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Subject: Back to a classic rss

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Snooze Fest
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Hillsborough
North Carolina
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
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We've owned Mayfair's Simply Cosmic and More Cosmic for years, although I think we only played it once! Mary bought Avalon Hill's version some time in the last year or two but it's still unplayed. Last week I headed to GregP's (Gregol here) place. DanF (Double Dan here) had brought this along wanting to play it, so this was game #1. DavidC (dugan) was our fourth. No one knew/remembered the rules completely, so Dan went through them for us.

I had Salvage (add discarded artifacts to my hand), Dan was Mind (peek at opponent's hand), Greg was Antimatter (LOWEST number wins battles) and David was ___ (keeps hand of 7 cards; may draw from opponents).
The early part of the game was relatively even, with everyone establishing colonies roughly at pace. There were a few alliances formed, but nothing that lasted longer than a battle or two. Antimatter seemed tough to play -- from our reading of the rules, you can't turn the power off; so it didn't seem to be all that effective since everyone had the same distribution of cards in hand. However, I think it just needed to be played differently.

Gregol almost won because we hadn't noticed he'd gotten to 4; but then the rest of us helped defend the last colony, of course. Soon after, everyone but lil' ol' me were up to 4 colonies and I won (they let me win) my 4th, so we were all tied up. It happened to occur with my first attack so I had one more attack. Fortunately for me, I held 2 important artifacts: the one that can force allies away (I think that was the one!?), and the one that can convert both cards to "negotiate". So I offered Gregol an alliance for a joint win, and he agreed - we won straight up! Of course, if he'd refused or if my power card was too low, I would have negotiated a joint win with dugan instead.

So, I got lucky with the right draw of artifacts and managed a joint win!

I'm not sure what I think about the game -- the random opponent thing is nice because no one feels like they're picked on, no one gets ganged up on because of an even target distribution, etc ... but it's so random! The game is more one of negotiation, trying to arrange the right alliances; and hand management, trying to draw the right cards (!) and win the right battles. The various alien powers should give every game a different feel. Will have to try the game with different aliens, and/or combinations of 2 or more aliens per player.
6/10
 
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Play Games - Interact - Have Fun!
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The beauty of Cosmic Encounter is that you'll have a totally different feel to the game depending on the Alien Power you have. Some powers are for pure combat, others let you manipulate things to better suit you, and still others are simply fun to play. Figuring out how best to utilize a "weak" power is one of the appealing things in the game. I bet that your next game will be just as interesting but in a totally different way.

Appreciating Cosmic Encounter definately comes from multiple playings as you begin to see how one power can counter another that previously you thought was very strong. Sounds like you had fun even if it was a bit random. Ultimately, that will be the deciding factor (as it is for most people)... is it TOO random, or do you enjoy trying to win with the power you are dealt with?



 
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Dan Freedman
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Apex
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The powers were neat. You did a good job of using your power for the joint win....or should I say tie.

Thanks for playing it! Glad I was finally able to get my first play of CE in. It's probably important to go into CE with the right expectation. That is, not to expect a euro game where you have lots of choices, analyze strategy/tactics, calculate odds in your head, and make the best move. CE is much simpler (and faster) with a large degree of luck. My guess is this is why it had so much appeal to hobby gamers in the 70s/80s. It was probably a great break from the complex wargames that were so prevalent. Even now, CE is still a lot fun and I look forward to playing again. But it is one of those games which requires "the right crowd". I think it would probably flop with my weekday game group as they prefer the clean euro with lots of choices and low luck/chaos.
 
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Jack Reda
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Herndon
Virginia
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My favorite game is Cosmic Encounter.
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I find CE to be more social than a lot of other games. Many games we play, we're all going about our strategies (gotta collect more of the blue whatevers, or looks like I need to build something in that location). CE, because of the direct attacks and constantly changing alliances seems more personal. I like highly interactive games, and CE works well with a larger group (6 or so players). We also play most commonly with two Aliens apiece, which gives you more to work with, and creates more strategy opportunities. I first started playing CE in about 1982 or 83, at a time when we played a lot of Dune. It was a natural progression, but we hardly ever went back to Dune after that.
 
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