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Subject: Games with very unique special abilities rss

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Alexander Wrede
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I'm working on a kind of "MOBA" inspired war game in which the players control a team of characters. Every character has a very unique ability. So I'd like to have a look at some similar games.

More precisely, it doesn't have to be a war game, but the characters should have really very different features/actions, not just a stronger attack or a better defense. It may be a special attack that works in a very different way though.
Those features may be faction abilities or single unit abilities, and they don't necessarily have to be about fighting. It may be a miniatures game or something else entirely. It should feel really different to play with other characters/units.

Games that've come to my mind are Cosmic Encounter, Magic: The Gathering, Summoner Wars and Kaosball, for example, but I'd be happy to see some even more special character abilities.
 
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John
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Small World and it's expansions might be worth a look.

Star Realms perhaps, but many of the abilities seem quite specific to the deck building format, and I'm not sure they are that unique.

Pandemic and it's expansions?

Citadels (2016 edition) (or the original edition) - I think Bruno Faidutti said that some of the powers were inspired by powers in Cosmic Encounter - obviously the game isn't anything like a war game!

Wikipedia says that Cosmic Encounter influenced Dune, Illuminati, Talisman and Arkham Horror so those might be worth a look too. (I haven't played any of the games mentioned in this paragraph though).
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Derry Salewski
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. . . give a ship.
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Battlecon
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Imperial Assault core box has 6 heroes and 3 imperial class choices. A campaign is played with (upto) 4 heroes and 1 imperial player. All of them receive experience during the campaign and can use it to get new unique abilities (just for them) in addition to their own unique starting abilities. Each hero and imperial class deck vary in their theme and abilities, and due to not being able to collect enough experience to get every ability during the campaign various combinations are possible - and also recommended to get the best synergy among the heroes.

A full campaign is 11-14 missions, 1-3 hours each.

Expansions add more heroes and class decks.
 
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Hubert Schubert
Germany
Bonn
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The Voyages of Marco Polo
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Matt Lee
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Neuroshima Hex!
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Star Realms has Gambits that you might want to check. Gambit cards give you a unique power that can either be a passive ability, or a capacity that you can activate. You can reveal it whenever you want, otherwise it remains face down.

Dark Dealings: Overlords gives you nine cards that represent a special ability each player is given at the beginning of the game. Each card represents an overlord and his or her special ability. From what I got from your post, this is precisely what you are looking for.

Seasons's two expansion has tokens that grant the player an optional power they can chose to activate during a game. They will earn or lose victory point at the end of the game depending on the power and if they used it or not.

Tunhell, in its Kickstarter edition, has 4 cards that give each player a special power. They win one victory point at the end of the game if they do not use that power.

I don't remember what kind of powers these are and it might be tricky to find. If you're interested, I could look into it but you would have to wait until Sunday

EDIT: Oh, there is also Aeon's End and Sentinels of the Multiverse, where every single character has its unique power and card/deck!
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Joe Salamone
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Scythe - Each faction has a unique ability.
 
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Andrew Torrens
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Xia: Legends of a Drift System.

Also, check out the android game "Fantasy War Tactics". It is reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics, and has a host of characters, and they've managed to give each of them a unique feel and abilities.

+1 for Sentinels of the Multiverse given the type of game you have in mind... Each character has quite a different play style accomplished with relatively straightforward mechanics.

You might also want to take a look at Mage Knight Board Game.
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WD Yoga
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Black Fleet.

Each ability card breaks the game rule in various way possible.
 
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Andrew Torrens
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Kitchener
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Almost forgot Krosmaster: Arena.
 
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Jeff Johnson
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King of Tokyo
 
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Alison Mandible
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As Derry suggested, you really want to look at BattleCON: Devastation of Indines and other games in its series. One character has three puppets on the board and can use a different one as her marker each turn. Another stockpiles money over time to buy power-ups. Another is disproportionately strong but has to do nothing once every four turns to reboot.

Managing a team of characters who are all that different would be too much complexity for most games. But if each team had a different subsystem they used, and each character played a role in it the way each Style plays a role in a character's kit in BattleCON, could be great.
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Adrian Hague
United Kingdom
Bristol
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/ Pedant On:

'Unique' is a binary state. Something is either unique, or it is not. There is no 'very' unique, just like there is no 'slightly' unique.

/ Pedant Off
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R Russell
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alingex wrote:
the players control a team of characters. Every character has a very unique ability.


This game exists and is Duel of Ages II.
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Pasi Ojala
Finland
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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TheGodsMustBeCrazy wrote:

You probably mean King of Tokyo: Power Up! - there are no character-specific special abilities otherwise. (Just new abilities from a common pool - any character can purchase any card if they can afford.)

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Jacob Schoberg
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Elkhorn
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No mention of Cosmic Encounter? There's like 150 aliens with drastically different abilities now laugh
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Joe H
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gurkenpflanzer wrote:


This one (The Voyages of Marco Polo) has special abilities that seem so ridiculously overpowered that it's unbelievable that it all somehow works.

Ophir is a pickup and deliver game where each character has a rule breaking ability.

 
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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Shame on everyone for not mentioning Arcadia Quest

You can even have a look at all existing characters on their website -
http://arcadiaquest.com/en/promo-heroes
http://arcadiaquest.com/en/heroes



keep in mind that tons more are coming in the next upcoming expansions.
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Quantum Jack
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The Ares Project

game that simulates the computer-based RTS experience in a turn based card game. Each of the 4 factions has truly unique functions. Each works a slightly different way, with the same base mechanics. But each faction has its own rules, quirks, strengths and weaknesses. Each match-up plays very differently.

Terrans: basic humans, using tanks, mechs, planes, nukes, lots of infrastructure and tech.

Kahoum: Psionic humans with elemental abilities. Depended on power generation, and better at the long-term build-up strategies.

Xenos: insectoid aliens ala starship troopers or the zerg. great flexibility and adaptability

Colossus: a giant robot. "units" are weapons on the bot, instead of separate troops.
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Alison Mandible
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AdrianPHague wrote:
/ Pedant On:

'Unique' is a binary state. Something is either unique, or it is not. There is no 'very' unique, just like there is no 'slightly' unique.

/ Pedant Off


I see people using phrases like "very unique" all the time, and they're clearly understood by the people listening to them. So obviously the word does work that way, even if it's unsatisfying for people who favor a definition of "unique" that leads them to not say "very unique".

But even if "that's how people use the word" isn't an argument you like to accept, I don't see why "very unique" should be a problem.

For one thing, I might call a house "very green" by virtue of the fact that its walls, its roof, its doors and its windows are all green. This use of green is about a binary property-- I don't mean to say it's a bright green, or that the green paint is applied thickly (which are non-binary properties; they could be a little true, a lot true, etc.); I'm talking about how each of its parts simply is green or is not, but because the house has several parts of which a surprising number are binary yes-or-no green, the house is "very green". By the same token, if a game character has several facets and each is flatly "unique" in the sense you prefer, I might call the character "very unique", as opposed to a character which is technically unique because it's the only character with a Strength of 20 but all of whose other facets are repeated elsewhere in the game.

Or there's this: we always have an implied scope of description when we say something is unique. I might have a stamp that's worth a million dollars because it's unique-- but when people say it's unique they mean no other stamp was printed with that design, not that no other stamp depicts an airplane, or that no other object in the world can cause the Postal Service to deliver a postcard. So we might find that some objects are unique when looked at from several different 'zoom levels', while others are only unique with one very particular perspective. Calling the former "very unique" is not denying that uniqueness is a yes-or-no question at each descriptive scale; it's just acknowledging that no single one of those scales has a special claim to importance.

This is BGG; if you want to turn Pedant Mode on, turn it all the way on.
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corum irsei
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rjr1968 wrote:
This game exists and is Duel of Ages II.
+1.
 
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Alexander Wrede
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Thank you, everybody! Those are great suggestions and I will have a look at all of them. I've even played some of them myself, so I wonder why I didn't think of Small World, Neuroshima Hex and Citadels before.
Duel of Ages II sounds great, I'm looking forward to trying that. Although that one seems to be very hard to get, at least in Germany!

So, what are your favorite abilities in the games you mentioned? Some of them have so many different abilities (Cosmic Encounter!), are there any that stand out or that you think are great, fun to play or special?
 
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American in Chile
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Star Wars: Epic Duels
In addition to normal attack/defense cards, each character has special attack/defense cards, and special ability cards.
 
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Andrew Torrens
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alingex wrote:
Thank you, everybody! Those are great suggestions and I will have a look at all of them. I've even played some of them myself, so I wonder why I didn't think of Small World, Neuroshima Hex and Citadels before.
Duel of Ages II sounds great, I'm looking forward to trying that. Although that one seems to be very hard to get, at least in Germany!

So, what are your favorite abilities in the games you mentioned? Some of them have so many different abilities (Cosmic Encounter!), are there any that stand out or that you think are great, fun to play or special?


That's such a subjective and open question that it's hard to answer. The abilities you want to create will depend a lot on the type of game play experience you want people to have. Funny or serious? Chaotic or balanced? Competitive or combative? Light and quick or deep and strategic? If you talk more about the experience you are looking for, it's easier to narrow down the playing field for you.

Other games I forgot to list were Ninja All-Stars and Assault on Doomrock.
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