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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Is the Void viable? rss

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Tristan Mathis
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I just ordered the game. I think I am going to love it. However browsing through some of the aliens, one really caught my attention. The Void.

While at first I was wondering why exactly the alien was colour coded red (as it's ability was rather straight-forward), it then dawned on me that this guy would almost NEVER have any allies. Maybe I am wrong, but this seems like the case.

Any thoughts on this?
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K
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Yeah, he's viable. Taking his power into account, I might actually give more weight to allying with him (rather than against him) since if I lose against the Void my ships are removed from the game. "Beat em... or join em"

And yeah, some of the red aliens (Virus, Void, Machine, etc.) are very straight-forward rules wise. The color coding doesn't always refer to complexity; it's supposed to indicate overall beginner-friendless for reasons that include not just complexity but also perhaps "scary" or "game-altering" powers. Ultimately its fairly arbitrary, just a loose guideline for new players who want one
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Tristan Mathis
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Appreciate the response. However, wouldn't other players just ally against him from the start just to get rid of him? I honestly wouldn't see my self helping him. That would almost seem like a douche thing to do. I haven't actually played yet but I don't see how one could let this guy advance.
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mar hawkman
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Void and Virus both have a major "oh shit" factor. People think about how to kill you(or avoid you) very carefully.
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K
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the poltiics in the game are very dynamic, and there's not really a reason to single out the Void as someone to "get rid of." consider a few things:

1) The benefits of being an ally are really great. To deny yourself the benefits of being an ally to an alien that you expect to win an encounter is limiting yourself. It's a diplomatic game, and if the table fears helping the Void, it's the Void's job to convince them why they SHOULD ally with him

2) destiny deck means you don't get to choose who you're targetting on your turn. It's hard to just gang up on a single alien. However, the best way to shut a player out a bit is actually not to "target" him, but simply deny him ally invitations. Once again, diplomatic game -- if a player is being shut out of invitations, its his job to explain what he can do to help if invited

3) You may find once you've got some games under your belt that the Void isn't as scary as you are thinking right now, in a climate where there are dozens and dozens of super scary aliens to steal his thunder. It's fun eradicating ships, but of all the aliens in the game he's not in the top percentile of aliens I fear, certainly not one I feel inclined to gang up on from the beginning. I don't need 20 ships to win, just a minimum of 5. His power is partly flash in the pan.

The game state (number of colonies for each player, perceived hand strengths, etc) is more important for deciding who to help and who to fight. If the Void is going to start his next turn in a position to win with a good hand, then I'll pick on him not because hes the Void, but because I think he's going to win if I don't stop him. This situation will shift every game, and you won't often see one alien dominating just because he's that alien -- there are a lot of tools, (both creative political ones and cards provided by the game) to create a really dynamic experience in this game.

Void is viable, but his true "power" is to scare people into not allying against him (along with denying opponents compensation due to a subtle rule, which is pretty great). Getting them to fear you can be as powerful as getting them to love you!
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Tristan Mathis
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SirHandsome wrote:

3) You may find once you've got some games under your belt that the Void isn't as scary as you are thinking right now, in a climate where there are dozens and dozens of super scary aliens to steal his thunder. It's fun eradicating ships, but of all the aliens in the game he's not in the top percentile of aliens I fear, certainly not one I feel inclined to gang up on from the beginning. I don't need 20 ships to win, just a minimum of 5. His power is partly flash in the pan.
You reffer to the Void not being in the "top percentile". Just out of curiosity, who would you consider to be in that tier?

(Explanation was great, btw)
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Ken H.
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Thrun15 wrote:
You reffer to the Void not being in the "top percentile". Just out of curiosity, who would you consider to be in that tier?
Loser, Sorcerer, Pacifist. All are variations on the same theme, and are generally considered the elite. Some would say they are the top three aliens period.

Virus is also a major force. And from the new FFG aliens, I guess Merchant is quite good, though I don't think I've ever seen it in action.

There are many other really good ones too, so the elite are by no means guaranteed to win.
 
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Just a Bill
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Healer and Philanthropist are notable top-shelf aliens that often seem weak to new players.
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Uatu O'Lantern
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Rubric wrote:
Thrun15 wrote:
You reffer to the Void not being in the "top percentile". Just out of curiosity, who would you consider to be in that tier?
Loser, Sorcerer, Pacifist. All are variations on the same theme, and are generally considered the elite. Some would say they are the top three aliens period.

Virus is also a major force. And from the new FFG aliens, I guess Merchant is quite good, though I don't think I've ever seen it in action.

There are many other really good ones too, so the elite are by no means guaranteed to win.
Fungus, Parasite, Industrialist, Extortionist, ...
 
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Ryan Tullis
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Void is excellent. Like others have said, I wouldn't put it at the very top (that spot belongs to Loser, Pacifist, Virus, Fungus, etc.), but it's definitely excellent. The idea of losing ships permanently from the game is a very strong motivator not to ally against him unless someone has to. You need ships to hold your home colonies, ships to have your foreign colonies, and then ships to attack with. When 8 of your20 ships are removed from the game, you really feel the strain.

So, yes, I'd say Void is good. What you also have to keep in mind, though, is that alien powers can be more or less effective depending on the number of players in the game. Offense-Only or Main-Player Only powers are weakened with more players, strengthened with less.

But Void is strong. You'll get a feel for the aliens, though, don't worry.
 
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Tristan Mathis
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After playing my first game, it was rather funny because the Void did come out. And it sure was a pain.
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Kelley O.
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I haven't played that many games of CE yet, but the games I've played with Hate, The Void And Virus, those aliens haven't won. Ppl do get scared and gang up on them or not let them into alliances, etc.

However, the unassuming Philanthropist has won every game so far.

--EDIT--
Oh and Cosmic Zapping Hate on their first turn was the best feeling ever! The game ended before it reached them again and Hate was complaining to high heaven about not getting to use their power at all! Oh man, do I love this game....

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Peter Olotka
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In Cosmic Encounter winning, or losing for that matter, is not a test of vaibility. When you play Cosmic you are but one alien who finds itself in a scenario which can not be predicted. Any alien can win and the best players will win the most games over time. As for the Philanthropist, its my favorite alien. Other aliens leave it alone. It gives aways bad cards and gets more new hands than everyone else. It can give good cards to allies. Its fun to role play.."Allow me to give you a small token of my esteem."

As with any probablility...an alien could win 10 straight games but in a cosmic that holds trillions of game combinations of aliens the sample is miniscule.
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Robin Raianiemi
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Once time, when I was in a double-power game, I drew Void/Vacuum. It was a terrifying combination. But it was a rather easy win for me.

After the game, we "house-ruled" the that particular combination away.
 
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Steve V
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Raianiemi wrote:
Once time, when I was in a double-power game, I drew Void/Vacuum. It was a terrifying combination. But it was a rather easy win for me.

After the game, we "house-ruled" the that particular combination away.
Single power games I find void is not the most useful (depending on the other chosen aliens), but it makes a great compliment alien in Dual power games. Void/Fury, Void/Warrior, Void/Industrialist, Void/Shadow, the list goes on. Void/Vacuum is just mean.
 
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mar hawkman
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On the Warp, Jack Reda has a list of power combinations that are best not used. I don't remember the names of the categories, but I'll explain what they are.

rules conflict: these pairs largely can't be used, simply because you'd have to houserule a way to make them to work together.
example: pacifist/empathy, both do something when you reveal a N, but different things.

weak: these powers interfere with each other mechanically, but not rules-wise.
example: warpish/antimatter, lowest wins, but you get a positive bonus
example2: zombie/masochist, you have an alt-win, but your other power keeps you from using it.

OP: these give the user a massive advantage due to how they work together.
example: amoeba/masochist, can ooze all his tokens into the gate any time he would lose an encounter.
example2: machine/any power that give him more cards, because it'd basically give him infinite turns.
 
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