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Subject: Noob Questions on Rewards, Negotiation, Flares, Destiny rss

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fourth bewithyou
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Hi folks,

Played through a game of Cosmic today after picking up my own copy. I was mostly working from memory on the rules while teaching it to two other people and there were quite a few rules I was iffy on:


1. Defensive rewards: The rulebook states all defensive allies get rewards from the offensive player's hand or from the deck on a successful defence of the planet - does "allies" include the defensive main player (ie. the person whose colony is under attack)?

2.Negotiation: If you don't have 3 ships in the encounter and no deal is reached after 1 minute of negotiation, do you still lose three ships to the warp?

3.Destiny: This is more of a why question, but the people I was playing with were very upset that they couldn't choose directly who they wanted to attack. Why does the Destiny deck even exist? What is the benefit of it over say choosing directly who to attack?

4. Flares and Artifacts: Can anyone anywhere play an artifact into an encounter? We had one player who played a cosmic zap artifact when they weren't the main player and quickly followed it up with a flare that stated any artifacts he played could be kept that turn. Considering that you get to keep flares (I think), this meant he was pretty much zapping everyone's power every turn. What is the rule on who, how and when someone may play a flare and/or artifact? Can an ally play a flare? Can someone who's not even involved in a fight play a flare? An artifact? More than one? The rule book didn't seem clear on this.

I think that's all the rule questions I have for now. Many thanks in advance for your help.




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Jack Reda
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Rewards are cards from the deck only, or a player's own ships out of the warp (the number for either or both is based on the number of ships that player put at risk as a defensive ally). They do not draw from the offensive player's hand. The rewards apply only to those allies. Defensive main player gets nothing.

The three ship loss does not have to include any of the ships in the encounter. Any of your three ships are lost.

Destiny deck is a game balance mechanism. It ties directly to the hand management aspect of CE. Players don't get to gang up on the "weaker" player. They sometimes have to go after the player they don't want to face. Then they decide if they are really going for it, or if they will jettison a card they think is no good.

The flares and artifacts are pretty clear about who can play one and when. Cosmic Zap, for example says right on the card "As any player". It also shows any phase. Players may only play one flare per encounter.
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Dan Stokes
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Jack's covered the rules, but the thematic reason for the Destiny deck, as I see it, is that your ships are flying around unexplored space and randomly encounter other races on their home planets. Whether you then attack that race (probably) or enter into peaceful negotiations (haha) with that race is up to you.

I always try and include this explanation when teaching the rules: I find that if people have a story reason to do something, they're less inclined to question it mechanically. Unless you're playing with hardened Euro-gamers, of course.
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fourth bewithyou
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mupdan wrote:
Jack's covered the rules, but the thematic reason for the Destiny deck, as I see it, is that your ships are flying around unexplored space and randomly encounter other races on their home planets. Whether you then attack that race (probably) or enter into peaceful negotiations (haha) with that race is up to you.

I always try and include this explanation when teaching the rules: I find that if people have a story reason to do something, they're less inclined to question it mechanically. Unless you're playing with hardened Euro-gamers, of course.


That's a great thematic explanation, thanks!
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fourth bewithyou
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The Warp wrote:


The flares and artifacts are pretty clear about who can play one and when. Cosmic Zap, for example says right on the card "As any player". It also shows any phase. Players may only play one flare per encounter.


So, "As Any Player" really does mean by anyone whether they're involved in the encounter directly, indirectly or not at all?
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James Williams
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There are, for rule disputes, 3 types of players.

Main Players: The Offense and the Defense

Allies: non-Main Players who have accepted an invitation during the Alliance phase and have dedicated ships to the Offense or Defense

Any Player: Main, Ally, or any player not involved in the current Encounter.
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Howard Burdett
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mupdan wrote:
Jack's covered the rules, but the thematic reason for the Destiny deck, as I see it, is that your ships are flying around unexplored space and randomly encounter other races on their home planets. Whether you then attack that race (probably) or enter into peaceful negotiations (haha) with that race is up to you.

I always try and include this explanation when teaching the rules: I find that if people have a story reason to do something, they're less inclined to question it mechanically. Unless you're playing with hardened Euro-gamers, of course.


I always thought the thematic answer is that the gates are an ancient technology from a long-gone civilization - the races in play don't fully understand the technology, hence usually cannot control where they lead. The former-civilization framing also thematically explains the existence of Artifact cards.
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Just a Bill
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doctor poo wrote:
There are, for rule disputes, 3types of players. Main players: Attack and Defense, Allies: both helping either defensive and attacking, and then Any Player: Main, Ally, or any player not involved in the current Encounter.

To clarify, the main players are the offense and the defense. "Attack" is a card type.

the_spiral wrote:
I always thought the thematic answer is that the gates are an ancient technology from a long-gone civilization - the races in play don't fully understand the technology, hence usually cannot control where they lead.

If that were the case, then you couldn't call for allies and hope to have them arrive at the same place (each using a different gate — the Precursors left one in every inhabited system).

The Avalon Hill edition tried to explain this by renaming destiny as your "orders" — as if your leaders want you to go to a certain system but don't really care what you do once you get there.

I'm glad FFG returned it to "destiny." It's already too easy to overmilitarize the concept of an encounter without terminology pushing things there, and destiny nicely captures the sort of unexplainable inevitability of your destination.

When somebody says "Why can't I choose? Why do I have to attack green?", just smile and answer, "because today it is your destiny to encounter green." For bonus points, you can add "... and you won't necessarily be attacking, either."
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fourth bewithyou
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Thanks everyone!
 
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So, to sum up:

1) Defender Rewards: Only defensive allies (not the defensive main player) claim defender rewards: draw 1 card from the Cosmic Deck or retrieve 1 of his ships from the Warp for each of his ships in the encounter. Essentially, the defensive main player's reward for victory is "not losing his colony".

2) Negotiation: When a player must lose 3 ships due to a failed deal, the player may lose those ships from any of those still in play (i.e. not in the Warp). These may be divided however he chooses between ships he has in the encounter and on any of his colonies but he must lose a total of 3 ships if possible.

3) Destiny: In short, it is a game balance mechanism to prevent players from simply ganging up on each other. In terms of the "context" behind it, I like Bill's approach of "it is your destiny to do so". I do also find neat the idea in the rulebook about the Precursors having left the warp gates and artifacts behind and exploring why there are so many different aliens scattered across space.

4) Flares and Artifacts: The Flares and Artifacts are usually pretty clear about who can play them and when. Per the standard rules, there is the restriction that a player may only play 1 Flare per encounter but Artifacts are not limited in this way.
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