Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday special: The $10,000 question

Here's a question I never get tired of posing to Cosmic Encounter players. I've asked it in blog form, on messageboards, in the Cosmic Encounter Online lobby, and in general conversation with CE fans.

Here's the scenario:

You are a finalist in the Cosmic Encounter World Championships. You will be playing one game, with a $10,000 prize for first place — and it's winner-take-all. Second place will get nothing; third place will get nothing ... I'm sure you get the idea.

Here's some other specifics:

  • Five foreign bases are needed to win;
  • The game must be won solo; no shared victory is allowed;
  • Flares will be included in the game, but no other "extras" will be used (no kickers, no lucre, no reinforcements, etc.)
  • For the sake of discussion (and because this is an exercise in imagination), just assume you'll be playing with the rules set you're most familiar with.

And now for the fun part: you get to pick your alien! Woot!

Again, some requirements:

  • For the sake of discussion, just assume your four opponents have no interest in your preferred alien;
  • Published aliens only! No homebrews allowed. (And "published" doesn't include old magazines or fanzines, or published on the internet ... it means, basically, Eon, Mayfair, Avalon Hill, or FFG)

So, there's $10,000 on the line — but you have to win. Which alien would you pick?

(I'll add my own answer in the comments later. And, trust me, that answer will not be "Virus" ...)


28 comments:

dawnie said...

Pacifist

Kobold Curry Chef said...

Tripler.

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheDukester said...

Pacifist would be one of my top five, for sure. Good pick.

And a shout-out of Tripler! Way to get the CEO alien in there. The judges say ...

...

legal play! CEO aliens are legal for this experiment.

Tobimaro said...

Loser

Kobold Curry Chef said...

Tripler is also in the current FFG edition.

TheDukester said...

Sigh. I knew that; really, I did.

I've been playing more CE Online this week ... I think I just got everything jumbled in my head.

TheDukester said...

If it really ways a winner-take-all situation, I'd go with Pacifist, Loser, or Sorcerer as my "finalists," and my final pick would probably be Loser.

Dictator would also be tempting, for obvious reasons. But forcing other players to beat on each other is still no guarantee of being strong enough in the end game to gain a solo win.

Parasite would be a good way to get to FOUR bases, but, again, it's no help at all in gaining that key fifth.

If shared victories were allowed, I'd even consider Empath. But now I'm just rambling ...

Just a Bill said...

Loser is a logical and easy choice; it does have one of the best and most longstanding win records in Cosmic history.

However, in this scenario I might have to seriously consider one that I have always strongly disliked for aesthetic reasons: Power House. (You did say AH was legal, and this is the only official alien unique to that publisher.)

It gets rid of your crap cards, stops everyone else's artifacts, and constantly gives you another power to work with at no cost or risk to yourself. Power House is like two-thirds of Philanthropist plus a poor-man's Mesmer that turns losing As and Ns into Card Zaps plus Reincarnator's more attractive and well-mannered cousin who never shows up when you don't want him to and doesn't force you to lose an encounter just to have a shot at one halfway decent power. It's something like 2.625 aliens in one; when real money is on the line, ridiculously overpowered may be just the ticket. ;-)

Just a Bill said...

Sorry ... in publishing Power House's resume, I forgot to add "nigh unzappable".

No, not Just a Bill, I'm some other guy! said...

Just ignore that idiot in the corner; Power House ain't "nigh unzappable". And I should be ashamed of myself for triple-posting. (Duke, please address my IP ban to 209.131...)

TheDukester said...

LOL, rather than banning, I'm requiring you to add a comment to my next three posts.

And I forgot Aristocrat myself (*facepalm*). Given my own requirements, it would be perfectly legal.

Adam said...

Worm

TheDukester said...

An excellent choice.

Rob Burns said...

Pacifist or Will

TheDukester said...

I've also received an email vote for Zombie.

Pulo said...

when we play we try to not show our power until we use it, so in this optic i would totaly use the parasite, gor for four bases, wait until someone else do the same and wait for him to attack, all that without using my power, then use it with my four base to get the fifth one ... I think that would my strategy ^^

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