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Subject: First Two Games: First Impressions and Lessons Learned rss

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Jon Brown
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Just played the game for the first time last night. The players were:
Red: me
Green: my gf
Yellow: her brother
Blue: our friend
None of them but me BGGers sadly

Game 1:
After reading a bit about what variants to use for the first game, we did: no flares or red aliens, everything else default. I can't remember the race names, but the powers we got were
red: draw 3 cards after reveal and choose one to add to or replace the card initially played
green: after winning an encounter take X cards from opponent and discard their hand
yellow: destroy extra ships after winning an encounter (although I think he forgot to use this more than once)
red: keep the encounter card you played
Play went around the table with everyone always inviting all allies; perhaps I wasn't clear about how allies worked because people eventually people started joining the active encounter without even being asked. On one of my turns, I didn't ask for any allies, and had to tell blue that they couldn't join me (I considered him the biggest threat at the time). Green thought that that was incredibly rude; I had obviously failed as a rule explainer. However, how the game ended corrected this problem: on blue's turn, he invites any allies as normal, and yellow (who has 4 foreign colonies at the time to blue's 3) joins up and they win the encounter. Yellow (and not blue) wins on blues's turn as a result of a bad alliance.

Lesson Learned: Watch who you ally with.


Game 2:
After the previous game ended as it did I felt we were picking up the game, so I threw in the red aliens for this one. The races were:
Red: Mites (as the offense, the defense had to either let you establish a colony peacefully or has to discard randomly down to 3)
Green: Masochists (win if they lose all their ships)
Yellow: ??? (may play additional attack cards after reveal if they are > their attack hard and < the opponents)
Blue: Machine (may continue to have encounters as long as they have encounter cards)
This game went a lot better, with people being generally pickier about who they chose as allies, and people were generally wary of green with her extra victory condition. But we weren't picky enough, several times people (including me shake) let green join in on a fight that they thought they could win, and green happily obliged with 4 ships each time, and only once did the team with green actually win the encounter. Because of blue's endless turns, turns only circled the table twice, but this was enough for green to get down to her last 4 ships. The last encounter was blue (offense) against yellow (defense): thinking he couldn't lose, yellow invites green to be an ally, and they win the encounter. However, to join up with yellow, green had to strip all her planets of colonies, and after a consultation with the rulebook, all her ships go into the warp. Blue's turn ends without him getting 5 foreign colonies, and green wins the game.

Lesson Learned: No really, watch who you ally with.
Also, if ships can't land anywhere, they die.

So, both games ended because of people asking for an alliance when they shouldn't have, but we learned more about the intricacies of the game each time.


Impressions:
Overall an extremely fun game that we look forward to playing again tonight, it has a simple core system that's easy to pick up, tons of variety, almost no downtime (because of the ally mechanic), great player interaction, and plays in the perfect amount of time: long enough that it doesn't end before getting interesting but also short enough not to drag and you have enough time for multiple plays.

Highlight: After explaining the rules, I handed out two alien cards to each player to choose from. After reading hers, my gf looked up excitedly and said, "this is an entirely different game now!"
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Freelance Police
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Yep. Read the threads about ally-inviting strategy. Always inviting allies is a common newbie "mistake", since allies gain the most in an encounter. Try multiple powers and hidden powers sometime!
 
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Dirty Dan
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Sam and Max wrote:
Yep. Read the threads about ally-inviting strategy. Always inviting allies is a common newbie "mistake", since allies gain the most in an encounter. Try multiple powers and hidden powers sometime!


I concur. But wait till you have a very good grasp of the rules for multiple powers. It's definitely an advanced game.

Btw: Had a dual powers game that had 2 epic pairings. Macron/Amoeba and Parasite/Filth. The effects boggle the mind.
 
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