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Subject: The Moon Project rss

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Jack Reda
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I wanted to play around with a different take one moons, inspired a little by the Space Station variant from Cosmic Storm.

In this version, the moons are associated with specific planets. The number of moons you use in the game can vary.

1) If the offensive player attacks a planet with a vacant moon attached, he may divert one or more of his/her ships to instantly occupy that moon (without necessarily knowing its effects).

2) The offense may directly target a moon instead of the planet.

3) Alliances are allowed in moon encounters. However, moons that are co-occupied are not active.

4) When the defensive main player wins an encounter on a targeted planet, he or she may divert ships from the planet to its attached moon, activating it (if not already occupied), or deactivating it if already occupied.

5) Moons come in (up to) 5 types.

Quarter Moons - All are instant, one-time effects (Upon Occupying). That is, when you occupy the moon, its effect happens. It would need to be re-occupied to activate again, either by being abandoned and re-occupied by the same player, or successfully attacked by another player.

Half Moons - Continuous minor effects.

Full Moons - Continuous major effects.

Blue Moons - Continuous effects only activated by joint occupation. This is the exception to the normal rule. If a player is alone on a Blue moon, its effects are not activated. All Blue Moon effects are designed for co-occupation in the description.

Moon Bases - These moons count as foreign colonies for the win, but give the occupying player a handicap of some kind.

Full Moons could be combined with Half Moons so there is only one continuous effect. There could be a Cheese moon type (easy to add in or take out), and something along the lines of other keen Moon ideas that have been posted (like the cumulative effect moons).

6) Players can tell what kind of moon is associated with a planet. No longer is the moon type a secret, only its effect.

Here is some sample art. I am of course not stuck on emulating the Space Station design, although it does make associated with a specific planet possibly more exact. The moon names are also conceptual.



The text would need to be on the reverse side, ala Mayfair's moons. The design for that is still something I am noodling. I do not have the timing strip and other details, but imagine it could be done.



----------------------

Reasons behind the design... Mostly to keep the game moving. One of the chief complaints about moons (aside from silly effects), is that they make the game longer. Players waste time by making moon encounters. Personally, I never had a problem with this, but I recognize some players did.

I envision having a few different named variants for using Moons. One would include the classic rules- no alliances, no associations with planets.

Another would be having moons on all five of your planets, one of each type, and letting players start the game by rearranging their ships on their planets.

You could also have four moons and a Space Station (or two moons and a Station). And on.

So- this is the beta. Looking for feedback as always.
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Shane Brewer
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Like! I like the tweak of being able to divert and offense or defensive ship to the moon so that the encounter is wasted, colony-wise that is.

Do you envision directly porting many/most/all of the old moons on to these?
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Jack Reda
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I created my own set of moons a couple of years ago (using cards), and filtered through the Mayfair and Eon lists. Many were retained, and several new ones were created. I envision drawing largely from that new list to start, but also thinking about different effects, or different uses for the moons.
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mar hawkman
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Want, Want, and more Want!

Did I mention that I like this?

"ConNtinuous"?

This version of the rules sounds pretty good.
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Jack Reda
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Connnnntinuous. Hasty typing. Every time.
 
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The whole slowing-the-game-down thing was especially a problem in both Eon and Mayfair because of the bad moons - the ones that had a harmful effect. You slow down your direct march toward victory to get a moon base, and then something bad happens to you! A double whammy, based on nothing but luck. You waste an encounter opportunity and gain nothing in exchange.

I like the idea of your moon bases - an easy colony for victory, but at the cost of a long-term disadvantage. One problem with that is that someone could grab one of these as their fifth colony for an easy victory without ever suffering the moon base's penalty.
 
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Jack Reda
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
The whole slowing-the-game-down thing was especially a problem in both Eon and Mayfair because of the bad moons - the ones that had a harmful effect. You slow down your direct march toward victory to get a moon base, and then something bad happens to you! A double whammy, based on nothing but luck. You waste an encounter opportunity and gain nothing in exchange.

I like the idea of your moon bases - an easy colony for victory, but at the cost of a long-term disadvantage. One problem with that is that someone could grab one of these as their fifth colony for an easy victory without ever suffering the moon base's penalty.


Yep, it's a risk. But it's a known risk. When moon type as well as effects are secret, a "Moon Base Omega" can end the game that way very easily (albeit when they already have 4 bases). Players know the offense is attacking a planet with a Moon Base, and that if they have 3 colonies, the win will result in a two colony gain. This in fact, can make the game even faster than an older version moon game.

So, if that is something that is cause for concern, I think one answer is that moon bases must be attacked directly to be occupied. You can't divert ships from the planet (on offense or defense). It should be noted that moon bases occupied by the system owner count as HOME colonies (good for keeping your alien power, but not for winning the game).
 
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The Warp wrote:
1) If the offensive player attacks a planet with a vacant moon attached, he may divert one or more of his/her ships to instantly occupy that moon (without necessarily knowing its effects).


What phase would this option take place in? Launch? Would a player who receives a foreign colony as part of a deal or a bonus ability be given the same opportunity?

The Warp wrote:
2) The offense may directly target a moon instead of the planet.


Could a moon be offered as a colony in a deal, even if it is not "occupied" by the owning player? If defended with a suicide power (there are several flares which have one), could they be destroyed/cleansed?

The Warp wrote:
Quarter Moons - All are instant, one-time effects (Upon Occupying). That is, when you occupy the moon, its effect happens. It would need to be re-occupied to activate again, either by being abandoned and re-occupied by the same player, or successfully attacked by another player.


Would Lunatic be able to vacate a moon he controls to ally with the offense, and potentially re-activate a moon?

The Warp wrote:
Moon Bases - These moons count as foreign colonies for the win, but give the occupying player a handicap of some kind.

Full Moons could be combined with Half Moons so there is only one continuous effect. There could be a Cheese moon type (easy to add in or take out), and something along the lines of other keen Moon ideas that have been posted (like the cumulative effect moons).


You could differentiate between moons whose effect is separate from the planet they orbit, and moons who do affect the planet they orbit. And you could also have a rule that a player's 5th+ foreign colony must be a planet, and cannot be a Moon Base.

The Warp wrote:
6) Players can tell what kind of moon is associated with a planet. No longer is the moon type a secret, only its effect.


Do the players get to know what moons are in their own system before placing them?
 
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Jack Reda
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The diverting of ships occurs during resolution. So, the offense, when placing winning ships from the gate to the planet may split the landing ships between the planet and the vacant moon. Note, you can't divert onto a moon already occupied by another player. The diverting for winning defensive main player also takes place at resolution.

You can't offer occupancy of a moon to another player if you do not also occupy it. Note that co-occupation of anything other than a Blue moon would be deactivating its effects (even a quarter moon).

Lunatic would not reactivate a quarter moon by allying with the offense, because the moon would be co-occupied.

Players may look at the moon effects in their own system at any time. All occupied moons are revealed, so I don't envision any secret moons (but I could be convinced otherwise).
 
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Just a Bill
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I think I like the general direction, but after reading this...

The Warp wrote:
The diverting of ships occurs during resolution. So, the offense, when placing winning ships from the gate to the planet may split the landing ships between the planet and the vacant moon. Note, you can't divert onto a moon already occupied by another player. The diverting for winning defensive main player also takes place at resolution.

You can't offer occupancy of a moon to another player if you do not also occupy it. Note that co-occupation of anything other than a Blue moon would be deactivating its effects (even a quarter moon).

Lunatic would not reactivate a quarter moon by allying with the offense, because the moon would be co-occupied.

Players may look at the moon effects in their own system at any time. All occupied moons are revealed, so I don't envision any secret moons (but I could be convinced otherwise).

... I feel like it is already too complicated. The whole coexistence thing should be clean and simple, not "yes unless this so no but then yes again if that." Meaning, it would be better if you could always co-occupy, but then there was a super-simple way to tell whether this did or did not deactivate an effect.
 
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Jack Reda
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I think it is pretty simple.

You can coexist on ALL moons.
When coexisting, the effect is NOT activated.

Blue Moons are the opposite. They ONLY activate when co-occupied.
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Just a Bill
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The Warp wrote:
I think it is pretty simple.

You can coexist on ALL moons.

In that case, I would delete the following rule; it seems like an unnecessary exception:

The Warp wrote:
Note, you can't divert onto a moon already occupied by another player.
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While I have read some threads here regarding the moon variant from previous versions, I really don't know anything about it. These images look really good though and I think they would be a great addition. From what I've learned in my very limited time of playing CE is that more Cosmic is always a good thing.

I would be curious to read additional details of this variant because I don't even know how a player acquires a moon during a game. Will this variant possibly be included in the upcoming fan expansion?
 
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Warren Denning
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How about for the "base game" version just one moon and one space station.

It still allows for awesome effects and well as two additional "strategic spots" but keeps the number of effects going at once down to a minimum. Too many effects going at once, I think is where you start losing newer players to the game and sometimes creating a sort of hall-of-mirrors effect- this, then this, then this, I'll play that, then this, ect. aaand in the end it only adds +1 to your side.

Also, I was curious do most cosmic effects take place during the Alliance, Planning, and Reveal phases? If so, perhaps Moon powers should try to lean toward less "populated" phases to add diversity.

p.s. Jack I've also printed out your Suns which are great as well and if I had one Sun, Moon, and Station going per player in addition to powers and flares I think that would be a very full game.
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Warren Denning
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DakotaDevil wrote:
Will this variant possibly be included in the upcoming fan expansion?


The Space Station will be, but I believe FFG has stated a few times they will not be doing Moons.
 
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mar hawkman
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bioball wrote:
How about for the "base game" version just one moon and one space station.

It still allows for awesome effects and well as two additional "strategic spots" but keeps the number of effects going at once down to a minimum. Too many effects going at once, I think is where you start losing newer players to the game and sometimes creating a sort of hall-of-mirrors effect- this, then this, then this, I'll play that, then this, ect. aaand in the end it only adds +1 to your side.

Also, I was curious do most cosmic effects take place during the Alliance, Planning, and Reveal phases? If so, perhaps Moon powers should try to lean toward less "populated" phases to add diversity.

p.s. Jack I've also printed out your Suns which are great as well and if I had one Sun, Moon, and Station going per player in addition to powers and flares I think that would be a very full game.
what? no planet powers?
 
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
The whole slowing-the-game-down thing was especially a problem in both Eon and Mayfair because of the bad moons - the ones that had a harmful effect. You slow down your direct march toward victory to get a moon base, and then something bad happens to you! A double whammy, based on nothing but luck. You waste an encounter opportunity and gain nothing in exchange.

I like the idea of your moon bases - an easy colony for victory, but at the cost of a long-term disadvantage. One problem with that is that someone could grab one of these as their fifth colony for an easy victory without ever suffering the moon base's penalty.


Bad Moon? And the moons look blue to me here. I am now having musical memories of the songs Bad Moon Rising and Blue Moon.

Carry on.
 
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Barney Bustoffson
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They have a win variant for the space stations, and I can see something like that with moons.

You will probably need the timing on the moons. They put that info on the space station cards, and I don't think you want to have a separate card that explains the moon effects and timing. That was something Mayfair got away from with printing everything on the moons.
 
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Jack Reda
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Thinking about the fact that Cosmic Storm only included 10 stations, most likely because of space, I wanted to see how many Mayfair-style moons you could expect to get in a standard sized expansion.



The answer is about 8 per sheet, which means 24.

I could probably live with 24 cardboard moons. It could mean that you have only 3 categories of moon, with 8 each. Then again, it feels like you aren't really getting enough moons to really make it worthwhile. Printing smaller moons might get you a few more, but can you fit all the text, as well as any timing/play-as info?

So that brings us to using cards for moons, which I know works, because I have been playing with them that way for many years.



But then I'm of the opinion that if you are going to do moons as cards, the FFG might as well do that as a POD expansion. Print On Demand has become a fairly successful model for FFG. Here are some of the ones they have already done:

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game – Mission Pack 1
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game: Space Marine Pack 1
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game – Deathwing Space Marine Pack
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game – Deathwing Space Marine Pack
Mansions of Madness: Season of the Witch
Mansions of Madness: The Silver Tablet
Mansions of Madness: ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Mansions of Madness: House of Fears
Mansions of Madness: The Yellow Sign
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) – A Dance with Dragons
Gears of War: Mission Pack 1
Plus more for their Star Wars, LOTR, and Warhammer card games. Clearly this is something they like and want to stick with.

So, a Cosmic Encounter POD deck of moons would accomplish several things:

- It gives us moons! For those of who want them.
- It's POD, so those who don't want moons, don't have to worry. And neither does FFG.
- It frees up a regular expansion to print more of the cards we need to match existing decks, like Rewards, Tech, Destiny, Hazards.
- It gives us the option for a lot of moons, and a lot of kinds of moons.
 
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Just a Bill
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I don't want to give up on tokens just yet. With a different arrangement, you could fit 11 Mayfair-sized moons per sheet for a total of 33. Seems workable to me.

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All things being equal, I would prefer to have cardboard moons. Especially if they have the text, timing, type written on the moon. However, I would not want to have only a couple dozen moons in the set. And only having 10 moons's following your initial design, is totally unacceptable.

That said, I think this print on demand idea is pretty spectacular. You could get a lot of great moons and types of moons.

And if it's PoD, I could also hold out hope for a Lucre expansion of some kind. One thing at a time. I love moons, and I want a lot of em.
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Jack Reda
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You can definitely get the timing and play as info on the cardboard moons, which I think it definitely critical.

Thanks for solving the spacing puzzle, Bill. 33 is better, although the more I think about POD 50-100 moons, the more crazy with the heat I get.

If they did do it as a card expansion, printed on demand, one could use the cardboard space in another expansion to do another set of 10 space stations. I think only 10, ever, is just sad. 20 is still not enough for me, but it's something to work with, and a little more surprise and variety in each game using them.
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Jack Reda
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Putting the little spot where a moon can "connect" to a specific planet, makes the moons fit a little better on a standard expansion sized cardboard sheet (and each moon itself is a teeny tiny bit smaller in diameter, but still a decent size).



This gets you 45 moons (or 44 with that proof of purchase thingy). 44 is more in the neighborhood of what I would consider worth it. With four types of moons, you are getting 11 different effects per type, which is pretty good.

But again, my card version of moons has 5 categories (some cheesy moons are in there) for a total of 108 different moons. I also created the "New Moon" expansion that has moons in the cosmic deck that get added to a system when drawn, adding in another 20 effects, and the Trojan moon set (another 54 moons for a specific, separate moon expansion).
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I don't see the point with reviving "Moons" in FFG's version of COsmic at all, not with Space Stations being around.

It is bad enough that no one uses Tech, let's not nullify another variant in the game.



The better idea is to take the concepts of these Moons and turn them into Space Stations. There's no need to have two variants doing the same things and looking the same just for nostalgia sake.

Another 10-20 Space Stations, and some added rules for making them work similar to Moons and problem solved.
 
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Jack Reda
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You can say "Why have space stations when you have Tech", and you can say "Why have Tech when you have Artifacts", and "Why have Artifacts when you have alien powers". The answer is they each have a different set of mechanics.

Space stations can't be captured. If you lose control of the planet they are attached to, you simply turn the card face down. No one else gets to use it.

Moons, on the other hand, can be targeted, taken away, and in cases above, shared. There are many more possibilities with moons with mechanics not in the game. As someone who has played with them for decades, I can attest that moons can add quite a bit of depth and excitement to the game, including providing more choices and tactics to players.
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