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Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Storm» Forums » Variants

Subject: Brute fix/variant rss

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Simon Agner Holm
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So there has definitely been alot of discussion about how to "fine-tune" some of the aliens in this set. But I think Brute has to be one of the most controversial of the bunch. He is simply just annoying when he is in the game, mainly do to his ability to almost completely ensure that the offense won't gain a colony when Brute is drawn as defense.

So here is my Brute variant. Simply only let Brute target opposing allies...

You have the power to Threaten. As a main player or ally, after alliances are formed, you may use this power to threaten one player Ally on the opposing side. That player must either allow you to look at his or her hand of cards and take one card of your choice, or remove all of his or her ships from the encounter. Removed ships return to any of that player’s colonies.

If all of a main player’s ships are removed, he or she continues the encounter with zero ships. If all of an ally’s ships are removed, he or she is no longer an ally.

Still a very useful power that will gain you alot of ally invitations as well as a card once in a while.
Thoughts?
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Asbjørn Lie Parmer
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Looks interesting! Are you intending the Brute to get the choice of taking a card, or do they have to take it?
 
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Simon Agner Holm
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that part of the power hasn't changed. I believe that Brute has to take a card in that situation.
 
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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That's a clever fix, and I do like its small footprint ... but it feels a bit arbitrary that Brute cannot target the opposing main player. Makes perfect sense from a "fix the problem" perspective, but I can't think of any story justification that makes sense for the theme.

Let's brainstorm a possible slight tweak on your idea.
You have the power to Threaten. As a main player or ally, after alliances are formed, you may use this power to threaten one player on the opposing side. That player must either allow you to look at his or her hand of cards and take one card of your choice, or remove all of his or her ships from the encounter. Removed ships return to any of that player's colonies.

If all of a main player's chooses ship removal, all but one of his or her ships are removed, he or she continues the encounter with zero ships. If an ally's chooses ship removal, all of his or her ships are removed and he or she is no longer an ally.


This might still often have the same effect as your idea, in that Brute might now prefer to target allies, but he would still have the option to threaten the main. And if he does, the main is vulnerable to things like Ship Zap and Shadow, but at least not immediately devastated.
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Jack Reda
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I think there's enough "story" to the Brute fix, as brutes are often bullies (not to be confused with Bully), and a bully will target a perceived weakness (whether real or not). Going after an ally, rather than confront the direct opposition is a bullying tactic.

Not that this second revision is bad. Both of these takes are already better than the published version.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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The Warp wrote:
I think there's enough "story" to the Brute fix, as brutes are often bullies (not to be confused with Bully), and a bully will target a perceived weakness (whether real or not). Going after an ally, rather than confront the direct opposition is a bullying tactic.

Okay, I think I buy that.

Simon's solution is more unique than mine, as there are very few published aliens whose entire purpose is knocking out allies. It's also definitely more elegant, too. It basically boils down to two sentences:
You have the power to Threaten. As a main player or ally, after alliances are formed, you may use this power to threaten one opposing ally. That ally must either allow you to look at his or her hand and take one card of your choice, or leave the encounter and return his or her ships to colonies.


This is probably what official Brute could or should have been, if there had been more time. Brute was basically created by FFG during the beta test as a replacement for another alien that wasn't working, so it didn't get an alpha test and it didn't have much time for refinement, or even feedback from the beta testers, IIRC.
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Jack Reda
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Oh how I long for the underground fan expansion... the one that "fixes" a thing or two. It's not a super long list of things I'd see fixed, but probably enough for an expansion box. Cosmic Peace!
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Simon Agner Holm
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I'm glad you guys like my fix. I think i'll be implementing it in my game.

I would love to see a "Cosmic Peace" expansion, with balance tweaks and more of what we already have. more space stations, more hazards and more tech.
 
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Just a Bill
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I'd like that too, but I think space stations and technology also need some rules revisions to make them work better, not just more cards. Hazards already work well in my opinion, so just adding more of them would be pretty easy.
 
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Jack Reda
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One of the things I never really liked about the original Brute's design was getting to be Mind AND take a card from the player. So, we tried out this variant this weekend and it seemed to fly a lot better.

BRUTE
You have the power to Threaten. As a main player or ally, after alliances are formed, you may use this power to threaten one opposing player. That player must either leave the encounter and return his or her ships to colonies, or he or she hands you cards from his or her hand one at a time until you see a card you want to take into your hand, or that player has no cards left to show you. Cards you looked at but did not take are returned to the player you threatened.

If all of a main player’s ships are removed, he or she continues the encounter with zero ships. If all of an ally’s ships are are removed, he or she is no longer an ally.

For me, this takes the power back to being able to threaten any opposing player, but also tones down the full impact (potentially). The player being threatened can try to bluff the Brute by showing something good early (but not necessarily his or her best encounter card). Brute, can skip over all the good stuff just to get a look at that player's entire hand, but the trade off there is not getting the Attack 30 for example (if it was handed over earlier). In that case, the last card shown might be only an attack 06, which Brute can take, or decide not to bother with (but then the opposing player gets to stay in the encounter, and has not lost anything, or anything good).
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Simon Agner Holm
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Uuuuuh... The mind games. I like it!
It keeps Brute as a very strong and terrifying alien (as it should be), but it doesn't appear unfair, like the printed version does. Well done cool
 
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Jack Reda
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Granted, it's borrowing a little from the Vulch flare, but in that case, the cards that are looked at get discarded, which is definitely too harsh for Brute in my opinion, but fine for differentiating.
 
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Just a Bill
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Seems pretty good, Jack; it's got some finesse to it. I would play it.
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