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Leviathan and Spaceport Variants


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#1 Jon Gon

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 03:53 AM

Leviathan Variant

This idea for an expansion was inspired by Jack Reda’s Leviathan power, by my power Armada and from the Prometheus ship from FGG.

The basic idea is quite simple and it consists in adding a new type of ships to Cosmic. These new ships, the Leviathans, will upgrade the ship micro-management component of the game. It will also make getting new technology cards significantly easier.

Rules for Leviathan Variant:

1- Each player starts with one Leviathan per home planet.
2- Each Leviathan is worth +5 for combat purposes (including Virus*, Anti-Matter)
3- Only offensive main players can place Leviathans on the hyperspace gate. The maximum force they can send is one Leviathan plus 1-4 normal ships.
4- In the beginning of your turn you can return all or some of your Leviathans from foreign colonies to home colonies.
5- When Leviathans go to the warp they can only be retrieved if a player no longer has normal ships there. They are also retrieved by Mobius.**
6- Leviathans are not entitled to compensation.
7- When you send opponent’s Leviathans to the warp you receive 1 card/ship for each one.
8- Leviathans are worth 1 for technology purposes.
9- In the beginning of your turn you can remove one of your Leviathans (not in the warp) from game and trade him for one random technology card.

*Virus multiplies ships for attack value and then adds Leviathans
**Leviathans in the warp only add +1 to Warpish.
 



#2 Jon Gon

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 03:54 AM

Spaceport Variant:

Game Setup: Place the spaceport near the warp. Place 8 encounter cards facedown in the spaceport and 2 technology cards. Nobody can see the cards.

Rules:

1- Whenever you draw a wild destiny card or your own colour, you can choose to attack the spaceport. The spaceport is worth +10. If you win, you can see the cards that are in the spaceport and take one to your hand for each ship you have committed. You can however take a maximum of one technology. All other cards are discarded face down.

2- The spaceport is then refilled with cards from the deck.

3- As long as you have ships in the spaceport you control it and if attacked, you must defend him like you would defend a planet.

4- There are no alliances when attacking/defending the spaceport

5- Attacking the spaceport counts as one encounter.

6- While you control the spaceport, in the beginning of any player’s turn you can discard one encounter card from your hand and take a random one from the spaceport. You must then refill the spaceport to 8 encounter cards again by taking one from the deck.
 



#3 Big Head Zach

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 04:25 AM

Jon Gon said:

Game Setup: Place the spaceport near the warp. Place 8 encounter cards facedown in the spaceport and 2 technology cards. Nobody can see the cards.

By encounter cards, do you mean just cards from the draw deck in general, or is there some way you're supposed to pull only Encounter cards (Attack/Negotiate/Morph) from the draw deck and add them?



#4 Jon Gon

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:55 AM

I mean cards from the draw deck in general (AttackNMReiforcementsFlaresArtifacts). You’re right, “encounter cards” was poorly chosen and inaccurate.



#5 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:18 AM

The Leviathans variant is interesting, but I don't think I buy the marketing statement that it's "quite simple".  The suite of 9 rules (actually it's at least 11 rules considering the footnotes) seems fiddly to the point that I'm pretty sure I will need a player aid card listing all these effects.

You could eliminate the Virus exception, the Warpish exception, and rule 8 by making Leviathans work just like the Prometheus: count them as a normal ship (worth 1) but then add 4 more to the total at the end.  This would mean that Macron's Leviathans are ultimately worth 8 in totals (but still 2 for comensation/rewards), and I think that's good (Macron needs the help).

  • In fact, you could go a step further by renaming them Prometheans and stating that The Prometheus follows all your same rules. That tech card would essentially give the player one more Promethean than the other players. Just a thought.

You could also eliminate the complication of "now you can have 5 ships in the gate if one of them is a leviathan" and simplify the whole thing to "no more than 1 Leviathan in the gate", which meshes into the game engine more smoothly and will answer questions with effects like Amoeba.

Why do you need rule 6?  It seems like complexity that doesn't add to the variant, isn't needed for balance, and disincentivizes use of the Leviathans (especially for particular aliens).

Rule 7 - What about Zombie/Observer? What about ships removed from the game? What about captured ships?



#6 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:22 AM

Spaceport :

  1. Who defends it when it has no occupant?
  2. Is the rule about attacking it when you draw your own color always in effect, or only when it has no occupant?
  3. When it has an occupant, can you attack it when you draw that player's color?
  4. When replenishing with cards "from the deck" do you replace tech cards with cosmic cards?


#7 The Warp

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 05:43 AM

I like "Prometheans".  It's a nice name for this sort of thing, and Bill's suggestions are good here.  I'd probably want to have extra ships that are all marked uniquely.  This is actually a good use for those Avalon Hill ships (though there's only 4 colors unless you had an extra set and painted them).



#8 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 08:24 AM

Regarding uniquely marked ships, I'd love to see FFG include some new tokens for that purpose:

These could easily be manufactured as part of the normal die-cut planet/token boards; they are the same diameter as a grudge token but with a hole in the middle so they slip right onto the top of any ship.

The basic concept could be re-used with a variety of different art designs to accomplish all kinds of things: effects like the old Super Zombie that used to require flipping tokens over to temporarily zombify them; my Borg power which assimilates ships; a way to make Leviathans/Prometheans without requiring players to buy paint/markers and a second copy of the game; and the list goes on.

These would be pretty flexible, since a ship's status as marked or not could easily be changed at any time during gameplay, and you could even do capture-the-flag kinds of effects with markers that move from ship to ship under the right circumstances.  If they were produced on thinner stock than the planet/token stock, you could also stack them.

I'd love to see something like that in expansion 3.  This would allow gameplay innovations that FFG's edition could uniquely accomplish due to having the best Cosmic ship design ever.



#9 Jon Gon

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:29 AM

Sorry for the long time to reply.

These variants were supposed to work together with technology. I didn’t actually tested or explored them enough. Your comments are very pertinent (as usual) and can really help to simplify this idea.

It’s probably a good idea to separate this variant from the technology variant, this eliminates rule 9. Rules 4,6,7,8 are not really necessary. Given that Leviathan is now an official alien, the renaming to Promethenas seems quite adequate.

 

---------------------------------------------------

Rules for the Prometheans Variant:

1- Each player starts with one Promethean per home colony.
2- Each Promethean is treated in all ways as one of your ships except that it adds an extra +4 to your side’s total when participating in an encounter.
3- The offense may not place more than one Promethean in the gate and allies cannot ally with more than one Promethean.
4- If any effect allows you to retrieve ships from the warp, Prometheans can only be retrieved after all normal ships from that player have been retrieved.

---------------------------------------------------


Other comments:

Now that I was reminded of this variant, I’m thinking that this concept could be expanded to other types of ships, for example:
-Science Vessel: Each Science Vessel is entitled to double compensation.

Your idea for the uniquely marked ships is very interesting, a whole new field of possibilities and effects can be tested with those markers. My only concerns are; if they are too thick, can the ships still be stacked without problems? If they are too thin, allowing perfect stacking, are they overly fragile?
 



#10 Jon Gon

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:32 AM

Spaceport:

I’m not sure if this variant is actually interesting and I have never tried to improve it because I’m not really sure if it’s worth it. Anyway, here are some clarifications.

1. Nobody defends; if the spaceport has no occupant the offense must have an attack total higher than 10 to land on the spaceport. That means launching ships + using an attack card + eventual reinforcements and/or flare effects.
2. Always in effect.
3. No, you can only attack the spaceport when you draw a wild destiny card or your own color.
4. No, the spaceport should be refilled with 2 technology cards and 8 cards from the encounter deck (You’re absolutely right the rules are completely unclear about this).
 



#11 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:35 AM

Jon Gon said:

Your idea for the uniquely marked ships is very interesting, a whole new field of possibilities and effects can be tested with those markers. My only concerns are; if they are too thick, can the ships still be stacked without problems? If they are too thin, allowing perfect stacking, are they overly fragile?

Yeah, I have those same concerns. I'm kind of just ignoring the problem by remembering that stacking is an optional convenience except in rare cases like Fungus. Under normal circumstances, I would just not stack my Prometheans, or would stack one on the top of a few of my normal ships. In the case of a Fungus stack that had Prometheans in it, I think this would require some extra effort on the part of players to keep track of things; possibly stacking each Promethean next to and touching the Fungus stack and reminding other players that it's really part of the stack. It's a bit fiddly, but (currently) would only occur if Fungus and Prometheans were being used in the same game.

I think the only way to make a "ship cap" that allows true stacking is to make it out of some kind of thick membrane plastic (I'm thinking of overhead transparency film, which would have the added benefit of being able to visually superimpose surface detail onto the ship itself by having part of the cap's artwork be transparent), and making the cap conic — kind of like the thing you put around your dog's head so he doesn't chew on his wound (but with a much more gradual slope). But this would be be impractical (or at least expensive) in an official expansion set, whereas grudge tokens with holes in the middle should be cheap and easy to produce.  They could throw some in every exapansion using the cardboard that already frames the planets, just like they've been doing with all the extra cosmic tokens we will never actually need.



#12 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:56 PM

sounds like a great game , i'm tempted .
 






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