Time: 30-90 Minutes
Star Eater uses a simultaneous turn structure split into 4 phases: Commitment, Movement, Action and Cooldown.
All players commit to their actions for the turn in advanced by playing face down:
- The Engine Card, This card has a dial which players will set before placing it down, the setting on the dial controls the direction your capital ship will thrust when the turn begins.
- 2 Commands, These determine actions that your crew will undertake during the turn.
Each player has a section with 6 spaces to keep momentum tokens(4 for linear momentum, 2 for rotational) called the “Momentum Mat”. When all players are ready, the Engine Cards are revealed face up.
Depending on the settings of thier engine card each player will either add, remove or modify a token on thier Momentum Mat.
Once momentum tokens have been adjusted, all capital ship tokens will move on the board, one space for each momentum token which they currently possess(or one 60 degree rotation in the case of rotational momentum tokens). Momentum remains on the mat from turn to turn, so applying thrust can have long lasting consequences for each player, both good and bad.
After all warships have been moved, any weapons on the board will also move, potentially striking their targets and dealing damage.
Once the board state has been updated, players reveal the first of their two commands. They then resolve the effect of the cards they revealed before placing them on the cooldown track and repeating with the second of their two command cards.
The commands which a player can issue are:
- Fire the Main Weapons, Port or Starboard Broadside weapons (each of these is a seperate command)
- Activate their capital ship’s special ability
- Launch and/or Activate corvettes from the capital ship OR repair corvettes
- Activate defensive turrets to shoot down enemy torpedoes and squadrons OR power up the capital ship’s defensive shields
- Vent coolant from another action, allowing it to be re-used faster
- Add more power to their capital ship’s engines, allowing a second thrust from the engines.
Many of these commands will be moved to the cooldown track after use, which forces the player to wait a few turns before using the same action again.
The Cooldown Phase:
Once all the player commands have been processed, each player will retrieve any cards from the ‘ready’ slot on the cooldown track before moving all other cards down the track by 1 position.