Step By Step SSO Death 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 more in depth explanation. The following guide lays out how to play through the Death Phase.


The Death Phase does not necessarily occur either every turn nor only once per turn. Whenever one or more Crew members die during a step trigger 1 Death Phase for each Crew member once the step is over before the next step begins. Remember that in the event that several Crew die in a single step and it matters which order their Death Phases are resolved in, the player controlling the Crew with the highest rank value marked on their card decides the order of resolution.


Step 1:

What – All Crew Try to reduce their Morale by 1.

How – Move all Morale markers on living Crew left 1 space to a minimum of 0.

Why – Crew find the dying screams and mangled corpses of their erstwhile Crew mates somewhat disheartening.


Step 2:

What – Crew with rank tokens on the Crew that died, Try to reduce their Morale by 2 and return their rank tokens to their cards.

How – Check the Crew card of the dying Crew, if it has any rank tokens on it not matching its printed rank value find the Crew card they do match and reduce their Morale by 2 before returning the rank tokens. This reduction is in addition to that in step 1.

Why – If you do something unpleasant to another Crew member, such as using the Medical Pod to drive them to mental instability or the Computer Module to flush them into space, your rank token will be moved to your victim’s Crew card, representing the guilt you suffer due to your betrayal. Should that guilt bear fruit in the death of an ally your guilt may finally destroy you.


Step 3:

What – Remove the Crew that died’s Crew card, rank token and movement token from the game.

Why – The Crew member is dead and any steps requiring their Crew card or tokens are now complete so its time to remove them.


Step 4:

What – If the player controlling the Crew that died has no face down Crew cards 1 of the other players may move 1 of their face down Crew cards to the player controlling the Crew that died.

How – If the player that controlled the Crew just removed has no face down frozen Crew in reserve and another player does they may move their face down Crew across to the player whose Crew died.

Why – Should one player be cruelly struck down repeatedly their fellows can spread the suffering a little by offering them their frozen Crew. This is intended to avoid a few bad draws knocking an unfortunate player out early during a co-operative game. Handing over Crew is an entirely free choice, in the last few turns with oxygen running low even in co-op play players should feel justified in not handing across Crew.


Step 5:

What – If the player controlling the Crew that died has no face down Crew cards 1 other player Must reduce the General Oxygen supply by Crew x 3, and randomly select a Crew card not in the game then enter it face down into the control of the player whose Crew died.

How – If the player that controlled the Crew just removed still has no face down frozen Crew in reserve any other player can reduce the General Oxygen levels by the number of current living Crew x 3 to enter a face down Crew into the control of the player whose Crew died. The new Crew member can be the same Crew as the one just removed, Crew members are not given names or faces for a reason and it is reasonable to assume the rescue mission has more than one qualified Engineer available. Use rank tokens not currently in the game and the standard rules for randomly determined Crew to select the new Crew member. 

Why – Remember the key word term Must means that all parts of a phrase Must take place or no elements of the phrase happen but that players are free to refuse having any part of the event occur. As such each other player is free to not reduce oxygen or supply further Crew, but if any individual chooses to then the new Crew is supplied. If at any point the player with dying Crew receives a reserve Crew this step immediately ends. Should players disagree over the order in which they refuse or accept their fellow player’s cries for aid the player controlling the highest ranked Crew member decides on the order. Note that neither steps 4 nor 5 are available during solo play. 

The purpose of this step is twofold. Firstly, if all players lose their primary Crew all together due to a brutal card then another player is unlucky and loses their last Crew member it stops them sitting out an otherwise co-op game. Secondly, if one player is openly playing competitively while all others are playing co-operatively the competitive player can never gain absolute advantage by skewing the game to their perspective. Additionally in a game where players have focused on oxygen rather than safety it allows a readjustment of priorities.


Step 6:

What – If the player controlling the Crew that died has at least 1 face down Crew card they flip 1 Crew card face up.

How – If the player controlling the Crew whose death triggered this Death Phase has at this point at least 1 face down Crew card they flip 1 Crew card of their choice face up, find its rank token and place it on the card and its movement token and place it on a Location of their choice. Place green markers on the Morale and Oxygen 0 of the new Crew member.

Why – The face down reserve Crew are frozen for just this sort of emergency, unfreezing them put them into play. Unfrozen Crew always arrive with Morale 0 since they always enter into an unpleasant emergency situation.

Back to How To Play SSO page


PO Box 437

Deal, Kent,

CT14 4BY



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