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!


Bang!: Sheriffs, Outlaws, and the Wild, Wild West

Have you always had a thing for good old-fashioned spaghetti westerns?  Does the thought of throwing on a pair of cowboy boots and trying out your best John Wayne impression sound like a good time to you?  Check out “Bang!”, the card game that pits Sheriffs, Deputies, Outlaws, and Renegades against each other to see who will be the last one standing.  With secret roles, hilarious characters, and mixed alliances, “Bang!” is an exciting card game that will add a bit of flair to your game night.

Role Cards

“Bang!” is a card game that assigns each player one of four roles.  Each role comes with its own hidden objective that the player needs to achieve if they want to win the game.  As a good upstanding citizen, the Sheriff needs to kill all the Outlaws as well as the Renegade.  The Deputy is his humble sidekick who’s tasked with protecting the Sheriff and killing any Outlaws.  The dangerous Outlaw wants to kill the Sheriff, and the Renegade wants to kill everybody.

Character Cards

Once you learn your role, you keep that information hidden for the rest of the game as you try to work your secret agenda.  Character cards, on the other hand, will be laid bare on the table for everyone to see.  The hilarious cards add a bit of humor and intrigue to the game by imbuing everyone with a strength and special ability.

Many character cards are inspired by famous people, with cards such as Bart Cassidy (named after Butch Cassidy) or Jesse Jones (named after Jesse James) some of the most entertaining choices of the bunch.  These cards will give you special abilities such as the ability to discard cards for life points or play an unlimited number of “Bang!” cards.

Who’s The Winner?

Gameplay is divided into turns in clockwise order starting with the Sheriff.  You start by drawing two cards before playing however many cards you choose to either help yourself or hurt the other players.  You can then get rid of whatever cards you don’t want to use.  “Bang!” cards are the real explosive elements of the game, as these allow you to fire on other players in the style of a real western shootout.

As players draw their weapons and the number of people in the game dwindles, things tend to become a lot more heated.  Once the Sheriff is killed, the game ends for everyone.  Because nobody knows who anyone is except for the Sheriff, this leaves plenty of time for sabotage and surprise attacks.  Most of the fun of “Bang!” comes from double-crossing the other players!

Expansions Of Bang!

“Bang!” comes with quite a few expansions that are inspired by different Westerns and make gameplay even more exciting.  The High Noon expansion adds different scenarios to the game that help or hinder certain players, while the Dodge City expansion adds comical new characters and dynamic new play cards.

A Fistful Of Cards comes with many new scenarios that can be mixed with the High Noon expansion, allowing you to play “Bang!” countless times without it ever being the same.  Or, if you’d like something a little more modern, you can play “Bang!: The Walking Dead” to take on murderous zombies instead of Outlaws and Renegades.

Bang! Be The Last One Standing

Although “Bang!” deals with stick-em-ups and shootouts, the game is simple and appropriate enough for ages 10 and up.  It also works for 4-7 players, which means that bigger families can get everyone involved in the fun.  Game time lasts between around 20-40 minutes, although the later expansion packs can make the game last longer and fit more players.

All in all, “Bang!” is a comical and stylized card game that capitalizes off of the fun of spaghetti westerns and the competitive spirit.  The luck of the draw means that you never know who’s your ally and who’s your enemy, which makes the game a lot more interesting as everyone is forced to fend for themselves.  If you’re looking to raise the stakes and add a little competition to game night, try “Bang!” for a bit of good old-fashioned fun.



How to Play Bang

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