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Star Traders -New board game Kickstarter launched by CIG's Ryan Archer and David Ladyman!

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New board game Kickstarter launched by CIG's Ryan Archer and David Ladyman!

Star Traders

by David Ladyman / Trader's Luck Games

Star Traders project video thumbnail


About this project

Star Traders is a highly competitive cargo-delivery Sci-Fi board game. Players captain their starships, jumping from planet to planet, racing to deliver their cargoes before the other captains. The game gets more and more intense as you gain great wealth and the Emperor's respect, giving you the opportunity to petition to be made Star Tsar, ruler of all trade in the galaxy. But obstruction is around every corner as your fellow captains pursue the same goal.

It is actually 5 games in 1, with an even more competitive multi-hour version and simpler, lower impact versions for ages 7+ and 10+. The galaxy is a parody of your favorite Science Fiction books, movies & TV shows, so don't be surprised at who you might meet along the way.


Star Traders was designed (by me) and published by Steve Jackson Games almost 30 years ago. The rights returned to me about 10 years later, and I've wanted to release an updated, more polished version ever since then. Now, with the renaissance of board games and the arrival of Kickstarter, I have a chance to do just that, especially with the solid help of Ryan Archer. His art turns this game from a vague dream into a vibrant reality.

Our goal is to raise enough funds to produce at least a minimum threshold, and we hope to go beyond that — the more we raise, the better the components will be (and the more we can include).


 Read the Full Breakdown


Star Traders Board

Star Traders Rule Book


By Charles Duncan

  • The Negotiator (Coming February 29)
  • The Engineer
  • The Rogue
  • The Navigator
  • The Insider

The Worlds


If you want additional T-shirts, Books or Games, please indicate them by adding $20 per additional T-shirt or Book to your pledge for that item (that is, $45 for two T-shirts or Books, $65 for three T-shirts/Books, $85 for four T-shirts/Books, and so forth). If you want additional Games, add $45 for each additional Game to your pledge for the Game.


Begin at the Beginning
I began attending playtest sessions for Steve Jackson Games from the birth of that company around 1980. By the mid ’80s, I was working for SJG as a developer and editor. One day, Steve made an announcement — actually, two announcements. First, SJG had license the title “Isaac Asimov Presents” from a series of short story SF anthologies that Asimov and Martin Greenberg edited. And second, the first game in the series would be designed by whomever created the best game.

This was an incredibly gracious offer by the lead designer and head of a major game company. About four to six of us (including Steve) submitted proposals, and after several rounds of development and review, Star Traders was chosen. I don’t remember all of the discussion and development that took place, but I do know that all of us — especially Steve — significantly improved my original design.

Read the rest...


Feedback from over 100 convention playtesters

Read them all

“The aesthetic of the board is fantastic. Many games are so cheesy & terrible. I also love the theme.”

“I usually struggle with the multitude of rules and actions — but not with this.”

“Strategy: there are a lot of options for what to do on a turn, so the player must have a very good idea of what they wish to accomplish.”

“ALL OF IT. I really enjoyed it.”

“I enjoyed the simplicity of the rules combined with the complexity of the cards.”

“Delivery game without massive route-planning logistics"

“The strategy of making plans and racing to complete them"

“Many elements: cargo routes were fun to try and complete; competition on routes; Trader’s Luck cards seemed well done”

“I enjoyed the general flow of the game, how it builds quite rapidly without players gaining extra powers.”

“Honestly, I would change nothing. I really enjoyed this game.”


Summary of discussion below: 
                                   no one will pay anything extra for shipping.

There is a great deal to like about Kickstarter projects. Shipping isn’t one of them. We’ve spent quite a while trying to figure out how to get you the games (and books and T-shirts) that you want, without charging an additional arm or leg to get them to you. At one point, we thought we were going to have to charge about $40 just for shipping, to ship you a single game in Europe. But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. There are a handful of companies that are figuring out how to deliver games to nearly everywhere in the world, and we have decided to simply swallow the high charges to the remaining locations.

Here’s what we’ve worked out — we hope it works for you. Normal retail on the Game is planned to be $50. Normal retail on the Book or the T-shirt would be $25 each. We want to give you a discount rate for supporting our effort to get the all-new and improved Star Traders back into circulation, but we can’t do that and pay for all the shipping, too. So the first of any item is at the normal cost ($50 for the Game, $25 for the Book or T-shirt) — which will cover $5 to $15 of the shipping costs. We think we can cover the rest.

Then if you want more Games, or Books, or T-shirts, pledge that much more ($45 or $20) and we’ll send you the additional rewards. Feel free to bundle with a friend, or two, or three — in general, the more items that we get into a single box, the lower the shipping will be per item. Or grab a Bundle or two, for $90 each.

In the meantime, we’re going to continue to work to get the best possible shipping rates, anywhere in the world.

A few more notes:

• We will cover Customs charges and VAT when we’re aware of them.

• Making shipping a flat cost is only part of the solution; shipping from within the territory is also useful. We will ship to EU addresses from within the EU; we will attempt to do the same for other territories, but we don’t know at this moment whether we will be able to do so.


• If you live in the Great State of Texas, as we do, the shipping charge to you might actually be less than $10. But remember that we’ve also got to pay sales tax on the items you receive, which more than wipes out any shipping charge savings on our end.

• And if you think we need more help than that, you can always add a contribution through the first reward — anything added there counts as a gift, which means we don’t pay taxes on it.

For more information about the game: http://tradersluck.com/star-traders/

Follow us:Facebook & Twitter

Risks and challenges

The game is fully designed, and volunteers have been playing complete custom-produced games (by Ad Magic's Print&Play division) for over a month. The rules are done, the board is done, Ryan is hard at work on the art —what we're lacking is the funding to go into production.

It requires no outside approval; we're doing this completely on our own ... along with all of you, of course!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter



Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys, Ben Lesnick is going to give away a bunch of ships on Twitch this Sunday if the board game Star Traders made by David Ladyman and Ryan Archer hits 42K by the start of the show.

Remember, if you do back the game, manually add ten cents to the pledge, making it as coming from Star Citizen backers.

Greetings, Fellow Traders! We are very excited to announce that we will be running a special Live Stream for the final 8 hours of our campaign on Sunday March 27th. It will be hosted by Clifford~aka~Miku. Follow his Twitch Channel now to get notified when we go live on Sunday. (It will be fun & acceptable for all ages.)

We have invited several special guests. It’s sure to be a blast and we hope you can join us as we count down to the Kickstarter finalé.

Star Citizen Concept Ship Challenge

Ben Lesnick of Star Citizen fame has issued a personal challenge: If we reach $42K by the start of our Live Stream (2pm Central) he will give away his own personal collection of Wave 3 Concept Ships during the Live Stream:

  • Hull A-E 

  • Orion 

  • Reclaimer 

  • Endeavor 

  • Starliner

  • Carrack 

  • Vanguard 

  • Herald 

  • Crucible

This is an unbelievably generous offer and a great opportunity to get your hands on some very cool & very rare Star Citizen ships. We hope y’all can help meet this challenge and grab a ship.

And this is on top of the Name-a-World-Roberts challenge: add a dime to your pledge if you want one of the worlds to be named Roberts.

Thank you all for the incredible amount of support you have shown us so far. We only have 3 days left to raise the rest of our funding goal. Remember to keep spreading the word. Tell your mom, tell your next door neighbor, tell the person behind you at the grocery checkout counter, and don't forget to share us on social media:



We can only make Star Traders a reality with your help. Thank you very much, David & Ryan

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