Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $16.25 shipping
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Featuring 50 alien races and 100 plastic ships
- Vie for control of the universe
- Age: 12+
- Number of Players: 3 - 5
- Playing Time: 1-2 hrs
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Build a galactic empire. In the depths of space, the alien races of the Cosmos vie with each other for control of the universe. Alliances form and shift from moment to moment, while cataclysmic battles send starships screaming into the warp. Players choose from dozens of alien races, each with its own unique power to further its efforts to build an empire that spans the galaxy. Many classic aliens from earlier editions of this beloved game return, such as the Oracle, the Loser, and the Clone. Newly discovered aliens also join the fray, including Remora, Mite, and Tick-Tock. This classic game of alien politics returns from the warp once more. It features 50 alien races, flare cards to boost their powers, 100 plastic ships, a host of premium components, and all-new tech cards that let players research and build extraordinary technological marvels! No two games are the same!.
From the Manufacturer
Build a galactic empire... In the depths of space, the alien races of the Cosmos vie with each other for control of the universe. Alliances form and shift from moment to moment, while cataclysmic battles send starships screaming into the warp.Players choose from dozens of alien races, each with its own unique power to further its efforts to build an empire that spans the galaxy. Many classic aliens from earlier editions of this beloved game return, such as the Oracle, the Loser, and the Clone. Newly discovered aliens also join the fray, including Remora, Mite, and Tick-Tock.This classic game of alien politics returns from the warp once more. It features 50 alien races, flare cards to boost their powers, 100 plastic ships, a host of premium components, and all-new tech cards that let players research and build extraordinary technological marvels!No two games are the same!Components•Rulebook•1 Warp Token•5 Player Colony Markers•1 Hyperspace Gate•25 Player Planets (5 per player)•100 Plastic Ships (20 per player)•50 Alien Sheets•20 Destiny Cards •72 Cosmic Cards•50 Flare Cards•20 Tech Cards•42 Cosmic Tokens•7 Grudge Tokens•1 Genesis Planet•1 Lunar Cannon Token•1 Prometheus Token•1 Alternate Filch Flare
Compare to similar items
This item Cosmic Encounter
Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Incursion Expansion 1589946863
Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Alliance Expansion 1616613629
|Shipping||$4.99||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Shopville USA||Amazon.com||Kimi Store||Amazon.com|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||11.75 x 2.75 x 11.75 in||6.3 x 2.8 x 9 in||5 x 1.62 x 7.5 in||5 x 7.5 x 1.5 in|
|Item Weight||3.46 lbs||1.25 lbs||0.97 lb||0.95 lb|
Top Customer Reviews
Fantasy Flight is the game's fourth publisher.
That alone should tell you how much this game rocks. Any other game would have died off by now.
Thankfully, Fantasy Flight Games has been buying up licenses to out-of-print classics and re-releasing them using their high production values.
The result is an immensely satisfying game that should bring a smile to hard-core Cosmic fans and newcomers alike.
The basic premise of Cosmic is that each player assumes the role of an alien civilization and tries to land their ships on five different planets belonging to other players.
The core mechanic of the game ([total ships on each side + a numeric card], highest total wins the encounter) is easy to understand, yet has endless possibilities for tactics, diplomacy, or out-and-out strangeness.
By far the two strongest aspects of this game's offense vs. defense encounter are these:
1) Allies: No matter whose turn it is, any player has the opportunity to be involved in the current encounter. None of this "is it my turn?" monotony of other games. You always have something to do. "Do I risk getting involved?" "Can I afford to help defend?"
The opportunities for diplomacy/negotiation are endless - and the ally rules ensure that nobody is a wall-flower.
2) Random destiny: In the vast majority of encounters - who attacks who is determined randomly. This does not adversely affect tactics and (more importantly) cuts down on hurt feelings. While there are plenty of ways to mess with other players, when you do get attacked - the game's mechanic is to blame.
Any true fan of this game loves the endless variety it offers - each player has an alien power that allows them to break the rules in a limited way. Different powers will collide in unique ways and since there are 50 different alien powers you are unlikely to see the same combinations twice.
Example 1: the normal rules say players start with four ships on each of their planets, but the alien called Macron has all of their ships count as 4 ships. so attacking a Macron planet, you find yourself facing the equivalent of 16 ships instead of 4. Advantage: Macron.
Example 2: the normal rules say that in an encounter, the side with the highest total (ships + encounter card) wins. The alien called Anti-Matter reverses this - and so when Anti-Matter is attacking or defending, the lowest total wins.
Combine those two examples and you have Anti-Matter attacking the Macrons with one ship while the Macrons are wishing their ships were like everyone else's.
And the craziness just goes on from there - that's barely a taste of the variety you will see when you play.
Component wise - FF has done us all a solid. Plastic flying saucer pieces that stack, quality cardboard pieces with gorgeous art, special cards with instructional text (helping new players and veterans alike).
Cosmic was always a game that begged to be supplemented and FF has provided a good jumping off point (50 aliens, instead of the 100+ that existed in earlier versions).
Expansions are undoubtedly in the works - and the components have been built to support this. The destiny cards have special graphics for Hazards (which are not in this game) - and the planet tokens have a different graphic on each side, something that will doubtless support some diabolical new rule whenever FF gets around to publishing expansion #1.
The sticker price is daunting - and I hope new players aren't put off by it too much. This is a game that is well made and a lot of fun - it's worth the money. Players who are afraid of lots of rules should not be afraid of Cosmic, but they should be aware that the rules as written will almost always mutate in bizarre (and entertaining) ways.
E.g. Players are allowed to "Cosmic Zap" or negate a player's power. In the example I gave earlier (Anti matter vs. Macron) the enterprising Macron player who finds themselves losing by ten or so will Cosmic Zap themselves (changing their ship total from 16 to 4) and allowing them to score less than Anti-Matter - and therefore win. The Anti-Matter player (if they were especially fiendish and had the card) would also zap their own power (making the lower total a losing total) and would win because their total was now higher than Macron's total!
Bizarre - but fun! When was the last time a boardgame surprised you?
Cosmic will show you something new in pretty much every session.
This is the game that inspired Magic the Gathering. The goal of the game is to establish colonies in other players' star systems. It is very easy to learn how to play, one practice game lasting 15 minutes is usually all it takes. What makes the game brilliant is the alien powers, each of which allows you to break one of the rules of the game. The result is a game that is different every time you play. This is a social game that requires lots of interaction between players. Social skills are just as important as strategy. Rarely can a player bully his way to a win. Teens can play with other teens. Parents can play with their children. Most amazingly, parents can play with their teenage children and their children's teenage friends. There are not many games where that can happen.
This version is scaleable. Players may chose to play one of the basic rule sets or add some or all of the various expansion sets that are included. These add to the complexity of the game.
I often buy this game as a gift for others in an attempt to spread the word about this most amazing game.
Cosmic Encounter is a classic game from the 1970s. This does not matter. Unlike Monopoly, Risk, Life, Sorry, Uno, etc. that got dusty, stale, un-challenging, and un-fun when people learned how to, you know, actually design good board games, Cosmic Encounter remains one of the most enjoyable (even if it is, admittedly, not the most strategic) experiences in tabletop gaming.
The basics of the gameplay are simple.
On your turn, you may rescue a ship from death if any are currently dead.
Then, you find out who you are going to attack by drawing a card. This is a point of contention for some who have played, or considered playing. I would like to assure you that this does not negatively impact the strategy of the game. In a game with a shared board like Risk, this would be unthinkable because of the area control you need to do. However, since every planet is separate and does not interact with adjacent ones in Cosmic Encounter, you do not lose your "board position" with this mechanic (as no real board positions exist). Instead, it serves to stop unfair teaming up against (for example, attacking Bob because he's the lame one of the group) and keep everyone involved.
Then, you send up to four of your ships. This game, perhaps strangely or unexpectedly, shares many elements with Poker. This is your bid. A powerful bluffing tool. It starts out pretty straightfoward - am I confident I can win? I'll send 4 ships to flex my muscle. If I think I might lose, I'll only send 1 ship so I sacrifice less. But of course, this leads into the natural bluff of sending 1 ship when you in fact have a huge chance of winning. And from there, into double-bluffs, triple-bluffs, and beyond. The excellent component quality of Fantasy Flight's version certainly contributes, the cute stacking UFOs feeling much like a stack of poker chips.
After that, you may request alliances. Both offense and defense may do so, with both sets sending 1 - 4 of their own ships. A win for the offense, and everyone helping gets a point. A win for defense, and the defensive planet stays safe and their allies get new cards or their ships back. This unlocks a huge portion of the game. Allies on your side in an encounter not only give you up to 4 attack more, but can also play cards and use powers to boost you up. But the real beauty in alliances isn't their encounter-to-encounter use, but their ability to be truly lasting... and truly temporary. You can win together in Cosmic Encounter, making betrayal less inevitable and alliances more valuable than some games. But, still, there's always the looming chance that either side defects. The fact that a deck tells you who to attack comes into play here, forcing allies to confront each other. They must figure something out in the moment, or one of them will reign superior, straining or ending their continued relationship.
Finally, the combat happens. Each player lays down an "Encounter" card from their hand - either a number from 0 to 40, or a big fat N for the peaceful Negotiate. Then reveal the cards. Should two attacks flip, add the card + ships and give victory to the highest number. Should one negotiate flip, they automatically lose but get compensated. Should two negotiates be played, the players have 1 minute to strike a deal, or both suffer losses. The most common circumstance is, naturally, two attack cards as they have the majority of the deck. The bluffing about these cards of course happens before they are even selected, trying to convince your opponent they don't have to play so high, or that they should play high and therefore blow their good card on you.
But, once again, with the possibility of Negotiating, Cosmic Encounter makes alliances all the more legitimate, and all the more volatile. It is exceedingly easy to play an attack when Negotiates have been agreed upon by both parties. Again, Cosmic Encounter succeeds in its addictive "above the table" play of negotiation, alliances, backhanded deals, and more by further legitimizing them with its mechanics. It is not unreasonable to expect to truly Negotiate. However, it also smartly avoids the trap of making them too hard-coded in the rules, and actually forcing continued alliances as other games may do. The result is a perfect balance between constant brutal betrayal, and pansy dedication to your promises. A shifting but every-now-and-then reliable web of allies.
That is a turn of Cosmic Encounter.
But, of course, even in what would be a perfectly fun light game of luck, bluffing, and alliances, these solid core mechanics seize to even be the main attraction, when they would be in other games.
Of course, you probably know that the Aliens are the real attraction. "Each one breaks a rule", as most reviews will tell you.
The first decision regarding this is at the start of the game, when you are dealt two flares and then find the corresponding aliens and choose between the two. The selection of two provides just enough options (well, one) that you are never saddled with the worst possible power you could have had, but you can be left with a sub-par one.
And that's kind of the point. There needs to be power differentials.
Other games may be better tests of skill.
But they don't form amazing stories of comeback wins. Powerful alliances that crumble because of greed. Epic empires that fall because they couldn't stand on their own. And, yes, sometimes that time the super powerful race won. But isn't that warfare? Sometimes superior strategy and deal-making will pull the smaller guys through... sometimes bigger guns means the opposition doesn't even have to try.
The Aliens do some really funny and entertaining things, yes. There's the Loser, who makes winners lose and losers win. The Zombie, never dying.
And it's funny. The aliens are clearly the main attraction to this game. They're renowned in the gaming community and the first thing used to sell a new player on trying it out. But I have been stalled on writing this part of the review.
Because, when I talk about Cosmic Encounter, I feel a need to do it justice. And with such a breadth of alien powers, it can be hard to figure out which ones are "worthy" of a one-off mention. Which ones do the "most interesting" things.
A lot of reviews talk about that. How they love the Masochist, or they think the Loser is so great. But at it's heart, it's not about the most interesting things.
Yes, there's hilarious card plays. Amazing only ever one time combos that came together pefectly. Incredible come from behind wins.
But it's really about the opposite being just as viable. Lying low, picking up your points here and there where you can get them. Being a trustworthy but not intense ally and negotiator. Slipping by until you've won. And every strategy, every tactic, in between the two extremes of absolute bombast and completely lying low. There's an alien to suit them all, and a way to win with them all.
And notice that... all those completely viable paths to victory. They're about how you're acting. They're not about how you're pushing chits around a map, how you're shuffling you cards, or how you're running your engine. The game is about aliens. The aliens are you. The game is about you and it really does unlock that social aspect. The people around the table become the aliens on their cards. You're thrust into an unfamiliar universe, with newly unfamiliar faces, and you're challenged to navigate it with the social skills of a woefully unprepared Loser.
I do not have some highly thought out, methodical method for determining the score to award a game when reviewing it. I've hardly touched on component quality, and I haven't factored in whatever 8.75 I may give it into a perfectly calculated average, to determine the score Cosmic Encounter deserves.
All I know is that I give it a 10.