Asgeir Jonsson
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Like I said in the title I have the base game plus cosmic incursion. Last game I used all the aliens plus technology and the reward deck from the expansion. I did not use the cosmic quakes. Can anyone give me any tips on what aliens and features work best for this ? Are there any features you think I should skip or include the cosmic quakes ? any aliens I should exclude or houserule how the aliens are picked f.ex let ppl get new races if they get no red aliens to choose from. I found the tech did not do much for the game, and some aliens are much more powerful than others, just wondering what experienced players have to say about this.

Best regards Ásgeir
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Colin Thomas
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Palmyra
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Check out our journey at http://colinbethanyadopt.wordpress.com
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"Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination." - The First Ideal of the Lightweavers (The Stormlight Archive)
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Cosmic Quakes actually don't happen that often (I think I have seen it once), so I would just leave them in. Tech is best left until you get a number of plays in. As for aliens, we tend to agree which colors we will play with ahead of time. Remember that Red is not more powerful than Green, just more complicated. Also, player count can impact each alien's usefulness. Large player count == powers that activate when an ally are used more.
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Roberta Yang
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You say Cosmic Storm, but the mention of a reward deck suggests the expansion you have is Cosmic Incursion. Assuming you have Cosmic Incursion, the main alien you want to exclude is the Locust.

Cosmic Quakes aren't really a module, they're just a patch for the "what happens if I need to draw an encounter card and there just aren't any left?" leak. There's no real reason to exclude them.

Tech is mostly just noise, I leave it out of most games.

With new players, you might consider playing with only green light aliens, or without red light aliens. The light indicates how complex that alien's presence makes the game; it is not correlated with how strong the alien is.

If the Zombie is a main player and plays a Negotiate and loses the encounter, the Zombie should be entitled to receiving compensation for the ships it had in the encounter even though its power will save the ships.
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Jordan S.
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Plano
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Good advice all around from Colin and Roberta, which I'll reinforce here:

Yes, ditch Locust right away. His power sounds good in concept until you start to realize through the nuances that it's actually almost useless.

It's my opinion that the Tech variant is "meh". Some of them do neat things but their overall impact on the game is actually more distracting than it is fun.

I like the Reward Deck a lot. While I don't use it with new players (don't want to put more than necessary on their plate), with more experienced players, I think it adds an extra layer of intrigue and cool new options. Recommended.

Cosmic Quakes happen so infrequently that I really see no problem including them every time you play and I would recommend you do so. They are one way to turn the tables on card-hoarders like Healer and Remora and it can be a riot to see it happen.

As for alien selection, if you're concerned about players getting tripped up by complex Alien Powers, you can leave out the Red-level ones as a general practice. When I teach a new group of players the first time, I typically use limited selection of powers that I feel make great examples of just what Alien Powers do to change up the game. Those Powers are:

Clone, Filch, Hacker, Loser, Macron, Mutant, Oracle, Pacifist, Parasite, Sorcerer, Warrior and Zombie

As Roberta mentioned, a very common (and highly recommended) house rule is to allow Zombie to collect Compensation when he plays a Negotiate. Normally, this wouldn't happen by the rules-as-written (since Zombie never loses his ships to the Warp) but if Zombie isn't allowed Compensation, it downgrades his power from an "average" to "rather poor". It's a small change that makes a big difference for anyone who plays him.

As far as "overpowered/unbalanced" Alien Powers, that's something that is often perceived by newer players until they have enough experience to realize that the game manages to handle such things very well. Since there is such a heavy social dynamic to CE, the players will tend to self-regulate any potential upsets. Meaning that, if one player seems to have an "overpowered" Alien, it won't be long before the other players start scheming against that player. Also, an Alien Power that seems overpowered in one game might be significantly less so in another. It all depends on the the various combinations that come up each time and how the players react to them. I've seen players win without using their Power once and I've seen the most "unbalanced" Powers get wiped out by making themselves too big a target.

Welcome to Cosmic Encounter! We hope you enjoy your stay!
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Peter Olotka
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Centerville
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One only gets compensated for ships "lost to the Warp". There is no compensation for Zombie ships that "should have been lost to the warp". Compensation is for loss. No loss, no compensation.
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Jefferson Krogh
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Webhead123 wrote:
Yes, ditch Locust right away. His power sounds good in concept until you start to realize through the nuances that it's actually almost useless.


And yet, I have watched multiple people have great fun playing with Locust. It may meet with derision here, but out in the wider world people seem to enjoy playing with it. Different strokes, etc.
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Just a Bill
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Norfolk
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pgocosmic wrote:
One only gets compensated for ships "lost to the Warp". There is no compensation for Zombie ships that "should have been lost to the warp". Compensation is for loss. No loss, no compensation.

That is correct under FFG official rules, since the FAQ rules it in the opposite way to which it used to work. Most of us around here, though, prefer to play it the Eon way, where compensation (consolation) was still due. The modern revision sucks a lot of the fun out of playing Zombie. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways!

Another area of disagreement is when ships should be lost to the warp but are not, due to being removed from the game (Void, Black Hole, Wild Guerrilla). The ships are still deemed "lost," but by the official rules you don't get compensation.
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Mi Myma
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Fountain Valley
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Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
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There should be a Word Games Subdomain, or at least a Word Games Forum!
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pgocosmic wrote:
One only gets compensated for ships "lost to the Warp". There is no compensation for Zombie ships that "should have been lost to the warp". Compensation is for loss. No loss, no compensation.

Well as long as you're weighing in on this ...

Does the opponent of the Cudgel get extra compensation for the additional ships lost to the warp?
Does the opponent of the Bully get compensation for the ships lost to the warp that weren't involved in the encounter?

(And are the answers to the above two questions consistent with each other?)

Do you get compensation for ships that are removed from the game or captured? It would seem by the official rules, and your own words above, that you don't, since they don't go to the warp.

So the Bulwark can only get one card in compensation (unless zapped).

Does the Ethic cet compensation vs. the Void or the Fungus?

The official ruling is bad - it makes the Zombie one of the weakest powers in the game, and it's inconsistent.

Note that there is a much simpler and much more consistent ruling available: You get compensation for each ship involved in the encounter when you lose with a Negotiate. No further exceptions or tweaks needed.
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K
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Do you get compensation for ships that are removed from the game or captured? It would seem by the official rules, and your own words above, that you don't, since they don't go to the warp.


This is already spelled out in the current FAQ -- that Void doesn't have to give compensation. Which makes Void awesome.

Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
And yet, I have watched multiple people have great fun playing with Locust. It may meet with derision here, but out in the wider world people seem to enjoy playing with it. Different strokes, etc.


I believe in the different strokes thing for almost all the aliens in the game. And I think an alien having to work hard or be creative or just not being for everyone is fine. but I think a line on crappy aliens should be drawn somewhere. And Locust is a damn good place to start. Locust works hard to get to use his power for close-to-zero payoff. Locust accomplishes pretty much nothing the vast majority of the time. IMO that's too far under the standard of what a power should be (powers that do something are preferable to powers that do nothing because using powers is fun)

I suspect that someone who enjoys playing Locust would have enjoyed playing any alien. Which is entirely reasonable, since the game itself is fun for reasons other than alien powers, but the fact that you can have fun with Locust, or win with Locust, doesn't invalidate complaints against the Locust. Since removing it would mean a better chance of having an alien choice in the game that will actually do something, removing it seems like it would make the game better
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Roberta Yang
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Yeah, I leave the Masochist in because despite being very weak it's pretty unique and fun to play. Locust is just bad in an uninteresting way, and in my experience even people who think they'll like it at first sour on it after using it in a single game.

But Zombie that can't negotiate sinks dangerously close to "on par with having no power at all" territory. I'm not sure what the benefit to saying Zombie doesn't get compensation is meant to be; it's bad for balance because it makes one of the Original 15 suck, and it's bad for ~cosmic~ wackiness because it takes a cool thing you could do and then slaps you in the face and says you can't do it. Exactly how does changing the rules (after 30+ years!) to prevent the Zombie from receiving compensation make the game better?
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Robin Raianiemi
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Re: Zombie

I think Zombie's power is terrific. It stymies powers like Vacuum and Void most effectively, reduces Warpish's effectiveness, etc.

What makes Zombie awesome is that it takes no risk as a defensive ally, and when I'm playing that alien, I will always ally with the defense when I'm asked, getting more and more cards from the regular deck as well as the reward deck. And it's ability to free other's ships from the warp is very useful as well.

Love, love, love the Zombie!
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