Monday, February 22, 2010

Mystery boxes revealed; zero relevant news

So that third mystery box over at Fantasy Flight Games turned out to be some sort of bizarre you-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter combination of BattleLore and A Game of Thrones.

Personally, it would be impossible for me to be less interested in this item. I mention it only because it serves as sort of an official end to the speculation: none of the three mystery boxes had the slightest thing to do with Twilight Dune: Dinosaur Ninjas, Borderlands, or Cosmic Encounter.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

My God ... Cosmic Encounter is full of stars!

It looks like the Cosmic Encounter creativity bug has bitten some of the usual suspects. Two major homebrew projects are currently getting a lot of reaction over at the self-proclaimed Leading Boardgames Site, and both are pretty neat (both are what might be called "planet-based," too, which is kind of interesting). Anyway, point that clicking thing at these links for Cosmic Stars and Planetary Profiles.

As an aside, I'll add that I really enjoy this direction for CE variants. As I've made clear elsewhere, I am pretty much over the whole "homebrew alien" thing; we just don't need a 37th variant of Pacifist. In fact, I'm actively boycotting any discussion at any site regarding homebrew aliens — I just literally skip right over those threads. Bleh. I've got your Macron variant right here, pal!

But adding entirely new concepts to the game — especially those that have been playtested at least a little bit — is definitely something TheDukester can support.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's the player aid that ate Cincinnati

What's great about Toomai's Timing Sheet for Cosmic Encounter is that it's so ... extreme. In a very literal sense, it attempts to detail every possible action and reaction for every Cosmic Encounter alien, step by step, as the phases of every turn progress. In a more "meta" sense, though, it's a wonderful look at just how much "the game that breaks its own rules!" really does do just that.

The real comedy, of course, comes from the fact that anyone showing this sheet to a new CE player would cause that player to flee madly for the nearest exit (probably muttering something about CE being "10 times more complicated than Arkham Horror"). But, as we all know, Cosmic really isn't that bad, once a few simple rhythms are learned — and it's not like all 70 aliens are involved at once.

Anyway, be sure to click on the image here to see it a bigger, more readable size. It's worth admiring the sheer scope of the thing ...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quite possibly the world's geekiest shirt

(Not that such a thing stops me from wanting one, of course ...)

You've got to love getting two solid gaming references for the price of one shirt. And the "flow" line is bigger than just the Dune book: I've never played a single game of the Dune boardgame, FTF or online, where "The spice must flow" wasn't uttered by someone or other.

It's also nice that even the little details are right. For instance, that's a regulation-size Settlers of Catan board pictured.

(Tip of the fedora to Cosmic Encounter player Bioball for the heads-up)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First look at our 20 new alien friends

As usual, a good starting point for all things Cosmic Encounter is The Warp — not the place where your lost ships go because you're playing like a bonehead, but the actual person. Much like he did when the Fantasy Flight Games base set arrived, Jack Reda has provided his initial thoughts on the 20 new aliens found in Cosmic Incursion.

It's well-written, it's got pretty formatting, and it's worth a read.