Game Rules, Additions, and Errata

From time to time there may be additions or errata to the game rules since the last version of the player interface was released. Please check back here frequently for any such changes.

Game Rules Additions

Version 5.0 of the player interface was released on February 5, 2011.

The rules have allowed a few strategies which I, as the game designer, would prefer not to see continued. Therefore I have made some changes which will strengthen world defenses and make it more expensive to conduct all-out interstellar wars. There is a little bit of a balancing act going on here, as I wish to encourage more empire building without completely eliminating military options, but game one especially became something of a slug-fest.

If you have played previous versions of the game, the following are the major rule changes since the last version:

1. No builds allowed with a negative treasury. No changes to any orders or windows, but if a power has a negative treasury during the build phase at the time a world is attempting a build, then that world's build orders are changed to 'all production points to treasury' instead.

2. Maintenance costs for warships are doubled. Maintenance costs for transport ships are unchanged.

3. New army types:
A. Infantry - the old army is now called an infantry corps. This is the basic army unit to which all others are compared. The only change from previous versions is that when infantry are unloaded on a world which is not friendly/allied controlled, they are disordered for one turn, during which they may not be issued any orders and may not exert control. At the conclusion of the disordered turn, they regain full effectiveness.
B. Militia - militia are cheaper to raise, cheaper to maintain, and less effective than infantry. Militia may never be issued any orders (they always have 'return fire' orders). If a world has sufficient production capacity and population, up to two militia units may be raised in one turn. If a militia corps ever reaches veteran status, it is immediately 'promoted' to infantry corps. This promotion is an automatic game function, and no player orders are called for or allowed. Militia may never be transported off-world.
C. Cavalry - cavalry are slightly more expensive to raise than infantry, may only be raised on a fecund world, and require the world have a surface combat tech of 1 or more. Once constructed, cavalry may never be transported off-world. Cavalry are poorer on defense and better on attack than infantry and get a bonus when controlling populations. They excell at pograms. Maintenance costs are the same as infantry.
D. Armor - armored corps are three times as expensive as infantry, but they get both an attack bonus and a defense bonus as well as a control bonus. Armor requires the world to have a surface combat tech of 2 or more, and may not be transported off-world. Maintenance costs are the same as infantry.
E. Marines - space marines are twice as expensive as infantry, and may only be raised on a world with interplanetary tech of 2 as well as surface combat tech of 2 or more. Marines have an attack bonus, but defense is the same as infantry. They do not control as well as infantry, and are not very effective at pograms. Maintenance costs are the same as infantry. Marines may be transported off-world, and do not suffer any disorder when landed on hostile worlds. Marines may also conduct assault landings.

4. Army control points depend on army orders. Only armies ordered to 'return fire' get normal control points. Armies ordered to attack, board ship, or hold fire do not exert control points, while armies participating in pograms get a control point bonus.

5. If an IST or IPT is loaded with a marine corps at an enemy occupied world, then an assault landing may be conducted. Assault landings use up a ship's entire movement for a turn, and an enemy army corps must be designated as the target. The marines may attack this corps as they land. If the targeted corps has return fire orders, it may return fire at the attacking marines. If the ship conducting the assault is attacked, then it is treated as a non-moving target for the turn. If there is not an army corps to be attacked on the world in question, then an assault landing may not be conducted. Star liners may never conduct assault landings.

Game Rules Errata

No errata are current.

Game Turn Sequence

Knowing the actual sequence of play will help with planning in many cases. When the game turn is executed, the following actions are taken in sequence:

1. Power Maintenance Costs: The costs for maintenance of any ships and armies controlled by each power is subtracted from the power's treasury.

2. Power Life support Costs: The costs for life support of civilians on all worlds controlled by each power is subtracted from the power's treasury.

3. Power Research: The cost of any ordered research is subtracted from the power's treasury, and the results of that research are computed.

4. Power Public Works: The amount of public works expendature ordered for each power is subtracted from the power's treasury. If insufficient expendature has been ordered to keep the population content, then individual worlds may revolt at this time. The effects of assimilation on the populations of each world are also calculated at this point in the turn.

5. Power Diplomatic Functions: At this time, alliances are calculated, transfers of technology or treasury take place, and diplomatic messages are exchanged.

6. Ship Loading and Unloading: All ships ordered to unload have their cargos unloaded at this time. All ships ordered to load cargo will load at this time as well if loading conditions are met. Any ship which is already carrying a cargo and which loads a new cargo will always unload the original cargo before loading the new cargo.

7. Combat: The results of all attacks are calculated simultaniously. Units which were ordered to return fire will only fire if fired upon. Ships which load or unload will do so before the results of combat are calculated. Ships and armies may gain experience or learn new technologies as the result of combat.

8. Trade: Control of trading posts is determined, invalid trading posts are removed, and income from trade is determined.

9. Ship Movement: Ships surviving combat are moved to their ordered destinations. Ships with damage control technology may have some of their damage repaired at this time.

10. Ship and Army Experience: Ships and armies gain experience based on their longevity. Armies may also learn technologies by being present on worlds exhibiting that technology.

11. First Contact: Only uncontacted autonomous worlds are eligible for a first contact event; once contact has been acheived, no further first contact event may take place.

12. World Random Events: Every eligible world is checked for a random events. Only worlds with civilian populations are eligible for random events, and not all events are applicable to every world. Any distant colony revolt chances are calculated, and if a revolt takes place, the effects will be applied at this time.

13. World Builds: Each world is checked in turn for build status. Only resource points actually located on the world during the build phase are available for production (this does include resources unloaded by ships earlier in the turn). If building a unit and the unit is completed in this turn, the unit will be added to the world at this time. Any production points not actually used for production (as well as all production points from a world contributing all production to treasury) are added to the treasury of the power controlling the world as each world completes its production. Note that this does mean that if the controlling power does not have at least twenty treasury points at the time a world's build status is checked, then that world may not import industry from the treasury. Transfers of world control and grants of independance are also executed at this time.

14. World Mining: Each world extracts resources according to the resource mining rules. Resources are not available for any purpose on the turn of extraction.

15. World Repopulation: The populations of fecund worlds may increase at this time.

16. World Radiation: If a world is severly radiation damaged, the population of that world will take casualties at this time. Some radiation will dissapate on radiation polluted worlds.

17. World Control: All control points present on each world are calculated at this time, and the results of world control are applied.

18. World Technology Transfers: Any world ordered to receive a technology from its controlling power receives that technology at this time if eligible. Any world which changed control, either voluntarily or involuntarily, is not eligible for technology transfers.

19. Victory Points: The results of turn events are applied to the victory point and reputation point totals of each power.

Downloadable Game Rules

Player Interface Version 5.0

The game rules are designed to be viewed from within the player interface. However, players have requested that the game rules be made available for viewing and printing outside the game system. The links below will allow downloads of the rules exactly as they appear in the latest version of the player interface. The linked files are text documents which are not formatted for any particular word processing software, so you may need to adjust them for readability and printability.


Section 1 (Army Rules)

Section 2 (Power Rules)

Section 3 (Ship Rules)

Section 4 (Technology Rules)

Section 5 (World Control Rules)

Section 6 (Industry and Production Rules)

Section 7 (Resource Mining Rules)

Section 8 (Population Rules)

Section 9 (World Random Events)

Appendix A (Tables)

Designer's Notes and Hints

Scenario Rules

Questions and comments should be addressed to the game referee, or posted on the StarEmpires bulletin board.