Missed the kickstarter?
Set thousands of years in the future, DarkStar the boardgame is based on classics such as Dune, Cosmic Encounter, and Diplomacy. Each player has a unique faction with its own goals, pieces and abilities.
Your key pieces are squadrons that you move around the board in stacks. The board itself is gridded into systems (where resources are located) and subsectors (empty space).
As the game proceeds, stargates twist space so that squares change their position relative to one another. Conflicts are resolved using tactical core cards that resolve in rock-paper-scissors mind duel. Be careful, attacking pieces won't always win.
You can collect and play Imperial edict cards which give you special actions. But if you are too greedy, you may end the game prematurely with Stardrive Flu!
The most destructive force in the game are antimatter missiles. You build missiles in stages on your systems, and launch them during your turn. These missiles are the reason why the goal of the game - collecting up three different deep-defence codes - is so important. Missile detonations destroy everything in a square and even burn up the square itself so that nothing can enter it. Owning three colours of deep-defence codes makes some of your squares immune to antimatter detonations: upsetting the balance of power and giving you a chance to win.
Art by Ilya Baranovsky.
Dark Star is for 2 or 4 players and takes about 60-90min to play.
On your turn:
1. Draw - You win if you hold 3 Deep-defence codes. Otherwise draw an edict card per Edict system you own.
2. Missiles - Launch, move, and detonate missiles. Place AM Burn on destroyed spaces - no one can go there anymore.
3. Movement - Move one Stack of your squadrons OR draw one core card. A Stack may be moved as many squares as the lowest Movement Value among the squadrons in it.
4. Tactics - Choose and resolve battles. In each battle play a core card. If you counter the other player's core card, their card is discarded without effect. The total power (core + squadrons) determines the winner.
5. Restoration - You may use edicts to build missiles and/or stargates. Stargates allow to warp space to your benefit.
'I have been a fan of Darkstar from its very beginning, especially the theme it evokes of four conflicting Great Houses and their struggle for dominance in the wake of the collapse of a stellar Empire. Apocalyptic weapons they have brought to bear will alter the very fabric of space, and all the while a sinister plot by an unknown race may doom them all.'
'The designer is Klaude Thomas and though this is his first design, he's definitely come out of the gates swinging. The game also features some gorgeous artwork by Ilya Baranovsky who has been responsible for redesigns of Dune, and Wiz-War as well as providing artwork for several other games and redesigns, (seriously check out his gallery, it's fantastic).'
'The combat system was a real hit and had just the right amount of skill and bluffing. Playing your most powerful card wasn't always your best play.'
'Overall I definitely enjoyed our first game and look forward to future plays and exploring the possibilities of this game. This scratches the same itch as Dune and Cosmic Encounter for me. You can definitely see their influence on this design. It has a great battle system, interesting tactical and strategic choices and interesting and differing player factions. The impressions from the other players were similar and they immediately asked about the next game.'
Dark Star will come with:
- 16pg Color Rulebook
- 4 piece folding board
- 6 House Cards
- 25 Imperial Edict Cards
- 24 Tactical Core Cards
- 13 Tech Cards
- 1 Reserves Board
- 1 Scrap Zone Board
- 18 Stargate End tokens
- 13 Deep-Defence Code tokens
- 66 Squadron counters
- 36 Bureaucrat markers
- 10 Antimatter missiles (d4s)
- 20 AM-Burn markers
- 1 regular d6
- 6 Player Aid cards
The Cards will be 270gsm linen stock.
The House cards will be glossy printed cardstock. (stretch goal upgrade available)
The Bureaucrats (who mark which systems you have) are wood cubes in the appropriate color. (stretch goal upgrade available)
The squadron counters are 7/8" colored wood blocks (4mm thick) and will come with a sticker sheet for all 6 factions. THE DELUXE SET WILL NOT BE STICKERED unless you add $15 for a pre stickered set. (Currently at 97 stickers)
There are 3 differences in the standard version. The main reason is to reduce shipping costs for the wood heavy game:
-The map is cardstock (not mounted), and is similar to a folding paper map.
-The pieces are 1.8mm chipboard instead of 4mm wood blocks with stickers (or 6mm wood discs).
-Some of the stretch goals don't apply to the standard game (see chart below):
Actual pictures of these stretch goals will be found in the updates section!
Combined shipping is the way to go - if you can find other people who are in the area, adding a second copy is a lot cheaper than shipping two individual copies. Post here in the comments or on BGG to find other local backers to save on shipping!
To add a Regular edition game to any pledge level (besides Recon):
- +$65 for US
- +$70 for Canada
- +$75 for International
To add a Deluxe edition game to any pledge level (besides Recon):
- +$85 for US
- +$90 for Canada
- +$95 for International
If you are getting a deluxe game and want it pre stickered, add $15 to your pledge level. When the kickstarter closes, I will send you a survey and you can tell me what extras you pledged for.
Other games from Print & Play Productions
The following games from my last kickstarter can also be added, for no additional shipping cost (even for international backers!). This is a great way to save on shipping if you missed the last kickstarter. More info on the games here and on BGG:
Take command of a team of 12 heavily armed Marines as they board a crippled lab ship in a decaying orbit. Rescue the surviving crew, but beware of malevolent alien intruders, escaped lab animals, berserk robots and a sabotaged defense system.
Last Frontier -Classic Bag– (158 3mm thick 1/2″ counters, 17″ x 22″ paper map, 20pg rulebook, Feynman Scenario sheet (and 33 more counters), 2 dice, ziploc bag packaging. ) +$29
Last Frontier -Designer Regular Box– (5/8″ 3mm thick counters, 3 folding mounted boards, 20pg rulebook, 2 dice, Box.) +$55
The action takes place on a space warehouse at the edge of an un-navigable region of the Galaxy. Three to eight players take over such roles as the Mad Scientist, the Space Pirate Captain, the Phone Company, or a mystery Alien. Each side is working towards their own secret goals, which may conflict with another player's mission. The 4 way blind format will keep the player's guessing until the last lifeboat is away, the final alias is revealed, and the last storeroom is explored.
The Artifact - Classic Box - (5 B+W Rulebooks, 2 sets of the character sheets, 5 Glossary Foldouts, 400+ double sided counters, 2 dice, 4 sets of Maps. Includes a full copy of Last Frontier. ) +$70
The Intruder is an alien being of unknown power. During the course of the game the Intruder will move through the space station as both the hunter and the hunted. One or more players must cope with a monster that moves rapidly and changes continuously as it undergoes metamorphosis into a more powerful being.
Hidden Intruder - Classic Bag - (A 22″ by 17″ paper map in a ziploc bag with 54 counters and rules.) +$20
The Early Bird sets are a discount on the deluxe sets. There are a very limited number of them. Delivery for Early bird sets is the same as the $95 deluxe sets in February 2014.
Early Delivery is something completely different - you get your game before Christmas. There is no discount (it is already built in) on top of the extra to get your game before Christmas. If you want Early delivery before Xmas, you need to back at the Artillery: Early Delivery level.
I have a small pile of wood blocks ready to go that I am saving for this project. The rest of the wood blocks will have to ship from Germany and might not get here till January/February. If you get in on the early delivery, I will guarantee your game will arrive by Christmas (US only). If it doesn't, you can either get a full refund or a discount down to the early bird pledge level. Your game might arrive for Christmas for international backers, but I can't guarantee that due to customs, shipping delays, etc.
Learning something from last kickstarter, I have pushed back the delivery dates by a few months, to account for unforeseen delays. So if you do get the early delivery, note that the other games might not be that far behind.
All games printed by my company, Print & Play Productions, are printed and assembled here in the USA, by hand. This allows for tight quality control and a very high deluxe feel for each game. Note that because they are hand made, there may be some small irregularities in the sets. Of particular note, the boards are "unfinished", meaning you can see the tape on the back. I have had no complaints for the boards for the Last Frontier project, and those games included multiple boards. See other games printed by my company here:
Comments from backers who received their deluxe Last Frontier sets, just a few months ago:
"Got my designer Last Frontier and Hidden Intruder today, and it looks beautiful! This has been an awesome Kickstarter, so glad I backed it."
"Just got my "Designer" Artifact, and wow. I don't think I've seen nicer looking and feeling counters. The wood was the right decision."
"I am absolutely stunned by the quality of the product you have produced - it is better than most of the recent commercial stuff I have."
Who is part of this project?
1. Andrew Tullsen - Owner of Print & Play Productions - Been printing deluxe versions of games for 4 years.
2. Klaude Thomas - Designer - Author of GURPS Goblins. Designer of DarkStar.
3. Ilya Baranovsky - Artist - Board game illustrator/graphic designer (link to portfolio)
Risks and challenges
I have been printing games for 5 years and I now have a handle on doing larger runs, thanks to my last kickstarter.
For this game, all the playtesting is done, all the art is finished, I have all the companies lined up to print the box, board, rules, cards, etc.
What could delay the project? The company doing the wood blocks is in Germany, and potentially they could be swamped with orders pushing back delivery by a few months.
For most of the components though, I am ready to click the print button as soon as the campaign ends.
- (18 days)