About this project
Fellow Traders, we can not express how touched we are from all the support you have shown us and Star Traders. This is a game we love and being given the chance to bring it back to gamers is a dream come true.
Visit Trader's Luck Games for more info.
Star Traders is a competitive cargo-delivery Sci-Fi board game. Players captain their starships, jumping from planet to planet, racing to deliver their cargoes before the other traders. The game ratchets up the interaction and the fun as you gain great wealth and the Emperor's respect, giving you the opportunity to petition to be made Star Tsar, ruler of all trade in the galaxy. But stumbling blocks are around every corner as your fellow traders pursue the same goal.
It is actually 5 games in 1, with a version for everyone — from easy versions for ages 7+ and 10+ to more competitive gameplay. The family version in the middle is just right for most players. The galaxy is a parody of your favorite Science Fiction books, movies & TV shows, so don't be surprised at who you might meet along the way.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
Gameboard • StarBucks (money) • 108 Trader's Luck/Contract cards • 19 Player Mats • 8 Rocket Ships • 6 sets of Station Rings • Cargo, Contract, Prestige & Quarantine markers • Dice & Rulebook
- About Star Traders
- How to Play
- The Personalities & Worlds
- Origin Story
- About the Creator
- Stretch Goals
- Player Feedback
Star Traders was designed (by me) and published by Steve Jackson Games almost 30 years ago. The rights returned to me about 10 years later, and I've wanted to release an updated, more polished version ever since then. Now, with the renaissance of board games and the arrival of Kickstarter, I have a chance to do just that, especially with the solid help of Ryan Archer. His art turns this game from a vague dream into a vibrant reality.
Our goal is to raise enough funds to produce at least a minimum threshold, and we hope to go beyond that — the more we raise, the better the components will be (and the more we can include).
By Charles Duncan
- The Introduction... No one was prepared for what the Emperor actually announced: to determine the new Star Tsar, there would be a trade competition ...
- The Builder... You stood by the same guidelines you had in the military: charge a fair price, work hard, and build whatever was needed ...
- The Engineer... What had been talent was refined by hard work and experience on countless different models ...
- The Hero... People were in danger and you went in to help them. Helping is your job ...
- The Insider... You discovered the great truth of the galaxy: it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know ...
- The Maverick (inspired by Chris Roberts & Sandi Gardiner)... Fortune may favor the bold, but Lady Luck picks a favorite and sticks tight. You’re her number one pick ...
- The Navigator... You plotted your first jump when you were five and shocked your parents when it cut a light-year off their best trajectories ...
- The Negotiator... The trick is to be able to move the goods without anyone knowing what a huge profit you make by doing it ...
- The Rogue (inspired by Richard Garriott de Cayeux, Lord British)... You discovered an often overlooked reality: people see what they want to see and rarely question their assumptions ...
- The Strategist... Three dimensional mapping, stellar routes, fighter tactics, dreadnaught battles — you studied it all, and you studied it well ...
- The Tycoon... You went over the rules with the scrutiny only a business magnate could muster. You put all the assets of your company into play ...
- The Commencement... We wish that the Master of Trade be the one known as the best trader in the galaxy. To that end, we do hereby announce a trade competition ...
Notes on the Authors who Inspired the Worlds and Cargoes of Star Traders
- Shelley Verne Wells
- De Camp Bradbury Heinlein
- Asimov Pohl Schmitz
- Clarke Anderson Harrison
- May Herbert SIlverberg
- Biggle Laumer Niven
- Foster Cherryh Clayton
- Card Hogan Willis
- D. Adams Longyear Brin
- McDevitt GIbson Zahn
- Endor Scott Moon
- Bujold ??? ???
Begin at the Beginning
I began attending playtest sessions for Steve Jackson Games from the birth of that company around 1980. By the mid ’80s, I was working for SJG as a developer and editor. One day, Steve made an announcement — actually, two announcements. First, SJG had license the title “Isaac Asimov Presents” from a series of short story SF anthologies that Asimov and Martin Greenberg edited. And second, the first game in the series would be designed by whomever created the best game.
This was an incredibly gracious offer by the lead designer and head of a major game company. About four to six of us (including Steve) submitted proposals, and after several rounds of development and review, Star Traders was chosen. I don’t remember all of the discussion and development that took place, but I do know that all of us — especially Steve — significantly improved my original design.
In the late ’70s I started playtesting for Metagaming, whose greatest claims to fame were Stellar Conquest and The Fantasy Trip (both great games). I didn’t test either of those, but I did test a few of their Microgames, including Artifact and One World.
When Steve Jackson split off from Metagaming to form Steve Jackson Games, I started playtesting for him. That included several of his Pocket Games, and then larger games like Car Wars and Illuminati. By the early ’80s I was doing a lot of development and editing work on Car Wars and GURPS.
Begins with gameplay description; review begins at 25:00.
"The 5-games-in-1 aspect that they’ve included is a phenomenal idea, and it’s very well implemented. "
"The rules were very easy to understand and get you in to play this game. It’s not about bogging you down in rules, it’s about letting you have some fun. And the interaction between the players is where you’re going to get that fun."
"What really shone for me in this game was the simplicity and the freedom. I had a lot of fun playing it; I love the movement mechanic."
"There’s a really good level of freedom in the interaction between players. "
"It’s fun! That simplicity: there’s your cargo, deliver it here. But what can happen in between those two locations is where you get the fun out of this game."
"Star Traders blends negotiation, pickup and delivery, clever strategy, and risk-reward seamlessly."
"The game is easy to learn, but offers plenty of variation so it won’t go stale. "
"The variations in the Contract/ Trader's Luck cards and Personalities keep the game fresh play after play, offering near unlimited replay ability."
Karington Hess, Professor Meeple’s Game Lab, maltedmeeple.com
"“Star Traders” is a great game that combines strategy and fun into an irresistible combination."
"Each player is competing for the same delivery contracts, which adds a whole other immediacy to the game."
"This game does an incredible job of making tactical thinking fun."
Sean Ferguson, High Def Universe, www.highdefuniverse.com
Feedback from over 100 convention playtesters
“The aesthetic of the board is fantastic. Many games are so cheesy & terrible. I also love the theme.”
“I usually struggle with the multitude of rules and actions — but not with this.”
“Strategy: there are a lot of options for what to do on a turn, so the player must have a very good idea of what they wish to accomplish.”
“ALL OF IT. I really enjoyed it.”
“I enjoyed the simplicity of the rules combined with the complexity of the cards.”
“Delivery game without massive route-planning logistics"
“The strategy of making plans and racing to complete them"
“Many elements: cargo routes were fun to try and complete; competition on routes; Trader’s Luck cards seemed well done”
“I enjoyed the general flow of the game, how it builds quite rapidly without players gaining extra powers.”
“Honestly, I would change nothing. I really enjoyed this game.”
More Community Support
Here's The Kicker
"What sets this game apart and I think is fantastic about it is that depending on the type of players that you have, whether they’re experienced gamers, whether they’re new gamers, whether they’re younger, etc., this is five games in one. It can suit many different playstyles, the lengths of game you want to play, all kinds of stuff, all in one experience here — that is fantastic to see.”
Star Citizen AA
For Gamers From Gamers
"... both my enjoyment of pick-up-and-deliver games and my frustration with what I saw as shortcomings were my biggest influences in making Star Traders. But what drove me to make it is that Steve Jackson declared a competition for a new boardgame design to be used with the “Isaac Asimov Presents” license that SJG had acquired. Star Traders was the result."
When did you discover your love of games?
Let me see … I was born in … it was about that long ago. I have always loved games, and analyzing how game mechanics work.
Summary of discussion below:
No Extra Charge For Shipping
Q: How much is shipping? A: No one will be charged anything extra for shipping.
Q: No one at all? A: No one at all.
Q: What about VAT and Customs? A: We will cover VAT and Customs charges when we’re aware of them.
Q: Are you crazy? A: Probably. But please feel free to take advantage of us by ordering lots of games. And if you care to add something to your pledge, we’ll gladly accept that, too.
For more information about the game: http://tradersluck.com/star-traders/
Risks and challenges
The game is fully designed, and volunteers have been playing complete custom-produced games (by Ad Magic's Print&Play division) for over a month. The rules are done, the board is done, Ryan is hard at work on the art —what we're lacking is the funding to go into production.
It requires no outside approval; we're doing this completely on our own ... along with all of you, of course!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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