Published by: White Wizard Games
# of Players: 2 (more with additional copies)
Mayday Card Sleeve Size: Std Card Size
Star Realms Colony Wars comes in a deck box but that does not restrict the game or it's components. The game comes with two fold sheets of rules. One is for the main 2 player game and the second sheet is for multiplayer variants. Both do a great job of explaining the game. If your more of a hands on learner than I would recommend the Star Realms app that can also be used to learn the game. The only other component are the playing cards. Cards are thick and have a glossy finish. The cards should handle a good amount of wear and tear. I think the deck box will probably need to be replaced if you travel with this game a lot. The artwork is very colorful and works great with the other entries in the Star Realms universe. Each faction has their own theme that can be seen in the artwork. Details like this add a nice touch to make it stand out.
If you have played Star Realms then you are set to play Star Realms Colony Wars and skip this section of the review. The Trade Federation, Blob, Machine Cult, and Star Empire are back to be recruited and used to destroy your opponent's authority. Authority is your health for this game and if reduced to 0 you will lose. In Star Realms Colony Wars, you and your opponent will take turns buying new ship and base cards to add to your fleet (deck). Each turn you will draw 5 cards to use for buying with trade points and attacking with combat points. The total points you have to use are based on what ships you play and the bases that you currently have in play. Each player starts with 50 authority and once you reduce your opponent's authority to zero you win and they will have to respect your authority.
Colony Wars brings all new cards to the Star Realms universe. The popular ability in Colony Wars is the ability to put purchased cards directly into your hand. Some cards now have the phrase " When you acquire this card, if you have played a (listed faction) card this turn, you may put this card into your hand." Another new ability is scraping cards in your hand or discard to obtain additional combat or trade points. There are no new mechanics. The cards are balanced with previous entries of Star Realms and flow well with each other.
Star Realms Colony Wars brings more variety and compliments the original nicely. Star Realms Colony Wars works great by itself or with adding the deck from the original. If you enjoy Star Realms or the app, this is a must buy. A lot of time expansion cards will overshadow and overpower their predecessors, but Colony Wars flows very nicely with the first game and you can tell they took their time play testing it for that balance. Star Realms is my favorite 1 vs. 1 deck-builder game and Colony Wars reinforced that opinion even more. Star Realms Colony Wars can also be used as an entry point to introduce new people to this series and will produce that same foundation of understanding the game mechanics. Some may be put off that there was not any big changes or additions but I found that this game reinforces a game that does not need fixing. I have played a lot of Star Realms and Colony Wars breaths some fresh air into the game and will be fun to try and pull off new combos. I love how compact these games are and how quick they play. Star Realms Colony Wars is in my collection with the original and will continue to recommend this game to anyone.
+ Compliments nicely with original Star Realms
+ Compact for easy travel
+Quick set-up and clean-up
+ Great Sci-Fi ship art
+ Rule book is clear and easy to understand
+ Smooth deck-building gameplay
- May put off some who feel it is too much like the original and want different
- Deck Box gets worn out fast
- If you did not like the original, this will do nothing to change your mind