Microcosm is a deck building game where the aim is to have more influence than your opponent at the end of the game. Influence can be earned by:
- Owning colonies
- Owning spoils
- Owning capitals
- Researching technologies
- Collecting red, yellow, green or purple Domain cards, Colonies or Spoils
You score influence at the end of the game, determined by the scoring conditions you have managed to add to your deck and from the Colonies and Spoils that you own.
As the game progresses, your player area in front of you, will comprise of:
- Played Card: The current Domain card you have played and are resolving. Face up.
- Colonies: Planets acquired by playing a Colonize action. Face down unless revealed.
- Discards: Cards you have already played and resolved. Face up.
- Spoils: Planets or Colonies won by successfully performing a Warfare action.
- Technologies: Technologies that you have acquired. Face up
You start the game without any cards in your hand and will gradually build your own deck of cards as the game progresses.
Each turn consists of 2 phases. Beginning with the starting player, take it in turn, to perform the following 2 phases:
Either take one of the 3 face up cards in the supply, replacing the taken card with the top card from the draw deck. OR If you don’t like what is available from the supply, then you may take the top card from the draw deck instead.
Play an action by placing a card from your hand in front of you and resolving the text on the card. Then place the card in your discard pile. OR Pick up some or all of the cards in your discard pile and put them into your hand.
In Phase 2, when picking up discards you may pick up as many as you wish. You don't have to pick up the whole discard pile. There are some cards that are useful to leave in your discard pile.
When the draw deck is exhausted, continue play without refilling the supply. After the last card is drawn from the supply, the active player finishes their turn and the game ends.
Players collect all cards from their hands and discard piles (keep your colonies and spoils separate) and determine their Influence:
- The Influence calculated from each scoring condition shown on your Domain cards
- The Influence shown on any Colonies and Spoils owned
The sum of these is your final Influence score. The player with the most influence wins. In the case of a tie, the player who played second wins.