Designed By: Dr. Lew Pulsipher
In the far future of the Hyades Cluster, 150 light-years from Earth, a democracy falls into civil war. Fortunately, the civilized folk of the cluster (human or not) recognize the foolishness of war, and set limits on its conduct. Consequently, no planets are destroyed, and when one side gains a distinct strategic advantage, the other side will surrender.
Crashing Suns represents that civil war. Two players, or partners, fight for supremacy in a game that typically lasts 30-45 minutes, but can be shorter or longer (partners can be longer). Wooden blocks are used to hide a unit’s identity from the opponent(s), but this is the only uncertainty in the game – conflicts are resolved deterministically without dice or other random elements. The setup is very important.
There are two ways to win the game.
First, if you capture the enemy Home system and they cannot recapture it, or capture your Home system, in their next turn, you win. If they capture/hold your home system after you capture theirs, then the game continues until one side fulfills the criterion in the next paragraph, or one player recaptures their Home and holds it while continuing to hold his opponent’s home through the opponent’s next turn.
Second, if you possess at least seven of the eleven Objective systems on the board, and your opponent cannot reduce your holding to less than seven in their next turn, you win.
The 17 x 22″ board represents an area of interstellar space in the Hyades open star cluster.
In standard play, eleven of these star systems (marked in a different color) are Objective systems that can be easily occupied by intelligent species. The other 16 systems are not Objective. The central system has a name to help remind players that they cannot place pieces there during the Setup.
There are warp lines on the board that represent possible jump routes between systems.
Some of the warp lines go off the edge of the map. These are an option (not used in initial play) that allows travel to “wrap around” between top and bottom (the long sides) of the board.
Crashing Suns Board
The board also contains a hexagonal grid that can be used for a different kind of interstellar travel available to all players. But this kind of travel is slow, one hex per turn.
There are two types of pieces, blocks and cardboard tiles.
The blocks are the units, representing fleets of warships, the numbers indicating relative strength/ship types/numbers.
There are two shades of color amongst each side’s pieces, for use by partners.
Cardboard tiles are used to track ownership of Objective systems, and in the optional variable setup, are used to mark which systems are Objectives.