After a long wait, Colony Wars will be shipping out to stores in February 2016. This is the most exciting release since the original Star Realms deckbuilding game was released. Colony Wars includes the starting decks, the authority cards, and an entirely new 80 card trade deck. The game mechanics are the mechanics you love from Star Realms, but you get to discover the new cards and combos in the all new 80 card trade deck. There is a lot of exciting stuff going on here. You can watch Rob Dougherty, lead designer of Colony Wars, talk about Colony Wars on video on our YouTube Channel here, or read what he has to say below.
All of the rules of Colony Wars are the same as the rules for Star Realms, so you don’t need to learn anything new to start playing. There are a lot of new things on the cards. The factions are still doing the same kind of things, but they are doing them in new ways, so you will get a lot of new play experiences. We also have some new mechanics. For example, we have cards that when you buy them, if you have played a card of that faction, they go straight into your hand, so you can play them right away. This can have a very powerful effect in the game. It will help you trigger ally abilities of cards that you have played that turn. And getting a card into your hand right away is incredibly more powerful compared to getting a card in your discard pile that you will draw some time later in the game.
The Trade Federation has the Colony Seed Ship in blue with 3 trade, 3 authority, and 5 combat. It costs 5, so it is theoretically possible to buy it before your first shuffle, but the most powerful way to buy it is if you have already played a blue card that turn. You spend 5 to buy it but then you will get 3 trade back when you play it on the same turn. So if you see this on the table, it is a real incentive to buy some blue and also to prevent your opponent from doing the same. If you have already played a blue when you buy it, then you can put it into your hand to give you 3 trade and 3 authority.
Every faction has cards like this. Green has the Plasma Event. It’s a 6 cost base that does 4 damage every turn. A really hard-hitting base, it smashes for 4 combat every single turn. Being able to buy this directly off the board, putting a permanent threat on the table for you, and it will really help you clear your opponent’s bases off the table the turn you purchased it, if you’ve played a green card that turn.
The biggest and scariest of these cards is the Emperor’s Dreadnaught. It provides 8 combat, you draw a card, and your opponent discards a card – a real powerhouse yellow ship. Now, it costs 8, so when this thing comes out on the table, you will have a little bit of time before anyone will be able to purchase it. If this comes out early, you are going to have a real reason to buy some yellow cards to get that threat, to be able to buy the Emperor’s Dreadnaught and put it directly into your hand, smashing your opponent right away with it. This card can really really change games if you can pick it up.
Finally, the Machine Cult has Warning Beacons. The Warning Beacon is significantly weaker than these other cards that I mentioned. However, the Warning Beacon is cheap, it only costs 2, and unlike the other cards in the other factions like this, there are 3 copies of this card in the deck. As a fairly consistent thing for the Machine Cult, you will see Warning Beacons come up during a game. If you have a single red card that you’ve played that turn, you will be able to pick up a Warning Beacon and trigger your ally ability for the red card that you already played that same turn. So while the Machine Cult’s direct into your hand card is not as powerful as other factions, it is more plentiful, which means you will be able to pull off this trick more frequently. The ability to just grab 2 combat right off the trade row can be a really powerful factor allowing you to take out your opponent’s base. and of course getting the 2 defense outpost which can make the difference in allowing your bases to survive if your opponent does not quite have enough combat to take out the Beacon and your other bases.
All of these cards have a really big impact on the game and they are one of the many things in the new Colony Wars set. We hope you enjoyed this preview of some of the exciting new things in Colony Wars. Pre-order Colony Wars at your local game store now or you can also purchase it in the White Wizard Games Store. Have fun with it and let us know what you think!