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Subject: Aliens Under Consideration for the Fan Expansion (Block 1) rss

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Jack Reda
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The Engineer was used in our playtest tonight. It had some issues. The woman playing it kept drawing techs that could only be revealed in specific conditions (like "When you are the offense"), and she ended up having to replace it before she could reveal it (despite having enough ships in the warp). But she and the others at the table loved the idea of an alien that can access the tech deck in some way, even without it in the game. It needs some revisiting.
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bosco cosmic
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DrBrewhaha wrote:
Boscosmic wrote:
and in magic tricks) for years


First of all, this explains everything!

For my next trick, I'd like to direct everyone's attention to PBF30, where in about a minute I'm going to pull a rabbit out of another rabbit and turn them both into doves.

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/13381979#13381979
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bosco cosmic
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Bustoffson wrote:
Just finished up playing a game with the following powers: Ace, Bride, Daredevil, Engineer, and Extractor. I was Ace, and I won the game. I should have been taking a lot of notes, but here's as much as I can recall.

I did not get invited on offense ever. No surprise there. I got invited to defense, but less than half of the time. I was a little lonely, but I did win afterall, so I can't complain a lot. In the turn order, I went third, and I did get one external base, but lost the second encounter. I was able to fend attacks off, and having to defend that base was interesting and nerve-wracking.

The easiest way for Extractor to have dealt with Ace in that game was the minute you lost that second encounter, just extract and play the Reincarnator flare, and goodbye Ace.

Of course, that would defeat the purpose of play testing Ace, but in a "real" game (as long as the "unused flare deck" part of his power remains) Extractor can pretty much get rid of any real big threat to the game, such as Ace, and most likely without sacrificing more than one ship, as all other players would gladly chip in to get rid of such a nuisance.

Another amusing (yet probably too risky) strategy for Extractor in a game against Ace would be to wait till he (Extractor) gains a couple of colonies or more (which can happen very fast for Extractor) and then extract and play Wild Sorcerer with Ace, becoming a multiple colony Ace.


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Barney Bustoffson
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Also just wanted to say that Archeologist doesn't thrill me either. I would not want to see a batch of powers called Herpetologist and Climatologist and Microbiologist.
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Jacob Cox
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Ace- This is just a straight no go for me. I feel like it's one of those that ruin the game.
Engineer- I love the Engineer. Techs are a under used force and I'm actually surprised it's taken this long to get an alien that utilizes them.
Bride- This is new and different and I like it.
Daredevil- First Daredevil is a much better name. I love the idea of introducing risk!!! For those that have played for a long time, powers that create risk make the game feel new again. Plus, I'm going to love the quarrels between the main player and allies going round and round about if the enemy has reinforcements or not and if they should take the risk for cards, I can just see it now.
Extractor- I was initially going to say no but the addition of the increasing number of ships being lost to the war equals it out. make sure to leave that in there. But I really like the idea, total game changer.
 
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Hey everyone,

Got a mail from Bill mentioning that Ace had been up for consideration. Very honored. Figured I'd throw out what design logic went behind it.

First, it's obviously intended to be a pithy but eye-popping effect. While it is intended to be an alt-win that someone would actually want to play, the emphasis is on looking powerful rather than actually being powerful. Like most alt-wins, it doesn't help you play, and so will be indescribably better in "bridge" games (with a partner) and multi-power games than it is as a standalone. It's also a brutal education in what it means to paint a target on your forehead in an inherently political game.

In terms of Magic: The Gathering psychographics, it's meant to viscerally appeal to Timmies (players who love big, emotional moments) and somewhat to Johnnies (players who love trying to pull off clever moves). In most games, and in solo-power games in particular, it very much is not intended to appeal to Spikes (players who play efficiently to win, period). It is just far too luck dependent, situational, loaded with handicaps, lacking in benefits, and bullseye-painting to actually be a "good" power.

Finally, Ace is also intended to appeal to Vorthoi (players who like narrative and flavor). Every part of the power and flare are meant to evoke a certain band of famous plucky rebel loners who somehow managed to singlehandedly take on the entire galaxy, despite having some of their ships and one of their worlds immediately wiped out, and despite being ruthlessly pursued and assaulted everywhere they went.

The design philosophy of Ace isn't that it is a "good" power in the sense of making it likely for you to win, but rather that if you somehow manage to win with every single other player Zapping you and beating on you, then you might well have a fantastic story to tell. The difficulty you'll have in pulling that off is most of the point. It definitely is not for everyone, but I think it is a "good" power for the players it is intended for.

Specific details:

The Game Setup is obviously an homage, but also is designed to dissuade Spikes from taking this power so that it might get passed to the Timmies who will enjoy it (in setup arrangements where rejected powers are given to others to choose from for their second power).

The power itself says what it does, does what it says. I agree with Mr. Reda that making it "one solo foreign colony" would make the power stronger and encourage more standard Cosmic efficiency play. That would increase the appeal to Johnnies and reduce the downsides to Spikes, but would slightly decrease the persecution tale for Vorthoi and the triumph over the odds aspect for Timmies. I'm personally OK with Ace being less powerful and "always lonely and unloved" in its flavor.

The "easily attacked" rules clause prevents Ace from being completely broken, makes the destiny draw a lot more tense, and captures the flavor of everyone everywhere always hunting Ace down.

The Wild is meant to be a literal "Ace up the sleeve". Having even one Ace relic on side can completely change the course of history. I agree with the observation that it is crazy powerful, makes games swingier, and realistically means that people need to be prevented from getting colony #4 or get ganged up on as soon as they do. I'm OK with that as standard Cosmic play, but if that kind of tense flavor is not desirable as a universal state, the flare could have Game Setup text on it saying to remove it from the game (even from the unused flare deck) if no one decides to play the Ace ... or perhaps text saying that it cannot be used at all unless someone is currently playing Ace, making it a literal dead draw otherwise. (Actually, that is very in keeping with the power's flavor: very much all or nothing.) Either way, only if Ace is in play will this win-from-nowhere one-shot flare also be in play, spreading the tension out to everyone else.

The Super is obviously the flight from one rebel base to another, snatching hope from the jaws of defeat. It's also an enormous disincentive to use the Wild until that would be a game win.

I understand that this power is not everyone's cup of tea, but I think it does a decent job of appealing to the players it is designed for.
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