Friday, July 11, 2008

The Board:
Here is a picture of the physical board from the game this ruleset is based off of (click on the pictures for a larger view):

The board is composed of 3 different spaces: blank tiles, river tiles, and artifact tiles (marked by the winged creatures).

Here are a couple screenshots of the board in thousand parsec:

In this screenshot, each of the "tiles" of the board is represented as a system. The green and red systems at the bottom of the screen are each of the player's systems. They are used as a spot to hold each player's fleets when they are not in play on the board.

To see the three different tile types represented, we switch to resource view:

Here you can see the "river tiles" represented as small red circles. The "artifact tiles" are the larger red and blue circles. Since this adaptation is set in space, the river tiles are uninhabitable systems which can only be colonized by mining robots, and the artifact tiles are star systems which contain ancient alien artifacts.

Players may also create their own maps.

The Game Pieces:
Each player has a "hand" of 6 random building pieces, 4 leaders (one for each type of colonist), and 2 destruction tiles.

Here are what they look like in the real game:

The building pieces: Temple (red), Settlement (black), Farm (blue), and Market (green).

The leaders: 1 set of 4 for each player. Each set contains 1 leader per building type: Priest (red/temple), Merchant (green/market), Farmer (blue/farm), King (black/settlement).

Destruction pieces: Each player gets two of these. Each can be used once to destroy a tile and render it unusable for the rest of the game.

In the TP adaptation, the game pieces are fleets of ships. Each fleet represents a single game piece. All of your fleets are kept in your home system until you issue an order to them. Here is a sample home system:

Here you can see the player's hand of 6 Colonist fleets (building tiles), set of 4 leaders, and 2 bombers (destruction tiles). To match the setting, the leader's names have changed: Priest is now Scientist Leader, King is now Settler Leader, Farmer is now Mining Leader, and Merchant is now Merchant Leader.

Each colonists' type is hidden from other players, to find out the type of one of your colonists, you click on it and look at the type of ship in the fleet:

The four types of colonists are: Settler (Settlement), Mining (Farm), Merchant (Market), Scientist (Temple).


Each fleet has an order associated with it:

  • Colonists may colonize a system: this consumes the colonist and generates a resource of the colonist type on the system.
  • Leaders may move to occupy a system: this does not consume the leader. This order is used to harvest resources for points.
  • Bombers may destroy a star system. This removes all resources, leaders, and anything else in the system and prevents any further orders from being executed on that system.
All of these orders are performed by clicking on the fleet, selecting new order, and then selecting the star system you wish to perform the order on. If the system is not valid, then it will reset the input dialog and you must choose a different system. Here is a screenshot of the order dialog:

The game board, pieces, and orders are relatively simple. The real meat of the game comes in the rules to when and where you can execute the orders. But first, you have to understand regions...


Regions are a group of colonized or occupied (by a leader) systems. Each system in the region must be adjacent (north, south, east, or west... NOT diagonal) to at least one other system in the region. Here is an example:

Resource View:

Normal view:

In resource view, the red circles are colonized systems (the one with red/blue has an alien artifact). In the normal view, there is a leader in the upper right corner (marked in red). So all of the systems except the one in the bottom left corner are in the same region.

Brief overview of the rules:
  • Each player may execute 2 orders per turn.
  • A system may only be colonized if it is not occupied by a leader and has not yet been colonized.
  • Mining ships may ONLY colonize uninhabitable systems and these systems may not be colonized by any other type of ship.
  • Leaders may only be moved into an unoccupied, uncolonized, inhabitable system which is directly adjacent to a science colony.
  • There are 4 different "points" which each player can receive; one for each of the colonist types.
  • When a system is colonized, the player who owns the leader of the same type in the region of the new colony receives one point of that type. If there is no leader of the correct type then the owner of the Settler leader in that region gets the point. If there is no settler leader, then no one gets the point.
  • If there are two or more alien artifacts in the same region at the end of a turn, then the person with the Merchant leader in that region gets to take one of the artifacts. An alien artifact acts 1 point of a type of the player's choosing.
  • Leaders may not join two regions together.
  • If a leader is placed in a region which already contains a leader of the same type, internal combat is initiated (not yet implemented).
  • If two or more regions are joined and they contain leaders of the same type, then external combat is initiated (not yet implemented).
  • Combat is not yet implemented and is not covered in this rules overview.
  • At the end of each turn, each player's reserve of colonist ships is refilled to 6 randomly from a pool of ships.
  • When the pool of colonist ships is empty, the game is over.
  • When there are 2 or fewer alien artifacts left on the board, the game is over.
  • Each player's score is equivalent to the number of points in the type which they have the fewest points in. (the final score tally is not yet implemented).


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