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Oort Cloud and Space Stations

WorldWide CE'ers:
Below is given the only known remaining fragment of the ancient (circa 1991)
writings of the Lost Canberra CE tribe, known as the Canberra Variations.
Efforts to unearth the rest of their lost treasures have so far been
to no avail. Still CE archaeologists search so that these writings may be
re-discovered and be given an honored place in the CE Archives:

"We (a core cell of 4-5 of us, and a wide range of willing assistants) have
been playing now since about 1979 and have advanced through all the usual
Expansion sets, the Encounter magazine suggested additional powers, and now
quite a few of our own.  We realized some years ago that precedent, playability
and uniqueness were essential features of the game and began writing down
all resolved disputes on clashes and interpretations, modifications and new
creations into The Book.  (But more about these details later!)  More recently
The Book was enshrined into computer format and updated to include a large
number of new flares, powers, edicts, moons and two new concepts: a Space
Station system that works well, and the Oort cloud and its attendant Comets.
Before I briefly tell you about these systems I should mention a major
*       When we flip the destiny pile (we still use ours-by coating most
        of the cardboard parts of our games with clear varnish we have made
        them last very well) we have the choice of attacking ANY OCCUPIED OR

Other facets of our game style are:
*       Our standard practice is to each draw 4 powers from a deal of 9, and
        play them secret until revealed.  Only a few must be revealed at
        the start and are so annotated in our version.
*       We still use both praw and warp and normal and reverse cones.  These
        have always worked well, and we never saw the need to abandon these
*       We usually only play with 4 or 5 players.  We occasionally play with
        6, but then do so in 3 teams of 2.  Here your teammate and you can
        consult in your power choice.  You usually ally if possible, but
        can not attack each other (treat a flip of your teammates colour
        a you would your own - i.e. can get a praw token up a level and flip
        again, or attack someone else in that system, or a moon or comet).
        Winning conditions are 5 foreign bases for any ONE player on
        your side, OR 7 foreign bases between your team (shared bases only
        count once).  Works well!
*       We don't use the alternate Expansion Set 9 systems (too cumbersome)
        but have moons that cause hexes to be flipped over.
*       all games use Lucre (just hope you get a Lucre Power).

I won't post everything we have on file.  I think most of our
stuff has enough clarifications, etc. that that I should be able to post
our versions of the old Eon ones without infringing copyright, but any
suggestions here would be appreciated. (e.g. what is the copyright status of
things from Encounter magazine?) (Of course, we all have original sets,
and our files only contain info for our records and clarification).

Before I go today (I'm off to the Barrier Reef diving for 2 weeks on
Saturday so this might be my last post for some weeks) I'll briefly
describe the Oort cloud and Space Stations.

        The Oort Cloud is of course where comets come from.  This concept evolved from
the idea of a moon belt (roll a 6 at the start of your turn to get in) which
we found too simple, and not sufficiently integrated into the rest of the game.
The oort cloud is set up on a spare hex with 20-30 unrevealed moons and about
20 comets (neat picture on one side and a number on the other).  At the start
of each of of your challenges, move a comet from the Oort cloud onto the
Comet strip at the base of your hex.  This strip is number 1-9.  Comets have
values from 0 to 5, and advance this number along the strip every challenge.
(I'll post later a set of values that works well). You can occupy comets as you
can unoccupied moons in a system (This is free of Taxi charges etc.- but
all this info is on our power cards).  Max of two tokens per comet.  You can
return to occupied comets as to bases (up to 2).  You can challenge players
occupying comets, but NO ALLIES).  Comets can crash! If so all occupying
tokens go to the Warp.  When Comets finish their orbit through a System
and return to the Oort cloud tokens on them leave and can occupy (or attack)
the moons in the cloud.  Well, this is a BRIEF account, many other pieces
relating to Comets and the cloud are entered under specific moons, edicts
powers or flares so you'll have to wait for more details.   We've
devised some powers specific to the Oort cloud and Comets, and some edicts
(e.g. Galactic Storm is one) moons and etc.  This system works
very well, and has now been extensively playtested for some years.

        Instead of taking a challenge you may elect to raise a Space Station.
This costs 1 Lucre, and can only be raised in a System in which you have a base.
(either home or foreign). You need to occupy the SS with 1 or more tokens
while you possess it. To be attacked on a base in a system in which you have
a SS you must first be attacked on the SS.  If you are successful, then the
challenge progresses to the base and the same allies as for the SS attack
apply (but they choose number of tokens each time).  The advantage of the SS
is twofold.  First, you're less likely to be attacked (very useful in our
game version where anybody in a system can be attacked!). Secondly,
each SS has a secret value or effect.  The value is added to the challenge
outcome IF DESIRED (it may be negative), or the effect can be used IF YOU
WANT.  If defeated on a SS, tokens there go to warp and the SS back to the
tin without revealing (if unused).  We'll post our list of SS numbers and
effects soon.  The effects are based on other powers in the game, picking
up on a facet of that power much like wild flares.  The list is mostly
complete for our set of powers.  This system works well and provides a
very welcome line of defense in our mega games.

*       Given the above, the following "steps in a turn" file for our variant
might now make some sense:

24/6/91                         MARK 8

Before your first challenge, collect 1 Lucre.

1.      Place comet in orbit around system (as indicated by comet
frequency number).
2.      Move other comets around orbit (as indicated by comet frequency
number) in the order in which they appeared in the system.  Comets
landing on a position in orbit already occupied by another comet cause
them both to crash. Tokens on crashed comets go to warp. Tokens on comets
which reach the Oort cloud may land on up to two moons in the cloud.
3.      Regain or raise lost token from Warp/Praw. Tokens may also be
bought with Lucre (1 for 1) or retrieved with MOBIUS TUBES, WARP
BREAK, etc.
!       See note (#) below if you have no challenge cards
4.      Turn Destiny Pile Disc. If you flip your own colour you may raise a
token OR land tokens on a comet in your system, AND then flip again. If
you already occupy a base in the system of the colour indicated by
destiny, instead of mounting a challenge in that system you may pay a
Lucre to the box to launch and occupy a space station in that system. See
separate space station rules.
5.      Gather tokens (1-4) and load cone
6.      Point cone & announce Defensive Player (where appropriate)
!       Main players may now use Lucre to purchase cards  (1-4)  on a 1 for1
!       (For unoccupied moon or comet challenges, place tokens on a base
and go to step 19)
7.      Invite offensive allies (except on moon and comet challenges)
8.      Invite defensive allies (except on moon and comet challenges)
9.      Allies accept/decline (in order from left of offensive player)
10.     Play kickers
11.     Play Challenge cards
12.     Reveal Kickers and Challenge cards
!       Cards may no longer be purchased after challenge cards revealed.
13.     Determine outcome


14.     Losing tokens go to the warp (or elsewhere as appropriate)
15.     Winning tokens (including allies) move onto base
16.     Cards played are placed onto Discard Pile
17.     Consolation cards, if earned, are collected
18.     Winning allies collect rewards; (in order from left of offensive


14.     Allies return to bases.
15.     Challenge cards discarded.
16.     Main players have one minute to make deal.
17.     Carry through with deal or lose 3 tokens to warp.
18.     Offensive player returns tokens in cone to bases if appropriate.
19.     Extra consequences of challenge outcome (e.g. Flares, Power

!       If offensive player wins or makes a successful deal on their first
challenge they may make a second challenge, provided they still
have challenge cards.

(#)     On your first challenge, before the destiny pile is flipped, if you
have no challenge cards, discard edicts, flares and kickers (or play
if appropriate) and draw a new hand. If you have no challenge
cards at any time in your turn after the destiny pile is flipped on
the first challenge, your turn ends immediately.

Well, thanks once again for a great new newsgroup.  I hope no "official
compilations" of the game variants arises without everybody agreeing and
full acknowledgments.  Some I have seen look a bit silly, others very good.
What may have happened is that during the Dark Ages since we lost the Encounter
magazine and the present we now have evolved some new CE "species"
that will no longer breed true with the original line.  Lets not try to force
racial purity but instead nurture and appreciate the different breeds of CE
that now exist.  Maybe some ideas seen in this newsgroup will result in
co-evolution in some game facets, others may result in further speciation."

Jeremy Weinman

For the Canberra CE cell:
Dr. Drew Meek
Dr. Bob Irvine
Dr. Jeremy Weinman
Ron Levy