Pulsars


1. There is one Pulsar Card for each power. At game set-up, once all powers are determined, the Pulsar Cards of the powers are shuffled into the deck. If there are secret powers, those too are put in the deck by their owners. Unlike Flares, no extra Pulsar Cards are put into the deck. If a power leaves the game and/or a new power enters the game, Pulsar Cards are not replaced. If Pentaform is in the game, only the Pentaform Pulsar Card is placed in the deck, not its life stages. If Progenitor is in the game, the Pulsar Card of the power of the second system is put into the deck. The main player opposing Cripple has no restriction in regards to Pulsar Cards. Pulsar Cards cannot be played during Sanity. During Insanity (a new Edict) they have to be played as per Insanity, but you are not required to use an effect that would cause you to discard it.

2. By default, when you play an Pulsar Card you do not discard it. There are circumstances where you discard it when played (see below), but for general purposes, you return it to your hand. If applicable, an invoked Pulsar Card has a continuous effect till the end of the challenge.

3. If you have the Pulsar Card not of your power, you play the Con effect. The purpose of the Con is to give you immunity to that power. The power itself is not considered zapped or not in use; it just means you cannot be affected by it. For example, if you have the Vacuum Pulsar, Vacuum cannot choose you to lose tokens but may still choose other players to lose tokens. If you have the Mutant Pulsar, Mutant cannot fill his hand with your cards, but other players' hands are still available to Mutant. In some cases, because of the power, a direct Pulsar is not possible or feasible. In such a case, playing the Con limits the power in some way. For example, if you have the Zombie Pulsar Card, Zombie can only free your tokens from the Warp as part of a deal, but Zombie's tokens still do not go to the Warp. If you have the Virus Pulsar Card, when you oppose him in a challenge, his allies' tokens are only added, not multiplied, but Virus' tokens still multiply.

4. You may use the Pulsar Card not of your power to prevent the use of that power only for the remainder of the challenge. If you do so, the Pulsar Card is discarded. The power is considered not in use. Unzap does not negate this effect, but the new Edict Pulsar Zap does. Unlike a Cosmic Zap, you do not have to wait until the power is used to invoke this effect. For example, if you have to get a new hand as the defensive player in phase 3 against Anti-Matter, you can play the Anti-Matter Pulsar Card to prevent the use of the Anti-Matter power for the remainder of the challenge, even though Anti-Matter is only used in phase 8.

5. If you have the Pulsar Card of your power, you use the Pro. This makes your power stronger. For example, if Anti-Matter has his Pulsar Card, his opponent's allies' tokens are added to his opponent's challenge total. In some cases, it lifts a restraint from the power description. For example, Negator with his Pulsar Card can negate the use of a power. In a few cases the power is given a new ability.

6. If you have the Pulsar Card of your power but lack three home bases, you may still use that power only. However, you are then not permitted to use the Pro effect. In an optional rule in multi-power games, a player would lose the use of one power losing a third home base, a second power losing his fourth, and so on. In such a case, the player is permitted to declare he will lose the use of power of an Pulsar Card he already has and invoke this ability to keep the use.

7. If you have the Pulsar Card of your power yet somehow lose the use of it by means other than lack of home bases or loss of power card, you can discard it to keep the use of the power. For example, by discarding your Pulsar Card, you can ignore Cosmic Zap, Power Outage, or Wild Wrack, but only for that particular power. You are still bound by Silencer.

8. Pulsar Cards are, obviously, "non-challenge cards" for all purposes. Pulsar Cards are a new option in Witch's list. Negator can negate the use of an Pulsar Card. Negating the Con Negator Pulsar is legal but highly inefficient. If other powers have a specific effect on Pulsar Cards, it will either be explained on the Pulsar Card or as part of my Commentary.

9. Keep in mind that the Pro of Pulsar Cards can make many Powers quite powerful. This is on purpose. If you are a player that doesn't like Cosmic Encounter to get quite so complicated or crazy, I don't recommend you use Pulsar Cards. If, like me, you relish Cosmic Encounter at its most cosmic with multi-powers, moons, Lucre, comets, basically the works, then by all means add in Pulsar Cards. You might notice a difference, but it's a good difference.

10. If there is a conflict between a player using the Con Pulsar and another player using his Super Flare the Super Flare always takes precedence, regardless of which was played first or timing order. The Pulsar Card has no effect but is not discarded.


See also Pulsar Card Effects

Expansion from Gerald Katz