Welcome to Cytress. You play as a rebel merc who has zeroed in on one goal. To get into Stratos – Earth’s largest sky hub. It is in this sky colony where you will find Earth’s most powerful, wealthiest, and most influential individuals.
You must employ cunning strategies and pick the juiciest missions among the lot. Regardless of which faction you choose, remember to use their key abilities to your advantage. That’s how you can outwit the competition and eventually win the game. So do you have what it takes to become a part of Stratos’ elite citizenry? Or do you want to live a continued oppressed existence in the Underbelly?
Cytress is an action-selection, engine-building game set in a post-modern cyberpunk world. Over multiple rounds, players will send their crew to complete missions for factions, earning abilities that build their lifepath; while vying for control of the surface world, and trying escape to the floating city of Stratos. Players will earn Prestige (points) for sending crew to Stratos via the Tubes, controlling Territory around these Tubes, turning in wanted Faction members to Bounty Hunters, and being the first to complete Skills to become the best in Cytress. Once the last Tube Section is played, the current round will finish and the game will end. The player with the highest Prestige at the end of the game is declared the winner.
I. Gain Supplies
Simultaneously, all players gain all supplies shown in their Corpocrat lifepaths (top left lifepaths). Count the number of supplies you earn for each type and increase your supply tracker for that type by the same amount. E.g., the player on the right will earn 1 and 2 each round in the Gain Supplies phase.
II. Spread Influence
In turn order, based on the first player marker, players send their Rebel to one of the 4 Faction Districts to spread influence, earning you supplies from that faction. You must visit an empty location. In a 1-3 player game, only one space is available for each Faction District. In a 4+ player game, 2 spaces are available. When you visit a Faction, you will earn the number of supplies shown on the space you select. All other players may still gain supplies of that type, depending on their Privateer Lifepath (bottom left lifepath). If you have Lifepath in the Faction that another player has visited, you will earn that many supplies.
Starting with the first player and continuing clockwise, move one of your Ships from your Supply Tracker Board of you to one of the nine Landing Pads to take the action. There is no limit to how many ships can visit a location, or how many times you can visit a location, but you must be able to complete the action in full at the location you select. Throughout the Travel Phase, your Hooligang Lifepaths (bottom right) will reduce the cost of the actions. If you have any Supplies shown in your Hooligang Lifepaths, matching the supply required for an action, you receive a discount of that many from the cost. You must always be able to pay the full cost (action cost minus Hooligang Support) to take the action.
IV. Recoup & Retire
Simultaneously, all players gather their Ships and their Rebel. If you have a Loan Shark Debt, you may repay it by returning the amount borrowed, then flipping the card over and placing it in the Debt Paid section of your board. Discard the rightmost Stratolite, sliding all remaining one space to the right, and add a new Stratolite from the deck to the leftmost space. Pass the First Player Token to the next player clockwise. You are ready to begin the next round.
Once the last Tube Section is played from the Tube Bag, the end of the game is near. Bring out the remaining Tube Sections that were set aside at the start of the game. Players play out the rest of the round as normal then move to scoring.
Quick overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLrZ-BbsONA
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