"When a player advances his Control Marker to the 10th step of the Victory Point Track, he has gained the power needed to claim the Imperial throne on Mecatol Rex."
It is all about moving the "Control Marker" on the Victory Point Track….
During Status, you can claim an objective and this allows you to move the "Control Marker"
Lose your homeworld, you cannot claim an objective during status so you cannot move the "Control Marker" by claiming an objective.
Lose your homeworld but claim an Artifact, the "Control Marker" moves up 1
Get elected to gain or lose 1 VP, your "Control Marker" moves up or down 1 on the Victory Point Track whether you own your homeworld or not.
Need less VPs to Win. When your "Control Marker" hits the needed number, the game instantly stops…..you win.
If many players can claim Victory, then in goes in the Iniative order of the Strategy card they have.
The first person to move his "Control Marker" to the needed number, the game instantly stops, he wins.
Even if 1 person would have 4 VPs more then him, it makes no difference.
So even if a player is wiped out, no planets , no ground troops, just 1 destroyer left on the board. He would be the new emperor
Just because he moved his "Control Marker" on the Victory Point Track to the needed VP point …."First"
There has been alot of games where one player had only a few ships left on the board and he wins. The Saar race wins alot in this manner. Expands like crazy, claiming VPs on the way and then gets gets beaten back to 1 or 2 worlds and wins.
The game is all about getting that "Control Marker" to move to the needed VP point on the Victory point track…."First"
The only exception is claiming an INSTANT WIN Public two objective. You can win the game this way with 0 VPs.
That is the only "wild card" option there in the game for the players that are hopelessly behind in VPs.