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Star Realms is a spaceship combat deckbuilding game by Magic Hall of Famers Darwin Kastle and Rob Dougherty (Ascension Co-founder). Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on November 2, 2013.

Star Realms is a spaceship combat deckbuilding game by Magic Hall of Famers Darwin Kastle and Rob Dougherty (Ascension Co-founder).

About this project

Star Realms is a fast paced deckbuilding card game of outer space combat. It combines the fun of a deckbuilding 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! 

Thank you all for getting us to our funding goal! Time for some stretch goals:

 You now may add playmats to any reward tier that has a physical component!

To include add-ons in your pledge, simply increase your donation by the appropriate amount and send us a message via clicking on our profile and hitting the "Contact Us" button to let us know what you want. We'll also send around a final survey after the end of the Kickstarter to confirm everyone's choices. You can add any number of each add-on item to your pledge, as long as you have pledged to the minimum designated tier.

Star Realms will be released as both a physical card game and as a digital game for PCs, Macs and mobile devices. The entire physical card game will come in a single deck box that you can easily carry in your jacket pocket, backpack or purse.

The game consists of:  

  • One 80 card Trade Deck 
  • Two 10 card Personal Decks, consisting of two Vipers and eight Scouts each 
  • 10 Explorer cards 
  • 18 double-sided Authority cards for keeping score 
  • One Rules Sheet 

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. 

In the far future, the more traditional governing bodies of the human race have been replaced with corporate leadership. The earth and its surrounding colonies are ruled by a group of corporations called the Trade Federation. The Federation’s policies are focused around trade and growth, but especially in profit and prosperity for those at the top of the corporate ladder. While they prefer to deal with other star realms using trade and diplomacy, they have a large defense branch dedicated to protecting the Federation’s trade and other interests.

​In Star Realms, the Trade Federation specializes in generating large amounts of Trade and in gaining Authority (increasing your score).

​These mysterious creatures are the first alien life forms encountered by the human race. Most of the initial encounters consisted of human colonies being completely obliterated. On the few occasions that a Blob ship has been recovered somewhat intact, the only biological remains found inside have consisted of a gelatinous mass, thus leading to the moniker, “The Blobs”. While for several years all encounters between humanity and the Blobs have been extremely violent, there is currently some limited trade between various Blob factions and some of the more daring human traders.

​The Blobs are best at generating massive amounts of Combat and at removing undesirable cards from the Trade Row.

The Star Empire consists primarily of former colonies of the Trade Federation. These colonies were on the outer edges of the Federation. Not only did they feel used by the corporations, but they felt the Federation failed to give them adequate protection from the Blobs. As a result, one ambitious colonial governor was able to unite several colonies into an independent empire under his control, one with a strong military, both for warding off the Blobs and for discouraging the Federation from trying to reclaim their lost colonies. 

The Star Empire is a combat oriented faction that draws lots of cards and makes the opponent discard cards.

​A cluster of industrial mining worlds were completely cut off from the Trade Federation by the Blobs. With the threat of annihilation by the Blobs always looming and no contact with the rest of human space, these worlds were forced to take drastic measures. Soon a cult of technology arose, focused on using advanced technology, robotics and computerization to create strong defenses and a powerful military that belied their relatively small population. Since their leaders believed their salvation lay in technology, technology soon became their god and their religion.

​The Machine Cult gains most of its power from being able to remove undesirable cards from your deck and from having a large number of Bases designed to defend your Authority from attack.

​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, however.

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 get 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 Combat being the way you reduce your opponent’s Authority to zero and win the game, it’s 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. Each time you play, the game is filled with various strategic decision points. Should I take the best card for me or the best card for my opponent? Should I focus on taking cards of a particular faction or on taking the best card available? Should I be focusing on acquiring more Trade or more Combat? Should I attack my opponent’s Base or their Authority? These are just some of the many choices you’ll be faced with. New players needn’t agonize over these choices just to play, but as they become more advanced players, they will find this depth of strategy leads to great replayability.

Unlike most deckbuilding game kickstarters, Star Realms is offering both a physical and a digital version of the game. Star Realms digital will be available on multiple platforms: PC, Mac, iOS and even Android. You’ll be able to play Star Realms digitally from the comfort of your home or on the go. The digital game will include the ability to play against an A.I., pass and play with your friends, campaign mode, online play and even online tournaments! You can start by honing your skills playing against the computer and by battling your friends. When you're ready for an even greater challenge, you can take on the computer in campaign mode or you can test your mettle playing against top competition in tournaments. We will offer both asynchronous and live tournaments, so you can either take your turns at your leisure or enjoy the experience of playing at live speed.

When we will be able to provide each of these awesome features will depend largely on the level of success of this Kickstarter campaign. Reaching our $20,000 goal ensures that we will launch the beta digital version for the PC and the Mac (target release date of March 2014). The beta version will allow you to play Star Realms against an A.I. and to pass and play with your friends. Over time, we will increase the number of platforms to include iOS and Android. In addition, we will gradually roll out features such as online play, online tournaments and the campaign mode. The more we exceed our $20,000 goal, the faster we will be able to add each of these features and the cooler we will be able to make them.

We are very proud of Star Realms and we can't wait to get the game out to you. Star Realms has beautiful art and graphic design. The physical game packs into a small, portable deck box that you can bring with you anywhere. It's a great product at a great price, and most importantly, the game is incredibly FUN to play!

Star Realms links:

Official website: www.StarRealms.com 

2-Player Rules: Rulebook (PDF)

Board Game Geek TV: How-to-play video interview with Rob at GenCon 2013

Cool Stuff Inc.: GenCon 2013 video interview with Rob

Geekenstein: Interview with Rob

Zero Fortitude: Star Realms Preview

Digiboard Games: Star Realms Preview

The Nerd’s Domain: Star Realms Impression

Quietspeculation.com: Star Realms Impression

Meepletown: Star Realms Impression

Power to the Meeple!: Audio Interview with Rob

Gaming Trend: Kickstarter Review

Geekenstein: Star Realms Preview

Risks and challenges

Creating a deckbuilding game is no small task. There is game design, testing, art acquisition, graphic design, printing, shipping and more. Fortunately, we have an experienced team that has done all this before many times.

Star Realms design and development is finished, the artwork and graphic design is complete and we are ready to go to print. We just need help from the Kickstarter community to pay for the printing of the physical game and the coding and programming of the digital version.

We’re making Star Realms to the highest standards of quality to provide you with the best gaming experience possible. With your help, people everywhere will be able to blow up space stations, conquer entire worlds, create devastating fleets of space warships and cry aloud, “Respect my Authority!”

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    62 backers

    Beta Key Digital Tier. You get access to the Star Realms digital beta test so you'll be playing digital Star Realms before anyone else. You will also receive the first set of the digital game on release and a kickstarter only Avatar!

    PC, Android or MAC only.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    36 backers

    Print and Play Tier.
    We will email you a PDF of the game so you can print out your own copy of Star Realms. A perfect way for an international backer on a budget to avoid those pesky international shipping fees. This level includes a Beta Key!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    71 backers

    The no frills tier. Just the physical game. No beta key, no promo cards. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    50 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD 2 player set! All the rewards of the $25 two player set tier for just $20!
    So you get the beta key, the physical game and the year 1 promo set shipped to you before it is available in stores.
    Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $23 or more

    100 backers All gone!

    KINDA EARLY BIRD 2 player set! All the rewards of the $25 two player set tier for just $23! So you get the beta key, the physical game and the year 1 promo set shipped to you before it is available in stores. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    384 backers

    Two Player Set Tier!
    You get the Beta Key Tier, one copy of the physical game (enough for 2 players) and you get the Year 1 promo set. This is a set of 12 physical promo cards. These cards will be released to the general public periodically over 2014 as event support and prizes. Buy in at this level and you'll get the game and all 12 promo cards before they are available in stores!
    Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    40 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD Four Player Set Tier!
    All the rewards of the $45 Four Player Set Tier for just $40! That's 2 decks and 2 year 1 promo sets (plus 2 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 4 players.
    Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $43 or more

    79 backers Limited (1 left of 80)

    KINDA EARLY BIRD Four Player Set Tier! All the rewards of the $45 Four Player Set Tier for just $43! That's 2 decks and 2 year 1 promo sets (plus 2 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 4 players. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    144 backers

    Four Player Set Tier!
    You get the two player set tier... TWICE! That's 2 decks and 2 year 1 promo sets (plus 2 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 4 players.
    Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    30 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD Six Player Set Tier! All the rewards of the $60 Six Player Set Tier for just $55! So you get 3 decks and 3 year 1 promo sets (plus 3 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, emperor, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 6 players. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $58 or more

    60 backers All gone!

    KINDA EARLY BIRD Six Player Set Tier! All the rewards of the $60 Six Player Set Tier for just $58! So you get 3 decks and 3 year 1 promo sets (plus 3 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, emperor, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 6 players. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    51 backers

    Six Player Set Tier! You get the two player set tier... times 3! That's 3 decks and 3 year 1 promo sets (plus 3 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, emperor, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 6 players. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    24 backers Limited (1 left of 25)

    EARLY BIRD The Ultimate Fan Tier! All the rewards of the $100 The Ultimate Fan Tier for just $90! So you get 3 decks, 3 year 1 promo sets, the Kickstarter exclusive Star Realms playmat and T-Shirt (plus 3 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, emperor, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 6 players. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $95 or more

    18 backers Limited (32 left of 50)

    KINDA EARLY BIRD The Ultimate Fan Tier! All the rewards of the $100 The Ultimate Fan Tier for just $95! So you get 3 decks, 3 year 1 promo sets, the Kickstarter exclusive Star Realms playmat and T-Shirt (plus 3 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, emperor, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 6 players. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers

    Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier. A Beta Key plus every digital set and promo card we release free for the life of the game! You will also receive a special Digital Avatar exclusive to Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier Kickstarter Supporters.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer

    The Ultimate Fan Tier! You get the Six Player Set Tier, plus a Kickstarter exclusive Star Realms playmat and T-Shirt! That's 3 decks and 3 year 1 promo sets (plus 3 beta keys). You will be able to play Multi-player games like two-headed, emperor, raid, free-for-all and more with up to 6 players. Includes free shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers

    Tournament Shark Digital Tier. You get FREE ENTRY into all open digital Star Realms tournaments (including Pro Tournament Qualifiers) for the life of the game! (Open tournaments do not include invitation only tournaments or events you must qualify for). This level includes the Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers

    Captain Tier. Become a character in the Star Realms universe! Be a ship captain, or a historical figure with a ship or location named after you. Your name will appear on the flavor text of a Star Realms card in a upcoming set. You will also receive a special Digital Avatar exclusive to Captain Tier kickstarter Supporters! This level includes the Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    Champion of the Star Empire Tier.
    Become an Admiral in the Star Empire! You will be a major character in the Star Realms universe. Your name AND LIKENESS will appear on a card in an upcoming set. You will need to provide a photo for our artists to reference. You will also receive a special Digital Avatar exclusive to Admirals (one of 4)! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Champion of the Trade Federation Tier.
    Become a CEO in the Trade Federation! You will be a major character in the Star Realms universe. Your name AND LIKENESS will appear on a card in an upcoming set. You will need to provide a photo for our artists to reference. You will also receive a special Digital Avatar exclusive to CEOs (one of 4)! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    Champion of the Machine Cult Tier.
    Become a High Priest in the Machine Cult! You will be a major character in the Star Realms universe. Your name AND LIKENESS will appear on a card in an upcoming set. You will need to provide a photo for our artists to reference. You will also receive a special Digital Avatar exclusive to High Priests (one of 4)! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    Magic Fantasy Camp Tier.
    Master Magic: The Gathering (tm) with Magic Hall of Famers Darwin Kastle and Rob Dougherty.
    Private tutoring sessions with Rob and Darwin via Skype, deck doctoring with up to 3 decks of your choice, plus a sealed deck clinic so you can see how these Pro Tour Champions would have built your sealed pool! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    Designer Tier.
    Design a Star Realms card! You will work with Star Realms designer Darwin Kastle via Skype to create a Star Realms card. Your name will appear in the flavor text of your card. Your card will be included in a future release, and you will receive design credits in that sets! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Star Empire Legend Tier.
    Become the Emperor of the Star Empire, ruler of more people and territory than anyone in human history. Your name AND LIKENESS will appear on a special "boss card" in an upcoming set. You will need to provide a photo for our artists to reference. You will also receive a unique Emperor Digital Avatar (one of one) and a set of 2 extremely rare Star Realms uncut sheets signed by the games creators! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Trade Federation Legend Tier.
    Become the Director of the Trade Federation, master of industry and the richest human to ever live. Your name AND LIKENESS will appear on a special "boss card" in an upcoming set. You will need to provide a photo for our artists to reference. You will also receive a unique Director Digital Avatar (one of one) and a set of 2 extremely rare Star Realms uncut sheets signed by the games creators! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Machine Cult Legend Tier.
    Become the Overlord of the Machine Cult, savior of worlds. Your name AND LIKENESS will appear on a special "boss card" in an upcoming set. You will need to provide a photo for our artists to reference. You will also receive a unique Overlord Digital Avatar (one of one) and a set of 2 extremely rare Star Realms uncut sheets signed by the games creators! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer

    Wizard for a Week Tier. Come to Boston and hang out at the White Wizard Games office for up to a week. In addition to playing games and having fun (anyone up for a Magic draft?) you’ll learn game design first hand as you work with Darwin Kastle and Rob Dougherty to create your own Star Realms character card that will feature your name and likeness. Your card will be included in a future release and you will receive design credits in that set! This level includes the Tournament Shark Digital Tier (so you will also get Star Realms Online Master Digital Tier) and The Ultimate Fan Tier with free worldwide shipping! Dates flexible. You are responsible for your own travel.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (29 days)