Changes in Illimat Second Edition: The Stars Suit

If you have played Illimat with some regularity, chances are your playing card deck looks something like ours. A five suited deck of lovingly worn cards - except for the almost pristine stars suit glaring back at you. 

This is, of course, because in the first edition rules of Illimat the stars suit is only used in four player games; and for many of us, Illimat is a two player staple. 

Friends, it's time for the star suits to shine. Starting in Illimat second edition (launching for preorder on Nov 1st) the official rules of Illimat are that the stars suit is always in play. Yes, even for solo play. 

Why did we make this change? The original design intent of the star suit was to lengthen the game and add little more strategic choices in a four player game. What we've heard from players is that adding the fifth suit for two or three players  is beneficial for them as well. The additional play time is offset by the increased amount of choices and opportunities to change seasons.

We've added five more minutes to the playtime estimate on the box because of this change, and it's one less thing new players have to think about when they are setting up the game for the first time. 

As an extra bonus, the illustrations Carson Ellis did on the star suit are among my very favorites and Im glad they will see more play. I mean, check out the beard on the King of Stars. Epic!

If you've got a copy of Illimat—break it out this week and give this new rule change a try and let us know what you think!


Next Wednesday: Game Component Changes in Second Edition 




  • Kristian Serrano

    So, I came across an outdated definition of starstruck: “under the malevolent influence of the stars or of one’s horoscope” (

    I found that fascinating and wondered if starstruck (or star-struck?) should be a negative score, possibly prevent something else from scoring, or—as Carthoris suggested—a penalty under specific conditions. (Perhaps if the arrow on the Illimat is pointed at you at the end of a round and you have the most stars, you lose 1 point?)

    I also found this article, Agricultural Constellations (, about Romanian associations of constellations with agriculture. Early in the text, you’ll see some references to The Rake and The Maiden, too, which is pretty neat to see.

    Anyway, I have lots of ideas on how this could be shaped in a codified rule, but I’d have to spend some time thinking about and testing them.

  • Shaun

    The starstruck idea is great! I was thinking that if a player acquired all of the Star face cards then they would add an extra point at the end of the round. It would be different enough and challenging at the same time…. besides… it plays into the idea of being starstruck.

  • Carthoris Pyramidos

    I like the Starstruck idea, but how about this: If you are Starstruck (i.e. have the most Star cards harvested) you score +1 only if you also have two or more luminaries collected. Also, you score -1 if you have two or more Fools harvested.

  • Emma

    Very excited for this update! I’m excited to see the rounds last just a little bit longer in a two player, and it might give me a chance of winning solitaire mode for once. I’ll have to try this out with my current copy!

  • Sean

    I was doing this already, just to save the time of taking the stars out of the deck haha. I found 5-suit play was just as fun with 2-3 as it was with 4!

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