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Subject: Aliens Under Consideration for the Fan Expansion (Block 2) rss

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Jack Reda
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I really like how the discussion is going on Block 1. I am going ahead with putting up the next batch for discussion. After the initial 3/4 blocks go up, I hope we can get some people willing to test drive some of the ones they like best, to see if they hold up. I am going to be testing them all (and in fact, I already have playtested most of them once). Ideally, each alien will see several tests from different groups. Some people will love an alien that others hate, but a polarizing alien is still sometimes worth publishing, in my opinion.

Here is the link to Block 1, which has the outline of design goals and criteria. Note that Explorer's history is a placeholder.

BLOCK TWO


DANCER
Forces Opponent to Match Card Types


You have to power to Dance. As a main player, after allies are chosen, you may use this power by saying to your opponent, "Let's dance". You place 3 cards from your hand face down in front of you, then turn the first card face up. You opponent must then play a card face-up from his or her hand. If your opponent’s card matches the type of card you played, repeat the process with your second and third card. You opponent must play a card from hand for each card you reveal. If your opponent is unable to match all three card types in the order you played them then you immediately win the encounter. Otherwise, you lose the encounter. Discard all cards used in the dance.
(Main Player Only) (Optional) (Planning)

An avian species whose elaborate mating displays soon consumed all aspects of their society. Upon hearing radio signals from the Siren home system, they become aware that a greater stage awaited them in the universe. Now they seek a hoedown with all other beings in an effort to find the perfect two-step, but given the number of organisms with two left feet or no feet at all it remains to be seen if the universe can keep time.

WILD: You may declare that two encounter cards must be played facedown. When revealed, attacks are added together. If either is a negotiate, they both count as a negotiate. If your opponent only has one encounter card, he or she only uses one.
(Not Main Player or Ally) (Reveal)

SUPER: You may extend the dance to include more than three cards, but must play them facedown all at once when you declare a dance.
(Main Player Only) (Planning)

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DEMAGOGUE
Gathers Unwanted Aliens


Game Setup: You start out with extra alien powers equal to the number of players in the game. Take the unchosen alien sheet discarded by each player (including yourself). If any of these are not allowed in the current game, draw replacements at random.

You have the power to Take In. When any other player achieves three foreign colonies for the first time, use this power. That player takes any one of your extra powers (excepting any powers state that they cannot be stolen), including all facets of that power.
(As Any Player) (Mandatory) (Any Phase)

Masters of feigned empathy and rabble-rousing oration, the Demagogues excel at forging coalitions from the unwanted cast-offs of the Cosmos. A few words of hope and promise, well chosen and well timed, are often all that's needed to bring the dejected and lonely into the fold. Sadly, the euphoria of succor and solidarity soon gives way to bitter reality as those who fail to perform when called upon are summarily excommunicated.

WILD: Once per game, at the start of your turn, you may force your opponents to name undesirable aliens. Each must name a different alien that exists among the unused powers, is allowed in the current game, and does not have Game Setup text. If any players do not do so, you name aliens on their behalf. Take any one of the named aliens and use it as an additional power. Give this flare to any other player after use.
(Offense Only) (Start Turn)

SUPER: You may use this flare to zap any one of your powers (including your Demagogue power).
(As Any Player) (Any Phase)

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EXPLORER
Finds New Planets


Game Setup: Choose one unused player color and place four planets of that color on this sheet. Do not use this power unless you have an unused player color.

You have the power of Discovery. As the offense, after the hyperspace gate is aimed, you may use this power to take a planet from this sheet, place it in the targeted system, and re-aim the gate at that planet.

As a main player or ally, after both players reveal attack cards, you may use this power to increase your side's total according to the planets you have discovered. Add 1 for each discovered planet you do not have a colony on, 2 for each discovered planet you coexist on, and 4 for each discovered planet you occupy alone.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Optional) (Launch/Reveal)

When the Explorers were the first to discover an uninhabited system, it gave them an edge in the race to colonize the Cosmos.

WILD: As the offense, after the hyperspace gate is aimed, you may take the Genesis planet (whether in use or not), place it in the targeted system, and re-aim the gate at that planet. You may receive rewards equal to your ships in the encounter if you win or make a deal, or 1 reward if you do not.
(Offense Only) (Launch)

SUPER: As a main player or ally in an encounter at a planet you discovered, after encounter cards are revealed you may add 4 to your side's total.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Reveal)

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EXTREMIST
Plays Highest Attack or Negotiates


You have the power of Excess. As a main player, if there is a card on this sheet when you reveal your encounter card, use this power. If you reveal a negotiate, change it into an attack card matching the one on this sheet. If you reveal an attack card, change it into a negotiate. When collecting compensation, you must either take no compensation, or four cards, regardless of how many ships you lost in the encounter.

At the end of every encounter, the highest attack card revealed in the encounter by any player is placed on this sheet instead of being discarded, as long as there is no card on this sheet, or the card already on this sheet does not have a higher value. The card on this sheet is kept face up, and does not count as part of your hand.
(Main Player Only) (Mandatory) (Start Turn/Reveal)

The Extremists value quick decision making over everything. Immoderate behavior is for the lesser species, and Extremists would rather fight all out or surrender completely. There is no middle ground.

WILD: As a main player, if you or your opponent reveals a negotiate but the other doesn't, you may discard a negotiate from your hand and force a deal situation.
(Main Player Only) (Reveal)

SUPER: As a main player, you may add all of your uninvolved ships on colonies to your total before cards selected. If you lose the encounter, all of your ships go to the warp.
(Main Player Only) (Reveal)

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


GREENHORN
Makes Convenient Mistakes


You have the power of Ignorance. Whenever you have no attack cards in your hand, you may use this power to draw a new hand (and have a second encounter as the offense if you won your first).

During any regroup you may use this power to rearrange your ships among any of your colonies or home planets, even those home planets where you have no colony.

You may use this power to play any of the following: reinforcements when not involved in the encounter; rifts and artifacts as any player and at any time before the reveal phase; kickers after encounter cards are played but before they are revealed.

This alien power cannot be stolen, copied, or separated from your player color through any means.
(As Any Player) (Optional) (All Phases)

The Greenhorns are relative newcomers to the scene of Cosmic warfare. Feigning inexperience, they use their wiles to trick other races into allowing them to get away with everything in the book. Surely such room is all that is needed for these “newbies” to glide comfortably into universal dominance.

WILD: When making a deal, one or more sides may trade nothing at all, and/or a deal may be made in which one or more of the dealing players gain two colonies (subject to normal agreement).
(Main Player Only) (Resolution)

SUPER: As the offense, after destiny is drawn, you may choose any player who has a colony in the indicated system to become the defense. Have your encounter against one of his or her colonies in that system.
(Offense Only) (Destony)

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MIRAGE
Changes Number of Ships Involved


You have the power of Delusion. As a main player, use this power. Your ship count in the encounter is equal to the number of ships you have on any one of your colonies. Your opponent's ship count is equal to the number of ships he or she has on any of his or her colonies you choose. Ships on colonies you choose retain any characteristics they have for determining encounter totals (e.g., a Fungus stack). If a player has no colonies, his or her ship count is zero.
(Main Player Only) (Mandatory) (Reveal)

Beings of inconstant mass, the Mirage willfully change their form to mislead adversaries about their actual strength of numbers. The field of distortion surrounding the Mirage is so powerful, those venturing within it are unable to precisely determine their own appearance. Great fleets have been deluded into thinking they were suddenly outnumbered, and those captains able to survive become forever wary of the misshapen ripples of space seen in the distance.

WILD: You may play a negotiate as if it were a reinforcement +3.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Reveal)

SUPER: When using your power, you may also count the ship count of one ally as equal to the number of ships on any of that player's colonies you choose.
(Main Player Only) (Reveal)

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NIGHTMARE
Forces Play of Losing Card


You have the power to Recur. As a main player, after a loser has been determined, place a nightmare token onto your opponent's alien sheet, and place the losing player's encounter card onto this sheet facedown (in case of a failed deal place both encounter cards onto this sheet). Cards on this sheet are not part of your hand. You may look at them at any time.

When a main player who has a nightmare token on his or her sheet must select an encounter card, you may use this power to place a card from this sheet facedown in front of them, which becomes their selected encounter card. In an encounter where you use your power, place the losing player's encounter card onto this sheet and the nightmare token transfers from the main player who started the encounter with it to his or her opponent's alien sheet.

Whenever a nightmare token is placed on your sheet, or onto a sheet that already has one on it, discard it.
(As Any Player) (Optional) (Planning)

Throughout the countless incursions where entire colonies and worlds have been mercilessly laid waste, the begrudged revenants of the forgotten dead merge behind the veil of space. This avatar horrifically returns the violence and shattered dreams the cosmos has collectively inflicted upon it back into the living plane as a true nightmare.

WILD: As a main player or ally, after your side loses an encounter, you may force the opposing main player to take a card of your choice from your hand to place into his or hers.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Resolution)

SUPER: After winning an encounter or making a deal as a main player you may place a nightmare token on your opponent's alien sheet and place his or her encounter card on your alien sheet face-down.
(Main Player Only) (Resolution)

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QUARTERMASTER
Delivers Rewards


You have the power to Supply. Any time another player receives rewards, use this power. Players receiving rewards announce the number and type. If retrieving ships from the warp, you decide which of that players colonies to send his or her ships. For cards, you draw all other players' cards at one time, and after looking at them, assign the appropriate number to each player, then draw your own cards if receiving any. You do not have to properly deliver cards from the reward deck to a player who drew from it (delivering cards from the cosmic deck instead, and sending the reward deck cards to a different player who received cards).
(Offense Only) (Mandatory) (Start of Turn)

The Quartermasters were first tasked with ordering supplies for other alien races. They soon found themselves handling transportation and military equipment for the entire cosmos, taking on more and more responsibility. As time passed, the influence of the Quartermasters became more pronounced, until the line was blurred between who was giving the orders, and who was receiving them. /i]

WILD: When a player chooses to take cards as rewards, you may supply that player with cards of your choice from your hand.
(As Any Player) (Resolution)

SUPER: If you receive rewards with other players, you may draw all reward cards (including your own) into your hand. Then assign the appropriate number of cards from your hand to each player receiving reward cards.
(Defense Only) (Resolution)

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RECLUSE
Quarantines Cards


You have the power to Quarantine. Whenever a player gives you one or more cards, or you must take compensation, you [i]may use
this power. Place the cards on this sheet.

During each regroup, take as many cards from this sheet as you wish and add them to your hand, discarding the rest.

At any time, once per encounter, you may use this power to put a suspicious card from your hand on this sheet.
(As Any Player) (Optional) (All Phases)

Neurotically phobic of germs, and wary of strangers, the Recluses insist on sequestering shipments of any goods they receive. Even items they have had for years can suddenly have a look or smell that triggers powerful thoughts of disease in a Recluse, and quarantine is the only viable action.

WILD: You may leave an encounter before cards are revealed, if there are other allies on your side.
(Ally Only) (Planning)

SUPER: When drawing cards from the deck, you may quarantine any or all of them.
(As Any Player) (All Phases)

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SPEARHEAD
Blitzkriegs to Extra Colony


You have the power to Blitzkrieg. As the offense, after the hyperspace gate is aimed, you may use this power. Skip the alliance phase. If you win this encounter without having played any non-encounter cards, your winning ship(s) land on the targeted planet and/or one adjacent planet in the same system, and you may not have another encounter this turn.
(Offense Only) (Optional) (Launch)

The aggressive, independent, and impatient Spearheads strike fast and far. Avoiding all distractions and holding back nothing for a second attempt, they pick their battles wisely and commit fully. Brute force and the element of surprise have served them well, sometimes catching the enemy so unaware that the defenders simply find themselves waking up on the wrong side of the warp.

WILD: As the offense, after the hyperspace gate is aimed, you may skip the alliance phase.
(Offense Only) (Launch)

SUPER: Your opponent may not play any non-encounter cards during your blitzkrieg encounter.
(Offense Only) (Launch)

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


TOURIST
Travels on Cruise Liner


Game Setup: Take an unused planet and put up to four ships on it from your home colonies. This is your “cruise liner.” It is not considered a planet. Draw from the destiny deck until you draw a colored destiny card, and place the cruise liner in the corresponding system. Then reshuffle the destiny deck.

You have the power to Sightsee. After destiny is drawn, unless there was a hazard warning, use your power to move your cruise liner one system to the left. Otherwise, move it one system to the right for each hazard warning drawn. Then, if the cruise liner is in the defense's system, you may use this power to move all your ships from the cruise liner to any one planet in that system. If you choose not to do so, or your cruise liner is not in the defense's system, you may use this power to send a postcard home. Move one ship from the cruise liner back to any of your colonies, and then take a card at random from the hand of that system's player.

Any time your cruise liner enters your home system, even momentarily, you may move any number of your ships from your home colonies onto it, or vice versa.
(As Any Player) (Mandatory/Optional) (Destiny)

Among the most curious of all the races in the Cosmos, the Tourists have no interest in conquest. They'd rather see everything, though sometimes their visits stretch on for millennia. Their neighbors often mistake these visits for invasions. Rest assured, those really are flashbulbs and loud floral prints, not explosives and camouflage!

WILD: You may look at the top card of any deck, or any facedown card or alien sheet, without showing it to anyone else.
(As Any Player) (Any Phase)

SUPER: After your cruise liner moves, you may move some of your ships onto it from a colony in the same system, even if it's not your home system.
(As Any Player) (Destiny)

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VOYAGER
Can Have a Colony in the Warp


You have the power to Journey. As the offense, at the start of your turn, you may use his power to move one of your home planets into the warp if there isn't one already there, or exchange one of your home planets with one of your planets in the warp. Ships on that planet are both on a colony and in the warp, and may/must leave through all the usual ways for both. Ships sent to the warp do not land on the planet, but ships returning to colonies may go to a colony already on the warp-world.

Your colony on a warp-world counts as both a foreign and home colony, but count as neither for any other player with ships there. If this sheet is lost or turned face down, return the warp-world to your system.
(Offense Only) (Optional) (Start Turn)

Fearless adventurers, the Voyagers traveled to the far reaches of the Cosmos, seeking answers to questions long forgotten. Hungry for new discoveries, the Voyagers discovered how to access the unfathomable depths of the warp itself, establishing a presence there. With the entrance to the warp breached, others have followed the Voyagers, but none have the same success conquering its mysteries.

WILD: If you win an encounter as the defense, you may free one of your ships in the warp for each ship you had in the encounter.
(Defense Only) (Resolution)

SUPER: You may move a second one of your home planets into the warp.
(Offense Only) (Start Turn)

Edit 1: Demagogue modified so the player gaining a 3rd foreign colony chooses a power to take away. Extremist has compensation piece added. Trucker renamed Quatermaster; history and wild modified.
Edit 2: Edited Extremist to add attack card to its sheet as a main player. Greenhorn modified. Revised version of Nightmare. Clarified Quartermaster draws his own reward cards after using his power.
Edit 3: Voyager planets in the warp are both home and foreign for Voyager.
Edit 4: Extremist reworded. Voyager updated to clarify warp-planet counts as both foreign and home colony.
Edit 5: Minor edits.
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Shane Brewer
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It feels like Christmas!

BTW, is there any indication how many aliens will be in the Expansion?

I say go big or go home!
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Notmy Realname
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Maybe give the voyager the ability to switch the contents of the warp with the contents of one of his own planets instead?

This would work better in the resolution phase since you could use it in negotiations, or to possibly deny colonies.

Just a thought. I'm kind of new to this.
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Barney Bustoffson
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I have heard as many as 50, or possibly two expansions more with maybe that many total or more counting Eon aliens.

Here's my initial two cents

Dancer- This alien is fine. I think I would be more excited by it if it showed up earlier. Something about having it as one of the last officially published aliens makes it less thrilling for me, but I do like it.

Demagogue- This is different from the earlier one that was posted, and I like this one better. It's at the top of my wanna test list.

Explorer- I guess this one is a slow burn. It won't get a lost of boost early on, but before long it can have a lot of boost. Having no defending ships helps.

Extremist- Seems very cosmic. And one of the aliens most in need of playtesting to see just how it operates.

Greenhorn- This is starting to look like Tyrant with all of its facets. Not a bad idea overall though.

Mirage- I already love this one. I have used it before. But how about Admiral!

Nightmare- This looks like a more manageable version of Nightmare. Want to test.

Recluse- At first glance, I thought this was just a card dumper, but it also can hide a card from other player trying to get at its hand. It might seem too weak, but then again, dumping cards is always a good thing.

Spearhead- So Spearhead (Spearhead??) can get three colonies on one turn, if it doesn't use its power on the first encounter, right? Am I crazy, or is that crazy? Skipping the alliance phase really stuffs it to the other players. But I guess they would ally heavily against Spearface on its first encounter, so it couldn't get another one and use that power. Could be balanced. And then Trucker will hose all those allies when they get their rewards. Okay, I like it now.

Tourist- Fun, weird, different.

Trucker- Nice, a power that can do something about all those rewards people are getting. We always use the rewards deck, and rewards are crazy in our game. This makes people think twice about what they will get and how often, which I like.

Voyager- It's Gith, only a lot better. Better name too. V'ger can hose opposing players external colonies in its system.
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Roberta Yang
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Extremist is a variant on Pacifist. Its advantages are that its winning cards can't be stopped by the opponent Negotiating; it can make deals without burning one of its winning cards; and it can collect compensation without being zapped. But its disadvantages are that its winning cards don't actually autowin (especially early in the game) and it autoloses with everything other than its winning cards. Turning almost 50% of the cosmic deck into Negotiates is a pretty crippling drawback, and the potential to draw an opening hand with, say, 5 attacks and no negotiates (not an uncommon situation) makes this an alien I would pass up in favor of the Locust.

Why can't Greenhorn be copied or stolen? I get how the part where it isn't lost due to lack of home colonies fits with the theme, but I don't think that "I am immune to copy effects" is a common newbie misconception. Otherwise, I like it.

I like the idea of Tourist, but I don't like that it basically comes out as "Each encounter, you have a 1/n chance of getting an extra foreign colony for free" (n is the number of players). Getting extra foreign colonies based on 100% random events isn't interesting. Compare with the Disease, which also sometimes gets a bonus foreign colony based on what destiny targets, but in an interesting way that people can control and that affects player interactions.

Voyager is the best version of Gith I've seen. However, Gith is stupid.
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Chris O
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Initial Thoughts (again in order of best to worst):



Recluse: Best hand management power ever? (A+)
Spearhead: I despise the power to Blitzkrieg. Hey let's make the power to Jihad or Crusade while we're at it! Not sure the limitation of losing your second encounter is needed with the no non-encounter cards restriction. (A-)
Tourist: Always liked this one. Not a guaranteed colony every n/players seeing as the Tourist ship has to stop back home repeatedly or it runs out of ships. (A-)
Greenhorn: How objective can I be with this? The final clause is there because noobs typical forget they can lose the power, but perhaps the copied or stolen part is unnecessary and only the "cannot be lost by too few home colonies" is needed. (B+)
Nightmare: I forgot to add the fact that when using your power to play a card for a player with a Nightmare token that you would then place that card back onto your alien sheet if that player loses. Oops. Grading as if I put that there. (B+)
Trucker: Don't like the power name at all. Prefer something like "Gopher". Otherwise pretty unique usages. (B+)
Demagogue: I like the idea, but the implementation is still wonky. (B-)

Dancer: I foresee this power being used to trash a ton of negotiates. Interesting idea, feels a bit like Hate meets Grifter. (C+)
Explorer: Loved the original, but this one feel too much like a Worm/Human hybrid. (C)
Voyager: Needs to do more than just get one free colony at game start and perhaps slow a player or two down by one colony. (C)
Mirage: Not feeling this, reminds me of Worm only without moving the gate around. (D)
Extremist: Do not want. Seems very much like a Pacifist variant, only worse and with more wordage. (F)
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Adam McLean
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Like Block 1, these are my initial thoughts after reading through them without having playtested any of these.



DANCER -- I'm not sure what to think of this, on the one hand, I like the unique ability, on the other hand, let's face it ... it's pretty much an auto win alien that's almost entirely luck based. How many hands have 3 cards that will exactly match, although I'd love to find a way to implement this. And what happens when the opponent has less than 3 cards? The Super just doubles down ... I'd be shocked if anyone got thru (with the exception of some card hording powers) with the 3 cards let alone the Super.

DEMAGOGUE -- Does the other player then become the new alien, discarding the one they chose? I can't quite figure this one out so any help with an explanation is appreciated. I'm having a hard time finding the benefit to Demagogue with this, but there seems to be something in there to like, I just can't put my finger on it. And the Wild is kind of silly, I think, especially since it will move from player to player ... maybe have everyone choose 2 random flares from the unused flare deck, choose 1 to give to the player who played it and then that player chooses 1 of those to add (I know it would take some decent wording to make that work, however).

EXPLORER -- I like the use of unused planets, but I think the power is a bit like Worm in that he can re-aim the game to a more favorable location, with some Neighbor thrown in to help out. The Super is the Human power, although I'm not sure how to change it right now ... as I'm not sold on this alien at the moment.

EXTREMIST -- I think this needs a name change, maybe Apex. Possibly turn this power into the Doppelganger we won't get ... search the discard pile for the highest attack card, [not sure of the rest] ...
If you wanted to give him the choice he could draw any encounter card from the discard pile. And the Super is super bad if you lose. I don't mind the risk, but having the super flare basically lose the game for you is kind of rough.

GREENHORN -- A lot of components to this power, similar to Tyrant in that none of them seem to be connected ... which is ironic that a power for noobs has a million rules to keep track of (or not keep track of, depending on perspective). The rule about placing ships retrieved from the warp gives the impression that they can place those ships anywhere they don't have a colony, i.e.- foreign as well as home ... I'm sure that's not the intent, but that's how it might appear to a Greenhorn anyways.

MIRAGE -- Not a whole lot of choices with this ... it's always going to be your biggest stack and your opponent's lowest stack, with very few exceptions (such as Loser).

NIGHTMARE -- I like this alien, although I'm not generally a fan of alien powers that need you to lose to be able to benefit from their power, and I know there are several of them, and it could be useless for Nightmare if he ends up winning encounters and never has a card to play on someone. What about if Nightmare collected all of the losing encounter cards on his sheet, and once he uses his power to swap the rest get discarded? And does the Nightmare token get discarded if the opponent is Nightmare or does it stay on that alien sheet? Overall, however, I do like the concept and would be interested to see how this playtests.

RECLUSE -- I really like this hand management power, although I would drop the "suspicious" word ... I know it's meant to carry the theme, but since it doesn't explain what suspicious is, it just seems thrown in. The power may see limited use at times, and the Super tries to address that.

SPEARHEAD -- Spearhead seems like the power, not the alien name. I like the idea and it's straight forward. Best used on your second encounter (if you have one) and possibly get 3 foreign colonies on one turn.

TOURIST -- I would prefer this to give the player some choice, maybe before destiny is drawn, choose to move the cruise liner 1 system to the left or right ... then if your in the defense's system you place a colony. I'm not a huge fan of the name, but it is what it is. I think the Super is kind of weak, but would have to think of something instead.

TRUCKER -- Another name I'm not fond of and I like the concept although I can see it being a bit time consuming (however, those times may be rare).

VOYAGER -- This seems to be a version of the old Gith from way back when ... and yeah, that's pretty much it. Seems a little boring, but it's fairly unique. I wish there was a way to make that warp world a bit more volatile, such as attack it, or use it in some way. Another day though to think about such things.

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Just a Bill
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Bustoffson wrote:
Spearhead- So Spearhead (Spearhead??) can get three colonies on one turn, if it doesn't use its power on the first encounter, right? Am I crazy, or is that crazy?

Three colonies does feel extreme, but of course you could also lose your first encounter and end up with zero, so it's a gamble: Do you play your best resources on encounter 1 to make sure you get a colony? Or save those resources and make a lesser commitment on encounter 1, knowing that you will face heavy opposition?

salty53 wrote:
I like the idea of Tourist, but I don't like that it basically comes out as "Each encounter, you have a 1/n chance of getting an extra foreign colony for free"

I'd like to see a little more interactivity in this one as well.

Messianic wrote:
Spearhead: I despise the power to Blitzkrieg. Hey let's make the power to Jihad or Crusade while we're at it!

When I named this power, I was thinking only in a generic military context and did not make the mental association to the holocaust. My apologies, and thanks for pointing this out. Let's brainstorm some other power-to names.

Messianic wrote:
Trucker: Don't like the power name at all. Prefer something like "Gopher".
oatesatm wrote:
TRUCKER -- Another name I'm not fond of

I'd like to see a more Cosmic-y and less earth-centric theme as well.

salty53 wrote:
Extremist is a variant on Pacifist.
Messianic wrote:
Extremist: Do not want. Seems very much like a Pacifist variant, only worse and with more wordage.

Yeah, this one isn't clicking for me, although I have to admit it does evoke its name: 39 Negotiates is pretty extreme, and always having the highest attack card from the discard pile is pretty extreme. So the theme works, but I'm pretty cold on the actual effect. Still, we should test it; maybe something will pop up in playtesting to give it a little more flavor.

oatesatm wrote:
DEMAGOGUE -- Does the other player then become the new alien, discarding the one they chose?

No, you just give them the alien and now they have two (much like you used to have six and now you have five).

oatesatm wrote:
I'm having a hard time finding the benefit to Demagogue with this, but there seems to be something in there to like, I just can't put my finger on it.

The benefit is that you start the game with between five and nine alien powers that are all active. That's massive, but as the game goes along you have to give them away and everyone starts getting two powers apiece to even things out. Some of those powers will have accumulated "facets" (resources) like tokens, hoards, stacked cards, etc. that you will have to give up. The fun part is, you get to pick which player each surrendered power goes to, thinking about how it combos (or doesn't) with the power they already have.

oatesatm wrote:
EXTREMIST ... Possibly turn this power into the Doppelganger we won't get

I'm confident we'll get the Doppelganger. We shouldn't be planning to replace any Eon powers until we know more about what's happening with those.

oatesatm wrote:
SPEARHEAD -- Spearhead seems like the power, not the alien name.

We could go that route, although I always figured there would be a little visual joke here in that the alien in the artwork would have a vaguely spear-shaped head.
 
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My thoughts:

Dancer - First, I would change the wording to match it with the FFG-language, from "after allies are chosen" to "after allies are formed" (I also don't understand if "chosen" is after offense and defense invite or after they are actually formed). There's also a typo after the part about repeating the process (it says "You opponent must" instead of "Your opponent must"). After rethinking about it, I now think that if the power works in the planning phase, a more appropriate phrasing would be "As a main player, instead of selecting an encounter card, you may use..." or something similar. Reagrading the power itself - It seems different enough from other powers. however, what happens if his opponent has fewer than three cards in his hand? Does he win automatically? It seems maybe too strong. I would like to playtest it and see how it works in an actual game.

Demagogue - Very interesting. The game setup part makes this power too strong, but the second part compensates on that in a neat way. I like The Wild Flare too. Again, I would love to playtest this power.

Explorer - Interesting, new, inventive. It's interesting how Explorer is helping other players keep their power by not targeting one of their original planets, at least in the early stages of the game, and by doing so, he's gaining power. One technical remark: The part about increasing your side's total for each planet you have discovered is not clear enough because the power never calls those "new" planets in the literal way ("discovered planet"). I think the first paragraph should contain the sentence: "Those planets are your discovered planets" or something. Another way to implement that is to start the game with those planets in other player's systems already, kind of like what Saboteur does. It makes Explorer start's exactly like Human (a constant +4), so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Extremist - The wording of the second paragraph is a little confusing. Do you replace your encounter card with the one on your sheet? Do you replace it with a copy of the encounter card on your sheet from your hand? I would also recommend using the regular templates for these kind of effects. Instead of "In an encounter, when you reveal your encounter card, use this power", it should say "As a Main player, after encounter cards are revealed, use this power". I need to unserstand the power before I can have an opinion on it. A question about the super: If I choose to use it, do I need to abandon every colony I have to do it? It says "add all of your uninvolved ships". I think the intention is to let him add as many ships as he wants, which turns him into an Amoeba, or else he would instantly lose his power and every foreign colony he had. It's weird.

Greenhorn - I absolutely love this power.

Mirage - I love this power as well.

Nightmare - I didn't like this alien in his original form. Part of that dislike was because the way it worked, the opponent of the "victim" of Nightmare would know what the nightmare encounter card is. In this form, Nightmare may have more than one encounter card on his sheet on any given time, and it's much better. I still have something against that power, but I can't put my finger on it for now.

Recluse - That's not a bad power, but I don't find it cool or inventive. It's a hand management power that will give new players a good understanding about hand management.

Shearhead - I like it. It could make for some very interesting discussions during the game.

Tourist - Love it.

Trucker - Personally, I like the concept. However, I'm afraid it will become too close to Mind's power. I would change the Wild Flare's wording into: "When drawing a new hand, if you have any other cards in your hand, you may give any or all of them to other players instead of discarding them. Return this flare to your hand after you draw the new hand".

Voyager - I believe that this is the new Gith, right? At first, I thought I like Gith, but after playtesting it I thought it to be somewhat boring. I'm afraid that Voyager may come out a little boring too. One question, though: Does the warp colony counts for Voyager also as a home colony? Does it count towards keeping his power? If the answer is "no", then I think the Super Flare is a little weak.
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After the first group, I was a little disappointed with this one. There are only two or three that I really like, several that are okay, and several that I don't like. However, I do really appreciate the effort to bring these out of facebook, into a forum that CE players actually use.

I'm curious -- how likely is it that these will see print? Is FFG on board with this project, or is it still wishful thinking at this point?

Anyway, comments:

Dancer: I don't hate it, but I'm not sure how many aliens we want that completely subvert the encounter process. Also, discarding the cards seems to take away one of the more interesting possibilities, that everyone gains knowledge of the hands in question. I know I've said recently that I don't mind aliens being variants of other aliens, but the variant needs to offer something new, and have a strong theme. Dancing is not that interesting to me, and this alien is basically another name for Trickster and Grifter. I would say it's probably stronger than Trickster (since you can plan for it) and weaker than Grifter (since Grifter gets to try for a normal win before using his power).

Demagogue: I guess I'm getting stupider. I was posting all kinds of wrong things yesterday, and today I couldn't even figure this one out until I saw Bill's post above. I like meta-powers, and now that I understand it, this one is really exciting. I think, to help other stupid people, it needs to say explicitly that Demagogue can use ALL the powers, and that his "victim" keeps his original power and now has two. Also the "first time" comment is potentially confusing. It's "first" for EACH player, not just first time.

Explorer: Looks pretty good. In addition to the attack bonus described on the card, you also get the benefit of attacking undefended planets.

Extremist: Nice ability -- it reminds me a bit of the original Berserker (not the FFG one). Extremist/Excess doesn't fit though. In fact, the theme is all wrong. To me, extremism equates to terrorism, religious intolerance, gender inequality, and a bunch of other unpleasant things (none of which are "excess"). I'd keep the ability, but start from scratch on the name and theme.

Greenhorn: This has the Tyrant problem, as others have said. The first paragraph is a useful ability. The second paragraph is, frankly, a waste of space given that you can't lose the power. The third paragraph is doing too much (and referencing the Reward deck too much), but not really granting a lot of power. Bottom line, like Tyrant, this has too many words but not enough going on.

Mirage: Weak and wormish. Not very interesting to me -- sorry. Also, "he or she" does not equal "their".

Nightmare: like it. Probably my second favorite after Demagogue.

Recluse: Had to read it twice, and it still wasn't clear. I thought it was just a really contorted way to say that you can get rid of bad cards. Apparently you can also protect cards from compensation and other hand-stealing, which will be occasionally useful. The last sentence is funny, but possibly trying to be too clever. I might change it to something like "Once per encounter, you may declare that a card in your hand is suspicious, and place it on this sheet." Also, are cards placed on the sheet face up, face down, or at your leisure? Anyway, I think this one is pretty good in theory.

Spearhead: It's different and kind of interesting, but probably much weaker than it looks. I'd worry that this is a power that could easily never get used one time in some games. It's a potential problem with any alien that triggers on winning. I've seen both Void, Bully and Cudgel go a whole game without ever winning an encounter, and therefore essentially having no power for that game. Spearhead could be even worse -- you not only have players allying against you to stop your power, but you also have a built in incentive to NOT offset the alliance with your own allies. However, I think it's still fine as written (other than the name issue).

Tourist: Kind of clever.

Trucker: "You have the power to make sure nobody allies with you." Also, it's almost a non-power in a 3-player game. I know 3-player games aren't popular, but they do exist. In many cases, it will be a non-power in larger games also. First, people rarely take ships as rewards, and placement of ships is rarely important. So that's mostly useless. Second, the card-sharing aspect only does something if there are at least two defensive allies, who both want cards, and who are both willing to risk getting the bad cards instead of just taking ships. In practice, I imagine this power will basically just be an alliance killer. I'm not very interested.

Voyager: Okay, I guess. I've heard of Gith, but am not really aware of it beyond that. This seems useful -- giving you one extra colony, and making it so nobody will want colonies in your home system. The last paragraph bothers me a little -- it's a foreign colony that doesn't count for the win (for other players). Why does it need to be specified as a foreign colony, or any colony for that matter, to other players? I see they can regain a foreign colony by zapping you, but that doesn't mean the planet needs to be considered a colony while it's in the warp. Not really a big deal, I guess, but it just seemed weird.
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Rubric wrote:
I'm curious -- how likely is it that these will see print? Is FFG on board with this project, or is it still wishful thinking at this point?

This project is happening. You are now actively involved in helping the next actual expansion set be the best it can be.

That's not to say that all of these aliens will meet the final cut, but certainly some of them will. What you're seeing here is basically the current development queue.

Rubric wrote:
Also the "first time" comment is potentially confusing. It's "first" for EACH player, not just first time.

Ah, interesting. That phrase is trying to make it clear that if somebody drops below three an then goes to three a second time, he doesn't get yet another alien, but I'll see if I can eliminate the confusion you bring up.

Or ... maybe we just allow it? If a player really wants to lose a foreign colony and gain it back again just to get another of Demagogue's extra powers, maybe that's a cosmic thing to allow. It's certainly fine if Demagogue runs out of powers before the game's over; we kinda want that, actually. If I start out with way too many powers, I should ideally end up with none.

Rubric wrote:
Explorer: Looks pretty good. In addition to the attack bonus described on the card, you also get the benefit of attacking undefended planets.

There's also the situational benefit of juking around quite a few ship-based aliens like Sneak, Neighbor, Amoeba, Fury, Vacuum, Reborn, Barbarian, Filth ... and of course Virus.

Rubric wrote:
Recluse: ... Also, are cards placed on the sheet face up, face down, or at your leisure?

Good catch; they should be face down (or rather "facedown," as FFG always likes to misspell it).

Rubric wrote:
Spearhead: ... I'd worry that this is a power that could easily never get used one time in some games.

You might be right. Let's see what happens in testing, and if it's a no-show then we'll buff it or bounce it.

Rubric wrote:
Voyager: ... The last paragraph bothers me a little -- it's a foreign colony that doesn't count for the win (for other players). Why does it need to be specified as a foreign colony, or any colony for that matter, to other players?

To prevent problems with references from other effects. Ships on a planet that are not a colony would introduce a discontinuity in the game's definitional structure. It needs to be clear that this planet, and these ships, can be targeted by all the normal affects that target planets and colonies. The Claw can steal the world, Wild Saboteur can take an opponent's colony on it hostage, and so on.
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Some thoughts on the aliens... and first off, yes the language should be optimized before printing. I was going to say "consistent" with the templates, but I am not sure they are 100% consistent anyway... still, no one needs yet another way to phrase something.

Dancer: I would say that if the opponent can't do the dance, then Dancer wins the encounter. But I would also suggest that if Dancer wins using his/her dance method of an encounter, the opposing side doesn't lose their ships. It's a mating display after all.

Demagogue: I do like this version better. I playtested the original and we found it too overpowering. I love that it starts out as a behemoth, but gets tempered as the game goes on (and in fact the other players get a bonus).

Explorer: I think I would like to see the discovered planet added in before the gate is pointed, maybe in the destiny phase.

Extremist: What appeals to me about Extremist is the gamble. Many games of CE are straight-forward enough in that you are going for high totals all the time. Extremist will lose a few encounter, but he'll be getting compensation, and other players will be avoiding their negotiates, so he stands a fair chance of getting some that way. I am of the same mind on the super flare. It's a ballsy move to risk all of your ships. They do not physically enter the encounter- they are just at risk. It can be rephrased to be clearer.

Greenhorn: I am not a fan of "Alien does the following list of things", but I do like the concept, and I think this alien would be pretty popular.

Mirage: What I enjoy about Mirage in addition to its active effect is the passive one. How will other players change their routines and ship distribution? Aliens that make players change their habits appeal very much to me at this stage. This is what I want to observe when I play test it this weekend.

Nightmare: I like what Chris has done to this one, and will test again.

Recluse: I like its simplicity, and I am a huge advocate of hand management's importance in CE. I think folding the super effect into the power isn't a bad idea.

Spearhead: I only have a quibble disconnect between the name Spearhead and the power to Blitzkrieg. Even if you just say "power to Blitz", which is innocuous enough, I don't see spear's blitzing. I feel like the idea is that the spear's head gets in fast and pierces. You could just call it Spear, power to Pierce. You could call it Blitz.

Tourist: I like letting Tourist choose to move it (but maybe it still moves anyway, so he has to try and guess which way he's likely to move to see if he can manage to either stay in place, or move two spaces).

Trucker: I am fine with the name and the clear nod to Galaxy Trucker, but what would be a better handle? Not Deliverer. Yoopius? I love this effect. I think it's definitely different enough from Mind- you only get a sliver of info, not the big picture (right before the encounter occurs). Being able to affect whether players ally with the defense and how much, and how they manage their ships, and controlling some of the distribution of cards when certain aliens like Pacifist are in the game is pretty rad.

Voyager: I always liked the concept behind Gith- very simple... you can essentially win by colonizing one fewer colony than the other players. But that alone was too passive for me, and throughout the long discussion about how to make Gith work optimally (and finding a better name), Voyager was born. Being able to rotate a planet with one or more other players' foreign colony on it is pretty interesting to me. It will add some interesting tension. Voyager gets a bit of a defensive deterrent, more incentive for defensive allies if he wants. I am open to the notion of whether the planet in the warp should ALSO count as a home colony. My instinct is to say no, because Voyager should have to decide if it's more important to maintain his power by rotating out one of his planets where he has no colonies just so he can rotate one back in where he does have one. He would then need to get his ducks back in a row and hold everyone else off until his next turn, or try winning the old fashioned way. The Super can be used to either gain a second foreign colony, or to slow other players down even more.
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What about Quartermaster instead of Trucker? You are in charge of doling out the goods. And a blessed letter Q!

surprise
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The Warp wrote:
What about Quartermaster instead of Trucker? You are in charge of doling out the goods. And a blessed letter Q!

Excellent. I've been trying (without success) to make a decent homebrew with that name for years.
 
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More on Trucker:

The grammar in this sentence is bad: "If retrieving ships from the warp, you decide which of that players colonies to send his or her ships." It's missing an apostrophe on players'. It's missing a "to". And the first clause is a dangling or misplaced modifier, implying that Trucker ("you") is the one retrieving ships.

How about this: "If another player is retrieving ships from the warp, you decide which of his or her colonies receives those ships."

Also, I didn't read the flares initially. I was assuming that the base power includes the ability of the super flare. If not, then it's even weaker than I thought.

There might be some interesting interactions here, but I just don't see it right now. It's weaker than Extortionist, and standing in very similar territory.
 
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I like Dancer a lot as a concept, but at a glance it appears too strong. If it gets one crack at the Reward Deck it will likely be able to automagically win multiple encounters at will using rare card types, kickers and rifts especially. Even Negotiate-Negotiate-Negotiate would probably knock out almost anyone.

Nightmare, Recluse, Spearhead, and Tourist look like a lot of fun.
 
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In case there is ever an award for "Most Trivial Nitpick", I want to make sure I'm eligible:

Quote:
RECLUSE
Quarantines Cards


There are too many aliens that start with "RE", and most of them do something with cards....

It all kind of blurs together. soblue
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Rubric wrote:
In case there is ever an award for "Most Trivial Nitpick", I want to make sure I'm eligible:

HEY! Find yourself another corner, buddy.
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What is the proper way to share a new alien idea, or are submissions closed?
 
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adamxpaul wrote:
What is the proper way to share a new alien idea, or are submissions closed?


Keep posting your ideas in the Variants thread, as we've always done. If it gets enough traction, we can always consider it.
 
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Do you think it's a good idea to take some of these aliens (from these two threads) and playtest them in a PBF game? I will be happy to mod this kind of game, even if it means modding two games simultaneously (and also playing in two PBF games simultaneously).
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homertve wrote:
Do you think it's a good idea to take some of these aliens (from these two threads) and playtest them in a PBF game?

No, I don't think it's a good idea; I think it's an excellent idea. Thanks for offering.

(EDIT: And I'd love to play, but I'll leave room for others first.)
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homertve wrote:
Do you think it's a good idea to take some of these aliens (from these two threads) and playtest them in a PBF game? I will be happy to mod this kind of game, even if it means modding two games simultaneously (and also playing in two PBF games simultaneously).


What really makes it such a fantastic idea is that the whole game can be viewed by anyone for real analysis. I would videotape one of our live games, but I am not sure anyone would want to watch it, and it probably wouldn't be appropriate for all audiences.
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So here's what I think about this PBF game: If you read this and you want to participate in this game, you can simply PM me and let me know which of these new aliens do you want to play. I recommend you'll give me three options, so if there will be more than one player asking to play an alien, I could at least assign him with his second choice.

I think a six players game is reasonable, so I'll wait until there's enough and then start the game.

I'm also considering testing only five of these aliens and adding a sixth (and maybe seventh) alien from the other 135 published aliens, to see how the new guys interact with existing powers. What do you think about that?

Waiting for your PM's.
 
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homertve wrote:
I'm also considering testing only five of these aliens and adding a sixth (and maybe seventh) alien from the other 135 published aliens, to see how the new guys interact with existing powers. What do you think about that?

While it's important to see how the new candidates interact with published aliens in general, I don't think there's a whole lot to be gained from seeing how they interact with one specific current alien. At least in the early rounds, there's probably more to learn from seeing 20% more new aliens in action, and then have a whole later round of testing where we mix in lots of older aliens. That's my thought, anyway.
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