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Subject: THE Alien Powers List (FFG Original Set) rss

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Big Head Zach
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(mainly because I'm having to wait for Blade Runner: The Final Cut to download on my XBox...)

BEGINNER POWERS
Barbarian - pillages opponent's hand when victorious
Chosen - random draws new encounter card
Clone - keeps encounter card after resolution
Cudgel - destroys additional ships when victorious
Filch - retrieves opponent's used encounter card
Hacker - chooses cards taken for compensation
Loser - winner loses and loser wins
Macron - each ship is worth 4 (2 for compensation)
Miser - gets second untouchable hand
Mutant - refills hand from other players
Observer - prevents allies from going to warp
Oracle - foresees opponent's card
Pacifist - wins with negotiate card
Parasite - joins alliances at will (also awards unreasonably high subsidies to the Brain Slug Planet and attaches brain slugs to the working man)
Reserve - attack cards used as reinforcements
Sorcerer - swaps encounter card with opponent
Spiff - receives colony even in defeat
Trader - exchanges hand with opponent
Vacuum - takes others' ships to warp
Vulch - takes used/discarded artifacts
Warrior - accumulates experience points
Will - chooses planet and enemy to encounter
Zombie - ships never go to warp

INTERMEDIATE POWERS
Amoeba - unlimited ship movement
Antimatter - substracts ships from total, lower total wins
Calculator - reduces higher attack card
Fido - retrieves discarded cards
Fodder - plays additional low attack cards
Hate - opponents lose cards or ships
Healer - saves others' ships from warp
Human - +4 to total, automatically wins if Cosmic Zapped
Kamikaze - sacrifices ships for drawn cards
Mind - sees other players' hands
Mirror - swaps digits on attack cards
Mite - demands colony or opponent loses cards
Philanthropist - gives cards to others
Reincarnator - uses powers not in play
Remora - gets cards or ships with others
Shadow - removes others' ships on destiny draw
Tick Tock - wins after 10 defensive victories and/or successful deals

ADVANCED POWERS
Citadel - builds defensive structures on planets
Dictator - controls destiny deck
Gambler - bluffs about encounter card
Grudge - penalizes for refusal to ally
Machine - no limit of encounters per turn
Masochist - wins when ships are all in warp
Tripler - triples low cards and thirds high cards
Virus - multiplies ships X cards instead of adding
Void - defeated ships removed from game
Warpish - adds ships in warp to total
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Eric Sawler
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Thank you so much! I've been trying to find an official list for days... Good job!
 
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Justin Beatty
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I am, admittedly, a CE newbie. That being said, can someone please explain briefly to me how the Virus power is not ridiculous?
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Ken H.
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Corpsified wrote:
I am, admittedly, a CE newbie. That being said, can someone please explain briefly to me how the Virus power is not ridiculous?


It is ridiculous.

On occasion, though, you will have to defend a challenge with zero ships. In that case, it's obviously beatable.

Outside of that situation, it's a tough one to beat. The other players basically need to work together to knock out the Virus' power.


Edit: Guess I should also point out that Virus has a tough time with Antimatter and Loser, and can be faced on even terms by Warrior, and I assume Mirror and Tripler, although I've never played them. Probably a few others too.

Oh, and THANKS bhz for the list. Been waiting to see that! Are you sure Void is Advanced? Seems about as basic as they come....
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D a n _ C
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CaptainCosmic wrote:
Void is a red-alert alien, yes.

I suspect it's not from difficulty of use, but from a desire to avoid completely turning off new players. Few things would suck more than permanently losing your ships in your first game of CE


Right on. The red color for "advanced" doesn't mean that they are difficult to understand or to play, but rather that they radically alter something fundamental in the game. Dictator, Machine, Virus, those all make sense as "red" aliens with that perspective.
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Bert Nerdsen
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Corpsified wrote:
I am, admittedly, a CE newbie. That being said, can someone please explain briefly to me how the Virus power is not ridiculous?


Virus is the overlord of CE, no question.

But as soon as everybody has realized how imba the virus is, everybody will gang up to neutralize the virus power's ability.

Quote:
Players must plan their strategy to mesh their specialist's alien power's strengths before the diseases virus overwhelms the world galaxy.


As you see, Cosmic Encounter is versatile enough to simulate the theme of a different boardgame in one session.

cool
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Brian Newman
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Corpsified wrote:
I am, admittedly, a CE newbie. That being said, can someone please explain briefly to me how the Virus power is not ridiculous?


You just have to think a bit more with what you've got.

Philanthropist gives Virus a lot of Attack 4s or Negotiates.
Shadow picks off tokens to limit Virus bases to 1 or 2 tokens.
And above all, save your Cosmic Zap for when Virus plays his Attack 40!
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Kevin Wood
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Playing as the Philantropist in my last game, I definitely made the Virus' life a bit more difficult...

Right, June?
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Ken H.
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Okay, between the FFG site, The Warp, the old Encounter Magazines, and the CE Online site, I think I have them all figured out except for these:

Barbarian - pillages opponent's hand when victorious
Observer - prevents allies from going to warp
Citadel - builds defensive structures on planets

Observer is clear enough based on the description. And I get the general gist of Barbarian, although I'd like to know details. Citadel could be a lot of things though, and I have no idea what the structures are for.



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Trevor Gunter
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I'm writing this from memory, so if I'm remembering wrong I apologize:

The Barbarian is pretty simple- when he wins a combat, he looks at his opponent's hand, takes what he wants, and discards the rest.

Citadel is a little more complicated. Citadel can place small-valued encounter cards next to a planet (I forget the details of when you are allowed to do this, and what the maximum value of the card is), which becomes a fortification. When Citadel is involved in a combat he can optionally activate the fortification to add to the defensive value of the planet. If the defender loses, the fortification is discarded.

If I recall properly, the Citadel Super Flare allows Citadel to activate the fortification on the attack, but the fortification then subtracts from the defending side rather than adding.

Haven't had a chance to play the new printing yet, but I'm liking what I've seen so far. I think Human is probably my favorite of the new races. Its description for the other players is "Mostly Harmless."
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Matthew Cary
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Blackberry wrote:
You just have to think a bit more with what you've got.

Philanthropist gives Virus a lot of Attack 4s or Negotiates.
Shadow picks off tokens to limit Virus bases to 1 or 2 tokens.
And above all, save your Cosmic Zap for when Virus plays his Attack 40!


All these are are good answers. And here are a few more:

- Pacifist wins encounters when he plays attack vs. negotiate. He doesn't care that virus has an attack of 160.

- Human cosmic Zaps himself and wins

- Antimatter wants you to have really high numbers so he can win easier

- Looser just declares an upset

So there really are a lot of ways to beat Virus. Just not usually by having a higher total than him in an encounter. This is a big enough change in how the game works that Virus was classified Red.
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Dan Cain
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Jhamin wrote:
Blackberry wrote:
You just have to think a bit more with what you've got.

Philanthropist gives Virus a lot of Attack 4s or Negotiates.
Shadow picks off tokens to limit Virus bases to 1 or 2 tokens.
And above all, save your Cosmic Zap for when Virus plays his Attack 40!


All these are are good answers. And here are a few more:

- Pacifist wins encounters when he plays attack vs. negotiate. He doesn't care that virus has an attack of 160.

- Human cosmic Zaps himself and wins

- Antimatter wants you to have really high numbers so he can win easier

- Looser just declares an upset

So there really are a lot of ways to beat Virus. Just not usually by having a higher total than him in an encounter. This is a big enough change in how the game works that Virus was classified Red.


And don't forget that the Sorcerer with Negotiate cards in their hand can nullify the Virus as well (and pretty much anyone for that matter). Sorcerer is my favorite of the AH version powers.

LA
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June King
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kvn299 wrote:
Playing as the Philantropist in my last game, I definitely made the Virus' life a bit more difficult...

Right, June?


I suppose. I still won, though, didn't I? devil
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Kevin Wood
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Ludocrazy wrote:
kvn299 wrote:
Playing as the Philantropist in my last game, I definitely made the Virus' life a bit more difficult...

Right, June?


I suppose. I still won, though, didn't I? devil


Yeah, well 4 winners to 2 losers... I still feel dirty about that.
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Ken H.
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lastalchemist wrote:
And don't forget that the Sorcerer with Negotiate cards in their hand can nullify the Virus as well (and pretty much anyone for that matter). Sorcerer is my favorite of the AH version powers.



Sorceror is another one that deserves the label "Ridiculous", although it's not as immediately obvious as Virus. It's still very, very good though.

A while back, Blogmic Encounter posted a ranking of all published aliens, based on a survey of several experienced players. The top 5 were (in order): Loser, Virus, Warpish, Sorceror, Pacifist. As we now know, all of these are in the FFG set.

So, Loser was ranked even more ridiculous than Virus. However, that could be because the Eon version was even stronger than the current (FFG or online) version. Otherwise, Loser is almost identical to Sorceror.

I'm not sure I would put Pacifist in the Top 5, personally. It's definitely in the top ten, though. Somebody once pointed out (I forget who, sorry), that Pacifist is basically a subset of Sorceror. Sorceror can win with a Negotiate as easily as Pacifist can, AND Sorceror can win with low attack cards, which Pacifist can't. So, for a mostly "subset" power to still be in the Top 5 shows how good the Sorceror really is.


It's interesting to note that out of the bottom 5 from that survey, only Grudge made it into the FFG set (and with a significant boost also). The other four (not in FFG) were Crystal, Worm, Hurtz, and Lloyd.

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Ken H.
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CaptainCosmic wrote:
["X is too powerful"] is probably the oldest CE argument that there is ... and it rarely turns out to be true.


But it's fun to debate!

Anyway, I don't think Virus is "too" powerful, he's just "way" powerful.

Quote:
Of the 50 aliens in the box, Virus would not make my "top 5 most powerful" list. He might make the top 10. But it's hardly a "ridiculous" power.


I guess it depends on your definition of ridiculous.

I think it might still make the top 5, but it's quite a bit closer. The survey mentioned above did not include Mirror or Tripler, or (obviously) any of the new ones.
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Ken H.
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Was Miser tweaked at all?

It's an interesting power, but was always at the mercy of "bad hand", more so than other aliens. Of course, most aliens suffer from a bad hand, but for Miser, a bad hoard essentially negates the power entirely, since there is no way to get rid of the cards.

What other standards have been tweaked? I know about Grudge and Macron.
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Rob Burns
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CaptainCosmic wrote:
Dictator is different ... it uses the actual physical cards to pick the defender now rather than just drawing a card and deciding whatever. No more having the same guy play defense 11 turns in a row now, in other words.


IIRC, this was an alteration Patrick Riley suggested on the newsgroup several years ago, and it gained some currency there. Peter Olotka did NOT like it, though - he felt it emasculated the power. (There's a thread for the old game where I posted what I thought were the better revisions of canon CE powers... and got schooled by Peter.) I've come around to Peter's thinking, but Dictator is still very strong.
 
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Bryan Stout
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Corpsified wrote:
I am, admittedly, a CE newbie. That being said, can someone please explain briefly to me how the Virus power is not ridiculous?
He's tough, to be sure. But the other players take that in to account. In the many games I played in the 80's, my impression is that the Virus never won; I can say for sure that it won very seldom, especially consider how strong it was.

It's similar with other Advanced powers. For example, I never let myself be intimidated by the Void. In most games against the Void, I think I usually ended up with the most tokens lost from the game, yet being one of the winners anyway.
 
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Savino Palumbo
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I'm not sure I'm understanding the human power. Wins automatically if cosmic zapped? I hope that means winning the ENCOUNTER and not the GAME.

so even if it is just winning the ENCOUNTER, the human can just cosmic zap himself and instantly win?
 
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Jack Reda
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ELPsteel wrote:
I'm not sure I'm understanding the human power. Wins automatically if cosmic zapped? I hope that means winning the ENCOUNTER and not the GAME.

so even if it is just winning the ENCOUNTER, the human can just cosmic zap himself and instantly win?


Yes, just the encounter, and not the game, per se. And yes, he can guarantee a win with a Cosmic Zap (provided someone else doesn't play the Un Zap). I would have amended it to being someone ELSE must Cosmic Zap him in order for that aspect of his power to be invoked... it isn't a big difference, but I do prefer him having to depend on someone else to save his skin.
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Matthew Cary
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There is also a Tech card that is considered to be a Cosmic Zap when activated, so there are the two in the deck and that Tech.

...Still pretty rare for it to actually come up.

Interesting side note: In a playtest the human was Allied to the Main Player Attacker. Both Attacker and Defender played negotiate cards and the other allies started to withdraw their ships.... Until the Human Cosmic Zapped himself and declared that his side was the winner even though negotiates had been played.

We all sort of looked at each other, decided that that was within the rules, and kept playing. It's a big power, when it works.
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