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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Rules

Subject: Magnet Super Flare clarification rss

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Andy Stout
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The Magnet Super reads:

"You may force any players to ally or not to ally with the sides you specify. They decide how many tokens to bring if forced to ally."

It's clear that this extends Magnet's usual power from affecting one player to affecting all players. But as written, it sounds like it MAY extend the power in TWO additional ways: does it also extend Magnet's usual power to being allowed to use it even if NOT involved (as an ally or main player) in the encounter? Also, does it extend the power to allow people to ally who weren't invited, i.e. can Magnet use it on itself to give itself basically Parasite's power?

Is there a general consensus on this?

Another Magnet-related question: when does Magnet use its power (non-Super): does it, when a player's chance comes up to choose whether or not to ally, get to choose whether that player allies or not; or does it wait until everyone has decided to ally/not, and THEN choose to reverse someone's decision?
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Alex Kerensky
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Short answers:
1: No, the Magnet cannot use their power if not already involved in the challenge. They need to be either a main player or an ally first.
2: Yes, the Magnet can invite players who were not invited (see example), but the Magnet cannot invite itself. This is the case regardless of having the Super or not.
3: The Magnet's power is used after everyone has committed tokens (defensive and allies are already set, then the Magnet can "repel" or "attract" someone. He can not decide alliances before another player makes a choice.

Long version:

1: Regarding the Super Flare, the way I've always played it in both the Eon set and the Mayfair set is that Magnet may use its power for all non-main players when it has the Super. As you said, Magnet can "attract" or "repel" 2 or more players in the same challenge if so desired. That part is correct, and can be extremely powerful in a 5 or 6 player game.

2: The Magnet does not allow you to invite yourself into an challenge. You must already be a main player or ally in the challenge for you to use your power at all, as the Magnet's power takes effect after tokens are committed. After everyone decides if they're allying, then Magnet can use its power, if it so desires. If a player was not invited to ally, the Magnet can then "attract" them into the challenge on either side he desires - offense or defense. Usually this is used to pull someone into the Magnet's side, but it can be used to put tokens on team opposing the Magnet or his ally. So yes, the Magnet can force a player in who was not invited during the asking for alliance phase, but it cannot attract itself into the challenge.

See example in spoiler:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Example, for clarity: Red Blue Green, Yellow, and Purple are in a five-player game - Red is the Magnet. It is Red's turn, and he draws a Blue from the Destiny pile. He points the cone to a Blue planet, places 4 tokens in the hyperspace cone, and invites Green (but not Yellow or Purple) to ally with him. Blue asks Green and Purple (but not Yellow) for help. Let's say Green allies with Blue, and puts in 3 tokens, and Purple denies helping Blue (and wasn't asked by Red).

Red Magnet can now do one of the following things:
A: "Repel" Green, removing his 3 tokens from the defensive side of the cone, sending them back to bases
B: "Attract" Yellow to the offensive or defensive side of the cone. Yellow chooses how many tokens to commit.
C: "Attract" Purple to the offensive or defensive side of the cone. Purple chooses how many tokens to commit.

He can not "Attract" Green over to his side, and add Green's 3 tokens to his total. If he has the Super, he can both Repel Green AND Attract Yellow AND attract Purple!

If the Magnet was Yellow or Purple, he would not be able to force himself onto the Red team. If he was Purple, he could've joined the Blue team (at Blue's request for allies), and then "attracted" Yellow into the challenge.

3: Regarding the timing, I will admit it is somewhat open to interpretation in the Eon rules, but in the Mayfair rules, it is very clear that you use your power after tokens are committed by offensive and defensive allies.

Offense points the cone, commits tokens, asks for allies, then the defense asks for allies, then people choose whether they want to ally with offense, defense, or no one, allies commit tokens (if applicable), and then Magnet's power kicks in, and he can repel someone who is committed or attract someone who is not committed.

Please note: The Magnet cannot "switch sides" for someone. If they picked defense, The Magnet cannot "attract" them to offense - it can only "repel" them from allying. If a player did not pick sides, the Magnet can then "attract" them to either side. This does not necessarily need to be the side that the Magnet is on! The Magnet can intentionally force a player to ally with the opposing players, if he so desires. The tactical possibilities may seem counter-intuitive, but experienced players can use this to their advantage.

See below excerpt from the Mayfair power description of the Magnet, and note the bold:

"You have the power of magnetism. As a main player or an ally in a challenge, you may force any one player to ally with one side you specify or prevent him from allying altogether. If you make him ally, he decides how many tokens to bring. You use your power after normal commitments of allies' tokens."

Just a sidenote: I have played several games with people who were interpreting the rules incorrectly, and playing the Magnet as if it can just "pull someone in" to a challenge right away. Such as, "I'm attacking here, and you're allying with me" or "Yes, I'll ally with you, and so will this other player." This is not a play that is allowed in the rules. I've even seen people put four tokens into the cone, then try to "magnetize" themselves, to "attract" another four tokens in, as if they were allying with themselves. This is also not a legal move.

In summary, the normal procedure for acquiring allies happens first, and then the Magnet chooses to attract a non-participating player, or repel an already-committed ally (after tokens are committed, but before challenge cards are played).

Please PM me if you have any more questions, but I think this should clear it up. I realize this post is several months old, but I feel that it needed to be answered in case anyone else has the same question, searches for it, and finds this thread.
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