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Subject: 6 Different International Cosmics rss

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Jack Reda
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Herndon
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My favorite game is Cosmic Encounter.
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As promised, I finally got around to writing up a review of the international editions of Cosmic Encounter that I have... there are a couple others out there that I haven't yet acquired (so feel free to point me in their direction if you stumble upon them).


Games Workshop (UK)

The UK edition of Cosmic is one of the most unique. It was the first set that used something other than tokens. This set has little colored cones (easy to stack). The set comes with 6 player support with a board that actually makes it look like a board game. This set has 32 aliens in the box (and 4 more that were made available in White Dwarf magazine.

Components

The cones are pretty easy to use- though the Hyperspace cone is a little small comparatively. Even stacking your cones, it's hard to fit them all on that Hyperspace cone. We also got tired of referring to the cones as cones (since it got annoying differentiating between unit cones and the Hyperspace cone). We also had to count and recount stacked cones alot to make sure of their number.

The board is also a little on the small side, but pretty decent. I do like having artwork for the planets. The US versions mostly had white circles, or slightly colored circles. Only the Avalon Hill version had attractive planet artwork (which I eventually used for my homemade set as well).

The aliens have a nice, consistent artwork- which curiously is based largely on the original Eon artwork... so, it's some other artist's version of that same alien. I used many of the Games Workshop art in my home set.

Game Play

Other than a few nitpicky things mentioned above, this is a pretty good set to play. It has a lot of alien variety, and can accommodate up to six players, which is very nice. There are no flares, but the challenge deck is comparable to an Eon deck.

Bottom Line

I'd recommend getting this set over a basic Eon set (or West End games, or even the Avalon Hill version).


Rencontre Cosmique (France)

The French version also supports 6 players, with 35 aliens in the box. There is also a more basic version of Rencontre Cosmique out there, which only supports 4 players with 20 aliens (and is essentially just a basic Eon version in French).

Components

This version, aside from the French text, appears very much like an Eon edition. The system hexes are a purple hue rather than black. Tokens are plastic chips, like the West End games version of CE.

Game Play

If you can read French, this will be a pretty good set to use. Even if you don't, the translations are readily available.

Bottom Line

C'est pretty good.


Universums Harskare (Sweden)

The Swedish version plays up to 5, with 16 different aliens to choose from.

Components

The components here are pretty nice, with good art direction all around. The systems look nice, each with unique artwork. The aliens have new looks, consistent in style, and with nice details. Tokens here are square, but each color has its own spaceship art on the tokens. I used this concept with my own tokens, giving each color 4 different styles of spaceship (unique between the 10 colors in my set).

Game Play

As with the French version, some help for English-speaking players will be necessary. Some of the aliens here are also not obvious (since the art doesn't match the Eon version, and the alien names in Swedish are hard to figure out... Empat is obviously Empath, Filantrop is Philanthropist, Mutant is Mutant of course, but Bytare and Anakronit are pretty much anyone's guess- especially since the art doesn't offer great clues).

Bottom Line

The Swedes did a great job with this set. I wish they had more aliens included (16 is pretty low). As I understand it, the Finnish version is pretty much the same, simply with a different translation.


Contatos Cosmicos (Brazil)

The Brazilian version can play 6, and was the first edition to offer pink tokens. 18 aliens come with the game, including some curious choices for a basic set (Terrorist and Skeptic).

Components

The Brazilians made this version their own. The tokens are very small plastic tokens- the systems and half-hexes, with a splash of color in the corner. The edition sports one of the coolest looking Hyperspace cones (a design I converted into a special type of challenge called the Continuum Cone). Alien art is from the Eon set.

Game Play

18 aliens limits your variety a little, but allowing for six players makes up for it a little. Since there are no flares in this version, adding more aliens on one's own is pretty easy (easier than trying to add a 5th or 6th player to a different edition). Finding tokens and systems like the Brazilian one would be challenging, so it's good that it can play 6.

Bottom Line

It's too bad they didn't try to add their own alien artwork- that would have made this set a lot more unique and interesting. It isn't bad as is, but more aliens would have been better.


Konig der Sterne (Germany)

Konig der Sterne was the first German version of CE. This was a 4 player version, with only 15 aliens.

Components

Similar to the French version, the systems here are Eon, except with a blue hue to them. Aliens do sport their own, original artwork (though it's a little strange looking- one alien looks like a fried egg attacking a cheese grater). I did use a few of the aliens' art for the Prisoner powers in my home set.

Game Play

With only 15 aliens and 4 player support, this German edition is sadly lacking. I have two different boxes of Konig der Sterne, but their contents are the same. If a German set is your preference, seek out the "Mayfair German" set (see below).

Bottom Line

There isn't much about this version that's good. A few aliens have decent artwork (Chronos most notably), but the rest of the set isn't great. You're better off with the Avalon Hill one (of which, there is a German version).


Cosmic Encounter (Germany)

Hexagames has a German version of the Mayfair edition of Cosmic. 6 players, and 48 aliens.

Components

This is not quite exactly like the American Mayfair version. The tokens here are wooden, and have color on both sides (slightly bigger too). They also have a green player instead of two shades of blue. Also, no special destiny.

Game Play

Other than the horrible original Mayfair alien artwork, there isn't anything wrong with this set. If even has Flares (albeit the weaker Mayfair style) and reverse hexes. This is the most robust non-English version of Cosmic Encounter one can get.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a "foreign" version of the game, this is the set to get.

FINAL NOTES:

There's a Japanese edition that is really a basic Eon set translated. I don't have this one yet, and again- if anyone ever comes across this or the Finnish set- please let me know.
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mar hawkman
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COOL! Is the new release going to be just in US? these guys could use more Cosmic.
 
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Raul Catalano
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An interesting and useful review !
Bravo !! laugh
 
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