Set thousands of years in the future, the board game DarkStar is based on classics such as Dune, Cosmic Encounter, and Diplomacy.
Strategically, DarkStar plays out something like Chess, although the game mechanisms are wildly different. Your key pieces are squadrons that you move around the board in stacks. The board itself being gridded into systems (where resources are located) and subsectors (empty space). Squadrons move from square-to-square on the board as in Chess. As the game proceeds, stargates twist space so that squares change their position relative to one another.
Another big difference from Chess is that conflicts are resolved using tactical core cards that will feel to you more like rock-paper-scissors. Unlike in Chess, attacking pieces won't always win. Furthermore you will get free moves and other kinds of special actions through playing Imperial edict cards.
The most destructive force in the game are antimatter missiles. You build missiles in stages on your systems and launch them during your turn. These missiles are the reason why the goal of the game — collecting three different deep-defense codes — is so important. Missile detonations destroy everything in a square and even burn up the square itself so that nothing can enter it. Owning three colors of deep-defense codes makes some of your squares immune to antimatter detonations, upsetting the balance of power and giving you a chance to win.
- Players: 2-4
- Ages: 14+
- Length: 120 minutes
- Publisher: Klaude Thomas
- Designer: Klaude Thomas
- Art: Ilya Baranovsky
- Page count: 16
- Components: 78 printable counters, 1 printable board, 60 printable cards
- Additional components needed: (10) 4-sided dice, backings for printed components