The rules reference exploration and combat in many different terms and descriptions and I'm not sure if there is a difference, any help is appreciated. Combat and Exporation Alert is explained under the sequence of play section but I assume the other terminology means the same but just worded different?
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There is no real difference. A Combat Turn or Exploration Turn is just a game turn that occurs while the "game state" is Combat or Exploration Alert. I don't have the rulebook handy to see where they occur, but Combat or Exploration Phase would likely be a misnomer for "Turn". Combat happens during the Human and Alien Action Phases; exploration occurs during the Discovery Phase.