First launched all the best way again in 1977, Cosmic Encounter is what you get while you mix poker with a sci-fi B-movie, after which use that slurry to play Calvinball. There are a number of mechanics to be taught, however like many of the video games we play on Overboard (Polygon’s card and board sport present), it’s foremost a social sport the place one of the best talent you’ll be able to have is convincing individuals you’re not a risk. We had a blast enjoying it in Tabletop Simulator even when it left us greater than a bit bewildered.
Winning Cosmic Encounter is easy: set up 5 “foreign colonies” by inserting your spaceships on no less than 5 of your opponents planets. You accomplish this by having encounters. During one in all these encounters you might be randomly assigned an opponent to assault. You can ask for some assist from the opposite gamers (similar with the participant you’re attacking) earlier than settling in for the showdown.
Both you and your opponent place “encounter cards” face down, hoping you have got the larger quantity in your card. This is the place the sport feels a bit like poker as a result of most of the time you’ll must bluff your solution to victory. Convince the opposite gamers you’ve received a robust encounter card and also you won’t have to fret about them allying together with your opponent.
Once you reveal your encounter playing cards, figuring out a winner is easy: Add the quantity on the cardboard to the variety of ships you and your allies equipped for the assault and the larger quantity wins. You may negotiate, however that’s difficult however that’s difficult as a result of each gamers have to reveal negotiate playing cards. Playing a negotiate card towards an assault card leads to an automated loss, so that you’d higher hope your opponent is telling the reality.
That’s the best clarification of the sport’s guidelines, however it’s not what makes it particular. The actual enjoyable in Cosmic Encounter is all of the methods you get to break these guidelines.
For starters, every participant within the sport is a distinct alien race. And every alien race has an influence that lets them break the foundations not directly. Some of those powers are easy, like the power to steal playing cards from their opponents’ arms or having additional highly effective spaceships. But a few of these aliens’ powers basically alter the best way the sport is performed. For instance, The Oracle forces their opponents to play their encounter playing cards face up whereas The Grudge can penalize gamers in the event that they refuse to ally with them.
A couple of of the alien powers straight up give gamers another solution to win the sport.
These alien powers are deliberately not balanced as a result of the sport expects the gamers to maintain an overpowered alien in test. Multiple gamers can win a sport of Cosmic Encounter collectively, which is why convincing everybody you’re not a risk is such an essential a part of enjoying the sport. If you appear to be you’re going to waltz to victory, everybody can and will ally towards you.
Players even have a hand of playing cards that allow you to do all method of issues. Reinforcement playing cards can add a couple of factors to your aspect of the battle after encounter playing cards are revealed. Artifact playing cards can disrupt rigorously laid plans by quickly nullifying an alien energy or by stopping a negotiation in its tracks. But probably the most helpful (and chaotic) playing cards are the Flare playing cards.
Each flare card relies on one of many sport’s 50 aliens and works like a food regimen model of that alien’s energy. Retrieving destroyed spaceships, snatching an opponent’s card, or utterly altering the maths in an encounter are all attainable with the precise flare card.
Stack up all these alien powers and playing cards and the sport’s regular guidelines shortly dissolve. It makes each sport a full of life, sudden sequence of confrontations and dramatic reversals that feels much less like a sport of poker and extra like an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh.
You can watch this fantastically chaotic mess of a sport within the episode of Overboard above. If you get pleasure from it, make sure to catch all of the past episodes of Overboard and the remainder of our compelling video content material over on our YouTube channel.