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SURVEYORS (OF THE GALAXY)

RULES v. 2 ( last edit 9.05.2007)

CREDITS

  • Created by Thomas Gale, © 2003 - 2007
  • All copyrights belong to the attributed creators. All rights reserved.
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SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTS

[For a PC program that generates random dots to a txt file for printing click here to go to the Yahoo GaleGames group... SURVGEN.zip is stored under FILES. Mucho thanks to "ticdoffus" for writing the program.]

A printable blank example PDF.

STATS

  • Number of Players: 2+
  • Duration: 10-30 min
  • Atmosphere: light pen and paper
  • Theme: abstracted space exploration

COMPONENTS

  • pens
  • paper
  • ruler
  • (optional die d6,d8, or d10)

INTRODUCTION

Surveyors of the Galaxy is a game where players are flying spaceships in a scientific race to discover and survey the most star systems.

HOW TO WIN

After all players run out of fuel, the player who discovered the most systems wins.

PLAY SETUP

On a sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper randomly draw 24 dots. Each dot is a star system. (Try not to bunch them up too much but also don't perfectly space them out either. Make a nice and random galaxy.)

During play one player will mark the dots with an X, the other with an O (or other symbol). Each player claims a home system. (The player who didn't make the galaxy gets to pick first.)

Find a place on the paper to keep track of each player's spaceship fuel level. The total number of fuel should equal the total number of star systems. Divide the fuel evenly among players. So for 2 players, with 24 star systems (dots), each player start with 12 units of fuel.

PLAY

The player who didn't make the galaxy gets to go first. Before launching from their home system, she must select a destination dot by pointing to it with a pen and marking it with her symbol. Once marked you can't change your mind. YOU MAY NOT measure the distance before you select your destination. (Thus the challenge of estimating fuel use efficiently) Then she takes the ruler and draws a line from her current system (dot) to the destination system (dot) measuring how many inches. One unit of fuel is consumed per inch or inch fraction. If you overestimated the extra fuel is wasted. You MAY NOT use fractions of fuel units. If you underestimated, then you must spend another unit of fuel to compensate. For example Tiffany chooses a nearby system that she hopes is only 1 inch or less away. She marks it and draws the line. Then she measures. Unfortunately it was an 1 1/4" so she must spend 2 fuel units in order to make it. You can't choose to stop along the way unless you've not enough fuel to make the trip in which case your role in the game has ended. You may only travel to dots that have not been surveyed yet (marked with a symbol by any player). You may only travel to one new system on a turn.

Players take turns until a player runs out of fuel. The other player may then use up her remaining fuel taking as many turns as needed. On your last turn if you do not have enough fuel to travel to the nearest system then you end the game adrift in space. (You may still win in this case.) When all players have spent all fuel then the game has ended. Count up your symbols and compare. The winner has surveyed the most systems. You must always attempt to move on to a new system each turn (you can't pass your turn). Friendly or enemy "travel lines" may be crossed and are only for reference of your previous travels (and the advanced rules for dimensional shift).

EXAMPLES

Marvin creates the galaxy comprised of 24 dots. Shalonda picks her home system start point and marks it with an X. Marvin picks his home system and marks it with an O. Shalonda decides to go to a nearby system and marks it with another X. She then draws a line from her start point to the newly marked system and measures 3/4". She marks the expenditure of 1 fuel of her 12 units (rounding 3/4 up to 1). It is now Marvin's turn. He chooses a system a medium distance away (with intention of interfering on Shalonda's exploration) and marks his O. He draws a line and measures 2 1/8" and so spends 3 units of fuel (he was hoping to make it in 2, but must round up to 3). He marks the expense. It is now Shalonda's turn. And so on. (This image doesn't exactly match the example I gave.)

ADVANCED RULES

EVENTS-

To spice up the game you may encounter events. Each player has 6 event points to spend during a game. Each player may only spend one event point per turn. You may only use each event listed once per player per game. Keep a tab of used events next to each player's fuel count marks. You MUST decide which event to spend BEFORE selecting a destination system.

1- POSITIVE PROPULSION : The system you are leaving this turn was surrounded by a cloud of strange energy that allowed for a travel boost. When leaving this system you may travel one extra inch for free. (...but only when leaving this system. i.e. you can't save up the extra fuel...you may choose to spend no fuel and just move 1 inch or less via the boost) Draw a wiggle in your connecting line at the start of your journey to show that you used this event.

2- ASTEROID FIELD : Mark an asteroid field around any unsurveyed system by drawing a dotted line circle around it. This system now requires one extra unit of fuel to enter regardless of distance.

3- WORM HOLES : Mark the entrance and exit to a wormhole on any 2 unsurveyed systems by drawing 4 V-shaped sun rays surrounding them. Entering and claiming this system is normal, but when you leave you MUST spend an entire turn traveling through the wormhole. You spend no fuel that turn and end your turn upon arriving at the other end, but are able to survey the other system. On the next turn after that you may leave the second system as normal. If two players have arrived at opposite ends of the wormholes on consecutive turns then the wormhole effect is canceled and they act as normal systems. If there are multiple wormholes you must continue through the chain on each consecutive turn until there are no wormholes left unexplored. You may choose the order of arrival.

4- SUPER SCOPE : Due to a local species with excellent technology. Before you leave this particular system you may break the rule and measure with a ruler BEFORE you move. You may ONLY measure distances from your current location to a possible destination. NEVER measure distances between other stars.

5- DIMENSIONAL SHIFT : Due to a confusing warp in time and space, you may- this turn only- leave from any system that you have previously traveled to (except worm holes). You must still travel only towards an un-surveyed system. Use a dotted line to mark that you used this.

6- SUPERNOVA : A star system goes kablooie. Choose any un-surveyd system to explode spectacularly. This system may not be surveyed nor approached. Draw scribbly squiggles on the dot to indicate as much.

OPTIONAL RULES

ADJUSTING PLAYTIME- Players may experiment with larger galaxies and various fuel amounts to shorten or lengthen the game.

    COASTING- If the remaining distance to a dot is less than a hair's width away then you can coast on fumes and gravity. The other player must accept the coasting. If you find someone is exploiting this optional rule too much then don't bother playing with them next time. Remind the overzealous player that it's just a game. If that doesn't work then wrestle naked on the floor like all good scientific explorers do.

    RANDOM EVENTS- Instead of players choosing events. You may use a six-sided die to determine an available event before each of your turns. OR I recommend using an eight or ten-sided die and any roll 7+ means "no event this turn".

NOTES AND DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

This may have evolved from a similar game that I used to play in school, but I can't remember. Not the race car game, nor the box game, nor sprouts but another one...There is room for lots of expansion with multiple ships or perhaps sides where one person is trying to explore while there is a pirate trying to raid. Also you could have a third person create the galaxy who marks systems with hidden codes that you would need to ask the moderator to look up on his chart. i.e. the systems have preordained events, rather than the players choosing which event happens where. For example Bob arrive at a system marked with the letter M. Bob asks George (who created the galaxy map and acts as moderator) what M means. He looks up on his chart and says M is a system that cultivates intoxicating chocolate and therefore you lose a turn making and consuming miniature edible space ships. Hmm maybe a full-blown card board game here could be developed. Anyway Sally could play the alien player who is trying to prevent the Bob from surveying the galaxy. She might have different movement rules or something. Anyhoo I suppose some kind of fun game might form if I kept at it and actually had some playtesting. Ramble Ramble.

Note (2007): I added an example image and a printable blank example PDF.

Please, please let me know if you actually played this game. Email: tomgale@)yahoo.com

 
 

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