Additional Rules for Cosmic Encounter

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Additional Rules for Cosmic Encounter

The Game of Intergalactic Conquest

Cosmic Encounter is a game that tests your strategic thinking and negotiation skills as you aim to conquer other planets and establish your dominance in the galaxy. It’s a complex and challenging game, but once you grasp the additional rules, you can elevate your gameplay to new heights.

Interpreting Special Abilities

One of the key elements of Cosmic Encounter is the diverse range of alien species, each with their own unique abilities. These special abilities can be a double-edged sword, granting you powerful advantages while also presenting challenges and limitations.

When someone plays a card that allows them to use their special ability, it’s important to fully understand how that ability works. Take the time to carefully read and interpret the special abilities of other players. By doing so, you can anticipate their moves and plan your strategy accordingly.

Alliances and Negotiation

If you’re looking for an extra edge in Cosmic Encounter, alliances and negotiation are your go-to strategies. Forming alliances with other players can significantly increase your chances of victory. Together, you can pool your resources and launch joint attacks on your opponents, making it harder for them to defend against your onslaught.

However, forming alliances is not just about brute force. Negotiation plays a crucial role. Use your persuasive skills to convince other players to join forces with you. Offer enticing deals, promise future assistance, or appeal to their sense of self-interest. Remember, in Cosmic Encounter, trust is a valuable currency, and knowing when to make or break an alliance is vital to your success.

Uses of Cosmic Tokens

Cosmic Tokens are a currency in the game that can be used to influence the outcome of encounters. Understanding the different uses of Cosmic Tokens is crucial for strategic gameplay.

One way to use Cosmic Tokens is to add them to your side of the encounter. By doing so, you can increase your chances of winning or even tip the scales in your favor. However, be cautious, as your opponents can also use Cosmic Tokens to counter your moves, creating a back-and-forth struggle for dominance.

Another use of Cosmic Tokens is to negotiate with other players. You can offer Cosmic Tokens as bribes or incentives to convince others to join your cause or make beneficial deals.

Lastly, Cosmic Tokens can be used to invoke certain alien abilities or game effects. Some alien species have abilities that require Cosmic Tokens to activate. By strategically managing your Cosmic Tokens, you can unleash powerful moves and surprise your opponents.


In conclusion, mastering the additional rules of Cosmic Encounter is an essential step to becoming a skilled player. By thoroughly understanding the interpretation of special abilities, leveraging alliances and negotiation, and strategically managing Cosmic Tokens, you can gain a significant advantage in the game. So, embrace the complexity and challenge yourself to conquer the galaxy!

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Are you ready to delve deeper into the rules of Cosmic Encounter? Let’s explore some additional guidelines that will help you navigate this thrilling game.

Discover the Aliens

As you embark on your cosmic adventure, you will take on the role of an alien species. Each player is assigned an alien sheet which holds the key to their unique abilities. Every alien sheet showcases the name of the species and its extraordinary power. Expect a surprise at the top of each sheet – the power summary is cleverly written upside-down for all players to easily grasp.

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Hey there! Let’s dive into the world of aliens, shall we?

At the bottom of every alien sheet, you’ll find some important info. This handy section will tell you what you need in order to use that alien’s power. Easy-peasy, right?

Now, take a look at that upper blue bar. It’s like a clue, pointing you in the right direction. It shows you which role you must have to use the alien’s power. Cool, huh? You might need to be the main player or a defensive ally, for example.

So, remember, next time you want to unleash an alien’s power, take a peek at the bottom of the sheet for the prerequisites. Then, check out the upper blue bar to see if you have the right role. You got this!

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If I’m the offense or defense, I can use this cool alien power. But if I’m an ally or just sitting out, I can’t use it.

The orange bar tells me if the power is a must or a choice. If it’s a must, I gotta use that alien’s power whenever I can. If it’s a choice, I can decide if I want to use that alien’s power when I have the chance.

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Okay, so here’s the deal. If you’re playing this game and you have this amazing alien power, you absolutely have to use it. It’s not like you can just let it sit there, gathering dust. No way! You’ve got to unleash it, show the world what you’re made of!

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When I’m playing, I can decide if I want to use this cool alien power whenever I have the chance.

The bar at the bottom of the screen, with the blue color, shows me when I can use the alien’s power. It’s divided into different parts, and some of them are highlighted in orange. During those highlighted parts, I can activate the alien’s power and do something awesome.

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When you’re planning your moves, you have the option to use this special alien power.

Keep an Eye on the Alert Lamps

Each alien has an alert lamp that comes in three colors: green, yellow, and red. These lamps show how complex an alien’s power is. Green means the power is simpler, yellow means it’s medium complexity, and red means it’s more complex.

It’s important to note that the complexity of an alien’s power doesn’t determine its strength. Aliens with green lamps can be just as powerful as those with red lamps.

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Green, Yellow, and Red Alert Lamps

Use Reinforcement Cards Strategically

Reinforcement cards give you a clever way to increase the total for either side when you’re in an encounter.

When it’s time for the main players to show their encounter cards, we all have a chance to play reinforcement cards. These cards can help us either when we’re attacking or defending. The value of each reinforcement card gets added to the total of the player who played it.

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When I finish resolving an encounter, I have to get rid of the reinforcement cards that were used, as well as the encounter cards that were revealed and resolved.

Let’s Talk About Artifact Cards

Artifact cards give me some really awesome powers, but I can only use them once. When I play an artifact card, it does whatever it says on the card. Just like those alien sheets, these cards have bars that show me what I need to do in order to play them.

Once I play an artifact card, I have to discard it.

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The Power of Zapping

Hey, did you know that in the game of Cosmic Encounter, there’s this awesome thing called the “Cosmic Zap”? It’s an artifact card that lets you cancel an alien’s power. How cool is that? When you zap an alien’s power, they can’t use it again for the rest of the game. Pretty neat, right?

Now, here’s the thing: not all alien powers can be zapped. Some alien powers don’t even require being used, so you can’t zap those. They’re like little loopholes in the game. But when an alien power can be zapped, it adds a whole new level of strategy!

Let me give you an example. Take the Warrior alien. When the Warrior uses its power to add to its total during an encounter, you can zap it. That means the Warrior’s power won’t work for that encounter. But, and this is important, you can’t zap the Warrior when it’s just adding tokens to its alien sheet. Those little tokens are off-limits to the zap!

Now, let’s talk about the Zombie alien. The Zombie is known for its power to save its own ships from going to the warp. Pretty handy, right? Well, not if you zap it! Zapping the Zombie stops it from using its power to save ships. But here’s the catch: you can’t zap the Zombie when it’s freeing other players’ ships as part of a deal. That’s one power that can’t be zapped, even though it seems like it should be!

Saying Goodbye to Home Planets and Alien Powers

When you remove all of your ships from one of your home planets, you lose that planet. Unfortunately, you can’t bring your ships back to your lost planets. Even though you can still defend your lost planets, you won’t have any ships to add to your total anymore. However, don’t worry! You can always re-establish colonies on your lost planets.

If you ever have less than three home colonies, you lose your alien power. This means you won’t be able to use any part of the power on your alien sheet. To show that your alien’s power is lost, you need to flip your alien sheet facedown.

If you manage to get three or more home colonies again after losing your alien power, you will immediately regain your alien power. Just flip your alien sheet faceup to signify this.

The Colony Track

The colony track is a way for us to keep track of the number of foreign colonies each player has. It shows us how many foreign colonies we have at any given time. If we gain or lose a foreign colony, we need to adjust our colony marker on the colony track to match the new number of colonies we have. This helps us stay on top of our progress in the game.

Did you know that if we manage to establish our fifth foreign colony, we win the game? It’s an exciting achievement! And if multiple players reach their fifth foreign colony at the same time, we all win together. It’s a moment of shared victory!

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The colony track reflects the number of foreign colonies each player has.

No Encounter Cards in Hand

When I run out of encounter cards in my hand during certain times in the game, I have to follow a special rule:

1. During the Start Turn Phase, if I don’t have any encounter cards, I have to get rid of my hand and draw eight new cards. I keep doing this until I have at least one encounter card in my hand.

2. After a successful first encounter, if I don’t have any encounter cards, I can’t have a second encounter that turn.

3. During an encounter, before I choose any cards during the Planning Phase, if I don’t have any encounter cards (because of an alien power or some other game effect), my turn ends right away. Any ships I had committed are returned to my colonies.

When I find myself in a situation where I don’t have any encounter cards to play as the defense, I have the option to play any other cards in my hand that are suitable for the current phase. Once I’ve played those cards, I must then discard my entire hand and draw eight new cards. I will continue this process until I have at least one encounter card in my hand.

Now let’s talk about bystanders. Bystanders are foreign colonies that exist on a planet where an encounter is taking place. These colonies don’t participate in the encounter and aren’t affected by its outcome. They’re just there, watching everything unfold.

When an ally is committing ships, they can choose to take ships from any of their own colonies or any foreign colonies, including bystanders. So they have the flexibility to gather their forces from different sources.

To help you visualize this, imagine a scenario where the purple player is attacking the green player. In this situation, the yellow player’s colony is considered a bystander, meaning it doesn’t factor into the encounter and remains unaffected.

Remember, when you’re playing Cosmic Encounter, these rules regarding defense and bystanders are important to keep in mind. They add an extra layer of complexity and strategy to the game, making each encounter unique and exciting.

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