Sunday, January 28, 2007

Four more great CE Online combos

Following up, here's the second half of Blogmic's eight-combos-by-eight-authors survey. Again, these combos are presented in no particular order:

Warp Controllers, by Zxzxi
Aliens: Void, Healer, Vacuum, Zombie
A simple concept, but also a combo that is challenging for each alien. I also like that this is a warp-themed mix that does not include Warpish.

Guess Again, by Sarry
Aliens: Ghost, Calculator, Loser, Sorcerer
The name says it all: each of these aliens can throw a spanner into the works without a second thought. One of my favorite aspects of Cosmic Encounter is that the best-laid plans can suddenly go awry after a timely play by an opponent.

Defense for Its Own Sake, by Fiddler
Aliens: Macron, Mutant, Trader, Philanthropist
This is my favorite "damned if you do" combo. Really, there's no good reason for any of these four aliens to want to play an active defensive ally role ... but, on the other hand, if no one plays any D, is the game going to be over before you know it?

Trauma for Trader, by TheDukester
Aliens: Trader, Virus, Anti-Matter, Pacifist
What the hell, I'll throw in one of my own efforts. This was the second combo I ever created, if memory serves, and it's still my favorite. I like the "alien disadvantage" theme for combos, and Trader is definitely in a pickle here. He can't give any Ns to that winged hippie, he can't unload super-low pods to Anti, and he probably shouldn't give Virus anything above an 8. Good times.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Eight great CE Online combos (part I)

There are dozens of pre-set alien combinations currently available at Cosmic Encounter Online, and I think I've finally managed to play them all at least once. And, frankly, some of them are much better than others. Which ones, though? I'm glad you asked.

As a public service, Blogmic has identified eight great combos (by eight different authors) that are most definitely worth playing. You can thank me later ...

Here's the first half of the list (in no particular order); check back later for Part Deux:

Pod Suckers, by Bill
Aliens: Filch, Philanthropist, Trader, Vulch
I'm not sure exactly why, but this is the combo I've played the most. Maybe it's because pod-control is one of the most intriguing aspects of CE to me? Whatever the case, this is a fun one to play, no matter which alien you draw.

Survivor: CE, by Sleepy Weasel
Aliens: Vacuum, Sapient, Machine, Dictator
This one plays exactly as it's advertised — a brutal struggle to stay out of the warp. Every time I've played it (probably six or so times), at least one alien has lost its power and then been a victim of the Mobius Trap. That's just good, clean fun.

Good Samaritans, by AP
Aliens: Philanthropist, Empath, Sapient, Healer
There's plenty of hippie-themed combos out there, but this version is unique in that it does not include our old friend Pacifist. Maybe that's what makes it click? Either way, I've found this to be a well-balanced test for each of the four contestants.

Out of Sight, by Peter
Aliens: Laser, Ghost, Sorcerer, Void
The great thing about this combo is that it was created on the fly as a favor to a visiting game-developer. But, hey, it turned out to be a pretty interesting mix! I played this about six times on the day it was created, and every time it was entertaining.