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Zeros and Negatives.

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#1 crimhead



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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:01 AM

With the new expansion (a fine thing) we have an influx of negative attack cards and a zero kicker.  I haven't found these to be terribly useful in my games so far, but I'd like to brainstorm their qualities.

  • Loser & Anti-Matter:

With either of these powers in the game, the situation can arise wher the lower total will win the encounter.  If one or more of these aliens are in your game, all the above cards are good.

  • Sorcerer & Trader:

With these guys in the game, bad cards can be good simply because they might well become your opponents' cards. Of course the zero kicker is still useless - sorcerer can't switch it, and if it's traded it may never get used.

  • Ethic can use the low numbers as negotiates, with the occasional distinction that they will win against other low cards.  The zero kicker is useful for Ethic too.
  • Reserve loves negatives!  They act as reinforcements, which can add to either side.  Zeros are no good to reserve though.

Other times they can be good simply because you want to lose the encounter.  Some such situations include (but are not limited too:

  • Playing as or against Masochist.
  • Occasionally when playing as Warpish (especially with several allies on your side compared to the opposing side).
  • When Parasite has come along uninvited.

In most of the above cases you'd rather have a Negotiate - but sometimes you don't want compensation because your opponent has crapola or because you are running out of cars and would rather have eight than four.  Zeros are good in these cases - the zero kicker can even be used with negotiare precisely to avoid having to take compensation..

Has anybody noticed strengths these cards have which I may have overlooked?  (I haven't yet looked through the flare deck with this in mind).


If FFG is reading, I request more aliens which make these cards interesting.  Especially considering every new alien that doesn't make these useful dilutes the alien deck of those which do.


#2 Toomai



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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:03 AM

Philanthropist also loves the super-low cards, since he's giving away a card that is either dead space or almost completely so.

Everyone likes negative cards when Anti-Matter or Loser is around, but especially Virus and Tripler.

Some powerhouse aliens can really show off by playing a x0 and winning anyway (Warpish, Warrior). Whoever does so is bound to feel a moment of awesome.

#3 crimhead



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Posted 31 March 2010 - 07:14 AM

Good call with Philanthropist!

Spiff likes these low cards too - including the zero kicker.

#4 crimhead



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Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:06 AM

Hate loves the x0 kicker!  discard an essentially useless card and most oponents won't have a kicker to lose, or won't want to lose one if they do.

#5 Kobold Curry Chef

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 04:23 PM

Playing the x0 Kicker can prompt your opponent to waste a better Kicker, too.

#6 oatesatm



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Posted 06 April 2010 - 04:13 AM

I also use the x0 Kicker quite a bit when I don't want any compensation, there are those few times when gaining compensation isn't what you'd like, you would rather draw a new hand next time around.

#7 crimhead



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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:49 AM

Add Citadel to the list - they can use negative cards as defensive citadels when they're on the offense.  So far the list of Aliens that make these cards interesting:

  • Masochist
  • Loser
  • Anti Matter
  • Sorcerer
  • Trader
  • Philanthropist
  • Spiff
  • Ethic
  • Reserve
  • Hate

That's in addition to other interesting things these cards can bring about.

Kobold Curry Chef said:

Playing the x0 Kicker can prompt your opponent to waste a better Kicker, too.  Such as...

Bluffing with x0 is an interesting thing.  Your opponent will either fear a huge attack or a nasty negotiate.  You might get them to play big cards and or kickers in hopes to beat your high number.  Then again they might retreat into a negotiate if they thing they can't win.  If they fear you'll force heavy compensation, they might play a negotiate and try to deal.

But this can easilly backfire.  If they are more worried abvout losing nine ships (due to a botched deal) then they are about compensation, they'll play a low number.  Similarly, if they decide they can't win and don't have a negotiate, they will also play a low number.  These low numbers might still beat your zero, and your trick backfires.

I would think this bluff works best when:

  • You have a small and poor hand (hence do not want nor fear compensation).
  • Your opponent has, or likely has, big numbers and/or a kicker too.
  • You are unlikely to win anyway if you don't bluff with x0.

Maybe one day I'll try this bold maneuver.

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