Your Destiny Awaits
Preview Duels in Cosmic Encounter Duel
You’re just another budding alien civilization in the incomprehensibly ever-expanding multiverse, and the news comes without warning: the Cosmic Citizenship Council has announced that it will allow two new alien species to join its ranks. But, lacking two copies of the filing form, only a single species can join! You must prove your right to become a Certified Civilization.
Cosmic Encounter Duel takes the frantic back-and-forth action, zany powers, and colorful sci-fi conflict of Cosmic Encounter and distills the essential experience into a game for just two players. Over the course of the game, you and your opponent will duel for control of planets, and first player to lay claim to five planets is the victor!
As you might expect from the title, the duels between you and your opponent take prime position in Cosmic Encounter Duel, and with today’s preview, we’ll take a closer look at the twists and turns you’ll face in every duel!
Let the Duels Begin!
As the centerpiece of the game, you can rightly expect every duel in Cosmic Encounter Duel to be a tense battle of wits, with one of the galaxy’s newly discovered planets on the line. In most cases, the duel begins with the reveal of a discovery card, such as Another Battlefield. These discovery cards commonly instruct you to discover a new planet by revealing a new planet tile from the top of the stack, before starting a duel for control of this nascent world.
Your duel for the new planet is filled with strategic choices, and it starts by deciding how many of your ships you want to send to the new planet to fight for your interests. You’ll use your ship dial to select between one and four ships, and once both players have set their dials, you’ll simultaneously reveal dials and send your ships to the planet!
Sending ships is important for multiple reasons—if you’re going to actually claim the planet, your ships need to survive until the end of the duel, and if all of your ships are destroyed, your claim becomes void. What’s more, whoever has more ships at the planet gains the ship advantage on the discovery card, increasing their chances of controlling the planet at the end of the duel. Still, sending your ships is not without risk. The loser of the duel will have all of their ships destroyed and sent into the Warp! And even more dangerously, if you ever have no ships in your supply, you immediately lose the game. You’ll have to weigh all of these considerations carefully as you decide how many ships you’re going to send for your duel.
The ships that you send to contest the planet are only the first choice you’ll make during a duel, and they’re far from the last. Next, you and your opponent must each select a plan card and a tactics token, locking in your strategy for the rest of the duel.
Tactics tokens give you a chance to destroy enemy ships or shield your own ships from destruction. Each player begins the game with an identical set of these double-sided tokens, and most of them let you use the blast symbol to destroy enemy ships or the shield symbol to protect your own ships. If you can destroy all of your opponent’s ships, you’ll immediately win the duel for control of the planet… but you know that your opponent may have similar plans in store for you. Even if you don’t destroy all of your opponent’s ships, you may be able to destroy enough to swing the discovery card’s ship advantage in your favor—if you have more ships than your opponent at any point during the duel, the ship advantage switches sides.
You’ll have to choose whether to prioritize destroying your opponent’s ships or protecting your own ships, and most importantly, each tactics token can only be used once before it must be recovered, which creates another decision point for choosing when to use your most powerful tactics.
As crucial as it is, the tactics token is only half of your strategy for the duel. So long as you and your opponent each have a ship on the planet after tactics tokens are resolved, you’ll move on to the plan cards! Every plan card has a numeric value, ranging from 42 to –2. This number (combined with ship advantage if you have more ships than your opponent) is your total clout for this conflict, and whichever player has the higher clout will win the duel!
You still have one last chance to affect the outcome before all is said and done, however. After plan cards are reveal, you and your opponent can alternate playing reinforcement cards, which either add to your own clout or reduce your rival’s clout. These reinforcement cards can be a rare resource that must be spent wisely, but they have an unprecedented capability to swing the duel in your favor.
Once both players pass on playing reinforcement cards, the duel is complete! The loser’s ships are destroyed and sent to the Warp, though they do also claim the consolation prize listed on the discovery card. For the victor, they’ve claimed another planet and are one step closer to victory—though even planets that you have claimed may not be safe forever…
Duel for the Galaxy
Hopefully we’ve shown you a glimpse of the nail-biting choices that go into the duels that you’ll fight throughout Cosmic Encounter Duel. Though these choices are exciting, the true wildness and zaniness that Cosmic Encounter is known for come through the dozens of unique alien powers and envoy cards, making every single game you play feel different. In our next preview, we’ll explore just a taste of what these bizarre new aliens and familiar envoys have to offer!
You can pre-order your own copy of Cosmic Encounter Duel (CED01) at your local retailer or online through our webstore today, and look for the game to release on June 19!