- 9-piece puzzle board
- 4 player placards
- 32 wooden starship discs
- 4 wooden battleship discs
- 28 wooden planet discs
- 10 wooden asteroid discs
- 2 sticker sheets
- 56 plastic troops
- 64 wooden pieces (research facilities cities and colonies)
- 50 VP tokens
- 4 range ruler tiles
- Tech track tokens
Object of the Game
Players travel across the universe, establishing colonies on uninhabited planets, once great worlds of ancient alien species. Players must defend themselves across the expanse of the universe from other hostile factions of human explorers.
Some players might even find ancient alien artifacts along the way that offer powerful technologies to serve in this new struggle for interstellar dominance. The player who gains the most victory by the end of the game will be considered the winner.
Assemble the nine different parts of the game board.
Each player takes a Homeworld of their color. These homewords and asteroids (if necessary) are placed face up in the gameboard holes as shown on page 3.
Each of the four quadrants receives a certain number and type of planets and asteroids depending on the number of players in the game. Refer to the chart on page 3 for how to set up the groups of planets. These groups of planets should be placed face down, mixed around, and then placed in each quadrant in the open holes of their assigned quadrant.
Each player takes a placard in their color. They place 6 troops in their Supply area and two Starships of their color in Orbit of their home planet (i.e., touching the shaded area around the planet).
The rest of the player's Troops and Starships are kept in the box until later.
Each player places a marker on level 0 of each color Technology track on their placard.
Each player also takes 4 Cities (towers), 4 Colonies (circles), and 8 Research Facilities (cubes) in their chosen color and places them next to their placard.
Place a number of VP tokens to the side of the game board, depending on the number of players. These numbers are: 2 players (32 VP), 3 players (36 VP), 4 players (40 VP)
Choose a starting player. Play will then continue clockwise.
The current player may perform one of the following actions:
- Recruit Troops
- Build a Structure
- Develop Technology
Note: Homeworlds are not considered Planets and as such, they cannot be mined, built on, attacked, or blockaded (see later). You may always recruit troops and launch ships from your Homeworld.
Action 1: Recruit Troops
Distribute up to 2 Troops among your Homeworld and any Planets you occupy. Troops can only be taken from your supply (not the box). The limit of items for each planet is 3.
You may also remove any number of Troops from Occupied (even Blockaded) Planets instead. These troops go back into your Supply.
Action 2: Move
You may spend up to 2 movement points. Both the Launch, Navigate, and Land options cost one movement point each.
Launch: return 1 Troop to your supply from an Occupied Planet and place a Starship from your supply into Orbit of that Planet.
Navigate: flick or strike (not push) one Starship in play. You may ricochet off other Planets. If your Starship hits an enemy Starship, this is called a Ram, and both Starships are destroyed and returned to their respective owner's supply.
Only the first two Starships that collide are destroyed. No points are earned for destroying a Starship through ramming.
When Navigating, if your ship stands on its edge and rolls, wait for the ship to stop moving. If it is still on the board, then the player to your left gently knocks it with their finger so that it falls with the sticker side up. If it rolls of the board, it's a Navigational Error! The ship is returned to your supply.
Land: return 1 Starship to your supply from the Orbit of a Planet and then place 1 Troop from your supply onto that Planet. You may not land on a Planet that is occupied by another player.
- If that Planet is face down, flip it over to reveal its color before placing your Troop on it.
- Each Troop adds 1 to the Defense value of the Planet it is on.
After spending your Movement Points, check to see if an Attack must be made.
Attacks occur after movement has been completed. Starships of the active player that are in position to attack must attack. They only participate in one attack only.
Attacks on Starships: if the active player has two Starships within short Range of an enemy Starship, then that enemy Starship is destroyed and return to their Supply. Use the Range ruler to determine range. The active player gains 1 VP for each enemy Starship they destroy.
Battleships: one of the technology advancements in the game can give a player a Battleship. This ship counts as 2 Starships when attacking. It takes 3 Starships within short range to destroy a Battleship. Destroying a Battleship earns the attacking player 2 VPs.
Attacks on Planets: If the number of Starships the active player has in orbit is greater than the Defense Value of that planet, then all items on that Planet are destroyed. The Defense Value of a planet depends on the number of items based on that planet (see later).
The active player receives 1 VP for each destroyed item from that Planet. Note that the active player may not attack a Planet if there are any other players' Starships in Orbit of the Planet.
Action 3: Mine
Remove 2 Troops from a single Planet and gain 1 VP, or remove 3 Troops from a single Planet and gain 2 VP.
Action 4: Build a Structure
You may build either a Research Facility, Colony, or City. Planets may have multiple types of each structure, however, you can never exceed the limit of 3 structures per planet.
Research Facility: To build, remove 2 Troops from the planet to your supply and then place a Research Facility on that Planet. Only one planet of yours may have (at most) 2 Research Facilities on it.
All other planets you control can only have 1. Note that if you are playing with Asteroids, they follow the same rules as Planets except that Research Facilities may never be built on them.
Colony: To build, return 1 Troop to your supply and place a Colony on that planet. A Colony has a Defense Value of 1.
City: To build, return 1 Colony and 1 Troop to your supply and place a City on that planet. A City has a Defense Value of 2. As a bonus, a player may add 1 Troop or 1 Starship to their Supply whenever they build a City.
Action 5: Develop Technology
Increase a Technology by 1 level. The following rules apply:
Technologies must be developed from lowest to highest.
The active player must have a number of Research Facilities equal to the Technology of the level being developed. These Facilities must be located on planets that match the same color as the new technology.
Note that you can never lose a technology that you have developed, even if later on in the game one of your Research Facilities is destroyed.
As a bonus, if you are the first to develop a type of technology, you receive VPs equal to the level of that technology. As well, once a Player has developed an entire row of Technology (e.g., all level 1 technologies), they will gain the bonus shown on the right side of the Technology Track.
Scan Planets and End of Turn
After taking your turn, you may secretly look at any of the face down planets that you are in orbit around. After looking, you must return the Planet(s) to their face down side.
The player to the left of the current player now takes their turn.
Blockaded and Defended Planets
An Occupied planet is Blockaded if at least one enemy Starship is in Orbit around it. The active player may not build, land, launch, recruit, develop technology, or mine on any planet they occupy that is being Blockaded.
A player cannot attack a Planet if there are any opponents' Starships in Orbit of the Planet. A Planet can be both Defended and Blockaded at the same time.
End of the Game
Once a player takes the last VP point from the pile, the current player will finish their turn and then all other players will have one last turn.
If any additional VPs are earned during the last round, these VP may be taken from the box.
Each player earns additional VPs based on planets and quadrant bonuses:
- 1 VP for each occupied planet and asteroid and each established Colony
- 2 VPs for each established City
- 3 VPs for having cities in 3 different Quadrants or 6 VPs for having cities in 4 different Quadrants.
The player with the highest total of VPs in the winner.
In case of tie, the player who took the most VPs during the game is the winner. If this is tied, the player who developed the most technologies will win.