TI4 and Cosmic Encounters

This weekend I got to play both Twilight Imperium 4th edition and Cosmic Encounter for the first time. Both of which was a blast! Cosmic Encounter was actually more entertaining than I thought.

Twilight Imperium 4th edition is a game that many boardgamers say is a game that everybody needs to play. I might not agree with that. This is a game with backstabbing and politics in the middle of it which can be pretty harsh. Think of it like this. This game can take around 12 hours to play with new people. And has player elimination… That could REALLY suck for the person getting eliminated. But that is a different story.
I’ve only played this once, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.
At the beginning of the game you get to chose a race and there are alot of them. Every race is unique in some way. The race I played was called “THe Yssaril Tribes”, they don’t have a hand limit and they can discard a action card to not do something when it is their turn, they also draw more cards, discard one and are generally very card based. I LOVE asymmetric games. Because it’s alot like Syndrome says “And when everyones super… No one will be”.
This game has it all! On a round you can do any number of things you start by taking one of eight cards that each are focused on different things Leadership, diplomacy, construction, technology, imperium, trade, warfare and politics. They are numbered from 1 through 8 and have a primary and secondary function. To use the secondary function you need to pay a strategy chip. and you can basically use a worse version of the primary use of the card. I will not go deeper in to this aspect because this is one of the many things you can do in a round.
On a regular round you use chips from your tactics pile to move units, create units and so on. You can have a set number of Fleet units on any tile depending on how many chips you have set in the Fleet part of your player board…

A picture of the board after the first round in Twilight Imperium 4th edition.
After the first round of TI4

Well… Instead of describing every part of the game lets just say there is a lot going on. Every round takes around an hour to play (granted this was the first time for 2 of us, so it might take way less if you played it a lot more). depending on number of players. And you go up to 10 or 14 points. You don’t always get a point on your round and you can get more than one. It is all very much to take in the first time you play it. But it still isn’t very hard. Just much. And after the first round you start introducing laws and such that you get to vote on. So there is a lot going on. The first time I played this I just wanted to sit back and see what the game was actually about. I found it really entertaining and want to play it again with a different race and see how that affects the way I play. The only thing I need to know is to play more aggresive but that feels kind of wierd in a game with player elimination that takes this long to play… But maybe that’s just me.

A picture of the game board at the second to last round of Twilight Imperium
The second to last round of the game

Cosmic Encounter on the other hand… This takes away alot of the aggresiveness of the game. You seldom chose who you attack, you win by getting 5 colonies on other peoples planets, you have many different things that you can do and there are 50 different races in the box from the beginning. All are different and are made to play against the other different races and have setups that lets you chose different kind of play styles and still be balanced. It takes way less time to play and I actually liked it more than I thought I would. I genereally don’t like the changing allies part of games and stuff like that, but in this game it just felt right, since in this game, everybody is SUPER.

A picture of us playing Cosmic Encounter
Just before my fiancé won the game by using her skill at the best possible momnent.

And in this game one of the funniest things that have happened in a long time in a board game happened.
Another player had the skill that he could change the hand he had with the player he played against. He had 2 cards in his hand and I had 6. He did not like his hand and switched with mine when I attacked, then he wanted to negotiate. He agreed not to destroy me if I just went back to my planets. I agreed to this, then I played the other card he gave me. “Quash” this game negates the negotiation. And I had more ships than him in hte attack so I won. He agreed that this was not his brightest moment…
Also My fiancé won the game in a way that was impossible for any of us to counter without the right card. She won by using her races skill “Upset”. This makes the winner lose the fight and the loser win the fight. She only had a negotiate card and her skill made me use my attack card. Which made me lose the fight by winning the fight… This game is wierd but Funny!

A picture of two negotiate cards and the quash card from Cosmic Encounter
The fun round

Cosmic Encounter is a really nice game that is ALOT quicker and a little nicer than Twilight Imperium 4th edition. Depending on what you have time to play and how often you get to play the games bring different things to the table and are not really comparable. But as the person who brought Twilight Imperium 4th edition here said, “I play this at most every three months”. And I get that. It is a beast and you want to play it again. But it takes alot out of you and the day. Going through the rules and playing it to the end basically took 10-12 hours. I don’t really remember, it was so engaging that I actually did not look at the watch. So it got that going for it. 😀

Have you played any or both of these games? If so What do you think?

Play more games!!!

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