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Subject: Cosmic Encounter , Race For The Galaxy or Space Alert rss

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Scott Brown
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Hi, I was wondering if you were going to buy one of these games which one would you get and why. Thanks for our reply's!!!
 
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David B
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I have played Race for the Galaxy over 11,000 times and still enjoy it. That said, it's an efficiency game and not as social as the other two, sonkeep that in mind. But my preference would be Race.
 
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Dan Cain
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Definitely Cosmic. Every game you play will be completely different.
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Eric Brosius
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These are very different games.

My personal favorite is Race for the Galaxy. It is a game in which the key skill is assessing the cards you draw, evaluating what your opponents are likely to do, and choosing a good plan.

Cosmic Encounter is also a space game, but it's a negotiation game at heart. The key skill is evaluating what your opponents are likely to do (considering what they told you they will do,) and influencing them to act in a way that helps you.

Space Alert, also a space game, is a cooperative game in which managing chaos under time pressure is the key skill.

Which one is best for you depends on which skills you and your group want to exercise.
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Kyle
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Eric Brosius wrote:
These are very different games.

My personal favorite is Race for the Galaxy. It is a game in which the key skill is assessing the cards you draw, evaluating what your opponents are likely to do, and choosing a good plan.

Cosmic Encounter is also a space game, but it's a negotiation game at heart. The key skill is evaluating what your opponents are likely to do (considering what they told you they will do,) and influencing them to act in a way that helps you.

Space Alert, also a space game, is a cooperative game in which managing chaos under time pressure is the key skill.

Which one is best for you depends on which skills you and your group want to exercise.


Pretty much this, but I'll add the first (race) has next to no player interaction, where the other 2 have a very prominent group dynamic (for different reasons).

We'd need to know about you and your group for this, do you enjoy boring multi-player solitaire euros, high interaction conflict, or pure chaos in a box tagged to a cooperative game. Cosmic is a true gem that has stood the test of time, Space Alert is also a lot of fun.
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John
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Probably Cosmic Encounter as I own Race for the Galaxy, and not sure Space Alert is my kind of game. Though a second base set of Race would be nice so I could play different expansions without switching...

Which one you should buy I have no idea. Eric Brosius gives a good quick summaries of them.
 
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Eric Brosius
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The interaction in Race for the Galaxy is indirect. It involves choosing your role in such a way that you will get more benefit than your opponents. So no punching each other in the face, but sometimes there is "I'd really like Settle to be called, but I'd also like Consume. I can only call one. Is another player likely to call Settle, so I don't have to? Or is someone likely to call Consume, so I don't have to?"

At the start of Race for the Galaxy, players often choose Consume/Trade even though they have no good to sell in Trade. They are hoping that another player will Settle, so they can play a windfall world and trade the good on it. But knowing that, players are often reluctant to Settle at the start of the game. This is indirect interaction.

The designer wrote some commentary on this concept:

RFTG Player Interaction (designer's perspective)

I agree with him.
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Eric Brosius
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zabdiel wrote:
Though a second base set of Race would be nice so I could play different expansions without switching...


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Jordan S.
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Totally different games in just about every respect and I'm not sure that I'd even see any value in comparing them.

That said, based solely on personal opinion, Cosmic Encounter every time.
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Samo Oleami
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BeamMeUp wrote:
Hi, I was wondering if you were going to buy one of these games which one would you get and why. Thanks for our reply's!!!

Different games for different reasons.

Cosmic Encounter is my #1 game.
Reasons to get:
- it's the most accessible of these. sure there's some rules upfront, but the gameplay itself is simple
- the most social of these, most psychology, social skills (lying, bluffing, negotiation).
- it's the most laughter inducing (as things tend to go wrong).
- you like a ride more than the result
Reasons not to get it:
- you hate chaos. it's okay many people feel the same. CE is a like it or hate it game. If you need a controllable environment in which to strategize this is not a game for you.
- you can't get more than 3 people to play
- you don't like people messing up your plans

Race for the Galaxy is my favorite engine building game
Reasons to get it:
- pretty unique in that it asks for strategic decisions on the spot, so there is some risk taking involved
- for a game of this type very replayable and relatively deep
Reasons not to get it:
- it has a severe case of iconotis, learning curve is steep. It's really not for causal players. For hobbyists only, basically.
- you want meaningful interaction. RFTG has none (has some leaching if this delivers anything to you).
- you want a game for many players - RFTG is probably at its best with 2-3 players.

Space alert is a very specific game.
You need a group of gamers (not casual gamers or nongamers) willing to play this couple of times in a row - like in successive days or weeks. And the group must be into cooperative games.
If you do have this, it's great, but t's more of a campaign type experience (even if it's not a legacy game. yet...)

So:
- have nongamers 4-6 of them, get Cosmic (you'll need one of the expansions for 6 players)
- want a loud time of BSerry - get Cosmic
- have few players who are more strategy orineted - RFTG
- have gamers who are into co-ops and don't mind putting a few sessions into this (this one is really more of a niche game)
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Scott Brown
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Wow. Thanks to everyone who gave me their thoughts, and thanks Samo for the great breakdown of the three games. I think I have ruled out Space Alert, and now need to decide between the other two.
Thanks again
Scott
 
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Kyle
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BeamMeUp wrote:
Wow. Thanks to everyone who gave me their thoughts, and thanks Samo for the great breakdown of the three games. I think I have ruled out Space Alert, and now need to decide between the other two.
Thanks again
Scott


Just remember, one is an entertaining fun game, and the other is race for the galaxy
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Stephanie Prince
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BeamMeUp wrote:
I think I have ruled out Space Alert, and now need to decide between the other two.


Get both. Book Depository has good prices on Cosmic Encounter & expansions so you can buy RFTG with the money you save. I just picked up several of the expansions from them- not sure how they can ship free from the UK for less than you can buy them for here.
 
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Mason Rouser
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Have you looked into Roll for the Galaxy? After playing Roll for the Galaxy, I have no desire to play Race for the Galaxy again. I would compare Roll for the Galaxy to Cosmic Encounter.
 
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Samo Oleami
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mrouser wrote:
I would compare Roll for the Galaxy to Cosmic Encounter.
Why not to Monopoly?
It's as similar to Cosmic or RollFTG as these two to one another.

RFTG VS RollFTG
In between the release of RFTG and ROllFTG the gaming world changed and Roll is an re-interpretation of RFTG more in line with the modern hobby gamer.
RFTG
- has a steeper learning curve
- has a deeper gameplay
Both of these means it rewards players willing to play it over and over again.
- has strategic thinking on the spot, with some big risks
Together with what's mention above RFTG isn't for newbies and a seasoned player will beat them easily.
RollFTG
- is tactic instead of strategic, you can go on autopilot and just do slight adjustments. This also means it's less risk, thus less frustration (for those who have problem losing).
- is easier to learn (also as there's not much to learn. RFTG asks of you to know the basics of the common deck as this is around one builds one's strategy. Here it's easier to "roll with it" - also all tiles are double sided).
- has even less interaction than RFTG which had it a tiny bit above the zero to start with (Which is why comparing RollFTG to Cosmic Encounter is pure nonsense)

conslusion:
RollFTG is made for a modern gamer who plays a vast amount of games all the time, but few (none?) of them repeatedly. For a group who plays a lot of games RollFTG is easy to pick up and put away after playing. The gameplay itself is similar to current generic euro fare, meaning tactical engine building optimisation. The game is much more similar in gameplay terms to other (euro) games on the market.
RFTG asks for commitment and isn't newbie friendly (actually I'm not willing to teach it to people who don't commit themselves to at least 3 repeated plays of it).
I'd say RFTG is a better fit for more serious gamers who like the idea of playing the same game repeatedly.
 
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corum irsei
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lastalchemist wrote:
Definitely Cosmic. Every game you play will be completely different.
Umm:
Definitely RftG. Every game you play will be completely different.

More seriously: It's a matter of taste, personally I enjoy RftG a lot more because of its indirect interaction. Cosmic can be quite annoying - if you take it too seriously.
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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mrouser wrote:
Have you looked into Roll for the Galaxy? After playing Roll for the Galaxy, I have no desire to play Race for the Galaxy again. I would compare Roll for the Galaxy to Cosmic Encounter.


I was the opposite. After playing Roll, I knew I would never, ever play it unless someone else requested it, and there was nothing else to play, and I couldn't leave the building, and I was already at the table.
 
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Alec Chapman
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I do think props are due to the OP for managing to select three of the most different games he could choose between. Wait... I just realised I own all three, so I clearly believe they're different enough to be worth having more than one!

The remaining contenders, Cosmic and Race, are so different from each other a comparison of their objective "goodnessitude" is laughable to attempt.

Aside from CE and SA's sense of humour, the only point of agreement between the three original suggestions is the theme. However, both these remaining games need to have their capturing of the space "theme" taken with a pinch of salt. Either could have their mechanics pretty much repainted with a generic fantasy setting with little to no impact - and thinking about it, Cosmic already HAS.

However, you can still judge their subjective strengths based on what you want - if you want social negotiating and crazy combinations of player powers you'll have to balance at the table, then Cosmic is basically your thing

If you want the heads down thinky engine building goodness that is Race, that's a clear choice.

What's nice about this is that if it comes down to these two games, they are so distinct there's almost no thinking required to come up with a solution. They're both great (Cosmic is my only 10), so whichever you choose... Enjoy!
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John
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Eric Brosius wrote:
zabdiel wrote:
Though a second base set of Race would be nice so I could play different expansions without switching...



I should have seen that coming
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David B
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mrouser wrote:
Have you looked into Roll for the Galaxy? After playing Roll for the Galaxy, I have no desire to play Race for the Galaxy again. I would compare Roll for the Galaxy to Cosmic Encounter.


Why stop there? Let's compare Ghandi to Donald Trump.
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Dave Lartigue
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A dissenting view:

Cosmic Encounter is not much of a game. I've tried it several times with several groups in several versions and I've yet to understand what all the fuss is. You all do the same thing until everyone's at four planets, and then you just slapfight until it's over. It's not that I prefer unimpeded strategy, because I don't, but that the "gameplay" of CE just isn't doing much of anything.

I understand that some people love it and hey, more power to them, but I'd proceed with caution because I've met just as many people who are baffled by its popularity.
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Olivier D.
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Legomancer wrote:
A dissenting view:

Cosmic Encounter is not much of a game. I've tried it several times with several groups in several versions and I've yet to understand what all the fuss is. You all do the same thing until everyone's at four planets, and then you just slapfight until it's over. It's not that I prefer unimpeded strategy, because I don't, but that the "gameplay" of CE just isn't doing much of anything.

I understand that some people love it and hey, more power to them, but I'd proceed with caution because I've met just as many people who are baffled by its popularity.


I never got Cosmic Encounter either.
Draw a random player token, and attack them... wow Candyland Munchkin may actually have more decision making than this "game".

Rftg is a more well-rounded game, altough it features less social interactions.

Space Alert is one of my favourite games, but I agree you need the right group to play it.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Other than a space theme, these games aren't similar at all. It should be really easy for you to pick which of these is the best fit for you as they're not at all alike.

If you like attacky slap people down type of games, go for CE. If you like cooperative games or watching as everything goes hilariously wrong, go for SA. If you actually like good games, you want Race for the Galaxy.
 
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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mildaene wrote:

I never got Cosmic Encounter either.
Draw a random player token, and attack them... wow Candyland Munchkin may actually have more decision making than this "game".


That just sounds like you're bad at Cosmic Encounter. The random attack draw is there to provide a framework for negotiation and bluffing, which is where the decision making comes in.

None of that is to say you should like CE. (As Samo has pointed out, there's many solid reasons why people wouldn't).

But to suggest it has no meaningful decisions and imply its barely a game because of that isn't true. That's about your failings as a "gamer", not the game itself.
 
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Jordan S.
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So, in case it's eluded you throughout the discussion, Cosmic Encounter is a game that some people love and some people hate. And those people would be right. Both of them.

Actually, come to think of it...one might say that about Race for the Galaxy, too.

Really, when it all comes down to it, I suppose somebody might be inclined to say that about every single game listed on BGG.

I guess the lesson to be learned, then, is that the only valuable opinion is the one you make yourself. You know yourself far better than any of us. That's not to say that you can't stay informed but just remember that nobody can tell you what you will or will not like. All we can do is share the things that enlighten or disgust us.
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