by Rick DeMille (aka Darklighter)
A new digital Star Realms set entered Open Beta yesterday: Frontiers Events!
Frontiers Events was a promotional set of 8 new Event cards included with the Frontiers Kickstarter. This article introduces the Community to these new Events, with a few thoughts on each.
For detailed strategy advice on playing with Events, check out Derek Thompson’s Megahaulin post, How to Play Well with Events. While it was published before this new Events set was released, most if not all of his advice holds up.
Interested in Joining the Open Beta? Join the White Wizard Games Open Beta Discord Server; there you will find instructions on how to opt-in to the Open Beta!
Frontiers Events Discussion
Mobilization (1 card in set)
It’s always nice to discard some starters, especially mid to late game!
Mobilization can be huge in setting up your next turn, or even your current turn if you have draws.
Mobilization could also cause issues if it requires you to shuffle your deck mid-turn. The language suggests that this is optional (thus allowing you to avoid triggering an unwanted shuffle mid-turn), but it remains to be seen whether it will be optional in the digital version.
Keep in mind how this can affect the timing of future shuffles as well. For example, you may want to discard all the starters revealed from the top of your deck by this Event, but if doing so would only leave you with 4 cards left in your deck…two of which are Battle Blob and Missile Mech…perhaps put one of those starters back on top of your deck.
Patience Rewarded (1 card in set)
It will be interesting to see when a player reserves a card they want vs reserving a card to keep it away from their opponent.
While I haven’t seen this play out in the Beta yet, I would assume you could reserve a directly into hand card (from Colony Wars) and it would still go directly into hand when you purchase it later on from your reserve (assuming you met the conditions). Could make for a nice way to trigger a mission.
And since this Event says that the card can be acquired “as if it were in the trade row,” I would also assume the card you reserve could be acquired with Megahauler, Customs Frigate, etc.
Powerful Backing (2 cards in set)
The potential benefit of this card is incredibly varied. On a turn in which you played only starters, this event only gives you one trade (and 5 life gain to your opponent). But if you’ve got a rainbow hand (cards of every faction), this Event can swing things huge in your favor.
This could also be one of the more imbalanced Events as far as it’s benefit to the current player vs the opposing player. 5 life gain isn’t a huge reward, especially if your opponent is triggering all their double ally abilities on their turn because of this Event.
Recon Mission (2 cards in set)
On average this is one of the weaker Events in terms of potential to swing a game. Of course there are exceptions, e.g., it gave you enough trade to buy Leviathan, or you were 2 damage short of defeating your opponent. But those are the exception.
To be sure an extra 2 trade and an extra 2 damage are helpful, but this Event will rarely win or lose you the game.
Recon Mission will typically give a slight advantage the non-turn player, since the turn player will probably have already used some trade that turn when this flips, while the non-turn player will have the benefit of starting their turn with the extra card.
Superflare (1 card in set)
This Event can be a blessing, or a curse, depending on your situation.
If you have scrap, scrap from your discard pile before making any purchases in case you flip this Event. Typically that was only something you had to think about when you were on your last hand of your deck, but now it’s something to think about even if have another hand or two before your next shuffle.
The timing of this Event on an opponent remains to be seen. Play your yellow discarding cards accordingly, i.e., maybe play them early on your turn in case you flip this event…so the starters they discard will be shuffled back into their deck.
Supply Run (2 cards in set)
This can be a swingy Event, e.g., you have no discard pile so you put an Explorer on top of your deck while your opponent puts Ark on top of their deck. An unfortunate aspect of this Event in the digital app, so far, is that when you’re prompted to choose between putting an Explorer or a card from your discard pile on top, you can’t look through your discard pile. In a 48 hour game it can be tough to remember what’s in your discard pile. Hopefully that will be addressed in the beta.
Tactical Maneuver (2 cards in set)
This is an interesting Event, and one of my personal favorites because of the choices presented. Early game the turn player will most often take the 2 trade, unless they need the damage to destroy a base. That will shift in favor of damage as the game progresses.
The more interesting choice is for the non-turn player, whether to take 6 authority or the card draw. If you choose 6 authority and your opponent chooses 4 damage, the non-turn player will still net 2 life gain.
The damage aspect of this Event is interesting though. There are several Events in the previous set that do immediate damage to both players. This is the first Event that directly adds to the turn player’s damage pool, rather than just automatically deducting damage from the opponent. This is significant because with the Events that subtract damage, they won’t reduce a player to zero health, e.g., if you are at 1 health and an Event flips that deducts 5 health…you will stay at 1 health. But this Event can give you the damage you need to kill an opponent.
Related to that, due to the asynchronous nature of the app, if this Event gives you enough damage to finish your opponent, it would appear you’ll be able to defeat your opponent before they are able to take advantage of that 6 life gain on their turn…even if that 6 life gain would have healed them. Maybe the devs will put in some sort of algorithm that will give the person the 6 health automatically in certain situations to avoid this.
Wormhole (1 card in set)
Another potentially swingy card if one player doesn’t have a discard pile. Unless you’ve already scrapped down a lot and have a really good chance of drawing a good non-starter, the right choice with this Event will typically be to take a card from your discard pile into hand rather than choose the draw option and risk drawing a Starter.
This Event can be very helpful when playing with Missions as well.