Components

  • 24 Ships in Four Colors
  • 1 Relic Ship
  • 20 Gray Ore Tokens
  • 30 Orange Fuel Tokens
  • 24 Alien Tech Cards
  • 32 Colony Tokens in Four Colors
  • 8 Territory Counters
  • 20 Dock Covers.
  • 3 Field Generator
  • 3 Field Generator
  • 4 Scoring Rockets
  • 1 Victory Point Scoreboard

Object of the Game

Gaining more influence over the Alien Frontier (measured in Victory Points) than your opponents by building colonies and controlling territories.



Setup

Unfold the game board and place it on the table where it is accessible to all players. Place the scoring track board in a convenient location and place a scoring rocket of each color on the 0 line. Assign one player to keep track of the victory points throughout the game.

Place the clear die in the square on the Burroughs Desert territory. This is the Relic Ship. Place each territory card face-up on the matching territory on the board.

Place the orange fuel tokens on the table near the solar converter. This is the fuel stock. Place the gray ore tokens on the table near the lunar mine. This is the ore stock.

Shuffle the alien tech cards and deal three cards face- up on the table near the Alien Artifact. This is your alien tech stock. Deal one alien tech card face-up to each player. The remaining alien tech cards form a draw pile that will be used at various times during the game. A discard pile will form as the game progresses.

Place the three field generator counters on the table to the left of the board.

Each player chooses a color then takes three ships (dice) of that color and places them on the Shipyard image near the words "Maintenance Bay". Place the remaining three ships of each color on the table near the Shipyard. This is the ship stock.

Each player takes six colony tokens of the color that matches their ships. Return the unused colony tokens to the game box, they will not be needed.

Choose player one by rolling for high number. Counting clockwise from player one, player two receives one fuel, player three receives one ore, and player four receives one fuel and one ore. This allotment compensates for turn-order disparities. Players only receive this allotment at the start of the game.


3 Player Variant

Each player takes seven colony tokens.

Use the included dock covers to cover docking ports marked with three dots at the following locations:

  • Solar Convener
  • Lunar Mine
  • Orbital Market
  • Shipyard

These covers will stay in place throughout the game and may not be moved, removed, or changed.

At the beginning of the game, player two receives one fuel token and player three receives one ore token.

2 Player Variant

Each player takes eight colony tokens.

Use the included dock covers to cover docking ports marked with two and three dots at the following locations:

  • Solar Convener
  • Lunar Mine
  • Orbital Market
  • Colony Constructor
  • Shipyard

These covers will stay in place throughout the game and may not be moved, removed, or changed.

At the beginning of the game, player two receives one fuel token.

Long-game Variant

Once you become skilled at Alien Frontiers you may wish to play longer games. To do this in the 4-player and 3-player scenarios, each player starts with all eight of their colony tokens.



Game Play

Play begins with player one and moves clockwise. Each player performs the following tasks on their turn:


Gather and roll your fleet

Gather all of your ships from the board and roll them.

Use alien tech cards and assign your fleet

Do these tasks in any order you like. You may choose to use all, some, or none of your alien tech cards but you must dock all of your ships at orbital facilities on your turn if possible. If you cannot legally dock one or more of your ships at any orbital facility, place them on the Maintenance Bay.

You may use an orbital facility by allocating your ships to its docking ports. A facility can only be used if it has sufficient unused docking ports, you have ships of the required values, and you can immediately pay any applicable cost. See the section on orbital facilities for the requirements and costs for each facility.

Example : The terraforming station requires a value 6 ship and costs one fuel and one ore. Therefore, you may not use the terraforming station if you do not have any sixes, if the single docking port is already occupied, or if you do not have the required fuel and ore.

You gain the benefits of an orbital facility, territory control, or alien tech immediately unless noted otherwise.

Costs to use orbital facilities and alien tech cards are paid to the stocks.

You may use your alien tech cards at any time during your turn. Most cards have a power you pay fuel to use and a power you must discard the card to use. Each alien tech card may be used only once per turn. You may only use one discard power from your alien tech cards each turn. See the rules section on alien tech cards for the powers and costs of each card.

If you place a colony during your turn you earn a victory point and adjust the score track immediately. If colony placement results in your having more colonies on the territory than any other player, you "control" that territory. You take its counter, gain an extra victory point, and may use the territory's bonus. If you no longer have more colonies on the territory than any other player, you lose control of the territory. You immediately return the territory card to the planet, lose a victory point, and can no longer use the territory's bonus. See the rules section on territory bonuses for details.

The presence of certain field generators may award an extra victory point or limit your ability to use territory bonuses and place colonies. See the rules section on field generators for details.

End of the Turn

When you have docked all your ships on the board and used any alien tech cards that you wanted to use, your turn is over. Leave your ships as you have docked them until your next turn.

If you have more than eight total resource tokens at the end of your turn you must return your choice of excess tokens to the appropriate resource stocks.



End of the Game

Scoring is not cumulative. It is a snapshot of the current board and hand situation at any single point in time. Use the scoreboard to track the current standings throughout the game. Your score will fluctuate up and down as the game progresses, and each time circumstances change the scoreboard should be updated.

You score 1 victory point for:

  • Each of your colony tokens on a territory
  • Each territory you control
  • Having the Alien City card
  • Having the Alien Monument card
  • Controlling the territory with the Positron Field

The game ends as soon as one player places their last colony on a territory. Players tally up their victory points to verify the standings on the scoreboard, and the player with the most victory points wins.

If there is a tie, the tied players compare their number of alien tech cards to determine the winner. Persistent ties can be resolved by comparing ore tokens then fuel tokens. Still tied? Play again!


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