Cosmic Encounter is a space game of conquest and diplomacy.
The aim of the game is to win.
Winning is achieved by being the first player to score 5 points, or attain any potential secondary goals.
This five-player game comprises of:
A Warp token – this keeps track of the score and holds all the UFO’s that have been destroyed
A Hyperspace token – this is used to indicate which planet/colony is currently experiencing an encounter, and how many ships are involved
Destiny Cards – this contains 3 cards for each player along with wild cards. These tell the current player with whom to have their encounter.
Encounter Cards – each player gets a hand of 8 of these. They can contain Combat cards of value 0-40, Negotiate cards or Artefacts which have extra effects. Also contains the Flare Cards used at the start of the game
50 large Alien cards and matching tokens – each alien is unique and affects the game in different ways, some have extra tokens. They come in 3 levels of complexity.
50 Flare Cards – each card matches the large alien cards and have two effects. 1 used by any player, the other used by the player who happens to be playing the matching alien.
Technology Cards and matching tokens – when researched, these add extra capabilities to a player.
In addition to this, each player receives 5 planet tokens, a score counter and 20 plastic stackable UFO’s.
Players are given 2 alien cards and 2 technology cards at random, and choose which ones to keep.
With a hand of eight cards, players take turns to turn over the top destiny card and having an encounter with the player whose colour comes up. Ships are sent, allies are invited and encounter cards are played face down, then revealed. If both sides play combat, the winner is the one with the highest total of ships, allies ships, reinforcement cards, alien powers, technologies, artefacts and combat card values. Some, or all, of which may be negated, cancelled, reversed or otherwise altered by the various rule-changing abilities. The winner, gets/keeps the planet and the loser and allies lose all ships to the Warp. If both sides play Negotiate Cards, allies go back home empty-handed and the two players have 1 minute to come to a mutual agreement or else lose 3 ships each to the Warp. If a Combat and a Negotiate are played, the Combatant wins the round, but must compensate the Negotiator with cards from their hand according to how many ships were lost.
A successful encounter allows an extra turn or the acquisition of another technology card.
Allies, also get benefits with success: the planet conquered if the aggressor or reclaimed ships or extra cards if the defender.
Cosmic Incursion: Adds a sixth player, 20 more aliens and a reward deck with some interesting cards for successful allied defenders.
Cosmic Conflict: Adds a seventh player, 20 more aliens and a Hazard deck, where one in three of the colours in the Destiny deck are suddenly Hazardous bringing extra chaos or help to encounters.
Game time – 1-2 hours.
A great game which is so different each time it’s played. With a pool of so many potential aliens, what worked well one game, will not the next.