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Subject: Longer Cosmic Encounter games? and 2 player play rss

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Shadow ruxer
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Cosmic Encounter has become one of my favorite board games of all time. I love how it is full of chaos, interactive, and simple for the most part but, i feel like the game usually ends a little too soon.

Winning at 5 foreign colonies... has anyone tried playing and needing more than 5, like say maybe 8 foreign colonies. The only problem with this is raising your chances of getting the entropy beast hazard but even then the witness and cosmic guardian can void him.

I think increasing the number of foreign colonies needed by just a couple can make games last a little longer and make them a bit more epic. From around 30minute games to games that will at least last almost an hour.


I also have played this many times with just 2 players and i love it! Rule changes are simple. If you get a card that can only be used for allies, like the force field that stops allies you just discard the card and draw a new one to your hand. With aliens if all you have is ally aliens you may draw a new alien instead. Also reward cards would be done without and hazards like temporal anomaly would do nothing.

We usually play, having to get all of the other players planets ALL five! To me this makes the game last longer (around an hour usually) too and provides a great one on one experience i think.

Thanks for your input everyone! goo
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Nathan
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the_shadow447 wrote:
i feel like the game usually ends a little too soon...

...From around 30minute games to games that will at least last almost an hour.


If my games were only 30 minutes on average I would want to change that also. However they normally last 90 minutes at least, especially with 5-6 players.

I dunno how you finish games that fast, but you must be super efficient which for me takes some of the fun out of it - long stand offs where people are arguing who to ally with etc, with lots of bluffing and deals being made. I would be interested to hear what makes your games go that fast - for me having to get 8 colonies would mean the game would take all day and I think possibly impossible, as people would always be stealing colonies etc.

I am not sure about the 2 player variant, might make it a little too attacky, like 2 player Gloom vs 3 or 4 player Gloom - and it makes the Destiny deck a little pointless. It would be nice to hear others' thoughts on this.

I may have to try a 8 colony game though, and will definitely post here how long it takes, if it ever gets finished lol.
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Roberta Yang
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How many offensive allies do most of your encounters have?
 
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Shadow ruxer
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(i am having computer issues so i had to retype in notepad what i could see from my response over)

giving this "remora" (not the alien lol) a huge advantage over us all!
I have even had a player side with the person who needed just one more
point to win and everyone else was at 0 or 1 points. essentialy saying "hey, well we are going to lose anyway so i might as well side with you to make you win"

I dont know, maybe because i play with females exclusively lately, that
they are just naturally not as competitive. They have accused me of
being too dominant, manipulating the whole game and trying to control
the game. But in actuality i am just trying to make them play at their
optimal quality to increase game length and suspense.

So, you guys do make a good point. In this case you may have to make
some adjustments. If my male friends did not all leave the state i think the game
would be ok as is. Our games were alot longer, intense and competitive
but oh well, you have to work with what you got.

I think the two player variant works great though, even though it is
very "attacky" and not as random or chaotic. The destiny deck is not
that useless though it lets you know whether you can attack your only
enemy at their home or try to knock them off one of your planets, as
well as showing hazards. I have actually found the two player variant
too work one of two ways. Either it is very predictable and ended soon
or they are some of the most intense and suspenseful games going back
and forth with your opponent. This all depends of course on the aliens
that get chosen.
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Shadow ruxer
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I have not had a chance to try out winning at 8 foreign colonies yet though, but i think the two player variant works great!

The reason you may have to make your point count go over 5 for longer games is when you are playing with people who accept alliances without thought, are not as competitve or do not care much if they lose because they got a "bad" alien.
 
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Ryan Tullis
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That may be your problem, then. Everyone should be trying to manipulate the game and be dominant. Encounters, especially ones later on where it's getting more clutch, should take a while for alliances and a lot of consideration. I've had games of CE last about 30 minutes before, but usually they're around an hour for groups of 5. Does your group invite allies willy-nilly?

I wouldn't mind trying CE with 2, though, so when I manage to talk someone into doing it, I might try this variant.
 
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K
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I've enjoyed 2 player immensely before, to my surprise. What I used was:

* No Destiny Deck -- Players can simply choose to attack enemy in their home system, or the enemy in their own home system for their encounter.

* Ban aliens that depend on allies to work ("Ally only" powers are the obvious ones, but use your own judgement on less obvious powers that are crippled.) Ban powers that have to do with destiny deck.

* Ban artifacts that depend on allies to work (shadow's suggestion of just redrawing is great)

* And I think most importantly... dual powers. I actually almost never use dual powers in multiplayer games because I love the idea of having just one power to identify with and being forced to adapt and make it work. But dual powers makes 2 player games SO much better.
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Just a Bill
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When I've been forced to play two-player, we give each player two complete systems, each with its own alien and hand. Each physical player is thus playing as two different virtual players, each getting its own turn. Of course your green virtual player will pretty much always invite your blue virtual player, but sometimes you have to think carefully about how much risk you want to incur.

It's slightly more complex in that player order proceeds in a "Z" pattern instead of a simple clockwise circle, but on the plus side destiny is still meaningful and you don't have to ban Force Field, hazards, a bunch of different flares, and all the aliens whose viability is dependent upon the alliance mechanic.

Plus it's kind of fun managing two completely separate hands/systems ... sometimes one is in great shape while the other one completely bites. It's an interesting change of pace.
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Nathan
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the_shadow447 wrote:
I dont know, maybe because i play with females exclusively lately, that they are just naturally not as competitive. They have accused me of being too dominant, manipulating the whole game and trying to control the game. But in actuality i am just trying to make them play at their optimal quality to increase game length and suspense.


It is not because they are female, but because they are not competitive enough compared to you. It sounds like this group of friends would be happier playing without you having pretty friendly encounters for the most part.

What you need to do is get out in the world and find (or train) those who are chomping at the bit to conquer the galaxy. You need to think of the most competitive people you know, and then get them into games. Or just adapt and enjoy a more leisurely pace of CE. I think the games you want your current games partners simply do not want to play, otherwise they would not accuse you of trying to dominate etc. Simply find other games which suite them, and find some cut-throats down the pub who will war with you until the last alien is standing... simples!
 
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