Cosmic Encounter Online

Some of you old-school boardgamers out there might want to check out Cosmic Encounter Online, which just went live yesterday:

http://cosmicencounter.com/screens/home.html

It doesn’t feel the same as sitting around a table trash-talking with live people, of course, but it’s still pretty fun and manages to maintain the basic feel of the game. Right now there are a lot of people playing, so opponents are easy to come by.

For those of you that don’t know the game, it’s been around since, like, 1977, and as far as I know it was the first boardgame to use the idea of unique player-powers which “break” the basic rules of the game and thus create a different dynamic depending on the powers in play. It’s hard to imagine Magic – or any games that share that rule-breaking mechanic – existing without the precedent of Cosmic Encounter.

It was also the inspiration for the Avalon-Hill Dune boardgame that I had a lot of fun with.

Dune was a great game. It’s really too bad that it’s out of print. Now that you’ve reminded me of it, Mark, I may have to track down a copy on ebay…

EDIT: I just looked it up and found out that in fact it was designed by the same guys who did CE.