In Spyrium, each player leads an industrial conglomerate. Players will score victory points by constructing buildings, employing their workers in them, patenting techniques, and by calling on special characters. The player with the most points at the end of 6 turns is the winner.
Spyrium takes place across 6 rounds (which are referred to in this game and for the remainder of these rules as "turns"), which are split into 3 periods. Period A takes place across turns 1, 2, and 3, Period B takes place across turns 4 and 5, and Period 6 takes place across turn 6. Each period has a unique deck of cards, and 9 cards from that turn's period are dealt out into a 3x3 tableau to form the market at the start of each turn.
Each player begins the game with 3 workers, 2 Spyrium crystals, and £8. Each player also begins with a token on the 2 space of the Residence track in the middle of the game board.
At the beginning of each turn, each player earns income based on their token's position on the Residence track, so at the beginning of turn 1, each player will gain £2. The top card of the event deck is also placed onto the Current Event space (bottom right) of the game board, revealing the event underneath as the Future Event (bottom left) that will become active next turn.
Starting with the start player, each player will perform one action, continuing in turn order until all players have passed, at which point the turn will end. There are 2 phases to each turn: Placement (Phase I) and Activation (Phase II). The phase that a player is in determines which actions they are permitted to take. The phase that a player is in is independent of that of any other player; some players may be in Phase I while others may be in Phase II. A player may choose to move to Phase II during their action, but may not return to Phase I at any point during that turn.
These are the actions that a player may take:
- Place a worker: The player places one of their unused workers between any two cards in the market, or between a card and an empty card space. They may not place a worker on the outside border of the board. There is no limit to the number of workers that a space between cards may hold.
- Activate the event: The player places a token on the Current Event card, and carries out the action listed on that event card. If there are multiple options on the card, the player chooses only one to follow. Each player may only activate the Current Event once per turn.
- Move to Phase II: The player moves their token to Phase II and immediately activates a Phase II action.
- Gain money: The player removes one of their previously placed workers from the market, and chooses a card adjacent to the space where that worker was. For each remaining worker next to that card, the player gains £1 from the bank.
- Activate a card: The player removes one of their previously placed workers from the market and chooses a card adjacent to the space where that worker was, to activate the card. The player must pay an activation cost of £1 to the bank for each remaining worker next to that card, in addition to any other activation costs for the card. If the card is:
- A worker (tan background) - Gain the benefit, or pay the cost to acquire the benefit listed on that card. The player does not acquire the card.
- A technique (green background) - Pay £6 to acquire the technique card. These cards provide an ongoing benefit during the game, as well as an opportunity to score bonus points (up to 7) at the end of the game.
- A building (blue background) - Pay the cost listed in the top right corner of the card to acquire the card. The building card must be placed into a building space in the player's personal area. The cost to purchase a building space is equal to the number of buildings that the player has already built. Thus, the first building space is free, the second one is £1, the third one is £2, etc. A player may, instead, discard an existing building to place the newly-acquired building in its building space without having to pay for the space. Furthermore, if the building being discarded has an icon at the top that matches an icon on the newly-acquired building, the cost of the newly-acquired building is discounted by £3.
- Use a building - The player may activate one of the buildings that they have acquired, paying the cost pictured in order to gain the benefit. If there are multiple options on the card, the player must choose one. Any workers used to activate buildings cannot be workers that were previously placed in the market. Each building may only be activated once per turn. A building may be activated in the same turn which it is acquired.
- Activate the event: As described in Phase I. Remember that the Current Event can only be activated once per turn.
- Pass: A player may do this once they have retrieved all of their workers from the market, in order to pass for the rest of the turn.
Maximum number of workers: 7
- When you reach 8 VP, you can get either an extra worker or £5.
- When you reach 20 VP, you get the bonus you didn't pick.