Forbidden Stars

Forbidden Stars – A Guide to Conquest with Rules, Instructions & Strategy


Forbidden Stars is a board game that takes you to the far reaches of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It’s a game where 2 to 4 players fight for control over vital areas of space. Each player takes on the role of one of the factions from the Warhammer 40,000 lore: Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orks, or Eldar. The game was released in 2015 by Fantasy Flight Games and has since become a favorite among strategy game enthusiasts.

The goal of Forbidden Stars is to claim objectives scattered across the game board, which is made up of various tiles representing different parts of a galaxy. Players must manage resources, build armies, and engage in battles while trying to outmaneuver their opponents. The game is known for its depth and complexity, with a mix of strategic planning and tactical decision-making.

As for the history of Forbidden Stars, it’s part of a long line of games set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. This universe is known for its rich storytelling and has been the setting for many games, both tabletop and digital. Forbidden Stars stands out for its focus on large-scale strategic warfare, offering a unique experience within the Warhammer 40,000 game collection.

Quick Tip for Forbidden Stars

Always keep an eye on your opponents’ moves and be ready to adapt your strategy. Flexibility can be the key to victory in Forbidden Stars.

Rules for playing Forbidden Stars

Forbidden Stars has a set of rules that guide how the game is played. To start, each player chooses a faction and takes their corresponding pieces. The game board is created by arranging tiles in a configuration that depends on the number of players. Each tile has different types of areas, like planets and voids, which affect movement and combat.

Players then take turns placing their starting units and structures on the board, as well as their initial objective tokens. The game is played over a series of rounds, each consisting of several phases:

  1. Order Phase: Players secretly place order tokens on the board, which determine actions they will take later.
  2. Initiative Phase: The order in which players will act is determined.
  3. Execution Phase: Players take turns resolving their order tokens, which can be to move, deploy, dominate (gather resources), or strategize (draw combat cards).
  4. Combat Phase: Battles are resolved through a unique card-based system where players can play cards to influence the outcome.
  5. Refresh Phase: Players prepare for the next round by refreshing their units and drawing new cards.

The game continues until one player has claimed enough objective tokens to win or until a set number of rounds have been played, at which point the player with the most objectives wins.

Equipment and Setup for Forbidden Stars

To play Forbidden Stars, you need the game box, which includes the following:

  • A variety of tiles to create the game board
  • Units and structures for each faction
  • Cards for combat and orders
  • Objective tokens
  • Dice for combat resolution

Setting up the game involves arranging the tiles to form the game board. The number and arrangement of tiles will vary based on the number of players. Each player then places their home base on a tile and sets up their initial forces. Objective tokens are placed on the board, and players draw their starting hand of combat cards.

If you don’t have the game, you could try making a DIY version with homemade tiles and pieces, but it’s a complex game, so getting the official version is recommended for the best experience.

How to Play Forbidden Stars and Game Mechanics

Playing Forbidden Stars involves understanding several key game mechanics:

  1. Order Tokens: These dictate the actions you can take. You place them face down to keep your plans secret.
  2. Combat: When you engage in battle, you use dice and combat cards to fight. The cards add a layer of strategy beyond just rolling dice.
  3. Resource Management: You need to gather and spend resources wisely to build your forces and execute your plans.

The game is played over a series of rounds, each with the following phases:

  1. Setup: Players place their initial forces and objectives.
  2. Gameplay: Players execute their orders and engage in battles.
  3. End of the Game: The game ends when a player claims enough objectives or the final round is played.

During the gameplay phase, you’ll go through several steps:

  1. Reveal and resolve order tokens one by one.
  2. Move units to new areas or engage in combat.
  3. Build new units and structures.
  4. Collect resources and draw combat cards.

How to Win at Forbidden Stars

To win at Forbidden Stars, you need to claim objective tokens by having your units on the corresponding tiles at the end of a round. Here are some strategies:

  • Focus on objectives: Always keep your goals in mind and plan your moves to secure them.
  • Balance your forces: Don’t spread yourself too thin, but also don’t leave areas undefended.
  • Adapt your strategy: Watch what your opponents are doing and be ready to change your plans.

Winning also involves understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your faction and using them to your advantage. Each faction has unique abilities that can be powerful if used correctly.

Best Strategies for playing Forbidden Stars game

Here are some of the best strategies for Forbidden Stars:

  • Plan your orders carefully: The order in which you execute actions can have a big impact on your success.
  • Use combat cards wisely: They can turn the tide of a battle, so knowing when to play them is key.
  • Control key areas: Some areas of the board are more valuable than others, so try to control them.

Sneaky tactics can also be effective. For example, bluffing with your order tokens can lead your opponents to make mistakes. Or you can make a surprise attack when they least expect it.

One of the best strategies is to focus on a balanced approach to military might and objective completion. Players should not only build and upgrade their armies but also maneuver them skillfully to secure key locations. It’s crucial to anticipate opponents’ moves and adapt to the ever-changing battlefront. Investing in upgrade cards that complement your faction’s strengths can give you a significant edge, while controlling valuable resource planets will fuel your war engine.

Diplomacy can also play a subtle role; forming temporary alliances may be beneficial to hinder a common threat. However, one must always be wary of betrayal, as alliances in Forbidden Stars are as fragile as peace in the grim darkness of the far future.

Effective use of the event and combat cards, tailored to your strategy, can turn the tide of battle in your favor. Lastly, timing is critical—know when to strike hard and fast, and when to consolidate your forces for future conflicts.

Overall, I’ve found that keeping a flexible strategy and being able to pivot based on the shifting tides of war will lead to ultimate victory in the galaxy-spanning conflict of Forbidden Stars.


Here are some scenarios you might encounter:

  • If you’re losing a battle, consider retreating to save your units for a later fight.
  • If you’re spread too thin, focus on a few key areas and build up your defenses there.
  • If an opponent is getting too strong, consider teaming up with another player to take them down.

In each scenario, think about your long-term goals and how you can adjust your strategy to stay on track toward winning.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Forbidden Stars game

Here are some common questions and answers:

Q: How long does a game of Forbidden Stars usually take?

A: It can take 2 to 4 hours, depending on the number of players and their experience with the game.

Q: Can I play Forbidden Stars with just two players?

A: Yes, it’s designed for 2 to 4 players, so it works well with just two.

Q: Is Forbidden Stars suitable for children?

A: Due to its complexity, it’s best suited for older children and adults.

Q: Can I play Forbidden Stars solo?

A: The game is not designed for solo play, but there are fan-made solo variants available online.

Q: Are there expansions for Forbidden Stars?

A: As of my knowledge cutoff in early 2023, there are no official expansions for Forbidden Stars.

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