«Object of the Game Each player controls a barbarian Star Empire represented by a variety of cards. Throughout the game, players will invade Worlds ...»
The ancient Galactic Realm, ruled from the Core Worlds
of the galaxy, is waning. The barbaric kingdoms that lie
beyond the galactic frontier are now amassing their
strengths, choosing this pivotal moment to strike at the
heart of the fading republic. They seek to establish new
empires built upon the ashes of decaying civilizations.
But these outer systems are not yet strong enough to
engage the forces of the Core Worlds directly. The young
kingdoms must first gnaw at the edges of the crumbling frontier, developing new types of units and shrewder tactics. They must build up their energy resources to launch magnificent fleets and overwhelming ground forces. Then, when the time is right, they must strike at the galactic core itself, claiming the most exalted planets for themselves. The barbarian kingdom that achieves these goals will carve out the greatest empire in the galaxy.
Object of the Game Each player controls a barbarian Star Empire represented by a variety of cards. Throughout the game, players will invade Worlds and draft new Units and Tactics into their Empires. Each card lists its Empire Points in the upper right corner. The player whose Empire contains the most Empire Points at the end of the game is the winner.
Number of Players Core Worlds is a deck-building card game for 2 - 5 players. It is strongly recommended that only experienced Core Worlds players play the 5-player game.
Game Terms Central Zone: Throughout the game, new cards are drawn from the five Galactic Decks and placed face up in the Central Zone, the game’s common play area. These cards include new Units and Tactics that the players can draft into their Empires, as well as Worlds that they can invade.
Empire: Each player represents an Empire that begins with a Home World and a Starting Deck. A player’s Empire consists of all of the cards in his hand, draw deck, discard pile, and Warzone.
Fleet Strength: Each World possesses a Fleet Strength that represents the starships that defend it from attack. A World’s Fleet Strength must be matched or exceeded in order for that World to be successfully invaded. Many Units possess a Fleet Strength that a player can use to invade a World.
Ground Strength: Each World possesses a Ground Strength that represents the infantry and other ground forces that defend it from surface assault. A World’s Ground Strength must be matched or exceeded in order for it to be successfully Invaded. Many Units possess a Ground Strength that a player can use to invade a World.
Invasion: In order to add new Worlds to his Empire, a player must launch Invasions. A player performs an Invasion by discarding enough cards from his Warzone to match the Fleet Strength and Ground Strength of the World he is invading.
Warzone: Each player’s Empire includes a Warzone, an area in front of the player where his conquered Worlds are displayed. Players also deploy Units from their hands face up into their Warzones, and later use these Units to invade new Worlds.
Component List 1 Round Marker 1 Destiny Marker 5 Player Boards 5 Action Markers 5 Energy Markers 12 Energy Tokens 3 Energy Surge Tokens 210 Cards:
5 Sector Cards 5 Home Worlds 5 Starting Decks (16 cards each) Galactic Deck 0 (12 cards) Galactic Deck 1 (24 Cards) Galactic Deck 2 (24 Cards) Galactic Deck 3 (24 Cards) Galactic Deck 4 (24 Cards) Galactic Deck 5 (12 Cards)
Round Marker As the game progresses, a Round Marker moves forward along the Sector Cards, carrying the players’ interests deeper into the galaxy. Each Sector consists of two Rounds. Each time the Round Marker moves into a new Sector, the players will draft cards and invade Worlds from the next Galactic Deck. The Sector Cards also display how many Actions each player can perform during each Round.
At the start of the game, the player with the lowest numbered Home World receives the Destiny Marker, which allows that player to take the first Action of the game. At the end of each Round, the Destiny Marker passes to the left, allowing each player a chance to act first during a subsequent Round.
Each player receives a Player Board which is used to keep track of his current Action and Energy totals (see right). The Player Board also includes helpful reference materials, including a Phase Summary, a list of Turn Options that can be performed during the Action Phase, and important information about each of the Core Worlds.
Action Markers Each Empire is limited to a certain number of Actions each Round. Players keep track of their Action Points by sliding their Action Markers back and forth on their Player Boards.
Energy Markers Energy is the currency of Core Worlds. Players keep track of their Energy totals by sliding their Energy Markers back and forth on their Player Boards. Each player’s Worlds generate Energy during every Round of the game. This Energy is then used to draft new Units and Tactics into each player’s Empire, as well as to deploy Units into each player’s Warzone.
Energy Tokens & Energy Surge Tokens
Special Icons Many Units and Tactics feature a Special Icon to the left of their Card Types.
At present, these Special Icons have no gameplay purpose but they will eventually be used in a future Core Worlds expansion.
1) Choose an area off to the side of the main playing area. Lay out the five Sector Cards in numerical order in a horizontal row as shown in the diagram on page 9. Leave a large space in the center of the table for the Central Zone where new Units, Tactics, Prestige cards, and Worlds can be placed during the Galactic Phase.
2) Place the Round Marker on top of the “1” space on the leftmost Sector Card.
3) Shuffle the five Worlds designated as “Home Worlds” in their card type (see right), and deal one randomly to each player.
6) Give each player 1 Player Board, 1 Action Marker, and 1 Energy Marker. Each player should place his Player Board on the table in front of himself, above the area designated for his Warzone. He should then place his Action Marker on the “4” space in the Action section of his Player Board, and place his Energy Marker on top of the word “Energy” in the Energy section of his Player Board (since the players start with 0 Energy). Return all unused Player Boards, Action Markers, and Energy Markers to the box; they will not be used during this game.
7) Separate the remaining cards into 11 face up stacks. The cards in each stack must contain the same Faction Symbol or Sector Number in the lower center portion of the card.
8) Give each player the stack of cards that share the same Faction Symbol as his Home World. The 16 cards in this stack form the player’s Starting Deck. Each player should shuffle his Starting Deck and place it face down on the table in front of himself, to the right of his Warzone. Note: Do not shuffle the Home Worlds into the Starting Decks; leave them face up as part of the player’s Warzone.
Return any unused Home Worlds, as well as their matching Starting Decks, to the box; they will not be used during this game.
9) If this is your first game of Core Worlds, place the stack of cards with the Sector Number of “0” back in the box. Variant Rules for using these “pregame draft cards” are included on page 16.
10) Shuffle each Galactic Deck separately; these cards are marked in the lower center with Sector Numbers I, II, III, IV, or V. Place each deck face down above its corresponding Sector Card (see diagram on opposite page).
11) Place the Energy Tokens in a pile beside the Central Zone.
12) When playing with 3 or 4 players, certain players will receive the Destiny Marker more frequently than others. The large Energy Surge Tokens are used to compensate the other players. The player who starts the game with the Destiny Marker is considered Player 1, with Player 2 to his left and so on clockwise around the table. In a 3-player game, give one Energy Surge Token to Player 2 and one Energy Surge Token to Player 3. In a 4-player game, give one Energy Surge Token to Player 3 and two Energy Surge Tokens to Player 4. When playing with 2 or 5 players, return the Energy Surge Tokens to the box; they will not be needed.
Playing the Game A game of Core Worlds takes place over the course of 10 Rounds. Each Round, the players participate
together during six phases:
1. Draw Phase - Each player draws cards from the top of his draw deck until he has 6 cards in his hand.
2. Energy Phase - Each player’s Worlds generate Energy.
3. Galactic Phase - The Central Zone is filled with new cards from the current Galactic Deck.
4. Action Phase - Each player takes turns performing Actions until all Action Points are spent.
5. Discard Phase - Each player discards his hand onto his discard pile (one card may be retained).
6. End Phase - The Round Marker is moved forward and the Destiny Marker is passed to the left.
At the end of the tenth Round, the player with the most Empire Points wins the game!
Draw Phase During the Draw Phase, each player draws cards from the top of his draw deck until he has 6 cards in his hand. If a player chose to retain one card during the previous Round’s Discard Phase (see page 14), then the player only draws 5 cards. Each player may pick up and view his hand, but should keep the contents of his hand hidden from the other players. The number of cards in each player’s hand is public information and cannot be hidden. If a player ever needs to draw a card when his draw deck is empty, he immediately shuffles his discard pile and places it face down beside his Warzone to form a new draw deck.
Each player draws one additional card during the last two Rounds of the game, as indicated on the corresponding Sector Card (Sector V: The Core Worlds).
Energy Phase Each player counts the total amount of Energy generated by all of his Worlds. The amount of Energy generated by each World is the number shown in the Energy Symbol in the card’s upper left corner (see World Cards on page 5). Each player slides his Energy Marker one space forward on his Player Board for each point of Energy generated by his Worlds. Note that all unused Energy from the previous Round should have been removed during the Discard Phase; players cannot accumulate Energy from one Round to the next.
After each player’s Worlds have generated Energy, each player, starting with the player holding the Destiny Marker and continuing clockwise around the table, must now declare whether he is boosting his Energy with one or more Energy Surges and/or through Energy Exploration (see below). A player may also use any other special abilities that he may have acquired that take place during the Energy Phase. After a player has decided whether or not to perform these optional activities during the Energy Phase, he cannot change his mind once his opponents have made their decisions.
Energy Surges: Each player with an Energy Surge Tactic card in his hand may now generate additional Energy if he chooses. As detailed on the card, a player playing an Energy Surge generates +2 Energy if at least one opposing player’s Worlds generate more Energy than his own. Otherwise, the Energy Surge generates +1 Energy. A player is permitted to play multiple Energy Surges during the same Round if he chooses. Note: Unlike Energy Surge cards, Energy Surge Tokens are used during the Action Phase, not during the Energy Phase (see page 14 for more information).
Energy Exploration: Each Home World’s card text provides an additional way to generate extra Energy, which can be especially useful early in the game. During the Energy Phase, each player may choose to discard any 2 cards from his hand to generate a total of +1 Energy.
A Note oN CArD text: Card text always states explicitly when and how it can be used. Unless the card states otherwise, its text can only be used once during each situation for which it qualifies. For example, a player can only use the card text on his Home World once during each Energy Phase to generate a total of +1 Energy. If any card text should ever contradict the rules of the game, the card text takes precedence.
Galactic Phase During the Galactic Phase, perform the following three steps in order. At the start of the first Round, there will be no cards in the Central Zone so the first two steps can be skipped.
1) Remove Cards with Energy: Remove all cards from the Central Zone that have an Energy Token on them. Return the Energy Tokens to their pile beside the Central Zone, and place the cards face down on top of their respective Galactic Decks.
2) Place Energy Tokens: Place one Energy Token on each remaining card in the Central Zone. If a player later drafts a Unit or Tactic with an Energy Token on it, or successfully Invades a World with an Energy Token on it, that player slides his Energy Marker one space forward on his Player Board and then returns the Energy Token to its pile beside the Central Zone.
3) Add New Cards: Draw cards from the top of the current Galactic Deck (the deck in the same Sector as the Round Marker) and place each drawn card face up in the Central Zone within view of all the players. Keep drawing cards until the total number of cards in the Central Zone matches the
number on the following chart:
# of Players Central Zone Cards After the number of cards in the Central Zone matches the number on the chart above, check to see if the number of Worlds in the Central Zone is at least equal to the number of players in the game. If not, keep drawing and placing cards from the current Galactic Deck until the number of Worlds is equal to the number of players. Then, check to see if the total number of non-World cards (Units, Tactics, Prestige) is at least equal to the number of players in the game. If not, keep drawing and placing cards until the number of non-Worlds is equal to the number of players.
For example, during a 4 player game, after adding new cards, there are 3 Worlds and 7 non-Worlds in the Central Zone. More cards must be drawn from the current Galactic Deck until there are at least 4 Worlds (i.e.