IanTheCool's Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Cosmic Encounter – Cosmic Incursion: The Universe Expands

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Cosmic Encounter is one of the greatest board games out there. It’s fun, interactive, and full of variety. So hey, why not more of all of that stuff? The first expansion to the Fantasy Flight reprint of Cosmic is called Cosmic Incursion and adds to the game in three different ways: new alien races, a new card deck, and a sixth player option. Excellent. Let’s take a look.

Additions

The major addition this expansion provides (and likely the reason most people will buy it) is the twenty new aliens races. Yes, the base game already has 50 aliens, giving 2118760 different combinations of 5-player games. And yet it’s still easy to crave even more options! So even though more alien races really aren’t needed, they’re here.
Another great addition is ships and planets for a sixth player. Cosmic Encounter is the type of game that handles a large number of players well, since there is high interaction on everyone’s turn, so this is certainly welcome. The new ships come in orange look every bit as good as the other colours.
And finally, Incursion also adds the rewards deck. This is a new set of cards which players can pick from when receiving ally awards. There’s some pretty cool stuff in there like kickers, which multiply card values, and larger reinforcement cards. This is a great inclusion into the game as it gives more incentives to aid defenders and gives more variety to your card hands.

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Critique

Cosmic Encounter’s greatest feature is the variety of alien powers and how these powers interact and change the game. Therefore, I love having even more options for throwing the game into chaos. Some of the coolest aliens this time around are the Plant which can use other player’s powers, the Genius which wins if it collects enough cards, and the Sniveler which can whine to get what it wants (and which you can use to really annoy the other players at the table).
The reward deck is also a great addition that doesn’t change or interrupt the game, but just makes it a little better. It assists in interaction between all players and spices up the cards a bit. The sixth player is also great, since six seems to be a great number of players for a game of this sort. All in all, this expansion is 3 for 3. I am declaring it a cosmic success.

Expansion –
Base Game
Base Game & Expansion –

My Expansion Ratings
– The expansion improves upon the original base game.
– The expansion provides a differing experience than the base game but neither improves or detracts from the base game.
– The expansion is effective and provides an interesting new aspect, but the base game is still preferred.
– The expansion detracts from the base game.

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