Two Player Cosmic Encounter
Disclaimer: Playing Cosmic Encounter with less than 4 players is never going
to be the same or as good a game as with 4-6 IMHO. However, the following
set of simple rules is a reasonable way to play, particularly for teaching
purposes, if 2 is all you can get.
2 Player Options if you are dead set on playing Cosmic:
1) Get more players - this would be best but isn't always possible.
2) Play the 2 player variant in More Cosmic Encounter - I have only played
this variant once but found it rather unsatisfying. In addition, I would
definitely not recommend it for teaching a new player as a lot of the rules
are very different from the normal game and it will thus not be a good
introduction to the regular game.
3) Try this variant. I have played it about 3 times and it worked pretty
well. The particularly nice thing about it is that it very closely follows
the standard rules (really only 2 rule changes) so it is an excellent
Two Player Cosmic Encounter Variant Rules
1) Follow all standard Cosmic Encounter rules for the set you are using
unless a change is indicated here.
2) The primary difference in this variant is that each player controls two
systems/colors, artificially creating a four player game. Each of these
systems/colors is 100% independent with its own power(s), hand, destiny
color, moons (if used), lucre (if used), etc... The player who owns each
system/color can at any time look at anything associated with that system
but may never, except following normal rules (such as Philanthropist)
transfer any material from one system to the other.
3) The win condition is the standard one. If either of a given player's
systems/colors establishes 5 external bases, that system/color's owning
4) I recommend that you physically place a given player's two systems next
to one another but turn order should alternate between the two players.
Consider the following example with Player 1 (P1) controlling the Red and
Orange systems and Player 2 (P2) controlling the Purple and Yellow systems.
Randomly select which color goes first. The diagonally opposite color goes
next followed by the color horizontally opposite the second player followed
by the remaining player who would diagonally opposite the third player and
then back to the starting player.
In the example above, if Yellow were determined to go first the turn order
would be: Yellow (P2), Red (P1), Purple (P2) Orange (P1). Truthfully you can
do it anyway you want: the important thing is that the players alternate
turns - no player should have his two colors play one after the other.
5) Major Rule Change: A given player may never end up challenging himself
and should never end up in a deal situation with himself. To facilitate
this, the following rule changes:
A) If a player's destiny flip forces him to attack his other color, he must
B) If a player flips his other color and moons are in the game, he may
attack a moon (assuming it is not occupied by his other color) or may flip
again. Note that (particularly if you are not playing with moons) I
recommend these reflips are treated as if they never happened for purposes
of powers such as Assassin and Disease.
C) If by some chance a player ends up in a deal situation with himself, he
is not allowed to deal and both colors lose 3 tokens to the Warp. However,
this should never be allowed to happen (see below).
D) Items which seem likely to lead to violations of this rule should be
removed from the game (see #6 below).
6) I recommend not using the following Powers in this variant. Note that I
generally play Eon rules and don't offhand remember all the Mayfair powers -
most of this is common sense anyway. If you get one of these powers,
randomly draw a new one to replace it.
Too Powerful: Magnet, Silencer*
Will likely lead to violations of Rule 5: Demon, Diplomat, Dictator,
7) In order to avoid someone getting a bad hand and just being stuck with
it, you may wish to use the Punt Option. This option would allow any player
to skip the entire turn for one of his colors in order to discard that
color's hand and get a new one. This is entirely an optional suggestion.
8) That's it. Enjoy. Let me know if you have questions/suggestions.
*) If you do use Silencer, the power would silence the color, not the
Expansion by Aaron Fuegi