Frequently Asked Questions

This is an FAQ. For the rulebook, click here. All this content is in the rulebook, but might not be explicitly clarified, so we put together this list.

Bold words are clarified in the glossary of the rulebook.

Email us via the Contact page or Tweet @MirrorBoxGames for rules clarifications.



Pay attention. Information is gleaned through exploration (searching planets), winning battles (searching your opponent’s hand), and using a few specific cards. Watching other players’ battles unfold reveals information about some of their cards–  The cards they carry matter to their strategy. Pay attention to which planets players go to, and when. Pay attention to players’ faces when they take spoils or search unexplored planets. By the last few turns, all players should have at least a general idea of what is going on. Always try to save at least one Hypertoken for the final few turns, in case you need to go somewhere for a last ditch effort.

 Do I hold onto my envelope when I leave a planet?

No, each time you leave a planet, you put it back into the envelope box.

 Which bonus cards should I play with?

Probably none of them, until you are very familiar with setting up the game, as adding additional cards makes seeding the envelopes take longer if you miscount or misdeal the cards. When we play with our “serious gamer” friends, we take out unneeded enviro-cards and play with all the bonus cards. If a misdeal occurs, we put any extras into the Cosmic Pool and don’t worry about it.

Can I activate flip cards on my home planet prior to my first turn?

Yes, you start in control of your envelope. Planetary Bases must be activated on your turn, since they cost an action.

How do I resolve complex timing conflicts between cards, abilities, and other rules?

When alien powers or card powers contradict each other but are intended to resolve simultaneously, the power that stops or thwarts the other takes precedence.

Usually: Rulebook>Cards>Alien Powers>Upgrade Tiles>Planet Effect Tokens>Expansions>House Rules

When do I place a Landing Flag?

Place a Landing Flag each time you control a new planet successfully. Remove the previous flag. Do not exchange the flags if you get trapped or otherwise fail to take control. If you play Claw of Sykloakis on a controlled envelope, do not exchange the flags, and return the envelope to the player who is in control of it.



If I am on a planet with an opponent and their Base is active on the planet, can I attack the Base directly?

Yes, if the envelope is in the envelope box. If the owner of the Base controls the envelope, then you have to first stop them from controlling the envelope (by beating them in battle or another method). Since you can’t control an envelope with an opponent’s active Base, the envelope would then go back to the envelope box, and you could spend an Action to fight the Base as usual.



Can I trip my own traps or get around my own vaults or traps without triggering them?

When taking control of an envelope, you may discard your own trap or get trapped by it. Remember it costs an action to gain control of an envelope and open it, so once you have set a Trap in an envelope, you will have to return the envelope to the box and spend another action (either this turn or a different turn) to open the envelope and announce the Trap. If you trap yourself, you get sent home and your turn ends, as would happen if you tripped an opponent’s Trap. You only trigger Flip Cards (like Traps and Vaults) when you take control of a planet, so theoretically you can secretly activate a Vault or a Trap and then flip it back down prior to leaving the planet, even if it has been scryed.

 If I use the Signal Jammer to cancel a Trap, can I turn it face-down and then use it later?

No, the trap is a Single-Use card (yellow, with the Void symbol), so it is discarded. (Much like if you use Ion Shield to cancel an Ion Grenade, the grenade is still discarded.)


Gravity Anomaly PET:  Do I get sucked to the planet if I end my movement on a wormhole and a corresponding-letter wormhole is adjacent to that planet?

Wormholes are considered to be the same space, so yes.

Ancient Base PET: Who controls the Ancient Base if it is activated remotely via Survey Drones, instead of through exploration?

Either the last player to control the planet, or the first player who takes control of it.


How do toxic planets work?

Your alien miniature can always be on your toxic planet (“in orbit”), or use it as a stepping stone to other places. You just can’t attack other aliens who are on that planet, whether or not they control the envelope. Assault Catapult WOULD allow ranged attacks onto that planet, from at least one space away. When attacking someone on your toxic planet via Assault Catapult, you could win spoils in combat, but not control the envelope (which would go back to the box after winning the combat). While in orbit of your toxic planet you CAN use the Catapult to attack players who are not on the planet. Revealing your enviro-gear negates toxicity, and you only have to reveal your enviro-gear at the moment you attempt to take control of the planet or attack someone there.

Can I “pause” combat to hyperspace or grab something from my envelope?

Combat (and combat resolution, which is taking spoils or banishing) is a separate action, and you may not engage in other actions– such as accessing any envelope, trading to the Cosmic Pool, or playing non-combat cards– until combat is fully resolved.

Do I have to play combat cards in a certain order?

No, all that matters is that both players are given a chance to “pass” and not play any more cards. At that point totals are calculated.

If I win control of an envelope from my opponent in combat, do I have to open the envelope and risk getting trapped?

No, you may choose to put the envelope directly back into the envelope box without looking in it.

I won spoils but I am at my hand limit. Can I give my opponent a card from my controlled envelope instead of my hand?

No, you can never access envelopes during combat, and you don’t win free control of an opponent’s envelope until after combat is fully resolved and spoils or banishment has occurred. Always finish an action (combat) before starting another.

What happens if BOTH players roll Double Mirrors (Infinity)?

If both players roll Double-Mirrors/Infinity the sheer force sends BOTH players to their home planets instantly, any envelope is returned to the envelope box, and the turn ends.



Can I attack from my toxic planet to another space, using the Catapult?


Can I attack someone on my toxic planet without environment gear, using the Catapult?

You’d have to be at least one space away, but spoils or banishment happen as normal. If you win the battle, the envelope would be returned directly to the envelope box (since you cannot access the planet).



If I use Nano Fabricator, is it treated exactly the same as the copied card in regards to other effects?

Yes, once it duplicates a card, it can be considered identical to that card, except it is discarded at the end of combat. Nano Fabricators sidestep alien limitations (Haamflaagon can copy his opponents’ Advanced Weapons, for instance).

 What happens if I Nano Fabricate a:

Cosmic Fear?- If more than one Cosmic Fear is in play, ignore them all.

Cloaking Orb- Cloaking Orb cannot be copied since it is not a combat card.

Imp Food: Your Imps each add an extra +1.

Spores: Treat the Fabricator as a regular Spore. You only count the Spores on your side toward your total.



How exactly does the Smuggler Bunny card work?

Normally you can only trade a card to or from the Cosmic Pool while on your home planet. The Smuggler Bunny card itself can be taken from the Cosmic Pool in exchange for a card in your hand while on any planet. In addition, while on any planet you may place the Smuggler Bunny card into the Pool in exchange for any card. Thus the Bunny will periodically pop up in the Cosmic Pool throughout the game. The Bunny does NOT allow you to trade any card for any card in the Pool. The Bunny specifically must be part of the trade in one direction or the other.



How do Spores work?

Each Spore’s strength is the number of other Spores you reveal on your side. Having only one Spore would mean no combat bonus. Two Spores means you would add a total of +2. All three Spores would mean you would add a total of +6.



Can I use my special abilities during combat?

No, unless it specifies it on the Character Sheet. Again, finish one action (in this case, combat) before taking another.

Can I use my special abilities more than once per turn?

Yes, but only if it would make logical sense. For example, if an ability says “Spend an action to…” then you can do that ability as many times as you have actions. If a card or ability says “Trade to the Cosmic Pool…” then you may still only access the Pool once per turn, since you are not limited by actions, but by the rules of the Cosmic Pool. 

Gazmae’s first ability: If I select two cards as spoils, including a card that was cloaked by the Cloaking Orb, and under the Orb is a Trap that I can’t counter, do I get to keep the other card?

No, the Trap would spring prior to combat being resolved, so you don’t get to take the other card, unless you counter the Trap. (In that case, you would only get to keep the other card.)

Can Drusu do a free scry on a planet in the midst of using Booster Rockets?

No, you always have to finish an action, such as the card effect, before beginning another action, such as the free action of his ability.