would be fun.

The next game of the evening to hit the table was…

Ticket to Ride: Europe (TTR:E) aka Debbie's Revenge! Her part in my downfall

I've played TTR:E only within the rather excellent app version of the boardgame. And only then a couple of times at most.

Naturally the map for TTR:E is a map of Europe instead of the U.S. Of A. for the original game. We didn't play with the stations, a decision Gavin, Jonathan and myself would later on come to regret. However we were using the other additions of tunnels, ferries and long routes.

I really wasn't focusing during the initial stages of the game. I had not a clue what I was doing, what carriages I should have been collecting, the optimal routine I should be having to complete etc etc.

Did this lackadaisical approach at the start of the game cost me the game? Well it didn't help.

There was a lot of routes being built in Northern Europe by everyone. It was becoming very clogged, and gave Debbie her first chance to get her revenge by building a route I needed. It happened again later on, forcing me to try another way to complete my longest route. I needed two links to complete my long route and get twenty one points after being blocked by Debbie, and forced to find another way to complete my card.

I had one pink in hand, was planning to take the multi coloured engine my next go ready to complete my long route. When BANG! Katie played her last four trains to complete her card and end the game!

I had finished an eight point route only, got totally shut out by Katie and Debbie from completing my twelve point route, and now had failed to complete my long twenty one point route by two pink trains.

So during the end scoring while everyone else was happily adding on lots of points for completing cards, I went backwards. If Katie had scored nine more points she would have lapped me on the score board. I think this was my lowest scoring game of TTR ever!

The final game of the evening was the new crowd pleaser…

Codenames

So that the teams were even I sat this one out.

After taking a call from Kate, I had a bit of good news about a potential opportunity. Which was followed by a call from Nath. Who I thought was calling to gloat about ARSEnal being three two up against my beloved Liverpool. But no, he was telling me to take my go because he was going to win on his next go on Star Realms.

I took my go, which did some damage to him, but more importantly parked an outpost on the board and increased my authority. Which meant Nath was not able to get the win he was predicting. Although to be fair I only delayed the inevitable by about four turns.

But back to me being a bad Dad and disappointing my sons plans for victory at that moment in time. After Nath had taken his turn I got a text that was one word “lucky”. About five minutes later when Liverpool had scored a last minute equaliser in extra time I got another text “lucky lucky lucky”.

Back at the gaming table the game of Codenames was progressing. Now both teams ended up winning a game each. However I have to say I enjoyed spectating this game, and trying to work out which word(s) were meant by the clue.

This was another blooming brilliant evening of gaming, with great company. Thanks folks.

 

Don’t look back in anger… 2015

I love a good bandwagon to jump on, and this time of year has a doozie. You can't move online without coming across the ubitugous retrospective look back over the previous year. So who am I not to jump on that overcrowded bandwagon?

My most played game of the year, taking into account app versions of the games too, and this will come as no surprise to anyone, is…

I love this game. It helps that the app is so great, and has online play. Even having played over a couple thousand games, it still brings a smile to my face while playing.

Take last night for instance, one of my on going twenty odd games I have on the go at one time was against Freddy. For a large part of the game I had two Star Empire Fighter Base outposts camped out frustrating Freddy. Each time it was my turn it they triggered each other forcing Freddy to discard two cards each turn. It took him a while to get enough attack together so that he could knock them out. I had Freddy down to,nine authority, I was on sitting on thirty. Freddy did a massive play that combo-ed the hell out of things, drawing extra cards, adding a little more authority, accumulating attack. As I watched those cards being played, and the attack building up and then passing my authority, I was smiling and laughing. At the end of playing his cards, Freddy hit me for forty seven damage, killing me and winning the game.

Such a great game between us. I loved the fact just two cards caused so much frustration to Freddy. Freddy dug deep (his words) and pulled out a win with a stunning play. How could you not smile, and enjoy the experience?

I have played some great games this year, my collection has had some great games added to it (new releases and existing games). I've definitely played more games in real life this year, and that is thanks to the great people I met at the Fenland Gamers group.

Meeting the folks who make up the Fenland Gamers was another highlight of the year. It has been a blast meeting local people as keen on gaming as me.

I visited my first UK Games Expo, which was great fun. So much fun that I have tickets for next years already bought.

This has been my best gaming year to date, here's to an even better one next year.

 

Boxing Day Butt Kicked

Yesterday I taught Nath how to play Netrunner. We used the core set. Nath played my favourite runner, the anarch Noise. While I played the corp NBN.
This was the first time I've taught the game to anyone, and I was a little nervous about it considering I'm such a noob myself.
While explaining the game to Nath there was little bits I didn't explain, for example the influence cost of cards. That isn't important unless you are building decks. I also used a six sided dice for Nath to track his mmu with. Plus I didn't cover mulligans either. Well for a first game, how would Nath know if he needed to mulligan or not?

Nath drew a medium early, while I was drawing agendas and no ice! Although with two pad campaigns in play my economy was good. Nath hit HQ, scored an agenda for two points. I replied by scoring a one point agenda. Then he hit R&D which I was unable to defend and built up that medium. Nath scores another agenda for two more points on one of his R&D raids. I'm still not hitting ice, and have three agendas in HQ. Then Nath hits a winning three point agenda on a run on R&D that saw him accessing six cards.

Between our game of Magic and this game of Netrunner I'm not having much luck against Nath. I'm doing much better against him playing Star Realms. Since Nath has joined the online play via the app I've been kicking his butt. Which is funny because since Rich started playing online he's been kicking my butt!

 

Two Days of Christmas

Christmas Eve saw Nath and I at the cinema to see for the second time Star Wars The Force Awakens. Although we were only watching the 2D version of the movie, I had to get the 3D glasses the Vue Cinema are selling.

They look so blooming cool. Apparently Odeon cinemas are doing Star Wars branded Google Cardboard so will have to find time to visit one of them.
After the movie we ended up in Sainsburys for some very last minute veg buying, and somehow this piece of Lego ended up in the basket too.
I think it helped that it had been reduced by a fiver. But this is a great little model of Rey's speeder from the new movie. I also love the Rey minifig, especially with the head gear on.

After I had built my little Lego treat, I finally caved and bought Nath the full version of the Star Realms app and its expansions. He's been playing the app but just not online. So now father and son can play Star Realms while apart. Oh if you wish to challenge Nath on Star Realms his in game name is banjo.

Christmas Day, the miracle for me was how Nath cleared his plate! Our plates were piled high. I couldn't clear my plate, yet Nath wiped his clean.

Before Nath performed his man verses food Christmas challenge, we played a couple of games of Star Realms Colony Wars. I won our first game when we played with gambits also. While Nath took the second game, which was just a plain vanilla game. There are some awesome cards in Colony Wars, however in a later post I will look at the cards.

Nath and I also played our first Magic the Gathering card game. We used the two thirty card taster packs I was given. Nath had the Gideon Jura White Planeswalker deck, while I had Nissa Revane Green Planeswalker. I got hammered by Nath. I never even got a point of damage in. I nearly had a mighty fourteen points hit land. I had a Terra Stomper fielded, which had trample, and is an 8/8. I summoned Yeva's Forcemage that is a 2/2 creature, but gave a +2/+2 to a target creature when fielded until the end of turn. Which I naturally directed at my Terra Stomper. I then played Titanic Growth that pumped the Terra Stomper with an extra +4/+4 until the end of turn. I then attacked with my fielded 2/2 Prized Unicorn, and 14/14 Terra Stomper. Nath had to block the Prized Unicorn with his creatures because of the text on the Prized Unicorn “All creatures able to block Prized Unicorn do so.” Which meant I'd be smashing Nath for fourteen massive points to his face!

Nath plays the instant Divine Verdict that destroys target attacking or blocking creature. Bam!! That super beefed up Terra Stomper sent to the graveyard.

Two turns later I'm dead, I had nothing to stop Nath's attacks with. That instant by Nath won him the game. I had a chance upto that point.

Oh well we both enjoyed playing the game which is the main point. A fun first experience of the game. Swap colours next time I think.

Oh what games did I get Nath for his Christmas present? Dead Panic, the zombie themed version of Castle Panic, Marvel Legendary Villians and Star Realms Cosmic Gambits.

 

Why I Don’t Play Cthulhu Realms

I don't think it's a secret how much I love the game Star Realms. It is without a doubt my most played game. Which is down to the totally awesome app of the game. And the app is amazing value really, buy once, get across all platforms the game is available on, plus online multiplayer that is platform independent.

Cthulhu Realms is touted as an improved Star Realms. From supporting up to four players straight out of the box, one less faction, faster ramp up, weaker faction synergy abilities, locations easier to destroy.

So why am I not playing Cthulhu Realms more? Or even instead of Star Realms?

Well if you remember back to when the game came out and I got my copy I played my first game with Nath.

Nath didn't enjoy playing the game, despite loving Star Realms. For Nath the iconography of the cards got in the way of him enjoying the game. Now you could argue that if we had persevered with the icons with more plays then it would become less of an issue.

However even with the handy action summary on the sanity tracking card, deciphering the icons slowed the game down.

The other main stumbling block is there no app for the game! I think part of the success of Star Realms can be put down to its app. I'm not reliant on being able to get together with people to play, I can play solo against the AI, play a campaign, or online against others.

Then there is the Star Realms community that has built up around the game. Which once again has been aided big time with the app.

So despite Cthulhu Realms being the technically better game, it will not get much play with me while I still have that learning curve of the iconography to get over. An app would help with that big time. Plus the app would solve the problem of finding someone to play with (and it has to have online play from day one).

This game needs the app fast, else it will remain an also ran.

UPDATE: apparently TMG have an app in development with White Wizard

Bases and Battleships

Checked my app updates on my iPad just now, and this was there waiting for me.

Yep more ships and bases to play with in the app version of the game. £1.49 for this expansion is a bargain, especially when you consider that gives you the expansion across all versions of the game. So instantly I have it on my Mac, I have it on Windows (if I so wish to play it on the dirty side of my Mac) and if I have a a complete breakdown in taste an Android device (heaven knows why you would ever want one).

Slowly the app is catching up with the physical game. Just wait until they add events and heroes.