Xero-G

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Xero-G
Designed by Kat Costa
Xero-G Cover 500px.jpg
A quick, accessible game of spaceships and strategy
:Players Players: 2 - 2
:Time Length: Fast
:Complexity Complexity: Medium
Trios per color: 0
Number of colors: 1
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 1
Five-color sets: 0
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
6x6 grid
Setup time: 1 minute
Playing time: 3 minutes
0.05 Hr
- 10 minutes
0.167 Hr
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: None
Game mechanics:
Theme: Space
BGG Link: Xero-G
Status: Complete (v1.0), Year released: 2019


Xero-G

Xero-G is a perfect-information strategy game with a sci-fi theme. Players take on the role of spaceship pilots who use fancy maneuvering to reach the opponent's base. Looney pyramids represent ships, and a 6×6 board represents the space between two warring planets. Released July 2019.


What You will Need


12 Looney Pyramids in any color or mix of colors.
  • 4 large pyramids
  • 4 medium pyramids
  • 4 small pyramids

Any 6×6 grid or four Martian Coasters

MaterialsPyramids.jpg

Goal

Maneuver a spaceship onto your opponent’s alien base.

Premise

You and an alien race have been at war for ages, so long that each of your planets began manufacturing fighter ships with artificial intelligence to do the fighting for them. But cosmic rays gradually caused bit-flips in all the fighter ships’ software, turning them into mindless drones hurtling through space. You are the last trained pilot your planet has in this war, and it’s your job to take whatever spaceship you can come by and fly it into the fray. You will often jump from your current ship into others, reprogramming their coordinates to help your strategic position. Plan things right, and you will finally be able to enter the enemy base and put an end to the war.

Setup

Give each player 2 larges, 2 mediums, and 2 smalls. Each player arranges these pyramids on the row closest to them, in whatever configuration seems good. Players may use any two objects to represent their planetary bases, or players may simply agree to remember that the bases are one step off the end of the board. The six pyramids initially provided to each player are not "owned" by those players, they're just the ships that happen to be available to fly during the first few turns. All of the pyramids on the board may end up being flown by either player as the game progresses.
Example Setup. Each player may choose to arrange the given pyramids in whatever order desired.

Start

The player who has most recently read a work of science fiction goes first. Turns alternate thereafter. On your turn, find the row closest to you that contains one or more pyramids. This is your home row. (At the beginning of the game, this will be the back row.) Choose a pyramid from this row as the ship you’d like to fly.

How Ships Move

  • 1) A ship must move exactly the number of spaces as it has pips. Ships move orthogonally only, but are allowed to change direction with each space.
A small pyramid moves one space orthogonally
A medium pyramid moves two spaces orthogonally
A large pyramid moves three spaces orthogonally
  • 2) Spaces that a ship passes through must be empty, but the space the ship lands on at the end of its movement can be occupied. Landing your ship in an empty space ends your turn.
  • 3) If your ship lands on another piece, you get a choice between two actions:
Rocket Boost — Count the pips of the piece that your ship landed on. Your ship then gets a boost of exactly that many extra spaces. As with regular movement, any spaces the ship passes through while being boosted must be empty, and spaces the ship lands on may be occupied. Rocket Boosts can be chained and/or can end with a Reprogram Coordinates action.
Reprogram Coordinates — Leave your ship in the space where it landed and pick up the piece it landed on. Place that piece in any empty space on the board—except beyond your opponent’s home row. This ends your turn.
Rocket Boost Reprogram Coordinates
This ship gets four successive boosts before ending in an empty space
This ship has landed on a medium pyramid. Instead of taking a boost of two movement, the player has chosen to leave his original ship there and relocate the medium pyramid to an empty square of his choice. The only prohibited square would be beyond the opponent's home row.
  • 4) Your ship can pass through the same square more than once in a single turn, but it is not allowed to double directly back on itself or retrace its path. To understand this, it helps to visualize the four sides of any given square as being made of four separate gates, each of which can be crossed only once. All the gates start out black (open) at the beginning of each turn. But as a ship passes from one square to another, the dividing line between the two turns red (closed). Look at this example. For simplicity, assume the ship has picked up sufficient boost power from pieces not shown in these diagrams.
The ship has traveled North, East, and South, turning gates red as it crosses them. At its current position, the ship is allowed to enter the square where it started, because the gate for that side of the square is still black. Suppose it does pass through…
The ship has entered the square it started from. Now, it cannot go East (directly back the way it came) or North (retracing its steps). Both of those gates have been used. It can only fly West or South.
The ship has flown South, then East. At this point the ship could choose to fly North, even though it has passed through that square before, because the gate on the side of the square facing the ship is black. If the ship does fly North, it will then have to fly East, through only black gate left.

You now know everything there is to know about movement.

Game End

When one player has flown a ship into his opponent’s alien base, landing there with no leftover moves, the game ends immediately and that player is the winner.

Rules Clarifications

  • Moving off the 6×6 grid to land on the enemy base counts as exactly one space of movement, no matter which square in the end-row the ship departs from.
  • If you find that it’s not legal to move any of the pieces in your home row, then select a pyramid from the row next-closest to you.
  • The board must have changed at the end of your turn.

Credits

  • Xero-G is based on the excellent 1985 abstract game Gyges by Claude Leroy. One important difference: in Xero-G, victories are sudden and final. No renouncing victory because your opponent made a mistake. This is space-war! We use all situations to our advantage. This cuts playing time down to under 10 minutes.
  • Theme and rules write by Kat Costa