In Space Base, you gradually build up a fleet of ships to gain rewards according to dice rolls. Your board has 12 sectors, corresponding to different outcomes of a dice roll. Each turn, all players will have a chance to activate cards in sectors that match the dice values (either individually or their sum). As new ships are added to your fleet, the current card in that sector will be "deployed" above your board, allowing it to trigger on other player's turns.
Each card shows:
- Card cost (upper left corner)
- Target sector (upper right corner)
- Station rewards (central region, blue)
- Deployed rewards (lower region, inverted, red)
The game board contains 3 main areas: individual player boards, a Shipyard with 6 face-up cards from Level 1/2/3 decks, and a set of yellow Colony cards (one per sector).
Each player's board is seeded with an identical starting set of ship cards. Players are randomly assigned a card from the Level 1 deck, which is added to their board. Players start with 0 points, 0 income, and 5 credits (minus the cost of their starting card). Additional bonuses are assigned based on turn order:
- 1st Player: no bonus
- 2nd Player: +1 credit
- 3rd Player: +2 credit
- 4th Player: +1 income
- 5th Player: +1 income
The Light-Speed variant accelerates the game by deploying more ships at the start:
- Each player starts with 15 credits and 1 income
- Players are dealt 4 Level 1 cards and 2 Level 2 cards. They choose which cards to keep, but must pay the cost for each one.
- The player who spent the fewest credits starts. Starting bonuses for other players are the same as the base game.
Roll Dice and Activate Sectors
The active player rolls 2 dice. All players then choose which sectors to activate, based on the die values. Players may choose either the sector that matches the sum of the dice or both sectors that match individual die values. If both dice show the same value, then that sector can be activated twice. The active player takes the reward shown on the station card for that sector (blue section), and the other players take the rewards for all deployed cards above that sector (red sections).
Buy New Cards
The active player then has the option to buy cards from any of the face-up Shipyard rows (Level 1/2/3) or the yellow Colony cards. The purchased card is placed in the corresponding sector, and the previous station card is moved to the sector's stack of deployed cards. After a card is purchased, the player's credit total is reset to their income level, regardless of the cost of the card (any purchase "spends" all of your available money). The active player can choose to skip this purchase, saving their credits for a future turn.
When a yellow Colony card is purchased, the player instantly receives those points and the card is placed in the corresponding sector. That sector no longer triggers any rewards during their turn, though deployed rewards may still be triggered on other players' turns. No further cards may be bought for that sector.
Most cards contain one of the 3 basic rewards: credit, income, or VP.
Cards with a square outline have charged abilities. The ability must first be charged, then can be triggered. When the corresponding sector is activated, a charge cube is added to the card. Only after the required number of charge cubes have been added, can the ability be triggered. The ability can be triggered on the same turn it is charged, but can also be saved to use on a later turn. The background color behind the ability's text indicates when that ability can be used: on your turn (blue), others' turns (red), or any turn (green). The game will show a prompt when a charged ability is available for use.
Other Reward Types
- Claim a card - take a card for free
- Buy a card - purchase a card in addition to their normal Buy action. This buy only costs the required credits (not all your credits).
- Arrows - use the rewards from a neighboring card.
- Dice + Arrows - use the rewards from the next higher sector (only if you choose the dice sum).
The game end is triggered once a player reaches 40 VP. A few additional turns may be played, until all players have had an equal number of turns.
The player with the highest VP total is the winner. In the case of a tie, additional rounds are played as needed.