- one stash of yellow pyramid pieces
- one stash of green pyramid pieces
- one stash of red pyramid pieces
- one stash of blue pyramid pieces
A right-side-up piece is a star system and a piece lying on its side is a star ship. All of the pyramid pieces start off in a pile somewhere near the edge of your playing area.
Start your first turn by taking two pieces of any size or colour and setting them up-right in front of you one on top of the other. This is your homeworld. Stack the smaller piece on top of the larger so that it’s clear what two sizes and colours of pieces make up your homeworld. Then choose one piece of any size or colour for your first star ship and place it on its side close to your homeworld.
Note: make sure that this star ship and all other starships in your possession face pointing away from you. This indicates that these starships are yours.
On your turn you may perform one action, sacrifice a ship to perform multiple actions of the same type, or pass. The type of action you choose depends on what “colours of actions” are available in the system where the action is to take place.These colours include those of the system marker and the ships currently in that system.
Yellow = Move. Move one of your ships to any connected system. Two systems are connected if all of the system markers are different sizes. If the system you are leaving now has zeros ships, it is removed and put back in the general pile.
Note: you may “discover” a new system by choosing a piece from the general pile, placing it somewhere on the board and moving your ship to it. Remember that the size of the piece that you choose matters because it has to be connected to where you left from.
Green = Construct. Take the smallest available piece of a colour from the general pile. Place this new ship in the star system. Make sure to point your new ship away from you.
Note: your choice of colour is limited to the colours of the ships that you are already in possession of in that star system. For example, if you are constructing a ship for your first turn and your starting ship in your homeworld is blue, you can only construct a blue ship.
Blue = Trade. Trade one of your ships in the system with a different coloured piece from the general stash. The piece that you choose must be the same size as the one that you’re trading for it.
Red = Attack. Choose and take over an enemy ship (orient your new ship away from you). You may only attack enemy ships that are smaller than your largest ship in that system.
Sacrificing a ship: if you sacrifice a ship, you may perform multiple actions of that ship’s colour depending on its size. A small ship gives you one action, a medium ship gives you two actions and a large ship gives you three actions. You may perform those actions in any system that you occupy.
If you spot an over-populated system at the end of your turn, you may trigger a catastrophe. A system is overpopulated if it contains four or more pieces of the same colour (including the system marker and ships). When someone triggers a catastrophe in a system, all of the pieces of that overpopulated colour are removed and returned to the general pile. If the only system marker of a system is removed, that entire system and its contents are destroyed (returned to the general pile).
You win Homeworlds when:
1. Your opponent controls zero ships in his/her homeworld
2. Both of your opponent’s homeworld system markers are destroyed