Step By Step SSO Check Phase
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 more in depth explanation. The following guide lays out how to play through the Check Phase.
What – All “Auto” effects take place.
How – Check to see if any effects labelled “Auto” can take place, if they can they now do.
Why – In the Base Set of SSO the main “Auto” effect is the Rec Room (the Pilot’s special ability is also an “Auto” effect), other later Challenge Decks will include further “Auto” effects to allow ongoing events to trigger without player activation. The timing of Morale “Auto” effects is important since it comes before the following step.
What – Crew with Morale = 0 in a Location with no other Crew die.
How – Check if any Crew in a Location with only themselves present have a Morale of 0, if they do they die, trigger a Death Phase when this step ends.
Why – Crew with Morale = 0 will cease to be a mission asset unless another Crew member can talk them down/keep sharp objects away from them. Should players find oxygen levels tight manoeuvring Morale 0 Crew to be on their own is the simplest way of extending oxygen supplies.
What – Starting with the highest ranked Crew moving down each Crew opt to reduce either the General or their Personal Oxygen supply by 1. Any Crew unable to do either die.
How – Find the Crew with the highest ranks marked on their Crew card (2 is higher than 1) and reduce either the General Oxygen or their Personal Oxygen by 1, if both are at 0 they die, trigger a Death Phase when this step ends. Repeat for the second highest ranked Crew and so on. If the General supply has at least as many points of oxygen as there are Crew simply check if anyone is breathing their Personal Oxygen and if not reduce the count by the number of Crew. To reduce the General Oxygen count move the blue token down by 1 space, to reduce it from 0 move it to 5 and the red token down by 1. Do not move the red token unless the blue token would move down from the 0. If exactly 6 Crew breath the General Oxygen supply the blue token will return to its starting point so just move the red token down 1 space.
Why – This is the only event which occurs in strict rank order, it does not start with the ranking player then pass left. This is because going by rank order is to awkward during standard play while breathing order will only matter during the last few desperate turns of a game and so it is spread between players to stop the ranking player having too much advantage in a competitive game. Remember, having 0 oxygen remaining does not lose players the game. If oxygen can be replenished using Crew actions, Mission rewards or Activation cards before the next Check Step 3 Crew can continue.
What – Starting with the player controlling the highest ranked Crew and passing left each player’s Crew may perform a single “Crew” Action printed on their Crew card or current Location.
How – Find the player controlling the Crew with the highest rank score marked on their Crew card, they activate all of their Crew in the order of their choice to perform a “Crew” Action printed on their Crew card or current Location. Crew are never forced to activate “Crew” Actions if they don’t wish to, so a Pilot in the Main Airlock may choose not to transfer oxygen to their Personal supply. Crew can only ever perform a single “Crew” action each turn even if their current Location lists multiple available “Crew“ actions. Once they are finished the player to their left activates all of their Crew and so on around the table.
What – If a Mission’s “Fail” conditions are fulfilled all Crew with rank tokens on it Try to reduce Morale by 1, then perform its “Punishment” effects, flip it face down and return any rank tokens on it to their Crew cards.
How – Look at each currently face up Mission card’s “Fail” conditions, if the state written there is currently true, the Mission fails. If a Mission fails reduce the Morale of any Crew with printed rank values matching those of tokens on the Mission by 1, return those tokens to their Crew cards, and then perform the Mission’s “Punishment” effects. This can mean that Crew who voted for failing Missions suffer twice. Not all “Punishment” effects cause Morale loss and some Crew may be unaffected by a Mission failing. Then flip the Mission card face down.
Why – Missions either have a time limit, in which case they fail on Mission Count = 0 (such as Search Pattern) or they require the Crew to do or not do something for a set period of time, in which case they fail when a certain action did or did not occur during the previous turn (such as A.I. Shutdown). This is the point at which they fail. Mission failure has three results: it upsets the Crew who voted for the Mission, lowering their Morale; it causes the problem the Mission was meant to deal with to continue, by triggering its punishment effects; and it allows the Mission to reoccur in future turns, since it flips it face down rather than removing it.
Failure conditions only have to be true once and at this point for a Mission to fail, but if the conditions are not true during this step the Mission does not fail. So, for example, if a Mission Count reaches 0 in a Challenge Phase then a Crew uses the Radio Pod to increase the Mission Count the Mission does not fail this turn, just because the Mission Count was at 0 because it is not currently.
Note that Missions fail before they succeed so if both the success and failure conditions are true a Mission will fail and not succeed. This means Missions with a fail condition of Mission Guide = 0 can only succeed if their Mission Guide = 1.
What – If a Mission’s “Succeed” conditions are fulfilled return all rank tokens on it to their Crew cards, perform its “Reward” effects then remove the Mission card from the game.
Note – This is the only point at which the success conditions need to be true for a Mission to succeed. Successfully completed Missions are removed from the game meaning they will not trigger again.
Detailed Explanation Of “Crew” Actions
Main Airlock –
Crew: Crew Oxy + Y, Gen Oxy – Y x 2
Crew here can increase their Personal Oxygen count any amount up to full but only if they can reduce the General count by double the amount. This is wasteful but can allow Arrays to be reached a turn earlier than using the Oxygen Hydro Pod.
Medical Pod –
Crew: Any Crew Morale + 1
Crew: Any Crew Morale – 1, move rank token to target.
Crew here can raise or lower the Morale of any Crew, in any Location, including themselves. The moved rank token has to be that of the Crew that activated this ability and it will be moved to the Crew whose Morale is lowered.
Radio Pod –
Crew: Move rank token
Crew: Mission Guide + 1
The moved rank token has to belong to the Crew that activated this ability and it will be moved to its own Crew card. Mission Guides cannot increase past their highest level so this ability can only be used on a Mission at least 1 turn old.
Oxygen Hydro Pod –
Crew: Crew Oxy + Y, Gen Oxy – Y
Crew: + 1 Gen Oxy per 2 Crew here.
Crew here can increase their Personal Oxygen count any amount up to full but only if they can reduce the General Oxygen count by the same amount. They can increase the General supply by 1 but only if there are 2 Crew in the Pod, it’s a big job.
Command Module –
Crew: Skip Challenge Step 1
Crew: Move 1 Crew to Adjacent Location
Crew here can stop Pods without Arrays attached from shutting down by using this ability to reroute power. They can move any Crew, including themselves, to another adjacent Location.
Computer Module –
Crew: Flip 1 white Location up
Crew: Flip 1 Location down
Crew here can shut down any Location. If they do so they have to move their own rank token onto a Crew effected by the shut down either in the Location or, if in an Array, in an attached Pod. This is so that openly murdering other Crew costs Morale, though serial killers shutting off Arrays to kill Crew in
Cryo Pods have a turn to take their finger prints off the act using the Radio Pod. Only non-Array Locations may be flipped face up.
Solar Array –
Crew: Flip Adjacent Location up
This is the main way to repair Solar Arrays either shut down intentionally or smashed out by meteor strikes (the Engineer can also do so with his special ability but it would rarely be a good idea).
First Officer –
Crew: Must flip 2 Missions face down.
Since failing Missions comes with significant punishments this ability can be used to abort Missions players know will fail to avoid such negative effects, but only if 2 Missions can be shut down at once, forcing you to sometime take the bad with the good.
Crew: Must reduce Personal Oxygen by 2 May flip 1 Adjacent Location face up.
If the Engineer can spend the Oxygen they can use the dry dock manual override outside the ship to reboot any Location. If the Computer Module is shut down or out of reach this ability can be vital.
Crew: Must reduce General Oxygen by 6, Try to increase this Crew’s Personal Oxygen by 6.
This means the Astronaut can load up on Personal Oxygen anywhere, even outside the ship, making them excellent Crew for external Missions. They can even go out and wait for everyone else to catch up. However, this ability can only be used if there is at least 6 General Oxygen remaining and it reduces General Oxygen by 6 even if the Astronaut only gains 1 or 0 Personal Oxygen.
Crew: Change this “Crew” action to that of 1 other living Crew.
This can only be used to copy “Crew” actions (so those listed in this section). All text on this card becomes that on the copied card, meaning that if the Astronaut is copied 6 Oxygen will still be paid even though only 4 can ever be gained. Also once an ability is copied it becomes permanent, since the Generalist’s original ability is lost when changed.
Crew: Must reduce Crew in Hydro Pod’s Morale by Y, increase General Oxygen by Y.
The Botanist can be anywhere when they activate this ability, they can work other Crew in the Hydro Pod while being in another Location. They can reduce any number of Crew’s Morale by any amount. A Crew alone can be used to produce oxygen in this manner, a pair of Crew can be reduced by different amounts of Morale in any combination. The Botanist working the Pilot makes for an effective team.
Trillionaire Backer –
Crew: Mission with only this Crew’s rank token on them count as having their success conditions fulfilled.
The Trillionaire Backer is a Kickstarter exclusive Crew and will only be present in the first print run of the game. It is extremely powerful and will change the shape of the game, players who wish to experience a Challenge Deck’s story as intended and in full should remove the Trillionaire from the game at set up. If the Trillionaire is present players will find the Mission becomes a PR exercise and they constantly use the Radio Pod to report the Trillionaire’s progress back to the waiting world’s press. Players who pull a Trillionaire with a very low rank will still find the game potentially extremely challenging and might insist they have the lowest available rank if used.