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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Rules

Subject: Who plays facedown cards first? rss

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Grey Fox
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Sorry if this has been asked before, but I couldn't find anything about it.

This is important since the Defense Reward Deck has different card backs...
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Ian Toltz
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We usually play it simultaneously.

If it becomes an issue, the offense should be required to lock in their selection (including kicker(s), if any) first, then the defense.
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Roberta Yang
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Asmor wrote:
We usually play it simultaneously.

If it becomes an issue, the offense should be required to lock in their selection (including kicker(s), if any) first, then the defense.

The Cosmic Incursion rulesheet says kickers "are played facedown during the planning phase before encounter cards are selected", so I think the correct order is:

1) Offense plays a kicker (or chooses to play none).
2) Defense plays a kicker (or chooses to play none).
3) Offense selects an encounter card.
4) Defense selects an encounter card.

Oddly enough, as written the "before encounter cards are selected" timing is the same as various early-Planning alien powers like Trader, but I think the intent is that kickers should be selected immediately before encounter card selection.
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Jefferson Krogh
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In practice, many groups will just put kickers and encounter cards down simultaneously, but allow for people to change their selected encounter cards in reaction to the kicker. (And even without kickers, changing encounter cards is just fine. If someone wants to select a different encounter card after seeing a reward card go down, nobody objects.) All of this is before reveal, of course. The main thing is that once you've declared the kicker, you can't take it back.

In 30+ years of playing, I've never, ever seen a strict order enforced for what is now called the planning phase. I can imagine situations where it might become necessary, but it hasn't happened in my games yet.
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Grey Fox
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I see. I don't really like that taking back after seeing the other card idea since it can lead to both players wanting to take back their cards in succession. I think I'll just enforce that the offense goes first as was suggested.

Thank you!
 
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Roberta Yang
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CodenameGreyFox wrote:
I see. I don't really like that taking back after seeing the other card idea since it can lead to both players wanting to take back their cards in succession.

That's when you pull out the timing rule - nobody's allowed to take back their move in response to something that, by the game rules, occurs after their decision. (So the offense can't choose to change their kicker in response to seeing that the defense is playing a reward-backed encounter card.) It's much easier to allow takebacks than to actually pause every single encounter for kickers, because kickers are played so rarely that it would usually just waste time.
 
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Just a Bill
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The way we've always done it is casual, with reasonable takebacks. Most of the time, no kicker is played. When somebody wants to play one, they know they have a responsibility to say so before encounter cards come out of the hand, since it's not right to learn something about the opponent's encounter card play (even if it's just the cardback type) and base your kicker decision on that knowledge.

Typically what happens is that one of us says "I'm playing a kicker" and plops down both the kicker and the encounter card at the same time. Of course the opponent still gets to decide if he wants to use a kicker or not. Yes, this does let the opponent see your card back before making that decision, but often it's moot; or we just don't care, since we don't play full-throttle cutthroat. When there's a situation where it does matter, then we just drop a kicker first and do things in a more deliberate sequence. So along the lines of what Roberta said, we prefer to keep things moving briskly and allow reasonable takebacks.

One might think from all my hyper-specific postings here that I probably call out every phase and subphase and poll all my opponents for their actions, but it's nothing like that. We flow along pretty organically and only are sticklers if it becomes important, which isn't all that often.

It's important to me that the "official" timing of everything be defined in an unambiguous way for resolving issues, but we don't let that kind of rigidity get in the way of just having a good time. Around here people tend to often do alliance invitations and acceptances in the wrong order, and that doesn't bother me since we're all having fun. The game is resilient enough to handle all kinds of shortcuts.

Back to the original question, we pretty much choose our encounter cards simultaneously. We've never really had the issue of not wanting the other player to see which card back we are choosing, since we don't scrutinize like that. I just pick my card and play it without watching what my opponent is doing at that moment. If your group is playing at a higher level of competitiveness, then you may want to require the offense to play his card first.

The only thing I would disagree with in Roberta's numbered sequence is that I don't think the offense has to "pass" on a kicker, giving the defense a chance to play one unilaterally. I believe the rules have always said that if either player plays one, then the other gets a chance to play one.

Sorry to ramble. I would have written a shorter post if I had had more time.
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