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Cosmic Encounter FAQ being updated!


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#1 moviemakinggod

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:24 AM

Hello Cosmic fans! FFG is beginning to update the Official Cosmic Encounter FAQ, and we would like your input!

 

Please post any questions/clarifications that you would like to see in the Official FAQ. We are particularly interested in fleshing out any common questions that may exist in the many Cosmic Encounter expansions.

 

Please note that this thread is only for FAQ question suggestions. We will not be answering any questions in this thread, and only some suggested questions will make it into the FAQ.

 

Thanks for reading! I’ve provided you with a special alien power below, usable only on the forums.

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

Poster (Provides Questions)

You have the power of FAQ. As a forum poster, you may use this power at any time. When a question is revealed to you that you think should be in the FAQ, you may post it here.

 

A helpful bunch, the forum posters are always ready to assist in anything related to Cosmic Encounter. The other alien races are grateful for their participation. 

 

Any Player, Optional.

All Phases.

 


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#2 rjb

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:24 AM

The Sadist wild flare. What exactly counts as "sending another player's ships to the warp"?

 

I really don't know how to interpret this. Does destroying ships when defeating an opponent in an attack/defense count? How about as an ally of the winning side rather than a main player (the card allows use "as any player")? Playing Plague on another player? Failing to negotiate (deliberately or accidentally) as a main player? Quashing your opponents' deal and thereby causing them to fail? Actions which cause a sequence of other players to lose ships due to interaction of other powers/effects? Deliberately moving additional ships to a colony in order to cause the Entropy Beast to devour the planet? Supposing the ships are removed from the game for some reason, rather than sent to the warp? Definitely the most ambiguous card I've yet encountered.


Edited by rjb, 05 September 2013 - 04:25 AM.

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#3 rjb

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:41 AM

A few of additional queries which came up in last night's game:

 

1) The Coldsleep Ship: the wording on this is more than a little ambiguous. Is the intention that the new colony must be formed in a system in which the player has no other colonies, or simply that the new colony must be on a planet on which the player has no existing colonies? The latter would seem to be unnecessary specification on behalf of the card (since you wouldn't usually be able to have more than on colony on a planet), but the card could grammatically be read either way.

 

2) Temporal Anomaly: this card would really be better worded to specify that the effect is permanent, if that's the intention (which I assume it is). But is the intention only to affect the turn order, or should other turn orders (such as the order in which alliances are chosen) also be affected?

 

3) The Invader: does the Invader's "extra encounter" include all phases of an encounter (including Regroup, but presumably not Destiny), or is the intention that the Invader "takes over" from the current player's encounter? If so, assuming that this is the player's first encounter of their turn, does the original player restart their first encounter, including a new destiny draw? The card specifies that this "doesn't count as one of your encounters", which seems to imply that the intent is for this extra encounter to "interrupt" the current turn, with the original player able to carry on with their usual one or two encounters afterwards, but this is not very clearly worded, so I think definitely needs some clarification.

 

4) What is to be done when turning over the Invader's destiny cards if the Invader has lost their power? Are they skipped and redrawn?

 

5) The Butler wild flare. If player A hands the current encounter to player B, does player A have a second encounter if player B wins their encounter?

 

6) The Butler wild flare: any thoughts on the situation of player A handing the encounter over to player B, but player B drawing player A's colour during the destiny phase of the encounter? Clearly, player A cannot ally against themself, so assuming that player B's success gives player A a second encounter, this could lead to the rather odd situation of player A simultaneously winning and losing an encounter. Not exactly game-breaking, but definitely odd, and possibly best dealt with somehow.

 

7) The Meteor Storm hazard. The card says that the combined totals for the encounter must exceed 25. Is this intended to be the full totals, as worded, or just the total of the attack cards? This seems clear, but it does seem to be asked quite frequently when players come across this card for the first time, so clarification might be useful.


Edited by rjb, 13 September 2013 - 10:40 AM.

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#4 rjb

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:39 AM

Another thing that I think needs to be clarified: what to do, exactly, when a race card includes a "Do Not Use With..." text?

 

(In fact, it's not even literally clear from the wording on the card whether it means not to use these powers in the same game, or not to combine them as a result of Precursor Seed, etc. - but I think it is fairly obvious that it means that they shouldn't be used in the same game... Perhaps this should also be clarified?)

 

Is the idea simply that the player (or players) with the "Do Not Use With..." instruction, on revealing their power/s and finding the conflict, discard their card/s and redraw a new one at random? Obviously, it would be unfair to give the player/s a choice of two new cards to pick from, given that they're now aware of the other players' choices.

 

(Personally, I think that the ideal situation would be for these powers to be reworded so as to work well enough together that they don't need to include "Do Not Use With..." instructions at all; but if it's unavoidable that some powers must be kept exclusive, I think it would be more useful to reword the instruction on the card itself to clearly explain what to do when they are drawn in the same game; possibly as a "Game Setup" instruction, so as to avoid them coming into play as the result of "extra power" effects.)


Edited by rjb, 13 September 2013 - 10:40 AM.


#5 rjb

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:32 AM

A couple of further queries from last night's game:

 

1) The Schizoid wild flare: the card specifies that players swap home systems and colours (and therefore presumably all ships, including foreign colonies, but not hands, racial powers etc.?) - but some questions remain: what happens to ships currently engaged in researching Tech cards? The flare doesn't mention anything about swapping Tech cards, but as ships of the player's new colour may be on a Tech card, it makes sense to swap these along with the planets in the home system. And presumably, space stations should also be swapped even though not explicitly mentioned, since they are attached to the planets being swapped?

 

2) The Merchant's card specifies that the additional hired ships (cards) they can field can be lost as normal during the encounter, but return to the player's hand at the end of the encounter. However, "at the end of the encounter" is actually a little vague here, especially as many cards say "at the beginning of an encounter", but mean "at any point during the regroup phase" rather than specifically "at the start of a regroup phase". One time this is key is if using these ships to invade a planet with a Saboteur bomb: if the cards return after the encounter, then they would "land" on the planet and be destroyed; but if they are intended to return to the Merchant's hand as soon as the combat is over, then they are not affected by the bomb. Personally, I think that the best thematic interpretation would be that the cards return to the Merchant's hand before landing on the planet (they're hired guns, after all, rather than colonists!), saving them from the Saboteur's bomb; but as things are currently phrased, it could easily be interpreted either way.


Edited by rjb, 16 September 2013 - 10:28 AM.

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#6 CosmicBerlin

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:08 AM

Questions 1) through 5) were discussed on BGG, they are certainly relevant for the FAQ IMHO:

 

1) After an alien power has been cosmic zapped, do parts of the power that do not require a use still work or is the alien disabled entirely until the end of this encounter?

 

2) If a player draws from the Reward deck, may Remora use its power to draw a card from the Reward deck or the Cosmic deck or can it draw no card at all? In general: does any reference to "THE deck" or "THE discard pile" on any card exclude the Reward deck/discard pile?

 

3) Can you force Warhawk into negociation by playing an Emotion Control artifact or can Warhawk use its power (again) to change the cards that are now treated as negociate cards into attack 00s?

 

4) Are any cards exempted from a Cosmic Quake e.g. Miser's hoard, Cryo's cold storage etc?

 

5) After playing Leviathan super flare, what happens with allied ships on the worldship when a Force Field artifact is played? Do they have to leave the worldship?

 

6) How does Leviathan work in combination with space stations? Can a planet with an attached space station be sent as a worldship? What happens to the space station in that case?

 

7) Can you play Cyro wild flare to save your hand when a Cosmic Quake occurs?


Edited by CosmicBerlin, 16 November 2013 - 04:41 PM.


#7 CosmicBerlin

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:43 AM

More questions came up in last night's session:

 

8) If a player discards several cards at the same time, are the other players allowed to look at all of them? It is especially useful to have this information before deciding whether to play Reserve wild flare or Space Junk artifact.

 

9) Can Fodder, Porcupine and Reserve use their power multiple times during the reveal phase (e.g. in reaction to reinforcements played by the opponents) or must all cards be discarded at once?


Edited by CosmicBerlin, 06 January 2014 - 01:40 PM.


#8 CosmicBerlin

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:39 AM

10) What happens to a space station when a planet is moved by The Claw? Is it destroyed or taken over by The Claw?

 

11) Can you play a Cosmic Zap on Bandit, Chosen or Phantasm after cards are drawn from the deck and revealed or is it too late?

 

12) Can you play a Cosmic Zap on Animal, General, Reborn or other card drawing powers after cards have been added to their hand or is it too late?


Edited by CosmicBerlin, 11 November 2013 - 03:17 PM.


#9 rjb

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:46 AM

Another game last night, and a couple of minor points of clarification and general thoughts on the rules arising from it:

 

1) The Alien Outpost: it states that you draw the outpost's racial power "when you receive" the station. Is this meant to imply that you draw one power when you receive the station at the beginning of the game, or that each time the station changes hands during the game, a new power is drawn? Again, I prefer to take a thematic (and in this case much simpler) interpretation, and draw the power only at the beginning of the game, but the card did raise a query when it was captured, so might be best with clarification.

 

2) The Transdimensional Rift Relay: there is nothing on the card to suggest that this can't be used multiple times in one encounter (for example moving more ships into a battle after each reinforcement card played by an opponent). Is that intentional?

 

3) Shock Troop Shuttle Pods: is there any ruling on what point during the regroup phase this ability is to be used? Usually, a ship is retrieved from the warp by a main player specifically after researching tech cards, but since this station gives the ability to retrieve a ship on other players' turns, is it acceptable to use this power before researching a tech card?

 

4) The lack of a strict order of precedence for playing card effects can occasionally lead to some situations that feel like quite abusive interpretation of the rules, particularly by the current offense (since they by default receive precedence in any conflict). For example, in last night's game, the Amoeba placed four ships into the warpgate to attack a planet. As it had not chosen to use its power to add more ships, the defense activated their Gluon Mines, destroying the four ships, which should have ended the encounter there. However, since the offense's effect is listed as occurring at the same time as the activation of the mines, the Amoeba then chose to move more ships into the encounter to prevent an automatic loss, and as they were the offense, their effect theoretically happened first, meaning that there were more than four ships in the warpgate. The problem here is that they were able to make a choice about this action after the defense had already revealed (and committed to using) their tech, which the defense probably wouldn't have done had there been more ships in the gate in the first place; and the Amoeba's power could only be used this way due to it being the offense. Thematically, this means that the Amoeba player is essentially acting on prior knowledge of a coming ambush (or sending the reinforcing ships back in time?), which doesn't make a great deal of sense. The rules appear to allow this, but it definitely doesn't feel "right".

 

5) During a regroup phase, the offense can retrieve a ship from the warp, but only if they have ships in the warp. If they currently have no ships in the warp and another player plays a Plague against them, this means that they can theoretically lose their three ships to the warp, and then (as it is their own regroup phase, and they haven't already done so) immediately claim one back, which, again, feels a little bit "wrong". Like the situation in point 4), it's an example of the choice "not to do something" still leaving that option open in an exploitable way which doesn't feel entirely correct.


Edited by rjb, 30 September 2013 - 04:50 AM.


#10 Drinkdrawers

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

There is a veritable smorgasbord of information of exactly this sort over at boardgamegeek.

 

http://boardgamegeek...encounter/rules

 

I'm not even going to try to bring over the huge number of questions from there, but I will say that I think you would be remiss to ignore that resource when building your new FAQ. 


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#11 rjb

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 06:02 AM

Some additional queries from last night's game:

 

1) The Animal wild flare: the card says that it "causes a Cosmic Quake". However, the rules for a Cosmic Quake seem to have been written with only the circumstance of there being no cards in mind: "All players discard their hands, the discard pile is shuffled to make a new deck, and then eight cards are dealt to each player." The problem arising here, when triggering a Cosmic Quake while there are still a deck and discard pile on the table, is that following these instructions exactly seems to create a second deck, as it says nothing about including the existing deck in the new deck as well as the discard pile. I think it's fairly obvious that the deck should be included, but still...

 

2) The Remora's power: does another player "drawing cards" mean any time that a player takes a card from the deck, or only when they are specifically drawing cards to their hand? Various other effects in the game cause a player to "draw a card from the deck", but then to do something else with it entirely (such as the Chosen's ability, etc.) - do all of these circumstances also allow the Remora to draw a card?

 

3) The Prometheus: the card says that the ship adds an additional +3. Is this meant to mean that it adds 3 instead of the usual 1, or adds 3 in addition to the usual 1 (for a total of 4)?

 

4) If two card effects make a modification to the attack total, in what order are they applied? For example, a player who has both the Graviton power and the Calculator power could potentially create very different attack totals depending on the order in which these powers come into effect. Is this the choice of the player with those powers? And what if one or more of the powers is mandatory? Might these have to be played first, or can the player choose when in the given phase to play them?

 

5) The Calculator wild flare: if, after playing this flare, the opponent uses another game effect to swap their played attack card for a different attack card, does the flare affect the new card too? What if the new card changes the result of the Calculator's guess at an odd or even total? That is to say, does the card trigger as soon as the guess is correct and then affect the replacement card too; trigger as soon as the guess is correct, but then fail if the replacement card no longer creates the correct odd/even sum; or trigger for the first card and then simply no longer have an effect once that card is replaced (as it specificies that the effect reduces the opponent's card rather than their attack total)?

 

6) Okay, and this is a little more complicated, and arises from the lack of a clearly defined resolution order for cards played in response to each other: let's suppose that Player A plays an artifact, and Player B plays a Card Zap to prevent this. Now, let's suppose that Player A doesn't have a Card Zap of their own in their hand, but they do have a Hand Zap. If Player A plays the Hand Zap on themself in response to the Card Zap, and as a result draws a hand which includes a Card Zap, can they then play that Card Zap against Player B's Card Zap in order to allow their initial artifact to take effect? This essentially comes down to whether there's any idea of an effects-chain in the game, and if so, whether it is legal to interrupt a chain once it has started to be resolved.


Edited by rjb, 03 October 2013 - 05:17 PM.

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#12 jazzbjorn

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 11:41 AM

About "revealing" attack cards:

 

Some powers kick in if one reveals an Attack card (for instance Brute, Cudgel, and Deuce). But what happens if e.g. Cudgel reveals a Negotiate, and then uses the Human Wild Flare to turn it into an Attack 42? Can Cudgel then use its power, or not?



#13 rjb

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 05:14 AM

Some more questions from the weekend's games!

 

1) What happens to "stacks" when the Fungus loses its power? We generally assume that (for example) cards and tokens held on a race sheet are frozen there if the power is lost, and are reactivated if the power is regained. However, the fungus stacks are actually in play, and therefore actually require the racial power to be in play in order to exist at all.

 

2) Following on from this: what happens if a player uses the Schizoid wild flare against the Fungus? The new player would inherit that player's fungus stacks along with their fleet, but wouldn't have the power to use them. We came to the conclusion that this should be treated in the same way as if the new player had just lost the Fungus power and been left with these stacks under their control... But as above, it's still not clear what should happen in that circumstance, either!

 

3) The Cosmic Energy Generator: when it is captured, does it lose a token (as it was on the losing side of the encounter), or gain two (as it is now on the winning side)? We played that it lost a token, largely because it already seems to gain tokens so quickly that it creates quite an over-powerful ability. (I can't help but think that this station would be better-balanced if it required 10 tokens before it counts as a colony, could only hold a maximum of 5 tokens, or didn't gain tokens from battles won as an ally, as it currently seems to gain tokens so quickly that it almost might as well just count as an extra colony right from the start of the game...)

 

4) The Converter: does this power allow a player to draw a card at the beginning of a regroup phase if the player has no ships in the warp?



#14 rjb

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:21 AM

Played three games last night, raising a few additional queries:

 

1) Do flares return to the Miser's hoard after being played?

 

2) The Temporal Matrix: is it possible to draw new tech instead of taking the second encounter provided by this satellite? The implication of the card wording is that only an encounter can be taken, but it feels like a note to confirm this might be sensible, since it would usually be acceptable to draw tech instead of taking a second encounter.

 

3) The Schizoid power is quite specifically worded as "Any player who has completed the normal victory condition may play a Cosmic Zap on you at any time to win the game", and I wonder if this is deliberately meant to mean that only a player with five or more foreign colonies can do this, and that only they would win as a result?

 

Obviously, it would not usually be possible to zap an ongoing power like this, so the rules being specific makes sense, but it feels like a more consistent way for the zap to work would be for any players who have five or more foreign colonies to joint-win when the zap was used, since the zap should immediately remove the Schizoid's power from play for all players. Otherwise, in a game in which all players have reached five colonies, the game becomes a race to draw a Cosmic Zap and win, whereas it would seem much more conducive to interesting gameplay if players at that point were inclined to attempt to destroy other players' colonies before playing their zap, in order to secure a solo victory!

 

The other point with this is that it specifies that only a player who has met the normal victory conditions can play the zap in the first place, which again seems to lead to less interesting gameplay, as there are circumstances in which it might actually be in a player's interests to zap the power when they have not reached five or more foreign colonies (one example that comes to mind would be if a player with the Xenophile super flare were losing badly enough that they wanted to trigger a shared win for two of the other players in order to join it!)

 

Overall, I wonder if the card has been worded so specifically deliberately in its literal interpretation, or whether the implication is meant to be that the above situations are intended to be allowed? (Personally, I prefer the interpretation that allows the more interesting gameplay options, but of course, the card is currently worded against this...)


Edited by rjb, 12 October 2013 - 08:21 AM.

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#15 CosmicBerlin

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:27 PM

Questions from tonight's session:

 

1) In which order are compensations and rewards done? It can get complicated with Mercenary's and Ghoul's powers and wild flares, which allow the offense and the defense to receive rewards in addition to the allies: Let's say Mercenary plays an attack card, his/her opponent plays a negotiate card and loses. What happens next?

 

2) If a flare shows the Resolution phase icon, but its text says "at the end of the encounter.." or similar, do you have to wait until compensation is done or can you play it immediately to protect it from getting drawn from you?


Edited by CosmicBerlin, 11 November 2013 - 03:21 PM.


#16 phillie

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:08 AM

I noticed in the previous FAQ it was stated that two-player rules would be released as soon as you get a chance... are you still planning to release this? Would be awesome!

In any case: It's gonna be great to get a updated FAQ! Thanks guys!

Love this game!



#17 CosmicBerlin

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:58 PM

1) Is it intended that Arcade can use its power to pwn one ship even if he lost (against Human, Loser or Pacifist) after playing an attack card versus a negotiate card?


Edited by CosmicBerlin, 10 November 2013 - 03:30 PM.


#18 rjb

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 05:08 AM

Only one additional query from last night's game:

 

1) Is the intention of the last line of the first paragraph of the Entropy Beast's wording that all players lose the game if as a result of the effect in the previous sentence a player is reduced to fewer than three home planets (which is how we've chosen to interpret it so far); or should it be taken as a second effect, meaning that as long as the Beast is in play, any time a player is reduced below three home planets as a result of any other game effect (for example the Omega Missile, etc.), all players lose?


Edited by rjb, 28 October 2013 - 05:09 AM.


#19 CosmicBerlin

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 05:26 PM

Questions from tonight's session:

 

1)  Can Kamikaze use its power multiple times during the planning phase to sacrifice one ship at a time or must all ships be sacrificed at once before drawing any cards? (See also question 9 from one of my previous posts.)

 

2) A main player is asked by Seeker who is an ally whether he will play a specific card and answers yes. Then his opponent Visionary requests him to play a different card which he also has in his hand. Which card must he play now?

 

3) FAQ 1.0 establishes that after you play a flare, it re-enters your hand "immediately after resolving its effect". Unfortunately it is ambiguous in some cases:

 

a) When are the effects of Wild Philanthropist, Wild Plant, Wild Butler and Wild Warrior resolved, after lending/stealing a power or else starting the extra encounter or at the end of the encounter?

 

b) Do all flares that say "for the rest of this encounter ..." remain on the table until the end of this encounter?


Edited by CosmicBerlin, 17 December 2013 - 10:31 AM.


#20 rjb

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:48 AM

A further query from Sunday's session:

 

1) The Finder, played by the Glutton: does this allow the Glutton to name three cards prior to looking through the opponent's hand? Or to name one card and then take two additional cards of their choice? Or does the Glutton's power only work when drawing at random from an opponent's hand?

 

(Actually, I've always thought that the Finder itself is a slightly unbalanced card in general, since its primary effect is ostensibly to steal a card, but as it also allows a player to look at another player's hand, that becomes its most powerful use. I've often wondered why the "look at hand" effect was included at all?)


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