Thursday, May 7, 2009

Official Cosmic Encounter FAQ available

Nine pages of Cosmic Encounter rulings from Fantasy Flight Games are available by simply following this link.


Unknown said...

Zombie now not getting compensation? Uh-uh. For my set, Zombie gets conoslation, just like he did for Mayfair and Eon.

TheDukester said...

Here we go again ...

That's one interpretation. Here's the other: Zombie has NEVER received comp. There is no "now" involved. The FAQ just serves to reinforce, officially, what has always been the case, beginning with Eon and continuing for the next 31 years.

Compensation is reserved for ships LOST to the warp; it really couldn't be simpler.

House rules trump all others, of course, so play it as you see fit.

TheDukester said...

Setting aside the Zombie thing — forever, hopefully — it's a pretty interesting document. I'm wondering what items have jumped out to y'all? Here's two or three things I found particularly noteworthy:

Amoeba oozing 20 ships;

Never showing cards to any other player;

Flare timing;

and ... oh, man, I'm going to mention Zombie again ...

Did anyone else notice that Zombie has SIX questions answered at the end of the document? I honestly never thought it was that confusing of a power.

Adam said...

I was surprised at the Gambler Vs. Sorceror explanation. We play that whether Sorc switches or not, the card that Gambler played is not revealed, should he choose to bluff. So if Gambler plays 40, Sorceror plays N, and Sorceror switches... the 40 doesn't get flipped over, and Gambler can bluff that Sorceror's card is an N, too. Very simple, and no need for the "Does not play well with Sorceror" warning. Not only that, but neither alien is at a distinct disadvantage.

Oh well, I will still play it that way.

Furthur said...

Actually, Mssrs. Olotka and Kittredge comfirmed for me years back that Zombie DID receive consolation. Although that misuse of the word "lost" still bugs me.

TheDukester said...

Zombie can receive as much consolation as he likes, but he's never received any compensation. Never has; never will.

I also find it interesting that Peter would CHOOSE to build a no-comp Zombie in 2003 for CE Online. With just a few changes in code, it could have been the other way around.

So ... unless I see it in writing somewhere, I reject any claims that Zombie was ever met to be played differently.

I'm putting a lid on any further Zombie discussion here, unless one of the game's three credited designers wants to add something. There's plenty of other FAQ-related stuff to talk about.

TheDukester said...

Sorry, that came across harsher than intended, but I'll leave it there instead of editing it.

I freely admit that the Zombie debate bothers me. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I love a good CE discussion, but I'll never think the Zombie thing is anything but absurd. I thought so in 1981 and I still think so today.

Rob Burns said...

Right... Kittredge ruled in an old Encounter magazine that Zombie did get compensation... it is a bothersome situation, but I'm willing to accept Zombie not getting comp because CEOnline (which Olotka has been the driver for) rules it that way.

TheDukester said...

Encounter, huh? Well, that would help explain some things. I've got all the issues, so I'm going to try to find it myself; I will say that I don't remember seeing anything like that for Zombie when I first read them.

And Encounter is definitely a weird beastie in this sort of situation. While it was nice to get some input from the designers, the newsletter reached far too few people to have had much of an impact (although I, personally, was a fan). Also, the Q&As were very hit-and-miss, sometimes more helpful than others, and too scattered to be considered much of a FAQ.

Thanks for the info., though. Time to go find the Encounters I've got stored.

TheDukester said...

Not seeing it, actually. I've even done a word-search on all my PDF versions, and I'm still not seeing where this Zombie ruling took place.

I did find an interesting exchange in issue 2.2, which was published by Mayfair. On page 4, there's two DIFFERENT rulings for the Zombie-comp issue ... and this was supposed to be some sort of official newsletter? What a joke.

It's also difficult to tell who is writing what, and who has the power to actually make a ruling. Someone named Mike Arms goes to great lengths to explain why Zombie should receive comp., but is then immediately shouted down by a Jim Musser, who was apparently the publisher of the newsletter? Who knows? It couldn't be less clear.

Anyway, this Musser cat gets to the heart of the issue right away: no lost ships, no comp. He even goes so far as to say that this will be the OFFICIAL ruling for tournaments. Which I find interesting, as it's been my experience that many pro-Mayfair fans are also the same people who want Zombie to get comp. ... yet, there it is in black and white: a ruling the OTHER way.

As I mentioned in another post, most of this pre-internet stuff is very erratic. I would have liked to have seen a 100-percent-official Mayfair FAQ, but such a creature just doesn't exist.

The Warp said...

This is why my Zombie is far superior! He gets compensation, and goes to the Warp, but every regroup, all of his ships are freed (so, like a Zombie, they return from the "dead").

Rob Burns said...


It's in Encounter 1.4 -- in a Q &A from Bob Trezise in Nashville... it's actually his very first question. Kittredge rules "Zombie does get consolation since he lost the tokens."

I love The Warp -- you can get everything and anything CE from there, truly!

TheDukester said...

Argh. That was actually the first issue I looked at ... and it turns out it's not optimized for search. I wouldn't have been able to search for "the," let alone "Zombie."

Yeah, it's in there. I will admit to being surprised, but I'll concede that any CE group that happened to get its hands on that issue would have been thinking, "Hey, there's a ruling; let's just go with that."

Still, though, I can say, without exaggeration, that "The Zombie does get consolation since he lost the tokens. He just didn't send them to the Warp" is one of the five lamest things I've ever heard. So where, exactly, DID he send them? Totally, completely lame, and a deliberate misuse of the concept of "lost."

It's interesting, from the historical perspective, that that ruling was in serious doubt by the time of the Mayfair edition (as I noted earlier). And it was out the door by the time of AH and then CE Online (where it's clear what the ruling is), and is now officially gone with FFG (which, as noted to Kevin Wilson, uses the AH rulebook as its basic framework).

Rob Burns said...

This is exactly the kind of question that I'd love for Peter Olotka (or Jack Kittredge) to address. Zombie has been around for a very long time... so, how did they play with it back then? I'm guessing, based on Kittredge's quick answer, that in those early CE games (maybe even with the prototype!) that Zombie got consolation. Does it make thematic sense? Maybe not. But having Zombie get compensation has at least some historical validity.

Unknown said...

Anyway, in Eon Zombie was immune to Void, totally. Void says it eradicates tokens that went to the warp. Zombie's tokens don't go to the warp in the first place. Now? Zombie goes to the Void. Zombie doesn't get compensation. Poor Zombie.

TheDukester said...

And they even radically changed his artwork, too. What's a Zombie got to do to get a break around here?

TheDukester said...

Sevnteen comments on a 17-word post ... that 1-to-1 ratio has GOT to be some sort of record!

Adam said...

And now it's ruined.

Rob Burns said...

Ack! Gerald is calling our attention to another huge problem: Zombie going to the Void! There is no way Zombie should go the Void, presuming that the Void is essentially a Warp no one ever comes home from!! I'm a bit surprised that FFG would rule as they have on these old chestnuts; Zombie is not a powerhouse combat power; letting it get compensation and making it immune to Void are not rulings that turn Zombie into a juggernaut. Ah well.

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