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Subject: IS this game good for a gaming group? rss

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Aaron Mesnar
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I am looking to expand some of our game library for the gaming group and we tend to have on a regular basis 7 people. Sometimes more, sometimes less. With expansions it looks like you can go up to about 8 players.

Is this game difficult or does it get boring? We want a variety of games to play but I dont want to sink money into it, if it is hard to learn, or gets boring.
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Derek Thompson
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Mez2112 wrote:
I am looking to expand some of our game library for the gaming group and we tend to have on a regular basis 7 people. Sometimes more, sometimes less. With expansions it looks like you can go up to about 8 players.

Is this game difficult or does it get boring? We want a variety of games to play but I dont want to sink money into it, if it is hard to learn, or gets boring.


What other games are you playing?

If the other games you are playing are things like Magic or The Resistance or Battlestar Galactica, then YES.

If you're playing Agricola and Terra Mystica and Tzolk'in, probably not.
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Addison Fox
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Boring is one of the few things it is highly unlikely to be.

It is a very chaotic game, and much more about the journey than the destination, and the amount of fun you get out of it is extremely dependent on how well the players adapt to each other's strategies and avoid falling too deep into the metagame.

Frustrating, I could see, but not boring. Personally I love it, because it's extremely silly and much deeper than it seems at first glance, but I know lots of people who hate it for the same reason.
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Warren Denning
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Its a great game and you actually don't need any expansions to add players just paper disks representing planets, counter representing ships, and you can use a regular playing cards to represent each player.

To teach the game: Start by teaching the phases of each encounter (reprint on both the alien power cards and the encounter cards used in the game) first without introducing the alien powers. After that is complete, introduce the alien powers as something that breaks one rule of the game. Finally point out the use of flares during the game.

It an awesome game for a group of people who don't mind controlled chaos, but if your group is a heavy Euro or strategy group they will most likely start complaining its too luck based.

It is also an awesome game for a group composed of couples because the destiny deck determine who you have to attack. No more couples playing "nice" with each other or someone getting angry when their life-mate attacks them with zeal.

Final note two key points of strategy (to me at least):
1. How fast can you turn over your hand to get a new one?
2. How long do you need to invite allies on offense until you can go it alone for the final colony to win?
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The Compulsive Completist
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The question shouldn't be if the game is good enough for your group but whether your group is good enough for the game.
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Bob (he/him)
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Hockey Mask wrote:
The question shouldn't be if the game is good enough for your group but whether your group is good enough for the game.


thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

Bazinga!

BOb
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Aaron Mesnar
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Hockey Mask wrote:
The question shouldn't be if the game is good enough for your group but whether your group is good enough for the game.


LOL!!! Good one

Thank you all for the input. To me it sounds like a great add, and you all gave me the confidence to add it to the collection.

Currently we have all sorts of games that range from 2 player games to 4. However we have decided we need to stock up on larger amount games.

Since this is a new game group, most are amateurs, though luckily I have a few veterans to add to the group that have Magic and other games under their belt.

Here is a list of the games I have purchased for the group (thought not all have been played yet): Rex, Runebound (all expansions), Elder Signs, The Resistance, Ascension, Shadows Over Camelot, Game of Thrones BG, and I recently began buying Dominion.

Friends have Eclipse, Descent, Talisman, Relic, Thunderstone, Arkham Horror, Formula D.

Please by all means let me know of any others that may work in a group of up to 7 people.
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Jordan S.
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Mez2112 wrote:
Since this is a new game group, most are amateurs, though luckily I have a few veterans to add to the group that have Magic and other games under their belt.

Your players who've played Magic before are probably very likely to enjoy Cosmic Encounter. Richard Garfield cited Cosmic as one of his biggest inspirations when he originally designed M:tG back in the day. They should love the variable player-powers and all the special card interactions.

Mez2112 wrote:
Here is a list of the games I have purchased for the group (thought not all have been played yet): Rex, Runebound (all expansions), Elder Signs, The Resistance, Ascension, Shadows Over Camelot, Game of Thrones BG, and I recently began buying Dominion.

Friends have Eclipse, Descent, Talisman, Relic, Thunderstone, Arkham Horror, Formula D.

Based on this list, I think there's a fair chance your group will like Cosmic. Best way to know for sure, of course, is to find out.
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Dan Thorpe
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This was my first game and I have to say its the best game I have. I own a lot i think but not as much as some I know (http://boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/Dlthorpe?subtype=bo...). But since buying this, and collecting all the others in my list, its still my fav game!

You need to really get through a few games and get to know the mechanics. But you should hopefully fall in love with the backstabbing here and the variety you get.

If you dont like it, ill buy your copy as a spare
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Dan Thorpe
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Oh and check this out for a good first timer video...

http://techgeekgamers.com/cosmic-encounter-tech-geek-gamers-...
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Mark W
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One of my favorite games of all time, so of course I'd recommend it, but just as a heads-up, 7 players is not the ideal. 4-5 is probably the sweet spot.
 
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Adam McLean
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NeonPeon wrote:
One of my favorite games of all time, so of course I'd recommend it, but just as a heads-up, 7 players is not the ideal. 4-5 is probably the sweet spot.


Mark is right, but while it may not be at it's best with 7 or 8 players, it still is very good, and if you need a game that can have that many players so nobody gets left out it does scale very well ... something to consider, though, when you have larger groups is to choose your alien powers from among those that are more interactive or get to use their power more often than others.

For example, Barbarian only works when he is on the offense, so his power activates only on his turn and only if he wins ... so a player with Barbarian that loses his first encounter might wait a while to get a chance to use it again, if at all. The person who plays him in a large game may not be thrilled afterwards.

In contrast, Mind gets to look at another player's hand on each encounter so he might get to use his power throughout everyone's turn, which will keep him more involved as he's waiting for his turn to come around.

Anyways, just a thought, and maybe later I'll give you some suggestions for a bunch of those aliens, if nobody else beats me to it.
 
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Jack Reda
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7 players is not ideal.

10 players is ideal!

2 powers per player is also pretty ideal.
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Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
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One thing to bear in mind is that CE is definitely NOT a EuroGame:

* There is direct conflict - players directly attack one another. Some groups don't like this.*

* There is no "building a victory point engine" in this game.

* Game events are determined to a good extent by cards - a good size deck with widely varying card values and types. This means there's a good amount of luck and randomness in the game.

* Even apart from the luck factor, there are many unpredictable things that can and do happen - sudden reversals of fortune, and re-reversals, and re-re-reversals. The game is *funny*. I've never seen anyone laugh because of an unexpected thing that happened in a game of Puerto Rico. CE generates lots of laughs.

* Despite it's often hilarious nature, it's still a serious game, with real strategy and decisions to make. Skill and experience *do* matter in this game.

* There's no real simulation - the game is not based on "real" science or even on plausible science fiction.

All that being said, from the list of games that your group already plays, it seems like you would enjoy it. Welcome to the fold!

* A footnote about players attacking each other: Despite the direct attacks, the game remains fairly friendly because of the Destiny mechanism. Usually, you don't have a choice whom you attack, a deck of Destiny cards determines that for you, so it's nothing personal.

A bit of irrelevant history:

The original Eon edition used cardboard disks for destiny - you'd flip one face-up and the color would determine which system you attack. My first set was the West End edition - almost identical to Eon's, but it had plastic disks for Destiny - because they were solid plastic, you could see what color they were. There was no face-up or face-down side, so you had to put all the disks in an opaque cup or bag and draw them out. We used a small paper bag and decorated it with the label "THE LUNCHBAG OF DESTINY", with other notes written on it: "It's fate, baby!", "Pick a color.", "It's nothing personal."
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Dirty Dan
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To repeat several respondents; by the looks of your other games, I would say it's right up your alley.

It's my favorite board/card game bar-none since 1985.
I describe it as a tongue-in-cheek, cutthroat game. The chaos and random elements keep it fresh in the beginning (and afterwards, really). But as you gain experience, you start to appreciate the strategy aspect under the surface.

My biggest advice on new players so they get hooked and have fun:

1. Read through these forums enough, and you will often see commentary on Alliance tactics. Many players, especially new ones, call for offensive allies too often. This runs up the score for everyone quickly and then it's a fight for the last base.
With 4 or more players, this can regularly end your game before 2 turns are done (and I've seen plenty of games end on the first go-around)
For new players, it can really lessen the enjoyment of the game. If a player only gets one turn (or less), they probably are not going to enjoy CE as much.
Take allies only when absolutely necessary: The game will last longer, it's smart strategy, and it give everyone a chance to experience more of the game in the process.


2. With so many different aliens, powers and event cards, Cosmic Encounter has always had a high level of clashes regarding specific rules interactions. Versions over the years have always struggled with FAQs and Errata.
If your group has very rigid, rules-lawyer types, there may be more arguments than card draws on how a specific power works against card-X; power vs. power, etc.
Know going in, that there may have to be an occasional, on-the-fly house interpretation.
Bill Martinson's Cosmodex (pinned in the rules forum) is a great place to get answers and will solve your question 99% of the time.
In any case,remember to keep it light and fun (not be argumentative).

Hope you get the game and have lots of fun.
 
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