Universe Edition Tournament Rules

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The Universe Edition rules (see the Universe Edition rulebook) are used with the added conditions listed below. These rules may be revised in the future and/or may be modified by the judge running the tournament. Please be sure to check in early so as to familiarize yourself with any changes. The following general rules are used for all tournaments. Additionally, each tournament type has its own special rules.


General Rules


No published card is barred from tournament play. Cards (promo cards for example) are not legal for tournament play until 15 days after they are shipped. Expansion sets premeiring at a convention are tournament legal at that convention.


All cards will be used as published in their most recent form. However, misprints and omissions will be corrected. Clarifications and explanations of interactions will be defined in Galactic Fire Magazine. A list of current errata is available.


All players will play with their own decks and must stock their decks by the rules given in the Universe Edition Rulebook, or tournament variant in which they are playing.


Players may stock their decks with only one main empire. A player may elect to use only generic ships, thus representing no empire whatsoever. The empire you represent is announced to all the other players before deck stocking is finalized for that round. When you sign in, be prepared to tell the judge which empire you will represent. Players will represent the same empire for the entire tournament, but may change the cards in their decks between rounds.


Players will have hour to complete the stocking of their decks after learning the empire of each opponent. It is required that players have their decks ready beforehand. This period is for stocking adjustments only. Players should complete this stage by selecting their reserve fleets, shuffling their decks, and placing both unexposed on the table in front of them.


There is no longer a restriction on the number of cards that may be used in a deck. The only restriction that affects deck size is that you must have a minimum of 5 cards in each of 8 categories. Any categories in excess of 8 may have less than 5 cards. Elimination of the maximum deck size is a change from the Universe Edition rulebook.


The following restrictions apply:


The following are considered major empires: Aqaaran, Argonian, Clydon, CCN, Corporate Agressors, Filarian, Gekonauak, J'xar, Krebiz, Leopan, Mechad, P.O.T., Psycanti, Scorpead, Tufor, Visonic and Zedan.


The following are considered minor empires: Aesthetic, Bolaar, Collector, Corporate Pirate, Cyber.nought, Drone, Erodi, Indirigan Nomad Tribes, Nobles, Orgon, Pakta'don, Paraloid, Shon-ti, Space Dragon, Tarra'ki, Time Knight, Tranoan, Treglean, Trochilidae, and Vektrean. Minor empires may be used as the main empire in a tournament deck. Players may not use any major empire ships in a minor empire tournament deck, but may still use other minor empires as support.


Empires not yet released (and therefore not on the above list) will be either major or minor. This information will be detailed in future products. If you are uncertain about a specific empire, contact the tournament judge.


(Reprinted from the Universe rulebook for convenience) Cards with the word 'reserve' in the title cannot be placed in the reserve fleet at the start of the game. Cards which are restricted to one copy per deck (by whatever game rules are being used) cannot be placed into the reserve fleet.


The only cards restricted in Galactic Empires tournaments (right now) are:


Ante will not be kept by the winner. Ante will be drawn to determine the order of play. The ante card will become the first card in each player's Discard Pile. Judges should record the order of play at this time.


A player who is more than five minutes late for the start of a scheduled round will lose 1 card (drawn from the deck after it has been cut) per minute after five minutes. After fifteen minutes (ten lost cards), the player is disqualified. In this case, the player will be considered to have not been part of the game, for purposes of command limits only. Reserve fleets will not be reselected, and the number of advancing players will not change.


The following starting procedure will be used:


ROUND TIME LIMIT: All rounds, except the final round, have a 3 hour time limit (starting when play begins). The final round has no time limit. When the time limit is called, finish that complete turn and play one more complete turn. If no one has won by that time, the player with the least amount of damage to his Sector HQ or Psy Network wins. If that results in a tie, tally the total unmodified strength points of any engaged cards which currently protect the Sector HQ or Psy Network (as appropriate) in the active fleet of each player involved in the first place tie - the highest total wins. Ties are resolved by die roll. Judges should be consistent and timely in calling time limits so as not to hold up players who may have other event commitments.

PLAYER TURN TIME LIMIT: To complete his turn, each player has a maximum of one minute times the number of players currently in the game. When this time limit expires, the player ceases his turn but is allowed to draw cards from his deck. This will only be enforced in cases of obvious stalling.

REACTION TIME LIMIT: After a player has been fired upon or has been affected by a card play or card action, all players have 5 seconds to state whether they wish to consider playing a reaction card and 15 additional seconds to make the reaction card play or decline to play a reaction. This will only be enforced in cases of obvious stalling.


TIME LIMIT: Please do not expect to sit with a chess clock or other timing device and have each time limit strictly enforced at every step in the game. It is acceptable to occasionally need an extra few seconds to think and polite to give someone an extra few seconds now and then.

READING OPPONENT CARDS: Do not ask to read a card of a player who is playing, unless it is currently affecting you. Once that player's turn is complete, you may ask to read the card.

EXPEDITE YOUR TURN: Conversely, when playing your turn, expedite whenever possible. Do not engage in unnecessary conversation. Verbally state each card play, card action and all weapons fire. Be clear and concise when doing this.

ANSWERING QUESTIONS: Please answer all questions asked by the player currently playing if those questions could be answered by the player himself if he got up and walked over to your side of the table and looked at your fleet. This includes the number of points needed to destroy a card or stack, what types of damage are necessary, strengths of cards, locations of specific cards on complicated stacks, etc.

ASKING QUESTIONS: Be quick and concise when asking questions; do not repeatedly ask the same questions over and over again. Play attention to what is going on in the game.

THE CARDS: Players must keep their cards on or above the playing surface (table) at all times. Anybody can look at any other player's Discard Pile (care should be used not to disturb the order).

TACTICAL DISCUSSION: Playing advice, strategy, suggestions and other such discussions are not allowed. Any comments about the player who is currently playing, his cards, tactics he should use, current weakness of opponents, etc. is not allowed (even to another player or bystander). Violations of this nature are penalized as follows: violating player discards one card from his hand and then discards the top card on the deck, placing both at the bottom of the Discard Pile. Judges will enforce this rule if necessary. Players who have had this rule enforced three time in one round are disqualified and removed from play by withdrawal. Threats, diplomacy and the like will be allowed. At any point in the game, one or more players may call for a cease of discussion.


A violation of these rules or any applicable standard rules shall, at the discretion of the judge, be considered a forfeiture. Forfeiting players (whether the forfeiture was voluntary or involuntary) shall not be allowed reentry into the tournament.


Withdrawals should be rare. Courteous players will withdraw at the end of a complete turn without prior announcement. Players who withdraw may be allowed to reenter the tournament at the judge's discretion. A judge must be called when a player withdraws.

Withdrawal by Weapons Fire: If a player withdraws immediately after he has fired all of his weapons at the other players and that damage consists of 10 or more points of damage, each player fired at with 10 or more damage points is allowed to immediately draw 1 card from his own deck for every 10 points of damage sustained (rounded down).


Between rounds, a player may change any or all of the cards in his deck. He may not, however, change the empire he represents. Players who are eliminated in the first round may reenter the tournament (with the same or different empire) only if all the slots are not taken. Players who have been disqualified may not reenter the tournament. Players are reminded to have their decks ready to go by the starting time of their next round.


Players may not use proxy cards in Galactic Empires tournaments.


Players may use cards of any condition. However, a judge can rule out any cards which seem excessively marked, creased or damaged. Plastic card protectors may be used as long as each one is identical in style and condition. Protectors may be marked only on the face side of the card. A judge can rule out any or all protectors at his discretion.


Players may have colored beads, stickers or other markers (pennies, etc.) to use on the cards they place against another player's fleet. This ensures that cards are returned to their owners and that a winner is not disqualified because someone else's cards was mistakenly mixed into the winner's deck. Card protectors with color stickers on the face side of the cards are also acceptable.


Dice must be used to keep track of Sector HQ or Psy Network damage. A written record must also be used.


Dice on cards will always represent points sustained, not points remaining. The two exceptions to this rule are EMF, where dice are used to show how many points the field has left before being destroyed, and the Leopan armor system, where dice are used to show the current strength of the armor system. This is a revision to the Universe rulebook.


The judge is the sole person in charge. What he says goes. We encourage judges to stick with these guidelines (at least at first), but a judge may modify any or all of these rules. A judge may look through any player's hand, Discard Pile and/or deck before, during (care should be used not to disturb the order of the cards) or at the end of any game. All winning decks will be completely checked by the judge to ensure that the decks were in fact legal decks. Do not remove your deck from the table at the end of the game.


Judges and players of Companion Games sanctioned tournaments give Companion Games the authorization to reprint, by standard or electronic means, their names, deck structures, tactics, and other facts and information regarding themselves and the tournament in which they played.



(Multi-player, Designed decks)

The general rules are used with the following additions:

  1. In the first and subsequent rounds, each game will consist of three to six players. The last surviving player will go on to the next round.
  2. Reentry is allowed in any first round event.
  3. Winners of regional events are given a bye into the semi-finals of national events. Such a bye may be used once.
  4. Semi-final rounds will consist of four to six players. Only one player from each game wil go on to the final round.
  5. The final round consists of from three to six finalists. Play continues until only one player remains.


(2-player, Designed decks)

The general rules are used with the following additions:

  1. In the first and subsequent rounds, each game will consist of two players. The winner of each pairing will move forward to play other advancing players.
  2. Each round will have a 45-minute time limit.
  3. This is a single-elimination event.


(Multi-player or Dueling)

The general rules are used with the following additions:
Note that a Sealed Deck tournament can be a multi-player tournament, a dueling tournament or (feasibly) any other variant tournament. This should be pre-announced.

  1. Each player's Sector HQ (or Psy Network) will be 15 points instead of the normal 25 points.
  2. Players will choose their empire by selecting a sealed starter deck from those available. Playing decks are then constructed using those cards, combined with several sealed booster packs (We recommend 4 booster packs from any expansion sets available with 6-card booster packs counting as 1/2 of a booster pack each). Cards may not be traded. These cards are used to form the playing deck as follows:
  3. The following construction rules will be used:
    1. Ships from major empires (excluding the player's main empire) must be removed from the playing deck. Only ships from the selected empire or minor empires may be used.
    2. Cards that state they may only be placed into a deck of another empire must be removed from the playing deck.
    3. Cards that are foreign or exclusive technology (or are required to be played on card stacks of another empire) may be removed from the playing deck. Removal of these cards is allowed and may create a voide as described in rule 3E.
    4. There must be eight different card types in the deck and five cards in each of those types. 'R' is never considered a card type.
    5. A 'void' is a naturally occurring gap (no card of that particular strength found). Voids are allowed and do not prevent the use of higher strength cards for that card type. Any card may be removed from the playing deck as long as removal of that card does not create a void in the sequence of strengths for that card type. The sequence of strengths runs from 1 to the highest strength card used for that card type. Cards with two strengths should use the first for the purpose of this rule.
    6. Players will have 30 minutes to construct their decks.
    7. Decks will be turned in to the judge each round. Players at each table will police each other regarding the decks. Obviously, players who have been eliminated will not need to turn in their decks.

Note: These are the only construction rules used for sealed deck tournaments. The Universe Edition construction rules are not used in sealed deck tournaments. There are no restrictions on the number of duplicates of exactly identical cards, limits for use of minor empire ships, time knights, strength 10 cards, etc.



(Multi-player or Dueling)

The general rules are used with the following additions: Note that a Speed Deck tournament can be a multi-player tournament, a dueling tournament or (feasibly) any other variant tournament. This should be pre-announced.
  1. For each player, on that player's turn #3, strength 1 cards cannot protect that player's Sector HQ (or Psy Network). On each player's turn #4, strength 2 cards cannot protect that player's Sector HQ (or Psy Network), and so on.
  2. On turn #12, no cards may protect the Sector HQ (or Psy Network).