Your dice are citizens or workers, depending on where they are. When in the Citizenry (the square area with the stick-figure), they are citizens. They become "workers" when placed in the "cup", the cup-like area to the left of the citizens reserve. As workers, you will be able to make them do stuff.
They come in various colors, white being the basic one. Each has various faces, which corresponds to actions. Their color is also important. The dice will also be used to represent production.
Start of the Game
Each player receives a random double tile with a special ability, and a random starter tile next to it. Then you receive two tiles from the shared supply, to form your unbuilt tile stacks. Each tile has two faces: a development or a world. For the first two tiles, one must be a world, the other a development, and you choose which is which.
In addition to the dice from their starter tiles, each player begins with 5 white dice: 3 in the cup, and two in the citizenry. Dice in the citizenry must be bought back before they can be used.
The 5 phases
The black strip at the top represents the 5 phases, each being an action. Each player will (secretly) choose and activate ONE phase. The other phases will not be played (except with 2PL, where a third will be randomly determined). So with 3PL, only three phases will be played.
You start by rolling all you *Worker* dice (those in the cup). They are automatically assigned to the phase matching the face rolled. To activate a phase, click on a die and on the phase. That die will be placed on that phase. The action on the die does NOT have to match!
Note: everyone has a free Dictate ability. First, choose your phase. Then click on a die you don't need, and click Dictate. This will allow you to move any one other die to any column (presumably the one you activated...) Dice with a wild face (*) can be reassigned freely.
Next, phases happen in order. Dice you have under each chosen phase (and the die on the black strip) will be used to perform that phase's action(s). Any dice under phases not chosen go back into your cup, automatically.
Explore: you can either collect $2 or scout new tiles. Each tile can become either a development or a world tile, and is put on the bottom of the corresponding unbuilt tile stack in the order they are chosen. To replace unwanted tiles while scouting, first select them all and click "Abandon tile(s)". You must then use your Scout action to draw the replacement tiles, plus one extra tile. The abandoned tiles are afterward returned to the pool.
Development and Settle: place the workers on undevelopped stacks. The cost (number of dice) in the upper-left corner is also the worth, in Victory Points, of the development or world once it is built.
Produce: add dice to the worlds you have settled, representing a resource to be used in Shipping. Ship: spend a die to retrieve a die from a world to either Trade for money or Consume for Victory Points. The latter is worth 1VP, +1 if the resource die matches the planet color, +1 if the Ship die matches the color.
|Explore||Scout||Discard 0 or more tiles, then draw that many plus 1.||Repeated once for each die spent.|
|Explore||Stock||Get 2 Money||(max 10 money)|
|Develop||Develop||Add a die to a development. Automatically built if it has enough dice during develop.||(Possibly several developments per round.)|
|Settle||Settle||Add a die to a world. Automatically built if it has enough dice during settle.||(Possibly several world per round.)|
|Produce||Produce||Add a die to a settled, non-gray world.||Maximum of 1 die on each world. See "Consume" for discussion of color.|
|Ship||Trade||Remove another die on a settled world; gain money equal to the world color it is on.||Blue = 3, Brown = 4, Green = 5, Yellow = 6|
|Ship||Consume||Remove another die on a settled world. Get +1 victory point.||Bonus 1 (+1 VP): If the die removed from the planet is purple or matches the planet's color.
Bonus 2 (+1 VP): If the ship die used is purple or matches the planet's color
All used dice go into your citizenry (your personal dice pool) -- you will have to spend 1 money per die to buy them back. If you spend all your money, you get 1 money at the end of the round.
You can also retrieve any dice that are stuck on developments or worlds at this point, or leave them there for the next round.
If everyone has fewer than 12 tiles built (players start with 3 tiles) and not all the VP chips are used up, then another round is played.
If you happen to have the Alien Archeology starting tile/ability, ($4 instead of $2 when stocking using a yellow die,) note that the first die used in the Explore phase will always be a yellow die, if possible, regardless of the die you select. Be sure to stock first to get the $4, then scout afterward.