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Step By Step SSO Activation Phase Guide


In the interests of saving box space, the SSO main rules are extremely dense. As such we have created a series of step by step guides for first time players with closer examples and images. The following guide lays out how to play through the Activation Phase.


Step 1:

What – Shuffle and deal each player 1 Activation card per living Crew +1. They then select and assign 1 face down to each Crew card, discarding the remainder face down.  

How – Shuffle the Blue backed Activation cards and deal out 1 per living Crew +1 to each player (so if a player has 2 face up Crew they receive 3 Activation cards; remember face down frozen/reserve Crew do not count as living). Players should discuss the cards they have and what they can or cannot achieve to formulate plans. Then place 1 card face down next to each of their Crew cards, assigning those Activation cards to those Crew. Discard any unassigned Activation cards face down.  

Why – Players all discuss and assign cards before any are revealed or activated. This is because when playing co-operatively co-ordinating assignment and movement of Crew is a vital part of the game; when playing competitively the chance to lie about your options allows betrayal without discovery. When playing solo player or fully co-op (such as in a first game) cards can be assigned face up if players prefer. Cards have to be discarded if unused, they cannot be saved for later turns.

Step 2:

What – Beginning with the player controlling the highest ranked Crew and passing left, each player selects their Crew with face down Activation cards in any order and either; flips its Activation card, following its instructions and discards it face down; moves to the Location of a Crew with a face down Activation card and discards both Crew’s Activation cards; or passes leaving cards and Crew in place.

How – The player controlling the Crew with the highest number (2 is higher than 1) listed for their rank activates all of their Crew in any order, once they have done so the player to their left does so and so on around the table. When a Crew member is activated choose 1 of these 3 options:

  1. Flip an Activation card assigned to the Crew member, follow its instructions and discard it. Note that if the instructions preceded by “Must” cannot be followed the card cannot be activated or flipped, so if a Crew is assigned an Activation card listing a Location they cannot move to it cannot be flipped and resolved. A Crew cannot move to a Location that is face down, full (already has Crew tokens equal to the number printed in the top right of the Location) or that they are already in.  

  2. Discard its card and another Crew’s face down card and move it to the Location of the other Crew, provided it is a Location they are permitted to move to.

  3. Do nothing.

Why – Players are never forced to move, however the additional rewards of resolving Activation cards mean that co-ordinating Crew circulation is almost always a good idea. The second movement option is important in the later stages of a game when multiple Locations are “Shut Down”, it allows Crew to continue to co-ordinate movement.


Step 3:

What – Discard all remaining Activation cards face down.

Why – Activation cards may not be retained from one turn to the next.


Example Phase:

Player 1 controls the Psychiatrist (rank 18) and Computer Specialist (rank 9), player 2 the Pilot (rank 15) and Engineer (rank 11), and player 3 the First Officer (rank 17) and Radio Officer (rank 4). Each player receives 3 Activation cards.

Player 1 has “Must move to a Module”, “Must move to an Adjacent Location” and “Must move to a Pod”. They assign “Must move to a Module” to the Psychiatrist and “Must move to a Pod” to the Computer Specialist.

Player 2 has “Must move to an Airlock” and 2 copies of “Must move to the Central Corridor”. The assign “Must move to an Airlock” to the Pilot, and “Must move to the Central Corridor” to the Engineer.

Player 3 has “Must move to an Adjacent Location”, “Must move to the Location of a higher Ranked Crew member” and “Must move to the Rec Room”. They assign “Must move to the Rec Room” to the First Officer and “Must move to the Location of a higher Ranked Crew member” to the Radio Officer.

They have Mission 4 running so want to move to the Main Airlock.

Since player 1 controls the highest ranking Crew (the Psychiatrist at rank 18) they activate their Crew first and move the Psychiatrist (who has 0 personal oxygen) to the Computer Module. The Computer Specialist is already in the Main Airlock so passes, leaving their Activation card in place.

Player 2 moves their Pilot to the Airlock and discards both the Engineer’s card and the Computer Specialist’s card to move the Engineer to the Airlock.

Player 3 moves the Radio Officer to the Engineer’s Location (since the Engineer’s rank of 11 is higher than the Radio Officer’s 4). The First Officer is already in the Rec Room and so is forced to pass leaving the Activation card in place, although it will then be discarded as the Phase is over, as would any other unused Activation cards be.

The players now have 4 Crew in the Airlock including the Computer Specialist who can protect it against “Shut Down” with his Crew ability, and the Psychiatrist in position to reboot the Airlock if it shuts down while the Crew are outside the ship. They look in pretty good shape.


Specific Card Guide:

What – Must move to Rec Room, May move 1 other Crew not in an Array with rank 1+ to Rec Room.

Why – Note the specification of rank 1+ is to ensure that this card cannot be used to pull Crew out of the Cryo Pod, which reduces the rank of Crew in it to 0. Even a full on shuggy tournament cannot pull Crew out of cryogenic suspension.

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