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Page 11 of the rules say that "you may not enter or pass through a Sector you don't Control that contains Hostile rival Ships."
Does "Sector" here mean just the space lane Sectors or System Discs as well?
Also, when it says "You may ask for permission to enter or move through a Sector which contains rival's Ships with whom you are at Peace," I had read somewhere that if permission is given, then ships may travel throughout all one's territories. Is this true or can limits be placed? And what about the case of a rival whose ships occupy both ends of a 3 or 4 sector space lane leaving 1-2 sectors in the middle open. Can permission be given to allow ships in but then deny permission for ships to pass through the other end?
The rules for Planetary Invasions (page 19) say that there cannot be enemy ships in the system, but how could enemy ships ever occupy the same system besides one person controlling a space station that allows ships to be built in the system? Can a players at Peace with a rival simply enter the system, or does he need permission from the person controlling the system? And what about uncontrolled planetary systems and non-controllable, non-planetary systems? Can rivals at Peace simply send ships into the same uncontrolled system disk or must permission be given first?
I believe I have an idea or two about these question, but I don't want to be inconsistent with the rules and lose potential players when I'm teaching the game...
System discs are also sectors, so you still can't move into a system that contains hostile ships.
Permission is given *each time* you need to pass through a rival's ships. Therefore, they may grant you passage at one point, then deny you passage later, if you need to cross over their ships multiple times.
Ships from multiple players can occupy the same system in 3 cases:
1. a rival with whom you are at peace may grant you permission to enter the system
2. you may build ships in a system, even if there are hostile ships there.
3. You may enter a system you control, even if it is occupied by hostile ships.
some technology also allows you to enter/pass through a sector with rival ships (romulan advanced cloaking device)
given that relations between players may change over time, it is possible that a player had let you enter their sectors in previous turns and then later revokes the trade/peace.