A coop game with
real-time elements and limited communication for 2-10
players (optimally 3-5).
Story A spaceship with cryo-sleeping colonists is travelling through the galaxy in search for a new planet to inhabit. The ship is controlled by the most advanced AI ever built. But there are unexpected visitors. Aliens have entered the ship in search for mushy colonists to eat. They have gnawed the cables, so the AI has been split into several entities who can only communicate over the Intercom. What a mess!
Goal The game consists of one test mission and a campaign with five missions, which will gradually introduce new game concepts, aliens and weapons. Each mission has its own winning conditions. The faster the players meet these conditions, the more of their colonists will survive. The overall goal of the campaign is to bring as many colonists to their new home as possible.
Core concept The players collectively control a number of battle robots in order to defend the ship and its colonists against the attacking aliens. Each player can only do a specific set of tasks – one player may for example only be allowed to ‘move robots north’ and ‘pick up weapons’. Since no player can move the robots in all directions, it takes a lot of coordination between players to move around.
If you want a quick impression of the gameplay, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul_p8MChJGA
An inventory board A game board (the spaceship)
11 module cards
10 colonist markers A lot of alien markers
21 weapon markers
Plus a number of reference sheets. 4 colored robots 6 mission decks
Things may look different in the final version.
Game Setup Find the mission deck corresponding to your next mission. If you haven’t played before, start with the test mission. Place the spaceship on the table. Each mission starts with a completely blank map. All setup happens via the setup cards that are drawn from the mission deck at the beginning of each turn.
Module cards There are 11 module cards in the game, which allow the players who hold them to do certain things. Some of them also give a responsibility. Pick one player to be the time-keeper – the one who takes care of setup and time keeping during the mission (this role could move one step clock-wise after each mission, it’s up to you). Give this module card to the time-keeper: Deal out the rest of the module cards in this way: Continue clock-wise from the time-keeper and deal out these cards (shuffle them first):
Continue clock-wise and deal out these cards (shuffle them first):
If they have been introduced (which they haven’t in the test mission), continue clock-wise and deal out these cards (shuffle them first):
Each player puts his module cards visibly in front of him. It is a good idea to align the movement module cards (
) with the map (with north pointing in the same direction).
When the module cards have been dealt, the mission begins.
Game Play Each turn of the game is split into six main phases. The action phase is split into 3-4 sub phases. The symbol in the parenthesis shows the module that is responsible for the phase (explained later).
1. Draw setup card ( ) 2. Planning (ALL) 3. Robot Movement (ALL) 4. Action a. Robot Shooting ( ) b. Alien Movement ( ) c. Robot Shooting ( ) d. (Colonist movement – mission 3 ( ) ) 5. Check winning conditions ( ) 6. Debriefing (ALL) Communication Players are only allowed to communicate freely during the planning phase. The rest of the time, no communication is allowed. In other words, you cannot: -
Point. Write or draw messages. Do sign language. Communicate via farts, smoke signals or telepathy.
The time keeper keeps track of which phase you’re in and may start each phase saying “We’re now starting the planning phase” (or something like that), so everybody knows what is going on. You are allowed to point out, if somebody violates a rule. If you need to discuss or clarify a rule, ask the time keeper for a time out.
Now, each of the phases will be explained. 4
Phase 1: Draw setup card This is the phase where new aliens and weapons spawn, and robots are booted up. The time keeper draws the next setup card of the mission and executes it from the top. If there are any decisions to be made, he/she makes them without any communication with the others. The first card in the test mission looks like this:
This is what the different icons mean: Spawn weapons Pick the corresponding weapon markers, shuffle them and place them evenly in stacks on the chests (
) on the map with the top up.
ďƒ means take three markers and three on each of the six chests on the map.
markers, shuffle them and place one
There will always be 6, 12 or 18 weapons dealt out at the time, so dividing them evenly means 1, 2 or 3 markers in each chest. If there are already weapons on the chests, just place the new ones on top of them.
Add aliens to the pool Place the corresponding aliens in the bag. Example:
means take three
and place them in the bag.
Spawn aliens Draw alien counters at random from the bag and place them on the corresponding entrances marked with
1, 2, 3, 4 means draw four alien counters from the bag (one at the time) and place them at entrance , and . Boot up a robot Pick one of the robots and place it on one of the two spaces of the same color as the robot. If there’s more than one robot symbol, boot up as many robots. For example:
means boot up two robots. If there’s a box with a thick border at the bottom of the card, this is the requirements for winning the mission at the end of the round. This is explained later.
Phase 2: Planning This is the phase where the players can make their cunning plans. The time keeper starts the clock, and the players are now allowed to talk and communicate as much as they like for one minute. They may not touch the board or move any pieces. (Note: They may communicate via farts, smoke signals or telepathy, but talking will probably be easier.)
Phase 3: Robot movement This is the phase where the players can move the robots around, pick up weapons and get ready to shoot (and being attacked). The time keeper starts the clock, and for one minute players can do anything their module cards allow them, as many times as they like. This is important, so we better repeat it: As many times as they like. The biggest limitation on the robots movement is the playersâ€™ ability to corporate. Moving Players with a movement module card ( spaces in the appropriate direction.
) can pick up a robot and move it one or more
To move this robot down to the crate, first the player with the
-card must move it one step west,
then the player with the -card must move it to steps down, and finally the player with the card can move it to the crate.
Robots can only move through completely empty spaces. They cannot move through spaces with for example aliens or other robots.
Picking up weapons
If a robot is placed adjacent to a crate (
) with at least one weapon
counter on it, the player with the inventory module card ( ) can pick up the top weapon counter and place it into the inventory of the robot. In this game, adjacent always means up/down/left/right, not diagonally.
There are two sections of the inventory board. The top one is for ammo-weapons ( one is for one-time-use weapons (
), the bottom ).
If you pick up one of the ammo-weapons, place the weapon marker on the -space in the column with the same color as the robot. If you pick up one of the one-time-use weapons place the weapon marker on the -space in the lower box and in the column with the same color as the robot. Each robot is only allowed to have one ammo weapon and one one-time-use-weapon at the time. If it picks up a new weapon of the same category the old one must be discarded. Note: In the test mission, there are only ammo weapons.
During the robot movement phase you are allowed one form of communication: You may look at another player. This will usually mean â€œyou really need to be doing something, which only you can do.â€? Remember: no pointing or any other gestures.
Phase 4: Action This is the phase where all the shooting takes place, and the aliens move. The action phase is split into three sub-phases: A. Robot shooting B. Alien movement C. Robot shooting (again) Sub-phase A and C: Robot shooting The player with the shooting module card ( ) makes all decisions during this phase. Meanwhile he explains what he is doing, but not why. For example: “This robot is shooting this alien with this laser gun” not “I feel this one is the biggest threat, so …” The other players are not allowed to communicate back (not even by staring). If they disagree with the decisions, it’s just tough luck. Visible range
Each undamaged robot may fire their ammo-weapon once during each shooting-phase (as you’ll see later the one-time use weapons are not used during this phase). By default, the weapons can be fired at any alien within visible range. Visible range means: -
any space directly up, down, left or right (distance has no importance) or any space within the same room is (rooms are marked with thick borders).
If aliens are placed behind each other orthogonally (straight up/down/left/right), only the first one is in visible range. The other is blocked:
Robots can shoot through other robots (
Example: To sum up, on this map, the black aliens are in visible range of the robot in the top left corner. The grey ones are not.
Each weapon has a unique ability. For the first mission, you need to know these two:
The reflector allows you to shoot around one corner. The way there still has to be unblocked by other aliens, though.
The shot from a ray-gun continues through aliens and hit those standing behind as well, when you shoot straight up, down, left or right.
After shooting, move the weapon marker one space down on the inventory board, for example from to . If it was already at the -space, discard it. We have lost contact to the reload module, so thereâ€™s no need to keep the weapon when itâ€™s out of ammunition. In the test mission, all aliens are killed with one shot by any weapon. Remove killed aliens from the board.
Sub-phase B: Aliens move
The player with the alien module card ( ) does all the moving and takes all decisions during this phase. If necessary, he explains what he is doing (but still not why). The aliens move according to these rules: The aliens always move orthogonally (up/down/left/right) towards the nearest undamaged robot. â€˜Nearestâ€™ simply means the robot that is the fewest spaces away. They move as many spaces as the number on their marker says. The fastest aliens move first. Apart from that, the order is up to you. Note: If there are no undamaged robots (or other targets) left, the aliens stand still.
Aliens can move through other aliens, but cannot end their move on top of them. If they do, they continue their move until they reach an empty space!
If there are more than one robot equally close to an alien, or if there are more than one route equally fast, the player with the alien module card ( ) choses which way the alien moves. Note: The player moving the aliens is still on your team, so when he has a choice of movement, he should choose what is best for you.
If an alien reaches (or starts on) a space adjacent to a robot, that robot is immediately damaged. The alien doesnâ€™t use any moves to do this. Lay down the robot piece on its side to show that it is damaged. Damaged robots cannot do anything. We have lost contact with the repair module for now, so be careful. The alien continues its movement towards the next closest undamaged robot.
Note: Aliens only attack robots during their movement, so you can safely stand beside them if you intend to kill them before they get to move.
Aliens can move through damaged robots just like they move through other aliens and also cannot end their turn them.
Phase 5: Check winning conditions If there is a black box at the bottom of your setup-card, and the winning conditions in this are met and at least one robot is undamaged, the mission is successfully completed. If not, continue to next round and draw a new setup card. Except if the card says “Else: mission lost”. In this case, you’ve failed the mission. Don’t cry. In space, no one can hear you cry anyway. If it was the test mission, just clear the board and restart the mission. Or continue to the next mission, if you feel ready.
Phase 6: Debriefing The debriefing phase is optional. Here you can talk about what happened (what went wrong and why), and clarify the rules, if some questions has turned up. It is recommended for new players and new teams. But don’t use it as an extra planning phase.
You are now ready to play the test mission.
Mission 1 Do you feel ready to begin the campaign? Then you’ll need to learn about colonists and how to repair robots. You also need to be familiar with two new weapons and two new aliens. And you need to know about hitpoints.
Colonists Take 10 colonist markers ( ) and place them next to the spaceship. These are the colonists, you are trying to bring to a new home. It is your job to protect them. When you check winning conditions at the end of a round, a card may say “Else: ”. This means that you remove as many colonist markers from the game as shown (if you didn’t complete the mission that turn).
New modules When dealing out the module cards, include the repair module card ( weapons module card (
) and the one-time-use
Repairing When a robot is damaged, it can be repaired by another robot during the movement phase. During this phase, if an undamaged robot is standing adjacent to a damaged robot, the player with the repair module card ( ) may raise the damaged robot piece. It is now undamaged and can be moved around again. Repair via setup cards
symbol on a setup card means, that you can immediately repair one damaged robot of your
choice. If there is more than one
, you may repair the corresponding amount of robots.
Grenades The player with the one-time-use weapons module card (
) is responsible for throwing grenades
(but not for picking them up, this is still done by the player with the inventory module card ( This will be explained later.
Youâ€™ll notice that this alien has two shield symbols instead of one. This means that is has two hitpoints and must take two damage during one turn in order to die. The damage may be given in different phases (for example during shooting phase A and C). This particular snake alien also has a nasty special ability. At the end of the phase where it died, after all damage has been dealt, you place one small snake at each empty space adjacent to it:
Luckily, the smaller snakes donâ€™t turn into more snakes when shot, they just die. Pew!
New weapons This weapon gives two damage. So for example it Sniper rifle
with one shot.
The player with the one-time-use weapons module card ( ) can throw grenades. This is done during the movement phase, not during the shooting phases! The grenade can be thrown by the robot to any space within visible range â€“ ignoring all obstacles (it can be thrown OVER aliens). Take the grenade marker (
) from the inventory and place it with
the black side up on the map ( ). You may throw it on a space occupied by an alien or obstacle (or robot). To make clear what you are doing, make a throwing gesture from the robot to the place where the grenade lands. The grenade explodes as soon as the movement phase is over. It gives damage to all aliens within visible range. All robots within visible range are also damaged (and they count as blocking vision). If the grenade has landed on the same space as an alien or robot, this does not block the vision in any direction.
You are now ready for mission 1. Good luck.
Mission 2 Before playing mission 2, you need to learn about teleportation, Queens and two new weapons.
New modules When dealing out the modules, include the teleport module card (
Teleportation When a robot stands on a space with the same color as itself, the player with the teleport module card ( ), may move the robot directly to the other space with the same color.
This is the queen, and sheâ€™s a meany. Apart from having three hitpoints, she has a habit of spawning new aliens. At the beginning of each turn, when the setup card says
, add a new alien counter of this
type on top of the queen. This alien immediately has its own little movement phase, where it can move towards robots (and damage them), like this:
This weapon can shoot at all aliens within visible range at once (and you still only use one ).
Machine gun 1.
The player with the one-time-use weapons module card ( ) can setup mines. This is done during the movement phase. Take the mine marker (
) from the inventory and
place it with the black side up ( ) on an empty space adjacent to the robot. The mine is activated when an alien steps on it. It explodes at the end of the alien movement phase, if an alien has stepped on it during that phase.
It may also be activated by: - An alien spawning from a queen. In this case, it explodes right after all spawned aliens have moved. - A colonist (relevant in mission 3). In this case, it explodes right after all colonists have moved. Robots have built in safety software that prevents you from moving them over mines. The explosion works as a grenade, except it does two damage to all aliens.
You are now ready for mission 2. Good luck.
Mission 3 Before playing this mission, you need to learn about awaken colonists and sentry guns. There are also one new alien.
Awaken colonists Split your surviving colonists into three piles of as similar size as possible. For example five colonists are split into two piles of two and one pile of one. When the setup card shows a , take one of the piles and wake up the colonists in this pile one by one by placing them on an empty teleporter space (the eight colored spaces). In the rare case that there are no empty teleporter spaces left, you may place the colonist on an empty space adjacent to a teleporter space. Colonists vulnarabilities
Colonists are attacked by aliens just like robots (aliens move towards the closest colonist or robot). They are also vulnerable to weapons and they block aliens from view, if they stand in the way. One thing though: They are capable of moving out of the way of a robot. So robots can move through colonists (but not end on top of them). When a colonist is attacked or shot, remove the marker from the board (the colonists are made of meat and cannot be repaired like normal robots). However, an alien attacking a colonist does not move any further that round â€“ as it will be busy eating instead. Colonist movement
At the end of the action phase (after all robot shooting and alien movement), the player with the alien module card ( ) moves the colonists one at the time (the order is up to you). They are in panic and cannot plan ahead. This means that even though they have speed 3, they move one space at the time. Each of these moves much bring them as far away from aliens AND robots as possible â€“ or equally far. Example: This colonist will end its move at space A. Not space B or C (because this would require the colonist to make one move that brought it closer to the alien before moving away again).
Colonists only regard the aliens and robots that are in their visible range or has just been in visible range (they donâ€™t immediately forget an alien when they move around a corner). Example: This colonist will end his move at space A, even though he cannot see the alien from space B.
If colonists can see a door ( ) theyâ€™ll move towards it. However they can only see a door in a straight line north/south/east/west (and only if it is unblocked). Example: Colonist A can see the door. Colonist B cannot.
If they stand on a space with a door next to it, they can use one move to enter. They politely close and lock the door behind themselves, and no more colonists can enter through this door. Place the colonist marker face down on top of the door to show this. If a colonist lands on another colonist, it gets one more move, until it reaches an empty space.
If colonists cannot see any aliens or robots, they may move one space in any direction, you choose.
The player with the one-time-use weapons module card (
)can setup sentry guns. Take
the sentry marker (
) from the inventory
and place it with the black side up ( empty space adjacent to the robot. Sentry gun
) on an
The sentry gun can shoot at one alien within visible range during each shooting phase and give one damage. The aliens and colonists regard it as a robot. When the sentry gun is damaged, remove it from the board (it takes damage from the same things as robots). Once the sentry has been placed, it cannot be moved.
This guy has no special abilities, apart from being extremely ugly.
Additional planning time From now on, you have two minutes instead of one for each planning phase. You still only have one minute for movement, though.
You are now ready to play mission 3.
Mission A/B How many colonists did you bring to safety in mission 3?
Colonists saved 0
Everything has gone wrong. The purpose of our existence is gone! The campaign is over. Read about ‘time reversal’ in the ‘Campaign score’ section. We’ve only got male colonists left. It’s pretty hard to start a new civilization without females.
But we’ve received a distress-call from a strange planet. A former colonist ship has crash-landed on the planet and only female colonists survived. We’ll come to the rescue! Play Mission A.
Jump directly to Mission B.
Mission A You only need to learn about one new alien to play this mission:
This guy is very hungry. So hungry in fact, that if he passes (adjacently) or moves over another alien, he eats it. This gives him a boost of energy and he moves one extra space for each alien consumed.
If you run out of colonists, you’ve failed the mission, and the campaign is over (read about ‘time reversal’ in the ‘Campaign score’ section). If you succeed the mission, add two colonists to your stack and continue to mission B.
You are now ready to play mission A.
Mission B Before playing this mission, you need to learn a little about where queens come from. This requires knowledge about two new aliens.
New aliens These guys
turn into tumors
which turn into queens. When the setup card says When the setup card says
, remove all
and replace them with
, remove all
and replace them with
Play until you succeed the mission or lose all your colonists.
You are now ready to play mission B.
Campaign score You have reached your destination, ready to build a new civilization! Your final score for the campaign is the amount of colonists, you have left.
Time reversal If you want to increase your score, you are in luck: We still have contact to our time-reversal module. This allows you to reverse time. You can go back and play from the beginning of the campaign, or you can go back and play from where things started to go wrong. Just reverse time and play with as many colonists as you had left when you originally played the mission. Have fun ď Š.