StarCraft: The Board Game - Board Game Box Shot

StarCraft: The Board Game

In StarCraft: The Board Game, players take control of high-tech armies and battle for dominance in an ever-changing galaxy. Take command of your favorite race and set out to conquer!

Two to six players each take the role of an important leader from the StarCraft universe - Jim Raynor, Arcturus Mengsk, Judicator Aldaris, Executor Tassadar, Sarah Kerrigan, or the Overmind - and take command of powerful armies. With three distinct races, each with two unique factions, each game of StarCraft: The Board Game will be different.

User Reviews (11)

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5
Platinum Supporter
Thunderstone Fan
I play blue
10
10 of 10 gamers found this helpful
“Many fun game mechanics with a great theme”

I broke this game out this week after many years of not playing it and remembered why I liked it so much. The video game was one of the first popular Real-Time Strategy PC games (like Warcraft), and the board game does a great job of following the theme.

Deck Building: This game had the deck building mechanic before Dominion! You use cards from your Combat Deck for battling, and you can add more cards to your Combat Deck by researching new cards from your technology deck.

The board game is not real-time like the video game, but it has a unique way of assigning Move/Build/Research orders that adds a very fun strategic element to the game play. You get to assign 4 orders per round, but you place orders one at a time and other players can interfere with your plans.

3 Alien Races: Up to 6 players, 2 of each type of alien race, including Terran (Human), Zerg (biological Alien), and Protoss (Tech/Psi Alien). Each of the 3 races has a unique set of units based on same units in the video game, and the board game does a good job of translating the unique abilities into mechanics that work for the board game.

Base-Building and Unlocking Abilities: Just like the video game, to build more advanced units first requires building up your base to create those units. What you research and build depends on what your opponents are researching, because some units are only able to attack air or ground units.

When I purchased this years ago, I was looking for something epic, with a lot of fun pieces. This fit the bill nicely, and it also helped that I loved the video game.

Not Terribly Long Games: Unlike many epic strategy games (think Axis & Allies or Twilight Imperium), Starcraft games don’t need to take longer than 1.5 hours after you’ve learned the game.

Works Well for 2 Players: The game scales very well to make sure that players will clash. Unlike a game like Scythe where you don’t need to ever battle anyone, or Settlers of Catan where you might never clash with somebody in a 2-player game, Starcraft is designed for battling and the win conditions almost always force you to face your neighbors in battle.

Complicated, yes! And that makes it fun – many different ways to win and choices on what to build and research. A person who enjoys more complex games can get the feel for the game by playing it. That might mean the first game is 3 hours long, but it’s fun.

I wouldn’t recommend the game for casual or social play (too much strategy to have distracting conversations during the game). But, if you know somebody who has the game and you enjoy a shorter type of epic strategy war game, ask them to break it out.

 
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5
Critic - Level 4
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
9
50 of 56 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“A Sublime Experience in Strategy Boardgaming”

Starcraft is a deep yet raucous imitation of the video game by the same name, combining some of the best elements of many other Fantasy Flight titles.

The gameplay has a relatively sharp learning curve, but is a bit easier to grasp with some knowledge of the video game, and worth the investment once the light bulb comes on. The game begins with each player selecting a faction – with its own units, cards and special powers – and building a modular game board by connecting planets together. Players can occupy these planets to gain more resources to grow their military, conquest points toward victory, and other strategic advantages.

In the first phase of a game turn, each player takes it in turn to select one of three different order types – build, research, mobilize – and place it face-down on or next to a planet they occupy. This proceeds around the table until all players have placed four orders (each order type occurs two to three times); it also means that orders can stack up on a planet. This is critical to understand, because in the second phase, players go around the table resolving their orders by selecting one ON TOP of a stack and revealing it. This means that orders placed early can get buried and are usually among the last to be resolved. Most of the real gameplay takes place during this phase, as players build structures and units, research more tech to improve their attributes, and move on to other planets, fighting battles whenever two factions clash. The final phase is mostly bookkeeping, resolving end-of-turn effects and checking for victory conditions, etc.

Of particular note in this game is that the combat is card-based, rather than using dice or some sort of results table. Each faction has a combat deck that has some basic attack cards, and a “technology” deck that can provide bonuses in a number of different ways; either by allowing unit upgrades, providing bonuses to attack/defense, or by adding new attack cards directly into the combat deck. And while the attack cards are specific to certain units, each card has a “minor value” assigned, so that even if you are caught in a battle without the right cards for your units, you can at least use minor units as a fallback.

The components included in the game are for the most part top-notch. The artwork on the cards is strongly thematic, and the cards themselves are very clean and well-composed for conveying information. The game comes with nearly 200 sculpted pieces representing many of the combat units found in the video game. The interconnected planets provides a modular design that gives a different game experience with each play. One thing to watch out for: the plastic stands for air units can be a bit fragile, especially in older editions of the game where the air units shipped with stands attached. Handle with care. Fantasy Flight has, historically, been good about providing replacement stands to remedy this issue.

The upside to thematic rules is that they immerse the player in the franchise, and few publishers do this as well as Fantasy Flight. The downside is that they can become intricate and complicated, and Fantasy Flight tends to have difficulty conveying these rules in a clear, simple manner. This game is much better taught than learned from the book, and even then requires one or two plays before really grasping the game.

I have a hard time getting this game to the table, but among those who have stuck it out for a game have almost universally enjoyed the experience. If you have a handful of friends who like Starcraft or space battle games in general, and if you think they can survive the first game or two without throwing up their hands and walking off, the result will be a good core of players who will want to come back to this again and again. This is currently my favorite strategy game and for those willing to invest the time, energy and money, I cannot recommend this strongly enough.

 
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6
Norway
I play yellow
Asmodee fan
Count / Countess
8
49 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“FFG nightmare rule-wise, Dream play-wise”

If you don’t like wargames then turn around. Starcraft offers plenty. This is a game where war isn’t an option, it’s a fact. The map is so overcrowded that the only way to get anywhere is to overtake other territories. Or you’ll lose.

Pick a race at first. There are two factions for each race, and each faction has their own win condition. For example, one of the Protoss factions has a victory condition to just survive long enough. While this faction is in play, the victory goal is moved from 15 to 20 points for everyone else.

A game round consists of actions. Before each round, each player chooses 4 actions out of many. One by one, they place the actions on a planet they want to make it on. It could be on an enemy planet, on your own, or a neutral one. But what action you chose is hidden. No one knows if you did a build action, a movement action or a research action. Nor do they know what your intentions are.

However, the game is vastly deep ability-wise. You have a whole deck of cards with different abilities which will help in combat. But knowing which to pick and when to pick is really hard. It can be quite challenging for new players.

Combat is the easiest thing to learn, and that is quite hard too. When combat is set, each player involved draws a few cards to their hand. These cards must then be placed behind each skirmish. A battle consists of many skirmishes, depending on how many units are on each side. They are also placed face down. When all are placed, they are revealed one by one. The powers on the card is dependent on the icons on the card and the unit it’s played on. If it’s a match, it gets the higher power. Or maybe it’s an ability.

As I said, there are tons of detail to take into account. But the gameplay is simply teriffic, and the downtime is low, since each order is taken one by one, going around the table.

But the game suffers from the FFG-syndrome. Terrible, horrible rulebook! Come on, guys, why do we have to “see page 23, then see page 40, referring to page 10, which refers to a card in the game”… It doesn’t give you that nice of a clue, you have to find out the page numbers for yourself – if it’s even in there. Some things are printed on the handouts.

Other than that: thumbs up! Great wargame, great replayability. But get comfortable, it takes a while.

 
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5
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Cryptozoic Entertainment fan
10
49 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“A PC Game Well Translated to Tactile Format”

I have been playing the PC game since Brood War came out in 98′ and have been enjoying the series ever since. The board game is a very good translation from computer to a tactile gaming experience, but it has it’s new twists as well.

First, the rules themselves are simple enough. Plan and lay orders, execute orders, battle, regroup, loose/gain territory and resources. The complexity comes in the different options and the many ways the truck load of cardboard and plastic bits interact with the game. Half the rule book is explaining the purpose of each component, card and unit, rather than the actual intricacies of the rules.

A good part of the games strategy lies in the placement of orders such as blocking orders, order timing, placement, and which orders you choose (you only get 4 a turn).

Second, the Conquest Point system turns the game into more of a capture and hold style of game, rather than a total, all out slug fest. This has some draw backs (such as the feeling of satisfaction as you completely destroy your opponent), but it also adds a bit more long term strategy. It becomes more about timing, organization and unit combos rather than just building a ton of units and throwing them at your buddy. It also keeps the game aggressive, and there are not many situations for turtling to be successful.

PROS:
-The order system is awesome and adds a large layer of strategic depth to the game in it’s self.
-The card based combat is a lot more skill based and predictable than chucking a fist full of dice only to loose an awesome group of units to a bad roll. It also allows for the technology and abilities to be better integrated into the game.
-The game feels huge, like an entire campaign, rather than a skirmish.
-Components are of good quality.

CONS:
-Organization is a big problem. I ended up storing everything in their own separate bags (the box insert is useless once opened).
-Learning curve is a bit steep, but it’s not so much the rules, but the tons of components that the game requires to play. Beginners beware.

I recommended this to players who really like in-depth games or StarCraft in general. This game is definitely not for beginners(YOU’VE BEEN WARNED).

 
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4
7
48 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“If you're looking for Starcraft, you won't find it here”

But it’s a really good game!

This is for people who have played Starcraft before and consider buying th board game because of the PC game’s experience that they had. (assuming that it was good!)

Starcraft: the Board Game isn’t a lightweight board game by all means, which creates a dissonance as Starcraft is a worldwide known trademark. If you’re really enthusiastic about the theme you better have some background in boardgaming and a few gateway games under your belt, just before you jump into the deeper water.

Thematically there’s all that’s in the related PC game – the 3 races with their special characteristics are very well presented in the game, and it manages to recreate the feel of each army. The artwork is a blast and the components are top-notch. With all these high-quality miniatures – from the Terran’s marines to the epic Zealot’s Ultralisk – we often find ourselves playing with them as if they were action figures. No kidding. Once again FFG proves itself as one of the best producers in the industry.

But in the meaning of gameplay – it’s not quite the tactical micro-management game which SC is. Instead you’ll find here a more large-scaled game, which mechanically I would define as a highly interactive competitive brain-burning puzzle with resource management, area control and battling which involves deck building and hand management. Sounds complex? Well, it takes a little time to grasp the rules, but I really appreciate the way in which all these mechanics are integrated with each other.

The scenarios are a little awkward in my opinion. It’s understandable that nothing can be Starcraft related without the story aspect, but it feels like in FFG they tried jsut a little too hard, as mechanically the story aspect of the game can’t be taken to the edge.

I believe that this game deserves a try from anyone who is familiar with the universe of Starcraft and is also a medium-heavy gamer. Go check it out!

 
Player Avatar
1
I'm a Real Person
6
48 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Intresting for Starcraft-fans, overwhelming for newcomers.”

Pros:
– Randomisation freshes up every game, no two are quite alike.
– All 3 races are varied, where both factions of each race have distinct differences.
– A great sight for fans of the video games, all major characters return.
– Decent quality components, although they must be handled with care. They damage easily.

Cons:
– Game length is massive. 4 to 5 hours from setup to cleanup is not uncommon.
– Poor wording or detailed rules can confuse new players, putting them off for following occasions.
– Owner must organise the contents, the box offers little aid after unpacking unless you get creative.
– Only 12 locations to play on, 2 per player each game. Locations will see a lot of repetition when setting up games.

A good starting point to get to know the game. Brood War expansion is advised to increase game content, but does come with more rules which might overcomplicate it for newer gamers. A fun alternative for Starcraft-veterans, but newcomers will probably find other boardgames more engaging.

 
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4
Noble
Amateur Reviewer
Amateur Advisor
9
47 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“complex, but very nice theme”

Starcraft is a board game conversion of the PC game. You play as one of the three races (Human, Zerg, Protoss). Tasks to be done are collecting resources, building units, researching new technologies and keeping you opponents at bay. The fights are solved without using any dice what I really appreciate. The three races feel different enough to have a different experience depending on what race you play.

If you like complex war games and science fiction then you should check out this game. But don’t be surprised if you play 3 – 4 hours.

 
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2
Brazil
8
46 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“Amazing”

One of my favorite games.

 
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2
Critic - Level 1
9
46 of 77 gamers found this helpful
“Under-appreciated gem”

War game wise this game has it all. Combat is surprising and strategic. Don’t get fooled by its mechanics that make it seem random.

 
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3
Gamer - Level 3
10
47 of 80 gamers found this helpful
“Favorite Wargame”

As with all of FFGs games, it’s beautiful. The card based combat is great and the game moves quickly. It punishes being defensive by giving the attacker advantages. The order system is ingenius.

 
Player Avatar
4
Rated 25 Games
9
47 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastic offensive strategy!”

Game forces you to be on the attack. Built in game timer keeps gameplay at a perfect amount of time.

 

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