Star Scrappers: Orbital by Jacob Fryxelius, the designer of Terraforming Mars, is based on his Space Station card game, which has been mechanically streamlined, updated and re-themed to fit the Star Scrappers universe – a space western setting created and developed by Hexy Studio.
You start your space station (Orbital) with a core module tile on the table, then over five years (rounds) you expand it by paying and placing new module cards. Each year you start with a five card hand, crew tokens and new money, with the amount of crew and money determined by the structure of your orbital. You use money primarily to pay for new modules, and the crew gives you special effects on many of your modules.
During the year, the players take turns doing actions such as building, using module actions, playing event cards, repairing or passing. When everyone passes, the year ends and victory points are awarded: there are six kinds (colors) of modules and for each kind, the player(s) with the most modules of that kind is awarded a victory point. At the end of the fifth year, the player with most victory point wins.
Welcome to the Star Scrappers universe! Have a seat and get comfortable in the commander chair on a Space Station – one of many that are being constructed in the asteroid belt called the Sybil Cloud. Deposits of Hexis – the most desired mineral in the entire Galaxy – have been discovered there, attracting numerous daredevils willing to extract the precious crystals. Miners have to live somewhere, so you and your corporation are here to provide them with accommodation and, naturally, to get rich!
Terrons, the space station builders, are descendants of the humans who came to this galaxy a long time ago. Over a thousand years, united in the Interstellar Terron Federation, they have colonized many corners of the universe. The democratic system of the Terron society has encouraged the creation of many independent structures, such as corporations, commercial consortiums and mercenary guilds. By making contact with different alien species, they have caused their civilization to flourish and their influence to spread. At the base of their success lies ambition. Ambition that knows no bounds. This trait of character drives Terrons ever forward, to conquer new territories, to discover the unknown, to push the frontier of the Federation another step further. Their military forces are well-known across the Central Sector, as they strike fear in the hearts of alien beings inhabiting the Galaxy. They became famous during the two Hy’Dran Wars, proving unshaken and well-trained. Even now, in times of peace, the Terron fleet remains ready to defend their territories. And their businesses.
Other inhabitants of the Galaxy:
In the distant future, countless alien species explore the Galaxy in search of fortune and fame. The last interstellar war with the Hy’Dran Empire ended over fifty years ago and since then peace treaties have been in power. Newly discovered cosmic nations, like the cybernetic Biosses and the expansive Weedlocks, are beginning to influence the fate of the Galaxy, while the inhabitants of ancient planets, such as the mechanical Metanels and the mysterious Minegglers, are once again striving to achieve their goals.