GTM #241 - Cosmic Encounter Duel
by Fantasy Flight Games



Attention to all alien species! The Cosmic Citizenship Council has made the unprecedented announcement that it will allow two new alien species to join its ranks. Unfortunately, they forgot to make two copies of the filing form, meaning that only a single species will be granted entrance! It’s time for a duel across the planets of the galaxy to determine who deserves the right to become a Certified Civilization.

The universe grows a little bigger and a little brighter with Cosmic Encounter Duel! In this head-to-head board game, two players will each take leadership of one of 27 brand-new alien species, intent on navigating the treacherous turmoil and zany contests of a cosmic duel, racing to become the first player to seize control of five planets and join the Cosmic Citizenship Council on a permanent basis!

Duel for Control

At the heart of Cosmic Encounter Duel, as with the original Cosmic Encounter, players must duel for control of key planets across the galaxy, dispatching ships from their home base and carefully selecting plans and tactics that can give them an edge in the coming duel. In the original game, the destiny cards determined which player would become the target of an attack, but with only a single opponent in  Cosmic Encounter Duel, the destiny cards instead inform the players about what kind of challenge awaits them at each turn—most commonly, dueling over a newly revealed planet!

Duels are fast and frequent, but if only one player can become a Certified Civilization, players will have to carefully weigh the consequences of victory and defeat. Each duel begins as players secretly select a number of ships to send to the contested planet, demonstrating the strength of their commitment and how strongly they plan to hold the planet.

Once the first alien ships have landed on the planet, each player must choose a plan card and one of Cosmic Encounter Duel’s unique double-sided tactics tokens. These tactics tokens invite players to launch a devastating alpha strike, potentially wiping out enemy ships before the duel is even resolved. Alternatively, a player may decide to protect their own holdings, shielding their ships from enemy tactics. Choosing whether to push for destruction or protect their own ships is a key consideration for both players when selecting their tactics cards!

So long as there are still ships from both sides at the planet once tactics have been revealed, both players will reveal the plan cards that they selected, which can add significantly to their clout on the contested planet.

Once any final reinforcements have been summoned, the player with the greatest clout at the planet will seize control of the contested planet… for now, at least!

Cosmic Contests

Duels over planets are the primary way that players contest for victory in Cosmic Encounter Duel, but it’s not the only way that a clash can play out. Special cards from the event deck can bring players together in any number of zany or unusual competitions. Players may need to guess the number that their opponent has on a selected plan card, play a quick round of Go Fish, or divide their hand of plan cards into two piles. No matter exactly how the event plays out, these cards are sure to shake things up and force players to think on their feet as they move closer to victory.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Cosmic Encounter game without plenty of aliens! There are 27 brand-new playable alien species in Cosmic Encounter Duel, each with a game-warping ability. Players may find themselves controlling the genial Friends, who are adept at manipulating the favor of the envoys who arrive to lend a hand to both players. Or, a player may take control of the Knot, who simply choose the winner of every tie!

In addition to the playable aliens, plenty of aliens from the classic Cosmic Encounter arrive in the form of envoys. Players will struggle to increase their friendship with these envoys over the course of the game, reaping powerful benefits for envoys on their side. Whether you win over the representatives of the Oracle, the Mind, the Trader, the Anti-Matter, or an even stranger species, these envoys can mean the difference between citizenship and a slow fade into obscurity for your alien species.

Who Will Triumph?

Two players go head-to-head for control of the galaxy in every game, but only one will emerge victorious. It will take creativity, guts, and the adaptability for any alien species to survive these duels and claim citizenship at the end of the game.

Whether a player has followed and played the classic game of Cosmic Encounter for years, or this is their first experience with these wild, intergalactic battles, there’s never been a better time to leap into the game. Players can dive headfirst into a new galaxy of excitement with Cosmic Encounter Duel!