Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Godspeed Board Game. You are heading to a new planet as the representative for the future of humanity for your country. Over various phases, your crew will need to execute objectives and build infrastructure to gain influence and points to propel you to victory. This is all done via a worker placement base tied to a unique blind bidding mechanic. The game is for 2 – 5 players at ages 10+. The rules for how to play Godspeed have a few tricks you need to pick up but generally are pretty straightforward.
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HOW TO PLAY GODSPEED – WHAT IS IT?
The space race was a lie! It happened, but it was just a massive cover up to justify the massive costs and cause a spectacle to distract the people from the real mission. A one way trip to Ursae Majoris is humanity’s only hope and many different nation states are fighting to be the one that wins this important space race.
Godspeed is an Exoplanet colonization game where various nations exploit the natural resources of the newly found planet minos in the shadow of the Cold War. The player who best establishes their foothold on the new planet over the 10 round game will win.
At the end of the final round, each nation counts up victory they have earned from their position on the prestige tracks, their civilization milestones, lunar season scorning and other bonuses they have earned. The nation with the most victory points is the winner.
HOW TO PLAY GODSPEED – STEP BY STEP
Time Needed: Approximately 45 – 90 minutes.
This is a step by step guide for how to play Godspeed the space race worker placement bidding board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.
1. SETUP | Put Out Game Board
The first step of how to play Godspeed is to put out the gigantic game board in the middle of everyone. It is two-sided, with the only difference being about the player count. You can tell which side to use based on the number of astronaut symbols. One, for example, has 3 spots under the initial phase while the other has 5 spots.
2. SETUP | Place Round Marker
The game is played over ten turns which is shown by the small moon token placed in the top left corner of the board. To start, place this marker on the “1” space.
3. SETUP | Put Out Lunar Season Cards
In the top-left area of the board next to the round marker, there are three spaces for “Lunar Season” cards. These are tasks you can complete during their corresponding turns to get bonuses. There are three different types (I, II, III), separate the cards into these different stacks. Randomly take one from each stack and flip them up. The “I” goes on the top spot, “II” on the second spot down and “III” in the final spot. Put the rest of the cards back in the box.
4. SETUP | Place Development Decks
On the right side of the board are four spaces for development decks with corresponding discard spaces. Find the decks of cards that match each of these, shuffle them up and place them face down in their individual spaces.
5. SETUP | Put Out Resource Tokes
There are five resources used throughout the game (Credits, Lithonium, Munitions, Tech, Rovers) that have corresponding tokens. Place stacks of these tokens around the board in a handy place for players to grab.
6. SETUP | Place Milestone Statues
On the right side of the far left panel, there is an open area for milestones. These are things that a player can earn by being the first to do that task. Place one statue on each of the 7 designated spaces.
7. SETUP | Place Relic Power Tiles
The long rectangular strips are the relic power tiles, which are cool items you can pick up within the game. Place all 8 of these tokens near the game board in an accessible place for everyone.
8. SETUP | Give Each Player Nation Board & Pieces
Every player gets their own – 1x Player board, 5x team members (1 of each type), 4x flag tokens and 4x prestige markers all in the style of their chosen nation, 4x production building tiles (Fortress, Warehouse, Biocorps, Xenolab) and 1x Relic tile.
9. SETUP | Place Prestige Markers
Players need to take their tokens that look like arrows with the flag of each particular nation and place them on the prestige track. These are the four paths on the bottom left of the board that appears to have matching spaces to accommodate them. Each player places their marker on the “start” space of each of the four tracks.
10. SETUP | Play A Production Building To Start
Every Nation gets to start with one of the four production buildings already constructed depending on who you are. This is indicated by the slot that has a “*” next to it on your individual nation board. Take that corresponding tile and place it into its slot.
11. SETUP | Prepare The High Council Deck
The “High Council” Cards are those with the round symbol on the back that matches what is shown for that space on the board (first worker area, left side of game board). Each of these shows a worker type in the center (Trader, Captain, Biologist, Engineer, Ambassador). Separate the cards into these 5x individual stacks. Take two randomly from each stack and then shuffle the resulting 10 cards together into one stack. Place this deck face down on it’s spot on the game board.
12. SETUP | Prepare The Supply Deck | Remove Cards Based On Player Count
The “Supply” Cards are the ones with the parachute attached to a box symbol in the center. First, remove cards based on your player count. On the bottom, in the middle of the back of each card will say +2, +3, +4, or +5. You want to take out cards with numbers higher than your count. So if you are playing with 3 players, you would remove the +4 and +5 cards. *There are cards called “Victory Decree” that are recommended to be removed for beginner games.
13. SETUP | Prepare The Supply Deck | Separate By Lunar Phase
After you have removed cards based on player count, you need to sort by lunar phase. This is the symbol at the top of the back of the card and will have I, II or III at the top. In addition to that number, some of these are “relics” which are denoted by the purple border around the card. Separate these four stacks and put them in the order from top to bottom – (1) First Lunar Season, (2) Second Lunar Season, (3) Relic Power Stack and (4) Third Lunar Season. Place this constructed deck on the “supply depot” stack on the game board.
14. SETUP | Starting Cards Resource Cards & Tiebreaker
To determine starting resources and who gets the “tiebreaker” tile, everyone gets a random “cargo hold” cards. You must use the one that has the “tiebreaker” symbol on it. Take that one and then take an amount from the remaining 7 cargo hold cards so your total is equal to the number of players playing. Shuffle these up and give one to each player. Each player takes the resources shown on their card and the player that got the tiebreaker one grabs that token to start with.
15. SETUP | Select A Starting Player
The final step of the lengthy how to play Godspeed setup before gameplay is to just choose a starting player. The book recommends using Chwazi or fight with each other in a leg wrestling tournament but go ahead and use your randomizer of choice.
16. GAMEPLAY | Turn Structure Overview
There are 10 rounds in a game and each round is made up of four phases. The first three are different bidding and/or worker placement decisions and the fourth is when everything resolves. There are no player turns, phase after phase there is a point where all players think and make a decision at the same time.
17. GAMEPLAY | Phase 1 High Council | Reveal Top Card
Flip over the top card of the high council deck on the left panel of the game board. This will reveal one of the five jobs. There is a cost a player must pay if they do not participate (“failed response”) and a bonus if every single player does choose to participate. These can be things like grabbing or paying one of the four resources (the fifth resource “rovers” are wild) or moving your marker along one of the four influence tracks.
18. GAMEPLAY | Phase 1 High Council | Secret Placement Decide & Reveal
Secretly each player decides if they are going to respond or not. If they do, they have to use that specific worker chip (of your five total crew members) and it cannot be used for the rest of the round. Not responding means you get to use it later but you will have to pay the penalty. Each player puts the chip, or doesn’t, in their closed fist and puts it out in the center to denote their decision has been made. Everyone then reveals their decision. Place used chips in the corresponding crew member spots, pay any costs and collect any rewards.
19. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 Supply Depot | Prepare The Auction
First, place the “first player” token in the designated space in the supply depot area. It will be auctioned off along with the other deliveries. Then reveal 1 supply card per player from the supply deport deck. Place each card face up in one of the open spaces in the supply depot area to represent a delivery from Earth.
20. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 Supply Depot | Decide Bids
Each nation secretly decides how much they want to bid by placing team members and resources in their closed hand. To participate in the auction, you must place at least one team member in your closed hand. Each crew member you add to your bid increases your bid by their influence value (number on the token). You may also add credit or rover resources to increase your bid by 1 per each item included. If you decline, you are not eligible to receive anything.
21. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 Supply Depot | Reveal & Choose Deliveries
Everyone flips open their fist to show their bid. Add everything together to get each participating players final total. Player pick from the auction cards / first player marker in order from highest bid total to lowest. There are cards equal to the number of players and the 1st player token, so there is always 1 more thing than the number of players as an option. The first player gets to pick first, but they may also take whatever is leftover after the others choose.
22. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 Supply Depot | Clean Up
Every participating nation must discard all resources that they bid. All crew members that were assigned to the auction are placed on the supply depot area for the rest of the round. Any unclaimed cards go to the discard pile at the bottom of the panel. Players now receive whatever resources or bonuses the gain cards state.
23. GAMEPLAY | Phase 3 Actions | Players Take Actions
Each nation may take up to two actions. These are chosen one at a time, starting with whoever has the first player token and subsequently moving clockwise around the circle of players. Taking an action means choosing one of your crew members (you have five total each round to work with) and placing them on an open spot in one of the available action spots. Each section can only hold certain crew members and total spots are limited. See which member can do which action in Available Actions . If you have no workers (or assistants), you must pass. Each action is different but indicartes exactly what happens right there on the game board.
24. GAMEPLAY | Phase 3 Actions | Draw Any Necessary Development Cards
Some action spaces allow you to draw new development cards from one or more development decks, or complete development cards in order to gain rewards. If you “acquire” it then you draw it and secretly add it to your hand. If you want to “complete” it, you pay the resources at the top of the card and gain the bonus shown at the bottom of the card.
25. GAMEPLAY | Phase 4 Resolution | Relic Bonuses
If your nation has completed a Relic, you gain +1 Prestige Point on the indicated track. If you have completed a relic and you have a relic power tile that activates in the resolution phase, you may use it now.
26. GAMEPLAY | Phase 4 Resolution | Resolution Bonuses
If you have completed one or more infrastructure development cards that provide resolution bonuses, you may activate them.
27. GAMEPLAY | Phase 4 Resolution | Production
Each of your completed production buildings produces resources. Take the corresponding resources from the supply pile.
28. GAMEPLAY | Phase 4 Resolution | Return Team Members
Take all five of your team members back from the board. Remove any used assistants from the game.
29. GAMEPLAY | Phase 4 Resolution | Pass Auction Tiebreaker
After the last player returns their team members, pass the auction tie breaker marker to the next player in clockwise order.
30. GAMEPLAY | Change Round & Repeat
After all the above gameplay steps have been completed, one round has been completed. Move the round marker in the top left corner to the next space down to signify a new round has begun and repeat all the steps. A game last 10 rounds. If the turn marker was on the “10” spot in the round you just finished, the game ends at this moment.
31. SCORING | Add Different Bonuses Together
After the game ends, you score based on several different aspects of the final game such as position on prestige tracks, completion of milestones and tiles, bonuses and remaining tiles. See the Victory Point Rules below to score each aspect.
32. WINNING | High Score Wins
Add up everything together and whoever has the highest total wins.
HOW TO PLAY GODSPEED – KEY INFORMATION
Captains – Defense Actions
Trader – Commerce Actions
Engineer – Infrastructure Actions
Biologist – Exploration Actions
Ambassador – Government Actions
All Crew Members – Scrapyard
VICTORY POINT RULES
- 8 VP per 1st place on a Prestige Track
- 4 VP per 2nd place on a Prestige Track
- 2 VP per 3rd place on a Prestige Track
- -1VP/-2VP per Prestige Track where you are below “Start”
- 4 VP per completed Civilization Milestone
- 3 VP per completed Lunar Season Scoring tiltle
- Bonus VP for Artifacts, Special Objective Cards, or Scepter of the Ancients
- 1 VP per “extra” Relic Power Tiles (If Relic is completed)
- 1 VP for every 10 leftover resources (including rovers)
2 PlAYER GAME RULE VARIANT
Optional Dummy Paws: During setup, place 1 unused Nation marker on the 6th space of each Prestige Track. When scoring VPs at the end of the game, include the dummy in the ranking. For example, if both players are behind the dummy on the Defense Track, they are ranked 2nd and 3rd place.
Blockers: During setup, each player takes the Ambassador from 1 of the Nations not in the game to use as their blocker. Blockers are placed at the start of each round, before the high council phase. In reverse turn order, each player places their blocker on any 1 action space. In the first round of the game, the player with the Auction Tiebreaker Marker is considered the first player. During the action phase, any space with a blocker is considered full.
- 1x 2-Sided Game Board (based on player count)
- 25x Production Building Tiles
- 5x Nation Boards
- 25x Team Members (5 per player)
- 20x Prestige Scoring Markers (4 per player)
- 1x Round Marker
- 1x First Player Token
- 1x Tiebreaker Token
- 200x Resources Tokens (40 each of 5 – Credits, Lithonium, Munitions, Tech, Rovers)
- 7x Milestone Statues
- 8x Relic Power Tiles
- 20x Flag Scoring Markers (4 per player)
- 144x Development Cards (36 each of 4 – Defense, Commerce, Infrastructure, Exploration)
- 10x Initial Objective Cards
- 25x High Council Cards
- 8x Cargo Hold Cards
- 62x Supply Cards
- 12x Lunar Season Cards
- 1x Score Pad
- 5x Reference Cards
- 1x Rulebook
HOW TO PLAY GODSPEED – IN CLOSING
We hope you can now say you know how to play Godspeed. This combination worker placement and secret bidding game makes for a very unique and enriching experience. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first glance but everything is very intuitive and easy to sink into. You are on a secret mission to colonize a brand new mission but you have competition from other nations trying to do the same thing. The crew members on your team can do a variety of tasks within a turn and bring their influence and specialties to try and make the impossible happen. It is up to you how to choose what to allocate where to get the job done. There may be lots of steps to how to play Godspeed, but if you take it one thing at a time, we will have you going in no time!