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Subject: Epic game with only three players rss

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Homer Simpson
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Although I try to play this game with four or five players, we sometimes find ourselves in a three-player-game. Well, it turns out that some of my craziest Cosmic Encounter games were three-players-games.

Last night we were only three players (after the forth player had to leave early), so we decided to throw in Tech (we rarely use them) and Space Stations (again, very rare with my group).

I played Vulch, Rotem was Loser and Rami was Locust. Rami and I had two of the crappiest stations in the game: I had the one that gave me the opportunity, as the defense, to force my opponent to choose another planet, and Rami got the one that saves his ships from going to the warp as an ally. Rotem had a pretty strong one - the Big Space Laser (As a main player, he may add 10 to his total if there are no allies on his side). Great. A Loser that may or may not add a +10. Just great.

Lucky I had the Wild Locust. Locust is a weak power and I decided to let him have his super and get rid of the Big Space Laser. Loser's space Station got blown away and I gave Locust his flare... only to take it back with a perfectly timed Negotiate. At that point, Rami had no cards in his hand, so I played Wild Locust again to blow up another planet in the Loser system. What a loser...

Meanwhile, I completed Cosmic Field Generator which is effectively a Cosmic Zap. I waited until I had an encounter with Loser, he tried to use his power, I stopped him, and Loser loses his power. The downside - Loser had his own flare, so he could now play the Wild Loser again and again to stop both Rami and me from gaining colonies. On the other hand, I had Wild saboteur, so I forced both Rami and Rotem to lose encounters or lose foreign colonies.

As the game proceeds we had a lot of our ships in the warp, and both Tubes in the discard pile. I had four colonies (Vulch is a great power), rami had two, and Rotem had only one.

My turn. I'm encountering Rami. At that point Rami already had some cards from the reward deck. He invited Rotem to defend and played a Kicker. I had the A40, but I thought I am going to lose that battle so I chose a Neg. The problem: Rami reveals a Morph... with Kicker X3. Rami instantly said: "No deal!" and I had to lose nine(!) ships to the warp. That meant losing my power and all of my foreign colonies. I went from four to zero in a heartbeat with 20 ships in the warp. If I had chosen the 40 I would still lose the encounter (forty something against over 120), but at least I would still had my four colonies.



The game continued. All three of us had lots of our ships in the warp and you could see some very bizarre deals going on, such as "I will give you one reward-deck card from my hand and that's it" (translation: "Take this Cosmic Zap, nobody has a power, it's useless"), at some points it was just because we couldn't give colonies to each other (we had no colonies at all, home or foreign. It was crazy).

Few turns later (yeah, it was that long), all of us had four colonies again, I got a new hand after the reshuffle of the deck, and in it there was a Mobius Tubes, which I played, and, third time in this game, the Wild Locust, which I also played, causing Rami and Rotem to lose yet another foreign colony. I won the last encounter of the game (there was nothing special about it), gained my fifth colony, and won the game.

But it was only the ending of one of the most epic and craziest games I have ever played, in which each of us had to gain eight or nine colonies. I think Rami and Rotem gained more than 15 colonies together and still didn't win. It was nuts!
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Interesting session report. Reminds me of a couple of our games where almost everything was in the warp and we had to claw our way back from pangalactic poverty.

homertve wrote:
Rami and I had two of the crappiest stations in the game ... Rotem had a pretty strong one - the Big Space Laser ... [it] got blown away

Good illustration of the issues with the space station variant. The weak ones don't matter (apparently nothing happened that you felt was newsworthy), and the strong ones get taken out as soon as possible.

Interesting that Shield Generator still didn't seem to hit the radar even in a three-player game, where it would theoretically be at its strongest.

Now that my NDA has expired, I guess I'm free to talk about Colony Cloak. As printed, I think it's the worst station. This was especially frustrating for me, since I had suggested the original design (as a replacement for another bad station). What I submitted was wordy and rough (it was a concept, not a finished design), but it at least did something that mattered:
Colony Cloak
As the defense on any planet in this system, at the end of the launch phase you may discard a non-encounter card from your hand to cloak your targeted colony. If you do so, the offense must encounter a different player's colony on the targeted planet, if possible. If it is not possible, you remain the defense but your ships there become bystanders.


Depending on the circumstances, you could either save your ships or cause a different player to be encountered. Sometimes this would have allowed the offense and defense to collude to take out a third player's foreign colony. The idea there was to create a new and different kind of player interaction.

What was printed, of course, was a weakened version of the worst alien power of the original 75 (Worm). Which is ironic, because the beta version of Cosmic Storm also included an actual alien power that was the original, weak version of the Eon Worm, but with a different name (this was before a different alien was changed into the BGG version of Worm; I realize it's kind of confusing). So basically in Storm they reinvented the worst old power, twice.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Hmm, now I'm starting to wonder if FFG actually intended their version to allow re-targeting a new defense, but just didn't realize they needed to say so explicitly.

I'll stop cluttering up Homer's session report and take this over to the Rules forum.
 
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Brandon Aeschleman
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That picture brings me so much happiness. I've been starving for ships before...but not like that :-)
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