Reduce happines for each requirement you can not fulfil
Unit limit per tile = 5
Monsters Invasion = roll monster die and location die to place a monster to an appropriate location
If any effect makes a bandit appear on the tile with a warrior – remove them both from the board.
Killing a bandit or a monster gives one happiness.
Hand limit for blessing cards = 3
When happines reaches the min value – roll a curse die.
When happines reaches the max value – draw a blessing card.
Randomly select the first player
Each player gets 10 gold
Each player places a warrior and a peasant to the capital tile
Each player constructs a starting building on the capital tile
Monster invasion (2).
Trigger the event:
Aging – for each unit move aging marker up one step. If aging marker reaches the max value – roll (6) to sacrifice a unit then continue to move the marker starting from the min value. If you roll a tile without units – sacrifice unit in the combat area. If there are no units to sacrifice on the rolled tile re-roll(6).
The Great Sacrifice
Each player must sacrifice a unit to draw a blessing and may sacrifice another one to draw 1 more.
For each fire destroy a building on that tile if able and put another fire token.
For each worker collect gold equal to land values: 3 for mine, 2 for farm, 1 for capital.
Coins cannot be collected on the tiles with fire.
Coins cannot be collected on the tiles with bandits
For each plague kill a unit on that tile and roll (6) to spread plague (bandits count). If plague doesnt kill anyone – remove the plague token.
For each bandit do one available action: destroy a building on that tile > kill a worker on that tile > destroy 1 gold.
Each player reduces happines:
1 for each plague or fire token on his lands
1 for each bandit on his lands
1 for each monster on his lands
Trigger artifact effects
Trigger building effects
Trigger monster effects
Monster Invasion (1)
Combat (except for Winter Solstice)
For each player with a higher combat power roll X combat dice where X is the difference in combat power with that player.
Place bandits to the lands indicated on the dice.
Activate effects of all combat technologies or artifacts of that player X times.
Starting from the first player players place order tokens on the planning board:
Each player places 2 orders in the same period until the next event, one order at a time.
Order tokens can be placed to any available season where the player does not have an order token yet
One order should be placed face up another face down.
Actions are resolved in the placement order on the planning board.
Player can choose either to resolve an action up the action value or take gold equal to the action value.
Play can play a blessing card from his hand before or after resolving an action.
Player can purchase an artifact before or after playing an action
There are 5 basic types of actions:
Player can douse a fire for one action point.
Player can construct a building and get a $ discount for every action point spent.
There can not be more than 1 building per tile.
Player can rebuild a building by replacing it with another.
Units can be recruited in the capital or on tile with an appropriate building according to the revealed technologies.
There are 2 types of units: peasants and warriors
Recruiting a peasant is free
Recruiting a warrior costs 1$
Player can move one or many units up the action value.
Units can cross tiles ignoring the unit limit, but must end the movement on a legit tile.
Warrior can move to the combat area.
It costs 1 movement action to kill a monster. If you kill a mosnter roll loot die.
If a warrior enters a tile with the bandit, remove them both from the board.
Increase your happiness level up one time per action value.
If the happinnes token reaches the max value – player draws a blessing.
If the happinnes token reaches the max value it returns to the starting value and continues to rise if the action was not yet complete.
Steal X gold from any opponents.
Each building * 5 points
Artifact sets 1/2/4/7/10/14/20
Each warrior * 2 points
Each happiness level * 1 point
-X points where X = (Number of artifact types – 1)
Each peasant * 1 point
Each fire/plague/bandit * -1 point
Each undamaged monster * -1 point
Through the Ages
You begin with a small tribe. As you expand your farms and mines, you lay the groundwork for technological advancements, better governments, and grand wonders. Your military might supports your political skill as you guide your civilization to greatness.
Hundreds of cards provide endless variability. Various historical figures can lead your civilization in numerous directions. Use Napoleon`s tactics to conquer your foes, then switch to the thoughtful power of Albert Einstein. Wonders such as the Hanging Gardens and the Transcontinental Railroad give each civilization its own character. And the card-drawing system ensures that every game will be unique.
The game goes in 4 rounds. The first A round ends quickly in 2 turns to provide players the initial unique setup. The following I, II and III Era rounds are a lot longer but technically fairly the same as the only difference between them is that cards are getting gradually stronger and in III era you get cards with some endgame bonuses.
Every turn a player uses his political and military actions defined by his government type and represented by white and red cubes. He uses action cubes to buy and play economical or research cards, hire workers, construct buildings, hire troops and play political cards to declare wars, assault your opponets, propose the treaties or play the events.
The winner is the one who scores the most victory points through the game eras by playing cards, constructing buildings and harrassing other players.
The game is long to explain and has a lot of minor details hard to remember, but generally it`s quite easy and worth playing.
The game itself is very reactive as player needs to constantly adopt to the available cards and can not plan the strategy too far ahead. Card picks of other players make it harder to plan your turn in advance. It results as analysis paralysis especially when you have 6+ action cubes. Deck slides too fast and sometimes cards you reveal at the end of your turn are being taken before your next turn and there is only 2 copies of each card in the deck.
I like having lots of options in the game and in Through the Ages you do have it together with constant lack of resources. However overproductive economy is also punished by the game engine and if happens in an early game, then you are pretty much screwed for the rest of the game.
After playing several times I found out that RNG plays a major role in this game. Cards which add extra political actions provide a huge advantage to players able to buy them. I.e. during first round an extra white cube equals 25% extra actions for the owner and considering the random deck order, other players might not be able to get a similar card to play.
What I did not like is that you sometimes know that you have lost the game in II era and you still need to play another 1-2 hours without any motivation. If you are not able to get the right amount of cards with action cubes or develop a science in the early game – there is no point to continue playing.
The game leaves mixed feelings as sometimes it`s fun to play and sometimes you just wait it to finish by being screwed by RNG in early game. However if I lose I always want to play it again to try out some different strategy…
Pros and Cons
Easy to play
Epic feeling due to the game theme.
High replayability. You never know what will you play.
Lots of options every turn.
The game is very long. Best play with 3 people and it`s still long.
Occasional analysis paralysis. Long downtime.
Many options, but science and political action technologies is the only key to win.
Hard to learn. Many details to keep in mind.
You can lose the game in the middle by not getting necessary cards due to RNGesus.
Not a noob friendly game. Doesn`t forgive bad choices.
Era cards just have scaled stats and there is no real difference between them.
Forbidden Stars challenges you and up to three other players to take command of a mighty fighting force. Each of four factions offer unique armies and play styles, but your goal remains the same – to claim the key objectives selected for your faction. These objective tokens are scattered throughout the Herakon Cluster, but your opponents are sure to defend your objectives against you.
You need to build massive armies and command them in unending war to best your enemies and claim your objectives. The fight for the Herakon Cluster is brutal and bloody, and you will either stride triumphant over the bodies of your fallen foes, or they will do the same to you.
During setup phase you pick yourself a race the Ultramarines chapter of Space Marines, the Eldar of Craftworld Iyanden, the Evil Sunz Ork clan, or the World Eaters Warband of the Chaos Space Marines. Each race provides different units, technologies and a racial ability.
You play 8 rounds and must collect mission tokens spread among the galaxies. Some of them to be found on the planets occupied by opposing players and the only way to obtain them is fighting through.
Every round in a turn order players distributes 4 orders orders on the map. Orders in every solar system are stacked together and resolved from top to bottom. This gives players opportunity to block orders of other players and ruin their plans.
There are 4 types of orders:
Dominance – collect rsources in a solar system and use your racial ability.
Build – train new units, build new strctures.
Strategize – modify your combat deck, buy upgrades
Move – sharing a space after making a move leads to a combat
Combat is the core idea of this game. Game pushes you to abandon your home planets for missing tokens which are defended by your enemies. As the game advances players need to upgrade their combat decks that provide bonuses for specific units in battle. If you upgrade your army, you also need to upgrade the combat deck to make it work at full efficiency.
Combat system involves dice and cards. Dice give you firepower, defence or morale and cards give you more dice or temporary combat tokens. Some specific card abilities let you retreat from battle, rout and unrout units and do some other useful actions.
The first to collect his tokens wins the game.
The game is impressive! It is simple and complex at the same time. It looks difficult as it has a lot of components but gets really simple when you start playing it – it is just 4 actions to plan and execute! However, you opponents may behave unpredictably and ruin your plans by blocking your orders and you can also easily f#ck up yourself with the incorrect order placement.
I played several factions and they seem fairly balanced even if the playstyle is quite different due to technologies and racial abilities. Orcs get free units, Chaos is developing rapidly by teleporting weakest units to unoccupied planets in the beginning of the game, Eldars can teleport their unit between solar systems, Space Marines upgrade units for free and more combat orientated…
The game requires full attention. Minor mistakes I made having lack of attention prevented me from winning the game several times. Usually, they made me recover for at least 3 following rounds.
Tactic is the thing that wins the game. All 4 actions within the round shall be carefully planned and every single mistake makes you fail. The one who does it the best, usually wins.
The game is 9.9/10 for me. Almost perfect. It has the best combat system I`ve ever met in board games.
Pros and Cons
Fast to learn
Excellent art and miniatures
Excellent strategical gameplay bacause of the mechanics with orders
Combat – unlike any other game and includes orders, dice and deck building.
Fans of Warhammer 40000 will be happy
High level of interaction between players
Best combat system: dice + unique cards + upgrades
There is no turtling in Forbidden Stars unlike many other games
Game is good for any amount of players
Hard to understand first play due to order blocks which impact an order resolution.
Planning requires thinking for 4-8 orders ahead. Does not forgive mistakes.
At least 1 hour per player and feels loooooong
Combats makes the game slow. Huge downtime for players not involved in combats.
FFG and Games Workshop no longer cooperate. Means no expansions in future.
1 hour per player
Combat downtime for inactive players
A player cannot sell or discard a worker card if he will not have enough workers to play all seasons.
All ties are resolved by initiative. Lowest first.
Randomly allocate mines, farms and sawmills on the map facedown.
Shuffle intrugues, workers and combat decks and place them by the board.
Shuffle quests and event cards and place them on the appropriate boards.
Randomly close upgrades on the tablet.
Set a random turn order
Each player draws a personal quest and places it next to his tablet.
Each player draws an intrigue and a combat card.
Each players takes 5 gold from the bank.
Start of turn
Players draw 4 worker cards and draft them clockwise or counterclockwise (switch every round).
Move all influence vp token down one step on the influence track. If player`s influence marker meets an influence vp token, the player moves his marker to 0 and places the influence vp token to his tablet. Ignore this step first year of the game.
Players at 3 and 4 victory points must announce it.
Each round consists of 4 seasons providing penalties and a bonuses for workers.
Each season players plan and place a worker card face down simultaneously.
Players reveal the worker cards and take actions in the initiative order. Only one type of action from the available set can be played each turn.
Action power of the chosen type equals to worker power + season bonus or – season penalty which are represented on the worker`s card and calendar.
Action power can be modified by active events whih need to be checked before taking the actions.
Workers have their special abilities which can be played anytime: before, during or after taking the actions.
Instant intrugue cards may impact the action by adding some effects or modifying the power of the action.
After playing an action, player raises influence on the track matching worker`s faction. If player`s influence marker meets an influence vp token, the player moves his marker to 0 and places the influence vp token to his tablet.
Once all players used all their actions – resolve combats in initiative sequence.
Once all winter actions are played and combats are resolved – proceed to Cleanup.
Move any initiative marker up or down
Swap left or right the event cards. If #1 event is moved left and leaves the board – discard it.
Move any influence 1 step up.
Choose a color, draw X cards that type where X = 1 + revealed upgrades.
Pay token price and upgrade the hand limit
Pay 5 and construct a building
Deploy a unit from a left-most space in garrison on the tablet to any unoccupied space on the edge of the map
Move a unit to an adjacent land
Sell a card from your hand for 2$
Sell goods from one of the locations, get X$ per good, where X = market price + event or worker`s bonuses or penalties.
Basic unit power in combat is equal to the power displayed on the first right-most garrison with an empty unit space.
Each player may play as many combat cards as allowed by his tablet (garrison + upgrade)
All players may play combat and intrigue cards to help one of the conflict sides.
Active players calculate total power to determine the winner.
Players exchange combat tokens. The winner places it faceup on his player table and the loser facedown.
Killed units are placed in the graveyard next to the map
Players return dead units from graveyard to the garrison, filling right-most and left-most garrisons first.
Playes may return any amount of warriors from the map to garrisons and then pay wages to all units remaining on the map. If a player can not pay wages he removes units from the map until he can.
Resolve event cards starting from #1 to #3.
Remove left most event (if not blank) and slide event cards to the left on the event track. Reveal new events to fill all empty spaces.
In the turn order sequence players claim quest cards and get 1 VP per completed quest.
Remove left most quest (if not blank) and slide quest cards to the left on the quest track. Reveal new quests to fill all empty spaces.
Claim faction alliance tokens. Add 1 VP for each taken.
Discard all workers.
Bonus production: all occupied lands produce resources equal to the number on the map tile.
For each unit on the board a player decides to keep the unit or return it back to garrison.
For each card ty beyond the hand limit a player chooses whether to pay $ to keep it or dicards it.
If any player has reached the endgame VP limit, the game ends and players proceed to Endgame phase.
Endgame points are calculated the following way:
Each VP token = 1 point
Each unique combat victory token = 1 point
Each unique combat defeat token = -1 point
Each land in an inner circle gives it`s controller 1 point
All stars on the tablet give 1 VP each
Every 10g give 1 point
Completed perosnal quest also gives 1 additional VP.