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Core Worlds

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Number of Players 2-5
Playtime 60-120 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Andrew Parks
Publisher Stronghold Games


The ancient Galactic Realm, led from the Core Worlds of the galaxy, is waning. Now, the barbaric kingdoms that lie beyond the galactic frontier are gathering their strength, choosing this pivotal moment to strike at the heart of the fading republic, establishing new empires built upon the ashes of decaying civilizations. But these outer systems are not yet powerful enough to engage the forces of the Core Worlds directly. The younger kingdoms must first gnaw at the edges of the crumbling frontier, creating new types of units and shrewder tactics. They must build up their energy resources to send magnificent fleets and overwhelming ground forces. Then, when the time is right, they must strike at the galactic core itself, taking the most exalted planets for themselves. The barbarian kingdom that accomplish these goals will carve out the greatest empire in the galaxy.

Object of the Game

Every player controls a barbarian Star Empire represented by many cards. Throughout the game, players invade Worlds and draft new Units and Tactics into their Empires. Every card lists its Empire Points in the upper right corner. The player whose Empire has the most Empire Points at the end of the game is the winner!

Game Terms and Game Play Mechanisms

Core Worlds is a deck-building game for 2-5 players. The following are the main concepts of Core Worlds:

  • Central Zone: Throughout the game, new cards are taken from the five Galactic Decks and placed face up in the Central Zone, the game's common play area. These cards include new Units and Tactics that the players may draft into their Empires, as well as Worlds that they can invade.
  • Empire: Every player represents an Empire that begins with a Home World and a Starting Deck. A player's Empire will consist of all of the cards in their hand, draw deck, discard pile, and Warzone (tableau).
  • Fleet Strength: Every World possesses a Fleet Strength that represents the starships that defend it from attack. A World's Fleet Strength must be at least matched in order for that World to be successfully invaded. Many Units possess a Fleet Strength that a player may use to invade a World.
  • Ground Strength: Every World possesses a Ground Strength that represents the infantry and other ground forces that protect it from surface assault. A World's Ground Strength must be at least matched in order for it to be successfully invaded. Many Units possess a Ground Strength that a player may use to invade a World.
  • Invasion: In order to add new Worlds to their Empire, a player must launch Invasions. A player performs an Invasion by discarding enough cards from their Warzone to match the Fleet Strength and Ground Strength of the World they are invading.
  • Warzone: Each player's Empire has a Warzone, an area in front of the player where their conquered Worlds are displayed. Players will also deploy Units from their hands face up into their Warzones, and later use these Units to invade new Worlds.

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