The round begins as players select Timeline cards from the Wormhole, in an attempt to save these timelines. A rotating player is designated as the Chief Scientist. This player selects their timeline(s) last but holds a Research hand of four cards that gives them a glimpse into what will come through the Wormhole next round.
Starting with the player to the left of the Chief Scientist, players will select a card from either section of the Wormhole and place it on their player mat. The Chief Scientist may select a timeline from their Research hand, or up to 2 of the remaining cards from either section of the Wormhole. The remaining cards from the Research hand are placed on top of the draw pile.
At the end of the round, cards in the Unstable Wormhole will be discarded. Cards in the Stable Wormhole will slip into the Unstable section. As such, players do not have much time to decide which worlds might be saved and which must slip away.
When a player selects a Timeline card, they place that card on the appropriate space on their player mat. There is no limit to the number of cards that may fill a given space on the player mat, due to deferred decisions on a given timeline.
Each timeline card has a number of resources required in order to save it, shown in the upper-left corner:
- Past timelines are known and require the fewest resources to repair.
- Present timelines are in the path of The Quake and require the most resources to repair, but they can use any resource.
- Future timelines are harder to ‘grok’ and require additional effort to stabilize…
So how do you get the resources to save these timelines? We’ll cover that in the next article, “The Matrix.”