Cosmic Alliance is the 3rd expansion to Cosmic Encounter. The box contains a new color (white), and all the materials for an extra player, 20 new powers, extra cards for a large game, and rules to play teams.
I've had Alliance since early March, but I wanted to wait on a review until I had a chance to play teams. Fortunately, I got that chance at the end of March when I visited Westmont. I played with 6 players, 2 of whom had never played, and 1 who had only played twice and barely remembered anything, so essentially 3 new players. Due to that, we decided to have the 3 who remembered the game pair up with the 3 newbies and formed teams that way.
I like the aspect that you always have your teammate as an ally. It is a great way to introduce people to the game, and is now my method of choice for helping. You may have to bend some rules and let a teammate see cards so they can explain things, but that just makes for a better team effort.
I give the team rules a big thumbs up. It's a great way to teach the game, and a great way play with large groups.
Let me take a moment to talk about the extra cards. Two words - Power Creep. Another Attack 30 and a Reinforcement +8??? Those are just too good. Might as well have another 40. Also, all even values on the Attack card, further skewing things to even. Where were the 17s, 19s, 15s, maybe even a 21. The choices for cards here seem odd, and lacking creativity. It's nice to have more cards for the main deck, but the community could have come up with a better set.
The new powers are fun. People may complain about this power being too good, or this one being too weak, but you just have to go with it. Cosmic is more about your hand and your ability to persuade others than the actual power you have. It's simply called make the best of what you have. Sure, the design team should come out with better powers, but once they're there either don't play with them or learn to play the power. I like the challenge of figuring out how to play Observer well, or Hacker. Each power has it's strengths and weaknesses, and the fun of Cosmic 200 games later is finding new ways to exploit a power's potential.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Horde, or as we like to call them, Cosmic Scrubbing Bubbles, or Duckies.
Until next time, have fun playing games.