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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Variants

Subject: Two variants to make the game more "EURO" rss

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Michael Elboim
Israel
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Hi guys, me and my group has been playing Cosmic Encounter for some time now. We have the CI, CA, CC and CS expansions - but usually play just with the rewards deck and no tech cards.

The problem is that we don't like how the game is "stuck" when a player reaches his 4th colony. Everybody gangs against him and if he wins it's by luck. During our last game, for example, 6 out of the 7 players got to a 4th colony after 3 hours of gameplay, and no one could win since everybody would join the defense.

We thought of two variants and I'd like to know if anyone has tried them or what do you think will happen:

1. The game does not end when a player gets his fifth foreign colony, but rather ends automatically after five rounds. At the end of the fifth round, the player with the most colones wins.

* If there's a tie all tied players fight and the winner wins the game.

2. ALL colonies are worth a point, even home system colonies. When you kick someone out of a planet, you get a point while that player loses a point at the same time.

What do you guys think will happen?

Will it solve some problems, or just cause more?

Thank you.
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Sean Franco
United States
Red Hook
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Cause more.
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Jefferson Krogh
United States
San Leandro
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I take it you guys never share wins?
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This is not my user name.
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If six out of seven players have 4 colonies, the game should be over pretty soon, unless everyone insists on a solo victory. And if your group insists on solo victories only, then it seems like the last thing they would want is to make the game more "Euro".
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Just a Bill
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Norfolk
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Well, you were right and I should have listened but I didn't and now here we are. So stop saying 'I told you so' and pass the calamine lotion.
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I don't care for the fact that rule 1 will often end in fisticuffs.
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Pasi Ojala
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Tampere
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Elboim wrote:
The problem is that we don't like how the game is "stuck" when a player reaches his 4th colony. Everybody gangs against him and if he wins it's by luck.

I suggest you win by skill instead - save your best cards so you can get the fifth colony just after the 4th.

Also sharing a win with another player sounds inviting after a few hour's play. (And is a skill too.)

I think your suggestion would just remove all alliances altogether, reducing card flow and making the game even more about the luck of the initial draw instead of skill.
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Jeff Finazzo
United States
St. Louis
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Your fifth colony is always taken alone and usually while fighting every other player in the game. That's what makes it so satisfying. Despite all their efforts they couldn't stop you. Post-game victory dance is highly recommended.
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Ido Abelman
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Hi Elboim

Your title made me chuckle. Cosmic and euro? Two words I never thought I'll see in the same sentence.

The variants themselves... Interesting ideas but I don't think they'll work. Previous commenters already talked about shared wins but some people (appearently like jeff above me) don't like them so much. But a vast majority of cosmic players are at least open to the idea, and most games I play end up in a shared win. And you should use the option if you have the "a win is a win" mentality - as a main player you gain a better chance of victory, as an ally you gain an opportunity you wouldn't have otherwise.

Anyway no matter your play style I think your variant weakens a pretty important point in the game - not all encounter victories are equal. Getting the first colony is not like getting the fifth, defense is normally less important than offence (maybe except for when the third home colony is in danger), and the second encounter is not as important as the first.

All the "less important" encounters give you the opportunity not to go all out and preserve strength, or maybe tank them and get rid of your bad cards. And you always try to build strength for the endgame - some aliens are pretty much built around this (ehm cryo ehm). As hand management is a very big part of the game, this is important IMO. Of course there is still some variance in win worth with your variants, but much less.
 
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Jefferson Krogh
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San Leandro
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Frantic Ferret wrote:
Your fifth colony is always taken alone and usually while fighting every other player in the game. That's what makes it so satisfying. Despite all their efforts they couldn't stop you. Post-game victory dance is highly recommended.


Solo wins are great, but shared wins are way better than losing.
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Just a Bill
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Well, you were right and I should have listened but I didn't and now here we are. So stop saying 'I told you so' and pass the calamine lotion.
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
Solo wins are great, but shared wins are way better than losing.

Indeed. I think Jack Reda's quip sums it up nicely: "A shared win is better than a shared loss."

It is a core premise (and feature) of this game that joint wins are not only possible, they are natural, commonplace, and legitimate. That's not to say they are the ultimate goal. Of course everyone wants a solo victory, and rightly so. The solo win is definitely better. But it's not always feasible.

It may seem "weak" to some to consider joint victories legit, but consider this: If your group basically never has joint wins, then you may also be missing out on the tension and exultation around the possibility of the last-minute backstab that turns a joint win into a solo win. Those particularly delicious treacheries will basically never happen if you don't accept joint wins as a normal thing.

Freedom to cooperate is opportunity to betray. Allow yourselves to experience all that Cosmic offers.
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