News for December 2009
The Swarm Arrives With An Insatiable Hunger 10
Our latest preview of Cosmic Incursion introduces the Locust!
Cosmic Encounter | Published 23 December 2009

Greetings, cosmic travelers!

The time has come once again to turn our gazes heavenward, as we scour the skies for signs of the interstellar life due to arrive in Cosmic Incursion, our upcoming expansion set for Cosmic Encounter
To date, we have heard the pathetic groveling of the Sniveler, and been subjected to the cold, calculating stare of the insidious Genius. Each is a challenge in their own right, and will demand that you keep your mind sharp whenever you cross paths with either of them.
Today, however, it is time to reveal the Locust – a new threat that has been sighted traveling swiftly towards us, consuming all in their path!
Locust has the power to Devour worlds. Here's some background about these insatiable consumers:
The Locusts recently swarmed out of their home system in a vast cloud of ships, searching for uninhabited planets that they could break down and consume to meet the ever-growing energy needs of their people. Needless to say, the other aliens are keeping a nervous eye on these destructive gluttons.
Take note of the phrase "uninhabited planets" for it exposes exactly what is at risk when you're pitted against the Locust.
At the start of any regroup phase, if the Locust happens to be the only player on a foreign colony, they must use their power to devour the entire planet! The planet is henceforth removed from the game and also counts as one foreign colony towards victory for the Locust player.
As I'm sure your head is still reeling from that description, just let it sink in as you read the Locust alien sheet for yourself:
Click image to view sheet
Cosmic Encounter is a classic board game for three to five players where fate and destiny collide against the unpredictable nature of the cosmos. With innumerable combinations of alien powers, and exceptional wheeling and dealing between players, this fan favorite game of galactic conquest is brimming with outlandish twists as players race to be the first to establish enough colonies to win.


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Comments (10)

The Vidiot
Published: 12/25/2009 4:30:19 PM

 I don’t think it CAN be argued both ways. “A” implies “one or more,” but does not imply “only one.” And yes, it remains the start of the regroup phase until the regroup has occurred.

The singular is used because the power is used on individual planets: You have a foreign colony on a planet, so that singular planet is removed. You don’t have to explicitly state the iteration, because it is implied as long as “if you have a foreign colony on a planet by yourself” is still true.
Your rephrasing changes the meaning of the power. With your new phrasing, all planets are devoured at once, and all ships are returned to foreign colonies at once. What if a player wants to stop Locust from removing Planet B, but wants Planet A to be destroyed? Under your phrasing, he would either have to save both, or let both be destroyed. Under the current phrasing, each planet removal is a separate action, so they can be reacted to in turn.
Also, what if there is an alien power or game action that happens in response to a planet being removed? Again, if all planets are removed at the same time, how could you determine which planet would be affected first? I think it was intentional that evaluation and action is separate for each planet.
Published: 12/24/2009 4:58:45 PM

@Vidiot: After you've devoured the first planet, it is still "the start of any regroup phase"? Even if it is, look at how many times they use the singular: "if you have a foreign colony on a planet by yourself (i.e., there are no other ships on the planet with you), use this power to devour the planet, removing it from the game and placing it on this sheet. Your ships on that planet are returned to your other colonies." Now look at how many times they imply plurality or iteration: none.

My point is, the power could have explicity said "one" or "each", but it didn't, and there is room for interpretation either way. Just because your intuition tells you it works one way doesn't mean the other way isn't also arguable. Again, I don't care which it is I just wish they had made it clear which it is.  It would have been so easy to make it clear that it's iterative:

"At the start of any regroup phase, if you have any foreign colonies on planets by yourself (i.e., there are no other ships on the planets with you), use this power to devour those planets, removing them from the game and placing them on this sheet. Your ships on those planets are returned to your other colonies."

Since they didn't do that, it leaves the question open. My guess is, the design team had an implicit assumption that there would never be more than one; after all, it would be quite rare. So it's possible this question never came up during development. I"m not sure the frequency of occurrence is worth the number of posts we're generating here ... I just wanted to raise the issue.

The Vidiot
Published: 12/24/2009 2:22:20 PM

 I don’t see where the ambiguity is. If you have two foreign colonies, then “if you have a foreign colony on a planet by yourself” is true. Once that planet is devoured, “if you have a foreign colony on a planet by yourself” is still true, so the next planet is devoured as well. How is that ambiguous?

Published: 12/24/2009 2:30:49 AM

This one sounds relatively weak to me, but still very cool.  I really like the feel of it, with planets vanishing from the board.

Published: 12/23/2009 9:42:47 PM

Huhwhat?  How are your getting "for each" out of the fact that they say "colony on a planet" followed by "planet"? I don't see any explicit iteration at all.  (I'm not arguing it doesn't work that way; I just don't see any obvious evidence either way.)

Published: 12/23/2009 9:01:51 PM

They used "a foreign colony on a planet", then proceed to use the term "the planet". Seems like a rather obvious case of "for each" to me - you munch one planet, it's still Regroup and there's another planet eligible for munching, so you do it again.

Published: 12/23/2009 7:24:24 PM

Holy crap!  That's a pretty fearsome power; I love it. Excellent use of the separate planets in this edition. Now I know where to point my Omega Missile. ;-)

@Hugesinker: Normal shared colonies still count toward victory (the text does not prohibit this).

One concern ... This text seems ambiguous to me as to what happens in the (rare) case that Locust has two unshared colonies at the start of a regroup phase. Everything is written in the singular, but they didn't explicitly prescribe "one". I wish they had said either "one" or "each" so I would know.

Published: 12/23/2009 7:15:09 PM

The text implies that devoured planets are in addition to any regular foreign colonies.

Parasite basically means Locust's fun is done.

Published: 12/23/2009 6:26:35 PM

Does a shared foreign colony also count towards victory, or do they need to devour the plane?

Sounds like fun for the parasite.

The Warp
Published: 12/23/2009 3:45:51 PM

I love the fact that the devoured planet still counts as a colony... Locust won't be reduced below his current number of foreign colonies very easily.

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