We had a disagreement about this the last time I played. The rules seem to allude that you can attack an empty planet in an encounter with another player but it doesn't seem to be made explicit.

Example: Green has 4 colonies in his home system, one planet is empty. If blue draws a green destiny card can he attack the empty planet?


Yes, as long as the planet is still there.

The defender defends as normal (playing an encounter card) but with no ships. From the rules on Launch (page 8):

Note that, in a home system, the defense may not have any ships on the targeted planet, in which case he or she defends the planet with zero ships.

If green were to draw a green destiny card, they could attack their own empty planet to reestablish a colony (or they could draw another destiny card). Page 7:

When drawing his or her own color, if a player has a home planet with no ships on it at all (enemy or otherwise), then he or she may aim the hyperspace gate at that planet to automatically re-establish a colony there with up to four ships from other colonies. Doing so counts as a successful encounter.


You absolutely can attack a planet with no defenders.

On page 8 of the rulebook it states:

Defending with Nothing?

Even though a player may no longer have a colony on one of his or her home planets, that player must still defend it.

Which certainly confirms that you can attack an unoccupied world.

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