In Nexus Ops, two to four players control factions of corporate troops and indigenous life forms on an alien moon. Players deploy troops from their home bases as they explore the moon, mine resources, purchase troops, win battles, and fulfill missions to win the game.
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to earn 12 or more victory points by completing secret missions and winning battles.
- 12 Rubium Dragons (3 per faction)
- 16 Lava Leapers (4 per faction)
- 24 Rock Striders (6 per faction)
- 32 Crystallines (8 per faction)
- 32 Fungoids (8 per faction)
- 48 Humans (12 per faction)
- 7 Single-hex Tiles
- 6 Double-hex Tiles
- 4 Triple-hex Tiles (home base)
- 24 Exploration Tokens
- 71 Rubium Tokens
- 1 First Player Marker
- 4 Reference Sheets (1 per faction)
- 32 Energize Cards
- 36 Secret Mission Cards
- 40 Battle Victory/King of the Hill Cards
- 6 Six-sided Dice (3 white, 3 black)
This section describes the game's components.
These figures represent the different units that players command. Players use units to explore the moon's surface, mine rubium, complete secret missions, and battle enemy units.
These large cardboard tiles are used during setup to create the game board. This allows for many different configurations and provides players with a unique battlefield for every game.
These tokens indicate the rewards that units discover after moving into an unexplored hex.
These tokens represent the game's currency and come in denominations of one and five.
First Player Marker
This marker indicates which player takes the first turn.
These double-sided sheets provide players with a list of units, their stats, and their abilities. One side shows information for the classic game; the other side shows information for the "Alternate Units" optional rule.
Energize cards provide a temporary bonus, such as enhancing a unit's abilities or gaining a tactical advantage in combat.
Secret Mission Cards
Secret Mission cards contain various objectives and, when fulfilled, provide the player between one and three victory points.
Battle Victory Cards
All Battle Victory cards are identical and provide the player one victory point. The backside of this card type is used with the "King of the Hill" optional rule.
These standard six-sided dice are used to determine hits in battle and other random game elements.
Before playing, set up the game as follows:
Determine First Player: Randomly determine who plays first and give this player the first player marker. That player keeps the first player marker for the duration of the game.
Choose Factions: Starting with the first player, each player chooses a faction and takes the plastic unit pieces and reference sheet for that faction. Place the sheet with the red and black striped side faceup.
Place the Terrain: Place the Monolith hex tile in the middle of the play area. Shuffle the six single-hex tiles facedown, then place them facedown in a circle around the Monolith. Shuffle the six double-hex tiles facedown, then place them facedown in a circle around the single- hex tiles (see diagram on page 12).
- Build Bases: Place a home base tile next to the board for each player, in the position indicated by the "Game Board Setup" diagram on page 12 (positions will vary depending on the number of players). Then flip all terrain tiles faceup.
Prepare the Decks: Shuffle the Secret Mission cards to create a deck and place it facedown near the board. Shuffle the Energize cards to create a deck and place it facedown near the Secret Mission deck. Place all the Battle Victory cards faceup in a deck.
Place Exploration Tokens: Unless using the "Extra Exploration Tokens" optional rule (see page 10), return the exploration tokens with green borders to the game box. Shuffle the remaining exploration tokens facedown, then randomly place one token facedown on all hexes except home base hexes and the Monolith.
Prepare Rubium Tokens and Dice: Place the rubium tokens in a pile next to the board to create a supply. Place the dice near the board.
Receive Starting Rubium: Each player receives starting rubium tokens. The first player starts with 8 rubium, and each subsequent player in clockwise order receives 3 additional rubium (e.g., the second player receives 11 rubium, the third player receives 14 rubium, and the fourth player receives 17 rubium).
A Player's Turn
Starting with the first player, each player takes a turn being the active player. During his turn, only the active player performs the following phases in order:
- Deployment Phase: He may purchase and place new units as well as play "Deployment Phase" Energize cards.
- Movement Phase: He may move each unit once.
- Exploration Phase: He reveals facedown exploration tokens in hexes where his units are present.
- Battle Phase: He conducts battle in each contested hex where his units are present.
- Mining Phase: He collects rubium from each controlled hex where his miner units are present. (Miner units include Humans, Fungoids, and Crystallines).
- Draw Phase: He draws one Secret Mission card. If he controls the Monolith, he also draws two Energize cards.
After completing the Draw phase, the player to his left becomes the new active player.
I. Deployment Phase
During the Deployment phase, the active player may purchase new units and play "Deployment Phase" Energize cards.
Each unit costs a certain amount of rubium, as shown on each player's reference sheet. The active player may spend his rubium to purchase as many units as he would like, provided he has sufficient resources to purchase them. He returns spent rubium tokens to the supply.
When purchasing units, he takes the corresponding figures from his supply and places them on any of his home base hexes. The active player may always place these units on any of his home base hexes, even if another player's units currently occupy that hex.
The number and type of units that the active player can purchase is limited by the number of figures available in his supply. It is possible to run out of a particular unit type. However, as units are destroyed during the game, they return to the player's supply and may be purchased again later.
The Deployment phase is also the only time that the active player may play "Deployment Phase" Energize cards. To play an Energize card, the active player must state that he is playing it and follow the instructions on the card. After resolving the card text, he places it faceup in a discard pile next to the Energize deck.
Hidden And Open Information
Each player's hand of cards is hidden.
Each player's collected rubium, unit supply, Battle Victory cards, and fulfilled Secret Mission cards are open information and cannot be hidden.
II. Movement Phase
During the Movement phase, the active player may move each of his units once. Most units only move one hex, although some units have abilities that allow them to move more than one hex.
When the active player moves one of his units into a hex that contains enemy units, it must immediately stop in that hex (unless its ability says otherwise). Some units cannot enter certain hexes, as noted on the reference sheet and indicated by the images in the hex's border.
The active player cannot move his units from one contested hex to (or through) another enemy-controlled or contested hex. In other words, he cannot move a unit from one battle to a different battle. However, he may move a unit from a battle to one of his controlled hexes or an unoccupied hex.
Some units have special attacks that occur at the end of the Movement phase. These special attacks do not initiate a battle, so the active player does not take a Battle Victory card if one of these attacks is successful.
States Of Hexes
A hex is considered controlled if only one player has units in the hex. Alternatively, a hex is considered contested if more than one player has units in the hex. A hex is considered unoccupied if no player has units in the hex.
The blue player may move his Rock Strider from the contested hex. However, it cannot move to (or through) another contested hex, which prevents it from moving to or through the adjacent Rock Plains controlled by the red player.
It may either move to the adjacent Liquifungus Forest or to the open Rock Plains.
Because of the Rock Strider's ability, it may continue moving through the Rock Plains to the Liquifungus Forest containing a 2-rubium refinery.
III. Exploration Phase
During the Exploration phase, the active player reveals all facedown exploration tokens in hexes where his units are present. The active player may find the following rewards:
If the token only shows a unit, he takes one unit of that type from his supply and places it in that hex. During his next turn, he can move the unit and use it in battle like his other units. After placing the unit, return this token to the game box.
If the token only shows a refinery, he leaves the exploration token faceup on that hex to mark the location of the refinery.
If the token shows both a unit and a refinery, he receives both rewards. He takes one unit of that type from his supply and places it in that hex. He also leaves the exploration token faceup on that hex to mark the location of the refinery.
Note: Each hex can be explored only once during each game.
IV. Battle Phase
During the Battle phase, the active player conducts one battle in each contested hex where his units are present (see "Battle"). If his units are present in multiple contested hexes, he chooses the order in which each battle is resolved.
End Of Movement Phase
At the end of the Movement phase, the red player has one Rubium Dragon in a controlled Crystal Spires hex. He uses its special attack to target the adjacent Rock Plains hex.
The red player rolls a "5", which scores a hit. The blue player removes the Fungoid as a casualty.
If the red player also had a Rubium Dragon in the Rock Plains, it would now be in a controlled hex and could perform its special attack against the lone Crystalline in the Magma Pool.
Breaking The Rules
Some card and unit abilities override the general rules.
In case of a conflict, follow the text on that card or the text on the reference sheet that explains the ability.
V. Mining Phase
During the Mining phase, the active player collects rubium from refineries in each controlled hex where at least one of his miner units is present. He takes rubium tokens from the supply equal to the refinery's number and places them in his play area.
Note: Only units marked with the claw icon on the reference sheet are considered miner units.
The red player proceeds to the Mining phase. He has one Human on each of his home base hexes. He also has one Crystalline in a controlled hex that contains a 1-rubium refinery.
He does control a hex with a 2-rubium refinery, but he does not have any miner units there. As such, he cannot collect rubium from that hex. So, in total, the red player collects 8 rubium.
VI. Draw Phase
During the Draw phase, the active player draws one Secret Mission card and keeps it hidden in his hand. If he draws a Secret Mission: Objective card and meets its requirements, he can play it immediately.
If he controls the Monolith hex, he draws two Energize cards and keeps them hidden in his hand until he chooses to play them.
This section explains how to conduct a battle.
Units attack in a specific order, known as the battle order. This order is indicated on the reference sheet and runs from right to left - with the most powerful units attacking first, and the least powerful attacking last. In other words, all Rubium Dragons attack first, then all surviving Lava Leapers attack, followed by all surviving Rock Striders, and so on.
Each unit rolls only one attack during battle. After each unit attacks in order, the battle is over - even if both the attacker and defender have units remaining in that contested hex. When a unit type attacks, both the attacking player and the defending player simultaneously roll for each of their units of that type. The attacker rolls the black dice and the defender rolls the white dice. One hit is scored for each die result that is equal to or higher than the unit's combat value.
For each hit scored, the opposing player must remove one casualty. He chooses one of his units in the contested hex and returns it to his supply. That unit does not participate in the rest of the battle. If the unit is removed from battle before it has a chance to attack, it no longer has the opportunity to attack.
The active player is always the attacker, and the other player involved in the battle is always the defender. In cases where more than one opponent has units in a hex, the active player chooses one of those opponents to be the defender. Only the attacker and the defender participate in the battle.
If the attacker destroys all of the defender's units, the attacker wins the battle (although the hex is still contested).
Results Of Battle
The attacker wins a battle if all of the defender's units are destroyed. When the attacker wins a battle, he draws one Battle Victory card from the pile and places it faceup in his play area. He may also play one Secret Mission: Battle card from his hand if he fulfilled the conditions on the card during this battle.
The defender loses a battle if all of his units in the contested hex are destroyed. When the defender loses a battle, he may draw one Energize card.
If both players mutually destroy each other in the hex, then the attacker wins and the defender loses.
If both the attacker and the defender have at least one unit remaining in the contested hex at the end of a combat round, neither player wins or loses the battle.
This section explains the different card types in Nexus Ops.
Victory Point Cards
There are two types of cards that award victory points: Battle Victory cards and Secret Mission cards. These cards display a number in the upper-left corner, which indicates how many victory points the card is worth. All faceup cards in a player's play area count toward his victory point total.
Note: The active player is the only player who may play or receive victory point cards.
Battle Victory Cards
After winning a battle during the Battle phase, the active player draws one Battle Victory card from the deck and places it faceup in his play area.
All Battle Victory cards are worth one victory point.
Secret Mission Cards
The active player draws one Secret Mission card during the Draw phase. When a player draws a Secret Mission card, he keeps it hidden in his hand until he fulfills the conditions on the card. Once fulfilled, he may play Secret Mission cards at different times during his turn:
Secret Mission: Battle cards are played during the Battle phase after winning a battle and fulfilling the conditions on the card. The active player may only play one Secret Mission: Battle card per battle.
Secret Mission: Objective cards are played during any phase immediately after fulfilling the conditions on the card. The active player may play any number of Secret Mission: Objective cards during his turn, provided that he fulfills the conditions of each card.
Order Of Choosing
The attacker removes casualties first.
During the Battle phase, players are allowed to trigger unit abilities and/or play Energize cards in this order: attacker, defender, then other players in clockwise order from the defender's left.
Each time a player either triggers a unit ability or plays an Energize card, fully resolve the ability. Then all players get an opportunity to trigger a unit ability or play an Energize card, following the same order outlined above. After all players pass, begin rolling attacks in battle order.
It is the Battle phase during the red player's turn. His units are present in several contested hexes. He chooses to first resolve a battle in a Rock Plains hex where both he and the green player are present.
Both players have one Rubium Dragon, so both players simultaneously roll for their Dragon's attack. The red player rolls a "1" and misses, but the green player rolls a "2" and scores a hit.
The red player chooses to remove his Human as a casualty and returns it to his supply.
There are no Lava Leapers in this hex, so Rock Striders attack next. Each player simultaneously rolls his Rock Strider's attack. The red player rolls a "4" and scores a hit, while the green player rolls a "5", which also scores a hit.
The red player removes his Rock Strider as a casualty. The green player removes his Fungoid as a casualty.
The Fungoid and Human were destroyed before their turn to attack, so they do not attack during this battle.
The battle is over in this hex, but the hex is still contested and another battle can occur here on a future tu
Energize cards provide a temporary bonus, such as enhancing a unit's abilities or gaining a tactical advantage in combat.
The defender draws one Energize card after losing a battle. If the active player controls the Monolith, he draws two Energize cards at the end of his turn. When a player draws an Energize card, he keeps it hidden in his hand until he chooses to play it.
The active player can only play "Deployment Phase" Energize cards during the Deployment phase of his turn. To play one, the player reads the card aloud to all players and follows the instructions on the card. When finished, he places the Energize card faceup in the discard pile.
"Battle Phase" Energize cards can only be played during the Battle phase and specifically when the card text indicates (e.g., "Play this card before rolling dice"). To play one, the player reads the card text aloud to all players and follows the instructions on the card.
During a battle, any player may play Energize battle cards -even players who are not involved in the battle. Be sure to follow the Order of Choosing.
Exchanging Cards For Rubium
The active player may discard Energize and Secret Mission cards from his hand any time during his turn to gain one rubium per discarded card. Discarded cards are placed faceup next to the appropriate deck.
End of the Game
The game ends immediately if either of the following conditions occur:
A player acquires 12 or more victory points. That player wins the game.
A player is eliminated from the game. A player is eliminated if both of the following conditions are true:
- None of his units are on the board.
- He does not have enough rubium to purchase more units, even after exchanging cards for rubium.
The player with the highest number of victory points among the remaining players wins the game.
In case of a tie, the tied player with the most controlled hexes wins. If there is still a tie, the tied player with the most units on the board wins.
If there is still a tie, the tied player with the most rubium tokens wins the game. Finally, if there is still a tie, the game ends in a draw.