BGGB House Rules (v1.5)

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This is the current version of this variant. For a list of previous versions, see BGGB House Rules (Archive).

The Board Gaming Group Bonn House Rules (usually referred to as BGGB House Rules or simply BGGB) are the house rules used at the FtF games of the eponymous gaming group, which include the board users shaunm, Sunchaser and Zilfalon.

Rules Overview

Variants Used

Official Options Used

  • Leaders
  • Variant Strategy Cards
  • Variant Objectives
  • Race-specific Technologies
  • Shock Troops
  • Space Mines
  • The Wormhole Nexus
  • Facilities
  • Tactical Retreats
  • Custodians of Mecatol Rex
  • Preliminary Objectives
  • Flagships
  • Mechanized Units
  • Mercenaries
  • Political Intrigue (optional)


  1. Decide which optional rules to use:
    Political Intrigue
    No Home System attacks in round 1
    Antagonist and Infiltrator in asymmetric galaxies
    Removing the Political Chaff
  2. Remove certain Action and Political Cards
  3. Build an asymmetric map
  4. Select races using a Trade Good based system
  5. Perform the Home System Auction
  6. Choose Starting Technologies
  7. Draw objective cards from this list
  8. Determine the first Speaker

Strategy Cards

In a 6-player game, the following set of Strategy Cards is used:

  1. Leadership
  2. Diplomacy II
  3. Assembly I OR II (to be voted on before the game)
  4. Production
  5. Variant Trade III
  6. Warfare II
  7. Technology II
  8. Red-Tape Bureaucracy

Optional Rules

Option: Playing with more than 8 Strategy Cards

When playing with 4 or more than 6 players, add an additional Strategy Card for each player exceeding six (add 2 Strategy Cards if playing with 4 players). The following Strategy Cards are suitable as additional ones and should be agreed upon by the whole group:

  • Diplomacy I (without the secondary ability as it is redundant when using Assembly)
  • Trade II + Hirelings instead of variant Trade III
  • Warfare I
  • Technology I (add “once per game round” to Jol-Nar’s racial ability to execute Technology primary when executing its secondary)

When determining the order of play, the Strategy Card with the lower Roman numeral is first to play, e.g. Diplomacy I before Diplomacy II. Furthermore Trade II plays before Hirelings.

Option: No Home System Attacks in Round 1

In an asymmetric galaxy Home Systems can be closer be each other than in the original setup. They can even be adjacent. If you think that this will lead to early full-scale aggression in your gaming group, you might consider adding the following rule:

  • No player may activate an opponent’s Home System in the first game round.

Note that this rule is completely optional. We do not include it in our games, as early attacks have never been a big problem. As aforementioned the asymmetric setup stresses diplomacy. Early conflict can be expensive, not only due to loss of units but also because of lost opportunities of expansion, e.g. systems that you might have claimed in the first round instead of attacking or that your neighbors claimed while you were busy fighting. Remember that the goal of TI3 is gaining Victory Points and not conquest. In our experience, early full-scale aggression rarely puts a player in a position to win. However, this is no absolute rule and players have won with such a strategy.

Option: Antagonist and Infiltrator in asymmetric galaxies

The preliminary objectives Antagonist and Infiltrator require something to occur in a system adjacent to an enemy player's Home System. In an asymmetric galaxy, the difficulty of these objectives can be much lower. In the case of Antagonist and adjacent Home Systems, claiming it is reduced to picking a lower numbered Strategy Card. This can be avoided by the using the following rules:

  • Systems adjacent to your Home System and the Home System itself cannot count as systems adjacent to another player's Home System for Antagonist and Infiltrator.

Other House Rulings and Clarifications

(Caveat: If you are not using the whole BGGB house rule set, and wish to use these rules/clarifications, please review them and copy them to their own page/thread. Some house rules may not work well when not using the whole set.)

Unless the rules stated below contradict it, the current FAQ applies:
Additionally an unofficial FAQ can be found at:

Action Cards

Home system related Action Cards 
Action Cards that usually cannot be played targeting a Home System may have this restriction lifted for occupied Home Systems, see here.

Since players begin the game with Bonus Trade Goods gained during setup, this Action Card cannot be played in round 1.


Any card, ability or effect that causes damage before the first round of combat, e.g. the action card Minelayers, Krevvil's ability or the Creuss racial technology Dimensional Splicer, inflicts damage immediately. Destroyed units do not receive return fire.


When a player is eliminated, he is no longer counted as seated for purposes of "player to the right/player to the left" or "neighbor" objectives.


Facilities can also be built in a Transfer Action. Note that all production has to happen in one of the two activated systems.
Facilities can be built in an opponent's home system.


Current player during Assembly 
During the resolution of the Assembly II primary the current player cannot invoke an effect that is triggered by the actions or inaction of the current player, e.g. the ability of the Xxcha Councilor Xxekir Grom.
Ship (Definition) 
When a card requires the destruction of a ship or winning a space battle against a certain number ships while not explicitly stating that these be non-fighter ships, it is assumed that non-fighter are meant nonetheless. Any unsupported Advanced Fighters (i.e., that count toward Fleet Supply) are treated as non-fighter ships for all purposes; e.g., space mines, objectives, etc. However, Advanced Fighters are still considered fighters when an effect specifically refers to fighters, e.g., Friendly Fire AC. Unsupported fighters are always destroyed before supported ones.
Shock Troops 
No Ground Force is required to accompany Shock Troops. The player controlling the Shock Troops is instead marked by a Control Marker.

Home Systems

When a planet in a Home System is controlled by a player other than the original owner (a "foreign" Home System), it is not considered to be a Home System planet or located in a Home System for the following purposes:

  • Action cards may be played against the occupier of a foreign Home System that affect the occupier's units or occupied planets in the foreign Home System, including Signal Jamming, Uprising, Local Unrest, Secret Industrial Agent and Space Dock Accident. The following restrictions apply:
    • Signal Jamming can only be used to place a Command Counter of the occupier.
    • Uprising can only be played if all planets in the Home System are occupied.
  • Facilities can be built on conquered foreign Home System planets by an occupier. If the planet is reclaimed by the original owner, facilities are destroyed and cannot be captured by Agents or Shock Troops.

However, a foreign Home System is still considered a Home System for the purpose of objectives (e.g. "Domination!") and for all other purposes (e.g., the Creuss race-specific technology Slave Wormhole Generator).

Intuitive Leader Rolls

Most players will agree that the numbers for the Leader Rolls from the original rulebook are somewhat strangely arranged. To make them easier to memorize, here are the revised die rolls:

In space
On a planet


Diplomats prevent any invasion, specifically also invasions by forces including Mechanized Units.
The rerolls Generals grant when attacking are not limited to Ground Forces. The bonus when defending, however, is limited to them.

Mechanized Units

Mechanized Units are not immune to Bombardment.
PDS Fire 
Mechanized Units are not immune to PDS Fire when landing.


Contrary to a recent ruling by FFG's Corey Konieczka, planets still revert to neutral when a Mercenary is the only unit on a planet.

Preliminary Objectives

Researcher: I control X planets with a technology specialty
Yellow technology specialties count towards this objective. Technology specialties in your own Home System (as for Winnu and Arborec) do not count.

Promissory Notes

Territorial Concession
This Promissory Note can be used by both the attacker and the defender, i.e. it can be used to force retreats as well as withdrawals. It can only be played at the beginning of a round of combat and hence only after pre-combat effects. Note that most pre-combat effects are optional.
If the player who has to retreat/withdraw has no activated adjacent system, he may use a Command Counter from Strategy Allocation to activate an adjacent system. If, furthermore, he has no Command Counters in Strategy Allocation, the Promissory Note may not be used in this battle.

Political Cards

Checks and Balances 
When selecting a Strategy Card with Bonus Tokens for another player, the player receiving the Strategy Card also redeems the Bonus Tokens.
Glory of the Empire 
While Secret Objectives are not used, the card remains in the deck. Instead of Secret Objectives it now affects Racial Objectives.

Public Objectives

I successfully invaded... 
The objective can also be claimed if the invaded planet(s) only contains Mechanized Units, Shock Troops or Mercenaries.
I control the planets needed to have at least one of each of the 3 technology specialties
This objective is replaced by "I control the planets with technology specialties for 3 different colors outside of my Home System."

Race-Specific Technologies

Arborec - Spore Acceleration 
Spore Acceleration may be researched for a cost of 5 resources in addition to any technology acquired during the same round. So with the Primary Ability of the Technology II Strategy Card you could get a free tech and Spore Acceleration for 5 resources (or 2 techs + Spore Acceleration for 0+5+8=13 res), with the Secondary Ability any technology and Spore Acceleration for 6+5=11 resources (or cheaper if using discounts from tech specialties). Neural Computing further reduces the cost by 2 resources as usual.

Racial Special Abilities

Racial abilities and techs apply to any non-D wormholes, if used.except Dimensional Splicer, which applies to all wormholes.
When executing the Secondary Ability of the Technology Strategy Card, the Jol-Nar can execute the Primary Ability instead of it, but not both abilities as the race sheet says. (This rule still needs playtesting and can be ignored if agreed upon.)
The Mentak ability to steal Trade Goods from their opponents may not be used in the first round (where players already have Trade Goods from the bidding processes).
The Muaat War Suns gain their +1 movement when they have researched the prerequisites for the War Sun Technology, i.e. one Technology of each color when using Aweberman’s variant tech tree. (The War Sun Technology itself does not count for this.)
Saar Space docks may produce units using Production Primary or Secondary after having been moved in a previous action. Similarly, they may produce units if the Command Counter in their system was removed and the system is activated again.
Saar Space Docks can be destroyed by Space Mines and when leaving a Gravity Rift (unless the player has researched Gravity Drive). Rolls are made as if they were ships.
If the Race-Specific Technology Mageon Implants has been researched, the player may steal one of the Action Cards that he looks at during the Strategy phase. If other players want to play an Action Card at the exact same timing (most likely "At the beginning of the Strategy Phase" or "During Strategy Phase"), the timing conflict is resolved as if the Yssaril ability were an Action Card, i.e. in clockwise order from the Speaker.

Tactical and Transfer Actions

Prequisites for executing a Transfer Action 
Both activated systems must contain at least one unit or planet controlled by the active player and must contain absolutely no enemy units.
Transferring units and Leaders between ships 
Units and Leaders aboard a ship may be picked up by other units during Tactical and Transfer Actions as if they were on a planet.


Gen Synthesis 
Any Ground Forces gained through the use of the Gen Synthesis Technology are placed after all invasion combat has been resolved. Note that the rolls for Dacxive Animators have to happen after those for Gen Synthesis and that Ground Forces revived by Gen Synthesis are not considered killed.
During each Status Phase, you gain 1 additional Command Counter. In addition, before drawing Action Cards, you may discard 1 Action Card from your hand to draw 1 additional card. This ability may only be used before drawing action cards during the status phase. (Source: Clarification by Corey Konieczka)
Integrated Economy
If a Space Dock is under blockade, Integrated Economy may not be used to build ships or units in adjacent systems.
Flagships can be placed in an activated friendly or empty system adjacent to the Home System as long as they are produced by a space dock in the Home System.
Nano Technology and Type IV Drive 
Nano Technology does effect Flagships, however Type IV Drive does not.
The technology can only be used in the Produce Units step of Tactical and Transfer actions. This step occurs regardless of the active player's ability to produce units.
Units scuttled by Transfabrication may not be reproduced during the same game round. They are not returned to the reinforcements but set aside (e.g. on the Race Sheet) until the Status Phase.
X-89 Bacterial Weapon
Using the technology also destroys Mechanized Units and Mercenaries.
A War Sun can use the technology if no units are landed.

Withdrawals, Retreats and Tactical Retreat

Players may withdraw or retreat (tactically or not) to empty or friendly systems. The target system need not be controlled by the withdrawing/retreating player and must not contain enemy units.


When entering, leaving or moving through a Special (red-bordered) System with a Wormhole, the same rules apply as if no Wormhole were involved in the movement.