Re-encountering Cosmic Encounter

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I found my misplaced copy of Cosmic Encounter – the Fantasy Flight edition – recently, along with the first three expansions. I had bought and stored the fourth and fifth expansions separately, This was really the first time I got to collate all the cards and alien power sheets and so on, finish punching and bagging the bits, and really read through all six rulebooks together. I made a few notes.

First I had to devise a mnemonic for the order of the expansions: I Can’t Always Stand Down. It represents the first letter of the second word of each set:

  1. Cosmic Incursion
  2. Cosmic Conflict
  3. Cosmic Alliance
  4. Cosmic Storm
  5. Cosmic Dominion

My favorite new aliens are as follows (I haven’t played these yet):

  • Bride (seems kind of sexist, though)
  • Greenhorn
  • Lizard
  • Lunatic
  • Mite
  • Pygmy (seems kind of racist, though)
  • Relic
  • Squee
  • Swindler
  • Sycophant
  • Tourist
  • Vox
  • Voyager
  • Warhawk
  • Winner

General comments follow. I am not claiming these observations are original, merely offhand. I’ve been out of the Cosmic scene for some time.

  • The main Fantasy Flight rulebook explains that opposing Morph card with Morph card is impossible, because there is only one. But the expansions are lousy with Morphs. So much for “impossibility”.
  • Retreat cards are clever. I’m not sure I’ve seen just that mechanic before.
  • What about “times i” kickers for imaginary card values?
  • What if you could kick Artifacts, for double or quadruple their effects?
  • Why did Fantasy Flight put so many good, standard Artifacts and other cards in the Rewards deck only?
  • There are lots of identity theft mechanics in this edition (for example, the Swindler). Swapping hands might spoil a lesser game like Aquarius, but Cosmic is more substantial.
  • The Empath flare also has modern and “classic” forms, much as Filch and Schizoid do, but this is not mentioned in the rules, as far as I can see.
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