Here is the Star Traders rule book verbatim with my commentary. Comments are in boxes to the right and text that has specific comments attached to it is marked like this. If you don't see "boxes" and "marked like this" with any special formatting around them, your browser probably doesn't support CSS. Sorry, but this will make this page somewhat confusing.

Comments reflect the way that my friends and I play it. They are not official by any means. If any official clarifications or corrections exist, I don't know about them and, in fact, I don't want to know about them, since I like our way. We've played enough that I can say with reasonable certainty that it works well our way, at least for us.

My comments may not explicitly distinguish between changes, clarifications that are self-evident from reading the rest of the rule book, arbitrary decisions that we've made, nor the grey range between these. If it matters to you, well, that's why I've provided the original rules exactly as is.

This reproduction is almost certainly copyright violation. However, I can't think of any other way to effectively accomplish what I want without showing the rule book as it was printed. Hopefully the copyright holders won't mind.

No doubt I have made some transcription errors. Assume apparent errors are mine unless otherwise stated. Formatting is not always preserved between the original and this version, but the organization is.

Isaac Asimov Presents Star Traders

Game design by David Ladyman / Development by Steve Jackson
Cover by Kelly Freas / Interior art by C. Bradford Gorby and Denis Loubet
Box back photo by Mark Chandler

In the year 3250, the Galactic Empire is at peace. Mankind's heroes are not warriors — they're the daring Traders who journey between the stars. With your trusty hyperdrive ship, you are a Star Trader. You will build trading stations on alien worlds, and race the other Traders to be the first to deliver cargoes from planet to planet. Your goal: to earn great wealth — and please the almighty Emperor — until you can earn the title of Imperial Trader!

This Game Set Includes:

The number of Stellors, quarantine markers, stations and imperial markers has no game meaning. If you run out, make more from scraps of paper or some such. In practical terms this never happens.

How the Game Works

Players take turns moving, going clockwise around the board. Each turn has these stages:

Taking an action doesn't end your turn. It's just the phase after movement, so you can't move once you start taking an action.
  1. Movement. "Jump" your ship from world to world along the colored jumplines. If you have 3 engines, you can try 3 jumps each turn. Buying a 4th engine will let you try 4 jumps, and so on.
  2. Pick up or deliver cargo. Any time you reach a world where cargo is available, you can pick it up if you choose. When you reach its destination, you must deliver it. Pick-ups and deliveries don't end your movement. You may move until you run out of jumps or take an action (below).
  3. Action. Any one of the following three actions ends your turn. Therefore, only one of these actions is allowed each turn:
    1. Build a new Station on a world that does not have one already.
    2. Buy a new engine to increase your ship's movement.
    3. Petition the Emperor for your Imperial Mission (see Winning the Game, page 10). Once you are granted a mission, completing that mission will win you the game!
  4. Draw a card. At the end of your turn, draw a Trader's Luck card unless you are already holding two cards.
  5. Pass the die to the next player.

Setting Up the Game

Note that you don't get Stellors. You get money tokens worth Stellors.

Each player receives money tokens worth 40 Stellors.

Each player chooses one of the colored ship tokens. In the beginning, your ship has three engines. Take a 6-sided marker the same color as your ship, and place it at "3" on the Engines track on the board.

Deal two Trader's Luck cards to each player. Players may look at their cards immediately.

A beautiful example of overclarification. "Choose randomly who goes first. Players take turns in order."

Each player rolls a die to see who will go first. In case of a tie for high roll, the players who tied roll again. The winner will move first. Play goes clockwise around the board.

Since the Engineer and the Navigator are so overpowered, this doesn't work well. We do a variety of things here, but the simplest solution is deal personalities out randomly, perhaps after removing the Engineer.

Each Trader selects a Personality card to determine what advantage he has throughout the game. Players may examine all available cards before choosing. The last player to move will be the first to pick his Personality card, and so on, in reverse order around the board.

Building Your First Station

Theoretically, I suppose, players could argue about where the "closest" starred world to them is in an attempt to get a better position. I haven't seen this happen and I think that I'd invoke "don't be a jerk" in this case rather than trying to think of a rule to handle it.

Now you determine where each player's ship starts, and where his first Station is. The six worlds marked with stars (one in each arm of the galaxy, and Capital in the center) are starting points. Each player starts on the starred world of the Arm closest to him. In a six-player game, the last player to move will start in the middle, on the planet Capital. (But if the Insider is the in the game, he automatically starts on Capital — see Personalities, below.) No two players may start on the same world.

Place a 6-sided marker in your color (a station marker) on your starting world. This is your first Station. If the Insider is in the game, he starts with three extra stations of his choice.

Determining Contracts

Shuffle the Contract deck and deal a set of cards beside the numbered Contract spaces at the side of the mapboard. Deal one fewer Contract cards than there are players — five Contract cards for six players, for instance. (The sixth Contract space is for the advanced game.) These are the Contracts available for delivery at the beginning of the game.

In a two-player game, though, use two Contract cards and not just one.

Marking the Contracts

The colored Pick Up and Deliver counters are placed on the mapboard to show where each cargo is coming from, and where it goes. Thus a clever Trader can study the galaxy map to find his most profitable routes.

Or, in the case of 6, that it's in the center.

Every world has a two-digit number. This first number identifies its spiral arm. The second number identifies a specific world on that arm.

Place the Pick Up 1 counter on the board, beside the world where the first cargo can be picked up. Place the Deliver 1 counter beside the world where the first cargo is to be delivered. Do the same with the other Pick Up and Deliver counters.

Yeah, and they also match one of the players' colors and one of the jump lines' colors. These are totally unrelated; don't get confused.

Note that each Contract space matches the color of the corresponding Pick Up and Deliver counters. This makes it easier to tell which counters go with which Contract.


The money in Star Traders is shown by tokens, called "Stellors". Players may exchange money freely in order to make any legal deal. You may keep secret the amount of money you have.

... or somewhere else convenient ...

Players start with 40 Stellors each. The rest of the money goes in the game box; this is the Imperial Bank. All payments for deliveries come from the Imperial Bank. Payments made to the Emperor or his minions go to the bank.


During your turn, you can move your ship in "jumps" between worlds. There are three types of jumps:

Regular Jumps: Regular jumps are made along the jumplines between worlds on the map. The shorter the line (as shown by its color) the easier it is to make the jump.

You may attempt as many regular jumps as your ship has engines. Your ship starts with 3 engines, but you can buy more, in order to make more jumps every turn — see below.

You must state where you are trying to go before you roll the die to move. Each jumpline is a different color. The color indicates the difficulty of the jump, as shown on the table below and on the map.


This is the number you must roll to jump to the world at the end of the jumpline.

Example: The jumpline you want to use is red, so it requires a 3. You must roll a 3 or higher to move along the line. If you roll a 3 through 6, you can move. If you roll a 1 or a 2, that jump failed and you don't move.

However, you can try the same jump again, until you run out of jumps for the turn.

A station jump also uses one of your jumps for the turn.

Station Jumps: A station jump is made along a jumpline — but you don't have to roll the die (except for green jumplines — see below). If there is a station at the other end of the jumpline, and you have permission to use it, you can automatically make the jump! You always have permission to use your own stations, of course.

If another player owns the station at your destination, and does not give permission to use it, you may still move to that world, but you must roll the die and do it by a regular jump. Therefore, you may want to offer payment for the privilege of using that station. A well-located station can be worth a lot of Stellors!

Special Note: The green jumplines between the arms of the galaxy are the hardest jumps to make, because they are so long. Normally these lines require a 6 to make the jump. If there is a station at the other end, and you have permission to use it, you must still roll a 3 or better to make the jump.

Play Hint: Don't be too greedy when someone asks to "rent" a station, unless you really want to stop them from making that particular delivery! A smart Trader knows it's good to cooperate . . . sometimes.

Random Jumps: A random jump does not use the jumplines. It can take you anywhere in the galaxy!

To make a random jump, you must have at least one jump left on your turn. Roll the die twice, and move to the world indicated. Example: If you roll a 2 and then a 6, move immediately to world 26 — Drachir.

A random jump ends your movement for the turn.


Sharing a World: Any number of Traders can have their ships at the same world at the same time. However, each world can only have one station — see Stations, page 7.


The way to earn money — and eventually to win the game — is to pick up cargoes and deliver them to their destination . . . quickly! The first Trader to make the delivery will earn money and Prestige. Latecomers earn nothing!

Cargoes are determined by Contract cards like the one shown below.

Pick Up
Power Crystals
from FRYGIA (25)

Deliver to
WELLS (51)

Payoff: 19 Stellors
3 Prestige

Station owner receives
9 Stellors

This card says that Frygia (world 25) has a cargo for Wells (world 51). The first Trader to pick up this cargo and deliver it to Wells will earn 19 Stellors from the bank, and will increase his Prestige by 3 points.

The station owner payoff is always half of the delivery payoff, rounded down. There's no mechanical reason for this, it just happens to be true.

If there is a station at Wells, the Trader who owns the station will earn 9 Stellors from the bank. (If the Trader who makes the delivery also owns the station, he'll get all 28 Stellors.)

Picking Up a Cargo

You may pick up a cargo at the world specified on the Contract card. Or, if your ship is at the same world with another Trader, either of you may give or sell a cargo to the other one. You may pick up cargo at any time during your turn. Picking up cargo does not end your turn.

To show that you have picked up a cargo, place one of your markers on the appropriate Contract card. Don't move the Pick Up counter from the world! Any number of Traders may pick up the same cargo — but only the first to deliver it will get paid!

You may carry up to two different cargoes at any one time.

Some cards let you pirate a cargo from another Trader. If you steal a cargo when you already have two, you must immediately abandon one of the three cargoes, paying the appropriate penalties.

You cannot pick up cargo for which there is no current Contract.

Dropping Off a Cargo

There are four ways to drop off a cargo:

The reason for this seems to be to prevent you from arriving at a world, building a station, and then delivering, thus increasing your payoff.

1) Deliver it to the destination on the Contract card before anyone else. If you do this, you receive the payment shown on the card, and increase your Prestige. When you are the first to arrive at a world with a cargo that it wants, you must make delivery immediately, before you do anything else. You can't move past, or keep the cargo on board; the Emperor would be very unhappy!

2) Deliver it to the destination shown on the Contract, after another Trader makes the delivery. You don't get any payment, but you don't suffer any further penalty.

What if you don't have 5 Stellors? Then you can't abandon it. It's always possible to deliver, after all. If you don't have 3 Prestige, that's fine, just go to 0.
In other words, cargo ceases to exist when you drop it.

3) Abandon it. You can drop a cargo at any world, just to get rid of it (but only during your turn). You must pay a 5-Stellor penalty to the Empire for abandoning a cargo, and lose 3 Prestige points. Abandoned cargo cannot be picked up by other players.

4) Sell or trade it to another player, with his agreement. You must be at the same world as that other Trader to transfer it to his ship. There is no penalty for getting rid of a cargo this way — it becomes his responsibility to do something with it.


When two Traders both pick up the same cargo, the are in a race to deliver it. When you win a race by making delivery first, you get one extra Prestige point for every Trader who has that same cargo!

See above: you must pay 5 Stellors, just just lose them. Note also, as it says in the next paragraph, that you can also just hold the cargo for as long as you like.

The Trader(s) who lost the race may abandon the cargo (losing 3 Prestige and 5 Stellors) or carry it on to its destination world (wasting time, but avoiding a penalty). You get no pay if you are second to make a delivery!

There are quite a few duplicate cargos, so this isn't totally crazy. In fact, the whole thing about delivering on another contract causes lots of odd cases which we've had to invent a whole new mechanic to cover cleanly!

If you lose a race and are left holding a cargo, keep that Contract card beside you, to remind you where you can drop that cargo without penalty. (If you want to, you can keep it on board, in the hope that another Contract will come up for the same cargo. But it's not likely to happen very soon!)

Dropping off a cargo, however you do it, does not end your turn.


When you deliver a Contract, you are paid the amount shown on the Contract card. (Making a delivery does not end your turn.) If there is a station at the world where you make your delivery, the station owner receives the second payment shown. If you deliver a cargo to your own station, you collect both the payoff and the station fee!

You also receive Prestige for each deliver. The Prestige value of each Contract is listed on its card. When you get Prestige, move your counter along the Prestige track on the gameboard.

Double first, then add prestige for races.

Contract No. 1 is always an Imperial Contract. You acquire double the Prestige listed on the card for filling a Contract requested by the Emperor.

New Contracts

What a pain. Keep a discard pile instead. I've never seen a game go through the whole deck, so what you do with old Contract cards doesn't really matter.

When a delivery is made, put the old Contract card on the bottom of the deck, and draw another card to replace it. Move the old Pick Up and Delivery counters on the map to the worlds shown on the new Contract.

Hints for Faster Play

This section is informative, not normative.

Hand each completed Contract card to the Trader who made the delivery. While he is getting his money from the bank and moving his Prestige marker up, another player draws the new Contract card and moves the Pick Up and Deliver markers, so everyone can see what the new Contract is and make their plans.

Plan your move while other players are taking their turns. This will speed up the game.

When your turn is over, pass the die to the next Trader to let him know it's his turn.


A station is represented by a six-sided colored marker. Each player starts the game with one station, and can build more. Stations have two important uses:

  1. They make it easier to travel between worlds — see Station Jumps above, under Movement.
  2. They earn money for their owner when a cargo is delivered — see directly above, under Payoffs. They can also earn money when other Traders pay for permission to jump there!

Players may sell, trade, or give away stations any time they agree to do so . . . no matter whose turn it is.

Establishing a New Station

It does not end your turn. It just is done after your movement phase.

Only one station is allowed per world. When your ship moves to a world without a station, you may build one in your color by paying 5 Stellors. This ends your turn, so you can only build one station per turn.

We feel this makes it too easy to just go around building stations without delivering much cargo. Make it 2 prestige.

You get 3 Prestige points each time you build a new station — move your Prestige marker up by 3.


Prestige points are a measure of your status with the Powers That Be. Your Prestige is used to influence the Emperor when you make your petition for the title of Imperial Trader. You can earn Prestige in several ways:

1) You get 3 Prestige points for each new station that you establish.

Except for the Jackpot cargos, which can get you 8 or 12.

2) You get 1 to 4 Prestige points for each cargo you successfully deliver. (If it is an Imperial cargo, you receive double Prestige.) If you win a race to deliver cargo, you get 1 extra Prestige for each Trader you beat!

As above, you have to pay 5 Stellors, not just lose them.

3) You lose 3 Prestige points (and 5 Stellors) when you abandon a cargo without delivering it.

4) You may gain or lose Prestige through Trader's Luck cards.

Traders may not buy sell, or trade Prestige points between themselves. However, some Trader's Luck cards will let you affect your own Prestige, or the Prestige of others. You can buy, sell, or trade these cards, or agree to use them for other player's benefit. Or you can save them to sabotage your rivals' attempts to petition . . . .

Prestige may not go below 0, or above 30.

In a two-player game, do not use the rule giving double Prestige for Contract #1. When only two Traders are competing, the double Prestige would make the game end too quickly.

Exchanges and Trades

Engines can also be traded, but only when the players are at the same world. You can't go above your maximum number of engines, obviously. Want to sell below 3 engines? Sure.

Money, stations and Trader's Luck cards may be sold, traded, or given away among players.

Players may make any "deals" they like, as long as they do not violate the written rules of the game. No Trader ever has to keep his promises, but remember — if you're too sneaky, nobody will make any more deals with you!

Buying and Repairing Engines

All Traders start the game with three hyperdrive engines, allowing three jump attempts per turn. You can buy extra engines to let your ship attempt more jumps each turn.

Your turn is not over. It is just done after your movement.

You may add an engine any shipyard world. There are six shipyards, each marked with a yellow ship emblem on the mapboard: one at Capital, and one at the end of each spiral arm. When you buy a new engine, your turn is over.

Ok, clearly they mean that if you have four engines, you can make four jump attempts per turn.

Your 4th engine costs 30 Stellors, and lets you try four jumps per turn.

Your 5th engine costs 40 Stellors, and lets you try five jumps per turn.

The engineer actually pays 40 for the 6th engine, not 20.

Your 6th engine also costs 40 Stellors (but only the Engineer can have 6 engines). This engine lets the Engineer try six jumps each turn!

Place a marker on the "Engines" track on the board to show the number of engines your ship has.

Ship Repair

All of this is explained on the Stressed Engines card. Why is it, of all Trader's Luck cards, singled out here as though it's a separate rule?

One of the "Calamity" cards that your rivals may play on you is "Stressed Engines." When your engines are stressed, you will have to do one of two things: pay 10 Stellors to fix them immediately, or lose a turn to repair them. You do not have to be at a shipyard to make repairs.

Trader's Luck

These cards are used to give yourself an advantage, or to interfere with other Traders. You may show them to your opponents, but you don't have to. Sometimes you will want to hold a card for the "perfect" time to use it. Sometimes you'll want to play a card as soon as you can, to harass an opponent and let you draw another card!

Different cards can be played at different times. Each card tells when it can be played.

If you have fewer than two Trader's Luck cards at the end of your turn, you may draw one more. However, you may only draw one card per turn. You may never have more than two Trader's Luck cards in your hand.

If you have two cards, you may play or discard one at the end of your turn, in order to draw another one. You may never hold three cards at once.

When you draw a card, you cannot use it to take a further move in that turn, or to change anything you have already done. You can play it immediately if it will increase your Prestige or harass another player. . . .

Trader's Luck cards may be freely given away, traded, or sold, even during another player's turn.

Re-Rolls: Instead of its stated purpose, any Trader's Luck card can be used to get an immediate re-roll on a jump attempt. To do this, just turn in the card and then roll the die again for that jump. You may not use a Trader's Luck card to re-roll a random jump.

Calamity Cards

Some cards are marked Calamity! These are to be played on your opponents (though you could play one on yourself if you wanted to!).

If the Trader on whom you play a Calamity then plays an "Avoid Calamity" card (see below), the Calamity card has no effect, and both cards are discarded.

Otherwise, he must accept the Calamity card, and read the misfortune printed on the bottom half. This is the calamity that happens to him. A Calamity always takes effect immediately.

"Avoid Calamity!" Cards

If another Trader plays a Calamity on you, and you have an Avoid Calamity card (or can get one from another player quickly), you may play it immediately. The Calamity then has no effect, and both cards are discarded. You cannot wait and play an Avoid Calamity later — it must be used immediately. Exception: you may use an Avoid Calamity at any time to avoid the effect of a Quarantine for yourself only, while the Quarantine remains in force for other players.

If a card is not marked as a Calamity, it cannot be countered with an Avoid Calamity card.

Special Cards

This contradicts the card itself, which just says "pay ... or lose". Given that you can keep your money secret, I rule that you can always opt to lose prestige in order to keep money. If you go down to 0 prestige, this just means that you don't have to do anything.

Jubilee! This card must be played immediately when drawn (even at the beginning of the game). Each player (including the one who drew it) must pay the bank 3 Stellors for each regular station and (in the Advanced Game) 10 Stellors per Imperial Station. Anyone who can't pay this much must pay all the money that he has, and lose 2 Prestige points for each station not paid for. A Trader may avoid Jubilee tax by selling or tearing down some of his stations. A Trader who buys one of these stations must immediately pay the tax on it!

Quarantine! The player who played the card can put a Quarantine marker on the world of his choice. Trader(s) on the Quarantined world, or arriving while the marker is there, are stuck there until the marker is removed. They may not move away. However, they do not lose any turns. They can still build or steal a station, draw cards, etc., while in quarantine. Remove the Quarantine marker at the end of the next turn of the Trader who played it.

Anyone may play an "Avoid Calamity" card immediately after the Quarantine card is played, and lift the quarantine. An "Avoid Calamity" played by a trapped Trader during his own turn will let him move away, but will not free other quarantined Traders. Any Trader may enter a Quarantined world, but nobody can leave until the quarantine is lifted unless he plays an "Avoid Calamity.".

Steal a Station: This card lets you take over the station at the world where you are. This ends your turn. You do not get Prestige for stealing a station, since you aren't building a new station.

Imperial Envoy: You may not be assigned a second envoy while delivering a first one.


All Star Traders are smart, talented people. Each Trader has a specific personality or ability which helps him in the game.

The Navigator may add one to his die roll on each jump attempt. His skill does not affect random jumps.

This Psychic may always see the next Contract which will become available (by looking at the top face-down card in the Contract deck). If there are five or six players in the game, he can look at the top two cards. Don't rearrange the cards!

Lucky Lou may hold up to three Trader's Luck cards at once. If he has one card or no cards at the end of his turn, he draws two.

The Negotiator collects an extra 2 Stellors from the bank for every cargo he delivers, and an extra 1 Stellor for every cargo delivered at one of his stations.

The Engineer pays less to buy new engines or repair the old ones, and may get a 6th engine for 40 Stellors. He may add an engine at any world — he does not need a shipyard.

This is a really obscure rule!

The Insider automatically starts in the center, on Capital. He may never lose his station there, no matter what, and pays no Jubilee tax on it. He also starts with 3 more stations anywhere he wants them, chosen after other players place their first stations, but before initial Contracts are drawn.

The Hero gets one extra Prestige point for every cargo he delivers.

Dropping Out

If a player drops out of the game, all his money goes back to the bank, and his ship is removed from play. His stations are auctioned off, one at a time, to the highest bidder.

Since there are now fewer Traders in the game, the next non-Imperial Contract that is completed is not replaced. Thus, the number of Contracts in the game will be one less than the number of players. But if only two Traders are left, play with two Contracts, not one.

Winning the Game

As usual, no, it doesn't end your turn. It just happens after your movement phase.

The winner of the game is the player who successfully petitions the Emperor for an "Imperial Mission" and completes that mission. You may petition to get a mission at any time, as long as your Prestige is 15 or more. But a failed attempt can be expensive — and petitioning ends your turn — so don't try it until you're ready!


To petition the Emperor, use the Petition Table at the top of the back page. Roll one die. The level of your Prestige can add to your roll. Then refer to the table, to see what the Emperor says!

For instance, in the basic game, if you don't have 60 Stellors, you'd rather end up with a 2 than a 3. But what if you're in +2, can you choose to add 1 (instead of 0 or 2)? Let's say yes.

Example: Your Prestige is 22. From the Prestige track, you can see this is in the "+1" area. Add 1 to whatever number you roll (if you wish).

In addition, any Trader may use an appropriate Trader's Luck card to change your Prestige before you roll, or to change your die after you roll. If you have such a card, you can play it on yourself!

When the plusses and minuses are figured, roll the die and look at the Petition Table for what you must now do to get a mission. For instance, if your final die roll is a 4, you get your Imperial Mission if you pay 40 Stellors! But if you don't have that much, you must lose 10 Stellors and 10 Prestige!

It is risky to petition before you have lots of money and Prestige. If you try to beat out the other Traders by being the first to petition, a lucky roll can earn you your mission . . . and an unlucky roll can put you far behind.

Completing Your Mission

When the Emperor grants you a mission, turn up the top card in the Contract Deck and place it in front of you. This Contract is your Imperial Mission. (If the Payoff on the card is less than 15, it is not challenging enough for an Imperial Mission. Discard it and turn over another card. Keep trying until you get one with a payoff of at least 15.)

Place two of your Imperial markers, one next to the pick-up world and one next to the delivery world. This doesn't give you two new stations — it just helps remind everyone what your Imperial Mission is.

You must pick up the specified cargo and deliver it to its destination. No other Trader may pick up that cargo. It's just for you. When you reach your destination, you become the Imperial Trader, and you win.

But it won't be easy. Your rivals will do their best to stop you. They can't use Trader's Luck cards to pirate your cargo or give you an Imperial Envoy passenger — but they can do anything else.

And while one Trader is trying to complete his mission, any or all of the other Traders may also petition for their own missions. It is possible for all the Traders to be on Imperial Missions at once. The first one to complete his mission is the winner.

Good luck, Trader! Hot jets!

Summary of Turn Sequence

Movement: You may attempt as many Jumps as you have engines. Station jumps are automatically successful (except along green jumplines) — though you must have permission if you want to make a station jump to a station you don't own. Regular jumps require a die roll. A random jump ends your movement. A Trader's Luck card can be used to let you re-roll any regular jump.

Picking up cargo: You may pick up cargo at any time during your turn. You may carry up to two cargoes at a time.

Delivering cargo: You may deliver cargo at any time during your turn. The first Trader to deliver a cargo receives the money and Prestige shown on the Contract card. Others receive nothing.

Stations: If a world has no station, you can visit it and build one. This costs 5 Stellors and ends your turn. It earns you 3 Prestige.

Adding Engines: If at a shipyard, you can add an engine for the cost shown on the Engines track on the board. This ends your turn.

Petitioning the Emperor: Roll on the Petition Table. If you succeed, you get an Imperial Mission! Petitioning ends your turn.

Draw a Trader's Luck card when your turn is over, unless you already have two cards.

Advanced Game

The Basic Game can be played in two hours or less. If you want a longer, more challenging game, use the Advanced Rules.


Use the same setup as the Basic Game, but deal one more Contract card. There should be as many Contract cards as there are players.

Imperial Stations

In the Advanced Game, you are trying to build a chain of Imperial Stations. The first Trader to build a long enough chain will be named the Imperial Trader.

To make one of your stations Imperial, you must be at the station. You may now call the Emperor on the hyperwave relay and petition for Imperial status. Roll the die and check the Imperial Station Petition Table (bottom of the back page). A successful roll promotes your station to an Imperial Station, if you can pay the price indicated on the table. Note that you will usually have to spend Prestige, as well as cash. (In all results calling for a fractional loss of Prestige, round in your favor.) You are calling in favors at the Imperial Court!

No it doesn't, blah blah blah.

Petitioning for an Imperial Station ends your turn, whether you succeed or fail.

Designate an Imperial Station by using one of the Imperial markers with a crown on it.

An Imperial Station cannot be taken away from you or destroyed by a Trader's Luck card or any other means. You may still sell or trade it to another player, if you choose.

Winning the Advanced Game

The winner of the game is the first Trader to put together a large enough network of Imperial Stations. Each Imperial Station in your chain must be directly connected (by a jumpline) to another Imperial Station in the chain. Unconnected stations don't count! It takes a chain of 6 Imperial Stations to win a two-Trader game, 5 to win a three-Trader game, 4 to win a four-Trader game, and 3 to win a game with five or six Traders.

Dropping Out

If a player drops out, use the rules on page 10. However, his Imperial Stations are reduced to ordinary stations before the auction.

The victory conditions do not change when a player drops out. If you started with four players, and one drops out, it will still take a chain of four stations to win.

Petition Table

Less than 0 — The Emperor is angered by your presumption! Lose your next turn and 15 Prestige.

0 — Caught attempting a bribe! Lose 20 Stellors (if you have that much) and 10 Prestige. If you don't have 20 Stellors, lose all the money you have.

And if you don't, lose all you have.

1 — Your petition is denied. Lose 20 Stellors (if you have that much) and 5 Prestige.

2 — Emperor goes on vacation. Your petition is not heard. The attempt costs 10 Stellors.

3 — Loads of red tape! Your petition will be granted if you can pay 60 Stellors. If you don't have this much, lose 10 Prestige and 10 Stellors for wasting the Emperor's time.

4 — Greedy bureaucrats delay you. Your petition will be granted if you pay 40 Stellors. If you can't pay, lose 10 Prestige and 10 Stellors for wasting the Emperor's time.

5 — Your petition will be granted if you pay 20 Stellors. If you can't pay, lose 10 Prestige.

6 — Your petition will be granted if you pay 10 Stellors. If you can't pay, lose 10 Prestige.

7 or more — your petition is granted at no cost. Draw a Contract card. Your Imperial Mission starts on your next turn!

Costs and Prestige

2 Prestige.

Turn Sequence

To be clear, all phases are always taken on all turns. The rules as well as the card Takeover use "ends your turn" to mean "ends your movement". There are chances to play Trader's Luck cards before and after each phase.
  1. Movement. Jump your ship from world to world, picking up and delivering cargoes.
  2. Action.
    1. Build a new station or
    2. Get a new engine or
    3. Petition the Emperor.
  3. Draw a Trader's Luck card.
  4. Pass the die to the next player.

Advanced Game Only: Imperial Station Petition Table

Less than 0 — The Emperor is angered by your presumption! Your petition is denied. Lose 10 Prestige. Your station goes up for auction. You may bid on it yourself.

0 — Caught attempting a bribe! Your petition is denied. Lose 20 Stellors (if you have that much) and 10 Prestige. if you don't have 20, lose all the money you have.

And all you have if you don't.

1 — Your petition is denied. Lose 10 Stellors (if you have it) and 5 Prestige.

And all you have if you don't.

2 — Emperor goes on vacation. Your petition is not heard. Your failed attempt costs 5 Stellors, if you have that much.

3 — Red tape! Your petition is granted if you pay 40 Stellors and spend half (1/2) your Prestige. If you can't pay 40 (or don't want to), lose 5 Prestige for wasting the Emperor's time.

4 — Greedy bureaucrats delay you. Your petition is granted if you pay 30 Stellors and spend one-third (1/3) of your Prestige. If you can't pay 30 (or don't want to), lose 5 Prestige anyway.

5 — Your petition is granted if you pay 20 Stellors and spend one-fourth (1/4) of your Prestige. if you can't pay 20 (or don't want to), lose 5 Prestige.

6 — Your petition is granted if you pay 10 Stellors and spend 5 Prestige. If you can't pay 10 (or don't want to), lose 10 Prestige.

7 or more — The Emperor is very impressed. Your petition is granted at no cost! Spend 10 Prestige.