News for May 2014
Cosmic Dominion
Announcing a Fan-Designed Expansion for Cosmic Encounter
Cosmic Encounter | Published 22 May 2014

The forces in the Cosmos have grown. New aliens have appeared, and with their arrival, the tensions between all races have never been higher. Who will reign in this crowded Cosmos? Only time will tell.

Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to announce the upcoming release of Cosmic Dominion, the fifth expansion for Cosmic Encounter… an expansion that goes further than ever before to acknowledge the game’s debt to its enthusiastic and imaginative community of fans!

In this fan-designed expansion, thirty new aliens blast their way onto your tabletop. Chock full of fan-favorite aliens, wacky new powers and flares, and a brand-new reward deck, Cosmic Dominion will have you and your friends competing to determine once and for all who rules the galaxy. Four new variants allow you to modify the classic Cosmic Encounter experience, and new ship markers allow players to create their very own variants.

Designed for the fans and by the fans – in conjunction with Peter Olotka, one the game’s original designers – Cosmic Dominion is a must-have for anyone hoping to explore all that the game’s cosmos has to offer!

Thirty New Aliens

Cosmic Dominion features thirty new aliens, the most an expansion has ever offered. With all the fan favorites and zany new powers among them, you’re sure to find an alien among the bunch to play as you endeavor to take over the galaxy.

From the Doppelgänger and its haunting presence to the Alchemist with its transmutative abilities, the thirty new aliens in Cosmic Dominion represent the fan community’s collective contributions and offer an assortment of unique approaches to claiming dominion over the galaxy.

You can use the Privilege of the Aristocrat to leverage your way to victory, or embrace the Pickpocket’s sneaky methods to Lift cards from your opponents. Raid fellow players when you play as the Pirate, or Discover the galaxy as the Explorer.

For more about the origins of Cosmic Dominion and the fan community’s involvement in the creation of the expansion’s thirty new alien races, we present you with a few words from Peter Olotka.

Peter Olotka on the Development of Cosmic Dominion

Cosmic Encounter has always been about breaking the rules, so it stands to reason that the game should break the rules about designing expansion sets. In this case, the rule that only the designers and publishers would create new expansion sets was broken by the Cosmic Encounter fans!

The design process took a couple of years and was organized online. Roughly eighty fans are cited in the Cosmic Dominion rules for playtesting and development, about twenty of whom are cited for Alien Design. The credits for Expansion Design and Development also go to fans: Jefferson Krogh, Bill Martinson, and Jack Reda.

In addition to new aliens, the fans decided the set should include fan updates of some of the original Eon Products aliens that were left out of the FFG version.

The design process evolved as it went along. Initially Bill Eberle, another original Cosmic Encounter designer, and I participated by adding our own ideas to the mix and critiquing the work of the fans. That process did not work. We were getting in the way and defeating the purpose of the fan set, so we bowed out and pulled our ideas out of the mix. I converted my role into a liaison between the fans and FFG.

Jeff, Bill, and Jack then buckled down and did an astonishing amount of work to wrangle a Space Ark of aliens down to thirty. They also created a considerable amount of other new content as well.

Within this new, ever-expanding universe, there will now be 165 Aliens. That makes 29,772,765 different four-player alien combinations. So unless you are the Zombie with the power of impartiality, while you are not going to play them all, you’ll never have to play the same game twice.

I want to publicly thank all of the thousands Cosmic Encounter players who in one way or another participate in this one-of-a-kind endeavor.

On behalf of the fans of Cosmic Encounter, I would also like to thank FFG CEO Christian T. Petersen, VP of Research & Design Corey Konieczka, Producer Jason Walden, and all the other good folks at Fantasy Flight Games for trusting this project to the Cosmic Encounter players!

Thoughts from the Fan Designers of Cosmic Dominion

Longtime fans of Cosmic Encounter, Jefferson Krogh, Bill Martinson, and Jack Reda took their love of the game to an unprecedented level with their work on Cosmic Dominion. Like Peter Olotka, each of them was inspired to offer some words about the process of working on this unique fan-created expansion.

Jefferson Krogh:

“I love Cosmic Encounter because I never know where it will take me, and it evokes a sense of wonder and humor that's rare in real life. Now it's taken me to where I had the chance to work with other people to help design Cosmic Encounter, and it's like the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm not sure how I got here, or what really happened, but I know that it's been intensely cool and mind-blowing.”

Bill Martinson:

“You'd think after all these decades of adoring fans stretching, twisting, flip-flopping, and transmogrifying the game system (which somehow remains as resilient as ever) we would've seen it all. But it's a big cosmos, and we were amazed by players' ingenuity again and again. Having so much great material to choose from made it a privilege and a pleasure to help guide it all into yet another eclectically fun, serious, whimsical, and fun expansion set for the best board game on the planet!”

Jack Reda:

“There are so many things to enjoy about Cosmic Encounter, and each fan brings a perspective about what he or she likes best. It was fun and rewarding to be exposed to so many varying effects, and to help shepherd everything to the end product.”

Variants in the Cosmos

In addition to its thirty new Aliens, Cosmic Dominion introduces special ship markers that allow players to enjoy a range of variant play options as they compete for control of the galaxy.

The Flagship Variant grants players the ability to add a plus three to encounters in which their flagships are involved, while the Salvage Vessel variant rewards players for involving their Salvage Vessel in encounters, allowing them to receive two rewards or draw two tech cards (if in use) and choose one to keep.

Moreover, the new special ship markers are also designed to allow players to create their own variants, and you will be encouraged to browse the different variants, as well as contribute your own, in a special ship marker variants thread that we will add later to our community forums.

Brand New Rewards

Cosmic Dominion also includes a brand new reward deck as part of one of the expansion’s new variants. This new reward deck includes several brand new types of cards, as well as more of the new cards types introduced in previous expansions.

You’ll find new Intimidate cards that may turn the tide of encounters before they begin, and Retreat cards which allow players to completely avoid conflict. Meanwhile, Rift and Kicker cards, similar to those found in the Cosmic Incursion expansion, offer a wider variety of game effects to shake up the galaxy.

Claim Dominion!

In our upcoming previews, we’ll explore more of the new aliens, ship variants, and rewards coming to Cosmic Encounter in Cosmic Dominion.

This fan-designed expansion is scheduled to make its way to your galaxy late in the third quarter of 2014. Until then, keep checking back for more news and previews, and keep an eye to our Facebook page, where we’ll spoil aliens not shown on our website!

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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