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How To Play Tiny Epic Galaxies Blast Off

tiny epic galaxies blast off

Tiny Epic Galaxies Blast Off! is a pretty straightforward game. If you have been interested in seeing how it plays, this is your chance. I can’t tell you how it compares to the standard Tiny Epic Galaxies, or even any other Tiny Epic game as this is the only one I have got my hands on so far. But it is a simple little game that packs a lot into such a small box.

Set Up

Set up for this game is a simple process. Every player takes a player board and the associated colour pieces. Every player will have the following:

  • 4 rocket ships
  • An energy token
  • A culture token
  • A slider
  • A player board

Each player should place 2 of the rockets in the centre of their player board. The other 2 are placed on the rocket track on the right-hand side, on numbers 3 and 4 where you see a rocket symbol. Place the energy token on the circular track on the left side, on number 2 where you see the energy symbol. Place the culture token on the same circular track on 1 where the culture symbol is. And finally place the slider over the bottom row of numbers on the track on the right-hand side so that you can see ‘X, 4, 2 & 0’ respectively through the slider.

Place the activation bay in the centre of the table. Shuffle the deck of planets and lay out 2 more than the number of players. Place the dice within reach of everyone. Hand the first player marker to the first player. You are now ready to go. The example image shows set up for a 4-player game.

There is probably some sort of abstract rule about who goes first, but let’s be honest, we all have our own ways of doing it. I like to compare pocket lint and whoever has the most fluff goes first. I don’t really. Or do I? You will never know…

Aim Of The Game

You will be battling your fellow space goers in an attempt to reach 21 points. To do this, you will need to take control of the planets on offer, that have a point value assigned to them. You do this by placing your rocket on the tracks on the left side of the planet cards and moving them all the way to the top. How you do this is explained below. You also need to use the galaxy action to upgrade your galaxy (trackers) to gain further points, which is also explained below.

Dice Symbols Explained

The first thing you need to do during your turn is roll the number of dice that you have access to. You can check this by looking at your dice track on your player board. Whatever number is on the dice track that is showing through your slider, is how many dice you have access to. You start with 4 dice.

Depending what dice you roll will determine what actions you get to take on your turn. The actions that are available to you are as followed:

  • Rocket – This allows you to move one of your rockets to another available space. You can use this to start orbiting a planet with a view to take control of it, or to land on a planet and trigger its ability.
  • Galaxy – This allows you to upgrade your galaxy. When you do this you will move the slider on your tracks up by one step. This will slowly give you access to more dice, more rockets and will be worth more points. To do this you will have to pay the cost that is on the galaxy track above your slider. You also need to do this by paying the cost all in energy or all in culture, you cannot pay it part of one and part of another. The slider has a little pointer that points to the cost to upgrade. You can also use this die result to trigger abilities of planets you already own. (No need for rockets if you own the planet).
  • Energy – This allows you to move the energy token up the track depending on your rockets’ locations. For every rocket you have on a planet card with an energy symbol, for every rocket you have in orbit around a planet card with an energy symbol and for every rocket you have waiting on your player board you get to move your energy token up by one. This does not include the rockets still on your right-hand side track, it only applies to those in the ‘galaxy’ area of your board.
  • Culture – This does the same as the energy symbol but moves your culture token up instead for every rocket you have on or orbiting a planet with a culture symbol. The energy and culture symbols are found in the top right corner of the planet cards. You do not gain culture for rockets on your player board.
  • Life – If you have a rocket orbiting a planet (on the track on the left on the planet card) with the life symbol on the top left of the card, you can use this result to move the rocket up on the track.
  • Tech – This does the same as the life result for rockets of yours orbiting planets with tech symbol on the top left.

Shameless plug for Zatu dice on the image can be found here.

Dice Placement

After you roll the dice, you need to place them. This is where the activation bay comes in. In order to take your actions, you will need to choose what order to place your dice on the activation bay. It is only when you place a die that you get to trigger the ability. You need to place the dice one by one and take the action after you place a die. You also need to fill the spaces from left to right in order. This is because certain actions can be followed by another player.

When you place a die in one of the first three spaces, any of your opponents can choose to follow the action. This is why those three spaces are yellow. This means that they get to copy that action if they pay a culture. So, you really need to choose carefully what order you place the dice. So for example: if you place a die in a yellow space with a rocket icon and then move one of your rockets then any opponent can pay a culture and move one of their own rockets after you take your action. If you use the tech icon to progress one of your rockets in orbit, any opponent can pay a culture and do the same etc. It isn’t limited to just one opponent either, all your opponents can follow the action. They can also follow any or all actions you place in a yellow space, provided they have the culture to pay for it. You can only follow an individual action once.

The other space you can place a die on is the converter space. This allows you to pay an energy or a culture in order to place an unused die there on any result you want. But this action space is also yellow, which means whatever result you choose is also open to being followed.

During your turn you have the option of spending an energy in order to reroll your dice. You can do this at any time during your turn. You can only reroll the dice that you haven’t placed yet. And you have to reroll all of your unused dice. You can however keep re-rolling as many times as you want, as long as you have the energy to pay for it.

Once you have placed all the dice you want to play, your turn is over. You do not have to play every die.

General Rules

There are some general rules that are worth keeping in mind whilst playing Tiny Epic Galaxies Blast off.

After you move a rocket to the top of the planet track, you will claim it as your own. You will take the card place it in front of you. You then draw the next planet card and fill the space you just created in the available planet pool. Any rockets that were on that card are returned back to their owner’s player board. They are returned to the ‘galaxy’ area and can be used to place out again.

When you are placing rockets on planets there are a few simple placement rules you need to follow. You cannot have 2 rockets on a single planet or in a planet’s orbit at once. But you can have one in orbit and one on the planet. When you move a rocket, you have to move it to a new location altogether. You can’t move from a planet’s orbit to its surface and vice versa. If you are on a planet or in its orbit, you will have to move a different rocket in to occupy the other space. In my example image below (or above depending where the editor places it) all placements on the left card are fine, whereas the card on the right shows what you can’t do. The card on the left has a player both in orbit and on the surface; it has a player sharing a space with another player and there is also several players competing for orbit and on the surface. All of these examples are perfectly fine. The Only thing you are not allowed is to have more than one of your ships in orbit, or more than one on the surface.

You and your opponents are able to have a rocket in the same locations and share spaces. But you are not able to land a rocket on another player’s board or the planets they have claimed ownership of.

Each planet card has an ability it can trigger. You need to place a rocket on the picture of the planet to trigger that ability. And you only trigger the ability as you land on it. Putting a rocket into orbit (on the track) does not trigger the ability. Abilities in red depict an action with a cost. Each ability is explained properly on the back of the rulebook and are all simple and easy to understand. If you want to trigger the ability of a planet you already have a rocket on, you will need to roll 2 rocket results during your dice roll. One to move the rocket off the planet, and one to move it (or another one) back into that spot.

End Game & Scoring

As soon as a player reaches 21 points, then the end game is triggered. Points come from a combination of the points of acquired planets, and the points from where your slider is at on your player board. The rest of the round is played out, allowing each player to have the same number of turns. Whoever has the most points at the end of the last round is the winner. In my example shown (again above or below, somewhere in this general vicinity) the red players final score is 24. This is from the point track being on 4 and the combined score of all the captured planets being 20.

And that is all there is to Tiny Epic Galaxies Blast Off.

I hope you found this simple guide easy to follow. Don’t be afraid to check this game out, it is simple, great for new gamers and the production quality is excellent. It plays quick and is a fun little game to boot!