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Subject: Cosmic encounter with 3 - stuck in District 9 ! rss

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boardgamemuse
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Stuck in District 9, but fine by me




Let’s get one thing straight right now – respectable parents want their kids to have the best life possible and most would say that they want their kids to have a better life than the one they have had. That’s what my dad wished for my brother and I who were adopted and the very same that I hope for mine… THAT wish waters the tree of life.



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There is a very thought provoking film by Peter Jackson called District 9 that is about what might happen when aliens land on Earth since their mother ship is stalled and out of commission positioned over Johannesburg, Australia. Personally, I like it more than the Lord of the Rings series because it seems more original (to me anyway). The film was recently shown on the AMC cable channel and it was edited for rough content so it was an easy family night movie choice!

THANK YOU AMC!





The aliens are placed in a detention center and the people of the Earth must decide what to do with them. The problem is that just like humans some of them are very smart even innovative, problem-solver types and others are… how shall I say… punks who are simply followers causing problems for the rest of the aliens and puking and urinating in the street. Yes – you do see a couple of them in the movie exhibiting these acts and it is odd, sad even.


It’s also interesting that the central human character in the film goes through an evolution of thinking of them as a foreign problem that must be fixed to later in the film as living, feeling beings that can have family relationships and truly value the sense of home. After all, the aliens are stuck on Earth and the being named “Christopher” and his son just want to get home and are constructing a ship in secret underneath their dumpy shack to do that very thing.

The drama is intense because the main human character is reluctantly “infected” and undergoing physical change turning into one of them after being exposed to a black alien substance. So he “feels their pain” in a sense.


Well done Mr. Jackson.



__________________________________



 


2012 edition from Fantasy Flight




I recently played a 3 player game of the quality impressive, time-cemented classic Cosmic Encounter with my two boys. It was their first game and my second. I did not pretend to know all the rules [believe me they would know if I was trying to deceive them] and I kept the rule book beside me for times of “learning”.



CE is a superb game which is as expandable as the stars in the sky and does not have a traditional game board. Instead, there are planet boards [small circles] for each player so that not having enough table space is not a big concern. You stack your, again nicely designed, plastic colored space ships on these planets to create your colonies. This overall game design for the 2012 edition from Fantasy Flight that we played is notably classy.




And it is expandable since every one of the 200 aliens has a unique ability that you can use in the game and some that you must use whether you want to or not.


Since we as human beings have not yet plumbed the total depths of space at this time in history we are bound to discover new alien races - which will also no doubt be added to the game via expansions to this base game :-)

In fact, FF has recently discovered even more races this year and so published Cosmic Alliance. This game is alien lip-puckered sassy




You win in CE by landing 4 of your ships on other players colonies; simple as that. But what’s gut busting hilarious about this game as that there could be multiple winners and one loser. Or it could end up there are 2 winners and 2 losers. Honestly, this game is tentacle-swinging zany.




courtesy Aleš Smrdel



On your turn you draw Destiny cards that simply tell you which planet to attack. The attack is carried out by playing cards of the highest value and/or bonus and/or artifact cards. The attacking player can ask for an ally to help attack or the defender can ask for an ally to help defend. It’s a simple game of addition at this point that even a child can do of cards, ships and alien special abilities [one alien has the ability to have 1 ship = 4].



We made the game as simple as possible by not using the flare cards or the tech cards until we know the game better. We also only chose from the aliens that are green colored at the top which are easier to use compared to the yellow or red alien cards.


 


the planets and ships



The game went smoothly until we threw out the first Negotiate card. Ruh Roh. This card means that the player of the card screams uncle and realizes that there is no way he can win and so proposes a deal. His opponent might accept the deal, counter the deal or outright tell him to go pound alien sand.


And it so happens that this is where my oldest son proposed a trade with my youngest. My youngest had one of the most powerful attack cards (a 23 pointer) in the game and I just knew that my oldest wanted to get it from him as a result of this Negotiation.




So the oldest said, “I’ll let you land 2 ships on my colony if you let me draw 1 card from the deck and 2 from your hand.” I thought to myself don’t do it youngest son. But to my surprise my youngest thought that he had a special power of confusion shuffle and that my oldest would never select that particular card.




So my youngest held out his hand and my oldest selected the 2 cards on the very ends of my youngest’s hand. And.. Wa La he had drawn the big hitter. There it was now in the hands of my oldest and let’s just say that the other one was NOT too happy at this point and I could see the anxiety swell up like an approaching tsunami.

To my relief my youngest did listen to both of us when we told him that it was just a silly game, that it didn’t matter who won and that some aliens are just too powerful. Of course, we did not go into any more detail about what could have been done in the game differently that would have changed the present situation. It didn’t matter since he was over it - for the most part.



We had a great time playing the game and both of them thanked me for the experience. We did learn most of the basic rules and there are some that will take some further reading. I can definitely see that the more players in this game the better because it played fine with 3, cannot be played with 2 and more players would have made our experience even more memorable!



All in all I know that this game will see a lot of table time in the future. After all, it was my youngest that had asked to play it to begin with!

An Absolute Gem of a game!



~ The Muse
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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A few clarifications:

pratchettfan777 wrote:
every one of the 200 aliens has a unique ability

As of this writing, there are 50 aliens in the base game, plus 20 in each of three expansions for a total of 110.

pratchettfan777 wrote:
You win in CE by landing 4 of your ships on other players colonies; simple as that.

Actually you win by landing any number of your ships on (typically) five different colonies (planets). The number of ships is irrelevant.

pratchettfan777 wrote:
The attacking player can ask for an ally to help attack or the defender can ask for an ally to help defend.

The offense can ask for any number of alliens and the defense can ask for any number of allies (even the same ones). Each potential ally chooses whom to ally with, or chooses not to ally at all.

pratchettfan777 wrote:
Negotiate card ... means that the player of the card screams uncle and realizes that there is no way he can win and so proposes a deal.

A negotiate card by itself does not force the opponent into a negotiation; only if both players reveal negotiates does a deal begin. If only one player negotiates, he loses the encounter (but gets some cards in compensation).

pratchettfan777 wrote:
And.. Wa La

Sorry, nothing personal, but I've just hit my lifetime limit for seeing the word voila misspelled "wa la" and can't keep biting my tongue; I'm over the taste of my own blood. ;-)

pratchettfan777 wrote:
An Absolute Gem of a game!

You are correct, sir. Glad your boys enjoyed it, and glad you're bringing new blood into the game.
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Oliver
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Another correction: The alien ship is hovering over Johannesburg, South Africa.
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Starbuck
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Also, I don't think you can allow someone a draw from the deck as part of a deal. I enjoyed the write-up, though! Thanks!

BTW, how old are your boys? This is my absolute favorite game, but I fear it may be a little beyond my two young sons at this point.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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FCSchmidt wrote:
Also, I don't think you can allow someone a draw from the deck as part of a deal.

Thanks; I knew I was forgetting something. This is correct: you absolutely cannot draw a card from the deck or discard a card or retrieve a ship or anything like that as part of a deal, unless one of the players has a game effect that specifically allows it.
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boardgamemuse
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FCSchmidt wrote:
Also, I don't think you can allow someone a draw from the deck as part of a deal. I enjoyed the write-up, though! Thanks!

BTW, how old are your boys? This is my absolute favorite game, but I fear it may be a little beyond my two young sons at this point.



10 and 15 meeple
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