Star Realms next expansion is to be a Scenario Pack of special cards that modify a game for all players. For example, the “Rushed Defenses” card makes bases cheaper and allows players to put newly acquired ships immediately on top of their decks. A single scenario card can be added at the beginning of a game either by choice or at random.

White Wizard Games will ship the Star Realms Scenario Pack this summer with 20 cards at a suggested retail price of $7.99.

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Rescue Run, A Star Realms Novel

Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz is a new novel based on the science fiction deck-building card game, Star Realms.

Since being court-martialed by the Star Empire, smuggler and thief Joan Shengtu has done what she needed to do in order to survive—gaining a reputation along the way. When a new client’s mission goes sideways, Joan finds herself caught in the middle of dueling gambits between the Star Empire and the Trade Federation. Recruited to perform the heist of a lifetime, the fate of the Star Empire rests in her hands.

On the opposite side of the galaxy, Regency BioTech manager Dario Anazao sees an unsustainable situation brewing that promises a full-scale revolution. The megacorporations of the Trade Federation have kept the population in horrible working conditions, violating their human rights. With no one else to help, Dario must take it upon himself to rescue the workers of Mars.

Can two heroes from warring factions come together to make a difference in the galaxy?

It’s available now via Amazon: $12.95 paperback, $2.99 Kindle.

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What can you do with your Mythic Rare Magic: the Gathering card that was just banned from tournament play? White Wizard Games recommends you send them that no longer valid card to them in exchange for a free copy of Epic Card Game.

When Wizards of the Coast announced a new list of banned and restricted cards from Standard play on January 9th, Rob Dougherty and Darwin Kastle of White Wizard Games — both Magic the Gathering Pro Tour Champions and inductees into the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame — decided to offer an exchange deal for two of the rare cards banned from play. Emrakul, the Promised End, a mythic rare card which sold for around $20 was banned for being too “scarily powerful”, facing little resistance and ending games too quickly. “She was the world-ending, all-powerful monster she was in the story, which was too much for Standard,” reads the announcement from Wizards of the Coast. Smuggler’s Copter, a rare card that sold for about $10, was banned because it “shows up in too many decks, diminishing the format’s diversity,” according to WotC.

In an announcement about the promotion, Nathan Davis of White Wizard Games writes, “When your $10 rare gets banned from Standard, that is a bad feeling. When your $20 mythic rare gets banned, that is an even worse feeling.”

Brazilian players who purchased a copy of any of the banned cards between December 10th and January 9th at Bazar de Bagdá, one of Brazil’s largest MtG game stores, may return those cards to the store and be refunded in store credit. Willy Edel, owner of Bazar de Bagdá, is also a Pro Tour Player and in the Magic the Gathering Hall of Fame.

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Second Look—Hero Realms

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.For those who missed the incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, Hero Realms is a fantasy version of White Wizard Games’ Star Realms. More than just a reskin, Hero Realms also has Character Packs that can be purchased to customize each player’s starting decks and play styles. These come in the form of Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Thief, and Wizard. Boss Decks can also be purchased that let’s one player control a powerful monster that other players have to overcome. Last is the Campaign Deck, one of the coolest sounding additions to the game. It contains rules for solo and cooperative play, comes with 3 missions, and has gear for upgrading your hero over time

White Wizard Games was kind enough to send a copy of the base game and Character Packs over for me to take a look at and I have to say I’m thoroughly impressed. I’ve played with my oldest so far, since he’s the most familiar with Star Realms, and we were both able to pick up the base game and play right away. We then each tried a different character and took a bit of time to learn how they play. This was a great step up from Star Realms and I can see Hero Realms pushing Star Realms out of our play rotation once we get some more of the add-ons.


You can check out the full rules and print-and-play version from White Wizard’s site. While I can’t recommend the game enough, you still may want to try the print-and-play if you’re not familiar with Star Realms or don’t know if you want a fantasy version of the deckbuilder to replace your sci-fi one. Personally, I think it’s great to have both, but Hero Realms is definitely the more enjoyable version.

A copy of Hero Realms and 5 Character Decks were provided free for review by White Wizard Games.

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Would you like to be the primary person responsible for the Monopoly brand or help preserve games for museum archives or develop the digital version of a popular card game?

At Hasbro, the numerous open jobs include Senior Director of Global Marketing (“define and drive the global strategy for Family Gaming”), Design Manager (supervise technical design development efforts for a games category product line), and Product Designer (for “Phygital Games” combining physical and digital products). Subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast, is looking for, among others, a Director of Competitive Gaming and eSports for Magic: The Gathering, a Game Designer fluent in Japanese for Duel Masters, and a Principal Product Designer to oversee MtG R&D efforts and “develop strategic direction for block environments.”

Spin Master wants to hire a Public Relations Coordinator to manage outreach to press and a Senior Copywriter to author marketing materials.

Mattel has three Senior Designer positions open in the Boys Toy Box team for people with “a passion for action figures and/or game design.” Also positions for a Sr. Manager Digital Marketing and a Digital Producer.

ThinkFun is looking for a Product Manager and a Senior Product Manager to help organize the company’s projects, keep them moving forward, and manage quality.

Among the people that The Strong (National Museum of Play) is looking for are a Director of Conservation (to preserve games and toys in its collections), a Project Cataloger (to digitize and inventory games and puzzles), and a Teaching Host (to work with visiting school groups).

Ceaco (A.K.A. Gamewright) needs a Sales & Marketing Coordinator to assist with accounts, prepare marketing materials, and analyze sales data.

White Wizard Games (Star Realms) has an opening for a Digital Deckbuilder, that is, someone with experience in server-side apps and “a passion for card games.”

Thames & Kosmos needs a Purchasing & Planning Coordinator for analyzing sales data, managing inventories, and working with suppliers.

TOMY (Battroborg, Mr. Mouth) is recruiting for several positions: Brand Assistant, Digital Merchandising Manager, and Legal & Marketing Coordinator.

Toobeez (U.S. distributor of Funskool games from India) seeks a Junior Sales and Marketing Executive to help with social media, email marketing, and specialty retailer support.

The Toy Industry Association needs a Communications Specialist/Content Developer and a Director of Audience Relations. Both positions have a fair amount to do with New York Toy Fair.

Toyjobs is a specialty recruiter for the toy industry.

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Epic Card Game—A Kickstarter Preview

Epic Card GameWhite Wizard Games this week launched a Kickstarter project for the fantasy-themed Epic Card Game and without even waiting for my preview, more than 3,000 people have already backed it, funding the game 300 percent! If you’re someone who hasn’t yet joined the bandwagon, or have but still would like some reassurance, I’ll tell you, it’s a good game. How good you ask? Well that, I believe, depends on what you think of typical collectible card games.

You see, Epic is a card game very much in the style of a CCG, however streamlined for faster play and without the random packaging. Of course, it’s not the first to do either. Yet—I say this as someone who loves discovering card combinations but never had the patience for collecting or constructing decks—Epic feels both familiar and distinct. It is somewhat easier but still challenging.

Epic Cards

Game play involves taking turns summoning champion cards to attack opponents and eliminate their starting 30 health—so far, a familiar process. Event cards, though, can also be played on an opponent’s turn for defensive measure. The interaction of card effects isn’t difficult to resolve (though there are the usual variety of special abilities and keywords). And most importantly, the cost of playing a card is often zero but at most one gold. Since every player gets a free gold at the beginning of their turn, the action in Epic starts immediately and builds quickly.

A single $15 box of Epic comes with 120 unique cards, enough for four players by simply dealing each 30 random cards. By purchasing multiple boxes, however, additional formats of constructed and draft play are possible for up to eight players. (No more than three boxes would be needed, as the rules limit each card to three per deck.)

Among the cards in the base set, a portion are marked with red gems. Similar to rare cards in a typical CCG, these are the more powerful. A form of drafting cube can be assembled by pairing one gem card with several non-gem (common) cards in to packs.

Every card in Epic is also assigned to one of four factions: Good (yellow), Wild (green), Evil (red), and Sage (blue), each of which makes for a balanced preconstructed deck.

Assuming a positive response to the initial box, you can expect more non-random expansion sets for Epic. I understand from White Wizard that these would be both 120 card boxes and 15-20 card packs.

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Second Look—Star Realms

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Another deckbuilding game, this time by White Wizard Games. Star Realms follows the same formula of many deckbuilders out there. Use resources to buy more cards and beef up your deck. Where it differs is that you’re directly trying to take out your opponent using Spaceships and Bases, while also protecting yourself with Bases and Outposts. It feels like a step up from a game like Ascension, yet comes in a smaller package and packs a bit more punch.

My 9-year-old son and I sat down with the base game and its 4 expansions. This gave us some extra Spaceships and Bases, along with Heroes and Events, two new types of Trade cards added in from the Crisis sets. The game ramps up extremely quickly, and it’s not long before each player is dealing out huge amounts of damage while also trying to minimize similar amounts of damage from the other player. It’s very important to get Bases and Outposts out there to protect yourself. Take 50 damage to yourself and it’s game over, man. Game over.

starrealmsEverything from the look and feel of the cards to the quick playtime just rubbed me the right way. The fact that the base set comes in a single deckbox that can be tossed into a bag is an added bonus. We opened the game, read the rules, and were already a few turns in before 5 minutes was up.

Now I’m not going to go so far and say it’s my favorite deckbuilder.  Demonslayer still holds that title…for now. That may change seeing as Star Realms will probably get a lot more play due to its portability and ease of setup. The Android app of the game has certainly already overshadowed Ascension on my phone.

My son has already asked to play again, and I have a feeling that we’ll be getting at least a few more games in before the weekend is up. I’m already eagerly awaiting more expansions to come out so I can get my Spaceship fix.

I can’t recommend this game strongly enough. It’s a sure winner, and one of the best games I’ve played so far this year.

A copy of Star Realms and its expansions where provided free for review by White Wizard Games.

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