THE CARD-DRIVEN MECHANICSo far we've learned that players assign Admirals to Fronts who use their Command ratings to order commands to the forces under their control and while they move fleets and troops around on the board via Normalspace or Higherspace, what mechanic is used to regulate what players actually DO?
The answer is "Command Cards".
Command Cards are the means by which players take actions in the game. An "action" is anything that involves moving fleets, constructing things, making attacks, etc. Players select which Front Admiral to assign to a Front and this admiral has a rating that determines the maximum number of Commands that can be played on a turn by that Admiral.
Some Command Cards give the player the opportunity for two Front Admirals to move one Combat Fleet apiece, while some allow the player to construct stations, fleets, sensor grids, etc. Playing Command Cards is how the game is played and judicious use of these cards will help determine who wins.
The number of cards a player can keep in his hand is determined by the number of Star Bases on the game board. Star Bases represent Command & Control centers where Front Admirals and their staffs operate from. Each Star Base allows the player to hold three cards. Each Admiral has a Command rating or 1-4. So If a player has two Star Bases he can hold six cards in hand maximum and play 1,2,3 or 4 Command Cards on that turn. the Admiral's rating determines how many Commands can be given to that Admiral that turn. Think of Command cards as "Orders" from supreme command (the player) being passed down to subordinates.
When the Command Card Deck has been entirely played-through it is re-shuffled and players can continue drawing from it.
In the next blog we will discuss combat mechanics...