4) What is to be done when turning over the Invader's destiny cards if the Invader has lost their power? Are they skipped and redrawn?
Skipped and redrawn seems to be the simplest thing to do, but it should be on the card.
Another problem with Invader is the counting of encounters. It's very important to know which encounter a player is on (1st, 2nd, etc.) because this determines whether or not you get to continue your turn, and also needs to be known for effects like Lightning, Wild Lightning, Wild Machine, and Temporal Matrix.
But Invader says "After you have an extra encounter due to an 'Invasion!' destiny card, the player who drew it during his or her turn receives another encounter." The word "another" clearly means that a new encounter is starting, so if the player had been on his first encounter, when Invader is finished the original player is now on his second. Surely that must not have been the intent, since Invader's encounter is clearly called an extra encounter, and it really should be treated as such for consistency with all the other effects that grant extra encounters. Also, this cheats the original player out of one of his encounters.
Invader probably needs errata to say "After you have an extra encounter due to an “Invasion!” destiny card, the player who drew it during his or her turn restarts his or her encounter."
7) The Meteor Storm hazard. The card says that the combined totals for the encounter must exceed 25. Is this intended to be the full totals, as worded, or just the total of the attack cards? This seems clear, but it does seem to be asked quite frequently when players come across this card for the first time, so clarification might be useful.
This should be the full totals, for consistency with everything else. Best not to muddy the waters by having two different kinds of encounter totals.
Another thing that I think needs to be clarified: what to do, exactly, when a race card includes a "Do Not Use With..." text?
(In fact, it's not even literally clear from the wording on the card whether it means not to use these powers in the same game, or not to combine them as a result of Precursor Seed, etc. - but I think it is fairly obvious that it means that they shouldn't be used in the same game... Perhaps this should also be clarified?)
Is the idea simply that the player (or players) with the "Do Not Use With..." instruction, on revealing their power/s and finding the conflict, discard their card/s and redraw a new one at random? Obviously, it would be unfair to give the player/s a choice of two new cards to pick from, given that they're now aware of the other players' choices.
For simplicity, this should mean "do not have the powers together in the same game in any way": not used opposing each other, not used together, not chosen at the start of the game, and not brought in later by some other effect.
It's unfortunate if a player loses his starting choices altogether just because somebody else has the alien that knocks his out, so I would recommend allowing at least a minimum choice:
During Game Setup, if a conflict arises because of a Do Not Use restriction, the alien that has the printed restriction is removed from the game. (The one without the restriction remains in play.) The affected player may then choose either to use the second alien he or she was dealt and rejected, or to draw a replacement flare from the unused flare deck and become that alien (redrawing if another conflict arises, of course).
This way, the player at least has a choice. It's more limited than his original choice since he's choosing between an alien he rejected and an unseen random one, but on the other hand he now has the benefit of knowing what everyone else has chosen, and the one he rejected might even seem a bit more desirable now.
(Personally, I think that the ideal situation would be for these powers to be reworded so as to work well enough together that they don't need to include "Do Not Use With..." instructions at all; but if it's unavoidable that some powers must be kept exclusive, I think it would be more useful to reword the instruction on the card itself to clearly explain what to do when they are drawn in the same game; possibly as a "Game Setup" instruction, so as to avoid them coming into play as the result of "extra power" effects.)
Agree wholeheartedly. There are currently four such powers: Coordinator, Gambler, Magician, and Sadist. Gambler and Magician have really easy fixes to work with Sorcerer and Oracle, and players have been using the Gambler/Sorcerer fix for decades. The silly thing is, Magician already needs errata anyway so that it can coexist with its own flare, Wild Magician, which is guaranteed to be in the game! And the required errata will fix the Oracle interaction basically "for free." Here are the patches:
Add to Magician: If another game effect requires you to play your card first (e.g., Oracle, Wild Magician), you must do so. You then still use this power, but may not change the card you played.
Add to Gambler: If another game effect switches the encounter cards (e.g., Sorcerer), you may still bluff about the card you originally played, forcing your opponent to accept or challenge your claim about the card that he or she would now reveal. If another game effect forces you to show your card early (e.g., Oracle), you may use this power at that time.
Sadly, there's not really anything we can do about Sadist and Coordinator; they are pretty much stuck with their "tramp stamps."
Also, a lot of players have commented that Masochist really should say "Do Not Use with Healer." As much as I hate tramp stamps, I am forced to agree; Healer completely makes Masochist into a non-power.
1) The Schizoid wild flare: the card specifies that players swap home systems and colours (and therefore presumably all ships, including foreign colonies, but not hands, racial powers etc.?) - but some questions remain: what happens to ships currently engaged in researching Tech cards? The flare doesn't mention anything about swapping Tech cards, but as ships of the player's new colour may be on a Tech card, it makes sense to swap these along with the planets in the home system. And presumably, space stations should also be swapped even though not explicitly mentioned, since they are attached to the planets being swapped?
Space stations swap for sure, since they are already part of the home system.
Tech cards are not actually part of your home system, they are an aspect of the player, so errata will be required to define how they should be handled. Potential options include (a) swapping uncompleted techs, (b) swapping techs still being researched, © swapping all techs, (d) sending researching ships back to colonies, and (e) requiring researching ships to return to colonies and/or transfer to researchable techs of the new player (new owner's choice).
Wild Schizoid creates other problems, such as completely breaking aliens that say "This power cannot be lost, stolen..." (Horde, Pygmy, Symbiote). This is why the template was expanded in Cosmic Storm, and Roach and Swindler say "This power cannot be stolen, copied, or separated from your player color through any means." The FAQ should probably say that Horde, Pygmy, and Symbiote should be understood to have the same addition.
2) The Merchant's card specifies that the additional hired ships (cards) they can field can be lost as normal during the encounter, but return to the player's hand at the end of the encounter. However, "at the end of the encounter" is actually a little vague here, especially as many cards say "at the beginning of an encounter", but mean "at any point during the regroup phase" rather than specifically "at the start of a regroup phase". One time this is key is if using these ships to invade a planet with a Saboteur bomb: if the cards return after the encounter, then they would "land" on the planet and be destroyed; but if they are intended to return to the Merchant's hand as soon as the combat is over, then they are not affected by the bomb. Personally, I think that the best thematic interpretation would be that the cards return to the Merchant's hand before landing on the planet (they're hired guns, after all, rather than colonists!), saving them from the Saboteur's bomb; but as things are currently phrased, it could easily be interpreted either way.
I disagree that "at the start of an encounter" means any time during the regroup phase. Start means start; if you've done a bunch of regular regroup activities, then the start window has already passed. All start-of-phase activities have to be done before any other non-start-of-phase activities; similarly, all start-of-encounter activities have do be done before any other non-start-of-encounter activities.
Unfortunately you are correct about Merchant's timing, and hired ships do actually "land on the planet." This was a design flaw and has other problems besides Saboteur (think about Gorgon; yuck). So probably errata is appropriate here. Might as well fix that problem and the missing reference to capturing all in one shot; something along the lines of "Any hired ship that goes to the warp, is captured, or is removed from the game is discarded. Otherwise, hired ships become normal cards again and return to your hand
at the end of the encounter instead of landing on a planet."
Hmm, now that I think about it, the following would be much more bullet-proof:
Any hired ship that should land on a planet becomes a normal card again and returns to your hand. All other hired ships are discarded.
This should take care of any weird situation that we forgot about or that comes along in the future.
(It's amazing how often analyzing a wording to figure out what is really the core thing we're trying to say will usually make it shorter!)
1) After an alien power has been cosmic zapped, do parts of the power that do not require a use still work or is the alien disabled entirely until the end of this encounter?
This is a tricky one. In general, zapping — or any other kind of power loss — has to shut off both use and non-use effects. (In previous editions of the game, there was no distinction between the two and so everything was deactivated.) Other ways to lose your power include having too few home colonies, and having it stolen/traded/discarded by something like Changeling, Wild Philanthropist, Plant, Wild Plant, Reincarnator, Wild Reincarnator, or Wild Sorcerer.
However, some aliens have certain "residual" or "automatic" or "cleanup" effects that still need to operate regardless of power loss. These are scheduled, enqueued, or required by a previous use of some other part of the game text, or needed for cleanup or to keep the game engine running. They continue to take effect regardless of power loss (mostly this only occurs if something weird makes you lose a home colony after your power has been used but before the "scheduled" effect completes).
Examples include Leviathan increasing his total after launching a worldship, and later sending that worldship back home, Loser affecting the encounter outcome after declaring an upset during Planning, Merchant counting hired ships in Reveal that were played during Planning and then returning or discarding those cards, Mirror reversing digits after declaring the reversal earlier, Seeker making an opponent honor the previously given answer, Deuce returning one of the revealed cards to hand, Fungus carrying his stacks around and then breaking them apart in the warp, Grudge’s opponents discarding their grudge tokens, and Locust counting devoured colonies even after the power is lost.
2) If a player draws from the Reward deck, may Remora use its power to draw a card from the Reward deck or the Cosmic deck or can it draw no card at all? In general: does any reference to "THE deck" or "THE discard pile" on any card exclude the Reward deck/discard pile?
After Cosmic Incursion came out, one of the playtesters told us that the internal instructions had been that "THE deck" always means just the cosmic deck. So Remora does not activate when a player draws from the reward deck (which is probably a good thing).
3) Can you force Warhawk into negociation by playing an Emotion Control artifact or can Warhawk use its power (again) to change the cards that are now treated as negociate cards into attack 00s?
Warhawk is an ongoing rules headache that is going to require some very careful analysis, with close attention paid to what General Principles are implied by the final ruling(s). I'm almost certain that errata are going to be required to make this alien play well in the sandbox.
4) Are any cards exempted from a Cosmic Quake e.g. Miser's hoard, Cryo's cold storage etc?
I can't stress this enough: as stated on all the expansion-set rulesheets, a Cosmic Quake affects only hands, and nothing else. It does not touch a hoard, cold storage, citadel cards, Industrialist’s stack, The Claw’s claw, Cyborg's bionics, cards “set aside” by a game effect like Chronos or Wild Cryo, the encounter card stored under Quark Battery, flares on the table waiting to resolve, encounter cards on the table in the planning or reveal phase, etc.
Unfortunately, Kevin Wilson once said on BoardGameGeek that “no cards escape the quake.” I think he was trying to fix the “quake loop” problem (see below) but his statement has a number of unpleasant consequences. On the minor side, it means there need to be some patch rules and errata allowing things like The Claw and Cyborg to replenish their cards that otherwise would be gone for the rest of the game (since they only get replished via replacement). More major problems would include a series of rules to handle what happens when a quake scoops up one or more revealed encounter cards when the encounter is partially or fully resolved.
So I will fight this with my last breath: only hands, nothing else.
The "quake loop" problem is that the Cosmic Quake rule can create situations where somebody is in the middle of drawing for a certain effect and runs out of cards, but the Quake does not produce enough cards to finish the effect, so the player keeps drawing and quaking and drawing and quaking in an infinite loop. The solution to this is not to scoop up all cards in the game, since that creates even more and worse problems, but to amend the quake rule to say what happens when there aren't enough cards to give everyone an 8-card hand and still meet the demand of the current draw action.
I have a proposal for that which is both fun and Cosmic, that I will discuss in a later post.
Edited by Just_a_Bill, 04 January 2014 - 09:16 AM.