Each card has a name, a picture and a type. The different card types are explained below. A card's game text can have significant impact on the game and always takes precedence over these rules.
Most cards have a threat value indicated at the top-left corner. If players play any card, they have to add that amount of threat tokens to the threat pool. This threat is used for determining the strength of the opposition they have to face during the attack phase.
The top-right corner of the card features the affiliation icon of the affiliation the card belongs to. The affiliation of the draw deck and character cards must match the affiliation of the flagship.
The card lore, index and copyright note have no effect on the game.
Characters provide special abilities like playing cards from the draw deck or retrieving cards from the discard pile.
Some characters are captains of specific starships: They increase the power of their ships by two while aboard.
Effects may be played during the phase specified by the card text. All effects take effect immediately and are discarded afterwards, unless they state otherwise.
Starships are required to face the enemy attacks every turn. They use their power value to fight against attacking ships during the attack phase.
Location cards are used to illustrate the journey the player fleet makes. If the players have covered a distance of ten or more and survive the turn, they win the game.
Damage cards are put below damaged starships, reducing their power and capacity values. Most damage cards have an additional effect, like preventing the ship from overloading or from gaining any power bonuses.