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The original space trading boardgame. You're an intrepid starship captain jumping across the galaxy in search of wealth & prestige.
The original space trading boardgame. You're an intrepid starship captain jumping across the galaxy in search of wealth & prestige.
The original space trading boardgame. You're an intrepid starship captain jumping across the galaxy in search of wealth & prestige.
821 backers pledged $50,850 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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

What's Below

  • About Star Traders
  • How to Play
  • The Personalities & Worlds
  • Rewards
  • Origin Story
  • About the Creator
  • Stretch Goals
  • Add-Ons
  • Reviews
  • Player Feedback
  • Shipping

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).

 Read the Full Breakdown

 Also:

Star Traders Board

Star Traders Rule Book

Traders Luck Cards

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 ...

The Worlds:

Notes on the Authors who Inspired the Worlds and Cargoes of Star Traders

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.

Read the rest...

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.

Read the rest...

Star Traders - NVS Gameplays - Preview - Will it Pick Up your game night & Deliver fun?

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."

Meeple’s Eye View – Star Traders

"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 (2016) Board Game Review 

"“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

Read them all

“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.”

Read them all

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

Interview With David Ladyman

"... 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."

Dicegeeks

Star Traders Revival — David Ladyman Interview

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

Shipping FAQ

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/

Follow us:Facebook & Twitter

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

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    The Credit: Your Own 20 Square Millimeters

    Even if you're just keeping an eye on the project, please pledge $1 and we'll include your name in our web credits of supporters. Thank you very much!

    If you want to make a larger contribution — stranger things have happened! — please add it here, so that no taxes will have to be paid on it.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The Voice: The Star Traders Kickstarter Council

    This is your opportunity to influence the development of a game. We'll be asking everyone with a Voice to give us advice and recommendations along the way. It might include what final two worlds to add to the game, what colors to use on the box cover, or other, equally vital decisions in which you can have a say.

    Includes The Credit.

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    The Blueprints

    An exclusive PDF set of the blueprints & other materials for the Maverick's ship, "Lucky Lou" — a customized variation of the AEGIS Avenger in Star Citizen (available with their kind permission). You will also receive an exclusive Media Kit with desktop & mobile backgrounds along with forum avatar & signature featuring the Maverick & the AEGIS Avenger.
    This is also an automatic (free) add-on for all higher tiers — you don’t need to do anything to get it if you have pledged $10 or more.

    Includes The Voice.

    (SC Backers: standard Avenger blueprints — without the added Star Traders materials — will be available on the RSI website once they are completed, due to this collaboration.)

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    The T-shirt: Show Your Prestige

    You're on the Council, but how will anyone know? With the T-shirt, of course! Show your value, and the Emperor's favor, by proudly wearing this royal purple emblem.

    Includes The Voice.

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    The Book: The Real Story

    Your very own copy of our Collectible Art & Lore Book. Chock full of exclusive game art, lore and behind-the-design goodness you won't get anywhere else. 100+ pages, 8.25" x 5.5", full color hardback.

    Includes The Voice.

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    The Print-n-Play

    A complete, final PDF version of the game, printable on paper or cardstock, so it won’t be available till we have the final art done. But that’s going to be several months before the game can be manufactured and delivered. This is also an automatic (free) add-on for all higher tiers — you don’t need to do anything to get it if you have pledged $40 or more.

    Includes The Voice.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Game (Early Bird)

    Get 'em while they're hot! Thank you for rushing to support us and our game.

    This also qualifies you for The Voice.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Game Donation

    Some of you want to support us, but aren’t boardgame players. And some of you may want to get games into the hands of kids and adults who need a distraction during a prolonged hospital stay. If you pledge $40, we’ll donate the remaining cost and deliver a game where it can do the most good (perhaps Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude's, or an organization of that sort).
    This can also be an add-on (or multiple add-ons), for $40 each.

    Includes The Voice and The Print-n-Play.

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    The Game

    Not as early as the Early Bird (who wants all those worms, anyway?), but still just as hot. Get Star Traders the board game and you'll soon be traveling the stars in your very own spaceship. You will also become a member of our Kickstarter Council, your name will appear in our list of supporters, and you will have earned our undying gratitude.

    Includes The Voice

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    The Bundle: Because you deserve it all!

    Get the Game, T-shirt & Book all in one cost-effective bundle.

    Includes The Voice, The Game, The T-shirt & The Book

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    The Imperial Protector

    Card protectors for your entire deck of 108 Trader's Luck/Contract cards, imprinted with the Star Traders logo and/or art, plus a bonus Kickstarter Council Trader’s Luck card that is actually playable with the game: add 3 to your die roll when determining who goes first in the game.

    Includes The Bundle.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Autograph: Have your game and play it too.

    Along with the full Protector you will receive a signed book plate (that fits inside your book) & an additional game board signed by both David (the Creator) & Ryan (the Artist), with the inscription of your choice ... within reason. :)

    Includes The Imperial Protector.

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    The Professional Touch

    What David or Ryan does best — besides making games, of course! You may choose either:
    • Ryan’s services in making logo or patch art for your organization (along with a range of screensaver versions), or
    • Ryan’s services in drawing you as your favorite Personality or other character for your own personal enjoyment, or
    • David's services in reviewing and discussing your story manuscript(s), up to 50K words.

    This includes The Game (when the other Games ship).
    This is also available as an add-on, for $250, at any level $40 or higher.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    The Sketch: Something Special Just for You.

    Ryan will create a sketch of you (from a photo you provide) in the character of one of our Personalities, in your copy of our Collector's Art & Lore Book. He'll make it a non-Personality sketch if you prefer, within reason.

    This would make a great gift — Something Special for your Special Someone!

    Includes The Autograph.

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    The Custom Galaxy: A Spiral of Your Own

    Your very own custom board and full deck of Trader's Luck cards. You get to name any or all of the worlds and determine the exports for your very own version of Star Traders, created for you by David & Ryan.

    This would also be a great gift, with the giftee's name on the back of the cards and/or as one of the prominent worlds.

    Please keep in mind: all world and cargo names are subject to approval (in particular, we can't, for example, do an entirely Star Wars or Star Trek product); quantities may be limited; and the cards and board will be created using a professional, but hand-manufactured, process.

    Includes The Autograph.

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    David’s Undivided Attention

    3 hours at a convention, or 6 hours in Austin. Play a game, review your game design, discuss a manuscript, discuss game mechanics, talk over ancient times … what’s your pleasure? We will meet for 3 hours at Gencon, Dragon Con, BGG.Con, PAX South, or some other con (international shows unlikely), or for 6 hours here in Austin, sometime in the next year.

    This includes The Game (when the other Games ship).
    This is also available as an add-on, for $650, at any level $40 or higher.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The Personality. You — in the game.

    You will be one of our Personalities in the game. Ryan will draw you (or your giftee) from an image you provide as one of our 12+ Personalities (male and female of 6+ Personalities) and you will become that Personality to be played in the published game, along with being included in our Art & Lore book.

    Subject to availability; first come, first served. Once you request this reward, we'll have to communicate to confirm which Personality you're choosing.

    Includes The Autograph.

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    Double The Personality: For You & that Special Someone, or for your 2 BFFs.

    2 of you can be in the game, perhaps as the Male & Female versions of one of our 6+ Personalities, or any other combination that is still available. Ryan will draw you from images you provide and the 2 of you will become those Personalities to be played in the game, along with being included in our Art & Lore book.

    Subject to availability; first come, first served. Once you request this reward, we'll have to communicate to confirm which Personalities you're choosing.

    Includes The Autograph.

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    The World Creator!

    Name your own world.
    You might have noticed that our worlds have been named after science fiction authors, all except for two. That's where you come in. You & David will collaborate on naming the planet after your favorite SF author, and on the cargo that it exports!

    Additionally you can help create the article for your planet for the rulebook where you will be featured as a contributor. And you will also receive a prototype copy of the game shortly after the end of the Kickstarter campaign (but it won't have your author in it because it's already printed).

    Includes The Autograph.

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Funding period

- (30 days)