In Colony Wars, as in Star Realms, players will start with a fleet (deck) of 10 basic ships, and can spend Trade to acquire more powerful ships and bases from a central trade row of 5 cards. This row is continuously replenished by random draws from the trade deck. Many ships and bases deal Combat damage which you can use to attack your opponent and/or destroy their bases. When you reduce your opponent's Authority to zero, you win.
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The gambits in this set function differently than the original Gambits, including entering play hidden. Some actions / bonuses trigger when revealing the Gambit, most have an additional function when scrapping.
Gambits are dealt face down to players at the beginning of the game. You can choose a number of Gambit cards each player will get, or you can give some players less Gambit cards as a handicap. The extra (unclaimed) Gambit cards are set aside in a face down pile. Secret Outpost is kept separate and not shuffled in with the Gambit Cards or the Trade Deck.
Players keep Gambit cards face down in front of them until they choose to reveal them. Gambit cards never go to the trade deck, your hand or personal deck. They have silver borders to make it easier to keep them separate from your other cards. Players may reveal Gambits at the start of the or during their Main Phase.