Rules for the Base Game
Players control competing civilizations exploring space, discovering planets to conquer or settle, building an economy by consuming a planet's goods and building developments. The object of the game is to earn the most victory points from planets and developments played in their tableau, from consuming goods, and from bonuses from special developments.
There are five phases to choose from: explore, develop, settle, consume and produce. Players pick one phase per turn (two phases in a two-player game). Then everyone plays only the chosen phases in phase order. Players who chose that phase get an extra benefit. At the end of each round, players with more than 10 cards discard down to 10 and a new round begins.
The game continues until any player has 12 cards in their tableau, or when the VP pool is exhausted. At the end of that round points are added up. The player with the most points is the winner!
In case of a tie, the player with the most goods on the board plus cards in hand wins.
Cards may generally be played into your tableau by "paying" for them by discarding other cards. For instance, a planet of cost 3 (the large number) requires you to discard 3 cards to place it. (The smaller number next to it is the number of VPs you earn from having that card in your tableau.)
There are different types of planets:
Production: A colored circle indicates that this planet generates the corresponding good during the production phase. Windfall: A white circle with a colored ring indicates that this planet generates a good immediately upon settling, but not during production. Non-producing worlds: Gray worlds never produce goods. Military: A red ring indicates that a planet cannot be settled by paying for it: instead, you need a sufficient military force (the red +X number present on some cards). No discards are needed in this case.
Summary of Phases
Explore = draw 2 cards; keep 1, discard the other Develop = place and pay for a development Settle = place and pay for a world, receiving any windfall good as indicated Consume = use consume powers if possible, typically to discard goods for VPs. Note that once a consume power is activated, you must exhaust it (e.g. if you have 3 Novelty Goods, then if you trigger Consumer Markets to consume the first good, then the other two must also be consumed on Consumer Markets). To consume a good in the BGA interface, click on the world with the good, and then click on the world with the consume power. Produce = place a good on each world without a good that produces one
Most cards indicate bonuses for certain phases; these are activated once they are in your tableau.
These are the bonuses you gain for choosing each phase: Explore = draw 5 additional cards OR draw 1 additional card and keep 1 additional card Develop = discard 1 less card when paying for the development Settle = draw 1 card after settling a world Consume = Gain double victory points for consumed goods OR trigger a trade phase prior to Consume, which allows you to discard a good to draw cards equal to its trade value Produce = Produce a good on one windfall world that does not already have a good
Note that in two-player games it is possible for one player to trigger both phase bonuses in Explore or Consume (e.g. in Explore, to draw 6 extra cards and keep 2), but the phase only happens once. It is not possible to trigger Produce twice. It is possible to trigger Develop or Settle twice, in which case the phase happens twice in a row.
Summary of Goods
Yellow = Alien Tech (trade value = 5) Green = Genes (4) Brown = Rare Elements (3) Blue = Novelty Goods (2)