Cosmic Pig

Cosmic Pig is a Cosmic_Encounter? variant that attempts to add the flavour of the fictional game InterstellarPig to CE while retaining most of the CE mechanics.

Equipment Needed

  1. "The Piggy" (a card depicting The Piggy, with the same back as the rest of your Challenge Deck), and the Piggy Edicts listed below (also with the same back). Card protectors can be useful to ensure your cards all look the same.
  2. Enough opaque envelopes for every planet and moon in the game. The envelopes should be just large enough to hold a Challenge card. They should be labelled with the colours of the systems in your CE set, plus a number (1 through 5). For example: Yellow 1, Yellow 2, Yellow 3, Yellow 4, Yellow 5, Yellow Moon 1, Yellow Moon 2.
  3. Optionally mix in Attack cards from the Hasbro/Avalon Hill edition of Cosmic Encounter (if you are not already playing with it) for its card titles and flavour text (e.g. Dark Matter Beam, Quark Fork).


  1. Add The Piggy to (14p-1) cards (where p is the number of players), shuffle, and deal 14 cards to each player from this mixture.
  2. Every player must draw one Cosmic Encounter power. Planet-destroying powers such as Terrorist should not be used in Cosmic Pig. The Virus should not be used with a Cosmic Encounter set that does not have negative Attack cards.
  3. Ensure that (with a Mayfair or Eon set or similar) all players have their hexes oriented so their planets are facing the center of the board and their stars are facing themselves. The planets are considered to be numbered left to right, from the perspective of an attacker. Thus, planet Yellow 1 is the leftmost planet from the perspective of someone facing the Yellow player. If Moons are used, they are also numbered from left to right using the same perspective.
  4. Randomly determine which player hides cards first. (This player also makes the first challenge.) Moving clockwise from the selected player, each player in turn may hide any number of cards from her hand (including The Piggy) in any planet envelopes, except envelopes that have already been chosen. You may only keep up to seven cards in your hand at the start of the game; if you have not hidden at least seven of the 14 you were dealt, you must discard down to seven cards. You may not discard The Piggy during the card-hiding phase of the game.

Game Play

  1. The object of the game is to possess The Piggy (in your hand or in one of your system's envelopes) at the end of the final challenge in the game. All other alien races and their planets are considered to be destroyed. Because all other planets than the winner's are destroyed, you must retain at least one token in your home system to win; otherwise, all players lose. If no one has The Piggy at the end of the last challenge, again, all players lose.
  2. At the beginning of every challenge, the six-sided die is rolled. If it shows a '1', then The Piggy is exposed for all players to see, wherever it is. A Piggy Challenge (see below) does not occur.
  3. Attack cards represent the average IRSC (Interstellar Relative Sapience Code), or intelligence, of your forces. The lower the IRSC, the better. Thus, all players in effect have something like the Anti-Matter power. For both sides, instead of the total being (card + tokens), it is (card - (total bases + tokens)), with the lower total winning. ("Total bases" means the sum of a player's home and foreign bases.) Thus, if a player has a 10 Attack card, 3 home bases, 3 foreign bases, 3 of her own tokens committed, and 3 ally tokens on her side, then her IRSC is (10 - (3 + 3 + 3 + 3)), which is (10 - 12), or -2.
  4. Reinforcements are subtracted rather than added. Kickers work as usual. Any Attack card beats a Compromise card.
  5. If someone actually draws Anti-Matter as a power, that player is considered to be playing Homo sapiens, and has an anti-Anti-Matter ability. As a main player, after Challenge cards are chosen, but before they are revealed, the Homo sapiens player may declare "Homo sapiens challenge!" and both sides will play with the regular higher-is-better Cosmic Encounter challenge rules. (See the books for the rationale for this rule. We may create a Homo sapiens alien power card to replace the Anti-Matter card in games of Cosmic Pig. Watch this space.)
  6. Unlike regular Cosmic Encounter, you may commit any number of tokens to a challenge, whether as a main player or as an ally. You must take them off your bases first, however, even in a Piggy Challenge (see below).
  7. When you as a main player defeat another player (even one playing as ally) who holds The Piggy, you receive The Piggy from that player (just as one player who defeats another player in combat in the novel can take The Piggy from the defeated player). This happens before Consolation (Compensation in the Hasbro/Avalon Hill edition), if the loser played a Compromise (Negotiate) card.
  8. When you select another player's system colour from the Destiny Deck, it means you are travelling to that player's system, but you may attack any base in that system, of whatever colour, and the owner of that base becomes the main defensive player. (This simulates the roll-and-move "Oh goody, I rolled a 12, I'm going to Flaeioub!" mechanic in the book, and allows for latitude in choosing an opponent when you have an educated guess as to who has The Piggy. It is the opposite of the Internet Edict card Extreme Prejudice, which lets you attack the player whose colour was drawn from the Destiny Deck, anywhere on the board.)
  9. Anyone who lands on a planet or moon as a main player (even as part of a deal) may exchange any number of cards from the corresponding envelope with the same number of cards from his hand. Normally, no one else may examine the cards in an envelope. (If the player's hand is empty, he may take one card from the envelope.) Alternatively, the player may simply stash any number of cards from his hand in the corresponding envelope, as long as the envelope is empty.
  10. Players must announce the number of cards they exchange, take, or stash when they land on a planet or moon.
  11. When you have The Piggy and discard your hand, The Piggy is "dropped" on the table, and there is an immediate "Piggy Challenge", in which all players mutually challenge one another for the Piggy, much like the Internet Edict card Civil War, or the mad scramble for the Brain in Give_Me_the_Brain?. No alliances are allowed, and in case of a tie, another Piggy Challenge occurs. If a player does not have any Challenge cards in a Piggy challenge, she must discard her hand and draw a new one. The losing ships in a Piggy Challenge go to the Warp as usual.
  12. The Finder Edict does not allow players to locate a card (such as The Piggy) in an envelope, only in other players' hands.
  13. At the end of each challenge, roll two six-sided dice. If the roll is a '2', then the game is over and the player who has The Piggy is the winner. This simulates the random timer in Interstellar Pig.


  1. Since a losing ally holding The Piggy must give it to the winning main player, anyone who refuses to ally too often should be suspected.
  2. Suddenly certain powers become a lot more important. For example, Mind and Aura (which allow you to see other players' hands) increase in value, as does Clone (which allows you to keep Challenge cards so you don't have to discard your hand). The importance of Trader (which allows you to trade hands with another player) goes off the scale; perhaps it shouldn't be allowed in the game.
  3. The Finder Edict also becomes extremely valuable in this game, since it allows you to find The Piggy if it is in someone else's hand.
  4. There is renewed incentive to play a Compromise card if you are not holding The Piggy: you might draw it as consolation. If you know you are going to lose a challenge and you are holding The Piggy, it might even be useful to play a Compromise (Negotiate) card and try to get The Piggy back as Consolation.
  5. Even though the object of the game has been changed from obtaining five foreign bases to having The Piggy at the end of the game, it is still important to have as many bases as possible: it helps you when calculating your IRSC during a challenge, and it may decide the game if someone plays the Piggy-Befriending Contraption Edict.

Piggy Edicts

These are special Edict cards for Cosmic Pig. They have been named in keeping with the flavour of the Attribute cards in InterstellarPig:

These Edict cards, plus the card for The Piggy itself, which is not an Edict, are now available in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, xpdf, or a similar program, in order to view and print them. Thanks to Marty_Hale-Evans? for the graphic design of these cards.


The basic idea for Cosmic Pig was suggested by LionKimbro; most of the elaboration on the basic idea has been done by Ron_Hale-Evans?, who wrote these rules. Playtesters included John_Braley?, Mark_Purtill?, and Jon_Tanner?, at SeattleCosmicGameNight20030704, as well as Brett_Lentz?, Sara, Izzy, Eugene, Rude Boy, and two other players whose names I have forgotten, at Dragonflight XXV in 2004. Thanks to all!