In this variant, defensive allies may draw from a special,
slightly more powerful deck of cards when receiving defender
rewards. This variant makes use of the reward deck.
Place the Reward deck to one side of the playing area.
This variant uses all of the standard rules and victory conditions, with
the exception of the following rules.
- When a player receives cards as defender rewards, he or she may draw some
or all of the cards from the reward deck.
- Reward cards that are played are discarded to a special reward deck discard
pile. This discard pile cannot be affected by any effect that affects the discard pile – only the normal discard pile can be affected by such effects.
- When the reward deck runs out, shuffle its discard pile to make a new
reward deck. If the reward deck discard pile is also empty, then no further
reward cards can be drawn until at least one reward card is discarded. The
reward deck never causes a cosmic quake.
Reward Deck Contents
Several new types of cards are introduced in the reward deck, and are
Negative Attack Cards
Some of the new attack cards introduced in the reward deck
have a negative value (–01, –04, and –07). These cards
should be treated as normal except that their value is less than
The negotiate cards introduced in the reward deck still count
as negotiate cards, but are slightly better than normal negoti-
ate cards. When a player collects compensation after playing
a crooked deal, he or she receives one extra card. Additionally,
if a player fails to make a deal after playing a crooked deal,
that player loses one less ship to the warp than normal, while his or her
opponent loses one extra ship to the warp.
If both players played crooked deals before failing to make a deal, the
two crooked deals cancel each other out and both players lose the usual
number of ships to the warp.
A Second Morph
A second morph card is included in the reward deck. It works
exactly the same as the morph card from the cosmic deck. If
both players in an encounter play a morph card, both sides
lose and all ships in the encounter go to the warp. See also Morphs
Other Reward Cards
In addition to the cards listed above, the reward deck also includes a
number of attack cards ranging from 10 to 23, new reinforcement cards
ranging up to +6, and several new artifact cards (including another cos-
mic zap and card zap).
Note, however, that only the cosmic deck contains attack cards higher
than 23 and flare cards, so sometimes it's better to draw from the cosmic
deck, depending on what's needed at the time.
Common Rewards Variant
For a wilder, more chaotic game with fewer additional rules, it's also
possible to simply shuffle the reward deck into the cosmic deck and play
A Reward Deck was first introduced in the Cosmic Incursion expansion, and a second one was part of the Cosmic Dominion expansion. The two decks are designed to be combined.
Both decks contain cards with different art on the backs, making for some unusual situations where you know someone is playing an encounter card from the Reward Deck, or allowing players to specifically target Reward cards with taking compensation.
The Cosmic Incursion expansion contains:
* Kickers, which multiply your Attack card, your Compensation, or your opponent's ships lost in a failed deal
* Rifts, a mechanic that makes its official debut in this edition of CE
* Attack -01, -04, -07
* Negotiate (Crooked Deal), which grants +1 cards in Compensation or +1/-1 on ships lost due to failure to deal
* Another Cosmic Zap, another Card Zap, and new artifacts for the FFG version (Finder, Space Junk, and Hand Zap)
* Some new Reinforcements, up to a +6
* Another Morph
The Cosmic Dominion expansion contains:
* New types of Kickers (X1, x1, x2, x2, x4, all with special abilities)
* New types of Rifts (2, 1, and a normal Rift 3)
* Variable Attack cards (02/20, 03/30, two 12/21, 21/12)
* Retreat cards
* Intimidate cards (-09, 19, 29, 39)
* A variable reinforcement, and a Reinforcement +4
* New artifacts (Ship Zap, Omni-Zap, Victory Boon, Rebirth, Solar Wind
* Another Morph
Additional Historical Notes on the Reward Deck
I found that in most games, players didn't ally with the Defense very often (usually only in the last rounds, to stop one player from winning). I wanted to increase the chances of a player getting "good" cards when receiving rewards. I also wanted to find a place to put all the unusual cards that were being added to my set. The result was a separate deck called the Reward deck.
During play, when a player has the option to receive rewards, they may choose draw from the Rewards deck (in addition to or in lieu of drawing from the normal Challenge deck, or taking tokens from the Warp/Praw).
The majority of cards in the Rewards deck should be considered relatively good.
Below are examples of cards that you can consider including:
Antibody Challenge Cards
Edicts (new ones)
Special Attack Cards
Special Compromise Cards
Expansion by Jack Reda