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.


Adam said...

In almost all cases I refuse to take a win shared with more than one other player. For an experienced player, that is just cheap -- not that I condemn anyone else for doing it.

A shared win with only one other player though, I'll take it if it looks like my only shot. It's an interesting poll, though I don't really like the wording too much.

pgocosmic said...

As one of the original Cosmic designers, let me make it as clear as I can.

One of the major founding principles of Cosmic Encounter is that players can win together.

It's bedrock. It's not really open to discussion as to validity.

The only valid poll or discussion is whether an individual player wishes to be part of a shared win. That is certainly player prerogative,

We put it into the game to set Cosmic apart from other games. And we quickly learned that it creates a tremendous difference in the whole dynamic. It's a way to counter balance any given alien that could otherwise be untouchable in certain combinations.

It's a way to salvage a win when there is no chance of a solo victory.

In a game that features alliances it is logical that players should be able to ally at will. Or negotiate at will as well.

Any questions?

Adam said...

I don't think the poll is questioning whether the rule is worth having but rather how much as an individual you value the shared win compared to the more gloat-worthy solo win.

TheDukester said...

There's definitely a bit of typical BGG posturing going on with some of the responses. If there's one thing I've learned about that place, it's that many users have all the answers about how games should be played. Or at least think they do.

AP has the essence of it: it's not that shared wins is a poor rule, but there's a perception that a solo win is somehow more manly or awesome or "pure." It's mostly nonsense, of course, and I've noticed that a lot of it comes from people who have played CE less than five times in their lives. They don't know what it's like to have Vulch and three terrible cards and no hope of winning solo.

Adam said...

Oh it is certainly more manly. But is it more alienly? Perhaps not. I enjoy the challenge of going for a solo win whenever possible, and I'll turn down deals if I think I can wait another round and get it on my own. ...but I don't get grumpy if someone else takes a shared win. That's just how I choose to play, and I'm quite glad Cosmic has the option or it'd be a significantly less enjoyable game.

Unknown said...

Back in college playing Eon, I was once in a game where everyone won! It helped that the Hurtz player had his Super Flare allowing him to rent anything over and over.

It started with Virus with 4 bases attacking me. I knew I could not defeat Virus, and she would win. However, the Virus player was seriously thinking inviting another player who also had 4 bases for a joint win. Remember, in Eon, Virus multipled allies' tokens as well.

I did not like that. Virus winning was inevitable, but I wasn't going to let a joint win happen when I'm not one of the winners. I "suggested" to Virus that she really didn't need to invite the other player. Her own four tokens multiplying will be plenty. She looked convinced.

The potential ally, Hurtz, saw his chance of a joint win slipping away. He went into heavy sales pitch mode willing to rent Virus the entire game for one Lucre to be invited to ally and ensure the victory despite whatever trickery I may have, such as an Unzap in case I had a Cosmic Zap.

Virus was confused. Finally she asked allowed if it was possible for everyone to win, noticing that I too had 4 bases, but including the 4th player who only had 3. She was serious. Since I was the Cosmic Encounter expert, I did some thinking. The Hurtz player was willing to help. It took renting several flares, including Eon Miser where someone wins the game with only 4 foreign bases, and renting some powers, but we got the 3 bases player his 4th base then Hurtz would rent him the Miser Flare when the rest of us got our 5th base.

We were really interested if we could pull this off, and we did. Everyone won!

Toomai said...

While I don't mind shared wins, I think that wins that result from a deal are pretty sappy, especially when the two players agree to play Ns. (This happens with my two sisters extremely often, although I managed to win with them as Tick-Tock on their deal.)

Unknown said...

If you don't have a power that manipulates challenge totals (Virus, Chosen, etc.) or how a challenge is won (Anti-Matter, Pacifist, Sorcerer, etc.), it is difficult to win that 5th base solo. Everyone will ally against you with 4 tokens. You need the Attack 40 or 30 or Force Fied.

Asking another player also with 4 bases to ally for a joint win is possibly the only way you could win the challenge and game with your Attack 15. It's more challenge points for you, but more importantly it's less challenge points for your opponent.

Breadhead said...

Without Compromies Earth would have been lost. However, as mankind was soon to learn - the devil was in those details.

...Again, sorry, Australia.

excerpt from "The Rise & Fall of Breadhead"

TheDukester said...

I've pre-ordered that one from Amazon.

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