Planetoids are moving planets. They create some surprising situations and opportunities for unusual strategies. One has to balance the risk of occupying them with the cost of avoiding them, and careful planning is rewarded.
Twelve Planetoids--planet-sized paper or cardboard disks, each bearing a unique identifying symbol (a number from 1 to 12, for example).
Twelve Origin Markers--smaller playing pieces marked with the same set of symbols so as to form twelve matching Planetoid/Origin Marker pairs.
Each player places one Planetoid and its matching Origin Marker on his system hex, occupying the Planetoid with two of his tokens taken from bases. The remaining Planetoids and Origin Markers are set aside.
Do not use Planetoids in a two-player game.
A PLANETOID IS CONSIDERED IN EVERY WAY A PLANET OF THE SYSTEM IN WHICH IT CURRENTLY RESIDES. All rules regarding planets--including the effects of powers, edicts, flares, moons, etc.--also apply to Planetoids (even if the word "planet(s)" appears in the text), except as noted here.
Thus, while a Planetoid is in your system, you are the defensive player when it is challenged (even if you have no tokens there), you may move tokens onto it with a Rebirth edict (or by Mayfair's "occupy an empty home planet" rule), etc. Your tokens on a Planetoid in your system count as a home base (toward the three you need to use your alien power); those on a Planetoid in someone else's count as a foreign base (toward winning the game). A Planetoid can be occupied by more than one player.
Unlike planets, however, Planetoids move from one system hex to another as the game progresses. They may also be created and destroyed during play. This is explained in "Planetoid Movement," below.
Whenever a new Planetoid is created in a system hex (including those "created" at setup), that system suffers a mass imbalance, indicated by the presence of an Origin Marker. This, as you might suspect, has a negative impact on the locals' ability to dominate the universe--namely, EACH ORIGIN MARKER ON A SYSTEM HEX ADDS ONE TO THE NUMBER OF FOREIGN BASES ITS OWNER NEEDS TO WIN THE GAME. After the Planetoid completes its journey through the cosmos, it returns to its system of origin to be reabsorbed, restoring the delicate mass balance once again.
At the beginning of each challenge (prior to releasing a token from the warp), the player making the challenge must move one Planetoid he occupies one system hex to the right (i.e., counterclockwise around the board). IF IT ENTERS THE HEX CONTAINING ITS MATCHING ORIGIN MARKER, THE PLANETOID IS IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED--all occupying tokens go to the warp, and the Planetoid and Origin Marker are removed from play.
Otherwise, if the player does not occupy any Planetoids, he must create a new (unoccupied) one in his home system by placing a Planetoid (from those not in play) and its matching Origin Marker on his system hex. However, NO HEX CAN CONTAIN MORE THAN TWO ORIGIN MARKERS; if it already has two, no new Planetoid is created and no movement occurs.
A SYSTEM HEX CANNOT CONTAIN MORE THAN TWO PLANETOIDS. If a player moves or creates a third Planetoid in a hex, he must then "bump" one of the other two Planetoids (his choice--it need not be one he occupies) one hex to the right. A Planetoid bumped into a hex containing its Origin Marker is destroyed (as above). A Planetoid bumped into a hex with two other Planetoids bumps one of those into the next hex, and so on.
Expansion by Bryan Bowe