Space is an 8x8 chassboard; using the lines, not the squares. Each evil spider chooses a colour, and sets up on the central point. Set up four astronauts, one at each corner of the board.
The idea is that you surround squares with a web that snaps if it gets too long; but once it surrounds it becomes stable and you start spinning a new temporary web. This would be much easier to explain in pictures.
On your turn, choose two astronauts and mentally dominate them. Their feeble minds obey your orders, providing your orders make some sense to them.
Move them along an unclaimed line, that isn't in a claimed area if possible.
If not, move along an unclaimed line if possible.
Only if completely surrounded by web lines, move along a web line. (And never along temporary ones)
Feebly, each astronaut moves only half a line. (From corner to mid, or mid to corner). Puny humans!
And they have to sleep, too! You can't move an astronaut that the previous player moved.
Then you yourself move. You move up to two full spaces; trailing the web behind you. (You can stay still if you like, or there's nowhere to go)
If you touch an existing (temporary or permanent) web, then as long as you've created at least one new surrounded area - your current web becomes permanent and the space(s) it surrounds are now interior spaces belonging to you. Put a marker on them. (If you don't surround stuff, the web snaps.)
Note that it's only whoever lays the last web piece that counts - all web is equal, only territory is owned.
Note also that you are permitted to cut a claimed territory into smaller parts. Doing so does add an additional counter onto each piece. Existing claims are not removed. Why do you think the space spiders don't get along peacefully?
You can't move along temporary web; yours, or anyone else's. You can cut across it (and should, it's likely to acquire territory for you) but you can't go along it.
If you move onto or along existing permanent web, lay no new web. (And resolve, by snapping or acquiring territory)
If you move off of existing web, start laying web again. (Also, if you move away from another spider.)
If your temporary web becomes longer than 4 - it snaps. Take it away, and go find some permanent web to start a new one.
If at any time an astronaut is touching a spider - Zot! That spider is out of the game.
Ending the Game
If all the other spiders went "Zot!" then the game ends. If the astronauts are entirely caught within the web (there are no unclaimed spaces, or the only unclaimed spaces have humans stuck on the lines you'd need to web; so it's impossible to do so without zotting yourself) then that ends the game too.
Score a point for each claim marker you have on the board. Lose a point if you went "Zot".
It is required that the losers chitter angrily before they retreat to a new rectangular galaxy to dream arachnid dreams of revenge. The winner may consume the vital juices of the astronauts at their leisure.
Probably not as fast as I'd like it to be - might want to experiment with using a smaller board. The idea is that humans aren't really a threat; but that they can be used to stop an opponent making the webs they want to make. Note that your 2 lines of movement could claim up to 4 squares!
The 'hole' of "I'm winning! Suicide!" is intentional. But maybe wants to have a slightly higher penalty.
Alternately (and especially if the game is longer than I hope) then maybe after a 'zot' you get to re-appear at the centre of the board on your next turn. If more then two astronauts are there, then I suggest choosing not to.) Penalty for going zot would then be mostly the time it took you to get back to unclaimed territory. If I do this, then I certainly want a smaller board.
Ok, this changed a lot. Temporary web is gone, webs are player-coloured, and you claim an area by having the majority (completer winning ties); no subdivision allowed. (And make 2 spaceman moves even in 4-player) And it was pretty strategic. Strongly suggested to try a larger board size with 4 players, and to give you a point if you capture a spaceman. (And remove it). I'm also going to explicitly end the game once "remaining spacemen, or fewer" squares are left unclaimed. Losing claim of a square to be marked by turning your tile marker black.
To test for next time:
Larger board (6x6)
Astronaut initial placement still 4x4 (so not on the corner, but one towards in each direction)
Some (semi-random) links are cut, can't be moved across by astronaut or spider, can't be webbed over. This is partly to make up for the over expanded board (I'd prefer 5x5 but that's not centred) and partly to deliberately break symmetry. I suspect I need a last-player handicap of some kind, but will test without first.
Ok, found an obvious way of going 5x5; which is to split the starting spiders onto different corners of the middle square. So we'll do that. Still cut some links though. The starting player now has more freedom of initial moves (as only one possible move leads to another player completing a square immediately) so maybe we're now ok not worrying about a handicap. Have to test.