To play Alpha Strike, you need an ordinary pack of playing cards and a set of ship cards. At least 2 players will also be required, and beer or alternative recreational chemicals might not be a bad idea. Oh, and munchies. Be sure to have plenty of munchies on hand.
The ship cards provide the statistics of vessels involved in each conflict. Each ship has a points cost, and the scale of a game is decided before play be setting a points total. There are no restrictions as to how you spend your points. If you want a mass of fighters, go ahead. If you want one huge dreadnaught, that's cool too. Take your pick.
The following statistics are displayed on each ship card:
The turn sequence:
Note: In the event of ties, deck controller, and then left of the deck controller, have priority for turn sequence.
A ships power rating determines how many cards can be played on it during a turn. The value of cards that have been played are added to the appropriate rating e.g. if a Club is played, its value is added to the Weapons rating. Royalties count as 10.
All boosting cards are played simultaneously at the beginning of a turn and then turned over only when applicable.
Spades are played to repair hull damage: 10 points of Spades are required to remove each damage card. Spades of a value less than 10 remain in play and can be added to at a later date, but hull repairs can only be saved if the vessel has been damaged.
Ships that opt to evade cannot be attacked that turn by ships with a lower initiative. Turn evading ships upside down to show that they cannot be targetted.
If a ship Evades three successive times, it has withdrawn from the conflict.
Players start with 6 cards. 2 cards can be drawn at the beginning of each round. Hands cannot be larger than 8 cards.
The person with the most points of surviving ships (withdrawn ships count for half their value) wins.