I think it's time to talk about Star Realms in the meat world, and not the digital.
Lunchtime yesterday I managed to get a couple of games with Jamie at work. These were the first games I'd played since getting the Crisis expansions. The trade deck was made up from the base set, the Crisis: Bases and Battleships expansion, the Crisis: Fleets and Fortresses expansion, from the May-June 2014 Game Day kit the Megahauler and Battle Screecher cards, from the second tournament kit Fortress Oblivion and Starbase Omega.
To cut a long story short I won both of our games. The first game was a comfortable win, however the second game was close. If it hadn't been for a couple of outposts taking the sting out of a 20 point combo attack, reducing the damage to 10 points, Jamie very well would of gone on to win the game I think. In the end I finished the game on 14 authority, to his -1 after taking a 10 point hit from me to end the second game.
Naturally we played using the new playmat. Playing the game on the official playmat the game looks amazing.
When I got home the official Star Realms storage box was waiting for me. Inside was a nice little letter from the shop I bought it's from in Germany plus a little packet of sweets. Sweets are always welcome no matter how small the packet is.
As the photo below shows you get an awful lot for your money with the storage box. The box itself is a strong cardboard with amazing artwork. White Wizard Games really do know what they are doing visually. The art work on the cards and official products like the playmat and this box is just out of this world. You also get four packets of card sleeves, four cardboard dividers, and three copies of the Mercenery Garrison outpost card.
The box will hold three base sets sleeved. Which is lots of space for a base set and the expansions that are out at the moment.
Before Luke arrived to play Star Realms I spent a bit of time sleeving all the cards I have. The official sleeves are pretty cool, the art work is the same as it is on the back of the cards. I like the fact there are plenty of sleeves included. There is more than enough to sleeve a base set, the Gambit expansion, the four expansions that make up the Crisis Expansion, and any promo cards you may have. And I still have spares left over for new additions. The sleeving of cards was followed by adding in the Mercenery Garrison to the trade deck from earlier. I somehow need to get my hands on three copies (I think that's the number allowed of this card) of the Starmarket promo card to add in, and I have all the promos, and expansions for Star Realms at this point I think.
Luke arrived and after the wolf pack had calmed down a little, I started to explain the game of Star Realms to him.
Just a quick aside, but now with all the cards sleeved the trade deck goes from a compact pile to a reproduction of the Empire State Building in cards. The sleeves really do increase the height of the trade deck considerably.
We played three games of Star Realms, with some coaching along the way. I hope I got the balance right between letting Luke make his own decisions and learning, and helping. Although I do based on my current slump playing against opponents in the app feel a bit of a fraud pretending to be an “expert” who knows what he's talking about. Between games and at the end I pointed out one or two of my favourite cards and explained why.
Near the end of the third game, Luke got a great combo working that ended up in hitting me for 23 points of damage.
Luke enjoyed playing the game and is planning to get the app so that he can get more practice playing the game before the next time we play.
Through out the evening what I thought was Strider knorring a bone was in fact him knorring the table leg. When caught he tried licking it as if that would fix what he had done! Below is a photo of the naughty Strider having been caught in the act.
So a great day with Star Realms playing with the cards. Great games (and I'm not saying that because I won, I love playing this game win or lose) and great opponents. I love the app and playing against opponents from who knows where. And this is great especially if you have no-one local to play with. But and this applies to all boardgames really, playing across the table from some-one, interacting, having that physical product interaction just can't be replicated. It's a different experience. I love both experiences, but it's really cool to be playing with the cards and seeing the reactions when you pull off those combos and hit them with a large damage score, and the banter that goes with it.