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Subject: MAGNET - steals an ally from opponent rss

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marcin marcinek
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This is not a fully realized writeup but just an idea.

Magnet
You have the power to attract. As a main player, after allies allocate their ships, you may choose one ally on your opponent's side and move him to your side. You can only do this with an ally who has no more ships in this encounter than you.

Oppinions?
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STB
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This is a reduced version of another power from the Eon edition that was also called Magnet.
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Jack Reda
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MAGNET

You have the power to attract or repel. Whenever you are the offensive or defensive player, or an ally, 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.

History: Originating on a highly ferrous planetoid, the Magnets thrived on the intense radiations generated at its poles. Soon they achieved the ability to manipulate and reverse energy fields by group induction, and are now attempting to magnetize the Universe.

Wild: As a main player, before cards are played, you may specify one card which cannot be played by your opponent unless he has no choice (example: Attack 20).

Super: 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.
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Jack of Clubs
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The problem with the old Magnet power, and the reason I suspect it hasn't been published in an FFG expansion, is that it completely takes away choices from other players. It you don't get to make a choice, then you're not really playing the game, and it's no fun. The power was otherwise a fine concept, and it could even be called "pithy".

It takes away one player's choice of whether to ally, and who with - and it also potentially takes away another player's choice not to invite that player. You can force an alliance, even when the player was not invited on that side! Thus two different players' choices can be overridden in the same encounter! That's kind of annoying for a game that's supposed to let players make their own decisions.

One possible fix that has just occurred to me, is to make the power mandatory! The Magnet *must* change one player's alliance status every time he is a main player or ally. That way, the other players might be able to bluff into getting what they want. They can ally with the side they don't want, hoping that they'll be moved to the other side, or not ally at all, hoping they'll get pulled in, or vice versa.

So just like the Sorcerer's opponent can bluff about whether he wants to keep his card or have it switched, the other allies in an encounter involving Magnet can bluff about who they want to ally with.

And if Magnet invites everyone to ally with him, and they all do, he *must* send one of them away.
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Roberta Yang
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
The problem with the old Magnet power, and the reason I suspect it hasn't been published in an FFG expansion, is that it completely takes away choices from other players. It you don't get to make a choice, then you're not really playing the game, and it's no fun. The power was otherwise a fine concept, and it could even be called "pithy".

It takes away one player's choice of whether to ally, and who with - and it also potentially takes away another player's choice not to invite that player. You can force an alliance, even when the player was not invited on that side! Thus two different players' choices can be overridden in the same encounter! That's kind of annoying for a game that's supposed to let players make their own decisions.

I don't buy this. Lots of things in the game can overrule decisions. We don't begrudge Force Field, Emotion Control, or Quash a place in the game just because they undo decisions other players have made.

It doesn't even make the victim's decision irrelevant, because by choosing to affect that player, the Magnet has sacrificed the chance to affect every other player. If red and blue both join the Magnet's opponent, and the Magnet sends red away, was red's decision meaningless? No -- if red had chosen not to ally, blue would have been sent away instead, so red joining as an ally still increased the number of allies on that side by one.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
One possible fix that has just occurred to me, is to make the power mandatory! The Magnet *must* change one player's alliance status every time he is a main player or ally. That way, the other players might be able to bluff into getting what they want. They can ally with the side they don't want, hoping that they'll be moved to the other side, or not ally at all, hoping they'll get pulled in, or vice versa.

So just like the Sorcerer's opponent can bluff about whether he wants to keep his card or have it switched, the other allies in an encounter involving Magnet can bluff about who they want to ally with.

And if Magnet invites everyone to ally with him, and they all do, he *must* send one of them away.

I don't think this is anywhere near as interesting as you're making it out to be. Your opponent having allies is almost always bad for you -- it makes it harder for you to win, and if you lose an extra opponent gets rewarded. So it's always safe to shove away an opponent's ally, and you'll never want to give your opponent an extra ally. (There are exceptions to your opponent having allies always being bad, like giving your offense opponent an ally with 4 foreign colonies to force them to throw the encounter, but they're not really relevant here.) With some moves perfectly safe and others providing nothing but downsides, the decision space is far smaller than you're making it out to be. And if someone doesn't particularly want to ally, sure, they could join the opponent in hopes of being sent away -- but when allying with only a single ship is an option, who would really care either way? Mindgames aren't interesting when the stakes are too small to matter.

It makes the power more fiddly, but not really more interesting.

It's also an unnecessary nerf to an already-weak power. Magnet is underwhelming enough that I've seen people suggest stapling it and Crystal (Eon's, not FFG's) together to form a single actual power.
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salty53 wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
The problem with the old Magnet power, and the reason I suspect it hasn't been published in an FFG expansion, is that it completely takes away choices from other players. It you don't get to make a choice, then you're not really playing the game, and it's no fun. The power was otherwise a fine concept, and it could even be called "pithy".

I don't buy this. Lots of things in the game can overrule decisions. We don't begrudge Force Field, Emotion Control, or Quash a place in the game just because they undo decisions other players have made.

Of course, those Artifacts you list only get played once. Magnet is a power which could be used every single encounter.

But OK, then why do you think FFG hasn't published Magnet yet? It's a pretty simple and straightforward power. What's wrong with it?

Quote:
It's also an unnecessary nerf to an already-weak power. Magnet is underwhelming enough that I've seen people suggest stapling it and Crystal (Eon's, not FFG's) together to form a single actual power.

Is this why? Because it's too weak?
 
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marcin marcinek
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SpaghettiToastBook wrote:
This is a reduced version of another power from the Eon edition that was also called Magnet.

I had no idea, pity :(

It's weak you say and overrides player decisions? How about this:

Magnet
You have the power to attract. As a main player, after alliances are formed, you may use this power. Each ally on your opponent's side with less ships in the encounter than you moves to your side.

Now it's more potent and also allows players to avoid being pulled by commiting enough ships.
 
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Roberta Yang
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
But OK, then why do you think FFG hasn't published Magnet yet? It's a pretty simple and straightforward power. What's wrong with it?

Quote:
It's also an unnecessary nerf to an already-weak power. Magnet is underwhelming enough that I've seen people suggest stapling it and Crystal (Eon's, not FFG's) together to form a single actual power.

Is this why? Because it's too weak?

FFG published Grumpus. I have no idea why FFG does anything it does, but I would not advise assuming that everything they do is correct and well-reasoned.
 
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Szatany wrote:
Magnet
You have the power to attract. As a main player, after alliances are formed, you may use this power. Each ally on your opponent's side with less ships in the encounter than you moves to your side.

It's still very weak. If you use this power and win, you helped the other players. If you use this power and lose, your allies lose ships but you lose more ships than them and possibly end your turn (if you're the offense).
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