Cosmic Encounter:Alien Politics of Outer Space

Intergalactic warfare is as much a game of politics as it is an epic battle among the stars. In the card game Cosmic Encounter, you’ll form shifting alliances with other alien races in an attempt to spread your colonies to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and win the game. If you’re a fan of fantasy card games that offer plenty of opportunities for strategy and backstabbing, you’ll love Cosmic Encounter.

Offense vs..Defense

Cosmic Encounter assigns each player the role of leader of their very own alien race. On every turn, a different player becomes the offense and must try to establish colonies in the planetary systems of the other players. The offense will draw cards from the destiny deck, which contain either a color that aligns with certain planets in other player’s systems, a special condition for selecting another player, or a wild card that lets you choose who to attack.

Once the card is drawn, the offense will shoot through the hyperspace gate and head to the planet that matches their card. The other players are not left defenseless, however. They can engage their ships to try and keep the offense out of their system, resulting in a battle between the ships of the two opposing players.

In Cosmic Encounter, both the offense and the defense are allowed to invite any of the other players to ally with their side. Players who are given an invitation can either accept or refuse. If they accept, they can add their own ships to the cause and potentially win rewards.

Attack or Negotiate?

To successfully build a colony on another planet, you need to win one of these offensive encounters. The way these battles work is by drawing Encounter cards, which will decide whether or not the players attack, negotiate, or a mixture of the two. If both players play Attack cards, then they add the values of the cards to their ships, leaving the player with the higher score the winner.

If both players play Negotiate cards, then the allies disperse and the offense and defense must agree to a deal within one minute. This can be anything from swapping cards to allowing one of the defensive player’s colonies to be established on the offensive player’s planet. If they don’t reach an agreement, then both players lose three of their ships. 

In encounters in which the offense wins, the defense (and any allies on their side) lose all of the ships they played, while the offense and their allies get to establish colonies on the defending planet. If the defense wins, then the offense and their allies lose their ships, while the defense gets to keep their colony on their planet. Defensive allies then get to collect Defender Rewards, which are either cards, discarded ships, or both.

If one player plays an Attack card and the other plays a Negotiate card, then the attacker automatically wins while the loser receives Compensation by randomly taking cards from the other player’s hand. Once one player manages to establish five colonies outside of their own home system, they win the game!

Cosmic Encounter Later Editions

Cosmic Encounter has a few standalone sequels that flip the script of the original card game and add new mechanics and possibilities to the game. Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition adds a newly discovered alien species while also introducing Cosmic Combo cards that add customizable challenges to the game.

Cosmic Encounter Duel takes the mechanics of the 3-5 player card game and turns it into a one-on-one standoff between two players. This sequel card game adds a new alien species known as the Cheater, which can help you cheat your way ahead as long as your opponent doesn’t catch you.

Conquer the Galaxy with Cosmic Encounter

Cosmic Encounter is a 3-5 player card game that’s usually best for small groups of friends, although families can enjoy it as well. It’s suitable for ages 12 and up, so teenagers in particular will be able to enjoy the thrill of intergalactic warfare. Playing time lasts around one to two hours, which is pretty standard for most fantasy card games.

Buy Cosmic Encounter today and use your alien powers to conquer the universe!

 

Root: The Fate of The Forest Lies In Your Hands

War board games often take place over sprawling maps of the Earth, forcing you to deploy troops and battleships in the reenactment of historic wars. Root combines your classic war board game with elements of fantasy, replacing the battlefield with a beautiful woodland forest beset by warring factions. Players will draw cards, maneuver their furry little woodland creature tokens, and fight for the right to call the forest theirs. Will you help decide the fate of the forest in your favor?

The Four Factions

Root takes place in a great and beautiful woodland, over which four separate factions are warring for control. The evil Marquise de Cat has seized the woodland in order to scour it for riches to line her pocketbook. Her efforts have thus created an Alliance of woodland creatures to secretly fight back and subvert her evil rule.

Meanwhile, the Eyrie at the edge of the region has just elected a new commander to lead their faction to victory, restoring their rule over the forest as is their birthright. Lastly, the mysterious raccoon Vagabond is playing all sides of the conflict for his own personal gain. While he can navigate the more dangerous woodland paths, his own mysterious quest is unknown to all except himself.

Exploring the Forest

This board game comes with many different rules regarding each faction, so you’ll need to understand what your opponents are up to if you want any chance of beating them. While the Cats are focused on building workshops, lumber mills, and barracks, the Alliance works in the shadows. Their goal is to recruit more forces to their cause and muster their resources for one final battle at the end of the game.

The Eyrie is trying to take back to Woods with their hawks, so they’ll try to capture as much territory as possible and populate it with their roosts. Lastly, the Vagabond will work with the other players in an effort to collect enough items to power their own actions. Players can also engage in combat with each other, using each battle to further their overarching strategy.

Players will interact with a common deck of cards in order to accomplish their tasks. Each card has its own action text and suit, such as the “Mouse-in-a-sack” which allows you to draw a card and then discard a card. One of the best parts of Root comes from exploring the vast game board, learning all of the different rules for each faction, and playing around with the cute little woodland creature tokens.

Root Expansions

Root comes with several expansions that add new factions and cooperative scenarios.The Riverfolk expansion adds two new factions: the Riverfolk Company and the Lizard Cult. This allows Root to be played with up to six players instead of four. The Underworld expansion adds the Great Underground Duchy faction and the Corvid Conspiracy faction as well as two new maps for players to fight on.

The Clockwork expansion of Root allows you to add automated factions to the game, which can help supplement games when you don’t have enough players. This makes Root playable by only one player, giving you the ability to turn this group game into a solo game.

Stake Your Claim of the Forest with Root

Root is playable by 2-4 players, but you can make it anywhere from 1-6 by adding one of the expansions. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, although younger players may have a harder time keeping all of the rules straight in their heads. Playing time lasts between 60-90 minutes, so it’s perfect for a game night with family or friends.

Root is very fun to play, although it does take a while to learn all of the rules by heart. Luckily it comes with a comprehensive guidebook that you can reference to make sure that the evil Marquise de Cat isn’t about to break up your hidden little Alliance with her dastardly ways. Once you’ve played the game a few times through, Root will be sure to become one of your favorite board games.

Buy Root today and enjoy the strategic depth of this fantasy board game!

 

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