SCHISMIC ENCOUNTER is a variant for Cosmic Encounter that requires the Cosmic Alliance expansion set. It turns the six schizoid cards into a kind of "secret orders" variant in which each player's hidden schizoid card provides an alternate way to win the game. Schismic Encounter works with any number of players (but do not use it if the non-classic Schizoid is playing).
After game setup is complete and the starting player has been determined, shuffle the six schizoid cards and deal them all out to the players, counter-clockwise, starting with the player who will go last in the game. Thus, if you have more than six players, the earlier player(s) will not receive a schizoid card; and if you have fewer than six, the later player(s) will receive an extra one.
Each player looks at his or her schizoid card and "hides" it facedown under any one of his or her home planets. If a player has two schizoid cards, they may be hidden under different home planets or the same one. Only the current owner of a schizoid card may look at it.
Finally, because schizoid cards can be stolen by winning invaders, before the game begins each player may make defensive adjustments to home colonies. Each colony that is guarding a hidden schizoid card may either add or remove up to four ships by transferring them to or from other home colonies. Thus you may have between zero and eight ships defending each schismic planet (the plus-or-minus 4 adjustment means that Symbiote may have between four and twelve; and of course Pygmy may not exceed four). You may wish to add/remove ships from your non-schismic planets as evenly as you can, but this is not required. However, you may not transfer ships from one non-schismic planet to another.
Red will go first; Green will go last. Schizoid cards are thus dealt counter-clockwise starting with Green, so Green and Yellow each end up with an extra one. Red is optimistic about keeping her card and thus transfers one ship from every other planet to bolster her schismic colony to the maximum strength of eight. Blue is quite pessimistic, expecting to lose his schizoid card early, and thus moves all four ships out of harm's way. Yellow transfers two ships from one card location to another, signaling that he likes one of his cards better than the other. (Or does he?) And Green gambles on keeping both of her cards hidden on the same planet, maximizing the number of guards like Red did.
Using Schizoid Cards:
Each schizoid card begins with the phrase, "To win the game, a player must have...." In this variant, treat these cards as if they instead began with "You win the game if you have...." Thus, if you meet the conditions on a schizoid card you control at the end of any phase, you win the game.
Stuff you don't have to worry about: Winning with a schizoid card does not require maintaining a colony on its planet. You can still win the game via the normal method, or by using some other kind of alternate-win effect. Your schizoid card does not make anyone else win; if another player happens to meet the conditions on a card you control, you don't have to admit that you have it. (However, a player might subsequently win by stealing your schizoid card, so keep your poker face on.)
Winning the Game:
To win the game using a schizoid card, you must have control of the card at the end of the phase in which you meet its conditions. Thus, if a schizoid card is stolen or traded, only its new owner can win with it; even if the previous owner meets the conditions during the resolution phase, he or she no longer has control of the card when victory is checked.
Because victory conditions are checked at the end of each phase, various types of joint wins are possible: one or more schismic wins, normal wins, and/or other alternate wins could all occur at the end of the same phase.
You have four foreign colonies, your opponent has three, and you both reveal Negotiate cards. You offer to trade your Diplomat schizoid card for a colony, resulting in a joint win for both of you. (This of course may require some trust, salesmanship, or knowledge of the cards from prior ownership, since you can claim to have the Diplomat card but cannot show it.) If Tick-Tock also discarded her last token as a result, then she would join you for a three-way win.
Cataclysms and Other Schisms:
If a planet is moved to another system, any schizoid cards hidden under it move along with the planet and become the property of the new system's owner.
If a planet is removed from the game, so are any schizoid cards hidden under it.
If Schismic Encounter is played with the Four Planets variant, the appropriately-titled Bluffer card will not provide a victory advantage for its owner, but is left in the game nonetheless for its potential value as an encounter decoy or trade bait.
Expansion by Bill Martinson