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Forbidden Stars

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:

  1. ​Dominance – collect rsources in a solar system and use your racial ability.
  2. Build – train new units, build new strctures.
  3. Strategize – modify your combat deck, buy upgrades
  4. 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.

Andrei Petrov

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.

Kirill Petrjashev

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
High replayability
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
Unique races
High level of interaction between players
Best combat system: dice + unique cards + upgrades
Excellent art
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

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