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Subject: Aliens Under Consideration for the Fan Expansion (Block 3) rss

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Jack Reda
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This is the third, and for now final block of fan aliens (except for the proposed list of Eon revision aliens, some of which are completely reinvented- coming soon). People with new ideas should keep posting them in their own threads in the Variants forum. Some of the ones here have been slightly modified from their original posting (feel free to defend your original concepts). Note: this is a different Yin-Yang than previously posted.

In a week or two, we'll do some kind of poll to track everyone's top dozen or so (should it be a GeekList, so people can vote with thumbs and leave comments under an alien, like "I vote for this, but think the wild must be changed"..?).

The final number of aliens selected is not set in stone, but 20 is a safe estimate. Just so you know, the alien blocks were compiled in no particular order.

Here is the link to Block 1, which has the outline of design goals and criteria, and here is Block 2

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BLOCK THREE


ARMORER
Collects and Creates Reinforcements


You have the power to Arm. At the end of each encounter, any reinforcements played by any player are placed face up on this sheet, instead of being discarded. Cards on this sheet do not count as part of your hand. Each time you add one or more reinforcements to this sheet, you must give one reinforcement already on this sheet to any other player (if there is one).

As a main player or ally, once per encounter, you may use this power to discard any non-encounter card from your hand. When you do, add the value of all reinforcements on this sheet to either side's total.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Optional) (Reveal)

The ancient race of Armorers are well known for being able to turn anything into a weapon. They work in silence and seclusion, fashioning the latest instruments of destruction. However, in recent times, the Armorers have become less and less willing to share their dangerous wares, stockpiling them instead for their own use. Only when they must make room for new arms will they grudgingly make munitions available to those who are worthy (or pose little threat).

WILD: You may discard an attack card from your hand to add to one side's encounter total, counting only the first or second digit of the card.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Reveal)
You may use your power to arm as many times as you wish in an encounter.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Reveal)

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BUNGLER
Weakens Own Encounter Total


You have the power to Muddle. When you are not a main player, each player who invites you to ally may invite you to join his or her side, the opposite side, or the side of your choice. If not invited at all, during the encounter you may get bored and move any one main player’s ship from one of his or her colonies to another.

When you are an ally, before encounter cards are selected, the main player on your side may dismiss you from the encounter. If dismissed, place your allying ships on this sheet until the resolution phase, then land them on a different planet in the targeted system.

As a main player or ally, after encounter cards are selected but before they are revealed, you may use this power to muddle the encounter. If you muddle, after cards are revealed your involved ships subtract from your side’s total instead of adding, and you may then discard one attack card from your hand to subtract its value from your side’s total. If your side loses, your muddling ships return to colonies instead of going to the warp and the main player on your side may not collect compensation.
(Ally Only) (Optional) (Reveal)

It is often said that the only thing worse than being alone is having the Bungler at your side. Never has a planetful of would-be bodyguards been so willing and yet so clueless. Charging the lowest rates in the Cosmos and doing their best to stay ahead of their reputations as unpredictable oafs, they attract plenty of new customers – but little repeat business. With allies like the Bungler, who needs enemies?

WILD: As a main player or ally, after encounter cards are revealed, you may cause your side to lose the encounter. Your involved ships return to other colonies and you decide whether each main player keeps or discards his or her encounter card.
(Ally Only) (Reveal)

SUPER: If you are not dismissed, you may muddle the encounter after encounter cards are revealed.
(Ally Only) (Reveal)

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ELITIST
Avoideth Other Players


Thou hast the power of Sanctimony. When thou wert neither a main player nor an ally and didst play no cards during the encounter, upon its end thou mayest use thy power to celebrate thy purity. If thou wert invited to ally by none, receiveth thee four rewards. If by precisely one, receiveth thee two rewards. If by both, drawest thee but a single card from yonder deck.
(Not Main Player or Ally) (Optional) (Resolution)

And away did the Elitists secrete themselves unto their own abodes, and remained they there in feigned devotion to the false god upon which they did meditate, whilst lauding one another in their piety lest they suffer the supplications of the lesser creatures.

WILD: Thou mayest play this flare upon the onset of any engagement. If thou speakest not to other creatures this engagement upon the end of the engagement mayest thou receive rewards up to the number of creatures in the encounter.
(As Any Player) (Regroup)

SUPER: As a main player, after alliances are formed, if thou didst invite no allies thou mayest draw up to four cards from the deck.
(Main Player Only) (Alliance)

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LOVE
Makes the Cosmos Go 'Round


You have the Power of Joy. At the start of your turn, use this power. Choose and discard a card from your hand. Every other player clockwise from you may then choose to discard a card. If he or she discards the same type as you (attack, negotiate, artifact, etc.), that player may free all of his or her ships from the warp back to colonies.

If all players discard the same type of card as you, you collect all of the discarded cards (including yours). If at least one other player does not discard a card matching the type you discarded, you may free all of your ships in the warp and use them to establish a foreign colony in the system of that player.
(Offense Only) (Mandatory) (Start Turn)

A short, physically unimposing race, the Love used to be enveloped in rage and self-loathing. In their darkest hour, the Love began to see that simple acts of joy could become contagious; all that was needed was for one race to take the first step towards a happier existence.

WILD: As a main player, before encounter cards are selected, you may ask your opponent to discard one card at random from his or her hand. If he or she does, you may take the card; if he or she does not, you gain a defender reward.
(Main Player Only) (Planning)

SUPER: Instead of discarding a card to use your power, you may show the card to the other players and then return it to your hand.
(Offense Only) (Start Turn)

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


MONSTER
Always Has Kicker on Offense


Game Setup: Place one cosmic token on your alien sheet.

You have the power to Strike. Each time you lose a home colony as a result of losing an encounter, or your opponent played an attack card and you played a negotiate, add one token to this sheet. Each time you gain back a home colony, or your opponent played a negotiate and you played an attack card, remove one token from this sheet. The number of tokens on this sheet can not be reduced to 0.

When you play an attack card, use this power to multiply the number by the current number of tokens on this sheet.
(Offense Only) (Mandatory) (Reveal)

The Monsters have always been feared and misunderstood. They want nothing more than to be left alone, but the hurtful actions of neighboring races have forced the Monsters to strike out. The horror of their gruesome visages is matched only by the ferocity of their attacks, but the other members of the cosmos brought this on themselves.

WILD: Play this card before encounter cards are selected. Treat it like a kicker x2. Give it Monster after playing it, or discard it if Monster is not in the game.
(Offense Only) (Planning, Reveal)

SUPER: You may use your power on defense. If you reveas an attack card and your opponent reveals a negotiate, you do not have to remove a token from your alien sheet.
(Main Player Only) (Reveal)

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



POLTERGEIST
Moves Cards Around


You have the power of Mischief. Whenever one or more of your ships are lost to the warp or removed from the game, you may use this power. Pick one card at random from the hand of each other player, in any order, up to the number of ships lost. Look at these cards and add one more from your own hand (your choice) or from the top of the deck or discard pile. Place each of these cards in any player’s hand (even your own) or facedown under the appropriate deck, but do not place more than one in the same hand or deck. Any rift card you take does not detonate unless you keep it.
(As Any Player) (Optional) (All Phases)

Some call them Poltergeists; others, Knocking Ghosts or Deadshifters. Whatever the name, these departed souls of an otherwise unremarkable race can, for a time, still manipulate objects on a small scale. In their unfettered postmortality, they play tricks on surviving adversaries: knocking on bulkheads during sleep shift, hiding a pilot’s keystrips, or nudging a fusion regulator just a microclick or two.

WILD: When you lose one or more ships to to the warp, you may pick one card at random from the hand of every other player. Look at these cards and add one more from your own hand (your choice) if possible. Give one of these cards to each player from whom you took one, and add the remaining one (if any) to your hand.
(As Any Player) (Any Phase)

SUPER: Once per encounter, if you have ship(s) in the warp, you may use your power as if any number of your ships in the warp had just been lost.
(As Any Player) (Any Phase)

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


REACTOR
Makes Players Super


Game Setup: Place the flares for each other player's alien on this sheet. Shuffle your flare and all extra flares initially dealt into the deck before dealing hands.

You have the power of Radiation. As an ally, if the main player on your side wins the encounter and his or her flare is on this sheet, use this power. Give the winning main player his or her flare. If neither main player invites you and one of them loses (unsuccessful deals do not count), you may add the losing main player's flare to your hand, discard that player's flare from your hand, or add your own flare to your hand.

When any player's super flare is discarded by another player, use this power to put the flare on this sheet. Flares on this sheet do not count as part of your hand.

When a player holding your flare plays it or plays his or her own super flare, that player must immediately give you your flare. If you hold your flare and have no other flares in hand or on this sheet, you win the game. You may still win via the normal method.
(Ally and As Any Player) (Mandatory) (Any Phase)

Originally an environmentally conscious race of peaceful activists, the Reactors sought to turn themselves into a source of sustainable energy. Yet the awesome power of cosmic radiation and its mutating properties transformed the Reactors into radioactive freaks, eager to spread their sickness to other power hungry cultures.

WILD: As a winning defensive main player, gain a foreign colony anywhere. When you play this flare, or if you play your super flare, give this flare to the Reactor (or discard it if Reactor is not in the game).
(Defense or As Any Player) (Any Phase)

SUPER: If your side wins an encounter, and you have no other flares in hand or on your alien sheet, you win the game (despite other game effects such as Schizoid).
(Main Player or Ally) (Resolution)

----------


ROVER
Follows Ships Out of the Warp


You have the power to Follow. If any other player(s) remove one or more of their ships from the warp when you also have a ship there, after the others arrive at their destination(s) you may use this power and discard an encounter card from your hand to have one of your ships follow one of the others. The player you are attempting to follow may elude you (blocking this use of your power) by discarding from his or her hand either a copy of the card you discarded or a morph. If the followed ship joins an encounter as the offense or an ally, your ship becomes an ally. You may not use your power if it would cause you to be on both sides of an encounter, or to go anywhere other than onto a planet or into an encounter.

(As Any Player) (Optional) (Any Phase)

Abandoned long ago in favor of a newer model, the Rover roam the darkest regions of the cosmos with the hope that they can one day find a home and receive a treat from their new masters.

WILD: When another player moves one or more of his or her ships from the warp to any planet(s) when if you have a ship in the warp, you may have one of your ships follow one of those ships. If that player is moving ships to more than one planet, you may choose any one of those ships to follow. Afterwards, give this flare to the Rover, or discard it if the Rover is not playing.
(As Any Player) (Any Phase)

SUPER: When another player discards an encounter card to elude you, you may retrieve that card from the discard pile and add it to your hand.
(As Any Player) (Any Phase)

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


RUBE
Rounds to Nearest Ten


You have the Power to Round. As a main player or ally, when determining encounter totals, use this power. If your side has a total that ends in 5-9, round the total up to the nearest ten. If the opposing side's total ends in 1-4, round the total down to the nearest ten. If reinforcements or other effects alter the totals, your power has a cumulative effect. For example, if you round your total up to 20, and someone on your side plays a reinforcement +5, your total is rounded up to 30.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Mandatory) (Reveal)

Squatters on a series of backwater planets, the mathematically challenged Rubes have adopted a simpler outlook on existence. They don't care about the details so long as the results are close enough.

WILD: As a main player, if you have 5-7 cards in hand, draw from the deck until you have 8 cards.
(Main Player Only) (Planning)

SUPER: Your side rounds up if the total ends in 3-9, and the opposing side rounds down if the total ends in 1-6.
(Main Player or Ally Only) (Reveal)

----------


STEWARD
Governs the Abandoned


You have to power to Fill In. As the offense, when you aim the hyperspace gate at an unoccupied planet in another player's system, you may use this power to immediately end the encounter and establish a colony on that planet using your ships in the gate. This counts as a successful encounter.

At the start of any player's encounter, you may use this power to choose one power that has been lost by a player because of having too few home colonies. That power replaces yours for the rest of that encounter.

When another player discards his or her hand to draw a new one and you do not, you may use this power to take any or all of the discarded cards and add them to your hand.
(As Any Player) (Optional) (Any Phase)

Attendants during the first age of the cosmos, the Stewards faithfully administered the affairs of all the great houses of Ebkiolno (the first fifteen races, as they were known then). After the financial collapse of the "filthy lucre" era, the Stewards were forced to govern much of the known universe, filling in for leaders and warlords, too bewildered to rule effectively.

WILD: As the offense, after destiny is drawn, you may treat the revealed destiny card as a destiny card of your color. Any other effects caused by the drawn destiny card still take place as usual
(Offense Only) (Destiny)

SUPER: At the start of your turn, you may force every other player to choose one of his or her colonies to evacuate, returning the ships to other colonies. Afterwards, discard this flare.
(Offense Only) (Start Turn)

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


YIN-YANG
Allies with Both Sides


You have the power of Balance. When you are invited to both sides of an encounter, you may use this power to ally with both sides. When the encounter resolves and you are allied on both sides, if the defense lost, he or she may keep as many of his or her ships on the planet as you had on offense; if the offense lost, he or she gains a defender reward for each ship you had allied with the defense.

Any player who does not invite you to ally loses as many ships as his or her opponent lost in the encounter (from any of his or her colonies).
(Not Main Player) (Optional) (Alliance)

For as long as intelligent life has existed, the Yin-Yangs have garnered influence and control over the positive and the negative, the masculine and the feminine, and the meek and the bold aspects of the cosmos. Through their efforts in balancing power, they feel certain to stay analogous to their enemies.

WILD: When a player forces you to lose ships (through power use, artifact, flare, or losing an encounter), you may force that player to lose the same number of ships.
(As Any Player) (Any Phase)

SUPER: When you allied on both sides of an encounter, your losing ships return to your colonies instead of going to the warp.
(Ally Only) (Resolution)

Edit 1: Modified Armorer's short description and wild, cleaned up language on Love, removed cumulative effect on Rube, truncated Troglodyte.
Edit 2: Modifications made to Armorer. Rube had the cumulative effect added back in. Troglodyte change to Berserker and made Offense Only. Yin-Yang tweaked to make it more impactful.
Edit 3: Armorer updated. Berserker changed to Monster, and power updated to be more like "Defcon". Reactor clarified.
Edit 4: Removed Moth.
Edit 5: Added language to Reactor, and other minor fixes.
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Shane Brewer
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Poltergeist, Reactor, and Rover stood out to me in this set. Rubelooks zany and cosmicy. Troglodytelooks interesting but really reminded me of Juggernaut which I like and Yin-Yang seems to be Lunatics sibling.

I'll have to think about the others.
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Chris O
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Sooooo... why is my BETA'D Guardian missing from all the lists?



Initial Thoughts (From best to worst):


Bungler: After a few reads I fully understood this power. It is awesome. You are the anti-power, but for everyone else. Tons of fun. (A)
Elitist: Please lose the King James English. The theme is solid though; avoid people and get tons of cards, or at worst you are invited a lot into encounters. (A-)
Moth: Do NOT like the edits to my power. This is supposed to be As Any Player on both the power and the Super. The power is already incredibly passive and sitting out of the game completely in order to hope for a total that is rarely reached will make people never want to play this again. The 42 thing is fine though for fun references. (B+)
Love: Obviously similar to Hate, as is intentional, but still somewhat unique as it is almost a Mobius Tubes as a power. (B-)
Rube: Not a fan of the name, and it is another stupid math trick. However this one is actually pretty damn clever and useful. (B-)
Reactor: This version is better than the previous. Don't know how I feel about it yet. (C+)
Poltergeist: Fine theme but very weak power overall. I don't care for powers that mix people's hand up much. (C)
Troglodyte: The usage of planets seem more for flavor than practical mechanics. Basically this is a rich get richer snowball power. (C)
Steward: Unique theme but basically a non-power. These events are so incredibly rare in a game this guy won't be doing much. (D)
Armorer: This seems incredibly convoluted. So basically every time someone discards a reinforcement it goes on this sheet, but first forces you to discard the best one already one the sheet. So outside of reinforcement spamming in a single encounter you are constantly going to have a +2 to +3 on this sheet. Then you have to trash a non-encounter card to use what's on the sheet. Useless. (D+)
Rover: Did someone copy my Guardian and mess around with it, because that is exactly what this looks like, especially seeing as my BETA'D Guardian is curiously absent from all these lists. Even the wording and the following looks mostly copy and pasted. This is not cool! (F)
Yin-Yang: So a permanent Lunatic with his Super Flare, and benefits other players as well. Who thought this was a good idea? (F)
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Roberta Yang
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I didn't like Armorer on first glance, but after thinking about it I'm starting to warm up to it. The trouble is that it stated ability of "Uses Non-Encounter Cards as Reinforcements" is misleading - up until the first time two or more Reinforcements are used in the same encounter, you can't do that at all, and your only power is to curry favor with opponents by retrieving Reinforcements for them Fido-style (and without receiving Fido's payment). And even after the first time that happens, you're still paying good cards to get a weaker effect than the Human gets for free. If the game runs long enough that you go all the way through the deck, eventually you cap out at +13 for a non-encounter card once per encounter - which isn't a bad bonus, but a bit underwhelming considering how hard you had to work just to surpass the Human.

If you're actually using it as a "Uses Non-Encounter Cards as Reinforcements" power, then the Armorer is very weak. You really need to treat it as a political power in order to do anything useful with it. The trouble is that the power misrepresents itself - the flavor text even says they're becoming less willing to share their wares, when sharing reinforcements with friendly players is actually the only way they can do anything at all.

Love just seems uninteresting to me. At the start of your turn, discard a good card, maybe free some people's ships from the warp, get a free colony, woohoo. Oh, and better hope you have cards in your hand other than Attack and Negotiate, because if you don't you'll be releasing other people's ships for free and collecting all their junk cards. I know it's designed as a positive analogue to the Hate, but it really doesn't add anything interesting to me beyond what the Hate already does, and I think the Relic does a similar concept better.

Reactor does nothing except become an attractive ally to invite once per opponent (refreshed after that opponent discards their hand, but still) - an inferior and more complex Parasite, who has an easier time getting invitations all the time and doesn't need to permanently buff others to do so. It's a nice idea for a power, but it needs to do something more.

Rover seems to have some leaks. For example, what if a player with no colonies regroups straight to the cone, Rover follows them, and then Rover ends up being drawn as the defense? At any rate, it's one of those powers that has the potential to be very strong (free colonies AND good hand management?) but not very interesting to play as. To play against it, the other players probably want to quickly set up a U.N. planet with colonies from everyone; if they do that early (which is as easy as saying "I invite everyone" as offense turn 1), Rover is permanently reduced to a crummy Sultan.

I like Steward in a vacuum, but after Tyrant and Greenhorn I worry about ending up with too many "You have this laundry list of abilities:" powers. (The one that should be cut is Tyrant, but it's too late for that.)
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Jack Reda
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Chris, Guardian did not hold up after a couple of playtests. It had some issues.

Rover is a fan alien that was cooked-up right here on BGG two years ago (and you participated in its discussion).

Rover (was Barnacle)

It has a similar theme of following ships, so the basic idea is still in the set.

Edit:

Oh, and I got a chance to try out Moth last night, and it was never invited to participate. People were able to do the math, and having another ally (one that was going to get a colony no matter what in most cases) meant it was shut out. I liked the idea, and figured it could be salvaged. We also kept track of the totals, and hitting 40 was relatively easy to do (this was only a 4 player game, granted one with Rube in it, but there are a LOT of combat powers in CE). 40 seemed too high, and someone suggested changing it to 42, which made everyone very happy. So, let's see how it fares in this state.
 
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Armorer - It's different enough from Reserve; It works somewhat like Industrialist, in the way it keeps its cards on the sheet. I don't think it may get overpowered, but I don't find it interesting enough.

Bungler - What a mess. I think I understand what this alien is trying to do - make new conflicts about inviting him or not, but what it actually will do is to cause a chaos, but not in a good old Cosmic way. I don't think I want to play in a game with Bungler in it. It sounds unfun and irritating. Sorry.

Elitist - No, just no. I mean, maybe, if it was written in english.

Love - I agree with Roberta (although when I first read it, I thought it was a very cool alien).

Moth - As I said in Moth's own thread, it will be very strong in a large game and very (very) weak in small games. Maybe it should be changed somehow to avoid that problem. Also, think about what happens when Warpish (for example) is in the game. Warpish is a mandatory power, so it adds the number of ships in the warp every encounter. It can exceed 42 very quickly in every encounter in which he's a main player (and Warpish is just an example. Think about Industrialist, Merchant, Human, Warrior, Xenophile, Wild Kamikaze, Leviathan, Fury, Deuce, and the list goes on and on).

Poltegreist - Not bad, but although it works completely different, it does remind me of Trucker (from Block 2), so I don't think we need them both.

Reactor - Interesting concept. You want your super? Invite Reactor, try to win. I would be very interested to see how it works in a real game.

Rover - Simple enough, but I'm afraid it may be too strong with all those one copies of odd attack cards (05, 07, 09...)

Rube - There's some questions about the exact way this power works. For example: Rube is the Offense, and Defense has 4 ships on the targeted planet and another 8 ships allied with him. He reveals Attack 11. His total is 23, so Rube's power rounds it to 20. Now somebody on the defense wants to play Reinforcement +2. What's the new total? Is it 22 or are we again trying to determine encounter totals, so we start to count again? (So four ships + eight ships + Attack 11 + Reinforcement +2 = total of 25?) I don't know how it should work and I don't know what was the original intention.

Steward - I llike it. Simple and unique.

Troglodyte - It has some similarities to a different homebrew that my group took and created an alien sheet and a flare for it, and we are playing with it regulary (and loving it). I'm Talking about Defcon (I'll try to upload an image later).

Yin-Yang - I know it's not the same, but it feels like a Lunatic's cousin, maybe stronger than him. However, I don't feel we need it (although it's not a bad power).
 
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Barney Bustoffson
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Weehooo, this is the craziest bunch of aliens yet, in a goood way. I wish one of these blocks could have replaced some of the storm powers, but whatev.

Armorer- I like this. It keeps Reinforcements in play. Armorer, picks them up, and keeps one in circulation. Maybe it should be allowed to choose which one to give away.

Bungler- Well, this one is in uncharted territory. I think it will get invited onto the offense by the defense all the time, and then get dismissed the first 3 times. Wow, this could make the game nuts. Must test soon.

Elitist- Makes me laugh. Anyone who likes the leetspeak on Arcade will like this one just as much. Simple alien. It gets cards, but it also fiddles with alliance-making. Huzzah.

Love- When you talked about having companion powers (Winner with Loser, Bandit and Outlaw, Masochist with Sadist, Brute/Bully, Philanthropist and Miser, Human/Machine/Cyborg, and now maybe Genius with Rube, Rover with Fido, and Ace + Deuce). And Bulwark and Zombie. Just kidding.

A lot of those pairings have no relation other than their names, but I like that Love and Hate seem to be related species with histories that play off each other. That image you posted on face book captures it perfectly.

Moth- This one looks interesting. I like the trade off of sitting one out in hopes that the totals will go high.

Poltergeist- Wasn't sure Poltergeist gets to look at all the cards drawn. It feels more mischievous if it doesn't, but maybe it doesn't help the player out very much if so. Could be a good deterrent from some attacks and effects.

Reactor- I love the meta going on with the flare. A power that deals with supers is overdue. I don't think I have even gotten my own super in a game.

Rover- I still like this one.

Rube- This is great for math-a-phobes like me. I can round up and down pretty well. No dividing powers, please.

Steward- I would not want to see Greenhorn and Steward in the same set, especially after Tyrant. But I am okay with one.

Troglodyte- Kicker power! Nuff said.

Yin-Yang- This is very thematic and different enough from Lunatic. Yinyang has to be invited, and by the other main players, and they have incentive to do so.
 
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Barney Bustoffson
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Reading what Homer says above on Rube, I think having the round up/down occur only once would be better. We sometimes have BSG on while we play, and get distracted. And having to recalculate where we rounded up, and then added Reinforcements and had to round up or down again could get tricky. The rounding is pretty powerful once on its own, I should think.

goo
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Jack Reda
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That is fair. I haven't had to do a cumulative rounding in the 4 games it's been used, so it probably doesn't need it anyway (though maybe that part scared off other reinforcement plays). Still, I will amend the alien here.
 
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Jon Gon
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I can't say that I liked this Block. The most interesting are probably Armorer, Elitist and Reactor but I still wouldn't like to see them in the Fan Expansion in their current versions.


Armorer (Not Sure - Maybe Not Unique Enough)

This reminds me of something. I'm not familiar with this version and I would have to test it before claiming something about how powerful it is. I wonder if it will hinder players from using reinforcements or if it is unique enough from Reserve, Industrialist and Porcupine.

Is this power based on Ammunition?

Bungler (Dislike)

I had to read this power a lot of times to understand what was going on. I think that it tries to do too much. I don't think that it's very interesting or fun.

Elitist (Not Sure - Too Passive)

Please change the wording; it will cause some problems to those that don't have English as native language. The problem I find with Elitist is that the other players will make all choices. I concede that they are difficult choices but still, the Elitist is completely passive.

Love (Dislike)

This is the other half of Hate. The problem is that Hate is o ne of most boring powers from FFG. While Hate penalizes his opponents, Love receives benefits. Even the Super is a complete copy from Hate. I don't really think this one is interesting.

Moth (Not Sure - Too Passive)

This is another completely passive power that leaves all though choices to other players. I think that there may be room for an alien that explores the values of combined totals but this is not it. It needs to be reworked and probably receive a small ability that allows him to actually do something.

Poltergeist (Dislike)

Not impressed with in one. It's certainly has some merits but it seems like nothing more than Philanthropist mixed with an underdeveloped Trader. It adds nothing new and therefore I find it too trivial to the Fan Expansion

Reactor (Not Sure - Good Idea, Not So Good Implementation)

Why not call the power Radiation, with the power of Super. In this format this is a subset of General and a weaker Parasite. The idea of making other powers super is good but I think it needs more. Reactor can also receive Wilds bit compare this power to Host and see how it pales in comparison.

Here's another potential issue. To shut down Reactor player will invite them when they are defensive main players. This way they're trading their Super for a maximum of 4 rewards. That seems like a good deal for Reactor's opponents.

Rover (Not Sure - Too Powerful)

If I'm interpreting this one right it is way too powerful. Also, it has the potential to lead to very cheesy victories. For example, in a game with six players, if the Rover has a Mobius Tubes and plays at the right time it can go from zero to five colonies by playing it. Clearly overpowered.

Rube (Dislike)

If we ignore further rounds (via reinforcements) it grants you plus 0-10 to your side. It is somewhat interesting but at its core it is nothing more than a math alien. I think that this power is better than Tripler and Calculator but since we already have those I'm having a hard time finding this one worthy of the fan expansion. The name should be changed. Why is Rube a Red Alert alien?

Steward (Not Sure - Uninteresting And Probably Weak )

This power is divided in three parts. The first allows you to automatically land in an abandoned planet. This is rare event. The second allows you to switch powers when another player loses power. This is also a rare event and subliminally it is telling us that Steward is weak. The third part will be the most commonly used but I have some doubts if that if that makes up for the other flaws.
It is a decent power and certainly playable but in my opinion it is not original and exciting enough to be part of the Fan Expansion.

Troglodyte (Not Sure - A Kicker Based Alien Seems Good)

I agree that we need a power that deals with kickers but I don't think this is the droid were looking for. I don't see a reason to place the planets on other players' systems. Removing the destiny cards would be enough. Anyway, the mechanic has potential but it can be improved.

Ying-Yang (Dislike)

This power is a combination of Lunatic and Observer (a very weak power). Unlike other have said I think that he is weaker than Lunatic, because he needs to be invited by both players to use his power. Moreover, he still benefits his opponents what makes him relatively weaker. I would never choose Ying-Yang over Lunatic. I think that we don't need this.


 
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Armorer — Roberta is right that the Short Power Description is misleading. For me it established an expectation that made it harder to understand the text the first time through. It also gave me an expectation of simplicity that resulted in the actual power feeling too fiddly. We should try not to imply that discarding the non-encounter card counts as "playing" reinforcements, to avoid problems with things like Reserve.

Wild Armorer strikes me as thematically misleading (and confusing for new/casual players). It amounts to two different effects: (a) "You may discard one or more attack cards numbered 10 through 15 to add +1 each to either side's total." (b) "You may trash any or all attack cards less than 10." Effect (a) is very weak for a flare, so this seems to be a dump-your-junk effect masquerading as a reinforcement-maker.

What about maybe instead having it let you discard a single attack card to use its last digit as a reinforcement? +8 or +9 is pretty darned sexy.

Love — While I like the Love/Hate complementarity in principle, I've felt a bit unsettled by this one all along. The phrase "If all players discard the same type of card" sounds like they had the option to discard a different type of card, but I don't think they did (right?). More importantly, though, in most cases this feels like "gain a free colony at the start of your turn" and thus sort of tick-tockishly inevitable, as well as lacking in subtlety relative to the theme.

On the other hand, the warp could end up generally empty, and that feels like it threatens to remove some good elements from the game (not to mention how it would destroy certain aliens like Warpish and Sadist).

It seems like I'm either being forced to always discard my own good cards to prevent everyone from retrieving their ships (hoping that at least one matches me so I get it back), or throwing away a bad card and then receiving three to five more bad cards of the same type in return. (I wouldn't discard an attack or negotiate except when forced to, and in those cases where I am forced to it will feel like I've been shoved down the hole of an outhouse.) I've never really been able to wrap my head around why I would want to play this power, but maybe I'm missing a key point.

Wild Reactor — I don't think there's a mechanism in the game for having one flare's game text be active when you are not playing it (and further complicated because two flares would be in scope simultaneously, leading to questions about whether you have to show the card, scope of card zaps, and so on). I strongly recommend against this kind of mechanism unless we're willing to write a lot more text to make it clear. I suppose you could try to transfer that part to the Reactor alien sheet, but it feels pretty fiddly to me and I'd prefer to avoid what feels like an upside-down complexity-to-benefit relationship.

Rover — I'm conflicted about the leak Roberta caught. I think back when this was called Guardian or Limpet, I helped with that wording about not being allowed to be on both sides of the encounter, but she's right that there will be exceptions. (Another one could be when some oddball effect like Swindler changes who the defense or the offense is.) The situations are rare, but they do exist.

Steward — I think I don't understand this part: "When another player discards his or her hand to draw a new one and you do not." I'm having a hard time thinking of a situation where two players would discard their hands to draw a new one at the same time, other than maybe a Cosmic Quake.

Troglodyte — This is one of those mechanical things that is very difficult to implement without breaking the game engine. As written, the power assumes that the Troglodyte's system will never be referenced, but of course that isn't true. Special destiny is a problem, as are all the effects that refer to a player's system (Genesis Bomb, Disease, Invasion!, The Claw, Colony Cloak [and probably the space station rules in general], Super Dervish, all the flares that refer to a main player's "home system," and on and on). Trying to have home planets in a foreign system brings up a list of questions about what counts for what and how to interpret all the relevant effects. I like to think anything's possible with the right wording, but this is one of those mechanics that might actually be impossible to do in a way that doesn't break itself.

The thing is, though ... why? The planet deal and the kicker deal seem incongruous. Despite the history trying to marry them together, it still feels like two completely different aliens pasted onto the same sheet. An alien that has built-in kickers should just have built-in kickers and be done with it.

Wild Yin-Yang — Intentionality is challenging to define clearly. What exactly constitutes "forcing" another player to lose ships? (For example, if I want to make a deal but you refuse to accept it, did I "force" you to lose ships?) I'd like to see this defined in such a way that we don't have to argue about what does and doesn't count.
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The thing is a lot of the short descriptions only tell part of the story or are just fluffery anyway (Mostly Harmless). "Can Reinforce with a Non-Encounter Card" would probably be better, provided no once cares that it doesn't mention collecting reinforcements... "Collects Reinforcements and Reinforces with a Non-Encounter Card" might fit.

I love that suggestion on the wild Armorer. I am going to do an update edit at the end of the day, incorporating some consensus feedback.

Love does not require the same type of card. Players can dump a card that is different, but in doing so do not get to free their ships. The wording does need to be refined. There are two intents with the design of Love... the first is it gives Love three possibilities, depending on what he/she has in hand. You can dump a lame card (but run the risk of then scooping up several of them if everyone discards the same type), you can potentially gain a foreign colony if you have discarded something not everyone has or wishes to lose, you can potentially scoop up a lot of good cards if everyone is trying to prevent you from getting that colony. It hasn't proven over-powered at all, just competitive enough, so far.

The other objective is an alien that doesn't evoke feelings of hate. When I see Hate in the game, if I don't have it, I feel the pain whenever he has a turn. Every game it shows up in, someone says "Hate earns its name". But in a good way. That is, I actually like Hate quite a bit as an alien. It does something different, and creates tension and forces more careful ship arrangement. I wanted people to generally have the opposite emotional reaction to Love. It helps itself, maybe in a great way, but can also help the others out.

For Reactor, I think it is critical to keep the wild flare pretty much as is. The fact that it does something no other alien/flare does is the whole point. The interconnectedness between all the powers and flares in the game is the heart of why Reactor does work. The phrasing will need to be as perfect as it can be made (and if something needs to go on the sheet, that's fine). There's some honor code involved, but that doesn't worry me at all.

I am not sure the leak on Rover is a leak. The power says it can't be used if it would end up on both sides of the encounter. If Rover ends up being drawn as defense, then he's on both sides of the encounter.

Troglodyte's setup was for balance. It shouldn't have too many opportunities to add tokens, but that could be balanced by being offense only. I just prefer to avoid offense only. The alien started with the planet mechanism, but defense only deterrents are not all that interesting. The reference to a player's system could be added to the conditions of how Trog is attacked (any reference to your system can refer to any of your planets). Still, at the end of the day, if divorcing the planet setup from the kicker effect is generally preferred, that suits me fine.

Yin-Yang's wild can and should be reworded. No need to reopen the old Sting debate.
 
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The Warp wrote:
Chris, Guardian did not hold up after a couple of playtests. It had some issues.

Rover is a fan alien that was cooked-up right here on BGG two years ago (and you participated in its discussion).


Were you guys using the older version?

I posted some serious buffs to the power that made it much more useful weeks ago in Facebook, where it no longer takes into account the shared planet but being in the same SYSTEM. There's no way that power would be useless because you yourself said it might even be too strong. And it is incredibly unique, much more so than Rover

The power needs to be play-tested with these changes, not with the old cohabiting planets method.

I can GUARANTEE this power will have an impact on the game for sure, yet will be self-limiting as you don't have infinite ships to move around.

THIS is what is supposed to be tested:



[_]GUARDIAN Leads/Follows Nearby Ships[_]


You have the power to Chaperone. Whenever your ships are in the same system as those of another player and either of you moves ships from a planet in that system to another planet anywhere, into an encounter, or to the warp, you may use this power to send up to an equal number of your ships from that same system to follow the other player's ships, or vice-versa. Ships that follow into an encounter automatically become allied on the same side as the followed ships, but do not count against the normal limit of four. This may cause a player to be allied with him- or herself, but this does not allow ships to follow (or join later) if this would cause them to be allied against their own side.


The Guardians have taken it upon themselves to chaperone the lesser races of the Cosmos and keep them under a watchful eye. Distrustful species are often followed by the Guardians to see their aims, while others are "relocated" to places under Guardian control. Either way, these daunting aliens will not be taken by surprise.


As Any Player Optional
Start Turn Regroup Destiny Launch Alliance Planning Reveal Resolution

Wild: When you are not a main player, if you are invited to ally by one main player but not the other, cause the player who did not invite you to lose a card at random from their hand
Not Main Player Alliance

Super: As the defense, if you lose an encounter, you may cause your ships to remain on the targeted planet instead of going to the warp.
Defense Only Resolution
 
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Useless wasn't necessarily the issue. It was too powerful and never got alliances or colony trades in deals. Players with Guardian ships in their own system ended up not using their ships there at all, which effectively turned Guardian into Gorgon.

We liked the idea behind it, and Rover was a similar kind of effect.
 
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Knowing how this power works as having play tested it myself I am having a really hard time believing this.

If Guardian wins on Offense with 4 ships the most damage he can do in that system is pull a max of 3 other ships off that system and into an encounter, or to follow someone from that system into an encounter 3 times with 1 ship to muddle in their Offense.

I think the people who played with this were just overly afraid and didn't realize the ability to kill off Guardian ships by letting them follow into encounters only to kill them off by Negotiating. Guardian is ONLY strong early game where he has all his ships, but is easily handle once they start dying off, because they will have to be re-spread out all over the map all over again, AND the fact that people can simply ally against him together to stop him from getting colonies.

This version doesn't feel like it was play tested more than used as spare parts for someone else to use the idea.
 
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Purposely losing encounters on offense to stop one of Guardian's ships is not really a recourse. These were 30 year veterans of CE who read the alien at the game start and decided to not help it with alliances or moving ships.

The players gave it a pass. I remembered Rover from two years ago, tested by a different group. I think it has promise and the following concept has not been done outside of homebrews like Glue. I playtested Glue about six years ago, which is kinda the opposite (you bring along), but I think Rover is better and not too Magnet-like.
 
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The Warp wrote:
I love that suggestion on the wild Armorer.

Actually I'd like to revise the suggestion to say that you choose one of the two digits. This mechanic should be familiar because of Graviton; it prevents the Attack 10 from being useless as a reinforcement; and it allows a little flexibility on cards where both digits are non-zero, which could be helpful when trying to finesse an outcome involving something like or Daredevil, Moth, Poison, Spiff, Winner, Arcade, or Meteor Storm. Finally, it allows once-in-a-blue-moon things like using your Attack 30 or 40 because you're just that desperate for a Reinforcement +3 or +4.

Now, onto Love, which I am still not seeing through your eyes yet.

The Warp wrote:
You can dump a lame card (but run the risk of then scooping up several of them if everyone discards the same type),

Here I presume you mean mainly a poor attack. The risk, though, is so great that I have a hard time seeing this happening very often at all. Are you really so desperate to get rid of one low attack that you will risk getting several back? (And when all you have left are attack and negotiate cards, you're pretty well screwed since the power is mandatory.

The Warp wrote:
you can potentially scoop up a lot of good cards if everyone is trying to prevent you from getting that colony.

This I can't envision. Are you saying that if you discard an artifact or a flare, everyone will discard a card of that same exact type? Not gonna happen. Most of the time not everyone will even have a "good card" of the same type, and even if they did, the other players are not required to discard them. To prevent you from gaining a colony, they only have to discard any card of any type; so at least one player (usually the one sitting to your right) will face a lot of pressure to discard something different, lest he be the one to give Love half a dozen artifacts or flares.

Can you help me see a realistic scenario where you "scoop up a lot of good cards"? I can't find it.

I understand now that you have playtested a different effect than what is written here, so I think I must still be missing some information.

The Warp wrote:
For Reactor, I think it is critical to keep the wild flare pretty much as is. The fact that it does something no other alien/flare does is the whole point.

That's great, but it needs to work within the rules structure (and flares don't offer a lot of space for long wordings).

The Warp wrote:
I am not sure the leak on Rover is a leak. The power says it can't be used if it would end up on both sides of the encounter. If Rover ends up being drawn as defense, then he's on both sides of the encounter.

But the problem comes when he ends up on both sides of the encounter after he has already used his power. Offense regroups a ship directly to the gate; Rover follows. Offense draws Rover for destiny. It's too late for the restriction to kick in, because Rover is already in the gate.

Even when the offense launches his ships normally (after destiny is known), there are still things that come along and change who one or both of the main players are: Swindler, Demon, and Delegator come to mind. Or thanks to something like Precursor Seed or Alien Outpost, Rover might also be something like Siren. The point is, I think we have to reword the restriction to perhaps something like "If you would end up on both sides of the encounter, your following ship must return to the warp." (Although it's kind of weird to have ship leave the warp only to turn around and go right back.)

The Warp wrote:
The reference to a player's system could be added to the conditions of how Trog is attacked (any reference to your system can refer to any of your planets).

That still won't resolve the issues, though. A system can't be both "red's system" and "blue's system" at the same time, for example, and things that move stuff from one system to a different system will still get messy.

Fortunately there's an easy fix: just eliminate the planet setup. Shoving those planets into other systems isn't gaining us anything for gameplay; it's just a superficial visual trick to make it seem like we're taking advantage of moveable planets. If we're going to take advantage of that, let's do it for real and make it meaningful. But I still don't see what it has to do with a free-kicker alien concept.
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Wild Armorer strikes me as thematically misleading (and confusing for new/casual players). It amounts to two different effects: (a) "You may discard one or more attack cards numbered 10 through 15 to add +1 each to either side's total." (b) "You may trash any or all attack cards less than 10." Effect (a) is very weak for a flare, so this seems to be a dump-your-junk effect masquerading as a reinforcement-maker.

What about maybe instead having it let you discard a single attack card to use its last digit as a reinforcement? +8 or +9 is pretty darned sexy.

It seems a little too sexy to me when you sit it next to the Reserve and particularly the Super Reserve.

The Warp wrote:
The thing is a lot of the short descriptions only tell part of the story or are just fluffery anyway (Mostly Harmless). "Can Reinforce with a Non-Encounter Card" would probably be better, provided no once cares that it doesn't mention collecting reinforcements... "Collects Reinforcements and Reinforces with a Non-Encounter Card" might fit.

That solves the expectation of simplicity, but still misrepresents the meat of the power. As a pure combat power, Armorer sucks. It can only pass the Human Test through Fido-like alliance-forging with other players, and that makes sense with the alien name - after all, armorers usually forge armor for someone else to wear rather than to wear themselves. The description should reflect this.

The Warp wrote:
You can dump a lame card (but run the risk of then scooping up several of them if everyone discards the same type)

Unless another player has zero cards in hand, that seems like an enormous risk for relatively small reward. Especially when the alternative of discarding a good card gets me a nigh-guaranteed foreign colony.

The Warp wrote:
The other objective is an alien that doesn't evoke feelings of hate.

If Love has any non-attack/negotiate cards, then Love is pretty much guaranteed to get a colony unless you're in a three-player game or something silly like that. Any unstoppable source of free colonies evokes feelings of hate.

If Love has nothing but attack/negotiate cards, then Love collects everyone else's junk and has a permanently ruined hand. Nobody else minds, but if I were the Love player in that scenario I'd feel a lot of hate.

I feel like Healer does the "help everyone" thing in a more interesting way. Love is only interesting in that it is an upside-down Hate, but even that's only cute from a design perspective, not from a gameplay perspective.
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The Warp wrote:
Love ... If at least one other player does not discard a card, you may free all of your ships in the warp and establish a foreign colony in the system of a player who did not discard a card.

Forgot to ask this: are you supposed to use the ships you released from the warp to establish that colony? Or is it two completely separate benefits? Does it need an "and/or"?
 
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I reworded Love to make it clearer.
 
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Troglodyte had its planet setup removed, but I do fear without some kind of mitigation element (like fewer opportunities to use the power and gain tokens), it does indeed snowball. Consider that the first time it wins, it gets a permanent x2, and barring a lousy hand with nothing but negotiates and negative attacks, it has a reasonable chance of winning its next encounter (often on its first turn). This means it now as a x3. It's easy to imagine the alien winning the next encounter and quickly going to x4.

I also don't want it to encroach too deeply in Virus' space with the multiplication.

On another thread, I think Bill was brainstorming about having an alien that starts out very strong and gets progressively weaker. So what if this alien starts off with 4 tokens, giving it a x4 kick, but after each win, it loses a token? After 4 wins, it now has to contend with a x0, which is a pretty big risk. To balance that part out, it could be made optional. It could also (and maybe this is just the super) add a token at the start of turn (or start of encounter).

Regardless, it will need a new name, since it isn't necessarily Troglodytey anymore.
 
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The Warp wrote:

On another thread, I think Bill was brainstorming about having an alien that starts out very strong and gets progressively weaker. So what if this alien starts off with 4 tokens, giving it a x4 kick, but after each win, it loses a token? After 4 wins, it now has to contend with a x0, which is a pretty big risk. To balance that part out, it could be made optional. It could also (and maybe this is just the super) add a token at the start of turn (or start of encounter).

Regardless, it will need a new name, since it isn't necessarily Troglodytey anymore.


I like this reworking quite a bit. It's something new and easy to understand.
 
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I'd like to iron out the best possible set. It may not end up including this or even any of the above aliens, but if there's a kernel of greatness buried anywhere in there, I want us to find it and develop it now, because we may not get another chance, officially speaking.
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The Warp wrote:
I reworded Love to make it clearer.

Much improved... in this version, Love always gets either a colony or a bunch of cards (before, it was possible to get neither). Although, if I'm understanding it correctly, I think this can be simplified, right?
If all players discard the same type of card as you, you collect all of the discarded cards (including yours). If at least one other player does not discard a card matching the type you discarded Otherwise, you may free all of your ships in the warp and use them to establish a foreign colony in the system of that player.


(Not trying to be trouble; just want to make absolutely sure my understanding matches the intent.) Assuming that's right, I'll run a few scenarios with some sterile number-crunching. For simplicity I'll assume a 5-player game where every player holds 8 cards, completely random, and Love has at least one ship in the warp. No reward or large group deck.

Chances that...
a given all four Minimum Maximum General
Card type opponent opponents chance of chance of desirability
Love discards has one have one free colony free cards of the cards
Morph 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% (N.A.)
Reinforcement 41.4% 2.9% 97.1% 2.9% medium
Flare 62.8% 15.5% 84.5% 15.5% high
Artifact 66.9% 20.1% 79.9% 20.1% high
Negotiate 79.7% 40.4% 59.6% 40.4% low
Attack 99.5% 98.2% 1.8% 98.2% low

Conclusions from this hypothetically "average" case:

• Discarding any non-encounter card gives you a good chance of a free colony and a relatively low chance of acquiring a pile of good cards (the chance drops to zero if any opponent wants to keep his matching non-encounter card or prefers that Love receive a colony instead of a pile of good cards).

• Discarding a morph is a guaranteed free colony.

• Discarding a negotiate card has a decent chance at either outcome; a non-trivial risk of getting slammed with a pile of negotiates.

• Discarding an attack card is generally a bad idea, since in many cases you are very likely to collect everyone's worst attack cards ... and everyone except you will get their ships out of the warp.

• When any player has no hand, discarding any card is a guaranteed free colony. The rarer the card type, the fewer opponents get all of their ships out of the warp.
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Love also has to have ships in the warp, which can be done, but isn't automatic. If Love has no ships in the warp, and a player doesn't discard the same type of card, Love gets nothing. Discarding a non-encounter card is most likely to get Love a colony, but then Love is giving up what is generally considered a good card. Gaining a colony is great, but then Love still has to try to win, and can't rely on having five Start Turns AND having rare cards. We played with Love this week, and while it did gain a colony through power use, it didn't do as well as the other three aliens in the game.

This was the fifth playtest with Love, and out those, it has only won a single game, but generally has three or four foreign colonies. When the start are in alignment, it can have a great game (for instance, going second, having lost ships in the first encounter, and still holding competitive encounter cards for a successful two encounter turn- that's three foreign colonies there, and if Love can hold out till its next turn, has a decent chance of picking up the fourth colony through power use).

Contrast with Hate, which has the same chances and frequencies for who has what cards. If you can't match his discard, he picks three ships to send to the warp, meaning in many cases, a player has an excellent chance of losing at least one foreign colony, and in many cases a foreign and a home colony. The loss of foreign colony for another player is about on par with Love gaining a foreign colony.
 
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