If I had to keep a single title in my collection, it would be Cosmic Encounter. No other game represents everything I love from our medium as well as it does. It’s fun, challenging, social. Whenever I play it, I laugh and, win or lose, I come out refreshed and enriched from the experience. Chaotic and irreverent, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s one of the greatest games ever designed. Continue reading »
I believe Cosmic Encounter is one of the best games ever made. However, not everyone sees it that way. Many have approached the game only to have a terrible experience. Hence, I’ve decided to write a guide, not so much about strategy, but about how to have a great experience with it, from your first play.
Cosmic Encounter is one of the most fun games I’ve ever played. However, many report having a dreadful first experience with it. They find it overly random and that only the highest attack cards matter. They see themselves tied at 4 colonies and luck deciding who wins. To them, the game seems pointless and over too quick.
If this has happened to you, there’s a chance you’ve been allying too often. In this article I’ll explain why one must be careful with alliances and the effect too many of them have in the game.
Powerful aliens meet in Cosmic Encounter. One of them, Chronos, has the power to go back in time and force the opponent to replay a battle if he loses. Another, Zombie, has immortal ships and Mutant always keeps 8 cards in hand, taking more of them from the deck (or his opponents) if necessary. The strangest of them all, the Schizoid, changes the winning conditions of the game itself, forcing other players to try and guess which one he has chosen.
And then, there’s the Philanthropist. Compared to these powerhouses, it not only seems weak, but counterproductive. Why would you want to give cards to your opponent? Doesn’t that help them? Many players glaze over him, dismissing him as a joke or a narrow way to help an ally.
But not only it’s a tremendous power, it’s an insidious one and also a great piece of game design.