A simple Tabletop game of space exploration and combat
By Sean Patten

Star Crashers is a friendly game for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up.  Each turn, players move their spacecraft around the table, exploring by flipping over Blip Counters that could be Space Pirates, Gravity Mines, Derelict Ships, and stranger things!   When a player successfully deals with an encounter, they collect Credits as specified in the encounter.  Once all the Blip Counters have been revealed and dealt with, the game ends- the player with the most credits wins.  You can also try playing teams, pairing up with another player and combining your credits to see which team can earn the most!

To play Star Crashers, you will need:

Before you can play, you'll need to get set up for a game.  Place SCENERY on the table.  Place a STARBASE  in the center of the board.    Players must agree on how many POINTS worth of SHIPS to use (7 points is a good number). All the players should take the same points amount of ships- see the SHIPS section below for points values.

Then players select their ships and choose a place to sit at the table. All players must start from the starbase in the middle unless otherwise noted.  Try playing teams, with two players per team sharing one fleet of ships!

 Finally, shuffle the blips, and draw out some blips without looking at them- a good number is (# of points) x (# of players).  For example, 3 players playing 7 points of ships would draw 21 blips.  Place the blips face down, spread out evenly across the entire table, and at least 1 stick away from the starbase.  Blips should only be placed on the table and not on top of  scenery (but nearby scenery is okay).

When you're ready to start, have each player roll two dice- whoever has the highest roll goes first, and turns continue around the table in a clockwise order.  If playing teams, stagger the players so teams alternate.

When it's your turn, you may do TWO things with each of your SHIPS.  These things are called ACTIONS.  Finish both actions with one Ship before you start with the next.  Continue until ALL of your Ships have done two actions (or chosen to do nothing).  Then it's the next player's turn!

After the last player's turn is the ENEMY TURN.  If there are any Enemies on the table during the enemy turn (such as Space Pirates,  Mines, or the Leviathan), they will usually move towards and attack the nearest Ship (see the Encounter Blips section for details).   Once all the Enemies have gone, it's back to the FIRST player's turn.

Continue taking turns around the table until all of the Blips have been dealt with.  Then the game ends.  The player or team who collected the most credits wins!  A small game takes about 30 minutes.  You might have time to play another game- just shuffle the Blips, put them out and start again!

Ships have some interesting features that tell how they will work during a game. TRANSPORT
Any ship with a transport value may carry small ships (marked *) instead of starting them on the board.  Note that this can dramatically extend the range of your smaller ships!  To represent a small ship on board, you can place the small ship underneath the large one. SPACE STATION
Any ship adjacent to the SPACE STATION may automatically repair ALL damage at the end of its move.  Should a space station ever be attacked for any reason, it rolls 5 dice.

Ships do things by performing ACTIONS.  Unless crippled (see damage below), a ship can perform TWO actions each turn.  It may perform the same type of action TWICE if they wish!  For example, in one turn a Ship could move two times.  Here are all the types of actions Ships can perform:

Ships can attack with a SHOOTING attack or by RAMMING.  Unless using the Adversity rules (see advanced rules below), players may not attack each other- only enemies (such as pirates). To see who won, compare the dice rolls.  Don't add your rolls together- instead, notice what number was rolled on EACH of your dice.  Whoever has a die with the HIGHEST number on it wins.  In the case of a tie, compare the NEXT HIGHEST dice, and so on until the winner is determined (or it is a tie).  For example, an attacker that rolls 6 and 1 will beat a target that rolls 5 and 5, because the 6 is the highest roll.  An attacker with three dice that rolls 3, 2, 1 will beat an defender that rolls 3, 2 because the attacker's die that rolled 1 is still more than nothing (so having more dice is a big help).  An attack can do MULTIPLE hits- if more than one of the attacker's dice rolls higher than the defenders highest die, do a hit for each die that is higher.  Remember that some Ships may REROLL ONE of their dice during combat.  They must stick with the second roll even if it is worse than the first roll.  You can read more about how contested die rolls work by reading this page. DAMAGE
Ships can be damaged as a result of combat.  When a ship is damaged, REMOVE ONE OF ITS DICE.  If the ship only has one die left, it becomes CRIPPLED.  Crippled ships may only spend 1 action per turn, and may only move, repair (themself or others), or board.  No one may attack a crippled ship, and crippled ships cannot reveal or resolve blips.

Anyone can attempt to REPAIR a damaged or crippled ship by spending an action adjacent to it, or may attempt to repair themself.   Each die that rolls a 5 or 6 means 1 point of damage has been repaired.  Ships repairing may always roll their full dice, even if they are damaged.  Crippled ships are restored to 1 die when repaired.  If a crippled ship has not already spent an action on the turn it is repaired, it may take two actions after being repaired as normal.

STAR CRASHERS is an explorative game, where your fleet must face the unknown- represented by Blip Counters of course!  Blips start face down.  To FLIP a blip, a ship must TOUCH it as part of their MOVE.  A blip cannot be flipped unless the ship revealing it is MOVING!  It does not take an action to flip a blip (but it takes an action to Move, of course).  Flipping a blip ends the ship's' move.  They may take another move afterward if they have another action to do so.  Blips can be dangerous, but they can also earn you credits if you deal with them properly!

ADVANCED BLIPS.  These are special types of encounter blips that can be added to the normal deck before being placed on the board, if the players agree to include them.  Print one page of these blips.

Players may try out any of the following advanced rules.  These rules are optional, and all players must agree to the use of any of these advanced rules before the game starts if they are to be used. ADVANCED SHIP TYPES.  Players must agree to the use of any of these special ship types before you play them. 
Q SHIP 2 2 1 Can damage if it wins while  defending!
WARPSHIP 1 1 * May drop 1 warp buoy (see below).
WARPSHIPS: A Warpship may drop a Warp Buoy at any time during its move.  Only 1 buoy can be out at a time, so remove any placed buoy before placing it in a new location.  ANY ship (friend or foe), during its move, may WARP from the Warp Ship to the Buoy or from the Buoy to the Warp Ship!   You may warp into or out of a Raystorm or a Black Hole, but this will NOT count as an escape (the card remains in play until a ship is rescued or escapes through traditional means).

Try one of these special scenarios to add a new twist to your game!  More special scenarios will be added soon, so check back periodically.

Prisoners have busted out of the penal colony on Zebra 6, intent on stealing your ships and making good their escape!

[] Treat AMBUSH BLIPS as escaped prisoners!  When an Ambush blip is revealed, the prisoners will attempt to board your ship.  They roll 2 dice as an attack- if they lose, you have successfully subdued them- earn 1 credit.  BUT if they win, they take over your ship (instead of damaging it).  Keep the blip with the ship to indicate that it is taken over.

The fleets have stumbled upon a Space Sargasso!   Hulks from across time and space drift about this eerie place...

SETUP. This scenario plays best with small fleets- try 5 points per player but place an extra 2 blips per player.

SPACE STATION starts DISABLED- it cannot be used until it is reactivated.  To do this, treat as a boarding attempt on a derelict ship.  If successful, earn 1 credit, and the Space Station can then be used (for repair, selling derelicts, etc).

[] Treat all SALVAGE blips are treated as DERELICT blips instead!

Pirates have taken control of the Space Station, and are shooting down anyone that comes near!

SETUP. Players start at a board corner.  Be sure there is at least 1 comet blip mixed into whatever blips are placed.  Place cover-providing terrain evenly about the board so players can have an equal chance to advance on the space station under cover!

SPACE STATION cannot be used by anyone until it is subdued (they must hang onto Emissaries and Derelicts, can't get repaired, etc).   The Space Station rolls FIVE dice and has five hits.  Anyone damaging the Space Station earns a CREDIT for each HIT, plus whoever does the FIRST hit earns a bonus credit!  If a COMET appears, the station will target all attacks against the comet.  If the comet hits the station, it automatically does 1 hit, and whoever revealed the comet gets credit for the hit!

[] SALVAGED AMMUNITION: To aid in attacks against the Space Station, whenever a player successfully salvages, they should take the blip card in addition to any credits earned.   At any time during an attack on the Space Station, a player may trade in the Blip Card in exchange for an additional 1 die for that attack!  They may add as many dice as they have blip cards, but must discard the cards after using them.

The largest Pirate Fleet ever assembled has siezed the Blood Nebula, destroying all who resist.  Now a desperate band of civilians must find a way out...

SETUP. Players may NOT start with the following ship types, as they have been wiped out by pirates:  Battleship, Carrier, Destroyer, Bomber.  Players start at the ravaged Space Station.  Consider using the advanced Goodwill rules, and even the Galleon of Death rule for this scenario, if you dare...

SPACE STATION has been ravaged by pirate raids, and cannot repair ships.  It can receive Derelicts and Emissaries though, and it also makes good cover (see HIDING below).

[] Any SALVAGE blips found are treated as a CRIPPLED WARSHIP from your fleet instead.  Roll a D6 to determine the type of ship: 1, 2, 3 = Bomber. 4= Cruiser. 5= Battleship. 6= Carrier.   If no more ships of that type are available, choose the next lowest (or next highest if there are no bombers left).  If no more ships are available for your fleet, place a ship from another player's fleet of your choice.  (consider using the GOODWILL special rule here to earn some extra credit).  Leave the blip there until the ship is activated. Once you have repaired at least one hit on the ship (at least two hits for Carrier and Battleship), you may ACTIVATE it by spending an action.  Then that fleet owner may use the ship for the rest of the game!

[] Any RAYSTORM blips found are treated as ESCAPE ROUTES instead- a way out of the Blood Nebula!  The ship who reveals it earns 1 credit.  Leave the revealed blip on the board.   Any ship that moves into a RAYSTORM blip may choose to LEAVE the board, including crippled ships.   Once a ship leaves, it cannot return.  However, you will earn one credit for every ship that you can get out of the blood nebula.  EMISSARY and DERELICT owners may consider an ESCAPE as equivalent to being turned in at the space station.

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