Intimidate cards are not encounter cards, but can become them. Like encounter cards, they have double-digit values printed on them, and are played face down before being revealed. Unlike encounter cards, they cannot be played during the planning phase, but each player (not just the main players) may play one, and a main player may use one of his or her allies' played intimidate cards (without looking at it beforehand) in place of his or her selected encounter card. An intimidate becomes an attack if revealed against an attack, or a negotiate when revealed against anything else. Intimidates that end up not being used and any encounter cards they end up replacing return to their owners' hands.
(From the Cosmic Dominion rules)
Intimidate cards are new non-encounter cards that often turn into encounter cards. During any encounter, each player in the game may play one intimidate card facedown on the table, any time before the planning phase, announcing that it is an intimidate card.
- When a main player plays an intimidate card, it will automatically become his or her encounter card when cards are selected in the planning phase. (Because that main player has essentially “pre-played” an encounter card, he or she will not be subject to restrictions on card selection by game effects such as Loser, Magician, Oracle, Super Philanthropist, and Visionary, and does not have to draw a new hand or end his or her turn because of running out of encounter cards.)
- When a non-main player plays an intimidate card, he or she is advertising it for potential use by main players who might invite him or her to ally. After encounter cards are selected but before they are revealed, each main player may choose one intimidate card played by one of his or her allies to replace his or her encounter card (regardless of how that card was selected). This choice is made “blind,” without first seeing the intimidate card; the ally can make statements (true or false) about the card, but may not show it.
When a player reveals an intimidate card as his or her encounter card, it becomes an attack card if the opposing player reveals an attack card. If the opposing player reveals anything else, the intimidate becomes a negotiate card. An intimidate card modifies itself before other game effects occur.
Intimidate cards on the table are not part of a player’s hand. Those that end up not being used, as well as encounter cards that get replaced by intimidate cards, are not revealed. Instead, they return to their owners’ hands as soon as it is clear that they are not being used.