How To Play: Forbidden Stars – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Forbidden Stars is an epic and exhilarating space conquest board game that challenges players to strategize, command fleets, and outmaneuver opponents for galactic dominance. In this quick summary, we will highlight the key points of the game.

In Forbidden Stars, players choose factions, battle for control of sectors, and complete objectives to obtain victory points. The game features stunning artwork, high-quality components, and engaging gameplay mechanics that immerse players in a vibrant and dynamic space opera.

With various paths to victory, players must carefully manage resources, develop strategies, and adapt to changing game conditions. Map positioning and control play a crucial role in determining success, as players strategically deploy fleets, secure objectives, and manage their territories throughout the game.

Combat tactics also take center stage, allowing players to utilize unique faction abilities, maneuver fleets, and employ powerful action cards to gain a tactical edge and emerge victorious in battles.

Through careful objective acquisition, effective resource management, clever combat maneuvers, and strategic map dominance, players can triumph over rivals and shape the fate of the universe.

Embrace the challenges, command your factions, and set forth on an extraordinary journey to conquer the stars in Forbidden Stars - a game that combines depth, strategy, and thrilling gameplay into an unforgettable experience.


Welcome to the comprehensive strategy guide for Forbidden Stars! In this guide, we will provide you with everything you need to chart a course towards victory in this epic space conquest board game. Whether you are a seasoned commander or a newcomer preparing for your first interstellar battle, this guide will equip you with valuable insights and tips to dominate the galaxy.

The guide is divided into several sections, each focusing on key aspects of the game. Firstly, we will touch upon an outline of the game rules to ensure you have a solid understanding of the gameplay mechanics. From there, we will dive into the best strategies for achieving triumph in Forbidden Stars.

From mastering faction dynamics and resource management to developing effective combat tactics and seizing control of the map, we will explore each element in detail, providing you with valuable strategies and tactical advice. Additionally, we will delve into the importance of objectives and victory conditions, and how to best navigate them to claim victory.

Whether you are seeking to conquer new territories, outsmart your opponents with cunning diplomacy, or unleash devastating military might, this guide has you covered. Let’s sharpen our strategies, coordinate our fleets, and embark on an extraordinary journey across distant star systems. It’s time to rise above the challenges, outmaneuver your rivals, and become the ultimate commander in Forbidden Stars!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 2 Resource dials
  • 6 Faction sheets
  • 119 Faction cards
  • 212 Tokens
  • 4 Faction tokens
  • 218 Plastic miniatures:
    • 10 Space Marines units
    • 20 Orks units
    • 18 Eldar units
    • 20 Chaos units
    • 70 Planet units
    • 30 Icon units
    • 30 Probe units
    • 10 System Defense units
  • Expansion Modules:
    • 30 Planet units
    • 20 Chaos units
    • 8 Chaos raving units
    • 12 System Defense units
  • 1 Game Board
  • 6 Control Turrets or Monastery Tokens
  • 129 Planet cards
  • 312 Action cards

How To Play Forbidden Stars: Rules Summary

Embark on an epic space conquest in Forbidden Stars, a thrilling board game of interstellar warfare. Here’s a summary of the game rules to get you started on your journey:


  1. Choose factions and distribute corresponding components.
  2. Set up the game board with randomized planets and system tiles.
  3. Shuffle objective cards and deal a secret objective to each player.
  4. Shuffle action cards into the Action deck.
  5. Place resource dials and control tokens within reach.


  1. Players take turns following a series of phases:
    1. Draw and resolve an objective card.
    2. Take turns performing Actions using action cards from hand.
    3. Move and position fleets on the game board.
    4. Engage in combat with opponent fleets, resolving tactical battles.
    5. Secure or contest objectives and control sectors.
    6. Deploy troops to conquered sectors.
    7. Advance technologies to gain new abilities.
    8. Collect resources based on controlled sectors and completed objectives.
    9. Discard unwanted action cards and draw replacements.

Winning the Game:

  1. The game can end in two ways:
    1. A player fulfills their secret objective, winning immediately.
    2. A predetermined number of objectives are revealed, and the player with the most victory points at that point wins the game.

Now that you have a summary of the rules, it’s time to dive into the strategies and tactics that will lead you to victory. Prepare to conquer the stars in Forbidden Stars!

Best Forbidden Stars Strategies

Faction Strategies: Mastering the Power of Your Faction

Each faction in Forbidden Stars possesses its own unique strengths, abilities, and playstyle. Understanding and leveraging these attributes are crucial to gaining an advantage over your opponents. Here are some faction-specific strategies to consider:

1. Space Marines

  1. Focus on military dominance: Utilize the Space Marines’ superior combat capabilities and upgrade their units to unleash devastating attacks.
  2. Secure objectives quickly: Use your fleet’s maneuverability to swiftly capture objectives, gaining an early advantage in victory points.
  3. Control vital sectors: Establish strong control over strategic sectors on the map to limit your opponents’ expansion.

2. Eldar

  1. Hit and run tactics: Exploit the Eldar’s speed and guile to strike swiftly and retreat before your enemies can respond.
  2. Strategic positioning: Utilize teleportation and superior range to effectively control key sectors and surprise your opponents.
  3. Utilize psychic powers: Master the Eldar’s psychic abilities to disrupt your opponents’ plans and gain an upper hand in battles.

3. Orks

  1. Overwhelm with sheer numbers: Capitalize on the Ork faction’s ability to generate large hordes of troops, overpowering your foes with sheer force.
  2. Take risks and go for bold moves: Embrace the Ork’s aggressive playstyle and capture objectives aggressively even if it risks losses.
  3. Demoralize opponents: Utilize psychic warheads and psychological warfare to cripple the morale of your opponents.

Understanding the unique strategies associated with each faction is vital to secure victory in Forbidden Stars. Master the intricacies of your chosen faction, exploit their strengths wisely, and position yourself for triumph on the battlefield.

Resource Management: A Key to Victory

Managing your resources effectively is a key aspect of success in Forbidden Stars. Efficient allocation and utilization of resources will give you the upper hand against your adversaries. Here are some strategies to optimize your resource management:

1. Balanced Expansion

  1. Plan your expansion wisely: Expand your territories gradually, balancing the acquisition of new sectors with the need to defend and develop existing ones.
  2. Prioritize resource-rich sectors: Focus on capturing and controlling sectors that provide necessary resources for unit production and technological advancement.
  3. Control supply lines: Establish routes between your sectors to maintain constant resource flow and prevent vulnerability.

2. Technology Investment

  1. Diversify your research: Invest in a balanced mix of technologies to enhance your military might, improve resource generation, and gain special abilities.
  2. Adapt and counter: Keep an eye on your opponents’ research progress and devote resources to counter their advances and surprises.
  3. Strategic technology prioritization: Plan your technology advances strategically, focusing on those that align with your overall game plan and faction strengths.

3. Economic Efficiency

  1. Manage income and expenses: Keep a balance between spending resources on troop production, unit upgrades, and card actions.
  2. Trade and diplomacy: Explore options for resource exchanges with other players, ensuring that both parties benefit from the trade agreements.
  3. Maximize production: Utilize sector abilities and upgrade cards that improve resource generation for a sustainable economic advantage.

By implementing savvy resource management strategies, you can build a strong foundation for success in Forbidden Stars. Efficiently expanding your territories, investing wisely in technology, and optimizing your economy will tip the scales of victory in your favor.

Objectives and Victory Conditions: Paving your Path to Success

Understanding the objectives and victory conditions in Forbidden Stars is crucial as they offer clear paths to winning the game. By formulating effective strategies to achieve these objectives, you can claim victory in this epic space conquest. Here are some strategies to help you navigate the path to triumph:

1. Objective Acquisition

  1. Keep objectives in mind: Be aware of the victory conditions and actively pursue objectives that align with your faction’s strengths and your overall game plan
  2. Balance priority: Determine which objectives are achievable and prioritize capturing them based on the resources and actions required.
  3. Deny opponent objectives: Identify and disrupt your opponents’ goals by strategically blocking their progress and capturing objectives they prioritize.

2. Victory Point Accumulation

  1. Control sectors with victory points: Establish dominance over sectors that offer victory points, ensuring a steady accumulation of points over time.
  2. Combat and victory points: Engage in strategic battles against rival factions to both hinder their progress and gain precious victory points.
  3. Card Actions: Utilize action cards to complete specific tasks that reward victory points.

3. Long-Term Planning

  1. Prioritize multiple strategies: Prepare for different outcome scenarios by pursuing objectives related to diverse victory conditions.
  2. Adaptation and Flexibility: Remain flexible in your approach and be ready to adjust your objectives as the game progresses and dynamics change.
  3. Use objectives as leverage: Utilize completed objectives as bargaining chips in negotiations to forge alliances or secure resource exchanges.

By adopting a flexible and strategic approach to objectives and victory conditions, you can pave your path to glory in Forbidden Stars. Stay focused on securing objectives, accumulate victory points consistently, and adapt accordingly to eventually claim victory in the battle for dominance among the stars.

Combat Tactics: Triumph in the Grand Battles

In Forbidden Stars, engaging in combat is inevitable on your quest for victory. Mastering effective combat tactics will give you the upper hand in epic clashes and shape the outcome of the game. Here are some strategies to help you prevail in combat:

1. Army Composition

  1. Build a balanced army: Create a diverse mix of units that caters to different combat scenarios and strategies.
  2. Exploit faction strengths: Leverage the unique strengths of your faction’s units to gain an advantage in battles.
  3. Consider special abilities: Strategically utilize special abilities of units to maximize their effectiveness during combat.

2. Tactical Maneuvers

  1. Timing and positioning: Choose the right moment to engage in battles and position your units strategically to capitalize on advantages.
  2. Ambush and surprise attacks: Catch your opponents off guard by staging surprise attacks or ambushes.
  3. Retreat when outnumbered: If in a disadvantageous position or outnumbered, strategically withdraw from battles to regroup and plan a new attack.

3. Card Plays

  1. Play combat-enhancing cards: Utilize action cards that improve your combat strength or provide tactical advantages.
  2. Counter enemy cards: When engaging in battles, consider countering your opponent’s cards with cards of your own to gain the upper hand.
  3. Save powerful cards: Reserve powerful and game-changing cards for critical moments when they can turn the tide of battle in your favor.

By implementing effective combat tactics and constantly honing your strategies, you can triumph in the grand battles of Forbidden Stars. Carefully plan your army composition, make tactical maneuvers, and utilize cards strategically to emerge victorious on the battlefield.

Map Positioning and Control: Dominate the Galactic Frontier

In Forbidden Stars, careful map positioning and control are crucial to gain an advantage over your opponents and secure victory. By strategically maneuvering your fleets and controlling vital sectors, you can shape the outcome of the game. Here are some strategies to maximize your map positioning and control:

1. Establish Strong Presence

  1. Secure key sectors: Control sectors that provide valuable resources, victory points, or advantageous tactical positions.
  2. Expand steadily: Gradually increase your influence by capturing nearby sectors and fortifying your hold over territories.
  3. Prevent enemy expansion: Block your opponents’ access to resource-rich areas and strategic sectors to limit their growth.

2. Strategic Fleet Deployment

  1. Tactical fleet positioning: Position your fleets strategically to cover more ground, establish dominance, and respond effectively to threats.
  2. Blockade key sectors: Inhibit enemy movement by effectively blockading and controlling chokepoints on the map.
  3. Maintain mobility: Keep a sustainable balance between maintaining control in key areas and being adaptable to new opportunities and threats.

3. Sector Upgrades and Defenses

  1. Strengthen key sectors: Use resources to upgrade sectors, making them more defensible and economically advantageous.
  2. Fortify borders: Build defenses in sectors vulnerable to enemy incursions to deter or slow down their advances.
  3. Control resource distribution: Maintain control over sectors that generate valuable resources to sustain your military and technological advancements.

Mastering map positioning and control is essential to dominate the galactic frontier of Forbidden Stars. By establishing a strong presence, strategically deploying your fleet, and upgrading sector defenses, you can dictate the course of the game and pave your path towards victory.

Conclusion: Take Command and Conquer the Stars

Congratulations on completing this comprehensive strategy guide for Forbidden Stars! By now, you are equipped with the knowledge and tactics needed to navigate the galaxy, outmaneuver your opponents, and claim victory.

Remember, success in Forbidden Stars comes from a combination of careful decision-making, effective resource management, clever combat tactics, strategic map positioning, and a keen understanding of objectives and victory conditions.

As you embark on your journeys through the cosmic expanse, experiment with different faction strategies, adapt to ever-changing circumstances, and embrace the dynamic nature of the game. Forge alliances, negotiate, and betray your rivals as you see fit in your pursuit of domination.

Whether you choose to crush your foes with overwhelming military force, master the intricacies of diplomacy, or unleash powerful technological advancements, the path to victory lies in your hands.

May your fleets soar, conquer new frontiers, and etch your name in the annals of space lore. Embrace challenge, relish the thrill of interstellar combat, and leave indelible footprints upon the stars.

Now, brave commander, it’s time to take command, gather your forces, and embark on your journey to conquer the stars in Forbidden Stars!

Want to know what we think of Forbidden Stars? Read our detailed review of Forbidden Stars here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.