Rules for a 2-Player Game
These rules are based on a 2-player game suggestion by Roland Wood posted on Board Game Geek on 7/26/2006. Here's the link to his original post.
One of the key areas of change is in the use of the Strategy Cards. The "Initiative" Strategy Card is no longer used. A few other Strategy Cards have modified behavior. The Political Strategy Card is performed differently and borrows ideas from one of my other favorite games - Warrior Knights.
The following steps should be followed in setting up the game.
- Remove the Super Nova and 4 Blank System Tiles.
- Shuffle the remaining Systems Tiles and deal 8 to each player.
- Players take turns placing tiles until complete. Each player places 1 tile on his turn in rotation.
- The 2 Home Systems are placed in the second ring around Mecatol Rex.
- Shuffle the Phase 1 Public Objective Cards and give one to each player. Shuffle the Phase 2 Public Objective Cards and also give one to each player. Shuffle the Secret Objective Cards and give two to each player. These 4 cards comprise their Secret Objectives.
- Setup the remaining Public Objectives as described in the "Age of Empire" official rules option. This includes putting a token next to the first Public Objective card as a game "timer". That token will advance every Status Phase and wil end the game when it gets to the "Mecatol Rex" card. Note, the game can end before then if either player reaches the agreed upon Victory Point goal (usually 10 points).
- Remove Trade Contracts from the game.
Beginning with the player having the Speaker Token, each player chooses a Strategy Card, alternating between players until each player has 2 cards. The remaining 3 Strategy Cards will have Bonus Tokens added.
Player order is determined in the standard manner, alternating between the two players, beginning with the player having the lowest numbered Strategy Card.
Continue on for a review of Strategy Cards changes and other rules changes.