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Subject: First time playing for my Dad on his 53rd birthday. rss

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Ryan Tullis
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It's my father's birthday, and recently my wife and I have been getting him on board games. He's immediately jumped in with full competitive spirit every match. Cosmic Encounter being my favorite board game (in case you can't tell by my rating), I'd wanted to finally work him towards this game after he'd gained some experience with the general workings of modern board games. So, on his birthday, we finally busted it out.

The Competitors:

Myself - Mirror - The Power to Flip the Numbers on Encounter Cards (08 becomes 80, 21 becomes 12, etc.).

Amanda (wife) - Pacifist - Fantastic power. If she plays a Negotiate card, and you didn't (or a mutate), she wins.

Michael - Reserve - Let's you add any attack encounter card 6 or less on top of your attack card as if it was a reinforcement card.

Dad - Machine - You can keep taking encounters as long as you have encounter cards in your hand.

The game opens up with Machine going first (ouch). My Dad's first game and he wouldn't get the chance to see other experienced players go first. But, this is also a fantastic advantage for machine. He's got his full 8-card hand and doesn't have to stop until he's used every single one of those encounter cards. And, wouldn't you know? He'd utilize them all... for 30 minutes. By the time the dust had settled under machine's first turn, already his score shot up to 3. Already catching on to my "Mirror" power, he banked a win on me NOT using mirror power. He called it right, and won the encounter for it with a 40 (I didn't want to burn my 08 and 09 on a defense). Most of his losses came to Pacifist.

Amanda's turn next, and one successful, and one loss takes her to one colony. I fail my first offensive push, and after a series of bad alliance choices I'm also running low on ships.

After a few more turns, Amanda and Dad are posed nicely to win with 4 colonies a piece, while Michael and I trail behind with 2 and 3 respectively. Amanda asks Dad if he wants to negotiate for the win. Dad, trusting her, agrees. Not having a negotiate card, he tells her he can play a card then turn it into whatever she plays (he has Mirror's wild flare, but doesn't specify for his own safety). This is on Amanda's offense. But I know my wife. She has no intention of allying for the win (something my group frowns upon normally). She goes for an attack, hoping it will be higher than my father's and force him to play his card (in which case, she'd have more ships). Sadly, didn't work out. After this, my turn and Michael's turn put us both to 4. Everyone's in scoring position.

Turn order (this is important): Dad, Amanda, Me, Michael.

I immediately hit Dad with plague to burn off as many encounter cards as I can from his hand. It gets him down to three cards. Destiny card is flipped and... he's up against me. I invite Michael as an offensive ally and refuse to invite Amanda. Important, I figure, since she's next in turn order, and more cards from defensive rewards means more negotiate cards.

Dad and I both play, I don't call mirror (I want to save my 08 for when I'm in scoring position), and defense loses by five, Dad wins his first solo game.


My Thoughts on the Game

I've grown fairly accustom to most of the powers in the game (I play quite a bit). But Machine was a first even for me and my wife. Without plague, I think Machine is devastating. It's definitely shot up on the alien tier list for me. I'd already assumed Pacifist would be a mover and shaker, and I was right. I think it was Amanda's to win after Dad. I can mirror my attack numbers all day, but with no negotiate card in hand at the end, if it had come to her against me, I'd be screwed if she played that dreaded N.

The real winner is that Dad loved the game. He thought it was one of his favorites of the games I've taught him (so far: Citadels, Carcassone, Catan, Dominion, Wizard). Even Michael (also his first game) was shocked at how much fun it was.

So birthday boy and his army of robots wins the galaxy.

I tell you, Cosmic Encounter is an awesome way to end a birthday party.




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David Montgomery
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Awesome on two counts, 1 getting your dad to play, and 2, sounds like a great Cosmic game.

Advice on Machine, play a Negotiate against him when he's on offense. Sure, it gives him a colony, but it also takes his cards which will stop him faster.
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Ryan Tullis
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mathguy6189 wrote:
Awesome on two counts, 1 getting your dad to play, and 2, sounds like a great Cosmic game.

Advice on Machine, play a Negotiate against him when he's on offense. Sure, it gives him a colony, but it also takes his cards which will stop him faster.


Didn't even think about that! But, of course, with compensation it makes perfect sense. Will do next time!
 
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Tryken wrote:
Dad and I both play, I don't call mirror (I want to save my 08 for when I'm in scoring position), and defense loses by five, Dad wins


Love the strategy of saving the big punches for your offensive encounters - gotta get those colonies! But when the game's on the line, you gotta take one for the team and defend...lose today, there is no tomorrow.

Fun read!
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