From a rocky start to my favorite game
CE is hard to describe. At its face, it's pretty simple and even reads as a pretty boring game - each turn, a player is randomly assigned an enemy to invade. After determining how many ships to send (each ship is worth a point for their side of the conflict), a free-for-all negotiation starts where every player can be invited to join the opposition and defense. Promises can be made and alliances are formed, each player commits ships to their chosen side (if they were invited and if they accepted the invitation) worth one point towards their side of the conflict. Then each player plays a card, an encounter card worth a certain number of attack points or a negotiate card. If both players played encounter card, they add the number on the card to the ships committed by plays on their side -- the player with the higher number wins. If one player played a negotiate card, then they forfeit the round and draw cards (while all ships, including the allied ships, are lost). If both players play a negotiate card, then everyone takes their ships back and the players have a minute to broker a settlement, generally exchanging cards or points. Then, the next player draws who they randomly have to attack, and play moves forward.
As you can imagine, the game has everyone interacting through most of the game. Here's where the game gets crazy -- each player one of fifty unique and amazing special ability that completely breaks the rules of the game. One alien, The Loser, before the cards are flipped, can decide that the loser of this round actually wins and the winner actually loses. One alien has the ability to multiply the number of ships by the attack card, instead of adding them together. There are fifty aliens in the base game, so each game feels very different and the ways each alien interacts with each other creates a game unlike any I've ever played before.
This is a short preview of a review made by boardgamegeek.com