Mothership – How to Play

A great way to get an overview of Mothership is to watch the How to Play video. Otherwise you can find digital versions of the rules below.

Have any rule questions? Feel free to contact us!


Also Available in
Polish (Translator: Wojciech Kamiński)

1st Edition Rulebook
Base Game
Into the Vortex

Rulebook 1.2 Changes

  • Added all Gas must be declared before either player rolls.
  • Added that Influencing a planet to your side will get you an Action Card in the same way as capturing a planet.


In Deathmatch mode, to win the game either wipe out all enemy ships, or wipe out all enemy Colony Stations. In Victory Point mode, reach the predetermined VP limit.

Points are awarded as per the Victory Point tracker. Additional points are awarded also via developing planets, Objective cards (Call of the Void Expansion) and Distress Beacons (Call of the Void Expansion).

If the Action Card deck runs out, it stays depleted. Do not reshuffle and reuse discarded Action Cards.

Yes, as long as they can both damage the target. For example, a fighter and bomber can combine attacks if the target is a Mothership. However, a fighter and a bomber could not combine attacks if the target was another fighter as bombers cannot damage fighters.

The Technology Tree provides powerful, game deciding upgrades for your Mothership if you are able to reach the end of the tree. This is to help the game come to a speedy resolution. Remember, Mothership is just as much about managing your economy as it is hindering your enemy’s economy.

In the event of a tie, nothing happens. Neither ship explodes. Some Tech Tree or Action Card abilities can change this outcome, however.

Yes. As soon as your Mothership respawns, you may rearrange the blue energy cubes as you wish.

A Guardian Cannon receiving the wingman bonus is something that only happens in a Guardian vs Guardian fight.

To summarize:

  • Only defenders get the wing man bonus.
  • The Guardian is always the attacker and therefore should usually never receive the wingman bonus.
  • If a player deploys a Guardian next to an enemy Guardian, the player who has just deployed is considered the attacker. In that case, yes the defender gets wingman. Also in that case, the Action card ‘Wingman’ can be used.

Yes, you can take an Action Card from the top of the deck or you may choose to steal one from the person you took the planet from.

Embargo is a tech ability that prevents enemy players from stealing all cards or resources from you. Some Action Cards or other abilities may state ‘You may steal this card (unless the player has Embargo).’

This is simply a rule reminder and not a requirement for Embargo to work. Embargo will stop all stealing.

In the cases where you are adding buffs, no. This wording will be clarified in future releases.

Example: The action card Defence Buff grants you +1 on any defence roll. This will always be used in a dogfight. The only circumstance where buffs do no apply is to planet attack rolls (as this is not considered a dog fight) or where it is explicitly stated.

Example: The tech tree ability Advanced Engineering grants your bombers +3 attack on all rolls. This will always be used in a dogfight. The only circumstance where buffs do no apply is to planet attack rolls (as this is not considered a dog fight) or where it is explicitly stated.

Moving into an Asteroid field doesn’t end your movement phase and rolling against asteroids doesn’t use your attack phase. So, your ship can continue to move and engage in a dogfight afterwards as long as they survive.

If a ship has used it’s attack phase in another dogfight that turn, no it can’t be used in another fight that turn.

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