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Star Realms Cosmic Gambit Review

Name: Star Realms Cosmic Gambit Expansion
Type: None Collectable Deck Building Game
Publisher: White Wizard Games
Players: 1-2
Age: 8+
Playtime: 20 mins
Price:  £7.95 approximately
Rating: 3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)

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The Star Realms Cosmic Gambit Expansion is booster pack style expansion for the Star Realms Card Game. It is the 6th such booster pack style expansion and it contains a further 16 Gambit cards for use with the Star Realms and Star Realms: Colony Wars games.

As with all of the Star Realms sets the Cosmic Gambit pack resembles a booster pack for collectable card games such as Magic The Gathering but unlike collectable card games each Cosmic Gambit pack contains exactly the same cards and, in this, resembles the Living Card Game model that Fantasy Flight Games uses for games such as A Game of Thrones and Android: Netrunner.

As with all of the other booster style expansions this set comes in a foil pack that tears open, much like any other trading or collectable card game. The art on the front is bright and neat and depicts a mining station on a volcanic planet akin to Mustafar at the end of Revenge of the Sith. I find the artwork to be extremely eye-catching and I’d certainly take a look at what it was if I saw it on the shelf of my FLGS.

Star Realms, Cosmic Gambit, cards

You get 13 Cards in the pack and they are all Gambit cards, aside from the Secret Outpost and the rule cards. Of those 13 cards there are 10 unique cards with 3 having multiple copies in the set. The full card list is-

  • 1 x Rules
  • 1 x Secret Outpost Base
  • 1 x Acceptable Losses
  • 1 x Black Market
  • 1 x Hidden Base
  • 1 x Triumphant Return
  • 1 x Two Pronged Attack
  • 1 x Veteran Pilots
  • 1 x Wild Gambit
  • 2 x Asteroid Mining
  • 2 x Exploration
  • 2 x Rapid Deployment

The art on these cards is exceptional, a real step up from any of the previous releases. As you can see from the Hidden Base and Secret Outpost cards below, they’ve really improved the overall visual style, making the cards more action packed and the art cleaner and more dynamic. Star Realms cards have generally had a fairly high standard for the artwork but these surpass any previous offerings.

The rules for these Gambit cards are slightly different from the original Gambit set. Whereas previously you dealt out Gambit cards and they were revealed by all players simultaneously at the start of the game, Cosmic Gambit cards are dealt out and remain secret until a player chooses to reveal and play them, adding previously unseen ‘secret’ element to the game. This is the only circumstance in Star Realms when a player won’t know what cards his opponent has available since all Trade Row buys and hand/deck discards are public.

The new cards work slightly differently to the first Gambit set with each card providing a single discard bonus that tents to allow additional drawn on top of a small amount of a resource. The exception is the Hidden/Secret base as this Gambit allow you to put the hidden base card straight into play, which could be a significant advantage early in the game. This base is one use though and doesn’t go into the discard pile after it is destroyed so it needs to be deployed wisely.

ic Gambit, Hidden Base:Secret Outpost

As with the last Gambit pack the Cosmic Gambit pack is a nice addition to the game of Star Realms but it’s far from essential and, of the two, I prefer the original Gambit pack, although that is decidedly harder to source nowadays, especially in the UK.

It will add an interesting element to your games, especially the secrecy of what Gambits people are holding since you can’t be sure as to how strong your opponent is, right from the start, but you aren’t loosing anything by not picking it up either. With that said, I’m a completionist and for the minimal cost of the expansion it hardly seemed worth missing and that that reason enough for me, as it will be for others but I wouldn’t prioritise it over Colony Wars or indeed most of the Crisis sets.

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