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Subject: When do you win? Timing question rss

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marre kanna
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When exactly do you win the game? My friend the Mutant played the Coldsleep ship tech during an other players regroup phase to gain a new colony and thereby gain his 5 colony and win the game. When i saw this i played the Locust wild to remove a planet from the game. I removed a planet where the Mutant had a colony and he was down to 4 colony’s again. My question is - had he already won the game before i played my card. They both activates during the regroup phase.
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Paul W
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Your action doesn't interrupt his action, it follows it. I'm not one of the rules experts here, but I'm pretty sure that he immediately wins unless you were able to do something to either prevent the tech or somehow alter the resolution of the tech use. Once the technology card is resolved, the game ends because a player has five colonies.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I dunno, we usually play that once you gain the last colony, all the players can have a chance to do something to knock the winning player(s) down. So in our group, we would have allowed the Locust Wild to be played. A sort of, "No you don't!" last breath action.

I have nothing from the rules to found our gameplay, it's just how we like to play. A bit chaotic, and adds to the general fun that is Cosmic Encounter.

-shnar
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marre kanna
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Paul w.Thanks for the replay.
You are probably right but one can argue that you can win by some cards that can’t be counted, when the majority of the cards and powers can be zaped in some ways. And it’s the fun part to counter someone’s planes by playing a card to alter the outcome.
 
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Roberta Yang
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It's possible to Cosmic Zap the Filth for a win even though the local Filth would throw you off the planet immediately afterward. So yes, even the briefest of times having five colonies still awards victory.
 
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mar hawkman
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IIRC in some versions the rules specifically stated that you won at the END of the turn in which you gained your fifth colony.
 
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Darian Tucker
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The only winning condition is having 5 foreign colonies. Since your Flare did not cancel the effects of his Tech Card, he had won before you got a chance to play it.

Cosmic Encounter already takes too long without the need to turn it into Munchkin by bending the rules so people don't win when they should.
 
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SparkingConduit wrote:
The only winning condition is having 5 foreign colonies. Since your Flare did not cancel the effects of his Tech Card, he had won before you got a chance to play it.

Cosmic Encounter already takes too long without the need to turn it into Munchkin by bending the rules so people don't win when they should.

Lol. I have lost before I have had a turn. Sounds like a very long game there.....
 
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shnar wrote:
I dunno, we usually play that once you gain the last colony, all the players can have a chance to do something to knock the winning player(s) down. So in our group, we would have allowed the Locust Wild to be played. A sort of, "No you don't!" last breath action.

This is correct, IMO. Just about everything in this game has some way of canceling it. If anyone does anything in this game, other players are allowed to react to it to try to prevent it from happening or to mitigate it in some way. Any legal move - card play, power use, tech use, etc. - can be played to try to prevent or modify someone else's victory.

This isn't slapjack. And it isn't multi-player solitaire. There are no guarantees in this game - just because you see a path to victory doesn't mean the other players can't block it.
 
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Paul W
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
shnar wrote:
I dunno, we usually play that once you gain the last colony, all the players can have a chance to do something to knock the winning player(s) down. So in our group, we would have allowed the Locust Wild to be played. A sort of, "No you don't!" last breath action.

This is correct, IMO. Just about everything in this game has some way of canceling it. If anyone does anything in this game, other players are allowed to react to it to try to prevent it from happening or to mitigate it in some way. Any legal move - card play, power use, tech use, etc. - can be played to try to prevent or modify someone else's victory.

This isn't slapjack. And it isn't multi-player solitaire. There are no guarantees in this game - just because you see a path to victory doesn't mean the other players can't block it.


Agreed, but the discussion is over what the scope of that prevention is...can a win only be prevented by interrupts/modifiers (like a zap or anti-tech tech, or power that otherwise alters the resolution of the winning play), or can players use an entirely separate play (as with the Locust wild)? I favor the former interpretation. With the latter interpretation, does the "prevent window" extend to the end of the phase? the encounter? the turn?
 
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marre kanna
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But it is still in the same phase. Had i played my card first he had never won. I dont want the game to be game about who can lay down his cards fastest.
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Paul W
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marre_kanna wrote:
But it is still in the same phase. Had i played my card first he had never won. I dont want the game to be game about who can lay down his cards fastest.


Sure, but that's what timing rules are for...fastest has nothing to do with it. Offense, then Defense, then clockwise from the left of Offense. I'd argue that this particular situation doesn't fall under those timing rules, however, as you only seemed interested in playing your card as a reaction to what he was doing...there's a clear sequence implied by your decision to *respond* to his action. In any case, "how fast you play you cards" never comes into the picture, and is completely irrelevant to what I'm saying.
 
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marre kanna
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fizzmore wrote:
marre_kanna wrote:
But it is still in the same phase. Had i played my card first he had never won. I dont want the game to be game about who can lay down his cards fastest.


Sure, but that's what timing rules are for...fastest has nothing to do with it. Offense, then Defense, then clockwise from the left of Offense. I'd argue that this particular situation doesn't fall under those timing rules, however, as you only seemed interested in playing your card as a reaction to what he was doing...there's a clear sequence implied by your decision to *respond* to his action. In any case, "how fast you play you cards" never comes into the picture, and is completely irrelevant to what I'm saying.


true.
 
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Just a Bill
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Normally I'm pretty strict on timing, and I definitely do not allow an action to be interrupted by other actions unless they cancel or specifically modify the first one. However, when it comes to the end of the game, I think the people who say it's more fun/more Cosmic to allow follow-up actions to have their natural effect on the win before the game ends are correct (and Jack Kittredge's comments in Encounter magazine would support this as well).

So I'm fine with a rule that says "When player(s) win the game, the other players have a chance to stop or change that win by using any game effects that are legally playable at that time". Meaning, if you have something that can immediately follow the winning action (like Wild Locust in this case), then you get to use it.

However, any actions that would have to wait for something else to happen first are not allowed. For example, if somebody wins the game at the start of the alliance phase and you have an action that could stop the win but plays "after allies are invited", then obviously you're too late, because some unrelated actions or timing steps would have to happen first.

To a degree, this can be seen as parallel to how encounters are won. You win the encounter, but then somebody plays a reinforcement, and then the other player has won, and then there's a flare, and so on. These actions are not specific responses to the winning; they are simply the next allowable action in sequence.

Consider also Loser. Somebody literally wins the encounter and then this is changed to a loss. So just because you actually win the encounter or the game does not mean your win is necessarily going to stand.

Therefore, I might ask the original question in this way:

When a person wins the game, does this immediately end the game?

And I would answer, No, the game does not end until after the win has survived any challenges to it in the form of other actions that can legally occur next and have the potential to cancel or modify the win.

This would seem to incorporate the FAQ ruling on Tick-Tock's joint win as well.
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Darian Tucker
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
shnar wrote:
I dunno, we usually play that once you gain the last colony, all the players can have a chance to do something to knock the winning player(s) down. So in our group, we would have allowed the Locust Wild to be played. A sort of, "No you don't!" last breath action.

This is correct, IMO. Just about everything in this game has some way of canceling it. If anyone does anything in this game, other players are allowed to react to it to try to prevent it from happening or to mitigate it in some way. Any legal move - card play, power use, tech use, etc. - can be played to try to prevent or modify someone else's victory.

This isn't slapjack. And it isn't multi-player solitaire. There are no guarantees in this game - just because you see a path to victory doesn't mean the other players can't block it.


No, that's not correct. This game has no stack. The only action that the game allows in response to another action is one that cancels its effect. Otherwise, the other action happens first and the game is over. Period.

The only time this might not happen is if both effects are used at the same time, which then makes you go to the timing rule. I think you can arguably dispute that the Locust Flare would not have been played had that player not known that the Mutant was going to play a Tech card that would give him the win, so allowing it to happen seems like poor sportsmanship to me, especially since that tech requires a buttload of ships and leaves you extremely vulnerable.

Again, why are we trying to make this game more Munchkin-like? The only thing that's going to do is prolong the game and make it miserable for anyone who is already behind and has no shot at victory. It's also too much of a "fuck you" to the people who spent all that time looking for an alternate route to victory, just to have it snatched away by some stupid card play that never would have happened otherwise.
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Darian Tucker
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Normally I'm pretty strict on timing, and I definitely do not allow an action to be interrupted by other actions unless they cancel or specifically modify the first one. However, when it comes to the end of the game, I think the people who say it's more fun/more Cosmic to allow follow-up actions to have their natural effect on the win before the game ends are correct (and Jack Kittredge's comments in Encounter magazine would support this as well).

So I'm fine with a rule that says "When player(s) win the game, the other players have a chance to stop or change that win by using any game effects that are legally playable at that time". Meaning, if you have something that can immediately follow the winning action (like Wild Locust in this case), then you get to use it.

However, any actions that would have to wait for something else to happen first are not allowed. For example, if somebody wins the game at the start of the alliance phase and you have an action that could stop the win but plays "after allies are invited", then obviously you're too late, because some unrelated actions or timing steps would have to happen first.

To a degree, this can be seen as parallel to how encounters are won. You win the encounter, but then somebody plays a reinforcement, and then the other player has won, and then there's a flare, and so on. These actions are not specific responses to the winning; they are simply the next allowable action in sequence.

Consider also Loser. Somebody literally wins the encounter and then this is changed to a loss. So just because you actually win the encounter or the game does not mean your win is necessarily going to stand.

Therefore, I might ask the original question in this way:

When a person wins the game, does this immediately end the game?

And I would answer, No, the game does not end until after the win has survived any challenges to it in the form of other actions that can legally occur next and have the potential to cancel or modify the win.

This would seem to incorporate the FAQ ruling on Tick-Tock's joint win as well.


This has nothing to do with a modifiable event like Attack cards and numbers, though, Bill. This is talking about a card which immediately grants you a colony. It's entirely different from a Reveal phase where all sorts of cards can be played to modify the outcome.

I fail to see how this rule would make the game more fun. It just seems like it would make it more aggravating for the other players. Generally, if a person wins by himself or herself, the other players are probably nowhere close to winning. Doing something that is going to prolong the misery for everyone else is not a good idea, as nobody wants to play a game that goes on longer than it should.

Well, what if the other players are close to winning, you say? Then my point stands that this just turns the game into Munchkin, where everybody exhausts their hands to try and stop one person from winning, somebody just ends up playing a Magic Lamp and making their efforts moot, anyway, then the next player in turn order wins because nobody can do anything about it. That's a really stupid way to end the game which makes the victory seem meaningless because it's more predicated on being lucky to not be the first person at Level 9 to kill something that comes out of the deck. I see no point to doing this in Cosmic Encounter as well. It's just going to piss off the people that legitimately should have won because you were too much of a poor sport to just accept their victory instead of making up card/power response rules on the spot to stop it.

Learn from the event and grow wiser, that's what I say. If you see someone dumping a lot of ships onto a Tech card, use the Locust Flare before they can have any chance of getting to 4 colonies. Not only will it probably severely cripple their ship count, it will make them think twice about selecting that Tech next time.
 
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SparkingConduit wrote:
you were too much of a poor sport to just accept their victory instead of making up card/power response rules on the spot to stop it.


Kind of unnecessary....

CE is about chaos. Nothing can be taken for granted. Sometimes you *think* you are about to win, but then you don't. Nobody is a poor sport -- that's just the way the game is.

In fact, if you slap down a Tech card, declare victory, and then start putting the game away, I (and most people I've played with) would look at you like you're crazy. It ain't over til it's over!
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Big Head Zach
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DISCLAIMER: I'm not particularly fond of Munchkin for the reasons Darian gives.

I tend to agree with the sentiment that you can only respond with an effect that specifically stops the thing that grants the win or the effect that just happened. If we want to have post-victory-condition effects go off, then there ought to be a variant of Cosmic called "Cosmic Resistance" which starts with the winning player in charge of most of the galaxy playing against the others who are trying to overthrow him.
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Big Head Zach
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Bill Martinson wrote:
When a person wins the game, does this immediately end the game?

And I would answer, No, the game does not end until after the win has survived any challenges to it in the form of other actions that can legally occur next and have the potential to cancel or modify the win.


But what's the statute of limitations on the definition of next, and can you convince an appreciable portion of the CE-playing community of it?

Bill Martinson wrote:
This would seem to incorporate the FAQ ruling on Tick-Tock's joint win as well.


I suppose if there are any eligible victors by the end of a phase (in this case, Resolution), then they are joint victors.
 
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SparkingConduit wrote:
This has nothing to do with a modifiable event like Attack cards and numbers, though

I didn't say anything about modifying attack cards. I'm talking about the general principle that you can "win" an encounter and then another action — one which is not a specific response to winning — can affect some condition that then makes you not win the encounter.

And it's just an analogy ... I never claimed the two situations were identical.

SparkingConduit wrote:
Doing something that is going to prolong the misery for everyone else is not a good idea

When topics like this come up, you generally seem to look at Cosmic Encounter as a negative experience that needs to be ended. I see it the other way around.

SparkingConduit wrote:
Well, what if the other players are close to winning, you say? Then my point stands that this just turns the game into Munchkin, where everybody exhausts their hands to try and stop one person from winning, somebody just ends up playing a Magic Lamp and making their efforts moot, anyway, then the next player in turn order wins because nobody can do anything about it.

Munchkin sucks, no doubt about it, but that is such a poor comparison/over-reaction that I'm not sure where to start. These situations are few and far between in Cosmic Encounter ... I can't remember the last time somebody around here happened to have just the right card to delay a win. If it happened five times every game, then I would feel different. But when it happens once in a blue moon, that's all part of the wonder and magic and storytelling of Cosmic Encounter.

And really, the game was designed — intended — from the beginning to allow players to come up with clever solutions and clutch plays that make somebody say crap! and somebody else say huzzah!

SparkingConduit wrote:
It's just going to piss off the people that legitimately should have won because you were too much of a poor sport to just accept their victory instead of making up card/power response rules on the spot to stop it.

That is an inaccurate portrayal of what's going on.

Don't play this way if you don't like it. But I'm confident the original designers actually wanted things like this to happen, especially as I remember Jack Kittredge's words (Encounter, vol. 1 no. 4):

[His] fellow players [need to be able] to say, "Wait, beyond all that partisan advantage
which motivates him, he's got a point. Let up on the hammerlock. I've never thought
of it before, but he should be able to do this to us. It's clever and it's apt."
That's the spirit I'd like to keep alive in Cosmic.


This "founding principle" has helped me let go of a little of my structural rigidity and embrace a bit more chaos. (Just a bit.)

bhz1 wrote:
Bill Martinson wrote:
the game does not end until after the win has survived any challenges to it in the form of other actions that can legally occur next and have the potential to cancel or modify the win.
But what's the statute of limitations on the definition of next, and can you convince an appreciable portion of the CE-playing community of it?

I think I already defined it (if it even really needs a definition). Upon resolution of the action that would cause me to win, if you have an action that is legally playable now, without waiting for a phase change or some other action or condition to make your play legal, then you can do it.

I don't see any statute-of-limitations or interpretation difficulties here. I just see people worrying that this will somehow turn Cosmic into Munchkin. ;-) Trust me, if that starts to happen I will be at the front of the line with my torch and pitchfork.
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Darian Tucker
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It might not happen often, but I'll contend that it should never happen unless it was designed to.

EXAMPLE: You have a card that states that it goes off "In response to..." or "When another player gains a colony..." You use it and, for whatever reason, it wipes out the colony or prevents it from being gained. That's perfectly fine and well-played.

That's something I don't mind. It was designed by the card to happen, possibly even to cause a victory not to occur. It's perfectly fine to play it because it is directly in response to another event happening.

The example here doesn't work, though. As I was saying before, it takes a lot of ships and putting yourself in serious jeopardy to activate the Coldsleep Ship. Someone who is able to effectively do this should not have the card countered by some other effect just because everyone else thinks it should. It's just not appropriate. You can't say that the game doesn't allow effects to be countered unless cards specifically say so as an absolute rule, then break it for the condition of ending the game just because it's "more Cosmic that way". That's a fine house rule for groups who like dicking each other over in ways the game wasn't designed to do, but it's not really a rule evident in this version of the game's design.

Don't get me wrong, Bill. I do enjoy this game. I just don't want something like this to happen and sour people's taste for it. We had to sell Arkham Horror a while back because somebody thought it would be fun to use Call the Ancient One on Azathoth and make everybody lose when 4 gates had been sealed and two investigators were about to exit Other Worlds to seal the final two. Far from being a laughing riot, it actually caused a couple people to leave our gaming club because they were upset that somebody would do something like that and find it funny. I am just afraid that implementing this kind of house rule would make people angry in my group. It may work well for your groups, and I applaud you if you enjoy using it, but we already have enough people here who are just barely tolerant of the chaos that already exists in Cosmic Encounter that I don't want to exacerbate it by throwing in rules that will prolong games.

The game really should be fun for everyone, but most of the time it's not because some people get heavily screwed and lose most of their ships to the warp. I'm trying to look out for those people as well as myself. Cosmic Encounter is great when it takes an hour or less and isn't long enough to let wounds fester. Preventing someone's victory and extending the game for several more turns usually just ends in people throwing the game so they don't have to suffer anymore. If I sound pessimistic, it's because I'm thinking of one or two specific people in my organization that can't lose over half of their ships to the warp and find it funny. Were I playing with just the people that do enjoy this, I'm sure I'd agree with your guys' interpretation since it would make the game wackier and more chaotic, but there are some people out there who do actually play to win and give up if they have no real shot at doing so.
 
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I understand Darian's sentiment on this one. There are gamers out there for whom if the game is nigh-on-unwinnable for them, then they will kingmake as much as they can, or never play it again.

In Cosmic, the concept of joint victory (even from encounter to encounter) is intended to reduce that anguish; it's so that no one feels they are completely unable to win. Not everyone gets that (and in some groups, being last means you're just the first one to have his bones picked for various things). So if you're potentially going to have games where one player just can't, for the life of himself, succeed, then the game needs to end promptly once it's clear there's a winner.

I say this because I have also been witness to games of Cosmic that ran a bit too long and people in last place chose to kingmake (ally on offense without 4 foreign colonies) just to end it. And those games just aren't fun when not everyone is playing to win.
 
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fizzmore wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
shnar wrote:
I dunno, we usually play that once you gain the last colony, all the players can have a chance to do something to knock the winning player(s) down. So in our group, we would have allowed the Locust Wild to be played. A sort of, "No you don't!" last breath action.

This is correct, IMO. Just about everything in this game has some way of canceling it. If anyone does anything in this game, other players are allowed to react to it to try to prevent it from happening or to mitigate it in some way. Any legal move - card play, power use, tech use, etc. - can be played to try to prevent or modify someone else's victory.

This isn't slapjack. And it isn't multi-player solitaire. There are no guarantees in this game - just because you see a path to victory doesn't mean the other players can't block it.


Agreed, but the discussion is over what the scope of that prevention is...can a win only be prevented by interrupts/modifiers (like a zap or anti-tech tech, or power that otherwise alters the resolution of the winning play), or can players use an entirely separate play (as with the Locust wild)? I favor the former interpretation. With the latter interpretation, does the "prevent window" extend to the end of the phase? the encounter? the turn?


And I was saying the latter is more fun.

-shnar
 
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bhz1 wrote:
I understand Darian's sentiment on this one. There are gamers out there for whom if the game is nigh-on-unwinnable for them, then they will kingmake as much as they can, or never play it again.

In Cosmic, the concept of joint victory (even from encounter to encounter) is intended to reduce that anguish; it's so that no one feels they are completely unable to win. Not everyone gets that (and in some groups, being last means you're just the first one to have his bones picked for various things). So if you're potentially going to have games where one player just can't, for the life of himself, succeed, then the game needs to end promptly once it's clear there's a winner.

I say this because I have also been witness to games of Cosmic that ran a bit too long and people in last place chose to kingmake (ally on offense without 4 foreign colonies) just to end it. And those games just aren't fun when not everyone is playing to win.


Pretty much my point. I have had games where even I will play a Negotiate against someone who is going for their fifth colony just because I know everyone else is hoping against hope that we can get it over with and play something else. Luckily, those games happen far less often than the ones that are fun and winnable for mostly everyone, but when they do occur, they are remembered like the girlfriend who dumped you.

Perhaps I should add that I do tend to catastrophize a bit. I am seemingly making a mountain out of a molehill. After all, as Bill said, this happens so infrequently that are you really going to prevent it just because you're such a rules stickler? No, I probably wouldn't.

I'm just looking out for the cohesiveness of the group. It took a full year and a half before I even bothered chancing the addition of Arkham Horror to our group again, since it used to be one of our favorite games until that terrible night someone drove off two of our members by doing something they thought was just being funny. Thankfully, that person is now graduated and the new people we have in our club love it and really strive to play as effectively as possible. So not all bad came out of it. Forgive me if I always see the bad in things, but when your entire club almost melted down over one person's idea of a joke, it's hard to appreciate the Munchkinly elements some people try to throw into games. Munchkin was a bad one, too, but thankfully we just decided to throw it out, so it didn't cause people to leave the group.
 
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SparkingConduit wrote:
Pretty much my point. I have had games where even I will play a Negotiate against someone who is going for their fifth colony just because I know everyone else is hoping against hope that we can get it over with and play something else. Luckily, those games happen far less often than the ones that are fun and winnable for mostly everyone, but when they do occur, they are remembered like the girlfriend who dumped you.


We've had some of those games, but usually we're trying to end the game so we can start another game of Cosmic Encounter!

Our group *loves* the post-victory-screw-over. It's almost like when that 4th/5th base is hit, the winner(s) hold their breath waiting and everyone looks around desperately for someone to do something to keep him from winning. It builds our anticipation and excitement and loud cheers and moans that much more.

I agree with Bill that while the rules don't explicitly state this is how you play, it just feels like this is how it was meant to play.

-shnar
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