Star Realms is a fast-paced deck-building card game of outer space combat. It combines the fun of a deck-building game with the interactivity of Trading Card Game style combat. As you play, you make use of Trade to acquire new Ships and Bases from the cards being turned face up in the Trade Row from the Trade Deck. You use the Ships and Bases you acquire to either generate more Trade or to generate Combat to attack your opponent and their bases. When you reduce your opponent’s score (called Authority) to zero, you win!
Each of the cards in the 80 card Trade Deck is a Ship or a Base belonging to one of four factions: The Trade Federation, The Blobs, The Star Empire or The Machine Cult.
When you play Star Realms, you will be able to acquire and use Ships and Bases of any and all of the four factions. Many cards have powerful Ally abilities that reward you for using Ships and Bases of the same faction together.
As you acquire cards using Trade, you put them into your discard pile, to be later shuffled into your personal deck. When you draw Ships, you do what they say and they are placed into your discard pile at the end of your turn. When you draw a Base, you play it face up in front of you and may use its abilities once every turn. In addition to using Combat to reduce your opponent’s Authority, it is also useful for destroying your opponent’s Bases. Some Bases are designated as Outposts. Your opponent’s Outposts must be destroyed before you can use Combat to attack your opponent’s Authority directly.
Star Realms is easy to learn, especially if you’re familiar with deck-building games, but it’s a game that takes time to master.