Small Space - Rules
Objective: Manage your researchers to gather resources and colonize the most planets.
PLEASE NOTE: If you purchased your game from our print-on-demand provider, your cards may not have arrived sorted! Before you begin setup, take a moment to sort the cards into their separate decks by card backs.
Give each player the dice (Colony Counters) and meeple (Researchers) of their color, as well as 3 black dice (Technology Counters). Place the white, orange, and purple Resource Cubes within easy reach. Next, each player should take a Terraform, Space Marines, and Plague Virus Technology Card and place it in front of them.
Place the three colored Research Station Cards face-up in the center of the table. Shuffle and deal out three Planet Cards face-up next to them, keeping the Planet Deck nearby.
Players should each roll a die. The player who rolled the highest should place one of their Researchers on a Research Card. Players should then alternate placing Researchers until both players have placed both Researchers. There are no restrictions to the number of Researchers on each card.
On their turn, players will each Gather Resources and then perform up to two other actions; Use Technology or Colonize.
Gather Research Phase: The active player must move one of their Researchers from the Research Card it is currently on to a different Research Card. Upon doing so, both players collect Resource Cubes of that color equal to the number of Researchers on that card. Players may have no more than 5 Resource Cubes of a single color in their possession at once.
Use Technology Phase: If desired, the active player may next spend 1 Resource Cube of any color to research a technology. This allows them to place or increment a Technology Counter die on their Technology Card of the matching color. Counters that have been newly placed on a Technology card always start at one. Each subsequent time that Technology is researched, increase the face value of the die by 1.
Note the numbers on the arrows on each Technology Card. These numbers indicate when the Technology can activate. Upon incrementing the Counter to that number, immediately apply the effect described on the card.
Once you have activated a given Technology card twice, flip it over and return its Counter to the tin. It can no longer be used.
Colonization: Much like researching Technology, players may spend the Resource Cubes they have collected to place and increment Colony Counters on Planet Cards. Players may not place both of their Colony Counters on the same planet and a planet’s total population may not exceed its maximum population listed on the Planet Card.
Once a planet is fully populated, the player with the majority population on the planet wins the card and places it in front of them for final scoring. All Colony Counters on that card are returned to their respective players and a new Planet Card is revealed.
Game End & Scoring:
The game ends when 5, 7, or 9 planets have been populated (depending on desired game length). At the end of the game, the player whose planets have the highest total point value is the winner.