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Subject: Base Game Flare Percentage? rss

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Sky Zero
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I recently bought the game, all 3 expansions and even more recently learned that you're only supposed to use 10 flares in the cosmic deck each game.

My question is what is the flare percentage when adding 10 flares to the base game cosmic card set. I went and threw all the cards together (rewards cards as well) into one massive cosmic deck which minus flares is at 130+ cards.

The reason I'm asking is because I'd like to play the game with all the cosmic and rewards cards combined into one big cosmic deck and I want to keep the flare precentage the same as it would be in the original game minus expansions.
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Adam McLean
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If you are playing with 5 or less, you add 10 flares into the cosmic deck ...


72 Cosmic Deck cards
32 Rewards cards
24 Large Group cards

That should put 128 cards into the deck, before Flares.


In the base game (5 or less players), there would be 82 cards ... 72 Cosmic and 10 Flares which is approx. 12.2% (10 / 82)

If you are trying to keep similar percentages:

Cosmic & Rewards (104 cards + 10 Flares * 12.2% = 13.91) .... Add 14 Flares

Cosmic & Large Group (96 Cards + 10 Flares * 12.2% = 12.93) ... Add 13 Flares

Cosmic & Rewards & Large Group (128 Cards + 10 Flares * 12.2% = 16.84) ... Add 17 Flares


6 players with 12 Flares (Cosmic cards) the percentage is 14.3%
7 Players with 14 Flares (Cosmic cards) it's 16.3%
7 players with 14 Flares (Cosmic and Large Group cards) it's 12.7%
8 players with 16 Flares (Cosmic cards) it's 18.2%
8 players with 16 Flares (Cosmic and Large Group cards) it's 14.3%
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Just a Bill
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It changes slightly depending on the number of players; I tend to use 5P as the benchmark. That's 10 flares in an 82-card deck, so the flares are about 12% of the entire deck or about 14% of the non-flares.

If you add the 24 Large Group cards and the 32 reward cards, your non-flare total would be 128 ... so according to your objectives you'd want about 18 flares.

However, to keep things simple, rather than follow the precise percentages I would recommend the following easy-to-remember guideline (which still gets pretty close to the real percentages):
Start with 2 flares per player (minimum 10) like the rules say. Then, for each pack of variant cards you shuffle in (rewards, Large Group), add 1 more flare per player.


So with everything shuffled together and 5 or more players, you'd use 4 flares per player. Might as well just deal that number to each player and let them choose their alien from among all four.

EDIT: Adam, I think your math is off. You computed the percentage of flares in the final deck (12.2%), but that's not a suitable scalar for figuring the flares needed for 128 cards; instead of the final deck, you need to know what percentage flares are of the pre-flare deck, which is 0.139, not 0.122. Thus, that would be 17.8 flares for five players and 128 non-flare cards.
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Adam McLean
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Bill Martinson wrote:
It changes slightly depending on the number of players; I tend to use 5P as the benchmark. That's 10 flares in an 82-card deck, so the flares are about 12% of the entire deck or about 14% of the non-flares.

If you add the 24 Large Group cards and the 32 reward cards, your non-flare total would be 128 ... so according to your objectives you'd want about 18 flares.

However, to keep things simple, rather than follow the precise percentages I would recommend the following easy-to-remember guideline (which still gets pretty close to the real percentages):
Start with 2 flares per player (minimum 10) like the rules say. Then, for each pack of variant cards you shuffle in (rewards, Large Group), add 1 more flare per player.


So with everything shuffled together and 5 or more players, you'd use 4 flares per player. Might as well just deal that number to each player and let them choose their alien from among all four.


That is quite a bit easier to figure out. Although we don't mix the decks together like the OP wants to, we do use 4 Flares for each player to choose from ... keep 1 as your alien, choose 1 of the other 3 to add into the deck and discard the last 2, in this case, you could just add all 4 in (or all 3 in if using just one of the additional decks of cards).
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Sky Zero
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This is exactly the info I was hoping for! I think I'll take Bill Martinson's advice, keep it simple and just deal 4 flares per player in a 5-player game with the rewards and large group all mixed in. Thanks everyone!
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Lindsey Dubb
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An old variant I used to use was that each player should add 7-P flares (where P is the number of players).

That gives just 6 flares for six players, which is low, but then six player games are already pretty chaotic. You then have 10 for five players, and 12 for four or three, which isn't too far from Fantasy Flight's recommendation.
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Roberta Yang
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It might also be worth bearing in mind that, if you're shuffling the Rewards deck in with the main deck, the deck balance has already shifted heavily. The Attack cards are more heavily weighted toward higher numbers, Negotiates are less common and with a few better versions, Artifacts and Reinforcements are more common and stronger, extra good card types (Kickers and Rifts) now exist, and there's a bonus Morph in there. Gameplay will be significantly affected regardless of whether you make Flares less common, more common, or exactly as common as before.
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