showcase backdrop

Race to the Moons

Be the first to develop technology, build rockets, and colonize another star system.




The year is 2169 and mankind has pretty much filled up the Earth. It has been 200 years since man first set foot on the Moon. Now there are cities on the Moon and Mars, and mining communities in the asteroid belt. But our Solar System is just the beginning. It might be home, but Earth is the only truly hospitable planet nearby. However, recent breakthroughs in warp travel mean that interstellar voyages are finally a reality.

There are several extrasolar systems that have been discovered to have planets and moons which appear to be very Earthlike, and likely hospitable. The nearest of these is in the Gamma Leporis tri-star system, 29 light years away from Earth. A series of moons orbiting a gas giant named Yutu show breathable atmospheres, tolerable radiation levels, reasonable temperatures, liquid water, and plenty of land. Now, the race is on. Terran, Lunar, Martian, and Belter organizations are competing to be the first to send humans to one of these habitable moons and establish a permanent human colony. It will take research, determination, and a bit of luck to be the first to arrive. Do you have what it takes to drive the next great space triumph and win the Race to the Moons?


Race to the Moons is a worker placement game where 2-5 players (solo variant included) are working to research the technology needed to complete an interstellar mission and be the first to found a human colony on a moon system around a gas planet in another solar system. Players must research technologies that affect different parts of the mission: Journey, Arrival & Landing, and Colonization, as well as Training their crew. Players must also work on building rockets, building facilities (research labs, factories, launch stations, and more), managing money, and improving public opinion. Players race to have their rockets arrive at the destination and set up a successful colony to earn enough points to beat the competition.

See below the video for a description of the gameplay.


The game is played in a series of rounds. Each round consists of two phases:

Phase 1 – Worker Placement

Take turns assigning workers to one of seven different Actions. You can place as many workers on an Action as that Action allows. Immediately after placing the workers you must pay the cost to gain the benefit of that Action. If you are the first player to use an Action each round, you will get an extra bonus. If you cannot pay the cost of the Action you may not take it. You may not take an Action you have already taken this round.

  • Research - Use your Research Labs to advance technology critical on your rockets' mission through interstellar space and colonization.
  • Production - Power up your Factories to build rockets or resources.
  • Upgrade Facilities - If you want to get ahead of the competition you need to have the best facilities. Gain more and better research labs, factories, launch stations, drone workshops, and credit unions to build your game engine.
  • Publicity Campaign - Publicity is important for making sure you have workers that are willing to work for you. Publicity will improve your Popularity and increased Popularity will gain you additional Workers.
  • Raise Funds - Raising Funds is never popular, but it is needed to keep the program running.
  • Invest - Use your workers to invest in your program by outsourcing rocket production or gaining some additional cash.
  • Mission Control - To win the game you must send your Rockets on missions! There are three major parts of each mission: Journey, Arrival & Landing, and finally Colonization. Take the Mission Control action if you have a Rocket that needs orders to proceed to the next stage of the mission.
  • Credit Union - If you have built a Credit Union you can place workers here to either Finance Revenue to increase your Income or Receive Credit to decrease Income but gain some immediate cash.
  • Drone Workshop - Build and launch research drones and send them on a research mission. Wherever they crash you'll gain critical technological insight!

Phase 2 – End of Round

At the end of the round there are a few steps that must be taken by all players:

  • Revenue - Earn income for the next round.
  • License Technology - Buy technology advances from other players.
  • Advance Production Outsourcing - Your investments in outsourced production get closer to fulfillment.
  • Advance Rockets - Advancing Rockets is critical to winning the game. Advancing Rockets earns you points and gets you closer to your mission goal of colonizing the moons of Yutu!
  • Retrieve Workers - Collect your workers for the next round.

Game End

The game ends at the end of the round when one player successfully colonizes. Then points are tallied.

  • Points earned per rocket location in the mission.
  • Points for Popularity, Technology, Proprietary Technology Certificates, and having the most cash.

Advancing Rockets

This step of the End of Round phase is where you find out if your investment in rockets and technology matches your luck. Journey's through interstellar space are risky, but with the right combination of technology and ingenuity you can mitigate most risks.

To advance your rockets along each stage of the mission you'll need to complete a Technology Roll. A Technology Roll consists of rolling dice indicated by the Level of the Technology for the space the Rocket is advancing to. E.g. if you are at Level 6 Journey Tech you will roll 2 D12s and 1 D8 every time you attempt to progress your Rocket to a Journey space on the game board.

There are three Technologies to research: Journey, Arrival & Landing, and Colonization. You can also Train your crew to give all of your Technology Rolls for the mission a boost.

Throughout the course of the game you'll also earn Save the Day tokens. Save the Day tokens may be used to help in your missions. Each Save the Day token may be used for one of several things: Technology Boosts (add a D8 to your Technology Roll), Reroll a Technology Roll, Press On (try to advance an additional step in the mission), or Bypass Mission Control (so you can advance to a new stage in the mission without taking the Mission Control action).

You'll also produce resources during the game that can be sold for cash or used to help boost Technology Rolls.

Use all these tools to ensure success, otherwise you may have a critical failure. Or, if you do exceedingly well you may get an additional bonus, like additional popularity, money, or more!

Will you be the first to colonize the Gamma Leporis system?


There are a few variants included in the box!

  • Two-player game - The two-player game has some slight adjustments to restrict the action locations.
  • Solo game - Race to the Moons can also be played as a solo game. In a solo game, you play against an AI opponent. There are a few modifications to the rules, mainly in how the AI player makes decisions and how that will impact your decisions.
  • Faction Abilities - Each of the Faction boards has an Alt side with custom configurations. Each Faction also has a special ability that is only available to that player.


Asteroid Developers Union – In the nearly four decades that the Asteroid Developers Union has been flying through space, mining asteroids and building space colonies, they’ve learned a thing or two. Out in the Asteroid Belt they don’t have much research ability, but they do have experience. With their mining infrastructure they have a jump on manufacturing and already have some suitable launch stations. The people working in the asteroid belt are already well trained for life in space and are very enthusiastic, but the population is pretty low. That initial burst of skilled workers will become more difficult to grow later in the race. But with all that asteroid wealth, income isn’t much of an issue. Special Action: Build & Launch

Lunar Research Conglomerate – The Lunar Research Conglomerate has been doing scientific research since the Moon was first colonized in 2038. Most of their advancements have been in spacefaring technologies, so they are well poised to complete this journey, if they can only scrounge up the materials needed. That’s not easily accomplished with a small team of scientists, but at least they have a launch pad and rocket ready to go from their last research project. Special Action: Tech Auction

Martian Business Coalition – While their population is small, the Martian Business Coalition knows money. They have money and facilities, so it’s just a matter of putting all that to good use. As an off-Earth organization they do have pretty good technology, especially when it comes to building extraterrestrial outposts. They’re hoping to use what they’ve learned in making Mars habitable when they arrive in the Gamma Leporis system. Special Action: Work for Hire

Euro-China Technology Pact Members – By the middle of the 22nd century there were over 12 billion people living on Earth. Over 25% of those people live and work in the merged Euro-China Technology Pact regions. There is no shortage of workers. However, the overcrowding in the regions, social programs, and environmental cleanup plans after hundreds of years of neglect mean the country does not have much income and they have no special technology or research capabilities. But the race is on and the region still has plenty of manufacturing capabilities. Special Action: Labor Force

North American Alliance – For over 150 years North America was the seat of technological advancement. But as the cutting edge moved off-world, technology advancements also came from off-world. The workforce and income plateaued in the past 50 years, however, the North American Alliance still has a great capacity for research and manufacturing. Special Action: Think Tank

General Special Actions – Each Faction can also be played with the standard side. If all players use the standard side, then they should all use only the board Actions. If players mix and match sides, players using the standard side will use the standard setup and this general Special Action. Special Action: Reassignment

Sell Sheet:


A note on the setting: Gamma Leporis is a real star system in the Sirius group. The system can be seen in the south-central portion of Lepus, the Hare constellation. The system is interesting in that the two main stars can be distinguished with a pair of binoculars. It is believed that they system may even have a third stellar component. The Gamma Leporis system is currently one of the target systems for NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) program, which is searching for Earthlike planets orbiting in the habitable zones of nearby star systems. The planet Yutu is fictional, however it is based on large exoplanets that have been discovered in other star systems. The belief is that, even just outside the normal habitable zone, heat from a gas giant may make its moons warm enough to support life. The name comes from the Moon Rabbit, or Jade Rabbit from Chinese folklore. Yutu lives on the moon, constantly pounding herbs into the elixir of life for the Moon goddess Chang'e. Yutu was also the name of a Chinese lunar rover that was sent to the Earth’s moon in 2013. Race to the Moons was partially inspired by Allen Steele’s Coyote novels, which are set in a similar environment in the 47 Ursae Majoris system.


Component Quantity Photo
{{}} {{item.quantity}} component component


Average Rating 0 reviews
Publish Date February 04, 2020
Edition First
Department Games
Tags {{}}
More Info Race to the Moons web site

Why buy this?

  • Worker Placement
  • Player Interaction
  • Multiple Strategies

GJJ Games - George Jaros

designer logo


  • This game contains laser cut components. Laser cut items will have a slight amount of soot around the edges, which can easily be wiped off; and will have a campfire smell for about a week after you open them.


See It In Action

image slot

Ratings and Reviews

Be the first to review this!
Posted {{|timeago}}
Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


Please Sign In to leave a review
Community Chat