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  1. Moons are a must. Cosmic will never be truly complete without them.
  2. The answers above are correct, but it's also worth noting that some other effects which cause ships to be lost specifically say "from colonies." Squee is not one of these effects, so the Squee-affected ships indeed can (and sometimes must) be lost from the hyperspace gate, as the others have said above. Squee's text even has a little reminder of this when it says "any three of his or her ships." (Which means the ships could probably even be lost from a tech card they are researching, although the rules about about ships researching tech are not as clear as they might seem on first glance, or maybe even a weird place like the Alliance hazard card. It does say "any.") But I digress. My point is, on some effects the text is more restrictive. Here are a few examples: Shadow: "Whenever any other player's color or a special destiny card that targets another player is drawn from the destiny deck, use this power to choose one of that player's ships from any colony of your choice and send it to the warp." (Note how Shadow's own text disproves the rulebook's incorrect example of Shadow removing a ship from a tech card.) Ying-Yang: "Each main player who has a yin-yang token when his or her opponent loses ships to the warp from the encounter must lose an equal number of ships from his or her colonies." Classic Edition Wild Empath: "As a main player, for the rest of this encounter, you may remove one ship from any colony (your choice) to the warp from each other player who does not say "Sir" or "Ma'am" (whichever is appropriate) each time he or she speaks." So again, the answers given earlier are still correct, but are not to be taken as an absolute statement for all game effects. You always have to read the texts carefully.
  3. Hoax is a game I've wanted to pick up for a long time. This looks like it will be a nice revision.
  4. Now, a less theoretical and more practical response. The next time somebody tries to tell you that zero does not count as a number for special destiny cards, try asking them who they think is supposed to be the defense when nobody has any ships in the warp. Or, ask them which alien has the "fewest eyeballs in its image": Tripler (3), Human (2), Mind (1), or Void (0).
  5. The explanation for this is probably less about stupidity and more about intellectual dishonesty. This world seems to be full of people who want to believe that logic and truth are subjective things (it's more convenient that way, I guess), and they will argue for the interpretation that meets their desires at the moment. Sometimes they will argue the opposite interpretation of the same principle the next time it comes up; just depends upon what they want at the time. One time, a Ph.D. chemist tried to tell me that nothing was absolute. He claimed to believe that there must be places in the universe where pi had a different value; that the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius was not a constant. Was he an idiot? No. Was he stoned at the time? No. I think he had just backed himself into a stupid corner and made a statement he didn't really believe in, because he wanted to win an argument that absolutely nothing was absolute (see what I did there?). I'm not saying this explains every occurrence, but in my experience playing games for five decades, sometimes people just want a game situation to go their way or to harm somebody else and they seem to have no qualms about pretending that logic and mathematics are malleable. Especially when a bunch of them can gang up on somebody and vote down the rational answer with sheer numbers.
  6. This is resolved on the Cosmic Dominion rulesheet. You get to see the card backs and can thus focus on cosmic-back cards or reward-back cards.
  7. Actually the design intent is that Mesmer can manufacture any aritfact that exists in the official FFG Cosmic Encounter gameplay universe. It's strong, yes, but not broken. Rolling his own Omni-Zaps requires Mesmer to pay two different costs: the ship loss, and the loss of an artifact that could have been used for another purpose. Plus he had to have an artifact in his hand in the first place. Strong aliens like this also have "soft disadvantages" that are easy to overlook, such as the fact that his hand is a magnet for theft and destruction. Compensation, Finder, Hand Zap, Angler, Pickpocket ... other players will be very motivated to torch and raid Mesmer's hand often. In fact, a smart Mesmer finds ways to use his gifts to help other players also, and thus benefit from the resulting allegiances. Finally, his power is already very dependent upon luck of the draw. Sometimes Mesmer will have almost no power at all due to not drawing artifacts.Quartermaster will deny him artifacts consistently. These limitations require that there be other times when his power is scary-good, so that it balances out over the long haul.
  8. That isn't a legal play. Since you have already announced the use of your power, the only actions that can be played now are actions that cancel or otherwise modify your power use. So he could play Cosmic Zap, or something that says "if a player is about to take cards from you," or something else specifically related to your power. But his Force Field is not a specific response and thus has to wait for the current action to finish. In other words, Cosmic Encounter does not have an "action stack" like, say, Magic the Gathering. Responses to actions (and responses to responses) of course can stack up, but "top-level" game actions have to wait their turn.
  9. The rule that allies have to pull from your own system before taking ships from elsewhere seems counterproductive. Allies are probably not going to abandon a foreign colony just to send more ships into an encounter. This seems like a big disincentive for allies. You seem to be trying to fix perceived story problems, but this creates its own story inconsistency between the offense and the allies. I don't understand some of your other points, like what a "treaty of sorts" means, or why targeting a colony of, say, four ships instead of two would scare Parasite away from using his power. My recommendations would be that you play the physical game many times before trying to fix it. Also, a spell checker and a bit more attention to capitalization can help your presentation. Folks are more likely to take the time to give a thoughtful response if there's some obvious effort put into presenting the question properly.
  10. I for one do not want to spend any money on an FAQ in an expansion that I could instead download from the internet for free. Everything they put in the box costs money to print and ship. For whatever that FAQ would cost, I'd much rather have new content (even if it's just a new cardboard token, or one silver plastic ship to use for The Prometheus.) It's all about opportunity cost.
  11. Skipped and redrawn seems to be the simplest thing to do, but it should be on the card. Another problem with Invader is the counting of encounters. It's very important to know which encounter a player is on (1st, 2nd, etc.) because this determines whether or not you get to continue your turn, and also needs to be known for effects like Lightning, Wild Lightning, Wild Machine, and Temporal Matrix. But Invader says "After you have an extra encounter due to an 'Invasion!' destiny card, the player who drew it during his or her turn receives another encounter." The word "another" clearly means that a new encounter is starting, so if the player had been on his first encounter, when Invader is finished the original player is now on his second. Surely that must not have been the intent, since Invader's encounter is clearly called an extra encounter, and it really should be treated as such for consistency with all the other effects that grant extra encounters. Also, this cheats the original player out of one of his encounters. Invader probably needs errata to say "After you have an extra encounter due to an “Invasion!” destiny card, the player who drew it during his or her turn restarts his or her encounter." This should be the full totals, for consistency with everything else. Best not to muddy the waters by having two different kinds of encounter totals. For simplicity, this should mean "do not have the powers together in the same game in any way": not used opposing each other, not used together, not chosen at the start of the game, and not brought in later by some other effect. It's unfortunate if a player loses his starting choices altogether just because somebody else has the alien that knocks his out, so I would recommend allowing at least a minimum choice: During Game Setup, if a conflict arises because of a Do Not Use restriction, the alien that has the printed restriction is removed from the game. (The one without the restriction remains in play.) The affected player may then choose either to use the second alien he or she was dealt and rejected, or to draw a replacement flare from the unused flare deck and become that alien (redrawing if another conflict arises, of course). This way, the player at least has a choice. It's more limited than his original choice since he's choosing between an alien he rejected and an unseen random one, but on the other hand he now has the benefit of knowing what everyone else has chosen, and the one he rejected might even seem a bit more desirable now. Agree wholeheartedly. There are currently four such powers: Coordinator, Gambler, Magician, and Sadist. Gambler and Magician have really easy fixes to work with Sorcerer and Oracle, and players have been using the Gambler/Sorcerer fix for decades. The silly thing is, Magician already needs errata anyway so that it can coexist with its own flare, Wild Magician, which is guaranteed to be in the game! And the required errata will fix the Oracle interaction basically "for free." Here are the patches: Add to Magician: If another game effect requires you to play your card first (e.g., Oracle, Wild Magician), you must do so. You then still use this power, but may not change the card you played. Add to Gambler: If another game effect switches the encounter cards (e.g., Sorcerer), you may still bluff about the card you originally played, forcing your opponent to accept or challenge your claim about the card that he or she would now reveal. If another game effect forces you to show your card early (e.g., Oracle), you may use this power at that time. Sadly, there's not really anything we can do about Sadist and Coordinator; they are pretty much stuck with their "tramp stamps." Also, a lot of players have commented that Masochist really should say "Do Not Use with Healer." As much as I hate tramp stamps, I am forced to agree; Healer completely makes Masochist into a non-power. Space stations swap for sure, since they are already part of the home system. Tech cards are not actually part of your home system, they are an aspect of the player, so errata will be required to define how they should be handled. Potential options include (a) swapping uncompleted techs, (b) swapping techs still being researched, © swapping all techs, (d) sending researching ships back to colonies, and (e) requiring researching ships to return to colonies and/or transfer to researchable techs of the new player (new owner's choice). Wild Schizoid creates other problems, such as completely breaking aliens that say "This power cannot be lost, stolen..." (Horde, Pygmy, Symbiote). This is why the template was expanded in Cosmic Storm, and Roach and Swindler say "This power cannot be stolen, copied, or separated from your player color through any means." The FAQ should probably say that Horde, Pygmy, and Symbiote should be understood to have the same addition. I disagree that "at the start of an encounter" means any time during the regroup phase. Start means start; if you've done a bunch of regular regroup activities, then the start window has already passed. All start-of-phase activities have to be done before any other non-start-of-phase activities; similarly, all start-of-encounter activities have do be done before any other non-start-of-encounter activities. Unfortunately you are correct about Merchant's timing, and hired ships do actually "land on the planet." This was a design flaw and has other problems besides Saboteur (think about Gorgon; yuck). So probably errata is appropriate here. Might as well fix that problem and the missing reference to capturing all in one shot; something along the lines of "Any hired ship that goes to the warp, is captured, or is removed from the game is discarded. Otherwise, hired ships become normal cards again and return to your hand at the end of the encounter instead of landing on a planet." Hmm, now that I think about it, the following would be much more bullet-proof: Any hired ship that should land on a planet becomes a normal card again and returns to your hand. All other hired ships are discarded. This should take care of any weird situation that we forgot about or that comes along in the future. (It's amazing how often analyzing a wording to figure out what is really the core thing we're trying to say will usually make it shorter!) This is a tricky one. In general, zapping — or any other kind of power loss — has to shut off both use and non-use effects. (In previous editions of the game, there was no distinction between the two and so everything was deactivated.) Other ways to lose your power include having too few home colonies, and having it stolen/traded/discarded by something like Changeling, Wild Philanthropist, Plant, Wild Plant, Reincarnator, Wild Reincarnator, or Wild Sorcerer. However, some aliens have certain "residual" or "automatic" or "cleanup" effects that still need to operate regardless of power loss. These are scheduled, enqueued, or required by a previous use of some other part of the game text, or needed for cleanup or to keep the game engine running. They continue to take effect regardless of power loss (mostly this only occurs if something weird makes you lose a home colony after your power has been used but before the "scheduled" effect completes). Examples include Leviathan increasing his total after launching a worldship, and later sending that worldship back home, Loser affecting the encounter outcome after declaring an upset during Planning, Merchant counting hired ships in Reveal that were played during Planning and then returning or discarding those cards, Mirror reversing digits after declaring the reversal earlier, Seeker making an opponent honor the previously given answer, Deuce returning one of the revealed cards to hand, Fungus carrying his stacks around and then breaking them apart in the warp, Grudge’s opponents discarding their grudge tokens, and Locust counting devoured colonies even after the power is lost. After Cosmic Incursion came out, one of the playtesters told us that the internal instructions had been that "THE deck" always means just the cosmic deck. So Remora does not activate when a player draws from the reward deck (which is probably a good thing). Warhawk is an ongoing rules headache that is going to require some very careful analysis, with close attention paid to what General Principles are implied by the final ruling(s). I'm almost certain that errata are going to be required to make this alien play well in the sandbox. I can't stress this enough: as stated on all the expansion-set rulesheets, a Cosmic Quake affects only hands, and nothing else. It does not touch a hoard, cold storage, citadel cards, Industrialist’s stack, The Claw’s claw, Cyborg's bionics, cards “set aside” by a game effect like Chronos or Wild Cryo, the encounter card stored under Quark Battery, flares on the table waiting to resolve, encounter cards on the table in the planning or reveal phase, etc. Unfortunately, Kevin Wilson once said on BoardGameGeek that “no cards escape the quake.” I think he was trying to fix the “quake loop” problem (see below) but his statement has a number of unpleasant consequences. On the minor side, it means there need to be some patch rules and errata allowing things like The Claw and Cyborg to replenish their cards that otherwise would be gone for the rest of the game (since they only get replished via replacement). More major problems would include a series of rules to handle what happens when a quake scoops up one or more revealed encounter cards when the encounter is partially or fully resolved. So I will fight this with my last breath: only hands, nothing else. The "quake loop" problem is that the Cosmic Quake rule can create situations where somebody is in the middle of drawing for a certain effect and runs out of cards, but the Quake does not produce enough cards to finish the effect, so the player keeps drawing and quaking and drawing and quaking in an infinite loop. The solution to this is not to scoop up all cards in the game, since that creates even more and worse problems, but to amend the quake rule to say what happens when there aren't enough cards to give everyone an 8-card hand and still meet the demand of the current draw action. I have a proposal for that which is both fun and Cosmic, that I will discuss in a later post.
  12. No, for several reasons. First, Fungus says "Captured ships do not have special characteristics." Second, Vacuum says "When you lose ships to the warp," but in this case you aren't losing them; Fungus is. But even without those texts, I think there has to be an unwritten rule that when your ship is captured, it is no longer "yours" for normal purposes; it's only "yours" to the extent that certain game effects need to know who the original owner was, so that you can rescue it with a rescuing effect such as Super Symbiote, or so that something like Remote knows which player to victimize. In other words, a captured ship is only "yours" in the context of capturing-related effects. Otherwise, for the time being it's more of a marker, token, or prop than a fully-fledged ship. This is what the FAQ should focus on: writing the unwritten rules, the general principles, that help players answer lots of questions for themselves, rather than listing 20 pages of individual spot rulings that have to be individually consulted and that often end up contradicting each other. "Your planets" has to mean "home planets." There are several effects that move planets around, and none of them try to make the planet still be a home planet for you while in another player's system. Tracking this would be a big headache. So moving a planet to a different system means it's now treated as if began in that system. I realize this doesn't make sense for Pygmy; a planet changing size is indeed very hard to imagine. But that alien power doesn't really make sense in the first place. It should have been implemented as a special system (assuming such things ever materialize in this edition) rather than an alien power, because the entire effect has nothing to do with the aliens and everything to do with the special properties of their system. So a variety of storyline disconnects are going to happen with Pygmy no matter what, and theme can't be used to answer gameplay questions, nor should Pygmy's profoundly atypical design be allowed to corrupt the General Principle (which, again, needs to be written somewhere!). Same answer: it becomes a normal planet in The Claw's system. To do otherwise is simply too much of a headache to be worth the trouble. The next FAQ should definitely codify a general rule that when a planet moves to another system, it becomes a home planet in that system. I assume that rifts you give away do not explode since "giving" is not the same as "taking". If it were the same, playing Philanthropist would be even more powerful than it is already. Exchanging hands is somewhat a special case, therefor I am interested in a ruling on Trader the most. I've spent a lot of analysis time on this one. The first big problem is that the rules say "taken and not discarded" when they actually needed to say "taken and kept." Discarding isn't the only thing that prevents detonation; you might give the card away to somebody else, or remove it from the game, or place it facedown on the bottom of the deck, etc. After thorough analysis of many effects, I came to the conclusion that the way to make consistent interpretations that make intuitive sense is like this: A rift detonates if it comes from another player and you receive it to keep and you are specifically “taking” the card or it was your action that caused you to receive it. A rift does not detonate if it doesn’t come from another player or you don’t keep it or it wasn’t your “fault” that it came into your possession and nothing defined that you were “taking” it. If a game effect says you are taking a card, then of course you are taking a card. But sometimes you are still taking a card even if that specific word isn’t used. For example, compensation is always understood to be taking cards; even though it’s not always your intention to play a negotiate or to gain compensation, you are still taking compensation nonetheless. As another example, when Trader trades hands, he is giving his hand to (say) Macron and taking Macron’s hand, so rifts in Trader’s new hand would denotate. Macron is losing his hand to Trader and receiving Trader’s hand, so rifts in Macron’s new hand would not detonate (Macron is not actively taking cards, just receiving them). This interpretation is based on the understanding that Trader’s part is voluntary and Macron’s part is involuntary, helping us to align the outcome to the (presumed) intent. Applying these principles results in the following specific outcomes: Rifts do not detonate... When touched via Wild Vulch if you discard rather than keep them. When touched via Wild Industrialist. When acquired via Wild Chronos or Super Mite (you took them from the discard pile, not from a player). [Although in the case of Super Mite, exactly where you took them from is debatable!] When you are forced to discard one via Wild Hate. When collected as compensation if you use Wild Barbarian to discard them. When given to you by Philanthropist, Wild Ethic, Patriot, or Wild Trader. When you receive them because of Trader giving you his hand. Rifts do detonate... When collected as compensation, even if you had no choice in card selection because you had to take every card in the player’s hand (you are still taking compensation). When taken by Mutant, Wild Mutant, Outlaw, Wild Trader, or Barbarian (Wild Barbarian does not apply in these cases). When acquired by Trader taking another player’s hand. Rifts get messy... When randomized during an exchange such as by you using Wild Oracle.None detonate for your opponent (you are explicitly “giving” cards to him). If you take any rifts of a value that you didn’t have before, they all detonate. If you end up with more rifts of a particular value than you had before (i.e., having both Rift 4 cards when you started with only one of them), the extra one detonates. If each player started with one of the Rift 4 cards and both players ended up with one of them, you should just assume that they did not trade hands since there’s no way to prove otherwise. Exactly; there is no other option. So not a FAQ question. Now this one is a BIG question that was debated a lot on BoardGameGeek. There are many, many related questions all stemming from cards being modified in various ways. In short, does a modified card count as its original identity or its modified identity when something else references it? The conclusion we came to, after considering lots of modifying effects and lots of effects that refer to modified cards (and their intended outcomes), is "it depends." Phil Fleischmann articulated the General Principle that makes everything work smoothly and pretty much the way you would expect from an intuitive perspective: Unless otherwise specified, game effects that strictly affect encounter resolution — meaning those effects that impact encounter card types/values, kickers, reinforcements, main player totals, the method of determining the winner and loser, deals, compensation, rewards, and disposition of the involved ships such as landing on the planet, returning to colonies, going to the warp, etc. — all refer to the card’s current, modified type/value. Every other kind of game effect refers to the card's original, printed type/value (a.k.a. its “ink”). (When a card is physically replaced by another card, then all effects would of course use the new card.) So to answer your question, The Claw treats the morph as a morph and not as the attack card it is copying, because The Claw's power is not affecting the encounter's resolution; it's just a separate effect that is using the revealed cards as a trigger. So The Claw can only grab a planet from the player with the actual attack card. This is another oversight on the Cosmic Incursion rulesheet, but we learned from CI playtesters that the intention was apparently that "the deck" always means the cosmic deck. If an effect intends to allow both the cosmic and reward decks, then it needs to say something like "the appropriate deck" or "any deck" or "the deck it came from" or whatever makes sense. For example, Gambler needs errata to say "then place your encounter card facedown on the bottom of the appropriate deck instead of discarding it" so that it isn't forced to put reward cards under the cosmic deck.
  13. In one of your sessions we too were uncertain how to interpret it. "After the encounter ends, play resumes from where it left off." is confusing. Wild Butler has several problems and is a good candidate for errata. As the offense, at the start of your regroup phase, you may choose another player to be the offense for this encounter by saying "After you, I insist." The encounter is then carried out as usual, except that player must invite you to ally with him or her if possible. After the encounter ends, play resumes from where it left off. If that player wins or deals, it counts as a successful encounter for you. The "if possible" should take care of the situation where the flareholder ends up as the defense (and thus should not ally), as well as any future things like Negator or Silencer or whatever that might interfere with invitations. "Play resumes from where it left off" is problematic, since where play "left off" before the flare was used was in your Regroup phase! We certainly don't want to resume from there. Where we want to "resume" from is whatever would normally happen next if the flareholder had just finished winning or losing an encounter like his proxy did. If it was in lieu of his first encounter and his proxy won (or if he is the Machine, Lightning, etc.), then he can have another encounter. Otherwise, his turn is over. According to its text, the flare flare is not inserting an extra encounter; it is allowing you to pick somebody else to "be the offense" for that encounter. So it still functions as your first or second encounter of your turn. "After alliances are formed" cannot actually mean after the alliance phase, because effects with this label almost always have an Alliance icon, meaning it must happen during the alliance phase. Phrases like these effectively establish sub-phases within the phases. For example, from a timing perspective the Alliance phase has at least five distinct sub-phases: "before allies are invited" offense invites allies; defense invites allies "after allies are invited but before alliances are formed" allies accept/decline "after alliances are formed" An "after alliances are formed" effect does not require that any alliances were actually formed. All of these kinds of phrases are trying to pin down the timing, not set requirements on previous actions. I think there is an unwritten rule that most powers work "once per specified context." Citadel starts out with "During each player's turn...", which seems to establish the context. Now, I believe that what the writer actually intended was "During each player's encounter" and thus Citadel is another alien that needs errata, but that's a separate point. Either way, I don't think this particular effect gets to work after each destiny draw, since the reference to destiny seems to be establishing when it happens rather than the interval in which is can be used one time. The interval seems to be "during each turn/encounter" (whichever was actually intended). Completely agree that this one also needs errata. Certainly the author did not intend for them to all go into the discard pile and enter play! This should say "Then, remove the other nine flare cards from the game and ..." Agreed. Fungus trumps every ship-saver. Yes, those powers are very clear. Disease says "whenever any other player's color ... is drawn" and Poison says "each time a card with a hazard ... is drawn." (I don't think these need to waste space in the FAQ.)
  14. Your interpretation is what we use as well, and for the same reason. If we were to try to count Negotiates as zeroes for "win by" calculations, some cases would get downright ridiculous: like, did Pacifist just win by negative 12? Yuck. Yes. All "before encounter cards are selected" actions (including both Trader's power and playing a Kicker) can occur in any order between the start of the phase and the actual selection of cards, subject of course to the Timing Conflicts rule. Set-aside cards are not part of a hand. There seems to be an unwritten general rule (which should probably go into the FAQ) that most powers can be used "once per specified context." If there is a repeat of the planning phase, I'd say the specified context came up again and Trader can use his power again. (This is also consistent with the time-travel theme; and the fact that Chronos says "All other cards played since the start of the planning phase return to their owners' hands" implies a general reset for everything Planning-related except the opponent's card.) No, an in-progress flare, just like a set-aside card, is not part of the hand. The first FAQ actually states this: Q: After you play a flare, at what point does it re-enter your hand? A: Immediately after resolving its effect. So, for instance, when playing the Oracle Wild flare, you play the flare faceup in front of you, mix your hands together, get your new hand at random from the mixed cards, and then return the Oracle flare to your hand (since its effect is now finished). Yes, that's exactly right. I don't think this needs to go into the FAQ, since it is the direct result of applying the card texts. (If the FAQ included all of those kinds of weird interactions, there would be hundreds, if not thousands.)
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