The Star Realms Diaries: Jarenth Vs. Ranneko 3: Jarenth Vs. Ranneko With A Vengeance

Another day, another Star Realms diaries. Am I right, fellas? The fellas know what I’m talking about.

To celebrate the ‘recent’ release of online Star Realms’ first expansion, Gambits, Ranneko and I once again stuck our heads together to bring you this video. Not only is it more of the Star Realms goodness that you’ve come to know and love, but we also highlight the new elements of the aforementioned expansion. So if you’ve been wondering what Gambits is like, if it’s worth all four bucks of its asking price, this latest Star Realms Diaries may put you on the right path.

This third Star Realms Diaries also marks the monumental first on-camera occurrence of Ranneko beating me. Which was long overdue, honestly: off-camera we tend to be about equal in results, so me going three for oh would’ve provided a hilariously skewed image of our respective skill levels. Which actually makes me a little sad that it didn’t happen, but hey.

I like Gambits, because it represents a much-needed infusion of fresh material into Star Realms. At this point in time, I know Star Realms Core more or less through and through. And… I don’t wan to say it was becoming a solved problem, but that’s what it felt like sometimes: for almost every situation, it would be ‘clear’ to me what the best options to pursue were. I still lost games, of course, because of the luck-of-the-draw element, but my Star Realms Core win rate was still significantly above 50% near Gambits’ release. 62% or something?

Gambits changed all that. You can see in the video that Ranneko and I have wildly different ideas about which new cards and which gambits are and aren’t good. And similarly, you can tell that I misread the situation in a hilarious way and end up losing badly over it. Gambits is a whole new system to wrap my head around, and Star Realms… it didn’t need it, but I’m glad it’s here nonetheless.

Gambits does add a second, major luck-of-the-draw element, in the two gambit cards you get on beforehand. All gambits have their place, but some gambits are just more equal than others. And certain combinations of gambit and opening board can feel like they put you in an unwinnable situation from the outset. But I’ll take that ‘bad’ with the good of the new ships, the new options, and the new uncertainty. And in the long run, I’m sure skill levels and learning rates will reassert themselves and the whole thing will balance out.

Also: if you guys like the new graphical effects and banner, that stuff’s all Ranneko. Leave him a comment on the video if you do! And I hear subscribing to YouTube channels is all the rage these days.


  1. Yeah, Gambits really added some fresh air to the Star Realms formula. It has a large variety in the way the game can go but after a few hundred iterations you will have easily seen and thought through most of the common scenarios. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t use the challenge random player function, so my pool of opponents is small and unlikely to substantially increase any time soon.

  2. Same here. Also it made the base strategy almost completely vital. I love Gambits, but my win percentage suddenly got a LOT better with its release. It was almost as if the expansion was made for me. (I will neither confirm nor deny this)

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