The Fluxx series of card games by Looney Labs are card games that challenge the players in a fast paced, ever changing game format. And while there are several titles available in the series, the team at NerdBeach have found our favorite niche – and it should not be a surprise that we like Star Fluxx.
Why Star Fluxx
I mean, what is there not to like about the game? From the Expendable Crewman to the Captain, and from the potentially evil computer to that weird small moon, there are twists and turns that keeps the game challenging and fresh. And we play a lot of Star Fluxx. In fact, we are on our second deck from just the wear and tear of playing. Just to prove that we do play a lot, the images are from the current card deck. That faded look is from many fun games won and lost, Keeper fortunes claimed can cast, and sneaky tricks played to sweet victory.
Star Fluxx can be a very strategic game, and clever playing can often win the hand. So, I thought it might be good to share some of the tips and tricks that we have discovered during our Star Fluxx adventures. We are assuming that you know about the game and how to play it. If not, don’t let that stop you – it is quick to learn and fun to master. Then you can put some of our strategies into play while you develop your own. Now let’s look at some tips and tricks for the card game.
Exchange Instead of Stealing Cards
When it comes to stealing a prized Keeper someone has laid in front of them, it would seem that the best approach would be to use the trusty “Steal a Keeper” card. And while that works, your intended victim can respond with the It’s a Trap surprise card, which not only stops your attack, but it also lets them take one of your favorite played Keepers. This is not good.
Instead, consider using the Exchange Keepers card. Since you are technically not stealing, they cannot play the trap card. So go ahead, trade that Small Moon for the Holographic Projector – they are are going to love you for it.
Use The Redshirt With The Captain
The token redshirt card (don’t you love the Star Trek reference?) is a sacrificial lamb for all of your other Keepers. Whenever someone steals or otherwise takes one, they must take this card instead, saving your more valuable cards. But if you have the Captain, you can steal it back on your next turn. This turns your opponent’s master move to remove your protection into a vain effort of wasted cards. Just remember to smile as you take back your protection.
But, let’s have one word of caution – they could have the It’s a Trap card in wait, so taking back the Expendable Crewman could be a costly mistake. But there is protection against that as well…
Remember, Surprise Cards Can Cancel Other Surprise Cards
There are several Surprise cards to be played, but one detail that sometimes gets overlooked is that one surprise card can cancel out another. This works great when you are stealing a Keeper and they try to counter with the It’s a Trap card. Of course, you will lose your Surprise card in the process, but if the prize is worth it this can be a very handy tool to keep in mind.
Send Their Characters To The Shredder
This is probably one of our favorite strategies, and one that always hurts when you get caught in it yourself. This is especially true if you have all the personnel cards, such as the Captain, Doctor, Engineer, Expendable Crewman, and Scientist. For the setup, play the “Hand Limit 1” rule card. This limits the total number of cards a player can hold to only 1 card. Then play the Beam Us Up card. The trap has now been sprung.
The poor player will have to now pick up all of their “brain” characters and choose which one to keep, casting the rest to the discard pile. The smugness of playing this combination cannot be underestimated.
Infect The Doctor With Brain Parasites
The Doctor card has the unique ability to cure the Creeper known as Brain Parasites. But unfortunately he cannot cure himself (physician – heal thyself – not!). So, when you have the Creeper Reassignment card and this particular creeper handy, don’t hesitate to help out a fellow player by giving their Doctor an incurable malady. I’m sure they will be glad to return the favor.
Break Your Opponent’s Favorite Toys
The Holographic Projector and the Computer are two of the most powerful cards in the game, and their abilities can easily help to cinch a win. However, they are mechanical devices, and they can break down.
You can help this along if you have the Creeper Reassignment card and the Malfunction Creeper. Just keep the reassignment card in your hand and bide your time. When they play the right Keeper, pounce and break it. While it doesn’t send their powerful keeper to the discard pile, it does render it useless. But if that isn’t enough for you, read on to the next tip…
Tag Them And Destroy Them
The Laser Pistol has a unique ability in that it can reach out and destroy another player’s Keeper that has a Creeper attached. This works out even sweeter if you have just tagged a powerful Keeper with a Malfunction card. Their elation of having a powerful card goes from disappointment (it’s broken) to sadness (it’s gone) in a wonderful two step process.
Use the Time Traveler With The Time Portal
The Time Portal card has a great ability – it allows you to dig through the deck or discard pile and pick the card of your choice. While your turn ends immediately after playing, you end up with your desired card gently snuggled into your hand.
But if you have played the Time Traveler Keeper, the Time Portal card does not go into the discard pile. Instead it goes back into your hand, ready for another retrieval deployment. This can be a great strategy to use when there are multiple play card rules in effect, since you can save it for your last turn and still do other actions.
But what if your opponent has played the Time Portal card? Well, there is something you can do that turns it to your favor…
Trade Hands After A Time Portal Has Played
So, your opponent has just played the Time Portal card, and now has that Holographic Projector or Captain ready for playing on their next turn. What’s more, if they had the Time Traveler Keeper in play they may even have the Time Portal card as well, making it a valuable hand to possess. But what can you do?
Well, if you have come across the Trade Hands Action Card and have it handy, now would be a great time to play it. Sure, they get your collection of currently useless goals, but you score a prized Keeper that they hand picked from all of the available cards. Plus you get anything else they may have had “handy”.
Use The Transporter To Collect All The Brain Character Keepers
While the Beam Us Up card can be put to delicious use with a Hand Limit 1 card, it can also be used quite effectively to steal all of the currently in play Keepers that have brains (including the Captain, Expendable Crewman, Doctor, and more). All you need to make this work is to have the Teleporter Keeper in play.
When you have the Teleporter, all Keepers go to your hand when the Beam Us Up card is played. It’s like shopping, only with your opponent’s Keepers.
Play A Draw Card, Then Trash It
So, you would like some extra cards, but don’t want to share with your opponents? Consider playing a Draw 5 Rule card, then follow up with the Trash A New Rule Action card. Obviously this will work only when play multiple card rules are in effect, but it can give you a quick boost in your current hand. Plus it always delights your opponents if they had been excited about the new Draw 5 card, only to see it snatched away before their turn hits.
This strategy also works great for removing cards from player’s hands instead of putting cards in yours. All you have to do is to play a Hand Limit 1 card, which must be done immediately by all players except the current player, and then trash the rule. Master players may choose to play both a Hand Limit 1 card and a Draw 5 before doing a Rules Reset, which can definitely change the balance of resources in a tight game.
There are many other strategy tips and tricks that we can discuss for the game Star Fluxx, and perhaps there will be a follow up to this article. But the important thing is to develop your own secret moves to beat friends and influence losing. The game is unique enough in its variations that you can often discover new strategies`.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go play another few hands before we have to break out the next new deck of Star Fluxx.
The First Card Games
The first playing cards appeared in the ninth century during Tang dynasty China. The first reference to the card game in world history dates no later than the 9th century, when the Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang, written by Tang Dynasty writer Su E, described Princess Tongchang playing the “leaf game” in 868 with members of the Wei clan.