Thursday, April 30, 2009

Finals format formalized for four finalists

It looks like we're good to go with three of the four qualifiers being joined by one alternate for tonight's championship round of the Much Madness league. Details emerged in a super-secret communique sent out by Cosmic Encounter designer Peter Olotka:
Sleepy Weasel (alternate, playing in Peter's slot)

Time: 9E/6P
Date: Thursday April 30

Format: First player to win two games is declared the winner; solo wins only; April Fools Pods will be in play. A series of combos will be played, in order, until one player has won two games.
It sounds like an interesting finals format; I like it. Personally, I'm glad to see we've gotten away from one-game, winner-take-all championships.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Who did what in the Much Madness league

Pictured below are the final standings for the Much Madness league at Cosmic Encounter Online. Congratulations to our four finalists; now, let's just hope that most of them can attend the all-important championship round.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

CE alien survey #23: VIRUS

First appearance: Eon base set

Plain-English power: Multiply your ships by your card (and then add allies).

Loved by: Low-total-wins powers, math nerds.

Loathed by: The rest of the cosmos.

Three ways to win as Virus:

  1. Don't be a bully. Virus is naturally an "outcast" power - everyone will hate you as soon as its sheet is turned face-up. Being nice in the early going (such as not blowing people up with four ships and a 15) will stop it from getting any worse.
  2. Your ships are valuable. Risk as few as you can in the opening so you'll have more left over in the end-game, where most good cards (such as the Zaps) are gone and you can really blow people away.
  3. If Anti-Matter or Loser is in the game, do what it takes to get the 00 card. Zero times anything is zero. (With that in mind, be very careful about having one of your home colonies vaccinated.)

Three ways to win against Virus:

  1. Deplete his resources. Use the Plague. Play N's. Target him as Vacuum or Hacker. Ionic Gas him. Virus can still bring it with few ships and low cards, so destroy as many as you can.
  2. Don't invite him. Virus generally doesn't need help getting a colony, and you don't want him to get more stuff (see #1).
  3. If you must go toe-to-toe with Virus (such as when he's going for the win), then just Zap him. Power-wise, Anti-Matter and Loser have an easy time dealing with him, while other powerhouses such as Warrior have a decent chance.

At CE Online? Yes.

Anything else? While a number of aliens have been in every released version of CE, Virus is one of the "Original Six," having appeared in the game's first prototype.

— Submitted by Toomai Glittershine

Friday, April 24, 2009

This just in: league finalists announced!

Details will follow soon-ish, but for now, here's your four survivors of the Much Madness league at Cosmic Encounter Online:
  • Hadsil
  • AP
  • Bill
  • Peter
Interesting ... looking at those last two names, I'd have to say that, clearly, the fix was in.

In any case, those four will meet for the league title, lots of m-rics, a Cosmic T-shirt, and everlasting fame and glory in a championship round to be played next week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Picture clearing up (sort of) at CEO league

After a few weeks where it seemed like every player was more or less tied for first place, a few leaders are finally beginning to emerge at Cosmic Encounter Online's ongoing Much Madness league. The standings below reflect seven sessions of Thursday-night madness:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh, no, Starlog ... say it isn't so!

Sad news recently for those of us who actually enjoy holding physical collections of words and pictures in our hands: Starlog is ceasing publication after more than 33 years of providing (mostly) great coverage of SF, fantasy, comics, and other genre-related items. From SciFi Wire:
Official word of Starlog's demise came in a posting last week on the site, buried five paragraphs deep in an update informing readers that had relaunched in beta as part of a "massive digital initiative" and touting the fact that a "Digital store," to launch next month, will feature digital editions of the entire Starlog catalog.
Yeah, that's just what the world needs: yet another "web portal" that tries to do too many things at once and fails at most of them. Epic fail.

And, yes, there is a Cosmic Encounter connection here. I'm almost positive that Future Pastimes used to run ads in Starlog, circa 1979 or 1980. I'm going to leaf through my back issues* to see if I can find one, scan it, and post it here.

(The video, BTW, is from 1984, and was an actual commercial from back in the days when we all got very few channels and didn't get to see any boobies on TV. That's how cool Starlog used to be; it had it's own frickin' commercial)

* I have the first 225 issues, all bagged and boarded. Because I'm awesome.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An even 100 new aliens from The Warp

For those looking for some solid examples of homebrew alien construction, I offer up The Warp's 10-part series of new aliens, which recently concluded with this entry. Be sure to look at the notation for year introduced and the various comments sections, as they give an indication of the general idea and timeline for each alien.

(Sidebar: I considered posting the link to the relevant Fantasy Flight Games page, which has the same information contained in one thread. In theory, this would be easier, right? Everything would be in one place. Here's an indication, though, of how brutally unreadable and user-unfriendly the FFG forums are: I don't want to subject anyone to having to read all of that white-on-gray text, and I don't want to be responsible for the interface-induced frustration that would be felt by anyone attempting to actually respond to the post. Sorry, FFG fans, but those forums are just plain awful.)

Okay, be that as it may, let's focus on the good stuff. Once again, here's 100 new aliens to play with, including quite a few that are intended for use with the new FFG edition. Go crazy, yo.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Get yer standings right here

The ongoing Much Madness league could have been renamed "Much Goodness" last night for Cosmic Encounter legend Bill, who won the first three games he played to tie for the top spot in the standings. Rumors of Bill manipulating the code while he played are, of course, entirely unfounded. I think.

Either way, here's your latest update, my funny little lobby lizards:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shared wins: Okay, or spawn of the devil?

I haven't checked in for a while over at the World's Leading Boardgames Site™, so I missed this item when it first appeared. It's a poll subject I've thought of posting here, but I'll just piggy-back onto theirs (and they'll get more responses over there, anyway): shared wins in Cosmic Encounter. Are they acceptable or just one step removed from kicking puppies?

For once, my feelings are lining up with the popular vote. Depending on the situation, I'll take my wins where I can get them, especially against top-level opponents.