The Sword and the Stars (1981)

Average Rating: 6.26/10
Board Game Rank: 5366
War Game Rank: 1393
Strategy Game Rank: 1248
Information
Designer
Artist
Publisher
Year Published
1981
# of Players
1 − 5
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 3, 4 players
Recommended with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 players
(3 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
12 and up
Playing Time
240 minutes
User Suggested Ages
14 and up
(1 voter) [poll]
Language Dependence
Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(1 voter) [poll]
Subdomain
Category
Mechanic
Family
Primary Name
The Sword and the Stars
Alternate Names
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ObjectID: 2121
Description Edit | History

Sword and the Stars sets the stage for interstellar conflict between vying empires on such a scale (the map depicts about 1/4 of a spiral galaxy) that individual ships and even fleets become insignificant. You pay for and resolve entire interstellar campaigns with cards representing massive scale investment of manpower and resources over 4 Earth years of operations, each player round representing the passage of 20 years. Players direct the fate of interstellar empires through expansion or consolidation by means of conquests, raids, governing, building planetary defenses, commerce, and diplomacy.

The game was derived from two existing popular SPI titles. While adding many subtle changes in its own right, it combines the highly successful system used in Empires of the Middle Ages with the graphic layout used for Freedom in the Galaxy. Technology and economics are abstracted, but both play a large role in just about every aspect of the game. Stargates allow players to conduct interstellar operations against any star system, free of range constraints. This means that in an interstellar war, nowhere is safe from your enemies.

Includes a mechanism for a sort of Galactic Security Council, where players can scheme all sorts of mischief against each other.

Ten scenarios (including the "Galactic Cycle" campaign game) are supplied. A "short" game will depict a period lasting about 200 years, while for the long "grand campaign" scenario it is recommended to play "at least" 1000 years. The Sword and the Stars is more compact than Empires. Includes 400 counters, 58 year cards, a 17 x 22" map depicting a total of 42 star systems. Maximum 5 players (3-4 recommended).

Historical Note:
Writing about SPI's Empires of the Middle Ages (q.v.), editor Kula included a sidebar quote from Redmond Simonsen to the effect that "a good number of people...would really enjoy the game if they'd just imagine that it's a science fictional or fantastic continent instead of Europe". Well, in 1981, the year after Empires of the Middle Ages was released, SPI produced another game using the same system and the missing science fiction premise, and The Sword and the Stars was born.

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More Information Edit | History
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Versions
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The Sword and the Stars
Nick: 
SPI First edition
Publisher: SPI (Simulations Publications, Inc.)
Artist: John W. Pierard, Redmond A. Simonsen
Year: 1981
Size: 11.75 x 9.00 x 1.00 inches
English
Release Date:  
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Files
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Pg. 1 of 2 »
5 SATS Leaders variant
This file includes card artwork and instructions for a variant implementing individual government Leaders. The Leaders provide a mechanism for players to selectively improve particular government Sectors and resulting Operations during the game.
English
2012-12-07
5 SATS Year Cards "standard" size
By popular demand (Pete Popular demanded it) this file contains all Year Cards from the game in larger "standard" size (2.5" x 3.5"). Print on card stock and/or sleeve. Note that all of the elements needed to play this game are now in these BGG files including counters, year cards, the map and rules.
English
2012-11-29
3 Sword and the Stars game map (original style)
This file is the game map in the same size and format as the original game, 17" x 22". Note that all of the elements needed to play this game are now in these BGG files including counters, year cards, the map and rules.
English
2012-11-24
5 Sword and the Stars Year Cards (small size)
This file contains all Year Cards from the game in the same size as the original game (2" x 3"). Print on card stock and/or sleeve. Note that all of the elements needed to play this game are now in these BGG files including counters, year cards, the map and rules.
English
2012-11-24
9 Sword and the Stars game counters
This file contains the front side and back side of all counters for five players, plus event chits, neutrals and other miscellaneous counters. Print and mount them, front and back, on illustration board then cut them out. Note that all of the elements needed to play this game are now in these BGG files including counters, year cards, the map and rules.
English
2012-11-24
9 Sword and the Stars game map, version two
This is an improved version of my "realistic" game map for Sword and the Stars. The Systems are set within the arms of a spiral galaxy and the color identification of the different system Ideologies is better differentiated than the earlier version. Note that all of the elements needed to play this game are now in these BGG files including counters, year cards, the map and rules.
English
2011-07-23
7 Clarifications and Suggestions
A collection of items suggested by both the denizens of boardgamegeek.com and myself that have been posted on the forums. The suggested changes are intended to alleviate some of the current problems with the game, and to make it a more enjoyable experience overall. The 28-Jul-2011 version includes several updates, including some terminology fixes, official errata (that replaced some of the suggested changes in the previous version), clarifications from Jeffrey Bass, some additional minor errata, and notes on why these suggestions were made.
English
2011-06-24
17 Sword and the Stars complete rules
The complete rules to Sword and the Stars.
English
2010-08-09
10 Year Card Tables
Print and use these Excel tables to save wear and tear on your Year Cards. To strictly duplicate the dealing out of Year Cards, you would have to note each result on the table so you don't reroll it in subsequent plays during the same round. Personally, I ignore this issue and simply roll for each Operation and live with the possibility of rolling a duplicate result. The effect on gameplay due to the difference in statistical outcomes is minimal.
English
2010-05-09
13 Sword and the Stars "realistic" game map
This version of the game map places the planetary Systems against the arms of a spiral galaxy. All of the information and spatial relationship of the Systems is intact.
English
2009-05-23
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Statistics
Board Game Rank: 5366
War Game Rank: 1393
Strategy Game Rank: 1248
Num Ratings: 100
Average Rating: 6.26
Standard Deviation: 1.54
Num Views: 46441
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 2.9
Fans: 10
Personal Comments: 59
Users Owning: 365
Users Wanting: 43
Users Trading: 15 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 0
Want Parts In Trade: 1
Price History: View
Total Plays: 35
Plays This Month: 0
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