Big Head Zach
I know it seems this has been beaten into the ground already, but I think I have read all the threads on this subject, and I haven't seen an answer to this question:
The colonize deck is depleted. I have no colonize cards in my hand. I have a planet with enough colonies under it to be able to settle. Can I select the colonize role and settle the planet even though I have no cards in my play area?
Yes. The bonus for the Leader is he may Settle an eligible planet instead of tucking Colonize cards. This can be performed even if there are no Colonize cards left on the stack.