Table Top Thursday – Star Realms

Thursday has always been a hard one for me. Friday is so close you could taste it and the drag of the whole week before you is wearing you down. We even managed to have a blizzard in April! It is no surprise that getting into something can be hard at this point when the bed and finishing the week sounds so much easier than playing a game or finishing that book.

To combat the Thursday “bad feels” I like to try to stick to a schedule and checkmark off all the things I need to get done. With that, I plan on making every Thursday a Table Top Thursday so I can have a focus outside of the video gaming world a bit. Board games and card games are a huge part of who I am and part of my personal story. Plus, I like talking about them to help people get off the stigma that a board game is Monopoly and that’s it.

Leading away from this I wanted to take some time and talk about my personal favorite deck builder, Star Realms. A nice cheap game sitting at 14.99 for a physical copy or a digital one for free you can play on the go. It is one of the few games I have purchased multiple times as I played so many games I wore through the cards. When you are getting into a high stake match you may be flicking the cards in your hand a bit hoping your opponent doesn’t play another huge Blob ship you shut you down.

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What is a blob? First I want to help make sure you know the gist of what a deck builder is. After all, there are tons of games that fall into this category. Things like DC Deckbuilder, Legendary and of course Dominion all hit the list of a deck builder. One that starts everyone out with a clean slate and you “purchase” cards to add to your deck as you go. Eventually having a unique deck by the end of the game that runs like no one else.

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Many times these games have unique heroes you can start the game with that give you a little extra help to start out with. Sometimes they grant more gold or hit harder for damage, nothing too much to have a major advantage in the beginning. Remember the core of a deck builder is you start out equal. The base game of Star Realms starts out with just currency plus damage and is a death match between you and the person you are sitting across from.

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The “gold” for this game comes in the form of trade such as the golden one icon you see on the Trade Bot picture. Damage is the red markers that you see and the green five on the Alliance Frigate gains you Authority, which is your health in this game. The game uses mechanics like scraping to remove cards that you no longer want in your deck to draw more of your powerful card options. Why draw a simple one trade card when you can drop a Blob Mothership. The game has different factions that if you buy them into your deck you can get synergies to play even better.

 

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A lot of what makes me like this game so much is the quick learning curve that is put into it. I have a hell of a time getting friends that don’t see themselves as “boardgamers” to sit down across from me and spend time face to face playing a game. There isn’t any animated tutorial or quick time events, just me talking to them, which I suppose is torture for some. One friend begrudgingly sat down and within thirty minutes walked over to pick the game up. Later texted me first when the digital version was released. He is now a lifetime fan.

The only downside I have found to this game is sleeving can be a bit tricky. You need a couple boxes worth to get them all covered up, but the longevity it gives the game is a must. The first copy I had I went through after about two weeks. I lost count of the number of games that I played during that time, but three copies later I always try to keep the game sleeved up.

There are multiple modes you can play in the game and a ton of new expansions that add a variety of gameplay elements. The deck can get pretty big when you have every Hero and Gambit and Crisis pack shuffled in. The more you add the better the reason to keep it sleeved as well! The modes can have you play three on three or go through different warp gate technology, but my favorite will always be the quick one on one.

One of the few rare titles that I am willing to pop out and ask others to play or I rush to demo, this game will always be close to my heart. A few years back at GAMA I even sat down and went undefeated with it during the annual tournament they host. The biggest regret of me not going this last March by far. So if you see me in person any time soon, ask me for a game. I will gladly teach you the rules in five minutes and shuffle up a few hands with you any time.

Last, I apologize for the late night posts. Some days I get them done nice and early, others I get them done minutes before midnight. Today was a productive one, fixing up the store a great amount and making the merchandise look amazing for the weekend to come. I also got a game out of the way that I will be talking about this Sunday, with a full Platinum of it even. Friday will not normally have a post, but we pick right back up this weekend, I’ll see you all then!

Last, thank you to White Wizard Games for providing all the images today. You were great to correspond with and make some of the very best products out there, keep it up.

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