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Rubric

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  1. Nice one, Jack. I like how Deterrent's power is linked to allies. It makes good thematic sense, and also creates a unique game play interaction (at least I think it's unique -- I haven't read all 1200+ powers on the warp either). Some ally-based powers are weak because the potential allies are basically controlling whether you get to use your power. But this one gets around that problem (at least partially) with the rule that you give cards to them, thus providing an extra incentive for people to join you. Then again, you can dump bad cards on them too, but you have to be careful about abusing that ability or you won't have allies in the future. The Wild Flare is cool too, with a different perspective on the "deterrent" concept. Well designed all around.
  2. Some nice ideas here. Apotheosis: Interesting, but might be too much text for one power. It sounds really powerful, but realistically it's balanced by the fact that you won't get to use it that often since it requires that you have three cards. Regarding the Wild Flare, it's not necessary to say "This is not mandatory", since you can just choose not to play the flare. Banish and Industry are probably my favorite ones in the group. Both require a bit more skill or experience than the average alien. Banish will have a tough decision of whether to ban 0 (getting rid of 20, 30, 40), or ban 1 (getting rid of all the teens). Altron and Magnet are my least favorite. Altron is practically a disadvantage, since you have twice as many cards to get rid of before you get a new hand. I think it would be confusing to remember which hand to use, and frustrating when the card you want is in your other hand. Of course, Miser is already one of my least favorite Aliens, and this is basically just a variation of that. Magnet is just too trivial -- most of the time the choice of planets only makes a difference of 1 ship. I don't quite understand Oblivion. I think it's basically taking away somebody's colony if they have previously defeated you. It sounds like it might work. I just wouldn't do it by removing the whole planet. Why not just say that when you gain a colony, you may remove an opposing colony from your home system? That way, you don't need the statement that he can't lose his power. Lonestar is just Deuce, as somebody else said. In general, for all the aliens, I don't think you need to explain when the power can be zapped. The timing strip is supposed to take care of that information.
  3. I haven't seen it come up in a game yet. But, I agree that if it allows you to look at all cards drawn during the encounter, then it is (a) better than Mind power itself, and (b) getting used more than once in the encounter. This would lead me to think it is not supposed to work that way. What if it applies to all cards drawn at the same time by one player? So, if somebody draws a new 8 card hand, you get to look at all 8 cards, but you wouldn't get to look at any rewards that come up later in the encounter. Also: I agree with the big thumbs up on improving the forum speed! Thanks, FFG! Now if they could get it to stop kicking me out to the forum index every time I post something, I'd be happy. Of course, with the speed increase, it no longer takes me 5 minutes to get back here from the index, so it's not that bad anyway.
  4. There is a problem with Magma and Frost. I like the thematic ideas, but they share a weakness that pops up in home brews all the time. Shared bases are not a good target for alien powers, because you only gain them through alliances or deals. This type of power can basically be paraphrased as "You have the power to make sure nobody will ever ally with you." You might gain an ally or two when defending. But, why would anyone ever help you on offense (or invite you to help their offense)? All that does is give you a target for your power. By the same logic, why would anyone ever make a deal with you? If your ability is to penalize people who cooperate with you, they just won't, and you will have no power.
  5. The Warp said: Lumine is a weaker version of Aristocrat (which is itself kind of a wonky power). I kinda like Lumine, but if Aristocrat is out there, he pretty much cleans the floor with Lumine. Lumine gets to pick his hand on every new hand, not just at the beginning of the game. But, that happens a couple times per game (more with certain powers), so it is still weaker than Aristocrat, due to Aristo's ability to draw flares every turn. I like the idea though. Maybe Lumine should get to choose his draws when he gets rewards too. Also, I might think about adding text to say he is not allowed to take his own super flare. (Aristocrat has this text.)
  6. >>> I'm going to assume we're talking about the original scenario: When is the game won or lost? My answer: When the ships land on the 5th planet. Yes, I have over-complicated it by bringing in Zombie questions, etc. To me, the main question is "when is an encounter won or lost". This will automatically resolve the question of when the game is won or lost. It also ties directly in to the other OP question, since the Reincarnator flare triggers when an encounter is lost. >>>I read that as just a technical inaccuracy in the rules. I can buy that, I guess. I wish the rules were a little more precise, but I'll live. Mark Twain once said "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." >>>If we want to put words like "after" on a pedestal and read them literally, good luck reading the "After Resolving the Encounter" section that is part of the "Resolution" phase, haha. How can something that happens during Resolution also happen after? That is a headache waiting to happen! Yes! This is what brought out my comment in the first place. The Clone's power is listed as occurring during Resolution (per the timing strip), but the text of the power (a whole three inches away) says that it happens after the encounter is resolved. After = during? Lightning bug! Boom!
  7. >>>As for the first quote, sorry but if a ship lands on your planet, you've lost and that player has gained a colony. If he doesn't have a ship on the planet, he doesn't have the colony. That seems pretty logical. I believe the rule is that the Zombie has already lost, before the opponent's ships reach his planet. Otherwise, why do his ships go the warp? >>>there is nothing in the rules that indicates you remove ships individually. I'll grant you that, but there is also nothing in the rules that says when an encounter is won or lost. >>>As for the second quote... you lost me in technicalities. [snip] without need to worry about tenses, pronoun references, dangling modifiers, misspellings, and comma splices. I know you're being tongue-in-cheek with the second part, but to me, none of the things you list are technicalities. Words have meaning. I have trouble with any interpretation of rules that fails to acknowledge this. Punctuation and grammar also have meaning, to a lesser extent. >>>Past tense or present tense, "resolution" means the same thing. No offense, I'm not trying to start an argument, but this is simply not true. Before resolution, during resolution, and after resolution are three completely different things. This is the whole point of having timing rules, or any rules for that matter. You can't just say a word means something other than what it means. >>>Two handy rules I use for settling weird timings: 1) Everything in Cosmic happens during one of the phases. Nothing happens outside of the phases. 2) Everything that happens during one phase happens simultaneously. This would only work if the rules were actually written with these guidelines in mind. >>>Maybe that is oversimplifying Cosmic, but I'd rather that than deeply analyzing every word of every card and every page of the rules. "Rules Lawyering" is an occupational hazard for me, I guess. I actually enjoy discussing this type of thing. I think it's better to discuss it outside of a game. If we were currently in a game, I would just kind of go with the flow, rather than bog things down. Plus, since we are discussing timing rules, I don't think looking at words like "after" counts as deep analysis. This would seem to be the most important word, given the context of the discussion.
  8. Bah! Once again, the forum eats a post. Should have known not to use two quotes in the same message. Fortunately, I outsmarted it this time, and kept a copy. Anyway.... QUOTE>>> When the ships touch the planet is when you adjust the colony count on the warp. I don't like that. The timing of when somebody moves a game piece should NOT dictate when an encounter is won or lost. If I'm the Zombie losing my third home base, can I remove my losing ships one at a time in order to retain my power until the last one leaves? QUOTE>>>As for Reincarnator flare, it says After the player "loses the encounter." You can't "lose" until after the encounter is resolved, so this should be played after resolution. Effects that occur after resolution should be considered to occur simultaneously and go by the timing conflict resolution rules in the rulebook (offense first, defense second, players clockwise from offense). Strict reading of the rules would suggest this is not true, though. I'm probably reading them too "strictly". The Resolution stage (page 11) begins with "Once the outcome of the encounter has been determined...." It then goes on to use past tense phrases like "If the Offense won" and "If the Defense won". Therefore, it appears that you do indeed win or lose BEFORE resolution (during the Reveal stage, in other words). The resolution stage is basically just housekeeping (moving the pieces). Discarding is then specifically mentioned as something that occurs AFTER resolution (also on page 11, as well as on the Clone's alien card). But that doesn't make much sense, since all the discard aliens operate during the resolution stage, according to the timing bar. I don't know. I understand your solution, and as I said, it's the way we played it. But the rules are muddy on this issue. Winning or losing is apparently determined before resolution, while discarding is determined after resolution. It seems impossible for these actions to be "simultaneous" even under a loose definition of that word. So, I'm not sure the timing rule applies.
  9. Good question. It would also apply to the timing of the Reincarnator power itself (if Reincarnator is currently the Zombie, for example). The Mayfair edition clarified this by specifying that the reincarnation is only used between challenges, but FFG does not have that text. I don't know the answer. Re/ the flare, I had this issue come up recently with the Clone and Attack 40. If I remember correctly, the opponent played Emotion Control and tanked the deal in order to play the Flare. We ended up using the standard timing rule. Clone got to keep his 40 before he reincarnated, because he was the attacker. Personally, I would prefer a cleaner rule. I don't like it when a card's (or alien's) effect depends on who is attacking. For that matter, the timing rule can lead to more questions than it answers. What does "simultaneously" really mean? If the defender slaps down the Reincarnator flare, and then one second later the Clone grabs his discard, it's not really simultaneous. But then, what is? Regarding when the game is won: I think as long as anybody still has a way to stop it, they get a chance to try. I don't like the "win on reveal" rule. It would not allow Emotion Control to function as a stopper, which just seems wrong.
  10. CitizenK2 said: The Loser Wild Flare is played before encounter cards are selected in Planning and makes both sides lose, sending all ships to the Warp. We've interpreted this card to end the encounter, ie. No encounter cards are selected, and no Reveal / Resolution powers will be activated. ( I could see a case for Resolution powers though). 1) Is this how others play with the card? 2) If so, does this mean that a defending player with only the Loser flare in hand could play it, ending the battle before they have to select encounters and thus retaining the flare? 3) If Encounter cards ARE played, do the Loser's victims count as compensation for negotiate cards? Wild Loser is one of my favorite flares. The best time to play it is when you are defending a planet with zero ships. You lose nothing! Regarding your question: 1. It ends the encounter. I don't see any other possible interpretation. However, I suppose powers like Vacuum would still work. 2. The only limitation is to play it before encounter cards are selected. So, you could lay it down as soon as you are identified as the Defender. Actually, as Defender, you aren't even supposed to draw your new hand until after allies are committed (although everybody I know plays that wrong). 3. If encounter cards are already played, then it's too late to use the flare.
  11. Yeah, I don't get it either. The cards fit perfectly in the hole. It might become an issue in the future, if the size of the decks increase with expansions, but it's a non-issue at the moment. Aliens, planets and baggies of ships go in the center, and the warp and gate sit on top. Lots of extra room for expansions too. I think the box is great. By the way, I think this is a sign that my level of OCD is declining in my old age.... You know the cardboard sheets the tokens are printed on? I guess some people might call them "sprues" or something. Well, I still have mine from the Eon set. 30-year-old cardboard sprues... in 6 colors. However, I'm happy to say that I was able to part with the FFG sprues, with only a little bit of hand trembling and minor nausea. Progress!
  12. Vacuum + Masochist Oh gee, I lost a ship. Guess I'll use Vacuum on... myself! Oh gee, just lost another ship... It's an instant win, just like Masochist / Gambler, except that you don't even need to be the main player, AND it doesn't require your super flare. Or if you do have a specific card, just Plague yourself. Game over before anyone has had a turn. Technically, it only works if you are losing ships in multiples of three. Otherwise, you would lose the Vacuum power before you suck down your last three ships. But still, Plague gives you that, as do most encounters.
  13. Messianic said: POWER: PREDATOR You have the power to Isolate. Whenever you are the main player in an encounter no one may ally with your opponent, but you are free to have allies. Wild: Basically is used like a Force Field, after alliances have been made you have the option to send all your opponents allies away. Super: As an allied player, all allies of the opposing side must be sent away. (Basically Force Fields the opposing team when you ally.) Great! As simple as it is, I've never seen it before. I haven't read all 1000+ powers on the Warp either, but I have read many, many of them over the years. I might tweak the Wild flare a little bit. A reusable Force Field is basically what the main power does. This would let another player copy your power exactly. Maybe limit it to sending off one ship from each player or something (or all ships from one player). Or what about negate rewards for the allies. So, they can still ally, but they don't get anything. Then again, that would be a bit harsh to play on your own ally, especially if he thinks he is getting a 5th colony at the same time as you.
  14. I like Conform also, and I hope to see some copy powers in the expansions. Grub is cool too. Alternate win aliens are a great feature of the new set. Here are two new ones that I wrote a while back. I have updated them to FFG vocabulary. I don't think I have posted them anywhere before, but I'm not 100% sure. Sword Divides opponent’s attack card You have the power to slash. Use this power as a main player in an encounter in which you have at least one ship. If your opponent reveals an Attack card, you divide the value of his card by the number of your ships in the challenge. History: Armed with cutting-edge technology, the Swords are keen on severing all ties, and taking a stab at winning the Cosmic duel. They plan to get the edge on their enemies by slicing through all opposition and thrusting themselves to victory. Their finely-honed strategy and razor-sharp tactics are sure to put them a cut above their foes. Wild: When a Reinforcement is played during a challenge in which you are main player or ally, you may declare that the Reinforcement divides the player’s card, instead of adding to it. Super: As a main player, before cards are played, you force all players on the opposing side to lose all but one ship that they have in the encounter. Comment: It’s a reverse Virus! With four ships in the fight, your opponent’s average card will be 2.5, and his best chance will be a mighty Attack 10. But you don’t even need 4 ships in order to get significant gains. Even two ships means your opponent will have a tough time reaching double digits. I thought the text might need a comment on rounding (up or down, etc.), but it’s not really necessary. Attack 15 divided by 2 equals Attack 7.5. In other words, it beats a 7 and loses to an 8. This is a mandatory power, and falls into the "Combat" category. I would probably list it as a red-alert, since it is similar to Virus. Then again, it doesn't have the x0 problem that Virus has, so maybe yellow-alert is good enough. Monolith Token placement is permanent You have the power to stand forever. Your ships in your own system can only be moved if you allow it – you can always use this power to decide not to move them, or not to allow other players to move them. (So, they don’t go to the warp, cannot be forced to ally, etc.) When you have ships on colonies outside your system, those ships cannot be moved for any reason, and even you cannot move them. Your ships that are not an planetary colonies are moveable as per normal rules. History: Eons and eons past, the Monoliths built great monuments to honor their ancestors. These huge structures of stone and earth – awesome to behold – are stubbornly indestructible and resist the unrelenting tides of time. Eons and eons hence, when Monoliths rule the Cosmos, the structures will still stand. Subjugated foes will still marvel at their immensity. The Monoliths will still remember their ancestors – and will honor them again with new monuments even better than the old. Wild: When you begin an encounter, you may choose to leave the Hyperspace Gate pointed at the planet where the last encounter occurred. If you do, do not to draw from the destiny pile. Super: Your ships on the Hyperspace Gate do not have to leave. Whenever you are supposed to remove ships from the Gate for any reason, you may leave one or more of them there. If you do, they will be treated as offensive ally ships, allied with whoever is the next offensive main player (even if you are the defensive player). There is no limit to the number of ships you can leave on the Gate. Any time you are permitted to put ships onto the Gate, the ones already there from previous encounters do not count against your limit. If you lose your power, your ships remain on the Gate until they would leave normally. Comments: Immovable ships means those ships are immune to Assassin, Vacuum, Cudgel, and other powers that nab ships. It means you can’t lose them to Plague or other artifacts, flares, or moons. It means they work better than Zombie ships because they don’t even have to move to a different base when you lose an encounter. (Of course, it’s not strictly better than Zombie, because it also means you can’t move them yourself in some cases.) Your ships in the cone, however, are vulnerable and can be lost to Plague, deal failure, Vacuum, etc. It falls into the Resource category, but I don't know how to characterize it as far as mandatory vs. optional, since it is partly both. I guess it should say mandatory. I think it's definitely a red-alert alien, since it is possible to screw yourself into an unwinnable position by getting all your ships to where they can't move.
  15. Adam said: Actually, if you run out of cards as offense at a certain point in the encounter due to Mutant's power online, the game just goes buggy more often than not and offensive ships and all allies are removed from the game, if I remember correctly, so don't go by how the online game treats it. I seem to remember the Eon rule being the same as FFG's. Been over a year since I've played it though. I rarely play on line. I was just going by what the OP said. The online game does NOT allow you to begin your second encounter if you have no cards. Neither did any previous edition. Trying to interpret the FFG rule to mean that you're allowed to set up ships and invite allies when you have NO CARDS seems crazy to me. Yes, it could have been written in more direct language, but come on....
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