Explosive Attacks

Missile Attacks, Demolition Attacks and Bombing Raids are all resolved similarly, with Chance Cards.

Ordering Explosive Attacks

Missiles can be launched from the First Fleet Home Space of D1 and from the AI Starship. Missile Orders are processed before any Marches and they are therefore always directed at Units’ starting positions for the Mil Ops Phase.

Demolition Attacks are performed by Ground Units (C, I, M) when they target their own space using the Missile/Bombing-Raid notation. A Demolition Attack it is conducted at the same time as a Missile Attack, and is therefore directed against Units’ starting positions.

Bombing Raids are performed by Bomber Units (not Fighters) during the Manoeuvres stage of Mil Ops, and therefore must be aimed at the position Units are likely to occupy later during Mil Ops. In terms of delivering the payload, Bombing Raids function like Convoys and face similar movement restrictions – but the release of Bombs allows the Bomber Unit to enter a single blocked space.

For details about ordering any of these attacks, see Military Orders.

Resolving Explosive Attacks

To work out whether the attack is successful and what damage is achieved, draw one Chance Card face-down for each attacking Unit or Missile.


Before viewing the Card, first (A) calculate the distance from the source to the target, by any route the attacker chooses; and then (B) calculate the velocity difference between source and target. The same route and velocity must be applied for all Cards.

If an orange explosion icon is depicted where the calculated distance and velocity intersect, a hit has occurred, and the next steps are to (C) calculate damages and (D) apply damages.

The only relevant regions of the Card for applying explosive attacks are the blue regions: the upper grid, and the blue rectangle. Stars and icons in the bottom row only apply to battles, and have no effect on Missile/Demo Attacks or Bombing Raids.

A. Calculate Distance

For Missile Attacks directed at the planet surface from the Starship, or from the surface to the Starship, allow 2 spaces for the distance between the orange geosynchronous orbit and the planet surface. The space immediately below the equatorial orbit, and all spaces adjacent to that, are considered to be 2 spaces from the closest orbital point. Then add one for each additional grid space or orbital point traversed. For instance, if a Starship is above D1 and targets C11, the distance to C11 is calculated as 2 spaces. If the Starship targets C10, the distance is 3 spaces. If the lunar orbit is involved, allow for the inter-orbital distance, which is 2 spaces in most cases, but 1 space at the inter-orbital junction.

For Bombing Raids, the distance is considered to be the number of spaces travelled by the Bomber before releasing the payload (1 or 2).

The faction ordering the Missile Attack must also add 1 to the effective distance for each unfriendly grid space or orbital point encountered en route (representing the efforts of spotting crews and intercepting drones), including the final targeted space. For Demolition Attacks, the map distance is zero, but the targeted space is usually hostile, leading to an effective distance of 1.

B. Calculate Velocity

If the source and target of a Missile Attack are both on the planet surface, the velocity difference is zero. The difference for Demolition Attacks is always zero. For Bombing Raids directed at the surface, the velocity is always 1 (as indicated on the Chance Card with a Bomber icon). For Bombing Raids or Missile Attacks between two orbital positions, the velocity difference is the relative velocity of the two entities involved, source and target. If there is a mix of velocities at the source of the attack or at the targeted orbital point, the lowest velocity difference applies.

C. Calculate Damage

If a hit occurs, the strength of the hit is the number of explosion icons in the diagonal, counting down and to the right from the initial intersection. (Blank spaces in the diagonal do not contribute to the hit count, but they do not stop the counting process either).

Regardless of the hit count, any hit has the effect of cutting Support from the targeted space. (Units on face-down Location Cards do not have Support cut).

Damage Count. The damage count is the diagonal hit count minus the functioning shield level of the targeted space, which is usually the same as the actual shield capacity (1 for a new shield, 2 for an upgraded shield, 3 for a twice-upgraded shield). The owner of the shield may choose to run the shield at a lower level after seeing the Chance Card.

Damage Count = Hit Count – Chosen Shield Level

D. Apply Damages

Damage Counts of Zero or Less
If a hit occurs, but the damage count is ≤ 0, note whether the Card shows a Red Shield icon with a diagonal line. If present, any shield on the targeted space is downgraded one level, but no further damages are applied.

Damage Counts of One or More
Icon-based damage. If the damage count is > 0, damage the items indicated by icons in the rectangular blue region of the Card, continuing until all icons have been applied or the damage count has been expended. When sustaining a point of damage, a Utility or Shield degrades one level, or it is deleted if it was already at level 1. One point of damage applied to Workers kills a single Worker Unit of 500 adults.

The icons should be interpreted as follows:

  • Red or grey shield icon – degrade a Shield one level
  • farm tile icon – degrade a Farm
  • energy mine icon – degrade an Energy Mine (not a Fusion Reactor)
  • solar array icon – destroy a Solar Array
  • water mine icon – degrade a Water Mine
  • pale yellow circle with worker icon – destroy a Worker Unit (not a Civ Unit)

Note that, when the damage count is positive, Red Shield icons are processed exactly like Grey Shield icons.

Other Units and Utilities. After damage has been applied according to the icons shown, any residual damage must be applied to Units or Utilities (not Shields) at the targeted pace. The attacker may choose which faction is targeted for each damage point (and may choose their own faction or an ally), but the choice of Unit or Utility is made by the targeted faction, with each Unit killed or Utility degraded accounting for one point of damage, regardless of Unit strength. If there are residual unspent damage points, they must be spent on Units or Utilities belonging to the attacking faction, if these are present.

Units on face-down Cards are safe from all Missile Attacks, Bombing Raids and Demolition Attacks, because their location cannot be confirmed.

Damage to special spaces and structures. The AI Starship is initially equivalent to a Level 3 Shield when targeted by Missile Attacks or Orbital Bombers. After applying icon-based damage, including damage to the AI shield, residual unspent damage points for the AI Starship are applied to damageable elements at the discretion of the AI player. Up to 5 points of damage can be sustained: the Shield capacity may take one point of damage per level, the missile capacity may take one point of damage, and the Fusion Reactor may also take one point. Reduced shield strength can be indicated by placing a Level 2 or Level 1 Shield tile next to the AI Population Mat. Damage to the missile capacity is represented by permanently removing the relevant Skill Card from the game. Damage to the Fusion Reactor is represented by permanently removing the tile from the game.

Lunar damage is applied like any other map space. The lunar Shield capacity does not need to be represented if it is normal (Level 3), but should be represented with an appropriate tile if it is reduced.

The Starship or lunar Shields can be repaired (upgraded) like any other Shield, to a maximum Level of 3. Additional Shields cannot be built at either of those locations. New Starships cannot be built. The AI Fusion Reactor and Starship missile capacity cannot be rebuilt.

The Cryos Shuttle space may not be shielded and the space is never destroyed, but Units on the Shuttle Space take damage like any normal map space. The Shuttle cannot be targeted by normal Bombers on the surface, but can be targeted by Missiles or Orbital Bombers. The space should be considered one space further away than the Moon for all distance calculations, and should be considered to have a velocity the same as the Moon (3-eastwards) when calculating relative velocity difference.

The First Fleet missile capacity is heavily bunkered and cannot be destroyed.

Muster Phase