Wil Wheaton Plays STAR REALMS with Melissa DeTora
We occasionally have to fight for our victories. But there is a fine line between satisfying competition among friendly rivals and completely missing the joy of playing a game, because you are so focused on winning, if you’re in a tournament or playing chess against death. Yes, absolutely winning is all that matters, but in most cases yeah the battle should really be fun, which means that this episode of tabletop will be interesting because today, professional Magic, the Gathering Pro Tour player, Melissa, datura, is here, and she will face me down in a One-On-One battle in a deck building game I’m gon na get killed. I don’t know exactly how it’s going to go down, but I do know that one of us, it was probably me, is going to end up on the losers couch and one of us who’s. Probably Melissa is going to rule the galaxy in stone room.
Star realms, is a drafting and deck building game designed by magic Hall of Famers Robert doubt tree who also co-designed ascension and Darwin Castle, who designed the battle for Hill 218, just like other games in this style. The goal is to reduce your opponent to 0 Life Points in star realms. This is called authority before he or she does the same to you. Here’S how a typical turn works. I will draw five cards from my deck and then use them to do different things.
Some cards give me trade, which I can spend to buy new ships and bases from this group of cards called the trade row. Other cards give me combat, which let me do damage to the other players. Some cards give me authority, which lets me increase. My effective health most of the cards in the game do some combination of these things or offer the player a choice to do one or more of them. This is called the cards.
Primary ability most cards also have one or more special abilities that I can activate to do even more cool and useful things. But what makes star realms a real test of strategy are the four different factions that we can choose from when we’re building our decks. Factions are important because, in addition to their primary ability, a lot of the different faction cards have an ally ability which is activated when two or more cards from the same faction are played in a single turn. In addition to playing ships, we will also play bases which stay in play until we choose to discard them, or until they are destroyed, bases are great because they give us resources every turn and they can also protect us. Some bases are also called outposts and they are identified by this little black shield.
When a player has one or more outposts in front of her, she cannot be directly attacked nor Tan, her other bases be attacked until that outpost is destroyed. The last thing we can do with cards is scrap them. If there’s a little trash can on a card. That means we can remove that card to activate its scrap ability. Star realms is really easy to teach and learn, and it has one of the best smartphone versions of a tabletop game I have played since so.
The entire game can literally fit into your pocket and because it isn’t a collectible card game, there is no chase ever. But if you want to have big epic battles, the game is balanced, perfectly just add one more deck for every two extra players and you are good to go. Oh speaking, of being good to go, I’m good to go. Let’S play star realms, I’m Melissa, datura, I’m known for being a professional magic player. I also worked at Wizards of the coast as a member of the development team, and I helped design two magic sets all right, so Melissa welcome.
Thank you. This is star realms. This is really exciting for me for a couple of reasons: we’ve never done a two-player game on tabletop before I’ve always just sort of felt like. Would it really work because, generally in a two-player game, the non active players like what am I going to do, but in a game like this, you don’t really have that much time to like think about all that stuff mm-hmm. It’S also really exciting for me because I’ve never played against a professional before so that’s kind of exciting for me, so my fans really want me to crush.
Will we and I’m not really sure why? But they just want him to lose everybody at home. We played out the trade row before we started. Melissa drew a5, I drew one, Melissa goes first, I’m already losing and good luck. Well, I wouldn’t really say you’re already moving, because I only have three cards in my hand yeah.
So that is a disadvantage anyway. Good luck to you too, thanks all right, so I have to trade in one combat. Ok, so let’s see what I do by here, I don’t really think I want to take cards of two different colors yeah. I think that’s, I think, that’s a smart! That’S a smart feel.
I’M I’m gon na go with the yellow, all right, so I’ll buy this for one I’ll go into my discard pile yep. Even though there’s a lot of blue out there, I decide to go with yellow because I don’t really want to play a life game strategy and I like, yellow because it goes through my deck very quickly. So I wanted to try and do that strategy, and then I will shoot you in the face hi. Why did you shoot me? Okay, great, that’s one when damaged down because I go second, I start with five cards in my hand, I’ve got a one combat in court raid or a viper and four Scouts.
If you wanted to give it that way. So, let’s see what am I looking at? What could I possibly pull up here? I like that mortar world. What are the things I really like about this game is that you can’t go into any round of star realms with a predetermined strategy.
It’S really what’s in that trade row, especially in the first few rounds, and it looks like I’m probably going trade federation, which I know Federation a little on the nose for me. But I am willing to to go ahead and endure all the jokes, because I think maybe the Federation is going to carry me to victory today. Yep, that’s an excellent choice. I’M going to buy this bar, that’s probably what I would have had if I had for my thing. Also I’m going to hit you for love in spring edge upper one, yes and then a new cards out here.
It’S the Corvette, oh, how lucky, which I used in our explanation, for the game. That was a perfect card for me, because, oh damn it! No it’s not that bad! So I’ll buy this for two. I knew that I wanted to buy that first because it just says: draw a card on it and it’s pretty cheap to buy besides Corvettes are cool.
Have you seen Corvettes summer? It’S not very good, but but it’s a movie about a Corvette and see what we get whoo another there’s a little big blob, yeah, alright, so I’ll buy this blob guy and then hit you haha. Okay, I had that coming. I deserve that. Definitely the Trade Federation flagship is great, it costs six, it’s five damage and it’s a liability is a add five Authority and you get to draw a card.
I learned anything about deck building games. Any card that says draw card is super useful right. I got one viper in course, scouts again show me, so I’m going to spend one trade on a federation shuttle because I already have the Federation base. What do we have here? Lou the hive?
Well, I will create some log base worth three and it’s a liability as you get to draw a card. If I had more to spend I’ll, be buying it to stop you from getting it. I’M gon na spend another one to get this other Federation shuttle. So you’re going for all the Blues, it looks like I’m going. Well, it’s a whole, you know.
Listen! I don’t like to lean on the Star Trek thing very much, but Federation is on brand for me, gotcha uh, and then I have these two left that I can’t do a whole lot with. So I’m just going to go ahead and buy an explorer race. There’S nothing you put that there and then I’m going to swing at you for one, oh man, so yeah. I know it’s terribly at this point.
It’S not even really damaging it’s just being obnoxious. You know just like I’m just going to come over. Like kick you in the shin and then run away, it’s real common for players in a Dueling card game to just try to do a little bit of damage and mostly protect themselves until they can do all the damage at once. I don’t think that’s a particularly effective strategy. I think the best thing to do is just chip away and chip away and chip away, and that’s the way I like to play.
I know that’s the way Melissa likes to play an imperial fighter and a Corvette. Oh and there goes from yellow which triggers their factual thing. You discard a card. Okay, I get to draw a card yep and I get a lot of combat boy. 2.
3, 4, 5, 6. 7. Oh and the card I drew is also super cool. Gives me another for combat? Oh and you get to scrap a card in the trade row.
If you want I’ll totally do that yeah. So this is the best blue card on the page, so the scabbard is wrong. After all, that is said and done. I have 2 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, so take 11 yeah. It looks like you’re gon na give me 411 all right and I think things are great everything’s great.
A fifth of my damage is gone and, and I’m a little a little worried. I play a Corvette and then another yellow, and then I play a green card that does combat and it was like the best thing ever. I am 12 pounds of worry wrapped up in a t-shirt. Then I have these three Scout yeah I have a three trade. Can I read the boys?
No I’m going to just like buy green stuff yeah, so this one seems good to me so I’ll buy this Ram and then I will end my turn. Are you sure I think so? Okay, so I have to discard a card. I’M going to discard a scout and let’s see I’ve got a federation shuttle which gives me to trade. I’Ve got the barter world, which is a base that comes into play.
It’S not an outpost, so so I don’t have to 10, which I could, but I can. If I want that’s right, I’ve got two Scouts, so I’ve got four and I potentially have six trade. So yeah. You know I’m going to take that six trade and I’m going to buy this outpost to prevent you from getting it. The Royal redoubt I get for authority, so 1.
2. 3, 2, 5 into a 1, and I’m going to turn. I guess that’s how that works. 5, I’m going to can’t wait. I’M gon na turn this 5 into 1.
2. 3. 4. 5. Somebody help me do this.
I don’t know how this works, so I’m going to turn this one into 5, which is the thing that I thought up entirely on my own. I certainly didn’t need to have somebody from off camera help me figure out how to do that complicated math. We don’t know how to met yeah Wow, that’s what’s that. I know how to meth it’s that I don’t how to math in those units, and it turns out that we’re busy we’re shopping. This turn yeah for sure.
No we’re not attacking you at all. Believe me. I know the feeling I had some good news for you. No, I will also be spending a turn shopping. I have 5 trade, so I will totally want to buy this heis yeah.
I know yeah. Why wouldn’t you that hives, amazing yep and then we’ll bring out a new car? We got the recycling station. I love the research yeah, that’s right because it will really lets you just burn through cards: real, quick yep. Alright, I’ve got a scout and another scout, and I have a federation shuttle, I’m just going to go ahead and grab my for health.
Now by turning this one into a 5 great yeah, we yeah finally figured out how to do that. Ok, then, I have two Vipers. 4. 2. 2 points.
2 points Melissa just tuned to damage coming up and get you right away out um. So do I want to block you? I do. I want to block you by stopping you from getting that mothership. That’S probably a smart move for me right now, and the trade escort works, which is my banette 2 less than what you like that it lets me discard up to 2 cards.
Oh man, it’s an eyesore, authoritative and forthrightly authority. Cancels it out. I plot in any us every not a lot I’d say those odds are pretty good. I’M gon na train escort okay. I wonder if I mapped myself into a bad decision, I’m sure the internet will, let me know so.
The Federation is really good at letting me build that authority back up and kind of cling to life a little bit. So we brought the embassy yacht and it’s your turn so I’ll play the space. It’S a hive. I am going to do everything I can about a threat. It’S fine.
It’S really looks like it’s a three combat threats not automatically with that. Okay, all right, then I’ll play this yellow guy. Okay, you discard a card. Great melissa’s imperial fighter is going to be the death of me. That card can force an opponent to discard and I’m having four cards every single time.
I can’t do a lot of damage. I can’t buy a lot of things. I can just sit here and look sad and two more combat glory for five six seven and then I have a scout, but there’s no one’s on the board. So this is useless. Now you can shoot the base.
If you want and oh you’re right, I could and you could do it, you could destroy the base and then I would have to take the remaining three or but anyway, it’s up to you. You choose how you want that damage yeah you’re right. I can totally kill the base. Oh yeah I’ll shoot you base, okay, so the basically what happened the base does yeah and then you take a night raid 3. So I’m going to take I’m gon na get rid of that one alive.
We turn this five to one okay and that represents taking out all right. I got a federation shuttle for to trade and then a scout and then a scout and an explorer so for I have six so I’m going to buy that embassy yacht for three. I think I’ll take the trade pod and put that there make sense for you we’re not even getting it so blob will there’s a lot of yellow that costs one the Panda I’m done. Please don’t make me discard a card. This turn alright.
Well, we’ll see what have you really need? First, I will pour vette, so I get to draw card all right and then I use my base to get three combat yeah and then I’ll play this battle pod. So I get the action abilities yeah you did. I get to draw card yeah I’ll, do that? Okay and I get another two combat yeah and I think you also, if you you, can spare a pattern.
Yeah yeah, you promise crap that mothership, I think what you don’t want to scrap is that friggin. I can tell you that right now, ore freighter – I mean sorry, you make very good points. I know I’m all helping you. I think I’m going to live dangerously and scratched beautiful and I will see what we draw. Oh yeah little blobs.
Nothing is badass, eight damage. So what I’m going to actually buy this thing or that’s like bye-bye, I’m going to have you take roughly 1 million damage three four: five: six: seven, eight, nine, ten, okay I’ll just make this giant ten card, yes garden, mmm, because I will take seven damage other Make seven: Oh curse, you not having enough to buy that for you, I’m so lucky I’ll play this, so you just hard hard and what I get through. That’S why you don’t watch it yeah! Six of it has about the output yeah. So that thing takes six fixation recycling station down edge recycling field.
I got the trade bot, you may scrap a card in your hand or discard pile, so maybe on the scrap of card which, as it actually turns out, I am going to do because this isn’t doing me any good at all and I can’t go shopping. This turn anyways. I can’t I don’t have enough to spend so I get one three four five, six, which is enough for me to buy the mech world or do I want to buy the battle blob because it is a big swing and even though I only get to do It once I am down so far and damage that I have to start hitting you for a lot of times. I, if I want to have any ten that don’t have any chance at all of coming back. I don’t have.
I can’t afford to slow down and play a long game. I have to start hitting you now yeah, I’m gon na buy that battle blob. Well. That makes me very sad. I am in a position right now where I really feel like I’m on my heels.
I am reacting, I’m pulling green cards off that trade row, so I can prevent Melissa from adding to her blob Armada at first I was like oh that sucks. I really wanted to buy that. Well, then, I thought about it and I just thought that that’s why he was actually making his deck worse. I am not poking her with my stabby poker as much as they need to. These are all technical terms.
If you have hard time understanding this, please go to our website where there will be a primer that will help. You understand: stabby, pokey, sticky, poker, pokey sticker, a scratchy scratch or the Yankee puller. So first this card then I’ll play this to draw and get like a million combat and then play this green guy. So I have 12 okay and I have three to buy with so you take 12. Yes, I do, and if I want I can scrap this to get three in case.
I want to buy a six yeah, but there’s actually no sixes, there’s a five that doesn’t seem worth it yeah, I’m not going to do. I’M just going to find nothing, not even an explorer doesn’t do anything not even an explorer. What are you add way to uphold this deck before this game is fired battle station Viper one damage the trade pod gives me three and if I had another blob I would get two, but i don’t so. I have four to spend so i’m going to buy that missile, but for two. So what okay in your in your opinion right, would you keep the outpost sort of like try to stay alive or would you go or would you turn it into damage and try to do damage right away?
It’S one of the areas where the design in this game really shines through because you have a choice to make it’s your battle station. It’S going to be offensive for you or defensive for you. It can’t be both. I would keep the outpost alright, 5, and it doesn’t do anything alright. Then I’m going to keep the outpost, I’m keeping the outpost, everybody and keeping the outpost.
Yes, as a percentage of her total authority 5 is nothing. So it’s better for me to like have a chance to get some powerful cards into my deck. I’M gon na damage you for one no way yeah for my turn I’ll play a hive great I’ll play a recycling station. Ok, I’m going to discard a scout and a viper okay to draw okay. Well, I drew a scout if I were to do a time, so I have 4 to shoot with and your thing is 5, which means I kill it yeah.
My coach told me that I should stay to not turn it into an attack that I should let I should like use it as I did a great job yeah. So I have these two Scouts that I could buy, something for and last turn I chose not to buy it. Fleur yeah, I don’t know like explora – can, like kind of finish you off. So maybe I despite that yeah. I think you by the Explorer.
Alright, fine new explorers, good, alright talked me into it all right here. Let’S see what happens for me, the first thing that I do is pull out. My missile bot now grab a card in your hand or discard file, so I’m going to scrap a card in my discard, pile I’m gon na scrap a scout in a deck building game like this. You always want your deck to have as few cards in it. As possible, so you’re cycling through the powerful cards faster than your opponent, can get those same cards out of their deck.
Then I’ve got an embassy yacht which is going to get me three Authority. Then I got a federation shuttle who’s. A liability is another four and two bucks, and then I got two Scouts, so I’ve got one two, three four five, six bucks to spend. Oh boy, do I want to buy the mech world because it’s like a super duper Ally for everything yeah. I do it’s a six-point outpost which is extremely powerful and it’s an ally to every faction and I’m going to show you a recycling station down with its dead.
Alright, oh, if you have two or more bases and play draw two cards on okay, so sad, I don’t have that employee. Alright, I have two bases: can I Drive no you’re, absolutely not a jerk all right I’ll play a battle pod. Just one allows me to draw card yeah I’ll, do that? Oh so I’m going to scrap one of these yep, this one’s, my like, maybe a little better, because it gives you life yep and it draws you two cards. So the battle pod also helped me take out a command ship and that’s actually the best card in the game.
That card is insane. It draws two cars, the game’s life. It does everything. So thank you battle. Pods.
You did a real good job. So two four five six seven and I’m buying this for seven, two, four: five, six, seven yep! That card is awesome for my deck, so I was super happy that I was able to buy that it allows me to draw two cards. If I have a green faction and it does a lot of combat and then I have a bunch of con value – oh three, seven, nine, but maybe two more so, but I can’t kill you so on so first I can shoot this yep. So that’s five.
That leaves you negative two you for four or up, and then I have maybe two tour remaining in my live board down, which would leave me with six but I’ll hold on to him. I feel like the mice my cat brings into the house alright, so I got that royal redoubt, which is super even better. If I actually had a Star Alliance card, but look, I’ve got a barter world, then I got the blob wheel, which is a third base that I get to put in play. That’S neat and then a pair of scouts. I am going to go ahead and have that barter world give me to Authority.
Okay, because I refuse to accept that I’m basically dead, my royal redoubt and the blob wheel are going to do four damage to you directly, because I can’t destroy your hive when you have a giant bummer. I take four yep and this trade row is kind of like it’s like a mall with a bunch of stores in it that just sell garbage that you don’t want. But then every other store is in Neiman Marcus. So I’m just going to buy an explorer there’s an exploit great. My turn is actually very sad yep.
The last thing you said that, though it was like it was sad, but for me this one’s actually really sad for me excited for combat yeah, and I can only attack this. Oh, I can’t kill it. Do anything thanks Royal redoubt, you, you guys get a hit. A real good job I send a pizza of that space station. Oh they’re, going to be so happy we’re going to be great right, so I’m going to buy this super sweet blob destroyer that costs 406 manage yeah.
It does one two three that takes me up to five good cards for will good cuts? Roll? No? No, no! No!
Okay, let’s start out with a scout, okay and then we’re going to add a scout and then we’re going to bring out a Viper. I’Ve got the embassy yacht if you have two or more bases in play, draw two cards. This is horrible news, okay, the mech world. I have quite a shift thing you way to meet. You know a lot of them plus I have a trade escort which lets me draw a card.
What have I done really just want to draw like and then a missile bot which lets me scrap a card in my hand or discard pile, and at this point I mean like, I would have scrapped one of those, but I don’t want to go. I want all the money that I can spend so the neck world is for everything, so I get two four five. 9. 10. 11.
12. 13 damage. Do I just take the hive out and hope that I can start doing damage or do I ignore the hi for now and just try to knock her down as quickly as I can? I really don’t know what the right move here is ouch and I’m gon na get it straight to you. I’M just going to let the high of the limb he’s just trying to lose.
I’M not really sure what’s going on there and why he wasn’t killing it. But sure I’ll take it all right. I get seven Authority so there that takes me up to 21. That’S neat, then I’m going to scrap the blob wheel, so I get three trade. Now I get three four five, six, seven, eight trade.
So I can buy the Fleet HQ and then I’m going to grab two more authority. That turn could not have been better. For me, I did a ton of damage and I got back a ton of authority. I am beginning to feel like I might have some comeback in me all right. So first I’ll play this green RAM, which gives me a card an additional two awards on that.
So I’ll draw this card, and then I have to reshuffle my deck. I’M going to draw another card yeah. I have no decla yeah. That one card is worth seven combats now get 10 combat out there, but I have 12 points of don’t hurt me so the card, but I’m going to fight, is Corvette. That gives me a card.
Alright, then this, so you discord. Oh, let it discard an explorer all right. Now, I’m going to count up all this damage. We have 3 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. So killing cervezas, you see basis takes out 12.
So you have six that can go straight through to me, but you probably want to spend four. Then stopping the barter world. I mean oh yeah. It’S such a threat. It’S yeah I’ll, give you two life yeah.
It does that’s a real thing. Yeah and again I can turn it into five combat. So you know yeah, I’m going to actually kill this okay and to to you and you to me: okay, um, so one two, three four II. What do I want to buy? A recycling station nothing else is super, exciting yeah.
I think the recycling station is a better choice. Okay, it brings another missile bot out your turn. Okay, start with the battle station, exciting right, it’s an outpost. Yes, it saves you pretty exciting the trade bots which lets me scrap a card in my hand or discard pile goodbye Scouts. Then I get an explorer, but this is what I’m really excited about.
I drew the battle blob, we’re too much damage yeah. Unfortunately, you destroyed my machine world, so it’s not going to. Let me draw another card, but it does eight not have to make a decision here. Two four, eight. Sixteen, my god does not have money.
One! I’M going to do. Twenty-One damage to you, I’m going to strap all the scrappy straps. This is a huge phenomenal amazing comeback. For me, alright, I’ll be honest, I was pretty sure I was going to win this game right from the start, so I’m pretty humbled at this point all right.
My fingers are crossed we’re uh, we’re still four still friends ish, so I have two four five: six, seven yep, so seven and potentially three four five, six seven yep and I have twenty-one yep, I’m going to buy this crazy, seven thing: the machine base, yeah, okay And then, since, like I feel like I’m going to die real soon, I’m going to throw these at you for four okay, another three! Okay, you take seven all right all right, so my turns over I’m it’s Nick you’re at almost dead yep. So, like I feel like this is the last time you later, this is going to be really close, geez all right, so I’ve got a federation shuttle for two bucks. I’Ve got another Federation shuttle for four bucks and these both work together. So I get eight a bullet like yep, okay, I got a scout for a buck, a Viper for a combat and then a missile bot for two combat.
So I’m going to do three damage to you directly yep. So I go from six to three yep. I’M going to scrap a card in my discard, pile which will be this scout boy Melissa. This is going to be really close, so I’m at three life – and I know that we’ll can do three damage on his next turn. So I know that this is my final turn.
I have to just like assemble something to do his last 22 points of damage. 22 is like a lot, so I don’t know how I’m going to do it if Melissa draws well, I’m dead. I know you’re looking at the score right now and saying, but you have 22 and she has three: how can it possibly be? I will tell you why, because the blobs watch first play this blood. The story.
Oh, I’ve been another blob thing, a mothership, so I draw two cards: yep Plus you draw a card because of the highest oh yeah, you’re right. Oh I draw three cards yeah. Oh man, I’m dead, I’m so sorry yeah, I’m dead recycling station discarding to Scouts to draw to yep. That’S a good move, then a battle pod, oh Lord, I think, is something any other things yeah. Let’S count up the combat first before we do anything.
Okay, so there’s a 12 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.
What are you at? I have 22 all right well I’ll 22 years. I’Ve done dude I feel like this is a stand up and shake hands moment. It kind of is that was amazing. Oh, I am so excited to give you a trophy.
I got ta say honestly, it’s nice to get back to something. That’S familiar me on the losers couch and the truth is, I don’t feel bad to be here. I think I played a really good game and I almost won this couch is much more comfortable and a lot less poorni than couches we’ve used in the past. Am i right Tony like come on right and let’s put porn shot on this couch over the weekend. There was okay, aha, welcome back porn, couch, ah Quinn, couch.
I love you. Alright, that’s enough! That’S enough enough about me. It’S going to loosen trophy mosa. That was an incredibly exciting game for me, Italy yeah and I felt like it really hit the perfect balance of friendly competition um and and like the intensity of playing a game where, like you kind of do want to win, you know and a little stressful.
For me, too, especially when I was at three life, but you won, it was great and I am really excited to present to you, the tabletop trophy of Awesome. This is for you now listen. I know it. You might think that it’s the 2004 gutterball champion from the Fullerton classic trophy, but it is actually expressly made custom for you. It even has your name on it.
Wow yeah – and this is yours, amazing and you get to keep it and if you would like to make a speech you may and – and I will stand here and look approvingly as you do so sure. So this win means a lot to my friends and fans. They wanted nothing more than for me to crush Wil Wheaton at a game. You want to be introduced champion yeah, I don’t want to say you’re welcome, yeah, there’s an unpublished, um, congratulations! You earned it and I am really happy that we got to do this today.
Thank you so much for watching be nice to each other and until next time play more games, [, Music, ] and then it you can stand there awkwardly or you could, where I can stand directly with you. You credit enrolling right now we’re not looking that we can’t see through self post-production about these people worked. They did things on the show, good jobs or anything you want us to put in the credits. I don’t know all right, we could put an. I don’t know in the credits outstanding, okay, I think we’re done cool all right, we’re leaving our coop.
I always wanted a bowling trophy and you got one and you didn’t have to bowl to get it, which is you know, that’s great yeah.