A military society from their earliest days, the Generals have always placed a high value on leadership and charisma. Their history is full of some of the most inspiring speeches ever given in all the Cosmos. Whenever a ragtag band of warriors stands up to defy the odds, a General will be there to lead them. Whether fighting the enemy on the beaches or standing with a few lucky men to fight for freedom, a General will smile and say, “I love the smell of Ionic Gas in the morning… It smells like victory.”

Earlier this month we announced Cosmic Alliance , the latest expansion for Cosmic Encounter . In addition to its 20 new alien races, this exciting expansion features components for another player, rules for large eight-player games, and a new variant – team rules, which allow steadfast allies to dominate the Cosmos together!

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the Team Cosmic variant, and we’ll see one alien ready to lead his soldiers to triumph: the charismatic and inspirational General.

Welcome to the team

In the Team Cosmic variant, players form teams of two in an attempt to conquer the galaxy cooperatively. After randomly forming teams, partners sit across from each other, with the odd player (if there is one) sitting across from an unused planet. Partners then play as normal, each attempting to satisfy his own victory condition while aiding his partner as much as possible. After all, a partnership can’t win until both partners have claimed their own victory!

How do you help out your ally? Each time you gain a foreign colony, you may instead gift it to your partner. Simply return your ships to other colonies you control, and let your freeloading buddy place an equal number of his ships in their place. In this variant, you can have more than five colonies, so feel free to stay in the game as long as it takes to help your partner to victory.

A few other points to keep in mind:

Leading the way

One new alien race sure to benefit from these larger games is the General. For these natural leaders, it’s the more the merrier. Whenever alliances are formed, the General can draw a card for every alien allied with him!

The General’s Alien Sheet. Click to Enlarge.

Are you ready to be a team player? Keep checking back for more on Cosmic Alliance in the coming weeks, then look for it to blast onto store shelves late in the first quarter of 2012!

Cosmic Encounter is a classic board game that puts players in charge of the fate of an alien race. Three to five players each strive to be the first to conquer five enemy colonies and establish themselves as the dominant life form in the galaxy. With over 50 alien characters to choose from, no two games are ever the same.

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