GTM #216 - Starship Samurai
by Plaid Hat Games

A Galaxy at War….

In Starship Samurai, the Nova, Pulsar, Gamma, and Void clans are at war. Each player takes control of one of these mighty clans, and declares their daimyo to be the rightful successor to the Galactic Emperor’s throne. Victory comes to the player who has earned the most honor points by game’s end. Players can gain honor by waging bitter wars for control of strategically critical locations across the Lotus Galaxy, and by strengthening their alliances with the grasping lesser clans.

A Daimyo’s Command

Games of Starship Samurai begin with players issuing critical orders that can either lead their clans to victory - or a painful demise. Then players cover their orders with numbered markers that determine the effectiveness of each order they mark.

Do you spend your 4 marker on your move order to move four units? Or do you instead place the 2 marker, and only move two? The choice is up to you! Manipulating the possible orders — Move Allegiance, Draw Cards, Move Units, and Gain Wealth — challenges players with interesting and unnerving decisions to make each and every turn.

A Struggle for Power

In Starship Samurai, each player wants to control the many locations that will become available from round to round. Controlling a location yields worthy rewards to the player wielding the most power there at the beginning of their turn. These rewards can help shift the tide in galactic alliances, increase wealth, gain action cards, and obtain honor.

Players will attempt to lay claim to each location by sending their forces to seize them throughout each round. These struggles for power at desirable locales come to a climactic conclusion when all players finally enter the Battle Phase.

Bloodshed in Starlight

In Starship Samurai, the Battle Phase is where tensions over control of a location boil over into outright war. Each player with units at a location can choose to commit a battle card. These powerful cards can shift the course of conflict by offering players reinforcements, additional power, traps that destroy enemy units, or one last reward before retreat. Using the right card at the right time can give players the last advantage they need to claim victory.

Once cards are played, players determine who has the most power. That player wins the battle and claims the location as their own, gaining honor and rewards in the process.

But the war is not lost for those that didn’t claim the location! For they get to retreat to a brand-new location, gaining a head start on conquest.

When Samurai Fly

To fight these battles, players are equipped with many special weapons: fighter ships that can be endlessly enhanced, carrier ships that ferry units across the galaxy, and action cards that execute devious schemes. But, no weapon at a player’s disposal is more powerful than the famed Samurai Mechs.

The Samurai Mechs are deadly machines piloted by skilled warriors. At the beginning of the game, players will draft two of these heavy metal warriors, each with their own unique power and skills that can be used to win the battles ahead.

A War of Words

But, a war is not won through battles alone. You must learn how to shift the minds and hearts of the people as well. The eight lesser clans wield great influence and getting them on your side can be the key to harnessing it for your own political purposes. But it will take time and skill to lure these lesser houses to your cause. Each clan has a token that you’ll want to manipulate on your track of the alliance board. You can push them towards your track by using orders, action cards, and claiming location rewards. But make sure you pay attention to what other players are pushing for! A lesser clan’s allegiance can be a fickle thing, and before you know it, you can find them backing your opponent if you’re not careful to maintain support.

The Fate of The Lotus Galaxy Lies with You!

Join in the battles ahead and experience a fast-paced, area control game that’s sure to leave you at the edge of your seat, as you order your fleets of ships and terrifying Samurai Mechs in a quest to be the clan worthy of claiming the galactic throne!