In our mythos, the universe has been discovered to be a vast living organism and the planets are connected via an amniotic nerve reticulum…. In other words, wormholes between stars are connective webs of the Biocosm’s nervous system. Somewhere out there is an embryonic universe that is hatching soon… the Ovoid.
Powerful microscopes can stare deep into the embryo, revealing infinitesimally small swirling galaxies and nebulae, ready to burst forth.
But the creature who possesses the Ovoid will imprint onto it, and the next universe will be created to the will of the alien who possesses it when it hatches.
Chaos is not the same thing as randomness. It’s easier to poison Ghengis Khan when he’s still a young soldier than it is to defeat his massive Mongol hordes 20 years later.
You can’t control very many aspects of Chaosmos simultaneously– if you find an inactive Trap, you can set it immediately, but of course that doesn’t really help you, it just prevents others from getting it. You can remember where it is and leave it there, but then someone else might end up using it against you. If you carry it with you, it has now become a part of your strategy… or it’s just filling up your hand.
Part of the mystery of the game is the tough choices you must make about what aspects of the game you want to control, and when. Do you want to hold several planets at once using Bases? Do you want to lock off one planet with a Vault and hide the keys? Maybe you want to spend time controlling the enviro-gear, preventing the other players from going to particular planets. The whole while you will most likely need some weapons to protect yourself, and to find and take the Ovoid before the end of the game.
Cataleptic Fog and Temporal Displacer are the two most powerful cards in the game (other than the Ovoid). They cannot be recovered after use, so try to save them for the end game.
DON’T ACCIDENTALLY REVEAL CARDS. Open envelopes under the table, or turn them in such a way that the bottom card is not revealed to the players across from you. This is game about control of information, and information is far more powerful than weaponry.
Don’t use the same weapons too many times. Someone probably has already picked up the counter cards, and is planning a little surprise.
Don’t waste Hypertokens.
Your opponents’ enviro-gear become more valuable to them in the final turns.
Pay attention when it is not your turn. It shouldn’t feel like there is ever downtime between turns. The player who figures out what the other players are doing has a huge advantage.
Find the Ovoid. Don’t forget the goal of the game.
While the goal for the end of the game is to have The Ovoid, players may differ in their strategies during gameplay. Here are some different strategies a player might employ during the game. These strategies, other strategies, or a combination of strategies might be employed.
• Building up an arsenal of weapons, so as to be nearly unbeatable in combat. The idea here is to let others find and control The Ovoid, and then take it from them near the end of the game.
• Spores and Imps can be Nano Fabricated, like any other combat card.
• Gathering the Environment cards other players need to travel to certain planets, and stowing the cards on those planets, rendering it difficult for the other players to access them. If the necessary Environment card is on the planet along with the Disguise Selector (a universal Environment card), then the player cannot access the planet at all, unless another player helps them get one of the cards needed to journey there. [Therefore in a two-player game, such a strategy while controlling The Ovoid is a way to end the game prematurely, since the second player cannot access the planet to win it for himself or herself.]
• Setting up Vaults on planets to protect cards stored there. Anyone can lock a Vault, but only the player with the right Key can discard the locked Vault or take cards from an envelope protected by a Vault. In addition, players might save Keys they find in their journeys, in case they come across that color Vault. Or they might take an unlocked Vault and move it to a planet of their choosing. A player might even save an unimportant Key on their person as a red herring to fool other players into thinking the Key might be important. (See Vaults and Keys.)
• Protecting cards on a planet with one or more Traps. (See Traps.) Traps may be set in combination with a Vault, but an armed Trap always goes on top of a locked Vault.
• Using the Temporal Displacer card to end the game early or delay the game longer.
• Using Hyperspace cards or the Booster Rockets to avoid other players from engaging you in an Interstellar Space Battle (combat). (See Hyperspace, also Booster Rockets.)
• Squatting on a planet with strong resources, defending it against attackers. Cards in an envelope that a player controls cannot be accessed by the attacking player unless they win a battle (and therefore, control of the planetary envelope).
• Misleading other players by traveling to unimportant planets, or by holding onto unimportant Keys.
YOUR FIRST GAME: TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
Selecting a Secondary Planetary Envelope
Be sure to note which planet is ecologically unfriendly to yourself and your opponents. Also note where your home planet lies on the boardâ€“far away planets will be harder to explore without expending your precious Hypertokens.
Designing your opening hand
At the outset of the game you will have about 12 cards with which to create your hand and determine an opening strategy.
• Do your alien powers lean towards exploration, politics, warfare, etc? This might change your plan.
• Do your envelopes contain multiple Imps or multiple Spores? Those combine to create powerful weapons.
• Do you have a Vault or a Key or both? Did you start with the Ovoid? Perhaps you should carry these cards with you until you can find a planet to hide them on.
• Is there anything in the Cosmic Pool that you can use? Scrying Prisms let you peep other players’ hands or far-away unexplored planets.
• Do you have a Telethwarter? This can be set as a trap, but it might be more valuable as a way to get you home quickly in the future to access the Cosmic Pool.
• Which planets are already explored? Which have not been explored yet? In a 4 player game, only 2 planets are unexplored at the beginning, and (since players start the game with an envelope and can reach a second on your first turn, that’s 8 of the 10 planets) quickly controlling a third planet will net you 10% more knowledge about the location of critical cards.