Just some of my opinions and questions on the colonists in the current colonist set (3-Jan, 2014). As a general comment, there should be some fluff with
By fluff, do you mean flavour text? Sure. After I playtest the cards and do the graphic design, I'll know how much space I have to fill.
IA Chimps: Excellent choice for a Mars rush; does it count as human for glory? I assume it votes as human, but may be more thematic to only vote under green polity.
Also, vivisection should be removed if robots emancipated (“They’re more biological than the robots!”)
Adopted your emanicpation suggestion. Primate: Acts human, so yes to Glory.
Uploaded replicators: Ability is rather weak; only usable if it has the C freighter. Functional raygun, could see freighter hopping plan to reuse (Zap at one freighter, use
engineering and swap to the other.)
I've modified this so they can be 3D printed as a part of a digital swap of any spectral type.
Transhuman Fundamentalists: Decommissioning rule kind of silly. Maybe replace with: “May promote at a factory on science site or claim on TNO.” Right-wing politics
doesn’t seem to work with classic transhumanists.
No one likes the promote on decommissioning, but I'm going to see how it plays. These are fundamentalisms who happen to be transhumanist, not the other way
around. I was going to call them Transhuman Families, which would definitely make them right wing.
Cyberneuron Minds: Singularity a big risk; I doubt that a player would get that far behind. I guess that the robot supremacy has the election triggered by an Epic
hazard op? Also, it seems weird that AI colonists wouldn’t vote for you in this election.
Modified this so only loyal humans don't vote for you. All the election futures are triggered by Epic Hazard ops - you don't need a separate activism action. They also
allow you to run an election outside of the blue cycle. I'll need to special note that.
Cosca Ad Astra: Kind of weird when one could make money when someone illegally steals water. Smuggling doesn’t seem to be particularly useful. I would think the
Mafia would tend towards the right-wing politics.
The mafia demands 'protection' if you're behaving in an illegal fashion. Smuggling is primarily for hostile recruiting. I'm going with PRC=illegal activities, but I could see
these going right wing. In general, I've spent a large amount of effort ensuring that each faction has a similar proportion of unpromoted/promoted
colonists/votes/careers to the basic deck.
Deepnet Clusters: I assume that this doesn’t count in war. Investigation very useful against a player with many colonists.
Yes, anarchy only.
Body-mod surgeons: Seems tailor-made for the PRC. Does amputation work with the UN crew (Mass -1?) I don’t quite understand the politics of the card and the
felonious trait thematically.
This card is felonious because you're cutting off the limbs/removing nonvital organs (like stomach/intestines) to decrease the colonists mass without giving them an
option to avoid this. I didn't note the UN crew exception since I assumed that a hard science game wouldn't need to explain that negative mass isn't a thing.
Gray Infested: Seems to generate lots of useless colonists more than it does anything else. Does the taking control of a colonist apply with the special grey goo
rules for beehives?
Take control doesn't apply to interstellar. The colonists are ISRU 1 mass 1 buggies, which I hope would be useful.
Extropian Evangelists: The special ability to work out of turn seems to have minimal use. The politics really should be white not orange for Evangelists.
Unlike the Transhuman Fundamentalists, these are Extropians who evangelise their position. I wanted to make their special ability apply at any point during another
player's turn (which would be hugely useful) but this would break PBF play. I wonder if 'forgo op to let you rearrange the player turn order next year' would be better.
Roko’s Basilisk: What does a lizard have to do with Evangelicals? And who’s this Roko guy? The ability is interesting, unless of course nobody has a useful special
ability. Seems that the death rule would not show up in most games. (The game would end very soon or enough AI would be promoted.)
Google 'Roko's Basilisk'. This may have existential consequences.
Old School Boostermen: Die Hard is rather difficult to pull off; the card would be sent back to the deck. Earthrise may be just be too good to decommission over.
Does hazard roll include aerobraking?
Die Hard is primarily intended for glory, but I added hazards (and aerobrakes) as a side effect.
Prosthetic rocket: Why do they lose their career when promoted? Continual afterburn is nice, but where it would be needed is difficult to find (The aerostats?).
This sacrifices an operation for the ability to get two rocket moves. Continual afterburn is more flavour than straight utility - but it allows you to boost up for combat or some weird tug landing on Venus.
Code Jockeys: Agile development is just too good. As written, you can use it to cheat epic hazards before TNO labs. Events don’t happen during a person’s turn, so
it doesn’t need to be written in.
I've modified this to exclude epic hazards, and am thinking long and hard about the impact on prospecting.
World Wide Worms: Flash ROM pales compared to Agile Development, though I suppose it could be of use wrecking anything unmanned and cycling the decks.
Firmware is interesting, but there may be a different colonist that may be a better fit.
It works thematically for me. Also you can manipulate budget cuts.
First Contact Team: I kind of doubt that there would be a discovery of life anywhere in the solar system that would have a such a dramatic effect on humanity. The
subsurface ocean one is a nice advantage. Colonist seems a little light weight.
Proto Zoas: What on earth is “cerebrane”? Does the extra hydration apply at every C site? Again, I doubt an extraterrestrial discovery would have this much of an impact.
What is the politics of this card?
This card is inspired by the computer game 'Waking Mars'. Proto Zoas are aliens, so don't have votes - this also means the card is completely loyal to whomever promotes the white side.
Theriomorphic Outcasts: Strange white side for a colonist. The choice is a nice tweak for the game. Also, I find it strange that they would be outcast from society,
they can vote! I’d switch the names of the promotion and the boosted around.
They're social outcasts, rather than political ones. Also the game strongly suggests that Uplift is purple side rather than black side (Uplift future on Creeper Neogens).
Uplifted Animals: See the prior. Is it unable to swap the bust specialty? I’m confused with the emancipator bit, here’s my take: as a suffrage op, the controller of the
government can give them a chit that represents five votes for them. A suffrage op at a different time removes this chit. Or can a suffrage op decommission this
It is unable to swap the bust specialty without being decommissioned. Similarly the emancipator votes are lost when the card is decommissioned - you can't
decommission the votes separately. The card itself is decommissioned normally.
Tween Hackers: This one’s bit weird: they get votes for being “Child Soldiers” when they can’t even fight. Also, I can’t find a good reason to use children to hack
computers. Also, most governments haven’t granted children votes, so maybe they should lose the UN vote and gain no loyalty so they can’t be hostile recruited?
This represents 'Script Kiddies' and Anonymous activists. The voting pressure is pressure on their parent's politics. Flavour text will play with the idea of bioengineering
delaying completion of puberty as well to result in adults in kids bodies.
Stellar Neonates: Another weird one. It trades a profession (Okay), ages down about 12 years (What?), and then gains the “Unique” trait. That bothers me the most; in
this game you have Malcolm who is literally one person! And he doesn’t have a similar restriction on him. Just my opinion, maybe you have a better reason.
This is a 2001 reference to Star Child. The uniqueness is the non-reproducibility of the process of promoting this card, rather than the fact there is only one neonate.
Retro-Chemical Luddites: A bit of a specially defined career. The “Looms” trait is a neat form of promotion. I suppose the best use of the card is for parking at a
I've simplified Looms. The intended use is to get out there with a refinery since it has a built in generator and start colonising - I had restricted these originally so that
you had to have the luddites present to perform the op, but it felt a bit too useless late game.
Anti-Robot Jihadists: It’s strange it loses the generator. The only reason take this one is to inflict it’s abilities on others. The election described in the future is
triggered by an epic hazard op, right?
Added generator back. Yes to election epic hazard.
L5 Society: Futurists is very powerful, especially if it is coupled with Theriomorphic Outcasts (Engineer and Science). Uplifting should be given a new name. A few
other things: is futurists considered retroactive if a scientist is already in space? Can uplifting bring you over the limit?
I've modified Theriomorphic Outcasts text to strongly suggest that you can't go Science -> Engineering if they are supported by Futurists. What's wrong with Uplifiting?
I'm going for Panglossian overtones.
Singularity Containment Cult: Is the UN the best choice for the loyal faction in this case? Also, it seems that their power is rather weak.
I think their power is incredibly strong: depends how aggressive players are with hostile recruit.
House of Saud: Nice power, could generate lots of capital.
Postmortal Monopolists: Monopoly is a bit of an “Eh” power. Unless it is pressed towards white or red, there is really little advantage to be gained. Again, the special
future election needs to be triggered by epic hazard op, no? Also, weird that it changes profession.
A number of base game cards change profession. Monopoly takes the faction privilege: so if e.g. ESA is in power, then you get the Powersat ability and ESA loses it.
HALO Daredevils: I don’t quite understand why one would collect money for breaking the law needlessly. The freighter stack bit may start silly things similar to the
rescue pod rule. Is white the best option for politics?
Google 'Point Break'. The freighter stack is intended to be abused: unlike rescue pods. I could be convinced to switch to another politics, but I wanted them to be All
American sports machismo.
Drexlerian Technomancers: Why aren’t cubes Missiles in interstellar? Do you still get to keep the extra cube even if there is a Grey Goo Failure? Can you not collect
the Sulfur Hexafluoride from the ersatz bernal?
If cubes were missiles in Interstellar, I'd have to define how many ops a cube gets. You get to keep the extra cube. I wanted to keep text simple on the Hexaflouride
The Dark Matter Institute: Different way to hostile recruit. Colonies or colonists for the “Tribute” trait? Colonies.
Lobotomized Hive Sisters: Can you create a gigantic colony by decommissioning this colonist repeatedly? Memetic Suppression seems far more difficult than any of
the other epic hazard election futures.
Yes, you can make a gigantic colony, but this is not the most effective use of your cubes. Mimetic suppression is easy if you kill off the colonists of the correct colour.
Tribal Revenants: Really powerful trait. It dramatically increases the figure of available engineers, I might not consider upgrading these folks. Maybe white or green
would be a better ideology for this colonist than orange?
See politics comments previously.
Pantropic Planet-Dwellers: Maybe require an op of some kind to use its power? I’d change the name of the future to something that is a better reflection of extra-
planetary colonization. Maybe there could be a better ideology than Green?
The future is to reflect permanent genetic modification in order to better suit the environment, rather than modifying the environment itself.
Medecins sans Frontieres Finales: Neat little colonist that may unfortunately find itself more used as a protector instead of a doctor.
Postscarcity Refactor: Does this mean income is reclassified as a science op? It was mentioned at some point that Crash the Market (Future?) represented currency
being rebased on processing cycles. Shouldn’t it still be an engineering problem to create more processing power?
I decided running a supercomputer was a science endeavour rather than an engineering one.
Shattered Horizon Company: They make the solar system a much more dangerous place. EVA may have some room for abuse, especially with the Philleas Fogg tactic.
Armoured Loaders Corp: I imagine that “Missile Pod” would get extremely expensive quickly. Exosuit EVA seems to be really powerful.
Clade Family Clones: I don’t understand how “Replacements” works in Interstellar. Clone tanks would probably be more used on large planets.
Clarified. Replacements allows you to sacrifice cubes to keep them alive.
Carbon Commons Collective: I don’t understand how Pirate works. What spectral type is it considered to be with 3D printer.
Pirate allows you to clone a card on the decks and give it to this card. e.g. give it +8 thrust modifier with BP reactor if Project Orion is the top reactor. Fixed spectral
type - it's C.
Viral Mixologist: Demoting a colonist seems very petty. Also, the connection between the colonist and the ability is unclear.
I clarified the description prior to your comments. Hope it helps.
Machine Flesh Sculptors: Does “Reprogram” require robots to be emancipated?
Cleanroom Researchers: Only appears useful at the beginning of the game. Does this require to that a support card is pulled in the first place?
Mycorhizome Chimeras: I thought no one aged in Vats in Interstellar. Also, fungal chimeras? Can it go beyond the Ceres zone with a bernal or factory? Or does it
need to be with a bernal or factory in order to remain alive and it also dies if it is beyond the Ceres zone?
Fixed aging in vats, but I'm going to change this again. Google 'Supergod Morrigan Lugus'.
Lloyd’s Salvage Co.: Does the salvage stack have mass? Can it be hauled to a different place?
Lightcone Infovores: Can you use this to return a card you just free marketed?
Yes. It is only cost effective if you have Siren Cybernetics Inc.
Decontamination Spec Ops: How else could a faction decommission your colonists?
Grey Goo Colonists. Viral Mixologists.
Cyber Ronin: I suppose I have to track who promoted this card. That seems cumbersome. Why not just let them always attack and be attacked in general?
Because that is the New Attica Successionists ability.
Homeless Techno-Utopians: Trash seems useful if you’re not playing Shimizu. Utopia may come into play, but it seems fairly useless.
Starbound Settlers: Remembering aging is too cumbersome. It also a death date that no other colonist has. The interstellar future is the easiest in the game. Sure, it
may be worth 2 less but it is still too simple. Build any starship, and take the Jupiter flyby out. It’s guaranteed, because there is no way they would be killed on exit.
As mentioned, I'll have a think about this. I was thinking of supplementing the exit the solar system rules so that the Interstellar rules always applied. That'd make Sol exit much harder.
Anthropoid Tenders: Neat sort that needs to be exactly where it is acting. Reminds me of the robot stories.
Militarized Replicants: Can you use your Ersatz-Bernal to replace your crashed Bernal? Does it require an epic hazard? Reminds me of Blade Runner.
Your crashed Bernal still exists, so no.
Master Controller: This is a dramatic increase in operations.
Except for Interstellar, the actual operations you can perform are incredibly limited - basically the robonaut can do actions relating to itself in its location only.
Smatter Bee Swarm: It’s strange that doubles the votes. Maybe change it to: “Robonaut and Freighter voters are loyal to you, if the robots have been emancipated.”
I didn't want to take away from the emancipator. Think of this as super robot voting empowerment.
Autonomous prospector: Quite the hodgepodge of traits. It doesn’t have any votes, which is strange compared to all other robots.
Added a vote.
Self-Aware Weaponized Platform: Does this add +3 Rad-hardness to all cards?
Spider Remotes: Do aerobrakes count as a hazard?
There are no aerobrakes next to size 1 sites (except maybe Mars - but I don't have the map in front of me). But clarified just in case.
Hive Turing: Acting like a buggy is a neat trick for a colonist
Most colonists act like buggies. I think you mean acting like a buggy is a neat trick for a raygun.
Halocarbon Pump: First of the Robot Refineries. Bringing in an N reactor is fairly easy. Probably best for Jupiter and the moons of Saturn.
Daisy World Terraformers: So can the player with the politics token choose between that token and the default? Getting the Blue Mars future is a crapshoot or a mission
Carbon Allotrope Aerostate: Second of the robot refineries. Extremely particular, only three places on the map.
Neumann Sunshade: A solar sail robot. Why does it have a New Venus Future? It hardly seems to have any relation with Venus.
Shading Venus is one way of potentially terraforming it.