Kepler Run Rules

a game by Orion McClelland


It is the dawn of interstellar travel for man. New technologies have been developed which allow interstellar star pilots to over come challenges like stellar debris, warped space, and black holes. Mass production has finally brought the costs of these technological marvels down enough to be accessible to the private sector, and like any good space civilization you capitalize on the opportunity.

In Kepler Run you play an independent space runner attempting to win the most riches for yourself by being the first to reach the new Kepler system while improving your ship and collecting resources along the way.



Kepler Run is a drafting game played in a series of 3 rounds. After 3 rounds, the player with the most points wins. On their turns, players will gain points charting new star systems, completing deliveries, collecting, upgrading their ships and being the first to reach Kepler.




Anatomy of a Card

card anatomy.jpg


  1. Shuffle the game cards. Place them to the side of the play area.

  2. Place the Port card and Kepler card in the center of the play area. Deal two of the game cards between them, face up. These cards are called the Kepler Run.

  3. Give each player a set of 3 contract cards, a ship card, and a booster card. Contracts are held in a hand, while the ship and booster are placed in a column as shown.

  4. Give each player all the pieces of a color, and 4 fuel modules. Place the fuel modules on the ship card in the boxes.

First player

The last player to have visited space goes first. If no one at your table has been to space, then the last person to have received a delivery goes first.


How to play

Kepler Run is played in three rounds. Each round has four phases: drafting, flying, scoring and cleanup.

Draft Phase

The draft phase is where you discover new sectors, improve your ship, upgrade fuel modules, and take special actions.

To begin the draft, deal two cards per player to the middle of the play area, plus one additional card.

Players will draft those cards in turn order, starting with the first player. Once all players have chosen 1 card, draft again beginning with the last player, now in reverse turn order until all players have chosen 2 cards.

To draft a card, a player will pick a card, and use it for one of the following actions:

  • Discover a sector

  • Gain a ship part

  • Gain a fuel module

  • Play a special action

Discover a sector:

Place your card in the Kepler Run, immediately before the Kepler card. Gain 1VP.

Gain a ship part:

Discard a fuel module for each wrench icon on the card. (you must be able to discard the correct number of fuel modules to take this action)

Place your card under your ship with the icon on the right. It can now be used during flight. (abilities and icons are covered in the flight section)

Gain a fuel module:

Discard your card, and place a fuel module on your ship. You cannot play this action if you have no open spaces in your ship.

Play a special action:

There are three special actions. Perform the action indicated on the card, then place the card next to your ship as a delivery. (Actions have a grey background)

Ending the Draft:

After all players have chosen two cards, add the last card to the end of the Kepler Run, before the Kepler card.


Flying Phase

in the flying phase, players will take turns traveling through the sectors to Kepler, using fuel and ship parts to move.

First, all players select a contract secretly, and place it face-down in front of them. This contract will gain you fuel or VP’s as you pass sectors matching it’s icon.

Next, players will fly their ships in turn order.

Preparing for Takeoff

Collect one fuel token for each fuel module on your ship. Place them on top of your selected contract. You may also place fuel from your ship onto the contract, if you wish. Fuel on your contract is in your “Fuel Tank”.

Traversing Sectors

Players move across sectors from the Port card to the Kepler card.

To move, a player must pay the fuel cost at the top of the sector card they are leaving, then place their pawn on the next sector. Players can also use ship parts to move to the next sector, ignoring the sector cost.

Each player’s ship has a built in ship part. A player may always leave a sector of that type at no cost.

A player will continue to move until they cannot, or do not wish to keep moving.

Some ship parts show a type of sector; these can be activated to ignore the cost of that sector. To activate a ship part slide it slightly to the right to show that it has been used, and cannot be used again until next turn.

Some ship parts have a cost indicated as 1 or 2 dots below the icon. This indicates an amount of fuel that must be spent to activate the part.

Players can only spend fuel that was moved onto their Fuel Tank during preparation for takeoff.

Some ship parts have a special action. These can be activated to move regardless of what sector type you are in. (see Ship Part Cards)


Sector Types


Activating a ship part

To activate a ship part pay fuel equal to the number of dots found below the part icon, then resolve the effect of the part activated.

If you can not spend all the required fuel to activate the ship part, then the part may not be activated.

Once a part is activated, slide it to the right to indicate that it has been use. It may not be activated again this run.

Once scoring is complete for the round, you may reset all of your ship parts to their starting positions.


Ship Part Cards




Deliveries are action cards that have been used, and added to your ship.

When you enter a sector of the same type as indicated on the delivery card, gain 1VP and activate the card (nudging it to the right) to indicate that you have made a delivery and cannot make another one until next turn.

Sector Traits

Some sectors will have icons on them indicating there are Asteroids, Comets, and Salvage. These icons will provide you a benefit during scoring, depending on your contract.


When you end your move on a sector with a Space station, place one of your colored disks covering it, to indicate that you have established a space station there. Space Stations provide you with 2 additional fuel when landing on that sector, if the station is of your color.


Scoring Phase

Players begin by revealing their contract cards.

If you complete a contract, gain VP as indicated on the lower-left hand corner of the card.

To complete a contract, you must have crossed into at least one sector containing the icon on the contract (asteroids, comets, space stations), and more than any other player. Place the contract to the side of your ship for the remainder of the game.

In the event of a tie, the player earliest in the turn order completes the contract.

All other players to reveal the same contract will instead receive secondary prize on the lower right corner. This is either 1VP or 1 Fuel per icon that you cross, of the contract’s type.

If a contract was completed on a prior turn, any players to play that contract always get the secondary prize.


Cleanup Phase

Turn order for the next round is determined by closeness to the Kepler card. Place those pawns on the Port card in that order. In case of a tie, the player with the most remaining fuel in their Fuel Tank is first.

Any ship parts and deliveries are now ready to be used on the following turn; nudge them back into place.

Return Contract cards to your hand. Completed contracts are left in play.

Discard all remaining fuel from the Fuel Tank.


Final Scoring

Once three rounds are over, there is final scoring.

Players gain 2VP for each space station they have on the Kepler Run. The player with the space station closest to Kepler gains a bonus 3VP.

The player with the most VPs wins!

In case of a tie, most fuel wins.

In case of further ties, you become bitter rivals for all eternity. Or bask in a glorious shared victory.


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