The game on the table this week was Cosmic Encounter, an epic game of cosmic negotiation and domination. Unfortunately the game started with the cosmic warp deciding that Sender had to attack Ben, but fortunately they decided to remain peaceful allies, and they negotiated a fair exchange of territories. From there the galaxy degenerated into a wretched hive of scum and villainy, with each race attacking and defending with no regard for past alliances or future trust. Dan attacked Ari, Adam and myself defended gloriously. Ari attacked Sender, and everyone else piled on. Dan attempted to negotiate with Adam….except he lied! Chaos and maliciousness prevailed in the universe!
As the game stated to approach the end game; Ari seemed to be able to get a win if he engaged in correct diplomacy. Sender offered him a chance to negotiate and win the universe in shared glory. But in his hubris, Ari decided to pursue the lone victory, thinking that a 1 vs 4 was an achievable feat. He launched his fleet into the nether while the rest of the galaxy stood firly against him. Unfortunately to our chagrin, Ari was so desperate to win, he was willing to sacrifice his fleets and people in a desperate kamikaze attempt. Half of his fleet piloted themselves straight into the planetary defenses, wiping out both his fleet and the militia defense at the same time. He then used his racial power to adjust the thrust of his attack to the weakest planet. Fortunately reinforcements arrived in the nick of time to even out the fight. But Ari wasn’t yet done, and he plunged more and more forces into the battle and the defense was forced to do the same. When the dust settled, it was a narrow victory with few left alive, but by virtue of ties going to defender, Ari failed to win his conquest.
Then it was Adam’s turn, and he attempted an attack on Ben was the best option to win the galaxy for himself. Fortunately Dan and Sender saw his deceit and deviousness, and decided to ally with Ben in defense of trust honor and all that is good. Ari foolishly caved thinking that he would now get back that shared victory that he had previously scorned. But Ari was weak and couldn’t see the lies on Adam’s face when Adam promised him a shared victory. Once Ari had commited his forces, Adam turned face and attempted to negotiate with Ben instead. Ben chose to accept the hand of peace and both parties sent their diplomats to the table. Alas! The diplomats on both sides were but mere decoys! Both of them chose to attack each others fleets instead, but with Ben having the more powerful forces, he repelled the invaders and all took note that neither of them could be trusted.
At last it was Ben’s turn, and Ben decided that after all that, the best plan of attack was destroying Sender to plant his last colony. Ben offered the chance to negotiate, and Ben responded by inviting Dan to ally with him. Dan turned him down, and Sender once again offered the chance to negotiate, and Ben responded by unleashing a plague on Sender’s planets (Intergalactic Geneva Convention IIX be damned!). Finally Sender once again offered Ben the chance to negotiate and Ben took it, and the two rejoiced in a shared galactic victory.
From there the five adventured off to Nottingham, where the evil sheriff had instituted a tax on many of the goods in the land. Sender started as the sheriff, letting Dan through for a modest bribe and unfortunately completely unsuspecting Adam and his bag of contraband goods. As sheriff passed around the table for the first round, a clear trend emerged of Dan trying to smuggle and failing, Ari constantly attempting to bribe, but never enough to appease the sheriff, Adam unfortunately being able to bluff and call fairly accurately, Ben lying in the weirdest ways that really benefited no one, and Sender alternating between bluffing not enough and bribing too much.
As round two progressed, Sender started by once again not correctly calling Adam’s bluff, Dan continued by kindly letting Sender pass with a combination of contraband and legal goods (for a hefty bribe of course), Ari taking a few bribes but letting others through, Adam letting Sender through with 5 bread (but taking the bribe damn it!), Ben calling Ari, Adam and Dan to his detriment, and then letting Sender through (but taking the bribe damn it!).
As the points were tallied and the prime merchants of goods were determined, Ben stole the title of Apple king as his markets were flush with pick of the season. Sender managed to slightly outmaneuver Dan as the Big Cheese due to having smuggled in contraband cheese in addition to his legal stock. Sender also took home the title of Best Baker thanks to the poorly shuffled deck and the 10 bread he had stockpiled the last two rounds. And finally Sender was also the Head Hen, for despite the shortages prevalent in the land, he still narrowly won out the most chickens with a mere 6 to Adam’s 5. But despite being head honcho in many legal goods, Adam proved once again that Dan and Sender had far too much hubris, as he took home the victory thanks to pretty much stealing 40 coins from them as they both attempted to smuggle in mostly contraband. So Adam won the day, edging out Sender by 10 dastardly coins to terrorize the villagers as Sheriff forevermore.