The object of the game is to be the player who can connect a line of 5 stars horizontally or vertically (not diagonally). The game end is also triggered when a player reaches 12 stars.
Each turn: Each player begins with one designated bonus colour (or 2 colours for 2 player games) and an individual player board (all different). The player with the red colour button rolls first. There is one white die with gold pips, and 5 black dice, one with a gold pip. The player who rolled chooses a combination of the white die and one of the black die. Where those intersect on their board, they can place a button from the supply. The other players have the OPTION to use the combination of the white die and the black die with the gold pip.
- Strategy Tip: Each button you place on the board 'blocks' horizontally and vertically adjacent locations from being available for buttons on future turns during the round. Thus, the more buttons you have, the more locations are blocked for placement.
Once every player has made their placement decisions, the dice are handed to the next player to roll. The player can choose to either roll OR, if they have placed at least one button on their board, they can choose to opt out.
(1) If a player rolls the dice, they MUST place a button on an eligible intersection. If they are unable to do so, they bust out, and all the buttons they have placed so far are returned to the supply. The player also takes one of the black dice (without the gold pips) until the end of the round. Any remaining players will have 1 less black die available to roll.
(2) When a player opts out, they will get 1 star at the end of the round. The player who opts out also takes one of the black dice (without the gold pips) until the end of the round. Any remaining players will have 1 less black die available to roll.
End of each round: When all of the players have either busted out or opted out, stars are awarded from the supply.
(1) A star is awarded for successfully opting out
(2) A star is awarded for each colour that you covered with at least 3 buttons during your turn (N.B. more than 3 buttons do not provide any further points)
(3) A bonus star is awarded for each of your bonus colours that you covered with at least 3 buttons during your turn
Stars can be placed to replace any of the buttons placed during this round. After stars are placed, any remaining buttons are returned to the supply. Each player transfers their designated bonus colour tokens to the next player. The player that now has the red bonus token starts the subsequent round.
Players will roll as they did during the first round, with the same button placement restrictions. You will be able to place new buttons adjacent to stars. However, you can not place buttons on top of stars.
- Strategy Tip: Since there is only a single white die, aiming to make a horizontal line can set you up for more frequent bust outs compared to vertical lines.
Ending and Winning the Game: The game ends when a player connects a line of 5 stars horizontally or vertically (not diagonally). If 2 or more players connect a line of 5 stars at the end of the same round, the player with the most stars wins the tie.breaker. There is no further tie-break.
If no one connects a line of 5 stars, a player who places 12 stars triggers the end of the game. The player with the most stars wins the game. There is no further tie-break.
In the BGA implementation: 100 points are awarded for connecting 5 stars in a row, so the game simply ends when someone has 12 or more points.