Hey gang! Sorry for no previews on Christmas, as I was spending the day with my significant other (and some very greasy Mexican food, mmm!) I will say I’ve been keeping up with the many Star Realms forum threads over at Board Game Geek, and thought it’d be a good idea to link to some of those questions, in case you’re looking for a specific answer:

What cards go into the Trade Deck?
What do I do if the Trade Deck runs out?
Can a player have more than their starting Authority?
Does the order of cards matter for Ally Abilities?
What happens when a player is eliminated during a challenge?
In co-op, which bases does Nemesis Beast destroy?
What happens when an unaligned card (Merc Cruiser) pops up during a challenge?
What does it mean to “destroy target base”?
Can I discard again to Recycling Station if I only discard one card?
Does Fortress Oblivion work differently than the other promo bases?

If you have any rules questions of your own, I recommend either posting a thread there, or using our contact form!

Now then, let’s get onto the previews! Well… maybe “preview” isn’t the best word since many of you are likely playing with these cards already, but hopefully I can give you some pointers on how to utilize these Trade Federation options for dominion over the Star Realms!

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Defense Center is very interesting, the only Trade Federation base to offer a significant combat boost. As mentioned, the Federation is great at generating authority and trade, but struggle to generate a decent amount of firepower. That’s what makes Defense Center such an attractive option to a Federation player not interesting in bogging their deck down with an off-color combat fleet.

A steady 2 Combat boost each turn won’t be enough to take out bases, but it will steadily drop the opponent’s authority score assuming they have no outposts to hide behind. However, if you can trigger the ally ability with one of your various Federation trade ships, you’ve now got a very solid 4 Combat, enough to smash through many of the smaller bases in the game. Combined with Cutter‘s surprising 4 Combat ally ability, and suddenly these corporate fat cats are fighting like real jungle lions! 

Of course, don’t discount the 3 Authority option either. If your opponent has no bases to target, sometimes it’s wise to pad your own authority score rather than going after your opponent’s. If you think you’ve got a better chance of winning if the game goes long (often true for a Federation build), stock up on those sweet green life points and stay out of firing range.

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And if you are going for the long game, what better option than Port of Call? With a hefty 6 defense, this busy trading outpost is sure to both fend off your opponent’s attacks while generating massive amounts of trade, continually filling your deck with some very expensive toys. Its continuous 3 Trade is a huge boost, often making it a breeze to purchase even the game’s 8-cost behemoths without batting an eye, no other base offering this much purchasing power. Meanwhile, the very powerful scrap ability can be well worth the sacrifice. If your opponent drops a base which could close out the game, self-destruct the port and grab another card from the deck to potentially end the game that turn.

Port of Call sets up what I like to call the Cold War strategy, sitting behind one’s defenses while gradually winning the battle through economic strength alone. Look to grab additional Federation ships and bases, continually padding your authority score while making frequent shopping trips to the trade row. Many of the game’s more expensive ships are cantrips, meaning  a wealthy player can stock up on off-faction cards like Battlecruiser without hurting their deck’s synergy. If your opponent seems heavily invested in the Star Empire, buying up that cruiser both adds a heavy dose of firepower to your own deck, while denying them the ability to greatly improve their own. Then, once you have fun toys of all colors, smash in for the win!

-Vito Gesualdi, Community Manager

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