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I'm playing the core set of Star Realms and I find myself picking up the Stealth Needle and Mech World whenever I can afford them. Because of their abilities to mimic other factions, I really don't care what faction(s) I'm focused on. The Stealth Needle can only mimic one other faction in a turn, but it also retains the ability to ally with Machine Cult. So it's possible to imagine an alternate design where Stealth Needle belongs to another faction and it makes a difference in the game.

Stealth Needle

But Mech World is a whole nother story. Since it counts as an ally for all other factions, the Machine Cult color and emblem are superfluous. As far as I can tell, it would work just as well as an Unaligned card like Explorer, Scout and Viper. Obviously there's a lore component here. Machine Cult is the only faction devious enough to invent this type of base. But I'm thinking in terms of the game's mechanics, so to speak.

Mech World

So for the core set, does the Mech World faction matter in terms of gameplay?

Bonus: Are there rules in any of the expansions that make the faction of this card matter?

6

It matters for the solo variants. I can't find rules for these online but I can explain how they work in the app.

In a typical solo scenario on the bots turn a card is turned up and depending on the faction this dictate how it behaves. This image is from Star Realms website to explain show what I mean and is best 'reference' I can fine.

Star Realms card

In the app there is a weekly scenario in online 'Arena'. The rules for these are different each week but I have seen games with a random faction removed or different factions.

It also matters if playing with Missions expansions. Some of those cards will refer to playing cards of the same faction type. That is not the same as triggering an ally ability of all factions..

There may be other answers to this but there are lots of expansions to look at!

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5

For the core set & expansions, I am aware of, Mech World counts as an ally for any faction, but it being a Machine Cult does matter in some cases.

Blob World, for example, reads:

Blob World - Star Realms

So, you cannot draw an extra card for playing Mech World - since it is not a blob card and Blob World doesn't care about allies.

On Star Realm - Frontiers, there are cards that require two allies such as the Light Cruiser. Mech World would still count as one for Machine Cult, as for any other faction. From the Rulebook:

An Ally Ability is triggered as soon as you have another card of that faction in-play. A double Ally Ability works exactly like a regular Ability, except it required two other cards of that faction in play to trigger.

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  • 1
    Nice catch with Blob World - so even in Core Set only it matters! However, do you have a source for your other claim that it counts as a double ally for Machine Cult? Because that is not how I would have played it, but I'm not sure either way. – Benjamin Cosman Apr 10 at 23:24
  • @BenjaminCosman Actually, upon further reading, the Ally ability does say it needs cards from a faction - so it was a wrong interpretation of the rules on my side. Fixed, thanks! – Cesar M Apr 11 at 2:09

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