The Space War

Card Game

How to Play / Rules

Print this document and have it accessible when you play offline.

Recommendation: play online in your browser for free without registration against the bot to get a feel for the game.

You are a commander of a space station in war with another space station. The crew on your station can build space ships and other things which can attack the enemy space station in various ways.

If your station gets damage you have to flip that many station cards. If you have no station cards left to flip you loose the game.


Each player has the same deck of 60 cards, called the draw pile, and it is located on the left. Below it is the discard pile.

Decide randomly which person that can choose who starts the game.

Both players shuffle their draw pile and draws 6 cards. Determine who will start the game. The person that will not start the game draws 1 additional card.

Both players chooses 3 cards from the hand that will form the initial station cards (for first time players you can agree to select the 3 cards first drawn) and places them upside down in 3 rows on the right side of the table so that there is 1 card in each row. The person that will not start the game places 1 additional station card in the row he/she chooses. Now both players has 3 cards remaining in the hand.

Select one of the 6 commanders in secret and place it upside down on the left of the draw pile. When both players are ready, the commanders are flipped and revealed at the same time and the game begins.

Station cards

More explanation in The Turn.

Table setup

This how the table will look like during a game:


There are 2 zones. Home zone on your part of the table and the enemy zone on the opponents part of the table.

The cards

At the top left on the cards is a number representing how many actions it cost to play a card. Cards that cost 0 can be played in any moment, even in the opponents turn.

Space ship cards are blue

They can do 1 move and 1 attack per turn (exceptions exist). They can attack but not move the first turn they enter play. They cannot attack the enemy station the same turn that they moved to the enemy zone.

Duration cards are violet

They stay in the game each turn until the owner decides to discard them. They cost actions each turn, see The Turn.

Event cards are orange

They are placed directly in the discard pile after they have been played.

Missile cards are red

They are destroyed after an attack. Does not need to stay a turn in the enemy zone before attacking the enemy station.

Defense cards are green

They stay in your home zone and cannot move.

Commander cards

They provide a certain power or ability but are not considered to be in play and cannot be destroyed.

The turn

Each turn consists of the following steps:

  1. Draw phase: You must draw cards corresponding to 1 for each station card in the first row. 
  2. Action phase: you receive 2 action points for each station card in the second row. If you have any duration card in play decide which ones to keep by paying their action costs and which ones to instead move to your discard pile. Spend your action points to play cards from your hand. If you have less than the maximum of 8 station cards you may put down 1 card from your hand upside down as a new station card in one of the rows.
  3. Discard phase: if you have more cards in hand than 3 times the number of station cards in the third row discard to the amount of cards allowed. For example having 1 station card in the last row allows you to keep 3 cards in your hand.
  4. Attack phase: move and/or attack with each space ship, missile or cannon one by one and in the order you choose.

Empty draw pile

If you have no cards left in your draw pile at the beginning of your draw phase before drawing cards your station gets 3 damage (opponent flips 3 of your station cards). 


You attack with your space ships, missiles and cannons.

You can only attack enemies in the same zone. 

Your space ship, missile or cannon can always attack an enemy card in your home zone, even on it's first turn.

When you attack another card the defense value of the card being attacked are reduced corresponding to the attack value of the attacker. The attacker does not risk to get damage when it is attacking and damage is not automatically healed. Use a die or token to keep track of damage.

If you attack the enemy station you flip that many station cards of the opponent and if he/she has no more station cards to flip you win the game.

Flipped station cards

Station cards that has been flipped can be played as if they were on the hand but they are not considered to be on the hand.


Counter means that the card played from the opponent does not enter play and goes straight to the discard pile.

Discard means to move cards from your hand to the discard pile (if there are enough cards in the hand).

Additional rules:

Print of

Subscribe to be notified when you can play it online for free, the kickstarter campaign goes live, tournaments or other info.